Total Reprogramming


New member
"All the lonely people, where do they all belong. All the lonely people, where do they all come from." ~Beatles

When my wife initially approached me a few years ago about opening up our relationship, we were in a much different place. I said no because the terms of the arrangement were very restricted. It was only for one occasion we do every year (4 day event). She wasn't ready to open up in our relationship totally, and neither was I.

A month ago she brings it up again, but this time she wants the doors to be wide open. The restrictions are gone. I can date anyone I want and carry on a full relationship with a gf and she can do the same with a new man. Now I begin to think about it. Butterflies in my stomach, little bit of restlessness, little bit of tension. I'm nervous and scared, because

A) My first marriage was a lesson in the moral pillars of monogamy
B) I am both scared of and turned on by my wife having sex with someone else.
C) We have no sex in our marriage, so I am badly in need of sexual intimacy.

The reasons we are doing this is that we have a good marriage. We work well together, we do love each other, we have many good things in our relationship. except sex. She is not motivated by sex at all. Which is a shame because she is very, very sexy....Now she wants me to be happy, she wants me to be honest with her and not lie to her. I love her for that...truely. I may NEVER find another woman who cares so much for me.

But there is more. She still isn't really interested in having sex. She wants to try a long distance relationship via internet with a friend online. We live in North Carolina and he lives in California. I asked her if she wanted to have sex with him and her answer was less than enthusiastic. But that is just how she is.

When she said "lets have an open marriage" I thought she was going to go crazy like I wanted to. I had a VERY hard time believing that sex with others was not her main goal, because it was very much mine. It's just her....she doesn't want it that much...pure and simple.

As much as I love the idea of starting a whole new relationship, I went through (in some cases still going through) a breakdown of the conventional monogamous paradigm. It really shows me the power of social conditioning, and social norms. It is just mind bending how much we are trained in life by the outdated modes of thought. My first wife would rather see me suffer and divorce me than share me with someone else. (However it turned out she was a total hypocrite and cheated on me)

The pros of polyamory as I see them:
1) I am a very social, very flirty person. I can feel free now and not hold back
2) I feel better about myself knowing that I can love my wife enough to let her go, to find her happiness.
3) I love women. I love to talk to them, I love their voices, I love their company. I will always feel that way. I just get along with them better.
4) There are many things that I want to experience that my wife will not do. Now I have the opportunity to try them.
5) I am going back to college early next year. I need not say more.
6) I felt really good telling my wife that it is okay that she begin a new relationship and not feel jealous.
7) My wife and I are very different people...we enjoy different things, like all couples do. We have things we both like, but the things I like I can do with other women now.

Polyamory CONS:

1) Total reprogramming - Not easy to do...but listen to Yoda for encouragement. "Be not afraid to lose the thing you most desire." It is and becomes enlightenment in a very pure form.

Over time the rules we have laid out will change, and we should be open to that possibility.

How many want to share how their rules have changed from the beginning?

How many want to share how their rules have changed from the beginning?

I'm 10 months in to a very committed and very "out publicly" poly relationship. The boundries are the same but they have become refined and better understood between us. Essentially our understanding has changed but not the core of the boundries.

I'm seeing more and more posts of people who's spouse doesn't apparently want sex with them. What is this all about? I can't imagine being married to someone without physical intimacy.
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I'm 10 months in to a very committed and very "out publicly" poly relationship. The boundries are the same but they have become refined and better understood between us. Essentially our understanding has changed but not the core of the boundries.

I would like to explore other people's boundaries and get specific because they define the parameters of the core relationship. Everyone is different about what they expect from each other, or are they? I would think they are not.

I'm seeing more and more posts of people who's spouse doesn't apparently want sex with them. What is this all about? I can't imagine being married to someone without physical intimacy.

All of the pieces with someone fits. All of my needs are met...except one. Now I could easily just say "screw it" and divorce. I could work on it, like I did for several years only to come to an dead end, then divorce. No, I chose to stay faithful, and stay married. I have tried to work with her on it and now, in light of our new arrangement, it seems secondary or even tertiary.

The fact is, she does not derive much pleasure from it. And when someone doesn't like much of anything, its kinda hard to please them. By the same token, the act with her seems more like a chore, so my enthusiasm is gone. Kinda sad, really, but not her fault. She just doesn't like sex with anyone and doesn't think about it much.

However, from this decision I made to stay married, I have now the opportunity to love whomever I want and have sex as often as I like with as much variety as I like. Not such a bad trade off, which is why keeping her happy and staying within the boundaries is important to me.
I would like to explore other people's boundaries and get specific because they define the parameters of the core relationship.
You do know that's a lot to ask, right?

"Hi, I'm beatbox. I would like to get right up in your personal business. Thanks."

