I started seeing my partner after he separated from his wife. Now they’re trying to date again. Neither have ever been non-monogamous

francislee

New member
Howdy! I have been in a few polyamorous or ethically non-monogamous relationships, but I feel like I’m in a pickle with this particular configuration. My partner of 6 months, whom I love a lot, was raised very Christian and married his high school sweetheart. They have only ever been with one another…. ever. He knew I was polyamorous and I had another partner of 2 years at the time we began seeing each other. He seems to have taken to it all rather well, healthy questions, never judgmental. Anyway, he and his spouse began speaking again. They want to begin dating to see how things go, as they have done a lot of internal work independently etc. However, she has never been in a situation quite like this, none of us have, really. I usually have a touch of jealousy and nerves upon meeting a metamour, but ultimately I’m pretty stoked about it and it has never been an issue in the past. I’ve had great times hanging out with partners partners and gotten along with them well in the past with no issue. I suppose where he and I are becoming nervous is that she may not be as accepting of it. You can imagine that finding resources on how to handle a situation such as this is fairly tricky, if not impossible. Are there any resources for her (and us) y’all would recommend? We’ve yet to all sit down and talk about it, as it’s a new development. He and I are speaking tonight and maybe setting up a time to all meet, but I for sure want to be prepared in whatever way I can to make her feel comfortable! Pretty lost on this one, we’re all in our early 20’s, mind you. Honestly, any input would be appreciated. I know this will need to be very intentional with lots of communication to foster the kind of trust and comfortability required for it to work healthily. Also, I kind of signed up for this thing on a whim of desperation. I just want everyone to feel okay with however it turns out, ya know?
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It's not your place to help your bf and his sorta ex-wife sort out their new configuration. At all. You don't need to meet her. Even though you've had good experiences hanging out with metas in the past, this might not be the time here to do so.

I'd take a back seat if I were you. Your bf is now suddenly a hinge. He is choosing to go back to her, while trying to maintain his r'ship with you? Let him figure that out. Make your own needs and desires known. See if he can keep meeting your needs while he renegotiates with the sorta ex.

I'm not sure if there are resources for this exact scenario, but by and large, each relationship deserves its own space and privacy. He ex-wife shouldn't know your very personal details, and you should not be told hers.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello francislee,

I may have some resources for you, but I'm not sure what to offer as I don't know how this situation is going to play out. For instance, is this man's wife going to become polyamorous herself? or is she going to become the monogamous partner in a mono/poly relationship? The answer to that question will affect what kind of resources I would offer.

For now, maybe I'll try to list a few general resources (for your upcoming conversation):
Hopefully that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

francislee

New member
i’ve always been under the impression that, if someone is important to my partner and they’re a big part of their life, it’s okay to meet? and often it feels like meeting another best friends best friend, for lack of better terminology. like, my partners other relationships tend to enrich the one i have with them. i’m never wanting to put my nose in places it doesn’t need to be, like in her personal business, but the idea of being with someone who is also with someone else who maybe thinks ill of me based on jealousy and insecurity seems less than ideal and like it would be a detriment to everyone involved. also, i don’t want her to have a bad taste in her mouth in regards to non-monogamy and her husband/ my partner surely doesn’t know how to navigate the situation and i can’t help but to be there for that, since it does affect me in a roundabout way, plus i love him and we are very close, so why would i not want to help? so long as we’re acting or thinking compersively, right? i dunno. i am for sure thinking of what you’re saying and not being dismissive at all of that.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hey Francis, I just realized you posted your questions in our blog section. This is more a place for personal rambles, and advice isn't allowed unless you ask for it. Which you did. But you might get more looks if you post in the relationships section.

That said, you are young and new to poly. Many new people do get surprised at how often metamours do NOT hang out. There's a term for this: parallel poly. What you've been doing it called kitchen table poly, or KTP.

Young people naturally do not have much dating experience under their belts. Maybe you started dating at 14, and now you're 24, so you've had 10 years of dating. I don't know. But one on one relationships are hard enough during one's 20s when we are finding out who we really are, outside of our nuclear families' influence.

