By - polyannamous567
> He says he's in love with her and that he should be allowed to pursue her if I'm not interested.
"Go ahead. I'll be pursuing a divorce lawyer."
I also immediately stopped reading to comment on this massive red flag. Dude is almost certainly having an emotional affair already and is too scared to leave his wife.
This is the most relevant response. You’re going about things as ethically as one could considering he sprung this up on you.
If he’s not willing to do the emotional work, I would be looking for pathways to divorce.
I stopped reading when I saw 40M and 24F coworker wtf. Aside from the age (cuz thats 2 different places in life) just the fact that they work together is so many flags.
I'm shocked , shocked, that this guy is trying to UH and is not interested in doing any hard work about the relationship.
I’m not. People who try to jump into polyamory raw without doing any research do this ALL the time.
Oh, I was being sarcastic 😂
That completely went over my head 😂😂
Seriously, this girl is barely over half his age, and a co-worker. That alone is two huge red flags. I mean it’s solidly gross that this man who is old enough to be this kid’s father wants to stick his dick into her. And HR? Like can we picture HR here?
Add the giant relationship red flag about dumbass husband being “in love” with this near child and demanding that he not have to open in a reasonable way.
OP, divorce this man before he gets himself fired and sends your finances into the shitter. He’s told you how little he values his relationship with you.
Or knocks her up and you end up literally paying for his mistakes for the next two decades.
24 isn’t a kid. But the coworker thing concerns me that they’re at very different seniority in the office, and that makes the difference in terms of whether this is predatory.
Compared to a 40 year old? This woman is a kid. She’s at a completely different point in her life. The fact that OP’s selfish as fuck husband is targeting someone that much younger than he is really adds to the 🚩 Giant Red Flag 🚩 that is this particular clusterfuck. He is targeting her specifically because she does not have the life experience to realise what a total sack of shit he is.
I really hope she gets him fired, but sadly HR often sides against victims of harassment.
More red flags from OPs husband than a communist brigade. Ditch the husband.
So many red flags!
His behavior is manipulative and harmful. You are going about this the right way in trying to educate yourself and work with him to set up boundaries. Honestly sounds like you’d fit very well in non-monogamous relationships. Him, not at all.
If he stays resolute that this is his need, then it might be time to separate from from each other. He clearly is ignoring your very reasonable requests for his desires. Being unable to discuss your boundaries out of keeping from fighting is a miserable experience and you deserve better than that.
Straight honesty on the poly/swinging side of things, it kinda looked like fun. I view things very rationally and once all the agreements were in place, I would have been down for a 3some. But, not with her. There are too many knots if she's involved because he can't see anything beyond her and he refuses to even talk about it.
You are correct in this assumption. Opening your marriage for the first time just so he can fuck his 24 year old coworker is a literal recipe for disaster.
I’m sorry this is happening to you.
Since you seem to be interested in poly, why not check in with him with a couple scenarios.
1. Would he be into having a threesome with a person of your choosing? Another male?
2. What if you pursue someone he isn't interested in? Is he allowed to have feedback on that, or is that just him willing his jealously into existence?
He was ok with mmf when he thought he was going to get with her and I but the moment I said wait I'm not sure, he recanted. No mmf unless ffm first.
He says he's never jealous.
You will never get a mmf with him. Even if you let him have what he wants he'll find a reason not to give you that.
It kinda feels like he's just saying anything to get what he wants. If he's going to change his mind so quickly after it turns out he won't get what he wants...
It's hard to believe someone who says they never get jealous when it doesn't seem like they thought any of it through. No MMF til FFM as a rule, seems, well, a bit like jealousy.
Someone who is obsessed with someone is someone who feels jealousy. Do you think he'd be ok if coworker wasn't interested in dating him individually, but wanted to date you instead? That happens often enough, and honestly sounds likely in your situation.
> He says he's never jealous.
He's really bad at lying.
So he’s only willing to grant you (ugh, as if it’s his to grant) the same sexual freedom he wants is if you give into his manipulations? Girl, get out. Let him chase a 24yo like an idiot and laugh in his face when comes back groveling about how he fucked up. Does this 24yo even *like* him, or is she weirded out by the creepy dude twice her age who won’t leave her alone?
Sounds like he has a huge crush and is being a huge idiot. Sorry, OP. Does he have a history of being this irrational? If so, this doesn’t bode well. If not, maybe insist he see a therapist or a doctor.
Does he have any trusted friends who could tell him he’s being a tool and maybe actually get him to listen?
His words don’t seem to be in sync with his actions, so there’s that
I laughed out loud about this, even feeling hard for OP here. But it is amazing what flipping the script will do sometimes!
OP's husband is already freaking out about reading some books. No need to test him to see if he's suggesting this in good faith. He's not.
This right here is a very important conversation to have, OP!
You seem open to the idea of poly, so if that is the case these are very usual conversations to have that he should be open to as well if he is also legitimately open to it.
But if he is just looking for a free hall pass to have an affair with his co-worker, you will know very quickly after talking through these questions with him.
it seems from here that he’s ready to rock & roll, but wants you to be the responsible baddy so he can blame the divorce on you.
because that’s where this is headed; he’s not poly, he’s a jerk.
there's a reason my wife and i set the boundary that we don't get involved with people we knew before we opened up. it's messy af.
like all boundaries, there may be opportunities to discuss it at a later date or to make exceptions, but it's there as a general rule.
If you can stomach it, you could just let him pursue her while you also go get another man. It's sort of petty advice, but if you don't want a divorce, then, idk two can play at this game?
As I'm typing this I see how bad of an idea it is.
However, I was once a 24 year old, many moons ago, and if they're still the same, she's not going to last in his life.
I'm a lot closer to your age and I feel like men are still willing to line up for me. I'd imagine you'd have your choice.
Truly appreciate you for trying to give OP another option while also saying how bad of an idea it is.
OP if you’re 100% against a divorce and no amount of convincing is going to change your mind, this _could_ be a (probably bad) option.
Find someone you have interest in, insist on dating them, and see what happens.
(Most likely your relationship will explode, but it is another option.)
I was also 24 before. No way does she last in his life, no fucking way. Is he her superior? I'd bring that up. He loves her but maybe he is me too-ing this girl. It is DUMB to sleep with people from work. I say that as a sex positive person who would break that rule, potentially for the right mature person after many "rules" conversations and beating myself up about wanting to for at least 1 yr. I'm not desperate, there's no rush, I can fuck other people. Can your husband? Is he (conventionally) attractive? does he have game? If he didn't work with this woman, is there ANY chance shed be interested in him at all? These are hard questions to ask: "you have no hair and a giant beer belly" is not the way to start it, that's all I know.
She is literally the only person under the age of 60 other than him at his work. He isn't ugly. He has no game. I'm not really sure she's that into him. I think she wanted the novelty of a 3some. If she didn't work with him, I don't know that he'd put time into her. And I warned him against work related romance as it can blow up with getting fired.
If he's already pitched a threesome to her, he is very likely already fucking her. This is not a conversation a guy with "no game" is going to have with a coworker he's crushing on but is not involved with already. No. Way.
This is a good point. People generally don’t just go from zero to threesome. It can happen though!
OP can take comfort in the fact that this 24yo is going to outgrow a manchild twice her age and dump his ass.
