Marriage and Polyamory

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
WhatHappened, while your point is well taken about the pitfalls of unicorn hunting in general, the question and responses in this particular thread don't have one whiff of couple privilege that I can detect. Here is the opening post. The OP asks about the impact of additional relationships on a marriage but assumes those outside relationships are not necessarily with the couple. The OP is asking about "poly" in general. Endless examples of couple-centric intentions surely exist, but I'm not sure the schooling in unicorn hunting really pertains to the spirit of this particular thread.
For those of you who are in a committed marriage but are also in a poly relationship (or your spouse is), do you think that polyamory is BENEFICIAL to your marriage? Why or why not?
 
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Len51

New member
We ended a 40 year poly triad with our shared girlfriend a few years ago. Only when it ended did we realize the benefits and we struggled to be a couple again. Our wife #2 fulfilled needs in me and my wife that we could not fulfill for each other. I am into BDSM and my wife is not. Our girlfriend dominated me and was a gentle lover for my wife who does not like penetration or rough sex.

The benefits extended well past just sex. She held two Master degrees and provided me with the intellectual stimulation that I needed. My wife's conversation revolves around TV and Movies. I am a very logical person and my wife is very emotional. Her girlfriend was able to be a great companion for my wife. My wife likes the company of women over men. Of course, I could never fulfill the need for a female for sex but our gf could. There are many other areas of our life that our gf fulfilled for one or both of us.

Life is not the same without her. She was supposed to retire and grow old with us but life got in the way after we moved and before she could. I got so depressed that I had to be treated for it. My wife lost interest in sex because she seems to need both a male and female in bed with her. Things got bad until we started to communicate and tell each other what we needed that we were not getting and what we were doing that we did not like to do.

Now things are great and we are finally enjoying being just a monogamous couple again after so long living a poly life. Love feels a lot better to me knowing that my wife feels that I am enough for her to be happy in life. I now am very conflicted because I finally understand the fears that some have when their partner is in love with someone else. I am bothered knowing that my wife and I were not enough for each other and yet loved my poly life. Ours was different than most though since she lived with us most times and loved my wife and I. No one every got jealous and I did a good job of making both women feel attractive, sex and desirable. And yet, knowing that without our girlfriend we were not enough for each other. I am very conflicted about this.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Maybe you were molded to a poly life because that's what you were living, so you found that when the poly dynamic was removed, you were "the wrong shape" for monogamy? So, it took awhile to readjust your shape, but you were able to do it.
 

Len51

New member
Good question. My wife and I were in a polyfidelitous triad for almost 40 years and then found ourselves a monogamous couple again. Ours was one where all three of us loved each other and had sex together as a threesome and one on one. Our girlfriend had her own room in our home and we acted as a unit of three when we went out and did things. We functioned the same as a couple would but just with one more person. In fact, we never talked about our relationship or mentioned the word "poly" or "bisexual". We just lived our life as normal because it was our normal life.

My wife has and still does, feel that I am more than enough to make her happy and sexually fulfilled but enjoys having another women around to have sex with and do girly things with. :) I love my wife to the extent that I cannot see myself married to anyone else. She does anything sexual that I ask her to do and loves pleasing others. So why then did we invite our girlfriend into our marriage?

Our girlfriend has been a friend to both me and my wife since we were teenagers. In fact, I knew her gf longer since she was the sister of a friend and neighbor to my best friend. She was very close to my wife due to protecting each other from abusive fathers. She often stayed with us for weeks at a time and we both treated each other as family. We spent holidays together with my family because our gf did not speak to her family due to something they did to her. She felt like another wive and all we really did was make the relationship sexual which felt so natural.

