The Poly Adventure is Just Beginning

tronprogram

New member
For a long time, I've been meaning to post more here about what's going on in my life, but I just haven't brought myself to say anything. I wish I could contribute more to the other threads, but I'm so new and I barely know how to navigate my own waters.

Back in May, my wife proposes an open relationship with wholly different intentions than what I perceived them to be. At the time, she felt like I wasn't interested in our marriage anymore because I didn't really do anything for her and never contributed around the house and seemed uninterested in actively trying to have kids beyond trying the natural way (which hasn't been working). In her eyes, she was giving me a way out this way.

None of this really had to do with infidelity because I wasn't seeing other women. In fact, I was super-paranoid about that and barely talked to women when I didn't need to because I was afraid that the right conversation could go too well at the right place and right time. For years, I've struggled with this urge/temptation to do that and felt ashamed of it.

This open relationship was fascinating because it didn't seem like a way out so much as an unorthodox way to fix things. In addition to my struggles to see other women, my wife and I just have different sex drives. Her's is pretty low compared to mine. Oddly enough, she's had more experience with other partners than I have. She's been my only partner, for the most part. An open relationship would kinda take care of this aspect as well.

So what confused my wife was when I said I wanted to work on our marriage, but also keep it open.

The open experiment only lasted a few weeks because she fizzled on it and I kinda scared off the only girl I'd made good contact with online. However, I've since reconnected with this girl who's poly and we've become very good friends, despite her living 2 hours away. Through her, I've learned more about poly and felt that it offers creative, healthy solutions to some of the problems I have in my marriage and have always had.

The only problem is that my wife's now against it. She's okay with me being friends with this girl, but I'd like more. After beating my head against a wall there, I finally agreed to my wife's terms of friendship-only and she let me meet up with this girl last night as long as we didn't use terms of endearment with each other and didn't have sex.

We avoided those, technically. However, there did come a point where the summer heat got the best of us and we made out. After it was all over, I didn't feel guilty. I still felt like I could go home to my wife and still be a good husband. There have been points where I felt like I was getting too involved with the other girl, but last night wasn't one of them. In fact, ever since examining our relationship and polyamory, I've been able to be a better husband and actually work on the original problems. It just sucks that since I'm working on my wife's problems, she won't let me work on mine. She's afraid that sex will change things with this other girl and that I'll want to leave her. Even though I probably shouldn't have done it, I've come out of the other side of physical contact with my feelings for my wife intact. There's nothing that this poly girl gives me that I'd want to use to replace anything with my wife except for the sexual frustration. That's it.

Otherwise, it feels great having this kind of flexibility and wealth of relationships and emotions.

What are your thoughts? I know I haven't used the best judgment, but I felt the choices I made were okay and I'm ready to take responsibility for them.
 

graviton

New member
If you're ready to take responsibility for them, then own your poly nature and confess to your wife. No healthy relationship can be built when the fear of being found out is present.
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
The summer heat got the best of you? Seriously dude, that is a lame excuse. You made bad choices. Own them.

Breaking boundaries that you agreed on with your wife is not a good way to convince her that you are trustworthy and that poly will be great for her. Your relationship won't be healthy unless you work through this with transparency. Tell her you fucked up.

I recommend the book More Than Two - read it together and discuss everything. Cut it off with this other chick until you can fix things with your wife and she is comfortable with you being poly.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi tronprogram,

It sounds like you may have ventured into some gray area, like your wife didn't say whether kissing was okay, so you just assumed it was okay? In a case like that it's better to ask your wife (before the kissing) and get the specific information from her.

I agree with the others that you should tell your wife about the kissing. You'll have to see where things stand after that, I don't know how your wife will respond.

Probably not quite what you wanted to hear, sorry about that.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

tronprogram

New member
Update: As a shock to no one, Mabel (my wife) was pretty pissed I kissed Penny (the 'g/f'). Stupid me, I guess I just thought Mabel would understand it had nothing to do with her, but it was just me taking care of my needs. Dumb, Tron, dumb.