I agree that if he asked her for a 3some it didn't come out of the blue. They've been talking about sex at the very least. He loves her. Theyve gotta be fucking. Still tell him he's a fucking creep if he's her boss. You didn't answer. And if he is her boss, yo. When you talk to this woman, find out. Is she being coerced. Tell her you are not opposed to the idea of opening up (& the timeline in which he told you) your marriage but you are concerned for her. She knows when/how the alleged affair/inappropriate workplace behavior began, you don't need to shit talk your husband. However do say that if she feels coercion, you will stand beside her. You will support and believe her. She is/could be your ally. Tell her morally, you don't want to stay with a sexual predator, and so to please let her know. Both of you have a possibility for great financial gain if you work together, both in a lawsuit against the company and/after your divorce proceeding that will go faster. You can make a pact to testify for eachother. Give her your contact info, pay for whatever food/coffee/activity you do upon meeting and tell her you are always there to hear her out if she ever wants to talk about it. Cha-ching. She's 24, ain't no way she doesn't at least entertain the idea, this is a food for thought conversation more than anything. What do you think?
It's gross to turn OPs husband potentially being predatory towards a young woman he works with into a cash-in for OP. Like, even going there is weird af to me.
Yeah, I’m also confused about how this is even allowed at work? Sounds like mid-life crisis territory — he’s about to blow up his career and his marriage.
He works in another department but she's been his smoking buddy for a few years. Everyone else in the building is 60+ with the exception of his very pregnant boss. He goes for a walk to smoke and they talk about everything. Has this been going on for long and have they talked about sex? Probably. I doubt this came from nothing. What's her take on it? I only have his words. Have they done anything? I don't know. I would have said he wasn't one to lie before this and he says no. He tells me she loves him back but until I tell her it won't come between us and everything is OK with me, she won't make a move. I don't think that's true. But how and where the lie is, I don't know.
Here's another relationship point to consider: it doesn't actually matter whether he's lying or where the lie is. You already don't trust him.
No relationship works without trust. If he can't earn yours back, if you keep having this many reasons not to trust him, it's irrelevant where he's actually lying - your relationship has a trust problem.
Do not do Poly with this person. In fact I highly recommend leaving this asshole. YOu are right, reading, thought, care and discussion are a huge part of poly. You go explore that one your own with all the education and you will prob have a blast. Him not so much
He doesn’t want to explore the poly life. He wants his cake and wants to eat it too. If he hasn’t already, he just wants to sleep with this woman without getting into trouble with his wife. Sounds like a really respectful partner. /s
Your husband is being a massive jerk.
And that’s putting it softly
**Your husband is being a selfish child pursuing someone half his age at the expense of his 20-year long relationship with his wife.**
Why is he willing to throw it all away in 2 months? If this is uncharacteristic for him, perhaps he may have some sort of brain injury or undiagnosed issue? This type of sudden shift in behavior and personality can be a sign of serious illness.
This is not polyamory.
does a "Mid life crisis" count?
Very toxic man. He’s prolly already doing her kinda thing. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t live with someone like that
maybe not already sleeping with her, but definitely already emotionally involved. depending on the agreed upon structure between OP and their husband, he may be cheating already (and it kinda sounds like he is). he's just seeking OPs permission to fuck the college age woman.
I’m guessing he’s cheating in his head only, and is coming up on a very rude awakening about how many 24 year olds actually want to sleep with their 40 year old coworkers.
Yea, idk, I know a handful of women that age that will only date older men because of expectations and experiences around emotional stability and availability.
But usually, that manifests toward men closer to their 50’s.
But I’ve also been in some work environments that were somehow VERY sexually charged and there were affairs happening all over the place with bigger age gaps and power imbalances.
I like the idea that he’s in for a rude awakening, but I’ve seen similar scenarios play out so I think it’s believable that they’re already involved. Esp if he’s saying he’s in love with her and can’t be happy without her.
>He says he's in love with her and that he should be allowed to pursue her if I'm not interested
And you can divorce him.
>He insists that he doesn't need to follow advice from other people and that he can "blaze his own path" to happiness
Yes, and this is what he is doing. Don't fight over this. Just start divorce proceedings because this is a guy who is not open to reason, not interested in being respectful or doing things the right way.
Does he struggle with a mental illness? A personality disorder? Is he manic?
>He says I'm jealous and insecure and that if I talk about it, I'm willing it into existence
He is triggering you to manipulate you. Don't fall for it. Don't discuss with him. Don't agree to a threesome with the coworker. Just end the marriage.
Mania was where my brain immediately went as well. This sounds like a manic, throw-everything-out-the-window-for-this-new-shiny kind of deal. But if he’s willing to burn everything down for another person after you told him it’s a hard limit, then you REALLY need to start taking steps to protect yourself if/when he really goes off the rails. At the very least opening a new bank account (IN A SEPARATE BANK THAN YOU BOTH USE) in only your name and transferring a little money over there.
He sounds like he’s ready to bolt at any second so please, don’t let him pressure you into anything you aren’t comfortable with and protect yourself from the eventual fallout.
> He is triggering you to manipulate you
god right? textbook victim blaming and gaslighting. fucking disgusting.
>if I talk about it, I'm willing it into existence
This isn't dinner we're talking about here. You're supposed to talk about what could and/or should/not happen, have boundaries and plans in place and talk about things - that's just good for life in general, not just poly.
Nope. Throw away the whole husband. Seriously. This is manipulative, coercive, and extremely toxic behavior. He was already having, at least, an emotional affair with this person and is asking for permission after the fact. He's not looking to truly be polyam. He is looking to cheat and for you to just take it.
I understand that you've been married a long time and this is hard to hear but this won't work. Your needs matter just as much as his. He isn't even considering your needs. Only his own. So it is time for you to do the same. I would put it bluntly to him. "Partner, I am not on board with this and our marriage agreement was a monogamous one. You don't get to change that agreement unilaterally without my consent. Polyamory is about all partners enthusiastically consenting and that is not what is happening here. You can either pause while we do the work necessary to see if this will work for us and for our marriage or it is time that we go our separate ways". I don't encourage ultimatums often but, in this case, it is justified. What he is doing is cruel and abusive. You don't have to tolerate that and you shouldn't tolerate that.
"Lets find out what happened when other people tried this" is just about always a good idea. Your husband's refusal to read anything or listen to you on the subject is moronic behavior on his part
Jealousy and insecurity might be the emotions that you're feeling, but if I had a partner who refused to even talk about scheduling I'd also feel insecure. He's doing this badly and it's going to go badly.
He’s saying he’s in love and pushing you towards poly…. The affair with that person is probably longer than that. And jumping into a threesome, please don’t agree to that. It sounds like he’s pushing you towards threesome sexual fantasy and having multiple partners. Have you talked about you having multiple partners that are not his partners? I guess no.
Please under no circumstances agree to a threesome unless you are attracted to that person yourself. If you decide to let him pursue her, be clear that you want to pursue other relationships, too.
