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Topic : 06/26 Twisted Love

Number of Replies: 2037
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Created on : Friday, January 27, 2006, 02:41:03 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

(Original Air Date: 02/02/06) Charles says he has exhausted his relationship with his wife of 19 years, and he's ready to try an alternative lifestyle. Instead of getting a divorce, Charles wants to explore polyfidelity -- a relationship where he is shared between his wife and his mistress. The mistress says she'll give it a try, but his wife, Tracy, says the thought makes her sick. Can Charles convince his wife to share him for the sake of their marriage? And what does Dr. Phil think? Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

 

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February 1, 2006, 10:18 am CST

02/02 Twisted Love

Quote From: rebeccamo

My husband has hinted around that he would like to do something similar.  He doesn't want to keep a mistress, but would rather be allowed to have an affair so that he can experience the things he would really like to do that I won't do for him.  He feels that he if gets them out of his system things will be fine.  He cannot guarantee me that he wouldn't want to keep doing it though.  He swears that if I am not o.k. with it he won't do it, but then he keeps pressuring me to do things that I am just not comfortable with or desire to do.  We have been married along time and I know that I have to help keeps things lively and fresh, but I either do what he wants or allow him to go somewhere else to get it.  What choice do I have?  I am afraid one day he will just grow tired of the same old routine and leave.  His other suggestion is for us to go to a swingers club and pick up another woman.  He says it isn't cheating if we're doing it together.  I asked if he would really want to kiss and have sex with another woman and his answer was yes.  Outside of this we have a happy and wonderful marriage.  He is a great father, wonderful provider and showers me with attention.  He just claims to have such a high sex drive that he needs more than what I am currently offering.  Any suggestions?

It is really really difficult to tell people the secret needs and desires one has. So many people have repressive, guilt ridden feelings about their own sexuality and feel that being open and honest about their sexuality would make them unlovable.  Your partner took the big risk of telling you the things he would really like to do-that is really scary in a relationship.  Have you told him YOUR secrets too? 

  

Once you know what each of you desire, then it is just a matter of negotiating ways to meet those desires. There are lots of options, from role playing to trading nights to opening your marriage to others. If you both are committed to making each other happy, you can find a solution.  

  

We have developed some rules for problem solving communications that help us find answers to our problems:  

  1. It is important to understand each other well-to know where each other's sensitivities are.  When you are calm and reasonable is the time to talk about your triggers and how they affect you. It is hard to tell someone the doubts and fears that trigger insecurity. After all...you are insecure about them.  This step is hard but it is important. You can agree that you will always be sure not to touch on certain things. You want to communicate not wound.
  2. It is best to wait until anger and upset fades to discuss relationship issues. Set a meeting time for when you will be rested, relaxed and not rushed. Sometimes we prepare for a communication meeting by making love :)
  3. The first step is for both of you to identify the problems. Be prepared for your partner's problem(s) NOT to be the same as yours. At this meeting, make it your goal to completely understand all aspects of HIS problem and have him try his best to understand yours.
  4. You are trying to understand here-not defend yourself or blame the other. Don't do any 'historical' talks. Looking backwards with blame or recriminations is pointless and wastes precious time and emotional energy. You may want to skewer him with exactly WHY you have been cold and distant, but focus instead on defining the problem from his point of view and understanding his needs and explaining your own to him.
  5. Once you are able to explain to him his problem to him and he can do the same for you-you understand the problem(s). Now take a break of 2-3 days. You have to digest the information and get over any anger or hurt that arose thus far. This is the crucial step-don't rush to solutions.
  6. Once you feel ready to meet again,  brainstorm for ideas that will solve the problems. The only rule with this phase is that you have to solve all of the problems, not just your own. Don't evaluate the answers, just generate them.  Dream here, make the perfect answers, make ugly answers, make up any answer that solves the problems. The answer you don't say because it is stupid may just be the idea he needs to hit on a good solution.
  7. Take some time to explore the options. Check out the costs, available resources, think about them, maybe consult anyone that might be affected.
  8. Then choose one solution to try out. Give yourselves a time period to try out this solution-a day, a week , a month.  After the time is up, meet to evaluate how it worked.
 
February 1, 2006, 10:41 am CST

02/02 Twisted Love

 Like everyone said, polyamory is a fairly common lifestyle.  The problem is that from what I can tell initially, the man in question is NOT practicing polyamory.  I'm not sure if what he's practicing has a name unless it's "let's pressure my wife into doing something so I can have my cake and eat it to".

Polyamory involves trust, openess and a willingness of both partners to engage in such a lifestyle.  Most of the time couples are clued in that they might enjoy this choice before long term marriage has set in.  Most of the time.

