Mono new to this world - needing non-biased advice.

Hi all,

I'm really hoping to get some advice, considering this is super new to me and I'm not really sure what to do.

The backstory -

I'm monogamous and my neighbor (he's married with a 4 yr old) and I began hanging out a few months ago and now he wants to try polyamory with me and his wife. They have been together for 17 years, married for 10 and this is the first time they have ever 'explored outside of each other'. His wife comes from a very religious family and was okay with it 'just being sexual' (and a secret), but now she is threatening to divorce him if he wants to continue to pursue something with me.

Before I got involved I made him show me the text messages about her being okay with it - but now I feel horrible being involved in something that I'm not sure I can even handle.

I have tried to read and educate myself on polyamory as much as possible and I can only really see examples of it working if the 'existing' wife has to understand that the 'excitement' comes from the new person and the 'love' and 'comfort' comes from her. This means she has to accept and believe that at the end of the day his love for her will conquer all and no matter what he does outside their home, he will always come back for her. Does this mean I would need to be okay with being the shiny new toy - independent and willing to ebb and flow with the demands of his family and promises he made to his wife, but never quite have the same?

He and I have had conversations about having kids, getting married (I know this sounds crazy because he doesn't plan on divorcing his wife... but is it?) and he seems to love me in the way that I love him - which would lead to building a life together - but I'm really not sure what to do?

I don't want to hurt anyone, but I also don't want to run down a path that makes no sense.

Any advise is welcome!
 

icesong

Active member
... I'm gonna be a bit judgmental here, and I'm sorry, but everything you're saying about the neighbor says sounds like he's trying to convince you to have an affair under the guise of polyamory. Yeah, he may have officially been told some of it was ok by his wife, but "just sexual" vs "another wife I want to have kids with" are WILDLY different things.

And ... if his current wife is "love and comfort" and you're just "excitement", what happens in 3-5-7 years when the shiny wears off? Maybe with you now having a kid that you're having to be something close to a single parent to, given he's not leaving his wife?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle.

FWIW? This sounds hinky. You just started hanging out a few months ago and he's already talking poly marriage and children? Too much too fast.

Be careful he's not love bombing you.

Also be careful if this guy is telling stories on both sides. Like trying to keep access to his wife by telling her it's "just sex." While trying to gain access to you and hook you by talking about wanting to get married (which won't be legal in most places) and having children.

His wife comes from a very religious family and was okay with it 'just being sexual' (and a secret), but now she is threatening to divorce him if he wants to continue to pursue something with me.

So they aren't really ready for polyamory where one might share both sex and love, and be "out."

You could decide you no longer want to pursue anything with him because he comes with baggage. And you don't want to deal in that being right next door to you. Like nip in bud before it gets weirder.

I think I would put neighbors on my "messy people" list -- like no dating my spouse's siblings, his boss, kid's teacher, etc. There's enough people to date in the world without picking out people who could be a mess if things go wrong.

Before I got involved I made him show me the text messages about her being okay with it - but now I feel horrible being involved in something that I'm not sure I can even handle.

Keep it simpler on you. If participating here makes you feel bad? Stop participating. So over time you can feel better. Your consent to do stuff and stop doing stuff belongs to YOU.

I don't want to hurt anyone, but I also don't want to run down a path that makes no sense.

I think you could let the thing with the neighbor go. Because you don't want to hurt you by participating in stuff that makes you feel bad.

And you don't want to hurt the wife, guy, or their kids.

If he's behaving poorly and making a mess of his marriage, HE can do that on his own time without involving you.

And yeah, break ups hurt, but that's the price of admission to dating. That's an expected and reasonable hurt risk. Because not every single person you date is gonna be a runner or a match! Don't feel bad about that. Just end it clean and quick and get you out of the hinky.

If you are interested in poly, maybe read some other links online and get a sense of it first. Here are a few.




I have tried to read and educate myself on polyamory as much as possible and I can only really see examples of it working if the 'existing' wife has to understand that the 'excitement' comes from the new person and the 'love' and 'comfort' comes from her. This means she has to accept and believe that at the end of the day his love for her will conquer all and no matter what he does outside their home, he will always come back for her. Does this mean I would need to be okay with being the shiny new toy - independent and willing to ebb and flow with the demands of his family and promises he made to his wife, but never quite have the same?

If you aren't into that dynamic? NO! You don't have to sign up for those terms. You get to choose what you participate in and what you don't.

Though not comprehensive, here's other examples of Open Models.


When you are ready to poly-date again, be up front and honest about it as you are trying to be here. State what you seek in companionship. Expect your potential to also be up front and honest about what they seek. Maybe it lines up. Maybe it doesn't.