Nevertheless, the last few days have been fun.

Penny and I are trying like hell not to talk to each other, despite our 'date' going so well the other night. Thankfully, she's pretty patient to wait until I sort things out with Mabel to resume our would-be relationship.

It kills me because at the end of the date, I felt AMAZING. I'd taken the liberty of kissing Penny without Mabel's knowledge or permission because I felt like it wouldn't interfere with my feelings for Mabel (which I knew was the main reason Mabel didn't care for me seeing Penny). At the end of the date, my feelings for Mabel were still intact despite the best kissing I've ever had in my LIFE. I felt GREAT. I felt like I'd beaten the crap out of the temptation dragon and was able to master both worlds--marriage and...not-marriage.

However, Mabel was still worried. Damnit.

We've tried talking about polyamory a little in the days since, but Mabel's just not having it. She's afraid that she'll lose me to Penny or the next girl(s) and she'll just be the dumpy loser that got abandoned. No matter how I try to explain that none of my interest in this is about her, she can't buy it. Probably because my father-in-law and brother-in-law have done this very thing.

Most times we talk, I try to walk Mabel through the steps that led me to polyamory. I try to explain to her how I feel like it will benefit us in the ways that she's always wanted. Her reaction is to tell me I'm sex addicted because we haven't been to church in a couple of years. The only way she'll really try to see things from my perspective is if I'll go back to church with her. (Sigh.)

What hurts more is that when things are really balanced with Penny and Mabel and I do something really nice for both of them, I feel GREAT. That's where the payoff is. (And Penny's kissing!) It makes me cry when I think that I can't have that feeling because Mabel can't understand how good it makes me feel and why I'm doing those things for her. She just thinks I'm smoothing things over with her because I've got a girlfriend on the side. (Sigh.)

I'm sorry for being such a foul-up where poly is concerned, but can you all relate to me? Got any useful tips for how I can recover with Mabel and get back with Penny quicker?
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Got any useful tips for how I can recover with Mabel and get back with Penny quicker?

I'm really just commenting because I don't know how else to follow the thread, and this seems to be a trillion dollar question time and time again ;-) (spoiler: I've yet to see anyone answer it with a win-win-win-win... situation, but I'm dead keep to read a success story).

No matter how I try to explain that none of my interest in this is about her, she can't buy it.

Oh jeez, it better be about her, that's really the point isn't it? Or you'd just divorce and move on.

So tell her it's very much about her. About loving her, about her unusurpable (hmm, is that a word?) place in your life and about wanting to have kids and grow old with her. About wanting to share more experiences and adventures (completely not poly based) with her (i.e. travel, or whatever rings your bell/brought you together in the first place). Well, if that's all true, anyway.

Then (perhaps in an entirely different conversation) tell her about you. That you experience joy, that in your very limited experience so far, you thrive when you freely interact with both her and others in whatever form that interaction takes. And when you're thriving with her, then there is no threat to the marriage. Noone else can be a threat, because there is no competition.

But don't come it from a place of trying to 'convince' her. Just be completely truthful and let her be truthful too. Is she suffering more because of Penny, or more because of the symbol of Penny as your 'way out'? A (potentially emotional trainwreck) transition out of the marriage? Are you doing enough for her (especially while you're grooving on NRE with Penny)? Do you and her really want to pursue intervention options for conception? For goodness sake be completely on the same page 100% before you bring kids into the mix.

all the best
Evie
 

tronprogram

New member
Another update: Mabel, desperate that I wasn't going to give up my polyamorous aspirations anytime soon, outed me to my mother so that they could get me 'help' sooner.

I don't really know what to do. I don't have enough money to my name to move out. I don't feel like I should even cooperate with her at this point. I would still want things to get better for us, but I feel like I've just been manipulated and controlled. She shouldn't get to do that to me.

Of course, now it's scared Penny off big time. :mad: :(

What do I do?
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
You need to drop the relationship with Penny while you work this out. You should never have started a relationship without having your wife on board 100%. This is why poly fails a great deal of the time. I've seen it written here many times - if it isn't a joyful yes, then take it as a no. If you are serious about saving your marriage, dumping Penny is the absolute first step. You need to show your wife that you are committed to her first.

