Not on same page about bisexual wife exploring polyamory

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GalaGirl

Well-known member
Because I communicate far better in writing than speaking, my therapist had me write up some paragraphs for her on some specific topics. With a little editing to maintain privacy, I'd like to share some of them here. Here's the first:

Could have made them another color. Or made a separate thread with "I need help with my therapy writing."

It's easy to miss the heads up of "This is stuff I had to write for therapy. Can you guys give be feedback on it?"

I noticed it, but was trying to digest the quantity of material.

Don't sweat it though. It's ok to be new to the forum. You don't have to keep apologizing. Try to relax a little bit.

Remember, you have been LIVING this. You are the expert in your lived experience.

The participants? This topic just landed from the sky two seconds ago. It takes time to get up to speed and parse your writing style. You have SO MUCH going on!

I'll also be honest in that I only skim-read the therapy pages. Mostly what stuck out to me?

Yet within an hour I hear 'em talking once again about personal liberty galore, autonomy in relationships, etc.

Is this sense of "JEEZ! What's he been filling up with? Who are these "poly people" he's reading?"

I don't know what kind of people you were interacting with or reading or what. But just like "Your kink Is not my kink?"

"Your poly is not my poly" may apply here. It's ok to read stuff online and then... not take it on board because it doesn't jive with your values.

Yes, some people want poly so they can ethically play the field. They want to explore without a lot of entanglements, etc.

Others want it because they want MORE entanglements, MORE commitments.

Others want something else in between or a combo. The point is that people in the poly group get to design their polyship to suit themselves and form their own agreements that work for them.

It's not exhaustive, but here's a list of open models. Maybe it helps show you how different people design their agreements.

Models of Open Relationships by Kathy Labriola

Mostly though? With the therapy writing? I hope it helped you do the exercise.

If it was for the couples therapist and you don't trust her any more? Maybe don't bother turning in the homework. Esp if lately the therapist has been "ganging up on you" or "pressuring you."

If it is for wife to digest? I suggest you stop talking about "all those poly people out there" or "the poly community" and bring the focus in more. They aren't the ones in this marriage.

Talk about YOU AND WONDA. Because you and Wonda are in this marriage.

You have a lot of unanswered questions, and valid concerns. Make a simpler list of questions for her to answer. Something based on these concerns.

"It seems to me polyamory would 1) cut back on our quality time together, 2) reduce our discretionary income, 3) put more of the burden of parenting on my shoulders, 4) make it harder to be emotionally attuned to one another, 5) jeopardize my career if ever we were outed, 6) make our home life more unstable for our family, 7) eat up more of your limited emotional energy, and 8) violate my beliefs about the nature of marriage. Are you willing to at least explain how any of that is inaccurate from your perspective?"

But smaller words and more bullet list style. And more direct in tone. TO WONDA.

Because you guys must be EXHAUSTED with the baby and all this therapy processing.

Something like...

What are your current beliefs about the nature of marriage? Have they changed any since we took our wedding vows?

If you and I did poly... how would that fit in this marriage we share?

  • How would you ensure you and I get enough quality time together?
    • Enough for me is....
    • What is enough time to you?
  • How would we deal with finances so dating money doesn't ding house money?
  • How would parenting duties be fairly split?
  • How would we maintain emotional and mental intimacy?
  • What's the emergency plan if for some crazy reason, we get outted and there goes my job?
  • How would you help ensure stable family life?
  • How would you guard against burnt out? Manage your time and emotional energy?

To me? You sound like you have done a lot of thinking, maybe verging on TOO MUCH thinking and shouldering too much of this load.

How about Wonda does some thinking and takes a turn now?

And the one thing for you to reflect on maybe...

Post #74

The marital vision I affirm, and usually live by, is that we’re husband and wife, so we both have a voice in all major decisions as create our joint lives together. That’s why it seems altogether bizarre to bracket off this most intimate area of her life to say she’s basically free to do whatever she wants with her heart, mind, body, and soul without me, as her husband, having a voice in the process.

You DO have a voice in the process. One person in a marriage cannot go “Ok, open marriage now!” and make a unilateral decision for the couple.