Everyone is different about what they expect from each other, or are they? I would think they are not.
Every person, every relationship, and every polyamorous situation is different. In polyamoury, as in life, one size does not fit all.
I was going to go through all previous threads dealing with boundaries but then realized this might not be the best thing to do. Why? Because it looks as if you are asking for an "operator's manual" for a polyamorous life. There are so many ways to approach poly and so many different personalities involved that we can't even agree on what poly is or isn't lol! Boundaries, rules, dynamics, relationship structures are so various there is no set way of negotiating or guidelines that can be applied across the board. Communication and honesty is the only thing that seems to be a constant in all these relationships.

While it is good to read and learn from other people's experiences, it is up to each individual to really discovery why they want things, how they can achieve them and what boundaries they will need to develop to achieve their personal goals...because they are personal.

When people ask how to justify thier interest in poly to a partner I used to offer some I just put that back on them. IMO if you can't come up with logical, understandable and genuine reasons for wanting something..then you don't want it for the right reasons. There are some things that others simply can't understand those cases you just have to find acceptance.
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I'm not sure of your sexual situation with your wife but I have been there. I'm kinda new to all this too and I'm sure that what monovchpvabcd :^) may be referring to is a post I made very similar to yours on Friday. It took my wife and I 15 years before she ever even stared to like sex with me. Of course, we had some good moments over the years but overall, pretty bad. I think she just needed to let herself feel good about herself. I'll be blunt, she started masturbating (she didn't before ... much), thought of other men during our sex, etc. It wasn't until we started really talking about all this and we began a "complete honesty" clause in our conversations did any of this ever surface.
I don't know about everyone else out there, but this openness has been the best thing ever for our sex life. She's unreal ... like a completely different person.
Hopefully, this will happen for you. Talk, talk, talk ... and don't hold anything back. I think even monogamous couples would benefit from doing this.
Oh laurd... ;)

Does there have to be any other reason to be poly other than it just makes sense to you?

If you are starting from ground zero than I don't need a reason or even need to be able to explain it. If you are trying to bring an existing partner online, I'm afraid you'll need to be able to explain it a lot better than it makes sense. Otherwise you may as well plan to split your assets before bringing it up IMO.
First off, I would like to thank everyone for their replies. Perhaps Mono is right, maybe I'm looking for a "manual" from a group of people with varying experience. However, I did not mean to elicit personal information or become this posting interloper.

It's true that the boundaries are different for everyone, I think that's why I was interested to know them. Not because I would use them in my own experience., but because I find the concepts and reasonings behind them interesting in themselves...the whys and the hows ect.....So yes I can see how that is terribly personal, and I would totally understand not wanting to share them with others.

But I think there is merit in exploring this, as I'm sure we all have...

I think I made it clear that my conflict with myself is what I am exploring. I'm writing it out so that I can see with my own eyes what I really feel about this. I am exploring my own hesitations, and weaknesses. I am interested, in a spiritual sense, in facing that which I fear the most. Moving headlong into a frightful situation and overcoming it.....Like I did with quiting smoking.

Overcoming cigarettes made me feel like I could do anything....including letting go of the woman I love more than anyone........

this is a huge spiritual test for me.

Please understand, i mean no disrespect by asking personal things.
No one thinks you are being disrespectful my friend. I also found this forum as a way to work through my own issues. Redpepper then joined and the rest is history :)....ok..not all smiles LOL!

I understand where you are coming from now. I have posted many of my most personal thoughts around my boundaries and you are more than welcome to use any of my experiences in learning about yourself. I apologize if I came off as anything but sharing.

Hope you find what you are looking for and feel free to ask anything :)
Thanks Mono...I appreciate that. This transaction has helped more than you know.

My wife and I had a discussion tonight, again. This time she was asking me if I had been able to read two books we purchased

"The Ethical Slut"
and "Opening Up"

She has already read one of them. I told her that I had not, but that I was looking into other avenues for information as well as reading the latter. She wanted to know what I had posted and I told her to the best of my memory. I told her about some of the responses I received. (I said nothing but nice things)

Then I asked her if she had spoken to her friend....I will call him Scott. She said she had and that he seemed interested in a relationship with my wife. At that moment something deep in me did not want to know the answer to the question. My stomach began to get queasy, like it is now.I lost my appetite. I felt anxious and cold. I began to shiver a little.

But then I realized that Scott and her have a long history together online...they roleplay together with characters and scenarios and the friendship fufills a creative side to her, that makes her happy. So I somehow become happy for her and glad that he's the one she wants to try a relationship with. This all in the span of about 3 perhaps

The physical manifestations are extremely interesting to me. At worst it is seething with jealousy, at the same time, turned on, and sometimes nauseated. Then I remember myself and it goes away.

Then she asks me about my prospects. I begin to tell her that I am NOT, at this moment, interested in a long term relationship. I am interested in short term and non-commital. Ideally a long term relationship is what I'm looking for but now I want to explore the field, so to speak. I tell her that I have a couple of prospects, but that one was a longshot. My mood changes from nervous to confident, but still uninterested in the food.