Don’t feel bad, you’re not controlling. He broke the monogamous agreement and is pushing you into his sexual fantasy, and his judgement is probably also clouded by NRE. Polyamory is great if you want it, but not under duress and manipulation. I agree with others that if he wants to pursue her and his way to happiness that you’re better off without him.
first of all, you don’t have to try nonmonogamy if you don’t want to, full stop
second, opening for someone he already has feelings for and is unwilling to communicate or talk about boundaries about is hugely disrespectful
this is a gross form of poly under duress, and the age difference, though not necessarily predatory etc in nature, is not negligible, and might be even weirder because they work together (not sure about the power dynamics… could totally be fine but it’s at least a yellow flag as in slow down and consider the impacts and dynamics before proceeding cautiously and intentionally)
third, you’re married, you literally have a monogamy legal contract together, that’s what monogamy actually means, monoamory is one thing but marriage is literally monogamy by law, and if he wants to break that contract and you don’t agree then it’s well within your rights and right mind to dissolve that contract based on this situation where he wants to break it
fourth, he’s being an incredibly immature asshat - not wanting to communicate about it? not setting up supports? getting mad and acting childish when **you** attempt to **support him** by doing your homework on this thoughtfully? like what in the actual fuck…
let him have this girlfriend (if she even wants that with him, lol) and don’t feel pressured into a weird awkward stupid threesome where you already know that none of your emotional needs are being considered so how could your physical intimacy needs even be addressed…
like, gross… separate, take yourself on a nice vacation with some great books, and get some sun and fresh air after you wash this manbaby out of your hair
he’s committing all the poly cardinal sins… this ain’t it
>let him have this girlfriend (if she even wants that with him, lol) and don’t feel pressured into a weird awkward stupid threesome
It would honestly be *so* delicious if after all this he got shot down by the 24 year old he's "in love with."
I personally do not believe it's possible to be "in love with" someone you don't have an actual relationship with. So unless he and the coworker are already having a full-on affair (which is entirely possible) it sounds like he's in *lust.* Infatuation, maybe. If he hasn't gauged her interest levels carefully, he could be in for a world of embarrassment on top of blowing up his marriage.
honestly this exact thing happened to my boss 4 years ago, her husband decided he was in love with his significantly younger work partner, they ended up divorcing, he immediately had his new GF move in to their formal marital home and did extensive renovations, then the new relationship did not go well for him because they were in such different life stages with different needs, he got so stressed and mired in regret that he looked like a shell of himself a year later
meanwhile my boss was basically his wife **and** mother throughout their relationship and herself is a complete babe and a catch and she was absolutely crushed but within 6 months found someone awesome who she was shocked did things like fully plan vacations for the 2 of them and support her emotionally in an equal way she supported him, and did favours and acts of service for her completely unprompted, like a great partner does…
yeah she’s way better off, she’s still with that new guy and they’re extremely happy together and adorable (he was actually also cheated on by his ex-wife)… super nice to see two people together who were disrespected and fucked around on now healed and thriving
I hope OP gets a taste of redemption from someone who deserves her attention and thoughtfulness and care and forgets bozo dumbfuck - he’s making a bed, let him lie in it, and you don’t have to stay (sounds like he wouldn’t bother to wash the sheets anyway)
This was my thought too.
This happened to me, nearly the same situation. Was monogamously married, but we had a small degree of openness (we could flirt or kiss others). Husband met a woman half his age and suddenly would die without her and all my objections about it going too fast, that he was being sneaky, what about birth control/safe sex, what about the weird age power discrepancy, etc. were ignored and I was told that I just didn't like it that now the "tables were turned" since I'd kissed someone before and I was allowed no objections.
He tried to force me to "let" him have this new girlfriend, but I refused and filed for divorce. What's so wild to me, even now, is that I was very open the idea of openness or polyamory and, in fact, am practicing polyamory now. It really made me question my values back then because I've never been prone to jealousy or against agreements between partners. But what he was doing was not that. It was, as you very astutely say, not poly and not anything good.
I don't know what you should do about your husband. But your instincts here are spot on. And you are absolutely 0% the bad guy here.
I think I could be prone to jealousy but more because any reassurances have been met with the opposite. I think if we'd started this rationally and worked out issues that could/would happen, it would have gone a long way. These books have been eye opening on life in general.
I do find a lot of polyamory resources are more "create a good relationships" and are quite applicable to monoamory as well.
also a reminder that jealousy isn't "evil", its a normal feeling! Working on figuring out why it crops up is a core aspect of polyamory. And "being ignored, manipulated, and hurt" are very much a GOOD REASON for any jealousy
This hurts so much to hear. His friends have all sided with him. So, I second guessed myself. He keeps saying he doesn't mean to hurt me but that he needs to be with her to be happy. I plan on talking to the coworker this weekend just to see how far it's gone or if he's just fantasizing.
Have the friends said they side with him? Or is he telling you everyone sides with him to make you feel stupid and unreasonable for having concerns?
He says they side with him. He said even his sister does. She told him it worked out fine for her friends.
No friend in their right mind would side with someone cheating on an unsuspecting monogamous wife. This is gaslighting.
Or like attracts like and he is a shitty person with shitty friends.
But I’ll admit, I don’t know the guy.
Yeah, I would bet good money he's lying, either to them or to you. He may not even have actually talked to them about it, and if he has, it's a heavily-edited version that makes supporting him the only logical answer. Even saying, "But everyone *else* agrees with me! Why are you being a stick in the mud?!" is really manipulative; other people's opinions of your sex life are not relevant here.
How much you wanna bet that if OP says they’re gonna also talk to these friends and his sister that he’ll completely lose his shit?
My whole bank account, lol.
How much you wanna bet if she does they will have no ide wtf she's talking about?
He will also lose his shit when coworker inevitably starts seeing other people if (when?) they don’t become monogamous.
Why is he supposedly talking to his sister and coworkers about this? This alone, is a huge 🚩. He has forced you to be out-of-the-closet before you have even decided to…be in the closet.
Even if this invisible army truly existed, the fact that their opinion matters more than yours (about your own marriage) is terrible…🚩
Wanting to open a relationship with another partner in queue…🚩
Already being in love with a coworker…🚩
Not wanting to do the work to ensure your emotional safety and to protect your marriage from unnecessary heartache…🚩
Not allowing you to have a voice…🚩
Complete disregard for your emotions…🚩
This is a problem MUCH deeper than just opening your relationship. He has stopped caring about you. 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
This, so so so much. It's like an abhorrent bingo. This person is supposed to LOVE you yet most people would give nicer treatment to a pile of dog shit they stepped into. I feel so incredibly sorry for OP.
The invisible army of supporters is a common tool of manipulators. You could have dinner with the sister to ask her directly but that's just a distraction. Your partner is being horrible to you beyond any reasonability and you need to give him a move out date.
If this is true, I feel like your marriage is probably over. I hate saying this in this group because it really freaking sucks. But your husband is probably lying to other people around him if they're supporting him in effectively cheating on you. If he has laid all his cards out on the table and been completely honest with these people, you also still need to leave because it is painfully obvious that you have no allies in this situation. I really hope you have friends in your corner that can help.
This is not your fault.
If you were to completely shut down the idea of poly without discussion or consideration, I could maybe see why his friends/sister might side with him.
If they knew he was running roughshod over any concerns, refusing to discuss anything with you while pursuing a woman half his age, I wonder if they really would side with him.
I really doubt they got the full picture.
This doesn't sound like healthy polyamory, it sounds like... and I don't use the word lightly unlike many, gaslighting. You're not starting things, the issue is unresolved. When you bring it up again, it's not starting things. It's the same thing you still need to work on.
