i'm new to this... please help!


New member
hi... i am wondering if anyone can give me some helpful advice.
10 years ago i fell in love with a man. he lived in europe, i was in america and we were still in university. we loved each other passionately, at a distance, and visited when we could afford it, but after a while the distance became too much for us to handle. we both had more than a year of studies left and didn't know how to make it work being apart so often. despite the fact that we were in love and wanted to be together, we decided to try to move on. after some time, we both met other people, started new relationships and moved on but we didn't forget about each other. we stayed in touch by letters and email and wondered.
last year, we met again and we fell in love again too - only this time it is a more mature love; it's deeper and stronger and more compatible. we share passion for each other, intense sexual and emotional chemistry and a strong friendship. we still live on different continents but have been having a long distance love affair for the past year and would like so much to share a future together. the thing is that he is in a long-term relationship which he doesn't want to leave either. he loves his girlfriend too, they share two small children and have a nice life. i visit every 4 months or so and have also developed a strong friendship with her. we have a lot in common, laugh a lot together, easily share tasks, share the same views about life, are both very creative people and feel more like family than friends. when we are all together, the three of us, both he and i can feel that the chemistry is good and can see that a poly relationship, where he is shared, could certainly work. he also makes me feel unique and special and very loved so i feel i could be more than satisfied with this kind of relationship.
the thing is his girlfriend doesn't know that we are in love with each other, we feel badly about hiding our love for each other and although we want to discuss all of this with her, we don't know where or when to begin and we especially don't want to lose each other. we really love each other but how do we tell her? should we tell her and if yes, what do we say? how do we make her feel confident that his love for me is unique and separate from his love for her; that the two are not related and it's not a consequence of something she lacks? i have the feeling if she could feel confident with his affections for her and not feel that i am a threat to their love or family, that she might be open to an open love relationship with the three of us - but how do we make her see that, feel that? how can we approach the topic so that we have the greatest chance of a positive response from her? is that naive?
good advice would really help us... thank you!


Staff member
Proceed with extreme caution!!!

It took some digging, but the following is from a somewhat similar thread:
Then it's too late to open this subject.

Polyamory is like a business network. Your business network can help you get a job. It is better than anything else at getting you a job. And you have to build it... before you need a job. When you don't need one, and have no real expectation of needing one anytime soon.

Polyamory is good at getting you new partners and new friends and new relationships. It is better than anything else at doing it. And you have to build it BEFORE you need it.

Because once you need it, it is too late to build it. The attempt is tainted by self-interest, and will never be seen as honest. It's not impossible to build a polyamorous foundation under these circumstances... but it's very difficult, and calling it "doomed to failure" is really not all that much of an exaggeration.

Expect that for best results, you probably have to walk away from that crush. Your chances go way, way up if you do that.

You can check out the thread and decide how much it might apply to your situation...but it is somewhat similar...in that anything you and your friend might want to say or tell the gf will sound to be in your interest...not hers.

I don't have any direct experience to offer on this subject, just my gut intuition, so you can take it or leave it for whatever that's worth.
You'd probably be best served staying out of the conversation initially. Some friends of mine are just in the process of getting divorced...and the wife was considering it for a long time, she only filed for seperation once she had a new guy to go to. Regardless of her intention, the optics sucked. Similarly if he starts the conversation with "I want to open our relationship to other lovers & be poly, starting with Qanda who is sitting at our kitchen table making pancakes for our kids..." how is that going to sound to her?

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the two of you have been carrying on behind her back for a year anyways...(if I read your use of "love affair" ) in which case there's probably going to be a lot of trust issues with her to overcome...because she's not likely to want to trust either you or him once that comes out.

Probably the most gentle way to ease into it would be for him to talk to his gf about the possibilities of open relationships or poly in general and see what she says. If she threatens to go Loraina Bobbit on his ass if he ever touched another woman...then don't hold your breath...it'll take a while.
If on the other hand she says it's always something she wanted to try...or that she didn't know it was possible but sounds interesting...then things will probably go a little smoother.
If he brings up the subject and she tells him "Sounds fantastic...I've been shagging a guy down at the office and I'd really like to get to know him above the deck instead of under it"...well then ...Game On!

I guess the point of all this, is that finding out her inclination towards poly would be a decent first step...

As for yourself...if you really want her to not feel threatened by your presence while this discussion is going on, probably best if you make yourself scarce. Probably a good idea to not being carrying on behind her back or there won't be any basis for trust to be built.
And be prepared to walk away...for your good, or theirs.... If she's not receptive and makes him choose....he may not choose you. Be ready for it...or more to the point, be ready to walk away so you can make your own choice.

Ok...anyone else with better insight...feel free to jump in and tell me to pound sand if I'm off target here.


New member
(First: I had difficulty reading your OP due to the density of the text. Distinct paragraphs breaks and some white space make posts much easier on eyes, and therefore more likely to be read and draw responses.)

Next, my advice for your predicament:

If you are cheating, stop it now. You cannot build an honest, open, loving and respectful relationship on a foundation of deceit.

Turn your attention to yourself. Figure out why you chose to cheat. Then work on those problems. Encourage your current partner to do the same, recognizing that his issues are fully his responsibility.

When you have worked through your issues, and are ready to give and receive love in an an open, honest, respectful way, look for a partner who is also interested in this kind of relationship. Perhaps your current boyfriend will have worked through his issues. Perhaps not. Either way you will be better off than you are now.