Your bf got married super young, a Christian marriage with all that virgin-purity-chaste situation type deal. Now he's jumping into polyamory, which is like the exact opposite. You may love him, but you're still in the infatuation phase. You don't know what to tell him about healing his marriage... You really shouldn't have to do marriage counseling for him and his wife! (Some fundies don't believe in secular counseling, so I can only wonder what she's telling other people from her church, including her pastor and her family.)

IF she is jealous of you, meeting you won't necessarily help. You can have compersion all you want or are capable of. I'm not saying don't meet her, but just be aware that it might not magically make her all OK with polyamory. If she's still a fundie, she might just be thinking this is adultery and fornication... that's how they think in that cult.

I've learned from experience that if a couple is having marital troubles, to step back and give them space. I know you mean well, and you don't want to lose your bf while you are still in NRE, but since he's going back to wife, be wary of your heart.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Not sure if you wanted a response since this is in the blog section but then you do ask for feedback.

FWIW? I agree with Mags. Back off. Do less.

I don't know why he'd want to go there. They divorced for a REASON. But whatever. People do as they do.

Rather than worrying so much about making his ex wife feel comfortable participating here, you could figure out what YOU need to feel comfortable participating here if BF adds his ex wife to his poly network.

Also, I kind of signed up for this thing on a whim of desperation. I just want everyone to feel okay with however it turns out, ya know?

Who is desperate? You? Desperate for what? Are you struggling with anxiety about something?

Why's it so important to you that everyone feel ok with how it turns out? Rather than each person being responsible for their own choices and emotional management?

Are you doing only the things that YOU feel truly ok doing? Or are you being too accommodating just cuz you want to make it so everyone likes you?

Not your job to make your BF's new potential gf (who is also his ex wife) feel comfortable. You don't have to be mean to her. You can be basic polite if your paths happen to cross. But you also don't have to do her inner personal work FOR her.

It is your job to state where YOU stand.
  • BF, I'm game for poly dating, but I like doing kitchen table poly.
    • You adding your recent ex wife to your side of the poly network is too weird for me when she might not even be poly. Or poly, but not KTP.
    • I rather bow out til you all sort out. Look me up in future if it pans out for KTP.
  • BF, I'm game for poly dating you while you also date your ex wife.
    • But you broke up for a reason. I'm not sure getting back together is the right thing and I don't want to get caught in accidental crossfire
    • Other than safer sex agreements for sex health hygiene? And calendar so I can manage my own time? I don't care to know about problems from the other side of the V.
    • I want a very separate V to start, and maybe over time if all want it, change to KTP.

It's his job to talk to his ex wife -- call her Apple.
  • And say "Apple, if you want to talk about getting back together... you need to know I'm doing poly now, and I have a GF of 6 mos. If poly is not for you, best we leave it at good exes rather than try to date again and make a mess. We got a divorce for a reason."
It's his job to talk to you.
  • "I want to work on getting back together with Apple. I want to keep poly dating you. I don't know how Apple is with polyamory yet. I'd like to keep it as a very separate V to start while sussing all that out."

    OR

  • "I want to get back together with Apple. I enjoyed poly dating you, but she's not into poly. I have to make a choice. I am breaking up. I enjoyed knowing you and wish you well in future. I'm sorry it couldn't pan out for us."
i’ve always been under the impression that, if someone is important to my partner and they’re a big part of their life, it’s okay to meet?

Only if all the participants WANT to. Some don't want to.

You know how you just cuz you are married it doesn't mean you want to go hang out with all your in-laws all the time? Maybe some of them you only saw at the wedding or at family reunions. You just don't want to hang out every weekend with Uncle Frank or Cousin Sue. Not your uncle or cousin. You probably have your own relatives you don't hang much with, right?

It's kinda like that.

Just cuz you are poly and your partner has other partners? Doesn't mean you want to go hang out with all your metamours all the time. You aren't dating them. You might have your own partners, family, friends to deal with already in your inner circles. If you happen to get along well? Some metas might also become your friends in your inner circle and then you hang out because you are friends. But probably not friends with all of them.

i’m never wanting to put my nose in places it doesn’t need to be, like in her personal business, but the idea of being with someone who is also with someone else who maybe thinks ill of me based on jealousy and insecurity seems less than ideal and like it would be a detriment to everyone involved.

