Partners at Different Stages


Active member
I'm not sure I can wait for her. I might remove the E in ENM cause she's taking too long! I don't want to, but im seriously feeling depressed, anxious, plainly fucked up inside. I NEED TO RELEASE!!!
A threesome will fix all that? For how long? Seems like a lot of weight riding on this encounter, no?

Do you mean physical release like an orgasm (do you not get that with wife?) or release from the "shackles" of monogamy?

How many hours a week do you feel is a reasonable amount of time to spend searching online for a casual sex partner? Do you feel that since she started this process an entire month ago, she should've found someone compatible, desirable and willing already? Are you allowed to point out potential women you like, or is it all on her to find your third?


Well-known member
If you remove the E, be prepared for her to never trust you again.

30 minutes a week is honestly plenty if there aren't lots of new people joining the sites regularly. Finding someone that she's attracted to, you're likely to be attracted to, and interested in couples can be really hard.

Now if there are a lot of new people showing up every day... then a few minutes a day might be more reasonable.

Genuinely curious here... why are you with your wife? You cheat on her. You judge her for not being as enthusiastic about finding someone to fuck so you won't cheat anymore. You judge her for enjoying HER preferred activities (tiktok) instead of focusing on getting YOU laid, again so you won't cheat.

Fucking someone else isn't going to fix this. It might be fun, but it rarely makes an unhappy partnership happier long term.


Active member
You write: " but I do expect her to put forth effort as if it matters to her. She's probably not in a rush because she's quite satisfied with my performance in bed, but what about me?"

Why should she make your "need" for release her problem? She's moving at the level of her interest.

The above statement implies (or says outright?) that you're not satisfied with your wife's performance in bed?

What is at the bottom of your intense "need" for a threesome?


Staff member
I hear that you are tired of your wife's apparent foot dragging. You think her actions or lack thereof indicate selfishness.

You can stay married and just tell her you're tired of waiting. Then you can go and find partners who are willing and eager to date a married man and do the specific sexual activities you desire. It seems like you think she'd file for divorce if you did that though, on the grounds of adultery. You might be ordered to pay more alimony in that scenario.

If you are this angry with your wife, and frustrated that "it's up to women," i.e., her, how sexually satisfied you are allowed to be, it's a shame you don't believe in divorce. I see that watering your own lawn has NOT made your grass greener.

Some people believe it's more important to preserve an institution (marriage) than take action to improve their own lives, of which we only get one. That makes for a life of desperation and frustration.

Unfortunately, no one can force their partner to open a marriage. If they disagree, your only option is to cheat or change your mind about divorce. I see no other way.


Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing out some. I am sorry you struggle. :(

You are not a deviant for wanting something different. Be up front about wanting ethical non-mongamy and not wanting to cheat any more.

It's like you made her the "owner" of all the tasks, but then get upset she's "slow." What tasks were you responsible for in the shared undertaking of "opening up the marriage?"

I'm not sure I can wait for her. I might remove the E in ENM cause she's taking too long! I don't want to, but im seriously feeling depressed, anxious, plainly fucked up inside. I NEED TO RELEASE!!!

Have you told her that you are about to pop? You could print your original post and hand it to her to read.

2 years ago she told me she would rather us have a 3some than me cheat. I have not cheated since. At that point, she swore she was 100% straight, so I didn't feel comfortable making that request. I know I wouldn't have sex with a guy to satisfy her, so why should I subject her to that?

Threesomes are not "the answer." Glad you see that.

I have shown her tons of women, but our preferences are different and she's declined 99% of them.

Another reason for each of your to seek your own other partners then. Rather than trying to pick one to suit both. You have different tastes.

You tried her way for the last month -- this date together thing. It is not panning out. And it really isn't a good idea anyway for couples to unicorn hunt.

Could tell her you are moving on to the next logical step -- dating separate. And you want to have a conversation about it. When is a good appointment time? And shall you schedule with a poly friendly counselor to help guide the talks and keep your both accountable to your tasks in the "opening up"process?

Because maybe that's what been missing. If you can't move it along by yourselves, you need a counselor to help move it along and point out when people are not doing their tasks, not thinking things out well, etc.

Because sometimes a couple can make a PLAN to deal with one thing. But struggle to make a STRATEGY which is a collection of plans to address many moving parts. So professional help might be a worthwhile investment if you want to come through this still married.