My wife was a virgin when we married and never felt sexually attracted to a woman. After some encouragement from me she had sex with her girlfriend, who we learned was bisexual, and enjoyed it. However, over those 40 years, the ladies never had sex with each other unless I as part of it. I could leave a room when they were in a 69 position, and they would stop until I got back. My wife only had sex with her girlfriend and no other female but now feels that she would like to be with another women but only if she was first a friend. :)

What did we get? My wife got to have her best friend around to talk to and go shopping with and be emotional with. I got a lover who was a natural sexual sadist and who loved to dominate me in bed. My wife would do it but her limits were much less than mine. My wife does not like PIV sex so her girlfriend gave her the gently and soft sex that women provide. My wife needed sex from me but no penetration. Our girlfriend had no such restrictions so I got to have someone who would sometimes have intercourse with me.

It gets weirder. Our gf got married to a cuckold she found online so all of a sudden I was cuckolding her husband for 25 years. He loved it and I hardly remembered that my gf was married when she was with me. I think for us it was more that we have always loved each other and spent a lot of time with each other that the next step was to make it sexual and bring our gf into our marriage.

When we became a monogamous couple again, we found out what she brought to our marriage. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell your spouse that you do not like something they do or that they are not fulfilling a need in you. It is not easy to tell a spouse they are lousy in bed for instance, which was no our problem. My wife did tell me that she only likes tender lovemaking and no penetration but I already knew that and accepted it. The big difference is that I no longer had our gf to take care of that need for me.

My wife also did not like to hurt me so I lost my sexual sadist who played such lovely games with me. My wife is not very intellectual or interested in anything other than household stuff and TV. Our girlfriend held two Master's degrees and provided me with the intellectual conversations that I needed to have. She also acted as a mediator and buffer between my wife and I. Then there was the sexual variety that you can only have with three people that my wife and I were both used to as our normal sex.

We had problem for the first few years but we communicated and forced ourselves to set two nights a week to be intimate, with or without sex. My wife told me what she needed and I did the same. We adjusted and as strange as this may sound, we found that Chastity play which is like Teasing and denial but long term, worked for us. My wife felt in control of our sex life for the first time in her life she our gf and I were the dominant ones in the relationship. My wife did no longer judged her attractiveness and desirability by the hardness of my erections and number of orgasms. She could now enjoy sex the way she liked it without reciprocating if she did not want to.

For my part, I always felt a little guilty that my wife let me have sex with anyone I wanted. I felt that I owed her so I simply told her that she would control our sex and my orgasms for the last part of my life. We both discovered that we liked it and introduced a new level of intimacy that we never had before because orgasms were always the goal of our intimate time.

So that is it. We are very happy as a monogamous couple but we were very happy as a poly triad. My wife did try another man at my urging since I was the only guy she had sex with and for all she knew I could be doing it all wrong. The opposite happened and she said that I was more than enough for her and never wanted to have sex with another guy. I know her problem. She likes to make soft and tender love. Other guys just want to have sex for the first few times and she does no like just having sex. :)

I tend to fall in love with every women I have sex with because I too like to make love rather than just have sex so a nice stable closed poly triad was perfect for me. I got sexual variety and the love of two great women who would try anything I asked and I asked a lot. We did all the stuff that guys wish about and more. Both parts of our life were very good. After 40 years it was a nice break to be just a couple again. Even a triad gets old and stale after 4 decades and dealing with two post menopausal women was hard work. :)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Well that's the first time I've heard the long version of your story. I'm glad you guys are finding a new kind of satisfaction in monogamous life.
 

KC43

New member
I'm responding to WhatHappened about how poly (or a couple's marriage) might benefit the third person in a V or triad. This is S2's point of view, but he refuses to join this forum because he wants me to have a "safe" space to discuss the relationship, so I'm passing it along.

S2 is single (he and his wife separated just over a year ago; their divorce isn't filed yet, but they haven't lived in the same household since the separation, and they consider themselves divorced, they just haven't done the legal thing yet.) He's also currently monogamous; he finds himself unable to even contemplate seeing another woman without feeling like he's cheating on me.

For him, the fact that I'm married to someone else is a benefit because he's still sorting out his life as a single man, and he doesn't want to go up the relationship escalator again. For the time being at least, he has no intention of ever living with someone again, let alone remarrying. Since I'm already married, he knows I won't be looking for that.

