Where to begin?

Hello all! I joined this site because I have questions about the whole polyamory situation. My wife and I have been together for 10 years. About five years ago we opened up and started having different partners throughout, but never emotional relationships. We have loved it since!! Recently, my wife brought up the discussion about having a girlfriend, for both of us. I am definitely on board but don't know where to begin. She actually wants us to have a serious emotional relationship with another woman for both of us. I know it would entail work on all parties and it probably won't be easy to begin with. We have talked about potentially loving another equally, but we know it will come with different complications and challenges that we haven't yet experienced.

I guess my first couple os questions would be, how do we even begin looking for someone that would like to join our marriage and what are the important aspects of an outsider coming into our marriage that we should consider? Forgive me for sounding naive or vague in my discussion but I hope I could find some helpful insight on this. I know everyone has different situations and not one will ever be the same. And as her an I discuss this further I know I will have more questions. Thank you!
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, welcome.

So it sounds like you and Wife have had sex-only partners for the past 5 years. Have you dated independently of each other, or was it more of a swinger type deal, where you both had to be present for threeway sex?

Sharing a gf-- that will get you two called unicorn hunters. You are correct, those kinds of arrangements are extremely difficult to get going and even harder to maintain. Usually a shared gf may think she wants to date a couple. She assumes she gets 2 for the price of one. A male with a penis and a female who is bi, like her. Unfortunately, once past an initial bout of infatuation (NRE) and maybe a short period of fun threeway sex, the feelings start to develop. Will you like or love her? Will she like or love you? Will she prefer your wife? Did she lie and say she was bi just to get to you in the first place? What if you and she hit it off great, but she's meh about your wife? Do you have to dump her if the feelings of all three of you aren't balanced?

Are you and wife "out" as poly or swingers? Would a serious shared gf be introduced to family and friends of yours as a serious life partner, romantic partner, sex partner, or would she be a dirty little secret, introduced as a platonic friend? Would she get to do birthday and holiday parties with you both? Would she live with you two, or not? Would she be able to have other romantic partners, or would this be a closed triad? What about children she may have or you may have? Would she be expected to babysit your kids when you and wife want to go out?

All too often, a captured unicorn is considered a second-class citizen. She isn't even given her own room. She can't have one-on-one sex with the man or the woman, or one-on-one dates, but they can have one-on-one encounters just as they always have. She is expected to babysit and clean, like a maid/nanny. She thinks she has to play by their rules since they are the established and legal couple. She can't get married to either one of them, so she has no legal protection, can't visit a partner in the hospital, does not automatically inherit anything, etc.

Here is an article that goes into depth about unicorn hunting.

 
Hi and thank you so much for your valuable information and made me realize things I haven't even thought about! I will definitely dive into the article you have suggested and that is greatly appreciated!

But I would like to answer the questions you have brought up as far as my wife and me. We have done both as far as swinging and poly. We are definitely allowed to go independently and have our one on one sessions. We also have a few married friends that share our interest and have the occasional swaps and parties but, as far as the parties, that's more infrequent. Swaps are our usual. We have always had out rules of communication, we have been clear that we weren't out to seek out any boyfriends or girlfriends so yes, it has only been sex only. Which we are both very happy with.

We have both have had a situation in where we both started developing a feeling towards our FWB of our opposite sex. We talked about it and we decided we didn't want to go that route. This happened a couple of years ago and for me and about 3 years ago for her.

We have actually discussed, and a deep discussion at that, about how the person we bring into our marriage would be treated and what we would want and expect from her. We definitely don't want to treat or make her feel like a second class citizen or anything less than an actual love in our relationship. We fantasize, (and I say fantasize because I don't know if I would be possible) but we fantasize about loving her as an equal in our marriage. We would have to tell out friends and family because it wouldn't be right to hide her in the shadows and push her aside. I know its not that way I'm sure.

We have definitely gotten to the part of the discussion where if the scenario comes up that she has more feelings or is more in tune towards one than the other. All I could think of is keeping the communication line open between the three of us and make sure our feelings are definitely known. We would be able to have one on ones with her and it most definitely wouldn't have to be a threesome all the time. There's so much we are thinking about how this would actually work out and we actually are both on board with the idea. But when it comes down, we have decided that if she's willing, we would definitely make her part of our family.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and giving me new things to think about so my wife and I can discuss these! We truly appreciate it!!
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Greetings strangeaddictions85,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

There's a couple of websites you may want to check out regarding your intention to bring a woman into your marriage. They are:
To begin your search for a unicorn, you may want to try one or more poly dating sites. Here are a few you might consider:
"As for where to meet poly people, if by some chance you are interested in anything alternative like Renaissance fairs, goth culture, sci-fi conventions, indie music, bdsm, or any small fringe group, you will be more likely to meet people who have at least heard of poly and are accepting of it."
-- SpaceHippieGeek, Polyamorous Percolations

Even if it's not an "alternative" type group, if there's a club or something in your area that does something you're interested in, you can always join that group and it just gives you a way to get out there and meet people. If you meet someone on a platonic level and get to talking about poly, then they can decide how they feel about it without any "pressure to agree." Then if they do decide poly doesn't bother them too much, and some kind of romantic connection subsequently develops, you'll already have "had the poly conversation" with them.

Hopefully the above helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T., "official greeter" :)

Notes:

There's a *lot* of good info in Golden Nuggets. Have a look!

Please read through the guidelines if you haven't already.

Note: You needn't read every reply to your posts, especially if someone posts in a disagreeable way. Given the size and scope of the site it's hard not to run into the occasional disagreeable person. Please contact the mods if you do (or if you see any spam), and you can block the person if you want.