A polyship (to me) consists of all the other relationships inside. In the imaginary scenario...

  • You + Wonda
  • Wonda + her GF Gloria (just to have a name)
  • Her GF + you <— not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • Wonda + Bob <-- not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • You + Bob <--- not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • Gloria + Bob (Cuz the reason she is fine being Wonda's secondary is becuse she already has her own primary in her hubby Bob.)
A primary-secondary situation might be JUST FINE for this group of people. Because they get to design what they want. Is it my poly? Nope. I prefer other models. But whatever right? Cuz my poly is not your poly AND THAT IS OK.

You seem to want to be present during sex, and realize the other people might not want that. It raises questions like...
  • Wonda and Gloria can NEVER share romance and sex on their own? Without the husbands in the room like odd chaperones?
  • To make it “fair” does Gloria have to stand in the room when you share sex with Wonda?
  • Does Wonda have to go supervise Gloria and Bob sharing sex?
  • Or can that area of each relationship be one of those “self differentiated” areas? Because all the people got to have a voice and consent to be here in this primary-secondary model?
The "shared experience" would be the people being in polyship together. Not specific sex encounters like in swinging. But that's kinda cart before horse, because you would sort this theoretical poly group's agreements out with Bob and Gloria and Wonda and You. And Bob and Gloria don't even exist.

If the bottom line is that even that model of poly is too big a stretch for you? THAT IS OK TOO.

You sound frustrated. Could stop banging head on the poly wall. Just say you do not consent to do any poly. That doesn't make you a bad person. You just know what you are and are not up for. And your consent to participate in things belongs to you.

Presumably her word IS bond, and you just go back to married people life with occasional swing.

Is there something else you are worried about?

Galagirl
 
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To me, "autonomy" means that I make the choice every day to be with my partner(s) (right now I only have a husband and a roommate who is like my annoying twin brother, lol).
Yes, I would say that's an extremely autonomous view. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. It's just an extremely autonomous approach.

Personally, I see it as a two-fold thing. In no particular order, for me it's about both the speech-act (in the form of vows) that is extremely serious to me as an external commitment outside of myself AND making that volitional decision each and every day as an internal commitment within myself. It's both/and, not either/or.

It doesn't mean that I just do whatever without any regard for how it affects those in my household. But that's just me.
Gotcha.

I do not speak for "the poly community",
Understand. I appreciate the humility there.

in fact I eschew any sort of "belonging" as much as possible.
lol... Yup. Extremely autonomous approach. You do you, but I respectfully approach life quite differently.

Maybe that's part of autonomy too, who knows.
Just a bit. ;)

I also don't follow any politics or religion.
I understand.

Not caring about what other people think of me helps with the whole autonomy trip, too.
That it does.

Peace, bro.
Peace.
 
Could have made them another color.
New here. Didn't know that was a possibility and/or didn't think of it. Nevertheless, I'll just lean into the continuing apology. Sorry.

Or made a separate thread with "I need help with my therapy writing."
I didn't want to separate it out because I thought it helped provided greater context. Nevertheless, I'll just lean into the continuing apology. Sorry.

It's easy to miss the heads up of "This is stuff I had to write for therapy. Can you guys give be feedback on it?"
I see that now. Once again, sorry.

Don't sweat it though. It's ok to be new to the forum. You don't have to keep apologizing. Try to relax a little bit.
lol... Fair enough.

Remember, you have been LIVING this. The participants? This topic just landed from the sky two seconds ago. It takes time to get up to speed because honestly you have SO MUCH going on!
Just a bit. ;)

I'll also be honest in that I only skim-read the therapy pages. Mostly what stuck out to me?
This should be fun.

Is this sense of "JEEZ! What's he been filling up with?"

I don't know what kind of people you were interacting with or reading or what. But just like "Your kink Is not my kink?"

"Your poly is not my poly" may apply here.

Yes, some people want poly so they can ethically play the field. They want to explore without a lot of entanglements, etc.
Gotcha.

Others want it because they want MORE entanglements, MORE commitments.
I'm beginning to wonder if there's a poly-specific intonation/meaning to the word "entanglements" that isn't used elsewhere.