I recommend you try and find a poly-friendly counselor and get in to see him/her right away. You can sort out there if you are going to stay in this marriage or not. I think you had a good shot at convincing your wife to accept you as poly, until you went out and breached her trust. Sorry dude.

Back up and start over. Do some reading and GO SLOW. You can only move at a pace that is comfortable for your wife.

The fact that she told your mom sucks, but if she is freaking out, I can somewhat understand that.
 

nycindie

Active member
Penny deceived you when she told you that polyamory is a great way to solve problems in a marriage/relationship. It should NEVER be considered a way to fix a broken relationship!!! "Relationship broken, add people" is a recipe for disaster every single time!

The only way poly can work is if your relationship is strong and healthy to begin with. There are no Band-Aids for that, you've got to do the work of looking at yourself, re-examining your behaviors, figuring out what you want, confronting yourself and your wife about the failures that have brought you to such unhappiness, and making amends (rebuilding trust) for your transgressions. It's hard to do it alone, best if both people in a couple are committed to healing what's broken.

Leave polyamory, and other women, alone for a while. You don't have to go to church or meet all your wife's demands, but if you want your marriage to be strong and healthy, inspiring, satisfying, and joyful, you do need to step up and make the effort to really LOOK at where it went all wonky, take responsibility for your part in it, and do what you can to create a better relationship for yourself and your wife.

Keep in mind that healing the relationship with your wife might mean staying together, or it might mean splitting up. But only through doing the necessary inner work and coming clean to each other with brutal honesty, can you know what it will be.
 
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Confused

New member
I'm with everyone else. You betrayed your wife when you did something you hadn't agreed on. It's not all about you and your feelings. Talking about it being the best kiss of your life sounds like you're already comparing and your wife isn't coming out well.

You can't heal a relationship when your head is full of someone new against your wife's wishes. If you want your marriage, show your wife she is important to you by working things out and making her feel completely secure before you go off trying new adventures.
 

Candiedlove

New member
I feel for you. It's bullshit that you needed "permission" to kiss Potent. My former metamour was like your wife, fine with an open marriage, as long as it was all on her terms and she controlled everything. So long as I let her control me, and he let her control him, She was vaguely nice. The second I wanted something for myself, she flipped out and threatened divorce.

You don't need that. You've probably lost Penny, but if you establish flexible, accommodating boundaries with your wife, you may have a chance at being freely poly.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi tron,

I think the first thing you have to do is decide, do you want to break up with your wife, or, do you want to patch things up with your wife? Once you have answered that question, you can set goals toward getting what you want.

I'm sorry that Penny got scared off.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

tronprogram

New member
The latest update: I've deleted all correspondence and contact info from Penny, as per Mabel's request. It's been an extremely difficult afternoon/evening for me. I've cried quite often. I still don't understand why I had to give it up. It's not like Mabel came up with some bulletproof logic to explain why she's not even willing to try poly. She was just jealous and wouldn't consider anything so taboo.

I still need to understand polyamory better, though.

The reason I fell for Penny so badly was because we were pretty kindred spirits. Much moreso than Mabel and I. Penny hates the crunch of water chestnuts, both our dads were aircraft mechanics for a few decades, both our families took road trips out West when we were teenagers, we both got a kick out of Devils Tower because of Close Encounters. When I first messaged her on OkCupid, my icebreaker was to talk about our favorite Star Trek: TNG episodes. On top of that, we just have some really good chemistry. Mabel and I sometimes have a hard time filling the silence. A lot of times, I just fill it by talking about movies and movie scores, even if Mabel doesn't say anything back. With Penny, the conversations just last forever effortlessly and she just naturally keeps up with me both in terms of wit and stamina.