How do I encourage her to move this process along without being too pushy and without causing her insecurities to flare?

I grey out the part that is not in your control. Whatever feelings bubble up for her? That's her emotional management to do.

You are trying to do a new thing here -- not cheat any more and be more up front.

So be polite and up front, but firm. You don't have to be pushy or asshole about it. It can be kind but FIRM.

However, she won't let me play alone and says it must be with her. And we are in this pickle.

She is not your boss or mommy. She doesn't "Let you."

What stops you from saying something like

"I need to make you aware. I tried your way for a month and it's not moving along. We also have different tastes and you shoot down what I suggest. I feel frustrated. So let's say we tried that dating together thing already and move on to the next logical step. Dating separate. You find and date your people on your side. I find and date people on my side.
I'd like to make new agreements to date separately. When can we talk about agreements around that? Can we set a time to talk?
And do you want me to schedule a poly counselor to help us talk? I am willing to own that part of the job."

None of that above is being mean or pushy or nasty to her. You can shape it how you like. But take charge of your own life more.

Tell her you have waited as long as you can, and you'd like to move it forward. You already gave her way a fair shake and it's not panning out for the reasons you list above.

And while waiting for the appointment time with counselor to arrive? You could read together or on your own. There's lots of links but maybe start here.

Then move on to others in

They are broken on the Opening Up website but available with wayback machine

In case they help you... all the sheets from the Opening Up Book for your talking with spouse.

Wayback Machine
Creating Authentic Relationships

Wayback Machine
Open Relationship Checklist

Wayback Machine
Reflecting on Change

Wayback Machine
Self Evaluation

You know why? Because that's easy to see progress. You read the thing or did not read the thing to help prepare. Cross off list. Show the counselor.

She read the thing or did not read the thing to help prepare. Cross off list. Show the counselor.

You sound like you want to see some MOVEMENT on this. Not just her aimless seeming poking around on dating websites for both. Take back the responsibility of finding your own dates for yourself. Take back responsibility for doing your fair share of the work.

Cuz you sound like you are willing to go slow, so long as an actual "Open" date is set and you can see some actual preparation steps being taken toward that date.

Like a 6 mos to a year out so you can both read and prepare, make separate accounts for dating money, safer sex agreements, and all the "setting up" stuff you have to do. Which might include some individual therapy or couple therapy depending on what you each need in your situation.

You might be willing to clock some more time doing preparation because now there is an actual STRATEGY to it.

And it is no longer like waiting "forever" kicking it down the road to "someday" and the "someday" never actually comes. That's a recipe for frustration and resentment. And you sound like you already sit at that place.

I could be wrong in my impression. Is that true? You are willing to wait a bit more if there's like ACTUAL preparation strategy, but are getting tired of the "someday never comes" thing?

Its a two way street. We should both be trying to please and if she said she wanted another man, I would work it out with her to make sure she's happy and fulfilled. We only have 1 life to live. I want her to live it to her fullest and I expect the same in return.

This belief of yours might bump into this other belief of yours.

I'm with my wife because I married her and I don't believe in divorce. I believe the grass isn't greener (though it actually could be), we need to water our own grass.

When you cannot have all the things? You may have to answer to the highest value and let some drop then.

I'm not saying to leap right to divorce. I do gently suggest you think this collection of wants and beliefs over though. How have you been "watering?"

  • You don't want to cheat any more.
  • You want to practice ENM
  • She is like a "gatekeeper" because she doesn't want you to play alone because of her insecurity or whatever(??)
  • Or you made her the gatekeeper to assuage past cheating guilt but now regret that (??)
  • But then she's also kind foot dragging on seeking other partners, shoots down the ones you suggest, and then you end up pent up and frustrated.
  • Because YOU do some foot dragging too and don't tell her "No, thanks. Not doing that any more. I'm moving on to next logical step."
I suggest you keep speaking honestly.

You both may need to do some detangling.

And if this truly is hitting brick walls over and over and over no matter what you try different even with a poly friendly counselor guiding steps?

Life is not a dress rehearsal. You can't keep yourself here in the squish forever. It doesn't sound great or healthy for you. :(

You will have to look at your highest values.

And she keeps throwing up walls no matter what logical, next steps you suggest?

