Just Married! Yay! Wife is Poly? Boo!

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
sparklepop said:
especially in this situation, transitioning from curiosity to a definite want to be with the person/practice poly isn't necessarily the reason for deciding to go ahead and 'sleep together' (forgive me, Mags?... ~grins~). For instance, when I first slept with the woman I told you about earlier...

Ack! :eek: No, I do not forgive you! $#@@%!

:p :rolleyes:

caribou, you're being so "nice" about this. I hope your "wife" is being as nice back. I agree requesting her to take a break from seeing her SO is reasonable. Maybe not a month, but at least a couple weeks, so she can read up on how to do poly right. And work on guidelines with you.

All this shouldn't be on YOUR shoulders! Where is her sense of responsibility?
 

SmileTexas

New member
I got hit with a "bait and switch" too but it was slightly different. It implies dishonesty. Honesty is imperative to your relationship working even more so than a monogamous relationship.
 

mrpockets

New member
But you know, all of these lovely thoughts on peace and true awareness soon disappear when I come home to an empty house. Then I just feel like a selfish, crying, jealous little baby who doesn’t know what to do with himself.

I was gonna hold off responding until I read the whole thread, but then I saw this and had to say something.

I know this feeling oh so well. NRE is tough to deal with as a partner in a poly relationship. There was many times where I would wait to be alone and break down into tears because I had this feeling that I was no longer wanted. One day our SO (as J and I call her) caught me crying and asked what was wrong. I came out and told her I was afraid that she was gonna realize she loved J more than me and that she was gonna leave me. We had a long talk, and I came to learn that J was afraid that I was gonna say they can't see each other anymore. In our relationship, we have a few rules that we all must follow. One of the guidelines I set with our SO was that I have the ability to call it off if I get to uncomfortable or I feel that things are heading in a direction that won't work out for anyone involved. This rule was set to make me feel comfortable, and was suggested by her. But, it has become a fail safe for all involved. If J wants to push the button, he can, and same with our SO. On top of that, because I wanted to make sure he was treating her fair, she must disclose everything that goes on between them. This also comes in handy to turn her on in bed, but that's just a side perk. Plus, I must admit, I get a little turned on hearing about their sex life, it gives me something to aim for to make mine just a little bit more memorable.

Our SO and I had a long talk before J came into the picture. He was a friend of ours, and a coworker, so we already knew him on a personal level. He was one of my friends before meeting her, and he had mentioned a few times that he thought she was attractive, but we weren't in a poly relationship, so I didn't mention anything. As she got to know him, she started feeling attraction to him, and it wasn't until they went to the medieval fair together (I was supposed to go, but work changed the schedule at the last minute) and actually spent time together that she started to have feelings for him. She confronted me worried, and we talked everything over. She told me that she missed the NRE part of a relationship and was interested in getting to know another person. I agreed to give it a shot, and things have worked out so far.

That being said, there have been many hiccups along the way. With J being her first true poly relationship (one failed attempt about a year before J), it has been a learning curve for all of us. I am the only one who looked to pt a name to what is going on, and that was all to comfort myself. I learned about poly trying to see if this was something that actually happened and not that I wasn't making her happy. I have since taught them a little about it so that they can understand what is going on, and I am the one who comes on here for help, and to try and help.

Don't dismiss your wife just yet. My family has a long history of getting fast marriages that work out. My great-grandparents married in their 20's, and were married until my great-grandfather died in his 60's, and they got married one month after meeting each other! My grandparents were less than a year, early 20's to my grandfathers late 50's. and my parents were 6 months from date they met, and are 28 years happily married. Our SO and I have been together for 4 1/2 years, and have a wedding date of this April. I am happy she came forward before our wedding, and we have talked about her continuing her relationship with J afterwards. Since I know they can never take it further than dating, J is one of my groomsmen, and he is very excited to be so, because he feels it is the closest they could ever get to having a wedding if they decide to go for the long haul. He has become more than a friend to me, he is a brother, and we all see each other as a family. But, it has taken a lot of communication and a few blow ups to get us to here. So, don't give up on your wife yet. Talk to her, get to see what she is thinking. See the situation from her side. Did she find this woman as someone to talk to about her relationship and ended up growing feelings for her, or was she actively looking and didn't know how to bring it up? Our SO was also bi when I met her, and had been with a few girls before we met, but has never thought of seeking a female partner. Actually, she has admitted that she does not want to seek another partner besides J. This could be your wifes viewpoint as well, only with a female partner instead of a male one. Communication is key, and any relationship will fail without it.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
A major question I’ve been asking myself lately…”is anything really what we signed up for?”

