introducing polyamory

kara_bean

New member
So, I'm poly and my husband is not. I realized I was poly when we were still engaged. He basically said okay and we haven't talked about it since. I've recently reconnected with an old friend from college and there's definitely a spark there. He knows I'm married and doesn't have an issue with it. He just wants me to be happy. I want to bring up being poly to my husband again but I don't know how, especially if he asks if I have anyone in mind. I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy. Also, idk if it matters but the friend lives five hours away from me. I'll take any advice. Thanks.
 

TXretired

Active member
Welcome. Well, talk is good. You need to decide what you want and what you may have to give up. It could cost the loss of your husband. You were honest at the start. Sadly, no discussion followed.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy.

In my world, "not reacting nicely" is a red flag and is not behavior that I will tolerate. Life is tough and we often receive news that isn't great. We don't get to control the events of life but we do get to control how we react to it.

If I claim to love someone, I cannot also control them via any means, including cowing them with my inability to "react nicely". When someone I love takes on a new hobby, gets a new work opportunity, makes a new circle of friends, or wants to bone someone, my reaction cannot be to reduce their life or control them. If my reaction is to reduce their life or control them, they are not someone I love, but someone I lord over.

So, what I would recommend is to be honest with this person who you are sharing your life with. Give them the opportunity to demonstrate that they do, in fact, care for you as a human. If they can't "react nicely" then that's something they need to work on, and you get to decide whether or not it's something you intend on tolerating.

Also, idk if it matters but the friend lives five hours away from me. I'll take any advice. Thanks.

It might matter to your husband, but it doesn't matter in the long run. Some people are less intimidated by the idea of their partner banging someone else if there are barriers to access (like long distance or busy schedules). The reality is that you will most likely bang this guy at some point, and the jealousy and controlling instincts will have to be dealt with at that point.

I wouldn't let the conversation get distracted by this kind of "well it's not that bad, he lives 5 hours away" band-aid. It only *seems* like a solution, but I don't think it actually is.
 

SlowPoly

Active member
So, I'm poly and my husband is not. I realized I was poly when we were still engaged. He basically said okay and we haven't talked about it since. I've recently reconnected with an old friend from college and there's definitely a spark there. He knows I'm married and doesn't have an issue with it. He just wants me to be happy. I want to bring up being poly to my husband again but I don't know how, especially if he asks if I have anyone in mind. I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy. Also, idk if it matters but the friend lives five hours away from me. I'll take any advice. Thanks.
Before you bring up poly again, you might want to decide if you need poly more than you want this (monogamous) marriage. Because bringing it up is going to change things. Like Marcus said, a worry that he won't react nicely sounds like you've married someone who isn't going to support your exploration of polyamory, and maybe you have a pattern of trying to manage his emotions (which is a way of letting him control you).

If polyamory is a value you want to pursue, you'll need to get over the fact that it may end your marriage. It will certainly end the marriage you've had, even in the best scenarios. If you're not ready for it to do that, slow down and watch that "emotional infidelity" line that I always hear married mono folks have. It sounds like you're already across it. Think more before you act. Know what you're asking for, and which (if either) possibility (the marriage or polyamory) you're willing to leave behind.

Good luck!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello kara_bean,

You mentioned that while you were still engaged, you told your husband-to-be that you are poly, and he basically said okay. Did you know what he meant by okay? Did he mean that he had no problem with you being poly? or did he mean, "Okay, whatever." Did you knowingly marry a man who you knew would have a problem with you ever being interested in another guy? Did you knowingly marry a man who you knew would only tolerate your polyness in theory, not in practice? At the time you married him, how important was poly to you? How important is it to you now?

Whatever the case was in the past, the case in the present is that your husband is, not just monogamous, but actually anti-polyamorous. You know that he will not react well to you being interested in another guy. Which is the same thing as saying, that he doesn't care if you are just poly in theory, but that he would be adamantly opposed to you being poly in practice. You can say, "I am poly," and he will say, "Okay." But if you say, "I am interested in another guy," he will explode. He doesn't care about poly in theory, but he definitely cares about poly in practice.

He already knows you're poly. He learned that way back when you and he were still engaged. So what's the plan now? Does he need a reminder? "Hey, I just wanted you to know, that I am still poly." And you don't think he will just say, "Okay," this time? You think that he might say, "Well, do you have anyone in mind?" and how will he react if your answer is, "Yes." You don't think he will react nicely, do you have any idea what his reaction will probably entail? So what's the solution? Should you just say, "I'm not comfortable answering that question?"

