Sensing resentment of our poly “rules”

leaf90

New member
Hi there. I am relatively new to the scene with my partner of 10 years (married for 5). Last year we broke into the scene of “unicorn hunting," if you will, and have always played together. My wife had never dated or had sexual relationships with women, despite always being attracted to them. So we branched out, seeking play partners for FFM.

More recently, we have branched out on dating where my wife and I can seek out other women 1:1. This sounds like it’s not an uncommon setup - where only I can play with the opposite sex, and my wife can only play with the same sex.

Despite my wife being able to get many more dates with women than I, any time I return from a very rare 1:1 date with a woman, I can tell she’s disappointed that she can’t do the same (i.e., with men). Sometimes our taste in women isn’t aligned, so solo makes more sense.

Some of my hesitancy stems from us being socially monogamous (not out to family, friends). I feel it would be very easy for one of my single friends or family to come across my wife’s profile or see her out with another man. This is something I’d rather we not have to speak about with others.

I’m wanting to be accommodating to my wife. I don’t ever want her to feel resentment toward our setup or me. Can this community help me navigate this and overcome what I understand to be a fairly hypocritical/patriarchal setup?
 
Honestly... I would never recommend anyone agree to this. It's a recipe for resentment, and if it's already happening NOW, imagine what it will be like in a year or two.

Why is it okay for your single women friends/family/acquaintances to come across your profile or see you on a date with another woman, but not okay for your wife to be seen with a man? That makes zero sense to me. It would make more sense to have the relationship only open for her to see women, and closed for you, if the goal is to appear heterosexual and monogamous.

If both of you appearing to be heterosexual and monogamous isn't actually a concern, just do the work and open fully.
 
More recently, we have branched out on dating, where my wife and I can seek out other women 1:1. This sounds like it’s not an uncommon setup, where only I can play with the opposite sex, and my wife can only play with the same sex.
Although you might see it as not uncommon, it is not poly. It is patriarchal, as you can see women and she can't see men. This is usually done because a man doesn't see other women as a threat to his marriage, and not realizing that his wife has to look at that "threat" every time he goes on a date.

It also assumes that other women can't have deep emotional connections or give your wife what you have, namely a penis. You'd be wrong about that. The fact is, others of any gender can be a threat to a couple.

The nice thing is, each relationship stands on its own. In monogamy, when you fall in love with another, you must end one relationship. In poly, you don't have to end it. So, in poly, the other relationship is rarely a reason to end a relationship. Usually it's because you stop working on and nurturing your relationship in a way that supports it continuing. You may experience being treated more lovingly in the newer relationship and decide that you no longer want that old distant dynamic in your longer-term relationship.

New partners can bring a magnifying glass to problems in the existing relationship, but believe me when I say they were there all along. The genders of partners does not matter one bit.


Sometimes our taste in women isn’t aligned, so solo makes more sense.
Yes, and it's easier and more likely to be successful. Triads are incredibly difficult to have and maintain. They are very uncommon in polyamory contrary to what media would like to show you.


it would be very easy for one of my single friends or family come across my wife’s profile or see her out with another man
And also you out with another woman. Most dating sites let you subscribe and give the option of not being visible to anyone except those other profiles you have already liked. This means your single brother won't happen across her profile. You can also choose outside areas to date or have a "no PDAs" policy, so you both could explain that you were out with a friend. As long as you both know and consent to this outing, your family should be fine with it.


Can this community help me navigate this and overcome what I understand to be a fairly hypocritical/patriarchal setup?
I'm glad you see this. There are a lot of books that can help. Polysecure, Openeng Up, More than Two, Ethical Slut, and podcasts like Multiamory, which is my personal favorite. I really enjoyed Making Polyamory Work when I was brand new. Also there are tons of posts here to peruse. Please check dates before responding though, as we don't need old threads being woken up.
 
Although you might see it as not uncommon, it is not poly. It is patriarchal as you can see women and she can't see men. This is usually done because men don't see other women as a threat to his marriage. Not realizing that your wife has to look at that "threat" every time you go in a date.

It also assumes that women can't have deep emotional connections or give your wife what you have, namely a penis. You'd be wrong about that. Fact is, any others can be a threat to a couple.

The nice thing is, each relationship stands on its own. In monogamy when you fall in love with another you must end one relationship. In poly, you don't have to end it. So, in poly, the other relationship is rarely a reason to end a relationship. Usually it's because you stop working and nurturing your relationship in a way that supports it continuing. You may experience being treated more lovingly in the newer relationship and decide that you no longer want that old distant dynamic in your longer term relationship.

New partners can bring a magnifying glass to problems in the existing relationship but believe me when I say they were there all along. Gender of partners does not matter one bit.

Yes, and it's easier and more likely to be successful. Triads are incredibly difficult to have and maintain. They are very uncommon in polyamory contrary to what media would like to show you.

And also you out with another woman. Most dating sites let you subscribe and give the option of not being visible to anyone except those other profiles you have already liked. This means your single brother won't happen across her profile. You can also choose outside areas to date or have a no pda policy so you both could explain that you were out with a friend. As long as you both know and consent to this outing, your family should be fine with it.

I'm glad you see this. There's a lot of books that can help. Polysecure, Openeng Up, More than Two, ethical slut, and podcasts like Multiamory which is my personal favorite. I really enjoyed Making Polyamory Work when I was brand new. Also tons of posts here to peruse. Please check dates before responding though, we don't need old threads being woken up.
Thank you, Bobbi. Very informative and judgement-free response. Will check out those resources!
 
Hello leaf90,

I know you don't want to talk to family/friends about your open/poly setup, but I think it's time to establish a new rule, one that says you each can date others of either/any gender. To reduce the chances of your wife being spotted with another man, you could ask her to only date men outside of your city. (In which case you, too, should only date women outside of your city.) But insisting she only date women, is not going over very well. It's time to make a change.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 
I am glad you see this is a patriarchal and hypocritical set-up.

You are going to stop being unicorn hunters. Good first step.

Next, each of you gets to date whom you want, male, female or other. Do what you need to do to be discreet, if you must. If you live in a small town and have a large nosy family, and you don't want to be "out," think about what gay/queer people have to go through to live in the closet. Think of what kind of hoops your and your wife's potential partners will be required to jump through to remain a "dirty little secret" to avoid you having to deal with your families' and vanilla friends' opinions on how you want to live and love others.

If you're trying to be open and poly on the down-low, know that sooner or later, someone's gonna clock you and the secret will be out. Then you will either have to stop dating to please some family member, and feel inauthentic, frustrated, etc., or you will have to do what feels right to you and deal with the consequences in the family. Often some of us can let a few family members or good friends in on the fact that we are poly, and just try not to let Grandma find out... If you think ALL your friends will be shocked and disgusted and make eternal trouble for you, you need to get some new friends. <3
 
Some of my hesitancy stems from us being socially monogamous (not out to family, friends). I feel it would be very easy for one of my single friends or family to come across my wife’s profile or see her out with another man. This is something I’d rather we not have to speak about with others.

Isn't it just as easy for one of her friends or family to come across YOUR online profile, or see YOU out with another woman?

I think you and your wife could talk out this "one penis policy" thing you have going on. Each of you could date whichever gender(s) you are attracted to.

If family/friends spotting you out on a date is a concern -- actually talk about how each of you would handle that. I get that not all your family and friends are supportive, but if that is the case, maybe it's time to expand your friend circle so you DO have supportive friends?

Galagirl
 
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