Others want something else in between or a combo. The point is that people in the poly group get to design their polyship to suit themselves and form their own agreements that work for them.
I understand.

It's not exhaustive, but here's a list of open models.

I promise to check that out soon. Thanks.

Mostly though? With the therapy writing? I hope it helped you do the exercise.
Write most always helps. :)

If it was for the therapist and you don't trust her any more? Maybe don't bother turning in the homework. Esp if lately the therapist has been "ganging up on you" or "pressuring you."
Again, I don't expect readers here to remember everything that has been said as I know this thread has gotten long and dense, but there's three therapists at work here. Wonda's therapist. My therapist. Our joint therapist. I used to love our joint therapist, but the trust is now fading. I will love my own therapist, though. That's who had me write up these paragraphs. (Again, I know this situation is complex and confusing. Sorry.)

If it is for wife to digest? Stop talking about all "those poly people out there" or "the poly community."

Talk about YOU AND WONDA.
OK, the thing is...

I'm big into creative imagination and ideation. I love brainstorming. "Wonda" has many gifts, but this is not one of them. She's extremely analytical, which makes he tremendous in her career, but if you give her a piece of paper and a pen and ask her to brainstorm a list of ideas that paper is going to be blank 10 minutes later. This is a big part of why she just wants to jump in. She doesn't know what to expect and she can't imagine how things might go without sample data, so she just wants to have fun and try. I'm the opposite. I'm all about brainstorming the life you want, then finding a way to make it happen. So, when I'm talking about the poly community I'm trying to give her examples of other stories and think I've encountered in books, articles, podcasts, and anecdotal stories from therapy.

However, I take your meaning.

You have a lot of unanswered questions, and valid concerns. Make a simpler list of questions for her to answer.
Working on that right now. Breaking it down as simple yes or no questions. So far I'm at 173, but I'll be dividing them into different lists of maybe 20-40 per discussion.

You have done a lot of thinking, maybe TOO MUCH thinking.
I don't believe in such a thing as over-thinking. Poorly thinking? Yes. Getting stuck in a cognitive rut? Yes. All sorts of things like that. But just plan over-thinking? Nope. This is my personality. I love to deep dive. The idea of me thinking too much is like a guitarist playing music too much.

How about Wonda does some?
I've asked her to do so. She's reluctant. She just wants to jump in with two feet and see what happens. Because she's so analytical, thinking about this stuff stresses her out and causes her paralysis by analysis. That gives her anxiety, so she just wants to bypass it as much as possible and see what happens. I'm just the opposite. My anxiety comes from not having my mind around things and not being able to reasonably anticipate the outcomes. Again, I decide what I want and then find a way to make it happen.

List your main questions. I think these are fine to start. And she can start there. Answering them.
Yup.

And the one thing for you to reflect on maybe...
OK.

You DO have a voice in the process. One person in a marriage cannot go “Ok, open marriage now!” and make a unilateral decision for the couple.
I understand. However, my voice feels... muted... if I'm asked to stop thinking and just jump into it. That just ain't me. It's not how I'm wired and it's not how I feel comfortable operating.

A polyship (to me) consists of all the other relationships inside. In the imaginary scenario...
  • You + Wonda
  • Wonda + her GF Gloria (just to have a name)
  • Her GF + you <— not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • Wonda + Bob <-- not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • You + Bob <--- not involved, just hopefully able to be basic polite
  • Gloria + Bob (Cuz the reason she is fine being Wonda's secondary is becuse she already has her own primary in her hubby Bob.)
A primary-secondary sitaution might be JUST FINE for this group of people. Because they get to design what they want. Is it my poly? Nope. I prefer other models. But whatever right? Cuz my poly is not your poly AND THAT IS OK.
I understand.

You seem to want to be present during sex, and realize the other people might not want that. It raises questions like...
  • Wonda and Gloria can NEVER share romance and sex on their own? Without the husbands in the room like odd chaperones?
  • To make it “fair” does Gloria have to stand in the room when you share sex with Wonda?
  • Does Wonda have to go supervise Gloria and Bob sharing sex?
  • Or can that area of their relationship be one of those “self differentiated” areas? Because all people got to have a voice and consent to be here in this primary-secondary model?
The "shared experience" would be the people being in polyship togeher. Not specific sex encounters like in swinging.