He likes being alone. He wants more space than a lot of people. Recently I asked if I could see him two additional days a month (we currently see each other 8 times a month), and he said that would be too much for him to deal with. Not being married wouldn't necessarily mean I would demand more time with him, but since I am married, he's reasonably assured that our time together will be limited to the amount he's comfortable with.

He doesn't want to be solely responsible toward anyone else, or to be anyone's "one and only". Hubby shares the responsibility toward me, and he and S2 share me.

He's financially supporting his ex and their sons along, obviously, with himself, so doesn't have a lot left over and isn't able to financially support anyone else. I'm disabled, unable to collect disability at the moment (though I've applied), and so have almost no income of my own. Hubby financially supports me, Alt, and Country; S2 can spend money on me and my kids or not, as he chooses.

We don't do hierarchy in my situation. (Though I think Hubby would prefer that, but I'm the one who's actually poly, so I make that decision and he has said he's okay with however I want to do it.) So there's no "my third isn't a person". S2 is an individual, and I do my best to meet the needs he expresses to me, and to make sure he understands that he holds the same place in my life and heart that Hubby does. So maybe that's why it works for us, and maybe that's part of why S2 does consider it beneficial to him that I'm married to another man.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Well I'm "the third" added to a (legally) married couple to form a V ... and I don't feel shortchanged at all. I admit I'm often mystified about why it works, but for some reason it does. I am treated every bit as an equal to the husband of the original couple -- more than equal, really, considering I'm barely expected to do any work and "the couple" even followed my wishes when I wanted us to move to Washington. We all live together; I have my own bedroom and will soon have my own bathroom (after some construction is done). I don't know who the wife would choose if she had to dump one of us. I seriously doubt she'll ever have to choose.

Of course I know that the third frequently gets hosed in a situation like this. No question. And I don't know what the ratio of hosed-thirds-to-happy-thirds is. I just know I'm one of the happy ones.
 

Inyourendo

New member
Up until I got with sam the benefit to me (and continues for nate) is if I met someone im attracted to I could try them on without guilt or repercussion, I really enjoyed that freedom.
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
My boyfriend (although I am not sure if I should start to say "my fiance" since I am becoming known by the term) have been "added" to our marriage in form of a tip in the V. He sometimes says he enjoys having someone to talk to about me, and someone he can trust can take HIS side whenever he and I have a fight ;) We are also three people to cooporate about practical matters. And he can actually SAY stuff like: I would really like you watch you going pregnant, but I am not sure if I feel ready to be a dad, without him souding like a confusing ass or me taking offense...because he knows that there is nothing my husband wants more than to be a dad. He gets away with stuff that could scare other girls away, because he doesn't have to be all to me.

Apart from that, I know it is frustrating to him that he can't marry me, although we can of course exept in the legal sense. I really wish I could marry my boyfriend legally and now that we are trying to solidify the polyamory movement in my country, that would be one of the top three causes to take on. But until that day comes, I will take it upon me to give him "the closest thing to marriage as I possably can"...
 
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hislittlekitten

New member
For those of you who are in a committed marriage but are also in a poly relationship (or your spouse is), do you think that polyamory is BENEFICIAL to your marriage? Why or why not?

I'm especially interested in knowing in what ways you find it to be beneficial, assuming you think it is.

Or, do the poly relationships have no beneficial impact on your marriage? Or, do you think they are harmful in some way?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on these questions.

So first, some background - and I'm totally sorry for the novel!

My metamour is married. I'm not sure if it's that poly isn't right for them, or that one or both she and her partner are bad at this, but I am not seeing much benefit for them in poly.

My metamour opened up her marriage to be with my partner, K, and they were together before my partner and I became an item. It's been over 8 months now since my partner and I started seeing one another and our relationship (K's and mine) has progressed quite a lot while his relationship with my metamour (let's call her L) has not. Part of this is due to being married.