Honestly, I don't know what advice to give you. I'm assuming you want and intend to stay married to this man no matter what. If he is so strongly opposed to poly -- and is he? -- then I guess what you'll have to do is let the old college friend go, and forget about being poly. Well, technically there's always cheating, but I'm assuming you don't want to go that route. Do you need to find out -- from him, directly -- whether he is really okay with poly? because if he is, then he should not have that much of a problem with you dating another man. Or would he just want you to date women?

I hope you can work this out with him.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle.

I realized I was poly when we were still engaged. He basically said okay and we haven't talked about it since

What does this mean? How long ago was the wedding?

Did you talk and adjust your wedding vows to include the possibility of polyamory later down?

Or did you go along with more traditional vows and promise that?

What are your current agreements?

I want to bring up being poly to my husband again but I don't know how, especially if he asks if I have anyone in mind.

All you can do is be honest with your spouse about where you are at today.

I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy.

That is his emotional reaction to manage. I don't know how it could be a surprise from nowhere if you already mentioned it during engagement.

I mean, if poly was going to be a deal breaker for him, he could have said so back then.

Just like if NOT getting to poly was going to be a deal breaker, you could have said so back then.

So if it turns out you need to do some talks to catch up conversations that could have happened sooner? Catch them up. Be honest with each other.

I suggest not in public and not on a work day. Maybe Friday night, so there is no work tomorrow, and there's the weekend to rest/recover if the the talks are intense. That is better than on Tues night and then both have work the next morning. YKWIM?

Might also keep talks short -- like 20-30 min and approach them like a series of talks rather than some marathon talk that wears people out, leads to emotional flooding, etc.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

dingedheart

Well-known member
So, I'm poly and my husband is not. I realized I was poly when we were still engaged. He basically said okay and we haven't talked about it since. I've recently reconnected with an old friend from college and there's definitely a spark there. He knows I'm married and doesn't have an issue with it. He just wants me to be happy. I want to bring up being poly to my husband again but I don't know how, especially if he asks if I have anyone in mind. I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy. Also, idk if it matters but the friend lives five hours away from me. I'll take any advice. Thanks.

Hi and welcome to the forum.

DO you have any kids that have entered and complicated the situation ? When you brought up your poly identity during the engagement was that like some admission or disclosure of things in your past ? Like I use to be a stripper to pay for college. AND more importantly did he actually understand what you were telling him ?

TO ME this sort of sounds easier to bring up and assert yourself because it’s already been on the the table. Personally I think life is too short to not live your authentic life regardless of his reaction hearing the truth. And over the yrs we’ve seen lots of people who came here with exactly the same fear and said after the fact their spouses reaction was much less than they thought it would be. And also from the flip side of this coin if roles were reversed wouldn’t you want to know your husbands thoughts and feeling on such matters.?
 

kara_bean

New member
Hi and welcome to the forum.

DO you have any kids that have entered and complicated the situation ? When you brought up your poly identity during the engagement was that like some admission or disclosure of things in your past ? Like I use to be a stripper to pay for college. AND more importantly did he actually understand what you were telling him ?

TO ME this sort of sounds easier to bring up and assert yourself because it’s already been on the the table. Personally I think life is too short to not live your authentic life regardless of his reaction hearing the truth. And over the yrs we’ve seen lots of people who came here with exactly the same fear and said after the fact their spouses reaction was much less than they thought it would be. And also from the flip side of this coin if roles were reversed wouldn’t you want to know your husbands thoughts and feeling on such matters.?
We do have a son but we talked and came to an agreement.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
We do have a son but we talked and came to an agreement.
Awesome that you got this out in the open and an agreement so soon …nice job 👍👍😉

so don’t leave us all hangin …was his reaction as bad as you thought it would be ?

is the agreement something you think will suit both of you long term ? And are both of you happy ? Or is a case of sharing misery ?
 

kara_bean

New member
Awesome that you got this out in the open and an agreement so soon …nice job 👍👍😉

so don’t leave us all hangin …was his reaction as bad as you thought it would be ?

is the agreement something you think will suit both of you long term ? And are both of you happy ? Or is a case of sharing misery ?
Well... Against my better judgement I gave up. He has stuff he needs to work on and I definitely have some room for improvement. I told him he has three months to make a noticeable change and at the end of those three months I see little to no improvement we're going to have to have a serious talk about where our marriage is going to go. My friend and I decided we were going to remain friends as bummed as we were about it. It was just getting too much for everyone. My husband wanted to incite a OPP and I could make myself believe that I was okay with it. I want to truly be poly not half way. Hopefully somewhere in the near future my husband and I can try again and my friend is still open to it.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It's good to set some sort of timeline for renegotiating your relationship agreements. That way he can't just be dragging his feet and kicking the can down the road indefinitely.

If you both need to work on detangling and dealing with jealousy, a counselor might help. A good book to read is Opening Up. Check it on Amazon. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Lots of people have attempted polyamory after a lifetime of being monogamously programmed. There are many common pitfalls and speed bumps that have solutions.