BUT... if you find that's too much for you? THAT IS OK TOO.
Yup. I know. That's why I don't want to do this from a polyamorous ethical framework. I never have and I doubt I ever will.

Stop banging head on the poly wall. Jsut say you don't want any. That doesn't make you a bad person. You just know what you are and are not up for.
OK.

Tell your wife "Look, I'm done. I considered fairly. And poly is not for me."
OK.

Presumably her word IS bond, and you just go back to married people life with occasional swing.
OK.

Is there something else you are worried about?
Good question. I'd have to think on that.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
This is my personality. I love to deep dive. The idea of me thinking too much is like a guitarist playing music too much.

It is possible for the guitarist to play too much music for the neighbors to deal in.

It is possible (while fun for you) all this "deep dive" approach is too much for Wonda to digest. Esp since you don't seem to get useful communication back.

So maybe it's worth considering changing communication style a little bit?

I love brainstorming. "Wonda" has many gifts, but this is not one of them. She's extremely analytical, which makes he tremendous in her career, but if you give her a piece of paper and a pen and ask her to brainstorm a list of ideas that paper is going to be blank 10 minutes later. This is a big part of why she just wants to jump in.

There is a space between "blank paper" and "173 questions."

Something smaller like the bullet list I suggested, but gets to the heart of your concerns a bit more clearly/faster.

Normally I'd suggest the worksheets, but if you KNOW poly is not for you? Could give both bullet list and the worksheets a pass. The question of "Will we poly?" is answered already. You do not joyfully consent to do poly.

Is the NEW conversation goal to "understand what Wonda thinks about poly or finds appealing about poly? Not DO poly, but learn about Wonda?"

If so? You could do the Authentic Relationship one to better understand each other. Some of that would apply in a marriage, or a marriage that is open to sometimes swinging. Maybe the other sheets are also of value.


Maybe with better communication there could open up a middle space to occupy. Wonda becoming more able to talk about all her bisexual and poly thoughts and feelings more smoothly so the marriage feels more ok and less restrained to her. Not going around "bottled up" and "hard to get things out." Sounds like she's not speaking up much for herself in the therapy.

And in practice, only casual swinging once in a while, discretion. So the marriage feels ok enough to you too. That only works if both can feel ok there though.

Working on that right now. Breaking it down as simple yes or no questions. So far I'm at 173, but I'll be dividing them into different lists of maybe 20-40 per discussion.

173 "yes and no" questions? I'm still surprised at the number. Why is this many even necessary?

You know that "yes and no" questions don't invite deep discussion, right?

And experiencing this many questions (even in sections) might feel like "Husband talking AT me" rather than "Husband talking WITH me" to Wonda.

Is part of the reason she goes silent because she gets emotionally flooded or feels bombarded? Goes "deer in the headlights?" You might consider slowing it down.

I like to think and talk a lot too. And I mean this kindly, ok? To me? You are kinda coming across really fast like go, go, go! Solve all the things!

Just reading stuff wears me out. I cannot imagine being Wonda.

I urge you to stop thinking/doing so much research for just a moment. (Then go back to that if you enjoy it.)

What is it that needs solving?

I though there was already an agreement. She asked you to consider poly in therapy. You considered poly. Not a runner for you. Presumably she knows this already? Or are you waiting til next appointment with couple therapist?

The expectation would be to go back to how it was -- married with occasional swing. Right?

So pretty much solved on that front? Ok, then.

So... where's the fire? What's the urgency?

Maybe pause to take a breath. And refocus. What else needs solving in this marriage? You have a long list of stuff that was bothering you. Like the parenting jobs not being balanced. Not having enough time together. Her need for time with friends for her social health/mental health. Your own needs for same. And so on.

Could put all this energy on those areas so these things can actually start to improve in your marriage some.

Rather than going round and round mulling and re-mulling stuff you seem to have already answered: You think poly is fine for other people, but you don't want any for you.

