Polyamory/Surviving spouse's NRE


This is a follow-up follow-up. For some reason, I couldn't respond. Maybe we just get two?

You've been extremely helpful. My husband's new girlfriend is part of a couple who opened a year before we did. He met her at a poly potluck he went to. I haven't met her because that's MY boundary. I was told that putting restrictions on who he dated and what they did together was not in the true spirit of polyamory (he loves to cite More Than Two to me), so to protect myself from more pain, I decided I didn't want to know who he was dating, where they went or what they did. Only concession was that he discuss it with me before they became physically intimate. Again,not details, just that they were getting to that point so I could figure out how to deal with it.

I understand that I don't own him, his love or his body, but it still bothers me. It's bad enough to have these images in my head of them together without fleshing them out with a face and body. She wanted to meet me, but was satisfied with a letter I wrote her explaining our agreement.

Divorce is an absolute last option for several reasons. For me, failure isn't losing, it's leaving the game before I've given it everything I have, done all I can do, and there's nothing left to accomplish. I want to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can't handle this before I leave the only man I've loved and separate our daughters from their father.

Again, thank you for any advice you have on handling this.

Hi, again, Leslie.

I again have to stress that what follows is only my opinion based on what you've said, as well as my own hunches and biases.  But I see two big problems in what you just described.

The first is your husband's narrow idea of what is "the true spirit of polyamory."  Because the only thing that is common to the different forms of poly is that the relationships are open and honest. To say that there should be no restrictions is garbage. Every poly relationship is different, and every poly group should - for their own security - have certain ground rules. It sounds to me like your husband has set the ground rules. And his rule is that who he dates is none of your business.  Personally, I find that to be a very bad rule.

But the second problem I see is your resistance to meet the girlfriend. To me, this seems like a form of denial. If you don't meet her, she's less real, therefore less of a threat. Truth is, she could be a delightful person that you'd actually be friends with.

My suspicion, however, is that your husband isn't too keen on this idea. I'm guessing he's never urged you to meet. He seems inclined to keep everything separate. And that's not the healthiest way to have multiple relationships, from what I've seen.

I understand your view on failure, but remember: your marriage is two people. You can give everything you've got, but if your husband isn't doing the same, failure is inevitable.


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Vincent M. Wales


I will answer questions on the subject of Polyamory, including Polyfidelity and other variations.


I "came out" as poly in 1997, though I've felt my poly side strongly for a couple decades longer than that.

I am the founder of PAARC, the Polyamory Awareness & Acceptance Ribbon Campaign. I have also belonged to two local poly organizations.

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