And have your BS radar on. Not everyone you date will make it to second date or to "initially compatible." And those who make it to initially compatible? That's no guarantee they will move on to DEEPLY compatible once the NRE wears off. It's just like any other dating -- you are trying to figure out who is ACTUALLY compatible and has a good character. And who is just not compatible and maybe has weak character.
Poly is not like magic or something. While there will be some genuinely nice people out there, there's also going to be some who are not so great.

Sounds like your radar was pinging. I think you could listen to it and drop this guy.

HTH!
Galagirl
 
... I'm gonna be a bit judgmental here, and I'm sorry, but everything you're saying about the neighbor says sounds like he's trying to convince you to have an affair under the guise of polyamory. Yeah, he may have officially been told some of it was ok by his wife, but "just sexual" vs "another wife I want to have kids with" are WILDLY different things.

And ... if his current wife is "love and comfort" and you're just "excitement", what happens in 3-5-7 years when the shiny wears off? Maybe with you now having a kid that you're having to be something close to a single parent to, given he's not leaving his wife?
Thanks so much for your advice - I guess I'm just trying to understand if the polyamory can work in the sense of 'two-wives' and not a wife & girlfriend situation? Like do other people go down this path and can it work?
 
I'm sorry you struggle.

FWIW? This sounds hinky. You just started hanging out a few months ago and he's already talking poly marriage and children? Too much too fast.

Be careful he's not love bombing you.

Also be careful if this guy is telling stories on both sides. Like trying to keep access to his wife by telling her it's "just sex." While trying to gain access to you and hook you by talking about wanting to get married (which won't be legal in most places) and having children.



So they aren't really ready for polyamory where one might share both sex and love, and be "out."

You could decide you no longer want to pursue anything with him because he comes with baggage. And you don't want to deal in that being right next door to you. Like nip in bud before it gets weirder.

I think I would put neighbors on my "messy people" list -- like no dating my spouse's siblings, his boss, kid's teacher, etc. There's enough people to date in the world without picking out people who could be a mess if things go wrong.



Keep it simpler on you. If participating here makes you feel bad? Stop participating. So over time you can feel better. Your consent to do stuff and stop doing stuff belongs to YOU.



I think you could let the thing with the neighbor go. Because you don't want to hurt you by participating in stuff that makes you feel bad.

And you don't want to hurt the wife, guy, or their kids.

If he's behaving poorly and making a mess of his marriage, HE can do that on his own time without involving you.

And yeah, break ups hurt, but that's the price of admission to dating. That's an expected and reasonable hurt risk. Because not every single person you date is gonna be a runner or a match! Don't feel bad about that. Just end it clean and quick and get you out of the hinky.

If you are interested in poly, maybe read some other links online and get a sense of it first. Here are a few.






If you aren't into that dynamic? NO! You don't have to sign up for those terms. You get to choose what you participate in and what you don't.

Though not comprehensive, here's other examples of Open Models.


When you are ready to poly-date again, be up front and honest about it as you are trying to be here. State what you seek in companionship. Expect your potential to also be up front and honest about what they seek. Maybe it lines up. Maybe it doesn't.

And have your BS radar on. Not everyone you date will make it to second date or to "initially compatible." And those who make it to initially compatible? That's no guarantee they will move on to DEEPLY compatible once the NRE wears off. It's just like any other dating -- you are trying to figure out who is ACTUALLY compatible and has a good character. And who is just not compatible and maybe has weak character.
Poly is not like magic or something. While there will be some genuinely nice people out there, there's also going to be some who are not so great.

Sounds like your radar was pinging. I think you could listen to it and drop this guy.

HTH!
Galagirl
Ahh thank you for spending so much time on this!

To be clear - he has told his wife everything about me and his desire to make it work with both of us - they are in therapy at the moment trying to figure out if she wants to try and make it work or leave him. I've also sat with both of them to talk out our feelings.

I also don't feel like I want to by poly too - I would be monogamous with him. I'm just trying to understand the type of relationship we could have I guess - I do genuinely love him.

I'm going to look into a bunch of these links - thanks so much!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
To be clear - he has told his wife everything about me and his desire to make it work with both of us - they are in therapy at the moment trying to figure out if she wants to try and make it work or leave him. I've also sat with both of them to talk out our feelings.

Thanks for clarifying. That said? This would have to be a "3 person yes" to work. It doesn't matter if he wants it work for all. One person doesn't decide for all.

If wife does not want to participate in a V where he has two wives and children with other people? Her consent belongs to her. She doesn't have to agree because he wants it. Maybe she only signed up for casual sex, not THIS.

Just like you don't have to agree just because he wants this.

I also don't feel like I want to by poly too - I would be monogamous with him. I'm just trying to understand the type of relationship we could have I guess - I do genuinely love him.