I get you like to deep dive think... but prioritize efforts. Come up for air. See if this poly deep dive thing is even the right area or right direction to deep dive in right now.

Esp when the budget for help from counselor(s) may be tightening up or running out. Maybe better use of the professional time you have left is on other areas in the marriage.

YKWIM?

Galagirl
 
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MeeraReed

Active member
OP, I am wondering if you would consider starting a separate thread (in this same General Discussion section) to engage in a discussion about the philosophy (philosophies, really) of polyamory and for people here to "educate you" (per your own request) about their perspective on poly. The purpose of the new thread would be to separate the philosophical side from the issues specific to your situation and your particular marriage to Wonda.

Because I do think, from what you've said, that you have acquired some strange perceptions about poly from Reddit or wherever. There are a few things I would like to refute or offer an alternative perspective on...but I also don't think my perspective would necessarily be helpful for your particular marriage.

You asked at the beginning of this thread for us to educate you more about poly as a "last chance" effort to consider it before totally closing the door...which is honestly a lot of ask of internet strangers! However, I do think this a generally good forum with users who bring a wide range of experience and perspectives about polyamory, which might help you broaden your understanding of it, at least from an intellectual point of view.

I also might have a few suggestions to make about your particular marriage, which I will be happy to post on this thread here, when I think of a good way to word want I want to say.

And, I hope you don't think people are arguing with you or are upset with you. I think people are engaging with you so much because you seem likeable, sympathetic, kind, and open-minded (and so does Wonda, honestly). And your situation with Wonda is both compelling and complex.
 

ref2018

Waitress in the Sky
Staff member
Because I do think, from what you've said, that you have acquired some strange perceptions about poly from Reddit or wherever.
This.

The thing one must realize about /r/polyamory is that it's full of blindfolded 20-somethings leading each other around a foreign city, and about half a dozen loudmouths who do nothing but sit there all day and tell everyone how things oughta be because they have bEeN pOly FoR dEcAdEs (two of them even decreed that "you can't be sapiosexual" and that the word "sapiosexual" is "classist", but I digress). Plus reddit is full of career trolls who know exactly what to say and how to say it to get the reaction they want without violating any subreddit rules. You need a really thick skin for reddit, and it isn't the ideal place to ask for advice unless it's something you aren't emotionally invested in (like which flavor of ice cream you should try next). One reason reddit is good is because you can delete your posts and profiles at any time, unlike this forum where it gives you IDK what, 12 or 24 hours now? I can't remember, but I know it was 15 minutes for a while and they changed it back. Anyway.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
It's ok to be new to the forum. You don't have to keep apologizing. Try to relax a little bit.


OP, you're talking with us like you're some sort of outsider. You don't have to explain as much to us as you seem to think you do. Most us us have been here for years, talking with people every day who are in a similar position as you. That's a lot of newcomers, a lot of unsure people in an unsure time in their lives. Talking with you all is what we do. My observation is that people get the most out of this community when they spend time here, reading other threads, posting a bit in other threads, getting to know us and letting us get to know you. Explaining yourself in detail really isn't necessary if you want to get the most out of this extraordinary opportunity (us.) No, we're not on Reddit. We can talk at length and really get to know one another. Many of us have been here for years. We're a diverse bunch with many different experiences, values and approaches to intimacy. My recommendation to you is to slow down and get a feel for us by participating in the wider community here. Everyone who sticks around and becomes part of this community is a deep diver, a writer, a thinker, an off-the-beaten-pather. You really are not all that unusual around here.

Meant in a helpful way.
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
“ Working on that right now. Breaking it down as simple yes or no questions. So far I'm at 173, but I'll be dividing them into different lists of maybe 20-40 per discussion.”

what’s the thinking behind yes No type questions in a therapy session ? Is this an attempt to lead the witness ??

get a pattern of yes‘s or no’s and win the argument ? I think one of your first questions in this should be and Marcus touched on this 20 comments ago is the naive idea that nothing substantial is going to change SO WHAT IS SHE WILLING TO GIVE UP ? The idea old marriage and the new relationship will just run parallel with some logistical adjustments Is VERY unrealistic. I suggested it’s more like a newtons cradle where once that outside ball smacks the first ball the chain reaction starts. This analogy or visual is flawed in terms of force and effect that each area in a couples relationship or sphere is going to be touched or moved. And the differential between positive movement and negative movement.