On top of that, her situation is just perfect. She's going out with other people because her husband rarely wants sex, but she still loves him dearly and doesn't plan to leave him anytime soon. Plus, he really likes me because I make her laugh and she's really happy talking to me. So I could fall for her several times over and she's still not going to be that available. Also, I'm pretty sure our sexual interests align pretty well too. Toward the end of our date last Saturday, it really felt like the NRE was wearing off, but it was evolving into a more solid relationship that could co-exist extremely well with our marriages and even the long distance. It was just a shame that Mabel couldn't feel more secure about that.

With Mabel, my feelings are less intense. We had little to no NRE when we met and we got married just because we got along so easily otherwise and there was still quite a bit of attraction. There really didn't seem to be much reason for us to break up while we were dating. I wanted to marry her because it was so low-key compared to the past embarrassments I'd suffered at the hands of NRE where I scared girls off most of the time. Mabel's also put up with a lot from me. For two years, she let me stay unemployed so that I could chase my dreams and not have to keep taking entry level job after entry level job. Many people thought she was crazy for it and told her to leave me because I was a bum, but she stayed with me. Then, as if that weren't enough, she also was one of the few people to support me going to grad school to get a film degree. She also makes more money than I do at a job that she hates, but doesn't quit because we can't afford it. So she feels like this is why I should appreciate her and not want to see other women. She can't see that I want to do it because I'm just wired to want that and that I'm wired for sex differently.

One of Mabel's main fears was that Penny would suddenly be single someday and she'd stand no chance of me staying with her. I'll admit that's a legitimate fear of mine, too, but I just tell myself that Penny and I would have an understanding that we'd only see each other if we were both married or both single.

However, I was really starting to see these relationships as having a mutualistic symbiosis. If I could have a day where I spent some nice time with Mabel and got to talk to Penny on the phone for a little bit, I felt like a million bucks. It drove me over the moon, it did! So happy that I just wanted to do really nice things for both of them and not stop. A lot of times, that was more rewarding than the flirting. It was almost euphoric. I felt like Superman because I had hardwiring like a superpower that allowed me to be so strong and supportive of two gals at once. It was weird that it took having two girls to finally get that to kick in for Mabel, but it nevertheless got my gears turning and working in the right way that she wanted them to. I just wish she didn't need to hog that for herself.

Another fear of Mabel's is that if I do see Penny and it goes well, it will eventually go stale after a while and I'll want to date a third girl...and a fourth...and a fifth. This is what my brother-in-law, Duncan, has done with Mabel's sister. I don't know the exact details, but they tried doing an open relationship (at least as far as he was concerned) and it went extremely well at first. Mabel's sister even thought Duncan was being a better husband for a while at the beginning. Eventually, though, he just took on too many partners and barely made time for her. It's gotten to the point now where he's told her it's probably best that they just act as if they were divorced now. (But then he showed up at her apartment a few days later and showered her with expensive gifts for her birthday.) Mabel thinks the same would happen with me.

All along, I've felt like Mabel's family has compared me to Duncan since Mabel and her sister Myrtle are twins and I actually look a little like Duncan as well. However, one difference between us has been the way we treat our wives (except for my kissing on the date). Duncan always blamed his desire to see other women on Myrtle for getting fat and not taking care of herself. He also tells her gems like he would never want people to see them out together and think they were married. I've never said anything remotely like that to Mabel and always tried to be positive about her body, kissing everything but her butt crack and feet. I just try to be positive about everything for the most part. When it comes to wanting a poly relationship, I just emphasize that we have different sex drives through no fault of anyone's. It's just something we didn't realize when we got married and before it gets too out of hand, I'd like to do something about it. Preferably with Penny.

What I want to know is this:

1) How well do mutually-married or mutually-single pacts work with secondary relationships that may be sexier than the primary?
2) How long does it take for that poly-euphoria/superpower to wear off or does it last indefinitely?
3) How common is it to start out feeling like two relationships are enough (a primary and one secondary), only to get bored after a while and want more partners?

To help with the last question, when I felt that euphoric feeling from the 'symbiosis', it seemed like Mabel and Penny were all I needed to feel adequately engaged by relationships. Can I expect that to last or will I eventually get bored and want more partners, like I'm trying to satisfy an addiction?