There will be other polyfolk here who will disagree with me, and give you advice on how to salvage your current situation. With much respect to them and to you, my experience is that cheating taints relationships permanently. If you reveal your affair to his girlfriend, how will she ever trust him or you fully, knowing that for a year the two of you lied to her? There would always be that gnawing doubt in her mind, and the two of you could never FULLY regain her trust having betrayed it so deeply and for so long. Better to address the issues in yourself that lead to these bad choices, wipe the slate clean, and move forward in a healthy, loving manner.

If you have NOT cheated, the opportunity still exists for open, honest and loving communication between the three of you. He should take the lead and introduce the possibility to her, as it will be a HUGE change to their relationship. The two of you should be prepared to approach the discussion in a manner that demonstrates respect and love for everyone involved (not just the three of you, but also the children and anyone else impacted). Continue demonstrating that love and respect whatever her reaction may be, and wherever the situation goes from that point.

Best of luck to all of you. May your lives be filled with joy, peace and love.


New member
1 + 1 = happiness?

the world in which we live doesn't advocate living in a poly / open relationship setting. it says 1 + 1 = happiness. there are no other pictures or options for happiness that are presented as possibilities to most people. it takes much courage to try to live in a poly relationship when the world says it's not going to work and more importantly, that it's wrong.

my lover and i are having an indeed having an affair because we felt like there wasn't any other option. being honest about our love for each other would lead to him having to pick between loving his family or loving me. he couldn't choose because he loves and wants to love all of us. now, it's the same.

it's a shame that so many people have to lead a life of deceit as you say because being honest about what they really want in their love life - what would really make them fully happy - isn't acceptable or even an option. love is an organic thing and so are people. we grow and change just like our needs grow and change. so why should the needs of his girlfriend be more important than his needs?

if we are to be honest with his girlfriend and she says you must choose between me or her, he will choose his family. he has children so he isn't only considering himself. but, i also know that in choosing only his family he will experience feelings of deep loss, dissatisfaction and unhappiness and, in the end, not being allowed to love me too, as he really wants to, could certainly ruin his relationship with his girlfriend. she doesn't want that either.

compromise is part of life and love so why should one person's needs be more important than the needs of the other? aren't both important - or am i just being very selfish?


New member
compromise is part of life and love so why should one person's needs be more important than the needs of the other? aren't both important - or am i just being very selfish?

Cheating is not compromising. Cheating is hurtful, decietful and will scar you and anyone it touches.
You are being selfish.

I was selfish once....for a long time. I'm scarred and it follows me into my new relationship with Redpepper. I can't offer any stronger words of advice other than salvage your dignitiy, self worth and spare others pain...get out.
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New member
how can we approach the topic so that we have the greatest chance of a positive response from her? is that naive?

Um, ya, naive.

you've been cheating and she will freak out.

Sorry, to have to be the bearer of bad news, but usually it seems to me that if people cheat on their partners and tell them they are in love with someone else, it means a dirty, nasty divorce.

Of course it seems to me that usually people who cheat bring nothing but pain into their lives and nothing but sorrow to everyone around them, mostly to themselves.... I'm sorry again, but really the only option I can see is to end your relationship with this person once and for all and never see him again. He has the responsibility to take care of his business ie. his kids and their mother. If he has an ounce of integrity left he will do this.

The only way I can ever see this working is if the two of you don't see each other or talk to each other.... he breaks the whole poly thing to her only to find that volia, she actually wants that too! Then they settle into the poly lifestyle for a bit and then you come back in pretending that you don't know each other and start a relationship... yup, not going to happen!

I think it's doomed.

sorry, but I can't see an unmessy, unhurtful, respectful way of "getting" her to be okay with you two....

I'd say you should move on and find a relationship based on mutual respect, integrity, and dignity for those involved. One where you can fully trust your partner(s) not to cheat on you also.

Cheating never works in the end in my books....

check out this link on a good list that Mono put together on why cheating isn't sustainable.



Staff member
I'm going to drop in and reiterate something that Mono, RP, and others have said:

But first:
it says 1 + 1 = happiness. there are no other pictures or options for happiness that are presented as possibilities to most people. it takes much courage to try to live in a poly relationship when the world says it's not going to work and more importantly, that it's wrong.
Ok...a girl I knew went to a catholic high school...just happened to be the dumping ground for any students who were expecting. Most when asked why they didn't use birthcontrol would answer with "It's against my religion...". The girl I knew, being no fool would of course remind them..."Yes honey,...but so is pre-marital sex!"

So...what's the math in your world say about cheating?

Ok, the point:
compromise is part of life and love so why should one person's needs be more important than the needs of the other? aren't both important - or am i just being very selfish?
I would suggest being very very careful with this line of thinking...and it goes back to confusing equality with fairness which has come up on other threads too. If you wanted to discuss you vs him, or you vs her, or you vs him vs her...everyone's an adult, capable of comprimise...if the discussion was open, and honest and forthright...which it cannot be when she doesn't know about the cheating going on behind her back. But that aside...you are not 3 people in isolation in your case.

We are talking about your needs, and maybe his needs, vs his gf, and thier two kids! They have no say in the goings on of adults, and I'd wager are too young to understand comprimise, needs, complex relationships or anything. They will only see their home, security and lives being ripped apart. You are playing with fire...juggling torches beside a tinder house with two kids inside.
If you cannot reconcile equality of needs between you and her, I really really hope you can understand that in fairness...your needs (and his with regard to you) do not amount to jack when compared to the needs of the kids (even if you disregard the mother)