To me you would monoamorous -- only want one sweetie to love. And you would be participating in a polyamorous V as an end point person.
"Monogamy" to me means only 2 people in the relationship. A 3 people V is not 2 people.

Yes, people can and do marry their poly partners. With weddings, committment ceremonies, etc. But because most locations only would recognize one partner as the legal marriage? That could affect choices/legal standing/protections. Like health insurance, who gets to visit you as next of kin in hospital, etc.

So tread carefully. And maybe slow down. Four months in? That's too soon to be talking about marriage and babies, IMHO.

Galagirl
 

icesong

Active member
Thanks so much for your advice - I guess I'm just trying to understand if the polyamory can work in the sense of 'two-wives' and not a wife & girlfriend situation? Like do other people go down this path and can it work?
If by “wife” you mean “serious life-committed partner, maybe with kids”, yes it can, although of course it’s not a legal marriage so the paper work is a bit custom. For instance, 2 friends of mine have been together and married long enough to have a kid in college, not sure of the exact years. They’ve poly dated various people for at least the past decade, maybe more. (I’ve only known them about 7 years and they were solidly poly for years before that.) Anyway. About 6 ish years ago the woman in the original couple and the woman she was dating fell madly in life-partner type love, and a few years later decided to have a kid together (IVF of course, original dude is _not_ the father and is only close friends with new wife) and a year or two after that had a really lovely “wedding” / commitment ceremony. As far as I know they are all happy...

I mean idk, my husband and his partner may want something like that eventually, minus the kid part.

Point here being yes, it is a thing that happens BUT everyone involved has to be actively supportive and enthused, not just barely consenting, for it to work well.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Yes, a poly person can have two spouse-like partners. Sometimes they will use the label "co-primary" partners, as opposed to a poly person who has a "primary" spouse and a "secondary" girlfriend/boyfriend. (But you can only legally be married to one of them).

On this forum, if you want to search for examples in the Life Stories and Blogs, JaneQSmythe lives with her husband and her long-term boyfriend, and Dagferi maintains two separate households, one with her legal husband, and the other with a partner she considers her other husband. Both women worked out some legal/financial entanglements for the domestic partner who is not their legal spouse. (But Jane has no children, and Dagferi has children with only one of her husbands, I think).

HOWEVER, you have only been "hanging out with" your neighbor dude for "a few months." That would be WAY too soon to be planning for marriage and kids with a monogamous person--let alone a married guy whose wife is struggling with poly.

I know you have been trying to do the right thing in terms of getting proof of the wife's consent and talking to her about the situation. However I think you may be too focused on trying to make things work with the wife, rather than assessing whether the husband is actually the right guy for you. Why is he in such a hurry to plan marriage and kids with you? Especially when his wife is ready to divorce him?

Let's say the wife decides she wants to stay in the marriage and agrees to you being her co-wife and also having kids with her husband. Let's say she is happy with this situation rather than miserable. Okay. So how does it work? Do you all live together? Will he have another child with his wife too? Can you all afford a house big enough for all of you and your future kids to have enough space? Or does the husband maintain separate households, one with his wife and kid(s), the other with you and your future kids. Can he afford that? How do you feel about being unable to marry him legally? What are the financial implications for you?

Or, let's say the wife decides to divorce him. Best case scenario, they amicably divorce and co-parent in separate households, and he marries you, lives with you and has kids with you too. Can he afford all those kids? And then what happens when he develops a crush on the cute woman next door? Does he do the same thing he did with you--are you going to end up with another "co-wife" living next door to you?

I think you are approaching this situation as if this guy's love for you is unique and special and worth creating a complex poly family, but most likely this guy is going to trying to be poly no matter who he's with, and collecting new women based on opportunity wherever he goes.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello BudgetPrincessJasmine,

Polyamory can only happen if all of the involved parties consent to it. Otherwise it's just openly cheating. You said this man's wife is threatening to divorce him if he wants to continue to pursue something with you. It doesn't sound like you have her consent. Therefore, you cannot have a polyamorous relationship with him. The most you could do is have an affair with him. To have polyamory with him, you must have consent from his wife. Unless he is going to divorce his wife, but it doesn't sound like he is going to do that. He wants to have both of you, though he has a hard road ahead making that happen.

In theory, it's definitely possible to have situation where there is a man and his two wives. Of course, both wives can't be legally married to him, but they can both be primary partners to him, with handfastings/commitment ceremonies. Again, that's assuming that all three people consent to the situation. As matters currently stand, it sounds like you are just a secondary partner to this man. You are disposable, and that is not fair to you. You deserve to have equal status as his wife, and I don't think that's going to happen. Unless she has a huge change of heart about it. I guess it's technically possible.