Polyamory doesn't work when it's coercive. If it were me, I'd tell him he needs to pull back from her while you work this out, it's unfair and unreasonable to spring this on you and expect you to just slam into an entirely new relationship structure in 2 months.
Even if OP completely shuts down any idea of poly, what asshole friends would side with the 42 year old man cheating on his wife with his 24 year old coworker?
Like I said, I really doubt they have the full picture.
“Literally every single person who knows the situation says I’m doing the right thing” - a Narcissist
Let’s also talk about how it’s been two months and he’s already had this conversation with all his friends and his sister, despite the fact that you’ve asked him to pump the brakes.
Tell him “you can blaze your own trail in nonmonogamy after we 1) see a therapist and lay a foundation or 2) terminate *our* relationship cleanly so I do not get “burned” by whatever path you’re going to blaze.”
Or the fact that he's supposedly already explained this whole situation to all their friends and his sister, yet won't talk to his own wife about it?
Talk to his friends and his sister and verify what he has told them. Either he is lying about them siding with him, or he lied to them about the true reality of the situation. Verify everything.
Sounds like they don't know the full story if they do support his being poly. Which, given how he has gone about this, I'd take with a grain of salt. Who knows if they actually do support him.
You're right OP, this is not poly.
Ok, story time. I have had more than one male acquaintance tell me that his wife doesn't have sex with him, and therefore he needs to get it elsewhere. This was in the context of them trying to sleep with me. I am having none of it. But if his "friends" are truly agreeing with him, he is probably telling them a story about you being both abusive and frigid. That's the only way he could remotely get support for this idea, and even then most people would see through it. I'm really sorry this is going on. It's so sad and hurtful, and you're being so completely reasonable and fair and levelheaded. He does not deserve you!
My abusive ex would say stuff like this all the time. "Everyone agrees with me, I've already talked to them" type stuff. Guaranteed he's lying about the situation to them, or he's lying to you about having spoken with them about it at all. I wouldn't recommend telling him you're suspicious. He may get violent. Just go behind his back and talk to these people yourself. Open with "[husband] said he already spoke with you about this and I was hoping you'd share your thoughts with me directly" or something. Just establish that he supposedly told them everything so it's harder for him to come back and say that you're making things up or spreading rumors to hurt him
You need to actually talk to these people yourself and let them know that he isn’t interested in doing this in a healthy way. He just wants to bang his coworker. If he’s lying to you, he’s probably lying to them.
"My interpretation of what my friends say based on how much of the situation I've chosen to tell them is that I can do whatever I want"
Does this sound like the thesis of what he's saying?
He could be lying to you about what his friend says, holding back what he's telling to his friends, or only hearing what he wants to hear. He is an unreliable narrator in this situation so you don't need to take his word for it. Adding into it, are his friends poly with a bunch of experience on how to make poly/open marriages work? If not they are also unreliable.
Fact of the matter is if he thinks he's allowed to do whatever he wants and you're not allowed to complain then he has zero consideration for your feelings. That's not healthy in any relationship, nonmonogamous or otherwise.
He may not have meant to hurt you, but he also doesn't care about not hurting you.
"He doesn't mean to hurt me"...I'm sorry but yes, he does. He is choosing to at every turn. He means it and thinks that if he says a couple magic words, you'll blame yourself for his stab wounds in your heart.
I am so sorry. Please take the advice given here and love on yourself as best you can.
Saying that you don't want to hurt someone doesn't mean you're not. And he is hurting you, while not seeming concerned about this at all. It sounds like a bad relationship, and probably there are other instances of gaslighting and manipulation. I'd see a therapist who can help you sort it out.
I think you're in a place where you can stop taking anything he says at face value. As others have observed, you gave us examples of either bending the truth, not providing the entire truth, and citing sources (friends agreeing with him) that you cannot vet.
I'm sorry you're going through this. Despite whatever relationship you had previously, he's blown it. If he's not willing to approach this at your speed or on your level, he decided to end the marriage, and you deserve better.
That's called triangulation to get you to belive you're thoughts/opinions are invalid. No one else's opinion matters in your relationship and he's using them as a tool to manipulate you. I agree with others, if he's even telling the truth, who knows how he has presented any of this to his friends. Or maybe his friends are all toxic asshats too. Either way, no thanks.
He's involved his FRIENDS in this? FFS
I would recommend not talking to the co-worker. Too be honest, if he's already gone this far over over all this, he's already fucking her and now wants to bring you into the equation to assuage his guilt or to provide him an excuse to use "sexual incompatibility" as a reason to leave you. Any meeting between you and her will lead to extreme drama that will just make the situation worse. Cut your losses and start making your exit plan.
That's not Poly, that's not even good swinging. It's certainly not Ethical.
SNM: Shitty Non Monogamy
You are doing everything right by trying to educate yourself, take things slow, and have honest conversations. The fact that he’s not allowing these conversations is grounds for divorce. The information your asking for is reasonable. He doesn’t care about you, in the sense that he doesn’t care about your physical health and mental well-being. In fact not only does he not care, he’s actively working to be hurtful to you by refusing to educate himself and projecting on to you. He can easily read a book but I have a feeling he knows what he’s doing is wrong and selfish and doesn’t want to face that reality. Your seeing who your husband really is right now, believe him and act accordingly.
I see your talking to his coworker soon. Please be careful. Narcissistic triangulation is real and normally makes the situation worst and messier.
Speaking from experience my ex did the same things, he always pushed for poly but refused to read a books. His friends fully supported him in everything he did, even all the bad things, so my sense of reality got really screwed. I broke up with him once I started reading the books because 1) they showed how manipulative he was acting and 2) With having resources like the books I saw he was unwilling to do any learning and really only cared about himself and fucking people. He also triangulated me with his new GF which caused a lot of mental distress.
I hope your able to leave because this behavior escalates and there are very serious consequences.
I'm sorry but I'm not sure what narcissistic triangulation is.
In a nutshell, it means he is putting himself in a position of power over both you and his coworker, by placing you both in a position to compete for his affection (and pitted against each other rather than the culprit... him).
By telling you all his friends and family are on board (which I highly question), he's even attempting to triangulate those relationships to his benefit.
I recommend you schedule appointments with an attorney and a therapist ASAP. Any therapist will see exactly what he's doing, and be able to help you know how to proceed..
Reddit thinks everyone is a narcissist.
Probably he’s not; they’re not that common.
He’s a human making bad decisions that are short-sighted, selfish, and hurtful to you.
I wish people didn’t do this but regular old non-narcissist humans make bad hurtful decisions too.
He will likely regret them.
AFAIK, it's when a narcissist ( hubby) makes one person (you) out to be the source of their problems, and the other person (the coworker) gets sucked in and told "side with me, the other person is a b!tch."
Not only is this not poly, he’s going to “blaze his own path” out of a job when HR gets involved.
Where does he work? Asking for a friend for science
Wouldn't it be an absolute shame if OP reported him to the HR... :'((
~~I'm a petty bitch pls don't take actual legal advice from me, but also fuck him and he'd deserve it~~
This sounds more like a midlife crisis than poly. He's decided he's going to make selfish, destructive, irreversible decisions on his own without your input. None of this is acceptable.
How can he be in love with someone that he isn't even in a relationship with? He's in lust, not love, and with an inappropriately young person that he met in an inappropriate situation.
A threesome is not baby steps into poly, and will not in way help this situation. Do not agree under any circumstances.