Her relationship with her husband, T, has also gone south. He's pretty much shitting on his wife. T and his girlfriend, A, are now in the process of trying to conceive (that's an entirely different drama on its own... from what I know, L hasn't been able to conceive). He's horrible at this and she, L, is not so poly herself. L is very possessive over our shared partner. While K insists that she doesn't hate me, she absolutely does not respect me. He has requested that I reach out to her, but after a while of feeling that this is not my problem to fix (her lack of respect for me), I declined and said that I will not be reaching out to her and she can reach out to me if she feels like she needs to open lines of communication.

Anyhow, I see a lot of problems with their situation that sometimes K brushes off because apparently I don't understand well enough. One the one hand, yes, I'm not married myself nor have I been; I've been engaged but broken it off, so really not even close. But on the other hand, I'm on the outside; I can see more than he can, being further from the situation, and my bias isn't too significant (when it comes to her marriage with her husband, there's no side for me to be on really; in fact, the better her marriage is with her husband, the better it is for me).

From what I know, L & T opened up their marriage because L was interested in K. L introduced A to T. K then met me, and while for a while it looked like we weren't going to make it - we turned a 180 and now we're stronger than ever. More than that, he considers me his girlfriend. I am not a temporary part in his life, despite L's almost blatant opposition (pretty much everything short of telling him she wants him to end it with me, which A has actually advised him to do in the past when things were rocky).

Shallowness alert: I do not understand the attraction to L. I think she's unattractive, needy, and more than shallowness, a Queen Bee type. I hate those types. I cannot stand people who must control everything, and whose closest friends and family must work to make happy. Straight out of A's mouth: "we work a lot to make L happy." Not a good sign, and definitely not the kind of personality that can handle many of the realities of poly.

I kind of wonder, with L & T, if maybe they didn't know that they are potentially compensating for issues that poly cannot solve. I cannot look inside their marriage, but knowing that they have had (and continue to have) issues with conceiving, that maybe they had some stresses in their marriage that were not being addressed. I don't think anyone intentionally tries to fix their marriage with poly - which is why you'll see a lot of people denying it - but I think a lot of people seem to mistake their choice for poly as a desire rather than a comfort that they're seeking that would better be found making sure their marriage is 100%.

I really think L isn't so much poly as she wanted K in her life at whatever expense, and now she's facing the consequences. K has told me that she does not seem to fathom that he could love anyone else. Holy friggen hypocritical.

L & T's marriage is apparently falling apart, and part of me feels very much that it's as much because of poly as it is their failings to work on a marriage. L has demonstrated to me that she's 1) not very competent at polyamory in the sense that she only wants to rules to apply in her benefit, 2) she finds little to no satisfaction that her secondary partner has found love in me despite having a husband of her own, and 3) she might not be very good in most relationship situations as her interpersonal skills are lackluster and she does less direct communication and more acting out to prove a point. I can't speak on what part T may have in destroying his marriage (besides obviously making some poor decisions with A), but from what poisonous attitude and actions have seeped into my relationship with K, I doubt he's any better than L.

What people also fail to see about marriages doing poorly in poly contexts is that it can also have a really big effect on the secondary partners and *their* partners. K feels like he needs to be there to support her a lot, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself; however, it sometimes seems like the default excuse for her getting a certain day prioritized ("well she really needs my support... I can see you a different day...") type of thing, and becomes a slippery slope from there. To some degree, because K is part of what's a strain on the marriage, L's reliance on K to get through her marriage problems is NOT very healthy. I think it causes more resentment from her husband and she either doesn't care or doesn't see it. He shouldn't be her crutch; it's one thing to be a supportive partner, but another thing to be a crutch AND be interfering with his other (and situationally primary) relationship.

anyways... sorry for the novel... but those are my thoughts at this point...
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
That was quite a post, hislittlekitten. I didn't realize how much drama there was with L!
 

hislittlekitten

New member
That was quite a post, hislittlekitten. I didn't realize how much drama there was with L!

Yeah, sorry. I didn't mean to hijack anything. I think the story helps illustrate my opinions on marriage & polyamory. It's always more complicated than one thinks.