Thanks for your input. You guys are the only people I know who are familiar with poly now that I'm not talking to Penny. I'm trying to schedule an appointment with a poly-friendly therapist, but he's really busy it seems.
 

nycindie

Active member
I still don't understand why I had to give it up . . . Thanks for your input.
Ummm, did you actually read any of the replies you got? It doesn't seem like you did at all, if you're saying you don't know why you have to give up seeing Penny again, and you are still asking questions about how you can get what you want.

So, in case you didn't read everyone's responses, weren't really paying attention, or just plain didn't like what you read, here are the reasons why:

YOUR WIFE DOES NOT CONSENT TO A POLYAMOROUS ARRANGEMENT AT THIS TIME.

YOU HAVE ISSUES IN YOUR MARRIAGE THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN ORDER TO MAKE IT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP.

A RELATIONSHIP HAS TO BE VERY STRONG, STABLE, AND MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL BEFORE IT IS OPENED UP TO POLYAMORY.

Forget about having other relationships for now! You are the one who said you want to work on your marriage. So, then? What are you going to do to make that happen?
 

tronprogram

New member
Ummm, did you actually read any of the replies you got? It doesn't seem like you did at all, if you're saying you don't know why you have to give up seeing Penny again, and you are still asking questions about how you can get what you want.

Apparently, I didn't explain that enough. Yes, I understand my wife doesn't consent to it and there's no way around that right now. That is why I gave it up. However, I just don't understand why she feels the way she does. Yes, I nicked her trust by talking to and kissing Penny when I wasn't supposed to. But in the context of everything else, those shouldn't have been huge infractions. It's that greater context that she's not seeing and is completely uninterested in understanding.

I've heard her reasoning for not wanting to live this lifestyle, but it's based on a lot of hearsay and conjecture, not the opinions of mental health professionals--which is how I learned about the concept in the first place. She keeps looking to her sister's marriage as if it's the only poly-ish paradigm out there and uses those failures to rule out its legitimacy. Not to mention poly is still very taboo for her. I feel like she's still at the same place I used to be, where you just didn't stare too long at these ideas lest you be seduced by them. After this whole experience, I've seen how dangerous and ineffective that is and I want to learn all the facts before I make a decision on something. Unfortunately, I think you can still find facts to support any bias, so that may not help us, either.

YOU HAVE ISSUES IN YOUR MARRIAGE THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN ORDER TO MAKE IT A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP.

At this point, I'm not sure who needs to work on what. Yes, this whole situation started because Mabel felt that I wasn't contributing to our marriage and wasn't interested in her. However, once I dug into open relationships and poly, I think 'The Chase' revitalized some of my romantic energy to the point that I kicked in and actually started doing those things for her. Once I was doing that, I felt it was just a matter of making sure it didn't take me away from her and I was able to still spend the same amount of time with her--internally and externally. At first, it was hard to keep the NRE with Penny in check like that, but I was starting to get the hang of it before I had to give it up completely.

One big question that I might need to ask myself, though, is why I need to chase other people in order to jumpstart my interest in my wife? Once I'm up and running, I feel like I can keep the momentum going and maybe even increase it. It's just that Mabel alone doesn't inspire me that way. I'm not talking about sexually, because we're still fine there. It's just that I feel it takes extra energy to get my heart right where she wants it so that I'm thinking about us, I'm being considerate and thoughtful of her, and all that stuff. Should I feel bad about this? It doesn't keep me from being miserable around her, because we can still spend really good time together. It's just not as magical to me. Not that I feel entitled to magic, though. This exposure to open relationships, poly, and certainly Penny has just reminded me that I like magic and wish I had it in my life. It seems like it shouldn't be the big of a deal if it brings about positive things for Mabel.

A RELATIONSHIP HAS TO BE VERY STRONG, STABLE, AND MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL BEFORE IT IS OPENED UP TO POLYAMORY.

No, I definitely get this.

