Would really like some advice

imsodizzy

New member
My wife and I have been married for 20 years. As of four weeks ago we have been having some really intimate talks about our relationship. We got married young and had kids young. My wife expressed to me that she was bi-curious as a young teen and never really had the opportunity to explore that part of herself. She brought up to me that she would like to be free to explore connecting with other females and potentially having a physical relationship.

I have been seeing a therapist specializing in polyamory/open marriages the past 3 weeks as I want to make sure our relationship is on completely solid ground before moving forward. My wife is seeing a different therapist to get help processing some traumatic events from her childhood.

I am keeping an open mind and want to give my full effort to find out if this is something that could work in our marriage. I would like to know if it is ok for me to set one boundary as her having meetups and sex with other women only, no men? Is this a realistic boundary? Is it common at all? I may feel differently as I continue therapy or over time in regards to her seeing other men but for right now that is what I feel comfortable with. Currently I have no plans to seek a connection/relationship myself.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
You could ask her if she's willing to start slow and limit it to women only for now since this is all new to both. And tell her you want to be realistic that eventually there could the possibility of her dating men. She bisexual, not lesbian.

And even though you don't currently have plan to seek a connection/relationship yourself? You want to talk that possibility out also.

Including how to end this.
  • It ends well -- where does polyshipping lead?
    • How "out" do you want to be with family, friends, at work?
    • How intertwined or entangled do you want to be with other partners? What kind of open model is going to be practice here?
  • What helps it go well?
    • Avoiding each other's "messy people list?" She agrees not to date your parents, siblings, best friend, boss, kid's teacher? You return the same favor if you ever do decide to date? People who could be a huge mess if things go wahoonie?
    • Doing the work of detangling?
    • Separate personal finances vs shared home finances so dating money doesn't interfere with running the home if you don't already have separate accounts?
    • Safer sex agreements?
    • Agreements not to have any more children?
    • How will you combat poly hell things?
    • Having supportive friends and family?
    • What else?
  • It ends not so well.
    • Like what if you open. One of you likes it and the other doesn't. Then what? Whoever is here, is here. But not more NEW people? Something else?
    • What it if ends up everyone single? Then what?

It's good you are taking it slow and talking to therapists. So talk it ALL out then, so you aren't jumping in blind. And take your time. Maybe you view this as a series of openings.

That's my suggestion.

Galagirl
 
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imsodizzy

New member
You could ask her if she's willing to start slow and limit it to women only for now since this is all new to both. And tell her you want to be realistic that eventually there could the possibility of her dating men. She bisexual, not lesbian.

And even though you don't currently have plan to seek a connection/relationship yourself? You want to talk that possibility out also.

Including how to end this.
  • It ends well -- where does polyshipping lead?
    • How "out" do you want to be with family, friends, at work?
    • How intertwined or entangled do you want to be with other partners? What kind of open model is going to be practice here?
  • What helps it go well?
    • Avoiding each other's "messy people list?" She agrees not to date your parents, siblings, best friend, boss, kid's teacher? You return the same favor if you ever do decide to date? People who could be a huge mess if things go wahoonie?
    • Doing the work of detangling?
    • Separate personal finances vs shared home finances so dating money doesn't interfere with running the home if you don't already have separate accounts?
    • Safer sex agreements?
    • Agreements not to have any more children?
    • How will you combat poly hell things?
    • Having supportive friends and family?
    • What else?
  • It ends not so well.
    • Like what if you open. One of you likes it and the other doesn't. Then what? Whoever is here, is here. But not more NEW people? Something else?
    • What it if ends up everyone single? Then what?

It's good you are taking it slow and talking to therapists. So talk it ALL out then, so you aren't jumping in blind. And take your time. Maybe you view this as a series of openings.

That's my suggestion.

Galagirl
Thank you for that reply. We actually talked more about it tonight and she says she does not want to be limited to just women. She says she wants to feel completely free when going out to meet new people, and that she would rather just not try it at all unless I am on board with any eventualities.

I am trying my best to keep an open mind. I have ordered the book "More than Two" to learn more. Right now I have mixed emotions and know I have a lot more work to do with my therapist and in conversations with my wife.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Well, then you hold off on opening til you have done your personal work with therapist and can deal with her dating either men or women.

If she were willing to start out with just women, maybe you could open now WHILE you are during that personal work, then open up more to include men. Like a series of openings. But if she prefers to wait? That's her preference.

At least you asked, so there's that.

Are you able to articulate what the difference is for you? Like... dating men vs women -- why's one ok now, and the other takes some work?

Galagirl
 

imsodizzy

New member
Are you able to articulate what the difference is for you? Like... dating men vs women -- why's one ok now, and the other takes some work?

Galagirl
I think it really comes down to my own insecurities about my wife sharing her time and affection with others. If she were to just date women in my head I could frame that as I am able to fulfill her emotional/physical needs from a man. That is one part I am struggling with right now.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
If her want is to have more than one partner? As great as you are? And as well as you fulfill her emotional/physical all her Imsodizzy needs? You can't magically turn yourself into two people. Limit of the Universe.

If it is a want (and not a need) and she's willing to just not go there? Maybe that's ok then. Consider carefully, but then decide to just drop the whole thing and not actually go there because you both decide after consideration that's it not worthwhile.