A followup question being *when* are things going to change, not *if* they are going to change.

People do change over time and certainly as relationships continue down a timeline the odds that some big changes are going to come up increase. I was married for a couple of years when I decided that monogamy was not for me, which was a big shock to my wife at the time. These things happen so the fact that you're finding out now instead of a couple of years down the road isn't really better or worse imo. This thing is happening; reality is upon you and now you have to go through what I imagine is going to be a rather tough emotional growth period (one way or the other).

I would also recommend that you ask her to stop seeing her gal for a month while you two talk about it and get a better idea of what you both want in your marriage and from her new partner. If she can not give you that, you may already have your answer.

This is a very common piece of advice given in these circles (you can set your watch by it, really), but I recommend taking a different approach. This thing is happening, right now, and telling Wife "stop seeing her until I feel cool with the situation" seems like a great way to apply pressure where there previously had been none.

In my opinion you are going the right way in pointing your attention to your own expectations and emotions; that is where the real growth is going to happen. You *could* take the track of insisting that your wife sacrifice in service to your emotional difficulties but in my opinion that is simply denying the reality of the situation and building a foundation of resentment into your relationship.

Currently she has told you about what is happening and has kept you in the loop with what is going on. I suggest continuing down this road, keeping the lines of communication open, keeping a close eye on your temper, and staying focused on your emotional growth and well-being. Her actions are her actions and trying to reign her in like she's your employee isn't going to help you grow through this and it is NOT going to curb her interest in her lover. The idea that she should take action to protect you from having an emotional challenge is hiding from reality... instead focus on the actual reality of the situation and either learn to work within it or made whatever adjustments to your arrangement are needed (take a break, live in different residences, end the association, whatever is needed).
 

laerhk

New member
A followup question being *when* are things going to change, not *if* they are going to change.

People do change over time and certainly as relationships continue down a timeline the odds that some big changes are going to come up increase. I was married for a couple of years when I decided that monogamy was not for me, which was a big shock to my wife at the time. These things happen so the fact that you're finding out now instead of a couple of years down the road isn't really better or worse imo. This thing is happening; reality is upon you and now you have to go through what I imagine is going to be a rather tough emotional growth period (one way or the other).



This is a very common piece of advice given in these circles (you can set your watch by it, really), but I recommend taking a different approach. This thing is happening, right now, and telling Wife "stop seeing her until I feel cool with the situation" seems like a great way to apply pressure where there previously had been none.

In my opinion you are going the right way in pointing your attention to your own expectations and emotions; that is where the real growth is going to happen. You *could* take the track of insisting that your wife sacrifice in service to your emotional difficulties but in my opinion that is simply denying the reality of the situation and building a foundation of resentment into your relationship.

Currently she has told you about what is happening and has kept you in the loop with what is going on. I suggest continuing down this road, keeping the lines of communication open, keeping a close eye on your temper, and staying focused on your emotional growth and well-being. Her actions are her actions and trying to reign her in like she's your employee isn't going to help you grow through this and it is NOT going to curb her interest in her lover. The idea that she should take action to protect you from having an emotional challenge is hiding from reality... instead focus on the actual reality of the situation and either learn to work within it or made whatever adjustments to your arrangement are needed (take a break, live in different residences, end the association, whatever is needed).


Hear, hear! Some of the best advice I have personally seen here...deal8ng with the situatiin and encouraging communicatin rather than trying to reign in the behavior of others, which can breed resentment and fear, IMO.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
It's "rein in," for horses. Reigning is what a monarch does.

So here on this thread, as in many, we have the conflict of the "relationship anarchists" and the more traditional view, which recommends the new lovers rein themselves in, curb the annoying NRE desires, and let the slowest one have a little time to adjust.

Take what works on these threads and leave the rest. There is no "one size fits all" in dealing with feelings and behaviors in polyamory. We can take responsibility for our own feelings and actions and still request certain things from the others, to give us breathing and growing space. It's OK to do that. If you don't want things to drag on, set a deadline and stick to it, or renegotiate it.