Forget about having other relationships for now! You are the one who said you want to work on your marriage. So, then? What are you going to do to make that happen?

Well, I stopped talking to Penny. (Sigh.) I'm going to try and see a poly-friendly therapist ASAP. I'm also just going to read more about this and learn more about my feelings, Mabel's feelings and what I can do about them.
 

YouAreHere

Well-known member
However, I just don't understand why she feels the way she does. Yes, I nicked her trust by talking to and kissing Penny when I wasn't supposed to. But in the context of everything else, those shouldn't have been huge infractions. It's that greater context that she's not seeing and is completely uninterested in understanding.

Ouch. You're saying that yes, you betrayed her trust, but then in the next sentence you say that shouldn't be a big deal.

YES. It IS a big deal!

Why would she want to see your "big picture" when you're invalidating the one right in front of her? Is it too much to believe that maybe she doesn't believe you, especially when her trust in you is shattered? Maybe what she's seen and experienced is going to weigh more than your words right now, and that will take time and a lot of work (yes, on your part!) to get through.

I've heard her reasoning for not wanting to live this lifestyle, but it's based on a lot of hearsay and conjecture, not the opinions of mental health professionals--which is how I learned about the concept in the first place.

She doesn't want it. Trying to tell her that mental health professionals think she's wrong is insulting, almost to the point of telling her that she's crazy for not wanting it.

I believe most mental health professionals would say that yes, there can be benefits to poly, but not if one partner is coerced or browbeaten into it. Most of Poly's benefits just *aren't* benefits to some people (me, for instance).

At first, it was hard to keep the NRE with Penny in check like that, but I was starting to get the hang of it before I had to give it up completely.

I'm willing to bet that in a year, you'll look back on yourself now and realize that the NRE is still strong. You're basing lifelong connections on common experiences that may or may not mean there's an actual connection. I took road trips as a kid too... so did many, many other people. The fact that you and your wife don't communicate well (or about much) would certainly fuel that NRE (I'm getting this thing here that I don't get here), and it's why everyone recommends that you work on your relationship with your wife first.

If you tell your wife that you're missing THESE things to feel fulfilled, and you work on them together, rather than ignoring it because you're getting it elsewhere, you're going to have a better foundation to start from.

One big question that I might need to ask myself, though, is why I need to chase other people in order to jumpstart my interest in my wife? Once I'm up and running, I feel like I can keep the momentum going and maybe even increase it. It's just that Mabel alone doesn't inspire me that way. I'm not talking about sexually, because we're still fine there. It's just that I feel it takes extra energy to get my heart right where she wants it so that I'm thinking about us, I'm being considerate and thoughtful of her, and all that stuff. Should I feel bad about this? It doesn't keep me from being miserable around her, because we can still spend really good time together. It's just not as magical to me. Not that I feel entitled to magic, though. This exposure to open relationships, poly, and certainly Penny has just reminded me that I like magic and wish I had it in my life. It seems like it shouldn't be the big of a deal if it brings about positive things for Mabel.

Be careful you don't start defining what's "positive for Mabel" - that's her job.
This entire paragraph sounds like a justification for not working on your marriage, and hoping that finding emotional connection elsewhere will help fix your marriage for you. That's not how this works. It's going to highlight and expose every. single. crack in your marriage. Every one.

Well, I stopped talking to Penny. (Sigh.) I'm going to try and see a poly-friendly therapist ASAP. I'm also just going to read more about this and learn more about my feelings, Mabel's feelings and what I can do about them.

I forget - is Mabel going to counseling? Either alone, or couple's counseling with you? I do recommend the latter. It helps to have tools to communicate with each other when that communication isn't happening all that well. Maybe it can also help you discuss what you feel you want from your marriage, and see if that's attainable.
 

tronprogram

New member
Ouch. You're saying that yes, you betrayed her trust, but then in the next sentence you say that shouldn't be a big deal.

YES. It IS a big deal!

Why would she want to see your "big picture" when you're invalidating the one right in front of her? Is it too much to believe that maybe she doesn't believe you, especially when her trust in you is shattered? Maybe what she's seen and experienced is going to weigh more than your words right now, and that will take time and a lot of work (yes, on your part!) to get through.