I would tell him that if he wants to blaze his own path to happiness, that it will include burning down the bridge of your marriage.
>How can he be in love with someone that he isn't even in a relationship with? He's in lust, not love, and with an inappropriately young person that he met in an inappropriate situation.
THIS. This makes me think that on top of utterly disrespecting his wife and marriage, this dude is *also* approaching his interest in this 24-year-old coworker in a way that seems fundamentally objectifying and out of touch with reality. Other people's feelings don't seem to be a Thing to him in this equation -- he's latched onto a fantasy and convinced himself he can have it, and now he doesn't want to hear what anyone else he's trying to drag into this nightmare has to say about it.
Yeah, I really wonder if she likes him too, or if he's just decided that he's going to be in a relationship with her.
Right? It seems pretty unlikely a 24-year-old wants a relationship with her 40-year-old married coworker, but the odds of her wanting to have a threeway with him and his reluctant wife are even lower. This guy is delusional.
I seriously wonder if he might have an undiagnosed brain injury. Personality shifts this quickly can be a sign of serious illness.
He insists he's been thinking about it the whole time we've been together but that he didn't want to hurt me until he met her and viewed it as a now or never on grabbing happiness for himself.
So he's been keeping this secret from you for your whole marriage🚩, and implying that he's never been happy🚩, and he's willing to knowingly hurt you🚩, all for this girl he works with.
That's 3 good reasons right there to be done with him.
Even if you think some sort of non monogamy is interesting to you at this point, I would not suggest it with this partner. But it's a good time to continue your own reading while you navigate the end of this relationship and look to new ones in the future.
I can't recommend trying to open up with him if he is unwilling to discuss the details with you.
Is the 24 yo even into him at all? Does she even know he wants a relationship with her? I question that hard.
Then it sounds like you know what needs to happen here.
I’m truly sorry. This fucking sucks and you don’t deserve to be treated like this.
My late partner (who was truly poly) was unfortunately coerced into ENM by his wife who cheated on him, then gaslit him into thinking that she "had" to cheat on him because he was "lacking" something that created a "void" in their relationship.
He relented and found happiness in polyamory, but *his marriage was never okay after that.* His wife continued to gaslight him when convenient and manipulate him into thinking all difficulties were his fault. He was too kind, so he believed it.
Poly/ENM shouldn't start because one of you has a void in the relationship, which is what he seems to be implying by saying he's had to forcefully grab happiness for himself. He's not considering how any of this is making you feel, and he's taking no responsibility for his actions. How he's behaving is not okay.
Aren’t you worried about his poor coworker?? This man in his 40s is creeping on her and she’s barely out of college! Your priority should be making sure she’s safe, your husband sounds unhinged.
Your husband isn’t poly he’s a selfish POS. But you already knew that. Divorce is really your only option . I’m so sorry
Call a lawyer.
And I would tell her frankly that you’ll be divorcing him if he keeps seeing her. She shouldn’t get sucked into that bullshit thinking you’re on board.
Is he seeing her? Does the 24 yo know he's seeing her? I suspect he thinks they're about to be in this epic relationship while she's over there not interested in the least in the married 40 yo.
Well she’s a lot less likely to waste her time when she finds out he’s lying. Unless they’re already together.
It makes me crazy when people say they’re in love with virtual strangers. Nope. You don’t know what adult love is or you wouldn’t say that.
This is not poly. He basically just wants to cheat and not have to lie about it.
I'm not doing poly right, and even I can see this is a train wreck.
My experience: Husband completely gung-ho for me to go get it elsewhere...he's bored and disinterested. I find someone. Goes great. Now HE wants to find someone, because fairness. OK. He does, and she dumps him after about three or four months because (surprise!) he's not all that and a bag of chips. Emotionally closed-off, poor communicator, selfish lover.
In the meantime, I've been dating the same guy now for about eight years and the husband has no one.
Your spouse seems to be engaged in *dickful thinking*, to quote Dan Savage, and you are looking at this correctly and he is not. However, he IS distracted as hell. Use this to your advantage to set up for the possibility of divorce. Get that credit card in your name only (applying with both your income amounts), set up a bank account at a different institution, pull your credit reports so you know where you stand with debts. If nothing happens, great, no one is out anything. If it goes down in a fireball, at least you have some resources and aren't completely reliant on him to play nice. He won't play nice, this looks like proof of it. He wants what he wants.
Protect yourself. You may also want to consult with a divorce lawyer just to see where you stand and what you can expect.
"dickful thinking," is perfect here.
Get in touch with a lawyer. Do not let him know first.
This is not polyamory. Polyamory has to be consensual. Not coercive.
On a separate not, are you even bisexual? Because if you don't like having sex with women, a 'threesome' (should really be an ethical triad but whatever) just to make your husband happy, is a horrible idea.
What I don't understand is that you seemed to be open to the idea and wanting to explore it, but he wasn't having it? Why? Just because you're willing to learn and educate yourself?
I am not saying to divorce your husband or leave him... but at least recognize that this is weird as fuck and a grown ass man shouldn't be acting this way.
I'd say I'm open. I can see myself with either or any sex. I'm attracted to the person, not the genitals. Though, packaging does help.
And I don't get it either. He's completely fixated on her. Any questions of "what happens if..." are shut down immediately. We got into a fight because I said if he did anything with anyone, I'd want an STI check. He said I was calling her dirty and he wouldn't be with anyone like that.
It... really seems like he's just phishing for a better word than cheating. Because his behavior is all sorts of red flags for cheating and next to no green flags for poly.
\>He said I was calling her dirty and he wouldn't be with anyone like that.
This guy is not ready for poly. He's just not. If he can't discuss these crucial, crucial issues, and shuts down discussion any time it seems like he won't get what he wants, there is simply no way to do this in a way that will feel safe for you.
You cannot do poly without clear, open communication, and there doesn't seem to be room for it here.
Wowwwww, asking for regular STI checks is not saying someone is "dirty," wtf. That's just normal common sense.
This is truly horrible. I’m so sorry OP.
You’re trying to do everything with care and concern and your husband is acting like a spoiled teenager.
Calling someone with an STI - or I guess someone who has sex with people and is therefore at risk of getting an STI - ‘dirty’ is totally gross and immature. It also maybe indicates some kind of the whore/virgin thinking, which is misogynistic and gross, too. Also, laughably not anywhere near polyamorous - STIs are part of sex, and a practical, informed and not fucking prejudiced approach is needed.
I suggest you get an STD test.
Also, save any proof you have that he's cheating (sounds like he already is or plans to) and take him for everything you can in the divorce.
I've been in a similar place as him. He's already checked out of your relationship but he's pushing you to be The Bad Guy. Soooooo, do with that what you will.
I would get out of this relationship if I were you. There are a lot of red flags, he's not listening to you. Being verbally aggressive, gaslighting you, And the fact that she's 24 is another red flag. That's a huge gap in age and stability.
Get in contact with a lawyer, start moving what you can be that money, assets, or other things that are just in your name and get out of there.
He may already be manipulating this other young woman and I seriously hope for her and your sake she can get away from him. He sounds pretty rancid and you do not deserve to be yelled at.
This is not Polyam. This isn't even ethical non-monogamy. This is a middle life crisis of a man who is literally chasing youth and apparently willing to burn everything down in the pursuit.