I hope things work out for you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

fuchka

Member
Yes, a poly person can have two spouse-like partners. Sometimes they will use the label "co-primary" partners, as opposed to a poly person who has a "primary" spouse and a "secondary" girlfriend/boyfriend. (But you can only legally be married to one of them).

On this forum, if you want to search for examples in the Life Stories and Blogs, JaneQSmythe lives with her husband and her long-term boyfriend, and Dagferi maintains two separate households, one with her legal husband, and the other with a partner she considers her other husband. Both women worked out some legal/financial entanglements for the domestic partner who is not their legal spouse. (But Jane has no children, and Dagferi has children with only one of her husbands, I think).

HOWEVER, you have only been "hanging out with" your neighbor dude for "a few months." That would be WAY too soon to be planning for marriage and kids with a monogamous person--let alone a married guy whose wife is struggling with poly.

I know you have been trying to do the right thing in terms of getting proof of the wife's consent and talking to her about the situation. However I think you may be too focused on trying to make things work with the wife, rather than assessing whether the husband is actually the right guy for you. Why is he in such a hurry to plan marriage and kids with you? Especially when his wife is ready to divorce him?

Let's say the wife decides she wants to stay in the marriage and agrees to you being her co-wife and also having kids with her husband. Let's say she is happy with this situation rather than miserable. Okay. So how does it work? Do you all live together? Will he have another child with his wife too? Can you all afford a house big enough for all of you and your future kids to have enough space? Or does the husband maintain separate households, one with his wife and kid(s), the other with you and your future kids. Can he afford that? How do you feel about being unable to marry him legally? What are the financial implications for you?

Or, let's say the wife decides to divorce him. Best case scenario, they amicably divorce and co-parent in separate households, and he marries you, lives with you and has kids with you too. Can he afford all those kids? And then what happens when he develops a crush on the cute woman next door? Does he do the same thing he did with you--are you going to end up with another "co-wife" living next door to you?

I think you are approaching this situation as if this guy's love for you is unique and special and worth creating a complex poly family, but most likely this guy is going to trying to be poly no matter who he's with, and collecting new women based on opportunity wherever he goes.
MeeraReed - just a note. Jane had a painful separation not so long ago. There weren't many details shared on the blog but Jane did say that it didn't end well, unfortunately. Doesn't negate anything in your comment but just fyi
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I wonder why his wife agreed to him having a sex-only, or at most, FWB arrangement in the first place? If she feels ready to divorce him, now what he has tried having a gf, it sounds like her fantasy differed from the reality.

Sex-only relationships are possible, and swingers would be an example. Often they have fairly anonymous sex. Sometimes their play-partners become good friends. But in that realm, the original couple or dyad is always supreme. Rarely, a swinger will fall in love with a play-partner, and then all hell breaks loose. They realize they are polyamorous, not just a swinger.

Maybe your bf and his wife have mismatched libidos. That is very common. So, to get him off her back, she thought he could find some random woman/women to get his rocks off with, in secret, while keeping her marital status and security intact. But hubby actually likes you, even "loves" you. Oops. Actually, what you 2 feel is infatuation, or NRE (new relationship energy). He is talking big talk with you about marriage and kids, without acknowledging how messy that would be for his wife and her extended family and church friends. That's not ethical.

I'm glad they're in therapy. You could step aside and let them work on their marriage for a while... a year, or even more, and then see where the chips have fallen. Start clean.

I understand falling for a neighbor though! One of the biggest crushes I ever had was with my extremely attractive sweet neighbor. It never went anywhere, since I was married, not open at the time, and this guy was a bit younger than me and actually seeking a wife. But boy, there was some chemistry there. And since he lived so close by, and played guitars with my husband, the frequent contact made my feelings for him rage.
 

3908

Member
He and I have had conversations about having kids, getting married (I know this sounds crazy because he doesn't plan on divorcing his wife... but is it?) and he seems to love me in the way that I love him - which would lead to building a life together - but I'm really not sure what to do?

hi, welcome to the board.
Im new to this poly environment aswell. Im married to a great "christian" woman who doesnt want to do with poly.

so your comment that i copy pasted sounds odd to me. sounds like NRE as some have mentioned but could also be Limerence.
Limerence is a person living in a fantasy world about someone else, ive been thru it, i think its different than NRE.

if his wife is threatening divorce, sounds like there are some issues there, i would back away, dont rock the boat. i also get the secrecy request from the wife. Poly is a big no no from mainstream Christianity. ive talked to other Christians about my interest and they say things like "satan/devil" is working in my mind, or satan/devil is trying to break up my marriage LOL yeah I dont agree with that but whatever.
Ill never leave my wife.

with my wife, I have chilled on talking about poly alot, she knows im still interested but i don't try to persuade her. we are to a point where we can talk about poly on occasion and she wont get cranked, but i dont push it anymore.

take care.
 
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