True.

She doesn't want it. Trying to tell her that mental health professionals think she's wrong is insulting, almost to the point of telling her that she's crazy for not wanting it.

I believe most mental health professionals would say that yes, there can be benefits to poly, but not if one partner is coerced or browbeaten into it. Most of Poly's benefits just *aren't* benefits to some people (me, for instance).

I'm just frustrated that she won't try to explore the idea of polyamory the way I have, even if it's to show me why it won't work. It's just so taboo to her and she's seen what she thinks it's done to her sister and she won't really use any arguments against it beyond those. When I found out about polyamory, I was already learning about it from more objective, credible sources than the ones she's using to talk me out of it. Yes, I'm willing to give her some leeway by not talking to Penny because I want to show her that it's not more important than her. However, I feel like it's still important to us that I understand what's going on with myself and not rule out any solutions based on hearsay and conjecture. And yes, that might even include opening up more to things that aren't polyamory.

I'm willing to bet that in a year, you'll look back on yourself now and realize that the NRE is still strong. You're basing lifelong connections on common experiences that may or may not mean there's an actual connection. I took road trips as a kid too... so did many, many other people. The fact that you and your wife don't communicate well (or about much) would certainly fuel that NRE (I'm getting this thing here that I don't get here), and it's why everyone recommends that you work on your relationship with your wife first.

Hopefully that NRE can be picked up again someday.

But will working on the relationship proliferate my feelings for Mabel or am I destined to just have the relatively same attractions to her that I've always had? Nowadays, more of those feelings come from our commitment to each other and the growing investment we make in each other as time goes on. Those do grow over time and have.

If you tell your wife that you're missing THESE things to feel fulfilled, and you work on them together, rather than ignoring it because you're getting it elsewhere, you're going to have a better foundation to start from.

I mean maybe we need to have better guidance in this, but we've tried several times over the years to work on this. I feel like I've put a lot of effort into communicating with her about what I want and we've both suggested solutions, but nothing long-term has worked. Up until all this started, I just thought that I hadn't learned how to reach her as a lover because I was about as inexperienced as you can get when we met. Even when I tried to give up talking to Penny one of the first times, I was going to redirect my energy into Mabel and finding out what made her tick. So I tried to present some things I wanted to try with her, tried to do it with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm, but she just didn't get into it. It was like hitting a padded brick wall. Around that time, I started reading articles on Psychology Today that suggested we were just wired differently, so I thought that made total sense. It really did feel like I was running circles around her all the time.

I'm up for exploring more ideas and other outlets for my extra energy and desires, but so far poly seems like the best fit.

Be careful you don't start defining what's "positive for Mabel" - that's her job.

Hmm. True. I mean, I guess this is really where I'm putting the cart before the horse and jumping the gun. I've read all the articles about unlearning jealousy and compersion and confronting your insecurities. But Mabel hasn't. I held off a while doing that because I was afraid she would see it as me trying to turn her into a doormat so I could have my shenanigans. When it came up the other night in one of our spats, that's exactly how she took it. (Great going there, tron! Yeah!)

Legitimately, I do think she needs to confront this stuff whether I'm poly or not. However, I guess it's just something that will need to wait until she's ready.

This entire paragraph sounds like a justification for not working on your marriage, and hoping that finding emotional connection elsewhere will help fix your marriage for you. That's not how this works. It's going to highlight and expose every. single. crack in your marriage. Every one.

For the most part, I didn't think we needed that much work. She had problems that I've been working on to her satisfaction and then I had my small issues with the sex. Different problems seemed to get fixed at different times, but never at once and never for a very long while.

I forget - is Mabel going to counseling? Either alone, or couple's counseling with you? I do recommend the latter. It helps to have tools to communicate with each other when that communication isn't happening all that well. Maybe it can also help you discuss what you feel you want from your marriage, and see if that's attainable.