If you have any questions about the board itself, please private-message a mod and they'll do their best to help.

Welcome aboard!
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Hi and thank you so much for your valuable information and made me realize things I haven't even thought about! I will definitely dive into the article you have suggested and that is greatly appreciated!
Great. Reading up on this complicated and emotion-laden topic is extremely important. It's a huge step to go from swinging to polyamory. We often get people coming here who have been swinging but also dealing with developing feelings for lovers.

If you think about it, and understand the hormones involved, nature has designed us to bond with our sex partners. Oxytocin is released during sex/orgasm, which is the same hormone that bonds a mother to her infant when cuddling and breastfeeding. It makes you want to be with that person. It makes you highly interested in them, infatuated. Even sharing a drink or a meal with people releases oxytocin (in smaller amounts), making you feel more bonded to those you have eaten with.

Of course, this bonding response can vary from person to person. Some people need to fuck and run because of attachment issues from their childhoods, social anxiety, mental illness, sociopathies and so on. In your case, you thought you needed to keep other sexual encounters casual because of the prevalence of a monogamistic structure in society (or at least lip service to it, serial monogamy, etc.).
But I would like to answer the questions you have brought up as far as my wife and me. We have done both as far as swinging and poly. We are definitely allowed to go independently and have our one on one sessions. We also have a few married friends that share our interest and have the occasional swaps and parties... We have always had our rules of communication. We have been clear that we weren't out to seek out boyfriends or girlfriends,. So yes, it has only been sex only. Which we are both very happy with.
You WERE happy with it. But something has changed. When you have sex with a "friend," they may well become more than a friend. From what I have heard, many swingers have rules to prevent couple-bonding with sex partners. YMMV, but some won't allow kissing, or eye contact, or cuddling after sex, or platonic dates, etc., in an effort to keep the original couples' relationships intact. I guess for some swingers, these types of rules and understandings work forever. But others begin to feel those barriers are unnatural and begin to feel unsatisfactory and frustrating. They are fighting Nature, after all, and she is strong! So, they might cheat on their swinging agreements and have a hidden affair. Or they may be ethical about it and learn more about polyamory.
We have both have had a situation in where we both started developing a feeling towards our FWB of our opposite sex. We talked about it and we decided we didn't want to go that route. This happened a couple of years ago for me, and about 3 years ago for her.
How did that feel? Was there grief at those splits?
We have actually discussed, and a deep discussion at that, about how the person we bring into our marriage would be treated...
Please note that you won't be "adding" her "to your relationship," or "bringing her into your marriage." Try to think of her as an individual and you and Wife as individuals. A triad is 3 Vs stacked up.

You + gf (new relationship)
Wife + gf (new relationship)
You + wife (in polyamory, your old relationship will no longer exist; you will forge a new one, deal with jealousy, envy, displacement and other insecurities)

Then you also have the 3way dynamic. Each relationship must be allowed to go at its own pace, and given a chance to be nurtured as required.
and what we would want and expect from her.
You can want and request things, but you can't actually "expect" things. It is not ethical (or reasonable) to build a cage for your unicorn and demand she fit herself into it by twisting herself into a pretzel. That is called being prescriptive.
We definitely don't want to treat or make her feel like a second-class citizen or anything less than an actual love in our relationship. We fantasize, (and I say fantasize because I don't know if I would be possible) about loving her as an equal in our marriage.
She will never be fully an equal, because group marriage is illegal. If you want to set up legal protections for this hypothetical woman you would need to make a point of doing it; if you want to share a home she'd need to be added to the mortgage or lease, etc.

We would have to tell our friends and family because it wouldn't be right to hide her in the shadows and push her aside.
I guess since you are friends with so many swingers this wouldn't be too shocking to do.
We have definitely gotten to the part of the discussion where if the scenario comes up that she has more feelings or is more in tune towards one than the other. All I could think of is keeping the communication line open between the three of us and make sure our feelings are definitely known.
And figure out what to do... Demand a breakup if the feelings are not 100% mutual across the board? Let Wife and gf remain together (if gf doesn't want a relationship with you, after all) and then you go and seek another gf/bf? Break up the marriage and go your own ways?
We would be able to have one-on-ones with her. It most definitely wouldn't have to be a threesome all the time. There's so much we are thinking about how this would actually work out and we actually are both on board with the idea. But when it comes down to it, we have decided that if she's willing, we would definitely make her part of our family.
Keep in mind that she will have needs, requests, ideas and boundaries of her own, which you will need to accommodate. Some of her requests might make you uncomfortable, and that will be on you two to handle respectfully.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and giving me new things to think about so my wife and I can discuss these! We truly appreciate it!!
You're welcome!
 
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ref2018

Maid of All Work
Staff member
We have actually discussed, and a deep discussion at that, about how the person we bring into our marriage would be treated and what we would want and expect from her. We definitely don't want to treat or make her feel like a second class citizen or anything less than an actual love in our relationship. We fantasize, (and I say fantasize because I don't know if I would be possible) but we fantasize about loving her as an equal in our marriage. We would have to tell out friends and family because it wouldn't be right to hide her in the shadows and push her aside. I know its not that way I'm sure.
If you want this hypothetical person that you haven't even met yet to be "an equal" and not feel "like a second class citizen", you need to stop referring to this as "bringing the person into your marriage". You will be building a new relationship with a new person. This has been written about so much, that I suggest you read around the forum because this has been discussed to death. If you can't be bothered to do at least that much work, then you aren't ready for any kind of polyamorous relationship and you should just stick to swinging.
 
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