Im sure the hope on her part is NO major negative movement and or some positive movement in terms of her own personal happiness and the possible spillover effect from her aura making you and your kid just happy in her presences.

THEN theres reality. How much change and distance or disentanglement would she deem a fair price to pay for her new life ? And with the introduction of each new element comes more relationship uncertainty / possible instability. THE relationship shelve life clock when from being buried in a closet to ticking loudly on a shelf at eye level. Like it or not when these type of changes are being pushed even under the best of circumstances stress cracks and tension are going to play a part in day to day operations. There’s been million threads on a spouse being moody and or temperamental and it affecting home life and particularly their sexual life. AND THERES ANOTHER whole side of this coin we could go into for you on how much are you willing to compartmentalize etc etc but you’re not even on the train yet so thats not really relevant at this time.

I also or rather I still think having the internal conversation on what you’re willing to settle for and asking or learning what she’s willing to settle for would be a good conversation to have. I think it might help reframe how each of you view the relationship.

In the disentangling suggestions the person who came up with it suggests various strategies. For example activity night alone which simulates a future “ date “ night Or sleeping in a different room again obviously simulating over night dates or vacations. Why not start doing your own little simulations to see how some of this stuff plays out. How she feels and how you feel after. Maybe each of you will retract a bit from your hardened positions.
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi straighthusbandbiwife,

My personal definition of the word "polyamory," is, "relationships in which any one person is romantically involved with two or more other people, with their knowledge and consent." Beyond that limited definition, there is a lot of wiggle room for how polyamory may be practiced/manifested, and for what mindsets the participants may have.

FWIW, I live in a polyamorous unit (of three people: a man, his wife, and me) in which none of us consider ourselves to be free to do whatever we want. We are a three-person community and are responsible for, and answerable to, each other. If one of us wanted to go out and date someone, we would have to put the proposition to the other two of us first, and the person we wanted to date would have to be vetted by all three of us. That's the amount of freedom we have, and we're not even interested in exercising that much freedom. We are happy with what we have. Oh, and no sex (with a fourth person) would be allowed at all, unless that fourth person joined our V and made it an N/Z/what have you. And that would take a ton of vetting.

The three of us live together much as a two-person man/wife team lives together. We are dedicated and committed to each other.

I realize that's still not exactly what you would be able to tolerate in a poly situation, but it's one example of the many ways polyamory may be practiced. We call our little corner of polyamory "polyfidelity."

If you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to answer.
Regards,
Kevin T.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
OP, you're talking with us like you're some sort of outsider. You don't have to explain as much to us as you seem to think you do.

I agree and I think it's just a perception issue. When I'm learning about a topic and I feel like I'm starting to get a basic handle on it, I might approach describing this new understanding as an exciting new revelation that I just invented. The reality is though, people who have long since discovered this information and have been talking about it for years don't exactly need me to explain it to them.

It's an easy trap to fall into, we get excited and want to be the one who discovered something new. It's not exactly helpful or constructive, but it's pretty normal I think.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
In the disentangling suggestions the person who came up with it suggests various strategies. For example activity night alone which simulates a future “ date “ night Or sleeping in a different room again obviously simulating over night dates or vacations. Why not start doing your own little simulations to see how some of this stuff plays out. How she feels and how you feel after. Maybe each of you will retract a bit from your hardened positions.

Is this the disentanglement article you are talking about?

I bookmarked this one years ago (probably someone on these forums linked it) and I think it's a critical thing to understand if a non-possessive relationship is the goal. This isn't the OPs goal, so I don't think it'll be particularly helpful for him, but it's good for others who are curious about that path.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
First of all, I screwed up. I thought that Shelley quote was a response to me and not your permanent quote at the end of every post. Just plain misread that.