So maybe that's why you give it a pass til you know it's sorted between BF and Apple. And you roll out the welcome mat a bit more slowly and not try to be insta-friends.

And choose a "very separate V" and tell him you don't want to hear about their problems on the other side of the V. Maintain strong personal boundaries.

He has never been a hinge before, so you don't know if he's good at it or "sloppy." And it's not your job to be his "poly coach."

also, i don’t want her to have a bad taste in her mouth in regards to non-monogamy and her husband/ my partner surely doesn’t know how to navigate the situation

How about giving him space in which to learn?

Rather than trying to "pre-solve" your own anxieties around this by managing everyone else ahead of time? (If that's what you are doing.)

If he tells her he is poly dating now and this sounds yucky to her? It is her job and her responsibility to say "Ex-husband, I see that you want to get back together. But you are poly dating right now. I'm not into that. So the answer is NO. Look me up if you are free later on and want to do monogamous dating. But I don't do poly dating."

It's is ok for her not to like or be into non-mongamy or polyamory. Everyone can have their own preferences.

and i can’t help but to be there for that, since it does affect me in a roundabout way, plus i love him and we are very close, so why would i not want to help?

Because one must maintain good personal boundaries and only help with reasonable and rational requests to avoid overextending their own selves, burning out, or getting up in other people's business where they do not belong.

Nobody is requesting anything of you right now. Yet you are already trying to do BF's homework for him ahead of time. Why can't he do it?

Maybe you leave it at minimal help.

"BF, if you want to go there, I'm willing to remain in your poly network while you try to figure out if you are getting back with your ex-wife and if she's poly too. But please go in prepared and not all willy nilly. Here's some initial links to get you started. I also suggest you get a poly counselor. I expect you to do your own work.

I am your GF. I cannot be your poly counselor or do your work for you. So past this small sharing of starter links, I'm backing off. I prefer a very separate V for now."

Then you hold your personal boundaries while he figures himself out as a hinge and while he figures out if Apple is a good poly dating partner or not. Every dyad needs its own time and privacy.

I imagine you want the relationship of (you + BF) to BE about (you and BF.)

And not have the relationship of (you + BF) become (you having to listen to BF tell you all his problems about him and Apple.)

He and I are speaking tonight and maybe setting up a time to all meet, but I for sure want to be prepared in whatever way I can to make her feel comfortable!

I think he and Apple could talk. What's been fixed since they divorced that would make another go wortwhile. He could be up front about the fact that since they broke up? He's been poly dating, so he already has a poly GF. Then ask her if she's up for poly dating and if she wants to meet you over Zoom or similar for a 10 min video call just to say hello later on.

You don't need to be there for that initial conversation. Because maybe Apple goes "Oh. Well, I don't want to poly date" or BF discovers that even if Apple wants to get back together, the reasons for the divorce are all still there. And that's the end of it.

If it isn't the end of it, they can have some initial dates and see if it's even a runner before you get involved with talking about poly group agreements.

Galagirl
 
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tdh

Active member
i don’t want her to have a bad taste in her mouth in regards to non-monogamy and her husband/ my partner surely doesn’t know how to navigate the situation
Lots of good advice above Frankie so just wanted to point this one line out. You are trying to control things you have no control over. No matter what you do or say, you can't control the taste in her mouth or how he navigates the situation.

You can control you. You can help if asked. But the rest you are worried about, out of your control. That is hard to accept when you WANT so bad for it all to work.

Take a breath, worry about what you can control and let the rest go. Its okay to help but let go of the desire to control him and her.
 

Inaniel

Active member
I am not a fan of parallel poly. I was in a parallel situation once and it felt like living a double life, I found the requirement for segregation inconvenient (to put it as politely as possible). Having a partner who is so on-edge they cant bear the sight of, or exchange pleasantries with a meta is stress... (I only experienced this concept from the perspective of hinge)

This is a good opportunity to talk with your partner and figure out how each of you want to do Poly. It is also a good opportunity for your boyfriend to talk to the ex-wife about how she would like to do Poly. I do not subscribe to the "how partners do poly is none of your business" mentality. Reason being is the people in your orbit and the configuration of it will have an impact you. With that said, all you can do is have the conversation and use that information to evaluate the consent of your own participation.
 
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