No, Mabel isn't going to counseling. She didn't even ask me to make a more serious effort to talk to a therapist before she outed me to my mom. I was waiting to hear back from one, but she never told me to follow up on it more. Plus, it was only after she sent that text to Mom that she found a counselor that she wanted me to try. Ugh. Frustrating woman. :rolleyes:
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from tronprogram):
"I still need to understand polyamory better, though."

We'll try to help, e.g., answer your questions, etc.

Re: Mabel ... she isn't ready to accept poly yet, and may be hardwired to remain that way for life. :(

Re:
"How well do mutually-married or mutually-single pacts work with secondary relationships that may be sexier than the primary?"

That's rather specific; I don't know of a lot of situations that would fit that exact description. I would say that being mutually married or mutually single probably doesn't affect the odds of success very much.

Re:
"How long does it take for that poly-euphoria/superpower to wear off or does it last indefinitely?"

I would say that is NRE; they say it lasts at least several months and up to a few years.

Re:
"How common is it to start out feeling like two relationships are enough, only to get bored after a while and want more partners?"

It certainly happens and is not unheard-of. I wouldn't call it super common, but it's at least a little bit common.

At the end of the day, NRE does wear off and you do have to decide whether you'll always be chasing the next shiny object that comes along. Even in poly, there comes a time when it's best we should say, "I'll content myself with just these two." Or three or some small number. Unless it's solo poly, or you're just kind of moving from partner to partner. In your situation, you have a wife, and that means commitment. Just adding more and more partners ... is like adding more and more cards to a house of cards. Sooner or later it's going to collapse.
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
1) How well do mutually-married or mutually-single pacts work with secondary relationships that may be sexier than the primary?

I think both my guys are pretty damn sexy, so I have no input here!

2) How long does it take for that poly-euphoria/superpower to wear off or does it last indefinitely?

Depends on the person and the relationship. 3 months to 2 years. I personally still have crazy NRE for my husband of almost 10 years.

3) How common is it to start out feeling like two relationships are enough (a primary and one secondary), only to get bored after a while and want more partners?

I dunno. I don't go searching for other partners because I am bored. I search for other partners because either I am horny or I unexpectedly hit it off with someone. Doesn't matter how many partners I have, though I don't think I could handle a third primary partner due to time constraints.
 

tronprogram

New member
At the end of the day, NRE does wear off and you do have to decide whether you'll always be chasing the next shiny object that comes along. Even in poly, there comes a time when it's best we should say, "I'll content myself with just these two." Or three or some small number. Unless it's solo poly, or you're just kind of moving from partner to partner. In your situation, you have a wife, and that means commitment. Just adding more and more partners ... is like adding more and more cards to a house of cards. Sooner or later it's going to collapse.

Well, ideally, I would like to be content with just Mabel and Penny. But to hear Mabel talk about her sister's arrangement with her husband, this was supposedly how he started too and even as recent as today, that's been a disaster.

Of course, earlier today, I started thinking about how it might go more smoothly if Mabel participated in the poly circle with me and Penny. Not really in the bedroom, per se, but just in terms of our families coming together and doing stuff together occasionally like going out to dinner and seeing a movie because we're that close and trusting of one another. That way, Mabel could trust Penny more because she'd know her better and wouldn't feel like we were hiding anything from her that she wouldn't like.

I knew this was going to sound like a batsh*t crazy idea to Mabel, but I just wanted to try it anyway. Her reaction was pretty much what I expected, though. I told her that Sara and Josh seemed like good people and Mabel said, "I don't want to have anything to do with that b*tch." Ouch. Guess it's too much to ask to have those two get along because they share me in common.

It's just driving me nuts that Mabel isn't open at all to broadening our horizons with me for the chance of improving our marriage and making it more interesting. It sounds selfish now because I'm the only one who wants it. But I really wish she'd get on board so she could share it with me. It seems like she's got the desire in there somewhere if she suggested it once. It's just a matter of getting her to let go of her inhibitions. Yet another insurmountable task.

Again, thanks for your all's input even if it's made me look like a jerk. :p
 
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