*The waitress keeps looking at me, so I make eye contact. She is beautiful, and I want to approach her but I don't because I don't want to offend my wife sitting across from....*

Normally I would warn you away from the Ethical Slut but because you are both opening up and admittedly you are looking to play the field...I hold a lot of respect in your honesty by the way..then I think it would be good for you. When you read it, think of it from your perspective and how you want to achieve your relationship goals. It is not a book for those trying to deal with a one sided open or poly relationship in my opinion. It is however the most popular self help book for those looking to open up for themselves.

I must admit I have little to offer in regards to your situation but I wish you the best of everything and thank you for being so honest.

Take care
Peace and love
Joined this forum specifically to reply to this post:

Honestly your wife sounds asexual. I can say this because I myself am an asexual recently in a polyamorous relationship. How it works for us it my two partners (who are pretty damn sexual) handle that part of their relationship, and we share the rest of it.

An asexual is defined as a person who does not experience sexual attraction. That doesn't mean we don't experience emotional or necessarily physical attraction, just that sex is optional rather than required. It usually means we have no sex drive, and in the case we have one (some of us do) it ends at masturbation. There is no desire to involve another person. That's not to say an asexual can't have sex; I very well could if I could work up enough's just so much work to do so it feels like a chore. Haha.

Of course she could just be hyposexual or any other variety of things, but asexuality is an option (and there are more of us than you think ;) )

I recommend if you're interested.
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Wow, cool, thanks for sharing that Ame...!! very interesting.

I have been reading along and I honestly can't seem to muster up on single boundary... I sit here knowing that my husband is getting his dick sucked as we speak and it congers up nothing but a smile....

After a time it just seems like everyday life I guess. It wasn't always, but after a shit load of work, most of which I have written about at length on here, it all flows and seems sooo natural. Why aren't others doing this?!

Okay I will try to conjure up some as I should probably do that at some point....

1. no unsafe sex EVER!!! Lots of discussions and testing must happen before fluid bonding.
2. tell each other where we are and who we are with
3. remember our first responsibility is to our child and his family life.
4. things go as fast as the one who is the least comfortable allows. If one of us is uncomfortable then we slow down to their speed of dealing.
5. honesty and openness always... with tact and in the spirit of being respectful of each others boundaries of knowing details.
6. it's mandatory to know each others lovers. If they don't pass the others inspection and interview (tongue in cheek!) then they are vetoed out.

that's all I can think of for now......
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Awesome RP....Thanks for sharing that with me.

Ame - I think your pretty close. For her I think perhaps the newness of a good relationship can get her going, but it fizzles pretty fast. Her fiance, before she met me cheated on her because of this same thing. I held in there and I'm glad I did. The rewards are becoming apparent.

1) Condoms/testing, no diseases, no babies.
2) No having sex in our bed/house
3) Calling in if I am going to be late, and giving a days notice if I am going over night. which can get tricky. She was very specific about this.
4) I go first. Now, she already has a guy she is working with, but as it comes to sex, I go first.
5) I get sick, she's needs me to get her in a broke down car, I/she has to drop what we are doing with anyone a help out, so to speak.
6) I need, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, reassurance that I am the primary and considered first as it comes to relationships. Her the same, we need to do things for each other on a regular basis. A card, flowers, anything that does that......At least in the beginning. .

Wow, we had more than I thought.

She doesn't need to know my lovers, but if I have found a special one, she would meet her. She does seem very interested though and will probably ask anyway.
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Awesome posts

Great questions, great support.

And I think a lot of people who found this lifestyle realized that Monogamy was stifling all aspects of their lives.

When we made this leap into our new chapter in our lives, all of that changed. All fears were lost when confronting or sharing our lives with one another. Our communication was like switching from dialup to high speed wifi. And because of that, all the aspects of our lives that were stifled were aloud to thrive (and it is amazing!)

One thing I have to say is that there is more pleasing is being in the presence of someone you are attracted to and your primary or theirs. When my wife's boyfriend came over to talk with me and her, it was one of the best experiences I've had out of all of this.

I think having my wife know my lovers is actually a necessity. A: she is my best friend, so why would I not want her to know about my love life. She is the one that will put that relationship into perspective and be able to help me think it out, and vice versa. And believe me, it won't exactly be easy, and you will need to talk it out at times.

One thing I see in all of the really helpful advice posts is "Communicate" and I cannot stress it enough!.
Beatbox, I would add to my list your 2 and 5 and a variation of your 3. Thanks for those reminders.

I would agree entirely on knowing who my husband is involved with. That way we can talk about them and his situation.

I have a thing about knowing who is touching him. It makes me feel closer to them somehow so why would I not want to know who I feel closer to. Does that make sense?
Red Pepper:

I really think we kinda grok about the whole total disclosure thing.