I rarely take a black and white approach to posts in this group, but I'm honestly impressed but how densely he seems to have packed in his red flags.
All comments are right, your husband is completely in the wrong, you don't deserve to be put through this. I honestly don't see this ending any way other than blown up and ending in divorce, purely based on your husband's unreasonable reactions. Polyamary rarely RARELY just "works itself out" in long term relationships, and it's definitely not going to happen in this case because of how your husband is acting.
It also massively sucks because you seem like a person who would thrive in a polyamorous relationship once you take the steps like you suggested, and so long as you felt it was right for you, of course. It's deeply upsetting that you are being coerced into something you are not ready for by someone with purely selfish intentions.
Wishing you the best. You seem like a wonderful and intelligent person. So long as you hold your ground and stand up for yourself and your values, things will work out for you long term (with or without your husband).
The poly people have spoken: this ain't it. You are not the bad guy for wanting to do this right.
It's manipulative to present this as "training wheels", like they aren't involved and then to switch to "I'm in love" when he didn't get the answer he wanted.
He needs to understand that those pitfalls and concerns you see? They are about the relationship he is in, they matter because they affect him. It seems like if you want to get through to this guy, you need to go for self-interest or he won't listen. So remind him these problems may cost him a marriage. That's not even a threat, that's just how it goes when you do poly badly, so it's really in his best interest to do the work and do this right or not at all.
He's living in a fantasy. It just doesn't work like this. There's a lot of emotional work that goes into just having a separate relationship, which is far simpler and has much less of an emotional toll than what he is talking about. Even if you were fully on board, what he's proposing is starting poly on hard mode.
THIS IS NOT POLYAMORY, HE IS CHEATING. POLYAMORY IS ALL ABOUT CONSENT BETWEEN ALL PARTIES INVOLVED.
he needs to chill out, he needs to allow you to ask all the questions, have all the discussions with him you need. it's not fair on you to be expected to just shut up and accept it, that's not any kind of relationship let alone a poly one. you need to be able to be yourself be comfortable in your own relationship, if he's not even letting you have a voice or talk to him about your fears he's not being fair to you at all.
She's *24.* She's his *coworker.* He says he's *in love with her.* This is not poly and your husband sounds unwell. Is this normal behavior for him?
No. It isn't. Outside of lighthearted mutual flirting with everyone at any of his previous jobs, he's never overstepped any boundaries. That's what has me so lost. He's usually so stable and now he's telling me that I'm the reason he's miserable and feeling like he'll never truly be happy.
I watched a friend’s girlfriend shift from a stable, kind human to an abusive manipulator within a few months.
She had a brain tumor. It caused a massive personality swing.
It was operable and she is stable.
The fact that this is so uncharacteristic for your husband is extremely concerning.
Thank you for sharing this context. The situation is seeming less and less poly-related and more and more mental health-related. Will he agree to relationship counseling? Having a neutral third-party arbiter seems crucial for both of you right now.
My ex and I decided to have an open marriage about 6 years in. Long story but 5 years later the end of our marriage looked very similar to your story. My ex husband wanted me for services not an equal partnership and it took me years to realize it because he did enough of the bare minimum for me to stick around (I also grew up with terrible role models).
Around year 11 he fell for a woman that was quite a bit younger. We were very unstable at the time and I asked him to work on stabilizing us before he went too deep with her and he called me selfish and used very similar language to what you described in your post. I was “getting in the way” of his happiness. It turned out she was monogamous and she behaved abominably as well. His comments to me were that I should be the bigger person because I’m older. The stuff about being selfish (for having feelings and thinking my perspective mattered?) really opened my eyes to how he saw me.
I tried for about a year to find some common ground but it was just prolonging the inevitable. There’s not much of a relationship if one party sees the other one as less than human, which is what that rhetoric of “you’re selfish and getting in the way” (in this context) implies to me. If I had to do it over again I would have left much earlier. Maybe take an inventory of your relationship and that will help you see what path you want to take forward. When the blow up happened with my ex, his past actions all kind of clarified themselves as a pattern of dismissiveness and narcissism.
🚩 Trying to push a threesome
🚩 Dating and pursuing a coworker (one of my hard lines is no friends or current coworkers)
🚩 Wow already on love? He's hitting that NRE like crack
Time for the divorce card to enter the game. Sorry but that's 3 big strikes.
Yeah no, this isn't poly. Poly isn't a decision you drag your partner in on and force them to be on board with. He's treating you like shit and basically wanting a free pass to do what he wants. Poly relationships take extra care and communication to work, and this....ain't it.
I’m so sorry; this sounds almost exactly what happened to me and my marriage recently. Granted we were having problems and drifting apart for months (mainly because my partner flat out refused to communicate with me and was constantly seeking validation from the outside/on their phone). Then they met another nb person and became friends, then wanted to be poly and date them, even though I was afraid because we had tried poly before (meaning they had dated someone else, not me) and it had been disastrous, with her getting obsessive and crossing tons of boundaries in our relationship.
My partner manipulated me into believing I’d be a terrible partner and neglecting their needs if I didn’t let them date this other person. They reassured me this time would be different, this person was so much different, it’d be great for both of us. It became them pouring all their time, energy and love into this other relationship and totally neglecting me. They were doing everything with this other partner I wanted them to do with me. Meanwhile their partner was love bombing them, and they started talking about commitment ceremonies and collared my partner about two months into dating. My partner never took off their stupid collar, but hadn’t worn a wedding ring or anything for me for years. Ouch.
When I saw things were moving so fast, I raised concerns but was ignored. I asked if I could meet their partner since things were getting so serious, and was told they had no desire to meet me, ever.
My partner flat out asked me why I didn’t make them feel like their other partner did, and I was like “because we’ve been together 17 years, not 3 months, and I’m not manipulating and love bombing you!”
I tried to stick it out and make it work, until I realized it wasn’t going to get better and they had no care or concern for how much they were hurting me. They were planning on moving 2 hours away to live with new partner, and graciously told me they’d still see me whenever partner was “busy.” I realized they wanted to hold onto me as a back up in case their new life didn’t work out, because they’re weak and a coward. I finally said enough and excused myself. We’re separated and I’m looking into divorce proceedings. I’m sure in their version of events, I was just a cold spouse who didn’t give them enough attention, said yes to poly and then changed my mind about it and was totally unreasonable. Who knows. I’m just glad I got out when I did. I’m still open to pursuing poly love, but I now know what unhealthy relationship dynamics disguised as “poly” looks like, and I will be avoiding it like the plague.
Your partner sounds like my ex, selfish and self serving. Leave and don’t look back. Let them be a hot mess together.
Yeah no. He's cheating on you and gaslighting you to join in to ease his guilt on the false pretense of polyamory.
I know it's hard but he's unwilling to change and you deserve better.
I’m so sorry love, the best thing for you to do is likely to divorce him. He is manipulative and boundary stomping at minimum, and at worst he’s already cheating on you and wants a retroactive green light.
RED FLAGS OUT THE WAZOO
This is not poly. You sound like you are doing everything right by trying to research poly, look for pitfalls, discuss boundaries. His unwillingness to discuss things and demanding he had a relationship with this person without any negotiation on the changing of your established 20 year marriage... thats toxic.
He can decide to pursue this relationship. And you can end the marriage. He is coercing and manipulating you.