Most formerly mono couples take at least a year to feel comfortable enough to open up. But one can begin to make changes in one's mindset after a few months. It's a rollercoaster of emotions for both of you, so buckle your seatbelts.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Well... Against my better judgement I gave up.
wow ….you went from worrying about a bad reaction/ breaking the relationship “vase “ to regretting giving a time concession. I wouldn’t view this as loss even though you didn’t get what you wanted and you allowed him more time to make changes. How long ago was that initial conversation prior to getting married.? reframing it that way may make you feel like this is more of a win.
He has stuff he needs to work on and I definitely have some room for improvement. I told him he has three months to make a noticeable change and at the end of those three months I see little to no improvement we're going to have to have a serious talk about where our marriage is going to go.
A standard credo and logical piece of advise is not adding people as a fix to a marriage or relationship.


My friend and I decided we were going to remain friends as bummed as we were about it. It was just getting too much for everyone. My husband wanted to incite a OPP and I could make myself believe that I was okay with it. I want to truly be poly not half way. Hopefully somewhere in the near future my husband and I can try again and my friend is still open to it.
So now your husband knows the specifics of your desires and your interest in the old college friend ?
 
Last edited:

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Well... Against my better judgement I gave up. He has stuff he needs to work on and I definitely have some room for improvement.

Why is it against better judgement to give up pursuing the friend right now in favor of doing some prep work and sorting things out at home first?

I told him he has three months to make a noticeable change and at the end of those three months I see little to no improvement we're going to have to have a serious talk about where our marriage is going to go.

Not sure why the wait. Like yes, each does work on personal stuff.

But could both be talking ALL ALONG about where you each want the marriage to go? Not wait 3 months to talk about that part?

Life is long, and people change over their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s etc. It's not like people talk one time during the engagement period and never talk about their marriage wants again right? People talk about it periodically. Or at least I hope people do.

My friend and I decided we were going to remain friends as bummed as we were about it. It was just getting too much for everyone. My husband wanted to incite a OPP and I could make myself believe that I was okay with it. I want to truly be poly not half way. Hopefully somewhere in the near future my husband and I can try again and my friend is still open to it.

I could be wrong in my impression, but it kinda sounds like maybe when you brought it up during the engagement period maybe you each thought different things? But didn't actually verify until now?

Like DH thought "Fine, she's poly, but she's choosing marriage to me. So letting the poly thing go."

And you thought "Fine. I'm poly. We're getting married, but we'll renegotiate later down. "

We do have a son but we talked and came to an agreement.

I don't know forum people can help you. You sound like for now you got what you wanted? You talked to DH and came to an agreement?

Galagirl
 

I_Voyager

New member
So, I'm poly and my husband is not. I realized I was poly when we were still engaged. He basically said okay and we haven't talked about it since. I've recently reconnected with an old friend from college and there's definitely a spark there. He knows I'm married and doesn't have an issue with it. He just wants me to be happy. I want to bring up being poly to my husband again but I don't know how, especially if he asks if I have anyone in mind. I don't think he'd react nicely to his wife being interested in another guy. Also, idk if it matters but the friend lives five hours away from me. I'll take any advice. Thanks.
I think no matter whether or not he'll like it you should be honest. Humans become attracted to people. You both need to be able to learn to discuss your life experiences and desires in a mature way. Jealousy is also a natural human emotion, we evolved these competitive desires because it gave us an evolutionary advantage. This doesn't justify lacking empathy. He and you will both be better integrated by being emotionally realistic, honest and and reconciling. He is allowed to feel jealous. You are allowed to feel attracted. You are allowed to ask for a poly relationship. He is allowed to say no. But he is not allowed to tell you how to feel or who to be attracted to. If he wants to be married to you he should be welcoming of the whole of who you are. Including your poly leanings.

If you both agreed to an exclusive relationship, it is not his prerogative to agree to a poly marriage after the fact. But if he wants to be married to you he should accept exactly who you are, including the range of your desires and that you are poly. And if you want to be married to him and he isn't poly you also have to accept that. If he can't accept who you are or you who he is, divorce is an option.

Whereas learning to lie about how you feel about others is a slippery slope in terms of honesty, communication and potential affairs. If your relationship cannot survive honesty it might not be worth preserving it, in which case preserving it by lying might produce an unhealthy dynamic where the only way to be you is to be dishonest. This feels terrible and it creates paradoxes. It would be better to just have hard discussions, ride out the emotions and communicate to a healing place such that after enough discussions it isn't emotionally difficult to hear you say "wow, he's hot" about someone else. If he can't ever be the kind of guy who can get over that you have to ask yourself what you want in life.
 
Last edited:
Top