Yes, I've read Sex at Dawn. Have you also read the scholarly critiques of Sex at Dawn?
I probably did at the time I read it. We discussed it here as well.
I would argue there's a reason those are our cousins and not us, but OK.
I'm just saying, when we share 99% of our DNA, there might be similarities in our natural sexual proclivities.
FYI - While more than willing to carefully listen to others, it's worth noting that I, personally, equally reject both patriarchy and matriarchy AND see these options as a false dichotomy. Yes, I believe in female empowerment. No, I don't believe in corresponding male disempowerment. No, I don't believe we need to frame these things as a zero-sum game. Again, just my perspective.
I don't see how one can gain power without the other giving some up. I recall a true story about company head giving instructions in his org to bring him new workers to be interviewed, men and women. He was presented with a number of people, 85% of which were men. When asked why, they said they couldn't find more qualified women. So the head said, "Don't bring me any men. Try again." He was presented with a number of female candidates. They were all qualified.
As I noted before, "Wonda" never dated anyone before me. She just grew up in a home with an extremely mentally unwell mother who never modeled healthy femininity to her. She also didn't have any aunties around to take her to Victoria's Secret, teach her to wear makeup, tell her it's OK to feel sexy, etc. Remember the home run hitter from A League of Their Own? Her dad approaches the scout and says her mom died and he raised her himself, doing the best he could, but he didn't know anything about what it meant to be a lady. (I'm paraphrasing.) That would be an exaggeration to say my wife's experience was quite that bad with her dad, but she never had much of a maternal presence in her life teaching her what it means to be a woman. She loves cock and I'm quite confident is not lesbian IF that's what you're angling at.
OK. She didn't have a decent mother or aunt, and no sisters, female friends, fashionable gay male friends, a neighbor lady, grandmother, caring teacher or youth group worker, scout leader either (etc), televison shows, magazines with articles about fashion makeup and style, I guess?

So she's also confident, headstrong, and opinionated, like you. I'm still not sure how you have hopes to successfully negotiate and find a middle ground.
 
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ref2018

Waitress in the Sky
Staff member
I agree and I think it's just a perception issue. When I'm learning about a topic and I feel like I'm starting to get a basic handle on it, I might approach describing this new understanding as an exciting new revelation that I just invented. The reality is though, people who have long since discovered this information and have been talking about it for years don't exactly need me to explain it to them.

It's an easy trap to fall into, we get excited and want to be the one who discovered something new. It's not exactly helpful or constructive, but it's pretty normal I think.
I call it the "I found Jesus" complex.

Jesus was there all along. Or not...
 
FYI - I haven't suddenly run away. Just having a busy weekend. Well, not so much in terms of activities but wif... "Wonda"... is feeling exhausted/sick from fibromyalgia fun flairing up and baby is being particularly fussy, so I'm on-call pretty much 24/7 as their caregiver. Hopefully I'll be able to rejoin the discussion tomorrow. In the mean time, thanks for the thoughtful feedback. Peace.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Is this the disentanglement article you are talking about?
Yes ...thats the one.

I bookmarked this one years ago (probably someone on these forums linked it) and I think it's a critical thing to understand if a non-possessive relationship is the goal. This isn't the OPs goal, so I don't think it'll be particularly helpful for him, but it's good for others who are curious about that path.

Well my thought are 2 fold on this. Yes granted this isn’t his goal but he did say he was open minded . BUT he also said somewhere in here that his wife was very analytical and likes seeing practical data. And running such a simulation might demonstrate to either side of this situation how this might FEEL. I was told several yrs back by a follow member here on the forum that people don’t really get the opposing view until they feel it. This might give both of them a chance before any dating occurs to take a peek into some of the practicalities of how this might work and to see how that feels. AND as you suggest it alos might cement opinions as well which is also good to know.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Is this the disentanglement article you are talking about?

That was an interesting read. I wonder why the author would feel the need to call the intended readers behavior “creepy” many times in a row? Is that a guilt tactic?

Although I think more objectivity would be refreshing in a lot of poly articles in general...
 
A quick two-fold question:

For those who were in monogamous marriages that transitioned into polyamory, I'm trying to understand a) how the marital relationship is still special and b) why is it better to be married than not?
 
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One more question before bed...