He says his friends and sister side with him? Talk to them. I bet he has either lied about the situation or hasn't spoken to them about it at all. He cannot be trusted.
Also, how can he possibly be in love with his coworker when you ONLY JUST NOW started discussing poly? He has already been having an emotional affair. He has already shown himself to be untrustworthy. Speak to the coworker and find out what she has been told.
Talk to a lawyer and start divorce proceedings
First and foremost... swinging and polyamory are not synonymous. While it's possible to be both, they are both not inherently the same. What I've experienced over the years is that far too many people are using polyamory as a scapegoat for infidelity. Which is actually very hurtful to polyamory as a whole. Swinging is a very close community that is very good at vetting "cheaters". It's a social construct rather than a personal state of being. Which makes being polyamorous different than swinging and also renders a far more accepting attitude.
That being said, your husband isn't likely interested in polyamory. Claiming to be this requires a great deal of self-discovery and absolutely honesty with oneself and others. This is akin to your sexual identity or religious beliefs where one feels as if they're "wired" to be such a way. In short, you don't just wake up one morning as decide that your polyamorous. He is most definitely using this as a cover up his desire to have sex with other partners with your consent. Which... is swinging.
The biggest red flag, though... is his unwillingness to discuss boundaries and defining what polyamory means as a couple. This is a high flying red flag when it comes to being polyamorous. It's also his greatest tell that he's not interested in finding many loves but rather that he just wants to find many sexual conquests. Which leads me to his self-proclaimed "love" of the other woman. He doesn't love her... he definitely lusts after her.
When I brought up being poly to my monogamous wife, it was long, deep, honest conversations about boundaries, trust, and communication. We move at her pace, and triple check her comfort. It might seem restricting to people in fully poly relationships, but there are concessions to be made when making a drastic shift in your relationship dynamic.
Your husband is a selfish ass who is using poly as an excuse to have his midlife crisis sex fantasy fulfilled. No shame on the fantasy, loads of shame on how he's treating you and acting in this situation. Why are you with this man-child?
Ewww, Ewww and Double Ewww, 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮 ITS NOT POLY. He’s 💩. He wants his Cake and eat it too. NO.
You're husband is a terrible parter, and, by the sounds of it, an idiot.
You should probably find a partner who won't ignore your wellbeing and boundaries and who can negotiate doing things in a way that is healthy for you both.
Sorry you're going through this, but seriously leave this wasteman.
Your 40 year old husband is already “in love” with his 24 year old coworker? And won’t have a rational discussion with you about the situation?
Nah. The dude is emotionally cheating if he isn't already physically cheating. He wants to open the marriage so he can continue or escalate the situation guilt free, but rest assured he's already broken the expected boundaries of a monogamous relationship.
Nope. Immediately no. He’s trying to get a license to cheat, he doesn’t want to do this ethically. I’m so glad you had the want to do things right if you’re gonna do them at all. Polyamory should be something you ease yourself for yourself, because you think it’ll enrich your life.
Don't let him gaslight you. He just wants to do as he pleases and thinks it makes everything "okay" if he told you in advance. It does not.
You consented to a specific relationship structure when you married him - monogamy. If he wants to change the structure but stay with you, he needs your renewed enthusiastic consent. He doesn't want to discuss things with you, because he doesn't care in the slightest about your opinion, your feelings or your health.
For the love of everything, don't let him push you into "poly" like this. Poly can be amazing and that is not it at all. This can't end well. Him trying to "blaze his own path" will lead to a bush fire and burn everything around him (including him). If he wants to play with matches so badly, that's on him. But get your stuff in order (via a lawyer) and yourself into the safe zone (out of that marriage, before he used your savings to buy a sports car with).
I smell a mid life crisis on his side.
Sound like he wants to fuck her. Are you ok with letting him fuck her? Do you want to be a part it are you bi? Is he ok with letting a 24yr old male fuck you?
🚩 🚩 🚩 That is not consensual non monogamy, he can choose to be open, but you can choose to leave the dumpster fire that he is about to start 🚩🚩🚩
Sounds like your husband isn’t actually interested in pursuing an ethically non-monogamous relationship, he just wants to have sex with someone half his age and have you, his wife, be okay with it.
He’s avoiding the real conversations that you should be having - the reflection that you should both be doing - and throwing temper tantrums to make you feel like the bad guy so that you drop it.
Even if you are interested in having a poly relationship, I think your husband’s behaviour is showing you that he would be an unsuitable partner for that kind of arrangement, since he’s doing his level best to avoid taking your needs, wants or feelings into account at all.
Add me to the list that says what he is doing is wrong in many, many levels. It’s not poly, it’s not swinging, it’s not any form of ethical nonmonogamy.
It’s abusive, disrespectful, dishonest, manipulative, uncaring, unloving, ignorant, and immature.
That’s not polyamory, and you’re not being insecure. He’s cheating on you with a woman almost half his age. If not physically obviously emotionally, you need a lawyer
He’s old enough to be her father.
I want you to read that again. You got together with your husband in 2004, when she was SIX. Your husband isn’t in love with her, he’s fetishizing her. She’s young and hot and he sees her every day at work and wants to have sex with her. He’s mad at you for getting in the way. It’s gross.
That sounds like the worst. From what i gather reading your post coming from a guy it sounds like he is only after this younger female. With him not having good communication through your thoughts and the way you feel without an arguement then he is not worried about the way you feel. For something to work properly you both need to communicate and be comfortable. It is not right for him to be that way(one-sided) and that is not healthy for a relationship.
No. You're not being insecure.
If he wants to "blaze his own path" it can be without you.
Get a divorce lawyer
Your husband is thinking with his dick. So many red flags here that he really should see for himself (fucking a co-worker is not a good idea, waaaay to soon to say "in love", burning down his whole life for sex, age gap, his sister-wife fantasy is impossible, etc.) but he can't acknowledge the existence of the NRE chemicals coursing through his body, and has an utter lack of humility and introspection. In a different scenario, where he could reason and negotiate and discuss with you like an adult and actual partner, this would be okay but that's apparently not the man you are dealing with. He is wanting to dictate terms, he's taking no consideration for you, and he falls back on emotionally manipulative fights when he doesn't get his way. This is not for you to fix. Hold your boundaries, stand your ground, and take care of yourself. If you can, suggest he talk to a friend about this (since he's apparently not listening to you, buzz-killing reality check that you are). Maybe someone else pointing out his gaps in judgement would work better. But I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone who treated me like this, poly or otherwise. Good luck!
If he’s not willing to do the work, it’s gonna crash bad and hard. Maybe it could work after everyone doing the homework, he pursuing his partners and you pursuing yours (gonna tell you’ll have the easiest in this).
But this don’t seem the case. Better have a conversation with a family lawyer to know what to do before everything goes south. It seems to me he wants that love from work and avoid going through divorce at the same time. And for that he’s gaslighting the hell out of you making you believe that you might really be in the wrong here. You’re not. Trust your guts.
Your husband doesn't poly. Your husband is try to force you to allow him to cheat. And from the sound of it he's going to do it whether you like it or not. Start talking to an attorney now because every approach you have taken has been healthy and his sounds absolutely insane.