Then you may have to accept she is NOT trying to please. You two are NOT compatible for doing ENM together.

And whether or not she wants to live her life to the fullest on her side? You want to be living your life to to fullest on your side. And that ability may have to be through a divorce then. Because there's no other way to get out of the squishy box if she's not wanting to work with you on anything.

I encourage you to do your soul searching and have honest talks with your wife about letting this idea of dating as couple go.

Work on dating separately.

And have the honest divorce talk too. Because while breaking up sucks? It sucks less than going the long way around trying a million wonky things only to end up back on square 1 again.

If she wants one kind of "open" and you want another kind that doesn't match? Part ways amicably so both can pursue open relationships in the styles you prefer with more compatible people rather than banging heads on walls.

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Well-known member
I agree with mags. Seems like she's giving you what she can/wants to. Sounds like she doesn't really want to be open but doesn't want constant cheating either. So she tries but can't wholeheartedly consent to anyone because reasons (maybe she's not actually bi, maybe she's not actually interested but lies to appease you/ try to prevent cheating, maybe she's just nervous, hard to say).

You don't believe in divorce but cheating is okay? Odd priorities, but okay. You do you. You need nonmonogamy? Marrying someone who isn't on the same page was the first mistake. Could fix it by getting divorced or annulled if your location/ religion does that. Could fix it by saying "I'm not doing monogamy anymore. If you can't be open, you can leave, but I won't initiate it." Could fix it by accepting that you choose marriage over additional partners. Could fix it by separating practically and both living your own lives while remaining legally married. Nowhere do you mention or seem to particularly love your wife, so you can let her do what's right for her while you do what's right for you and separate in whatever capacity works without too much heartache on your end. Hard to say how she will feel from just your perspective. Lesson learned for the future for both of you. You know not to engage with monogamous women, she knows not to engage with nonmonogamous men.


Well-known member


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Timsterandwife,

I think you need a reward system for your wife, something she values that you will give her if she'll hurry up a little with finding (a) partner/s for the two of you. Maybe she would like an exotic vacation somewhere, you could offer to give her that as soon as she finds (a) partner/s for the two of you. Just one idea, as an example. What else would she like you to do for her? Honestly, you could ask her directly. "Honey, what kind of reward would motivate you in finding someone for us? or what could I do that would make you feel more enthused about it?" She might have some of her own ideas.

I hear your frustration. I'm sorry she's making you feel like you don't matter to her. I'm sorry she's dragging her feet.

Kevin T.


I'm going to be blunt. You're martyring yourself to this marriage and nurturing a sense of unfairness.

This is not uncommon from what I see both from internet strangers and my own friends. Thing is, it's never going to get better unless both people really want to work towards a common good by stopping valuing the norms of marriage over the autonomy of the people involved. I'm not saying marriage is bad. I'm married. I enjoy my marriage. But we don't let our marriage define our behaviour around interactions with other people. Because we care about each other, we don't do anything inconsiderately.

Can you see yourself moving your marriage to a place where you don't control, overtly or covertly, each other's behaviour? What type of help do you need to get to that place?


Well-known member
I think you need a reward system for your wife, something she values that you will give her if she'll hurry up a little with finding (a) partner/s for the two of you. Maybe she would like an exotic vacation somewhere, you could offer to give her that as soon as she finds (a) partner/s for the two of you.

WHY would it be Timster's job to pass out rewards? WHY is her job to find someone for both?
  • Esp when Timster doesn't want to be doing threesomes?
  • And they aren't attracted to the same type of woman?
  • And unicorn hunting and triads come with problems?
  • She's allowed to be slow in HER dating process. She can go as slow as she wants to on her side.
To me the problem is that they connected their dating processes when really it could be each one dating separately.

Each doing that in their own style. NOT connected to whatever the other one is doing.

I'm not sure I can wait for her. I might remove the E in ENM cause she's taking too long! I don't want to, but im seriously feeling depressed, anxious, plainly fucked up inside. I NEED TO RELEASE!!!

I also wonder why the theoretical vacation has to be put off to be like "reward" when it may be of benefit for them to take it NOW since he's on the verge of popping? If they can afford to do it now? Why not take the time for rest? Relaxing activities? Reconnecting? And maybe having some of these honest talks they need to catch up on?

Could attend to what is here in the present moment and stop putting all these things off to "someday later."