If you don't think you can be comfortable with your partner's second date with a new partner be a 3 day weekend date, for example, say so! That is a lot to ask. Baby steps are easier!
 

northhome

New member
I can’t really fault her because we never had a serious talk about our values before we married (at least about monogamy/polyamory).

You made some assumptions whilst in the throes of NRE and have discovered that they don't match with reality. Very human.

I applaud your willingness to try and sort the situation out, rather than simply throwing in the towel and storming out. I'm wondering, what would it take for you two to sit down, now, and have that serious talk about values?

I know it can be difficult to do this when drama is in the air, but maybe you could find a trusted third party to help you keep the conversation on topic?

Finding out what your shared (or not-so-shared) values and norms are is pretty crucial to coming to any kind of agreements that would have any hope of lasting.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Is it possible it's time to seek out a new (poly-friendly) therapist? a couples counselor? Not that the person you're seeing is no good, but maybe for your situation you need a more hard-hitting therapist who will ask you the tough questions and give you the challenging homework assignments? What do you think about that?

You could even ask your current therapist to step up to that more vigorous role; that might work.
 

GreenAcres

New member
While I agree that folks should be specific and direct about their values and expectations in a relationship, there are also some things that, generally, can and are assumed in our society about marriage. A big one is monogamy, which is the default standard, and is generally safely assumed by most members of society who enter into that agreement (and is also what is legally supported and agreed to in almost all marital agreements). I am not saying that's great or right, but it is a reality of our society. The partner who doesn't hold a non-societally standard viewpoint probably often doesn't even know to ask. In these cases, I personally think that the partner who has a value or expectation outside the standard norm has the obligation to bring it up. An extreme example would be if, say, my prospective partner participated in hallucinogenic drugs and orgies to celebrate certain holidays. It's his/her choice, but I would never think to ask "Hey, so, do you participate in orgies and take lots of drugs for any holidays?" because, really, it just wouldn't occur to me. It would incumbent on them to say "So, this is a bit of the ordinary, but you should know...."

I feel the same way about non-monogamy. The poly partner just "not mentioning" it is much more on them, and borders (if not crosses entirely) the lie-by-omission line, IMHO.

You made some assumptions whilst in the throes of NRE and have discovered that they don't match with reality. Very human.

I applaud your willingness to try and sort the situation out, rather than simply throwing in the towel and storming out. I'm wondering, what would it take for you two to sit down, now, and have that serious talk about values?

I know it can be difficult to do this when drama is in the air, but maybe you could find a trusted third party to help you keep the conversation on topic?

Finding out what your shared (or not-so-shared) values and norms are is pretty crucial to coming to any kind of agreements that would have any hope of lasting.
 
In these cases, I personally think that the partner who has a value or expectation outside the standard norm has the obligation to bring it up.

Very much agree with this. I know that it is unusual in our society for anybody to want to remain unmarried and child free. So I mention that these things are true about me very early on in meeting somebody. Including my views on abortion - which are that I take every precaution to avoid pregnancy so if it were to happen, I would have an abortion. No discussion, no arguing. That's what would happen.

It is important that people know those sorts of things long before any feelings of attachment develop. I certainly wouldn't wait for somebody to ask me. I know that my views on these subjects don't fit with the rest of society so it's up to me to bring it up.
 

northhome

New member
It is important that people know those sorts of things long before any feelings of attachment develop.

Sounds like an excellent self-awareness.

The problem is, as Dr. Helen Fisher so eloquently puts it, that falling in love is a 'bio-chemically induced state of temporary insanity' that makes it hard to have these sort of rational discussions.

Add some societal / cultural pressure to the equation and you've got a recipe for lots of assumptions and precious little clear communication.

<devil's advocate>

Would anybody, ever, get together if they had such clear communication? I wonder sometimes... :D

</devil's advocate>
 

Inyourendo

New member
Sounds like an excellent self-awareness.

The problem is, as Dr. Helen Fisher so eloquently puts it, that falling in love is a 'bio-chemically induced state of temporary insanity' that makes it hard to have these sort of rational discussions.

Add some societal / cultural pressure to the equation and you've got a recipe for lots of assumptions and precious little clear communication.

<devil's advocate>

Would anybody, ever, get together if they had such clear communication? I wonder sometimes... :D

</devil's advocate>

I never allOw myself to fall for someone inappropriate. Strict screening process before I even get next level with them
 
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