So look. You can read all the books and make all the rules and do all the things but what poly looks like for you is ultimately up to YOU (and your partner should he be willing to cooperate). Starting this process, especially in your 40s and with a long-term partner, is no joke. It's hard. You have to communicate like you've never communicated before; about things that are hard, and uncomfortable and ultimately that can threaten your marriage. It takes time and commitment to make it work.
If he isn't willing to take this journey WITH you then maybe you shouldn't take it together. It's not just his happiness that matters. Poly means something different to everyone. Don't get hung up on what the books or the Reddit threads say it is. What it should be is something that makes you BOTH happy and fulfilled and he should be focused on that too.
Dont argue with him..
'You are free to be in love her without me in your life. I will be contacting a divorce lawyer.' walk out and start your life over. I am so sorry.
It's not what I would consider poly. You and he have not come to an understanding of what kinds of changes you are both open and willing to accept in your relationship, he's merely dictating that you accept his terms or else.
This would be a huge red flag to me and my default advice would be give him the "or else". Ethical non-monogamy requires consent on all sides and he's not seeking consent, he's demanding acquiesscence.
That may not be the best route for you, which ultimately, is what you have to try and decide. This seems to be being forced on you, but you do have your own autonomy. Maybe you should persue your own outside interests. Not with any kind of "payback" kind of mentality, but just take the opportunity he's throwing at you to explore. I have a strong suspicion, based on my experiences, that you looking for other partners isn't something he's honestly prepared himself to deal with emotionally. If he isn't as open and accepting of you finding other partners as he is demanding you to be, then you're just being force to accept his desire to fuck multiple people, it seems.
This is certainly not polyam. He's just a dipshit who is horny for someone younger. A good partner would take the time to do the research and understand how you are feeling as you are exploring it. They are invalidating your feelings.
Also does this coworker of his even want to be a throuple or is he forcing them into this picture of what he wants.
What about your needs? Can you go and date as you please? I'm sure he will probably say you can't have any other dick than his.
I'd be ending that marriage personally. I know I don't have full story and that's what all redditors say haha but like for real... clear regard for only his own happiness.
>He insists that he doesn't need to follow advice from other people and that he can "blaze his own path" to happiness. We are getting in fights constantly now because I've begun reading the stickies and the books and see pitfalls.
The most toxic polycule I've been in centered around a woman who believed she didn't need to do any reading or listen to the advice of anyone outside of herself. Her personal poly beliefs flew in the face of most the standard literature, as well as any general knowledge on how to be a decent person in community with others.
I now stay far away from people who think that they singularly have it all figured out, especially when "it" is a complicated relationship philosophy. To me, that signals that they intend to put themselves first in all situations and don't want to hear any advice otherwise.
I know he's your husband, so it's harder to just flee - but I don't think any form of poly works with selfishness as its core. You have to have empathy and self-awareness so you don't steamroller other people. It seems like he's already indicated that he's more than willing to steamroller you without having thoughtful conversation or consideration.
Poly under duress... not cool. My guess is once the other relationship implodes, he will want to close the marriage and then have serious melt down anytime you have a potential love interest.
What do you want? Are you even interested in an open marriage?
Your instincts are spot on. He wants to sleep with this woman you sound more educated on it than he is. He’s being irresponsible and not respecting you. What he’s suggesting isn’t poly is just fucking another person.
He's being toxic.
So...this doesn't feel like poly to me. I mean, everyone has their own relationship dynamics, but this sounds like a serious escalation in a short time frame. I'm a firm believer is not rushing the process, because my partner and I did when we first opened up, and it was a disaster. We talked, closed things down for a while, read some stuff, and are slowly opening up again and having a much better time of it.
Also important...while he has the right to "blaze his own path" to happiness, he's also in a relationship with you, and he needs to make sure he's still meeting your needs. There are boundaries and communication and tons of work to do. I hope this is helpful in some way.
He's an asshole. This isn't poly. It's emotional infidelity at best, and could be more
He’s cheating and then pushing any blame he can onto you.
“Too insecure” “starting fights”.
Anything to make it seem like he’s doing this the right way and your wrong to appease his guilt and selfishness.
If he won’t even talk about basic boundaries it doesn’t seem it’ll end well.
The fact that he came to you with this, and you met his suggestion with dedication to making it an enjoyable move for the two of you, while he just kept whimpering and pissing on the floor by the door to be let out, shows you are just so way out of his league, and you deserve somebody with some finesse and some sense. Someone better is in the cards for you. This guy is a dud.
So, I'm sorry if I'm being too blunt, but there are more red flags in this than at a communist parade, and I'm sorry you've had to put up with it. This marriage doesn't need therapy, it needs a divorce, and the poor 24-year-old colleague deserves better than to be "training wheels" to open up a toxic marriage. You did what you could to make this healthy, and every attempt was fruitless. If there is no space for you to communicate and have needs and boundaries now, I highly doubt there will be in the future. The best thing you can do for your own safety and wellbeing now is get out.
It sounds like you could have a very healthy polyamorous relationship… after divorcing your husband and finding partners who aren’t manipulative assholes.
That’s not polyamory. It’s gaslighting and toxic bullshit.
>He says I'm jealous and insecure and that if I talk about it, I'm willing it into existence.
This is literally the opposite of poly. What makes poly great is how much communication there is. You could get a poly aware couples therapist, but you could also just get a divorce and enjoy poly life without him.
I hate to jump on the bandwagon but super red flags here for sure. He is essentially trying to force you into poly and it is extremely unethical. This is a very small window into your relationship so maybe we should not shout lawyer and divorce but you have problems. Consider at minimum counseling and tell him if he values your relationship poly needs to wait. Unless everyone comes to the table willingly it isn’t poly.
If he's in love with someone else before you have opened the relationship he's not Polyamorous he's just emotionally cheating on you, it wouldn't surprise me if this leads on to physical cheating.
Suddenly becoming Polyamorous because you want to sleep with someone else isn't really being Polyamorous, it's skipping all the consent and communication that should come before it and just sounds like he want's to cheat and Just wants an excuse to do so.
To answer your question...no, this is not poly. This is a man attracted to a woman other than you (nothing wrong with that) and wanting to take things further with her (my guess is principally sexually driven at this stage) but without putting in any effort or doing any work with you so that a) you are comfortable with it and b) it has the slightest chance to work.
So, with regards to (a), keep things simple in your mind. Are you worth it or are you not. If the latter, then you have bigger problems in your relationship that just a passing 24f.
With regards to (b) there's not a chance it could work and certainly not as a 3. Half of my wants to suggest you say, "Go ahead, make a fool of yourself and give me the first laugh before it all goes belly up. Then I shall want to leave you".
Another devil in me wants to suggest that you source a 24M and tell your husband that you'd like to try things that way around first. If it all goes swimmingly, then things can progress with the 24f. Hahaha! Light the blue touchpaper and wait for the firework to go off.
I think you already know your answers. Good luck!
No that's not poly and I'm sorry you're having to go through this. You're doing the right things by educating yourself. You should never feel you can't communicate with your partner. The uninitiated think it's all about the sex, but it's all about the relationship. The sex is a bonus.
If you want to stay with him and are willing to try, then tell him you want the opportunity to to get to know her like he was able to. You deserve that much.
If he's unwilling for that simple of a request maybe it's time to move on.
Wooooah hell no.
2) SIXTEEN YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE
This isn't poly. Your husband is trying to bully you into giving him what he wants with no regard for you or this coworker. He's gross. This is gross.