And yeah... SO MUCH drama. I don't understand why my partner allows it to continue. It seems odd to me.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
If hislittlekitten = H, then the whole polycule reads "H-K-L-T-A" where "L-T" are married (but their marriage isn't doing so well). With five players it's easy to get lost; even with nicknames I'd tend to get lost but single-letter nicknames arguably confuse things further.

Re (from hislittlekitten):
"I don't understand why my partner allows it to continue."

Love goggles?
 

Len51

New member
My wife and I are married 45 years. 40 of those years were spent in a V with her best girlfriend who was happy to join our life. It helped that I had a crush on her since high school and we flirted ever since then, copping a feel when w could. Our gf started off living with us and then invited into our life. She new that she was secondary or my primary marriage with discussing. She fulfilled all the needs in us that we could not provide to one another.

She was up for anything. Sex on the beach, nude and topless beaches and sex in back of limos. The were both hot and men were envious of me. I made enough money to afford limos for each weekend when we went dinning and dancing. Boy did we get looks when we walked into a club and the girls began to dirty dance with each other and just when the crowd assumed they were lesbians, I would join them after which they would be submissive to me. We had lots of sexy fun especially in Vegas. My girls were almost arrested for indecent exposure. They would shamelessly flirt with the men and then leave with me while thanking the for the drinks.

Great fun and no problems at all. I had more threesomes than a few thousand guys could dream up. It is our normal sex. In fact I had to suggest that after our threesome, we do one on one for quality time together. O was their wardrobe designer and picked all of their clothes, often bring the big names back from Hong Kong or Italy

You can see that I a pro poly but only of all parties feel that is something they want to do. Being jealous is not shameful as some would lead you to believe. most of the time they hand you all the BS about poly and expect you to recognize it to be enlightened and more natural. Pooping where you are is also natural and yet we have rules to control those natural urges too. Being human means to ascend above our animalistic nature.

Last but not least, most people prefer monogamy. even those who juggle many relationships. Too stressful to have more than one relationship and most end up just picking one to settle in with and it will always be the guy that i better i bed and in other areas of life. Divorce follows.

So play the game loaded with minefields and emotional turmoil to your love to a woman who does not love you enough to feel you are enough for her. What she is saying is that your marriage is not enough for her. You will never be enough for her and yet you stay married to her until one of her lovers wants her to end it with you. I have seen it many times.
 

CattivaGattina

New member
I would say that poly has a neutral to slight positive effect on my marriage. My relationships are separate (as in neither partner are involved with each other) but we do have a family style poly so there is both one on one time and family times (and one on one time with metamours as well). But as for the benefits; my husband does a lot of projects which means I have time for partners and Sir and his other metamour have similar interests to my husband so he has people to do things with. I don't do well under stress (right now my stress come from work-my job is being converted from full time to part time and losing health benefits-, the fact my apartment complex is for sale so I don't know where will be living come December, and my fibro) and Woodsmith doesn't do well when I'm under stress. Tighearn does, so he helps keep things sane.

Our poly family consists of two legally married couples (Woodsmith and myself; Tighearn and Merry), an engaged but unfortunately can't be legally married couple (Merry and N8), and a couple that's not quite dating but not to the point of getting engaged yet (Tighearn and myself). We also have a larger leather family as well.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from Len51):
"So play the game loaded with minefields and emotional turmoil to your love to a woman who does not love you enough to feel you are enough for her ... You will never be enough for her and yet you stay married to her until one of her lovers wants her to end it with you."

Wow, that's cynical.
 

hislittlekitten

New member
If hislittlekitten = H, then the whole polycule reads "H-K-L-T-A" where "L-T" are married (but their marriage isn't doing so well). With five players it's easy to get lost; even with nicknames I'd tend to get lost but single-letter nicknames arguably confuse things further.

Re (from hislittlekitten):


Love goggles?

OK, good call. I will come up with nicknames.

Yeah, I don't know. I think he puts up with a bunch of crap and it's just tiring and I'm tired of it. I know I'm not perfect and he's put up with a lot from me, but I have consciously made an effort to keep it about our relationship and not his relationship with her. Her problems bleed over, plain and simple, and she doesn't care that she makes her problems other people's problems, too.
 
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