If you have previously framed your specialness or importance to her around being exclusive, being the ONLY partner... you may have to rethink that.

The direct link is wonky, but you can read the free downloads from "Opening Up" on wayback machine. Or get the book.

https://web.archive.org/web/2021022...net/resources/free-downloads-from-opening-up/

Maybe those worksheets help you some.

Galagirl
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I would like to know if it is ok for me to set one boundary as her having meetups and sex with other women only, no men? Is this a realistic boundary? Is it common at all? I may feel differently as I continue therapy or over time in regards to her seeing other men but for right now that is what I feel comfortable with.

You can propose whatever rules you want, and she will need to tell you whether or not she agrees to it.

The more important part of this rule is related to why you want it. Any time we want to restrict someone else's behavior to suit our insecurities, the big thing is to make sure you are honestly exploring why you want it to be in place. Is there something about her having sex with a man that makes it more likely to cause a problem in your relationship? Have you investigated why that feels like reality?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I think it really comes down to my own insecurities about my wife sharing her time and affection with others.

Admitting that it is based in insecurity is a huge first step; good on you.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello imsodizzy,

I think the thing to do is, to let her explore with women only, no men, and in the meantime, you explore your reasons for not wanting her to explore men. However, she is not willing to go that route. She wants full freedom to date both men and women, and if she can't have that, she doesn't want poly at all. So the thing to do is, don't do poly at all right now, but instead, explore your uncomfortable (thoughts and) feelings around her exploring men. When you resolve those uncomfortable feelings, then you can let her do poly (both women and men). Keep reading and posting on this forum, and keep talking to your therapist. Good luck.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
I would like to know if it is ok for me to set one boundary as her having meetups and sex with other women only, no men? Is this a realistic boundary?
temporarily. But you should really face the fact that line won’t hold.


Is it common at all?
yes very. unfortunately what’s worse is the expectation that it will hold indefinitely


I may feel differently as I continue therapy or over time in regards to her seeing other men but for right now that is what I feel comfortable with.
small steps

Currently I have no plans to seek a connection/relationship myself.
I’d leave that door open too. And if and when you do decide to jump in the pool that’s when the hypocrisy card on the opp ( one penis policy ) will be played.
 

tdh

Active member
I think it really comes down to my own insecurities about my wife sharing her time and affection with others. If she were to just date women in my head I could frame that as I am able to fulfill her emotional/physical needs from a man. That is one part I am struggling with right now.
First, relationships are not based on genitalia which us non-bi, non-pan folks sometimes have a hard time getting over. We are attracted to people who we perceive to have bodies of a different type then us mentally, physically, and sexually. Folks who might identify as bi or pan do not feel that way. Its like of like her telling you, "I am sorry but you can only date women taller than me" as a limitation but in the past you have liked women taller and shorter than her because she wants to be the only short woman in your life and you are less likely to love a tall woman. It is really arbitrary and self serving.

You also are lying to yourself. Relationships are not finite thing based a penis and vagina bucket that only gets full with those types of people. Relationships can eb and flow and change overtime as yours has with her and I am sure countless other people regardless sex, gender, or predefined relationship. Look at it more as each new relationship as its own thing and the people in that relationship get to define how it looks. You have no control there.

Where you can live is in your relationship(s). You can figure out if this is right for you. You can figure out if this is more about sexual or relationships for you and your wife. You can learn, grow and share. You can read some Poly or Swinging or Open Relationships based books. You can listen to podcasts. You can see therapists together and seperate (kiddos to doing so!), and you can support each other. You can guess and check if you want a life like Kitchen Poly, V, relationships choas, etc etc,

Easy....no...but that is the part you would not be lying to yourself about. Trying to have the best relationship with your wife and any other future partners and/or metas for yourself possible.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi imsodizzy,

I wonder if part of your discomfort (with her exploring men) arises from the fear of being replaced. Like, you (in theory) can't be replaced by a woman because you have parts that the woman can't supply. Whereas, if your wife dates a man, she will be getting a man's parts from him, and thus will not need you for that anymore. Does this sound about right?

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

Photosynthesis

New member
Boundaries are something that apply to yourself, not other people. It's a description of what you're comfortable with. I'd steer clear of language like what you would 'let her' do. She's going to do what she's going to do, but she'll make her decisions with the knowledge of how you feel, if you communicate that to her.
I think it's not uncommon to experience discomfort at seeing her with other men moreso than you would with women. Whatever the case, if that's how you're thinking you might feel, you should tell her that's how you think you might feel. There's no shame in that, just as there's no shame in mono people not being comfortable with poly at all. Being non-judgemental and honest about your feelings, with both yourself and your wife, is a good thing. Of course, this being said, if you want to become comfortable with your wife being with men, this is something you could explore and develop. But starting with a non-judgemental recognition of your existing feelings is the place to start.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
As a pansexual woman I would remind you that other women can and do have penises (toys) that are probably bigger than yours (or smaller, if yours is "too big"), and stay hard and can go for literal hours, if need be. ;)

Unless there are other things about other men that make you nervous, like more muscles, more money, more hair, better car, etc. It's worth thinking about. We get this question ALL THE TIME. Not to be rude, but it's extremely sexist.
 
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