This weekend "Wonda" talked to me about co-dependency. To translate it into the language I'm encountering on this site, it really seems like she feels we're too "entangled" in our marital relationship. To be honest, I'm really confused by this. Here are the facts as I understand them:
  • We both agree that it's important to respect each other's differing thoughts, feelings, beliefs, perspectives, preferences, etc.
  • We have a longstanding agreement that I won't call or text her during work hours unless it's an emergency.
  • We make most major financial decisions together, but in our budget we each get weekly Fun Money to spend however we want.
  • We attend the same church, but attend separate small group communities throughout the week.
  • Saturday night is our weekly date night, but Friday night is set aside for her to do whatever she wants: hang out with friends, introvert is up with a book, go to bed early, work out in our home gym, invite me to Netflix and Chill, etc.
  • In life before Covid and baby, we has memberships at separate gyms.
  • Despite having quite similar interests in TV shows and movies, we regularly watch things independently.
  • I've worked hard to make sure Wonda can hang out alone with a friend at least once a week even since having the baby.
  • We've made a habit of not interrupting via phone call or text message when each of us is hanging out with a friend.
  • I've never once objected to her going to a bar alone after work with a male or female co-worker.
  • When she tells me she isn't yet ready to talk about something, I ask when it would be OK to get back to her and don't bring it up until then.
  • To the best of my knowledge, neither of us feels regularly abandoned or rejected by the other in our marriage.
  • Some of our friends are having some mental health challenges from long-term Covid quarantine, but neither of us has balked when the other needed to go spend time helping a friend having a tough time.
  • Before Covid + baby, I'd sometimes go camping alone for a weekend and she'd sometimes stay overnight at a friend's place in another city.
  • We usually join one another when spending time with in-laws, but occasionally one or the other will do it alone because the other is busy.
Sooooooooo... I'm confused. I could see how some of this is an emotional-social hangover from the incredible amount of time we spent alone together during her difficult pregnancy during Covid quarantine, but I'm having a tough time seeing how we're co-dependent/entangled.

Am I missing something?
 

PinkPig

Active member
Am I missing something?
Codependency is much more than just an entangled relationship. It's an enmeshed, unhealthy way of relating, common among those who have been raised in or are in households with addiction, abuse, or members with significant mental health issues. I have struggled with codependency from being raised in an alcoholic home and formerly married to an addict. It is very common, in my experience, to feel like you've lost yourself when you're codependent (or to feel like you never knew yourself.) Codependents are also frequently people pleasers, telling others what they think they want to hear, even when it's not true. Not because they're intentionally deceptive but because they're so accustomed to putting others wants above their own.

It sounds to me like your wife is on the path to discovering who she is and what she wants. Individual therapy is probably helping with that. Instead of bombarding your wife with hundreds of questions and your arguments against what she wants, maybe you should just stop and really listen to what she's trying to tell you. If you've been clear with her (as you have been here), that you do not want a poly relationship, then you really don't need to keep telling her. You just need to wait for her to decide what she's going to do.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
she feels we're too "entangled" in our marital relationship.... I'm having a tough time seeing how we're co-dependent/entangled.

Am I missing something?
Yes.

You've listed a bunch of behaviors - actions. Codependence is about thought patterns, emotional patterns. A person can perform those actions on your list as either a healthy independent or as an enmeshed codependent thinker. A lot of people think that behaviors are what drive co-dependence and they try to feel better by changing their behavior. That article above does this as well. The couple eating meals together every day for 50 years? That could be "creepy" (codependent) or it could be a beautiful experience of their joyfully shared life. Changing behavior is superficial and does not address the thinking pattern, the emotional pattern that underlies the pain of enmeshment. Codependence is always and only ever changed by changing one's thinking patterns.

Any time that another person - any person - has the ability to ruin your day, you are veering into codependence territory. That's my line. And codependence is not limited to couples, it's a way of thinking that applies to all interactions. One need not be in a couple to be a deeply codependent thinker. Codependence is about painful emotional thought patterns. The good news is that you're never at the mercy of another person's cooperation if you want to get to a better place. Codependence can only be addressed by the thinker of the thoughts. Couples do not (and really can not) work on codependence together. Getting to a better feeling, healthier and independent place is something that's done as an individual.
 
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