What the man in question is doing is nothing like that.  His wife has made it abundantly clear that this is not a lifestyle choice she wants for herself.  Him attempting to do anything other than accept that and move on is rather disgusting.  What he wants to be is a lecher and have her permission to do it.  Polyfidelity my hind quarters.  I'm curious to see the show and to see if he feels that it would be acceptable for her to go out and do the same.

It's people like this that give polyamory as a practice a bad name.

And I don't even live the lifestyle.  I just have friends who have chosen to engage in it.  I've never loved anyone else in life but my husband and I haven't got the time or energy to have a relationship with anyone else.  He looks at it in much the same way.  We've made the choice to have a one on one life.  Neither one of us is delusional enough to believe that changing our minds on that while the other one stays the same is perfectly okay.
 
February 1, 2006, 11:09 am CST

02/02 Twisted Love

Quote From: rebeccamo

How do you handle jealousy?  It is a human experience that we all feel.  I understand that they say there is a difference between sex and marriage, but I guess I am just not that with it.  My husband's arms are meant to hold me, not another woman.  His kisses and his gazes should be a gift for me, not shared with someone who doesn't care for him, raise his children, or clean up his dirty underwear!  I want to do all I can for his happiness and I understand that they may mean sacrificies along the way, but I am struggling with the idea to just say "Go ahead, find another woman."  Don't you worry that he will fall in love with her too?  Can you really happily share your husband with another woman? 

I can empathize with your thinking that because your spouse is sexual with another, it means that you may not be important to him.  I have been there, but I have come to understand that Love and Sexual Desire should not be equated.  Our culture tends to insist on suppressing sexual desire with the effect of elevating sexual intercourse in all it's forms to the ultimate life experience or ultimate form of connection between two people.  It isn't.  It can be a marvelous bonding experience when the folks involved share honesty, intimacy and commitment.  It can also be devastatingly crippling experience when the folks involved use manipulation or coercion or deceit to find a release for their personal sexual energies.  Sexual intercourse, like communicating via writing is just a tool.  The meaning of an event is not derived from the tool used, but rather from the thought and intent behind the tool.   

  

Your spouses sexual desires and proclivities are his.  Yours are yours.  Let not who he is begin to define who you are.  If you trully do not want to participate in some activity, you should say no without guilt and he should accept that.  That doesn't mean that his desire for a particular activity will go away.  It probably won't.  We are not all alike, just because something turns him on doesn't mean it will turn you on.  A good lover will work with the opportunities available to create a satisfying experience for both. 

  

If sexual lovemaking is approached from the perspective of maximizing the expression of love for the parties involved at the moment while being mindful of uniqueness of each of the individuals involved, sex will never be boring.  But if lovemaking is approached with the perspective of maximizing personal pleasure, it will never be satisfying. 

 
February 1, 2006, 11:31 am CST

Need to Clarify

Quote From: divaduches

Honey ... what if it's the WIFE that suggests she'd like to add to the home and bedroom? Not with another man but rather another woman? Like me for instance. My mate and I have one other person in our home, she's Our friend, Our lover, Our confidant, Our helpmate and Our partner. We are in a CLOSED Triad. We don't swing, we don't share and now my 15 year old has another perspective. Do a little research before you throw flames. The Poly community is bigger than you think. It is not based on lies, it is not based on cheating. A person cannot cheat if he/she is doing so with the blessing and permission of their spouse. By the same token ... without that ... then, yes ... you're cheating. If you both do not embrace a Poly life/lovestyle ... then your mono and cheating. Your sister's situation was unfortunate, but swinging involves sex with virtual strangers or people you have no love ties to ... if she did that for so long ... something else was going on. Something you may never know, but something.
My sister wasn't "swinging" for 25 years, sorry if I made it sound like that. If my memory serves me right it was for a very short time. She had put up with a lot of crap in their marriage (affairs, physical abuse, etc.) and reluctanly decided to go with him. (People Pleaser!) If the Poly life/lovestyle would've been popular at that time (80's) he probably would've suggested that, too! Swinging wasn't enough (is it ever with these over-sexed people? Ya,all need a hobby!!! ) and come to find out he had raped his own minor daughter and neice. He was convicted and went to prison for 7 years. (Not long enough in my opinion!)  I thought my sister would've seen the light at that point, but she was "standing by her man" as that song goes...visited him in prison almost every weekend..(yeah, she's a little on the STUPID side!). Well, after he got of prison he wanted her to swing with him again, and she FINALLY said, sorry I'm not going down that road again, and you are free to do whatever you want to do without me...here's the divorce papers to sign.  It's been 11 wonderful years for her without him!

I'm sure that your Poly life/lovestyle seems normal to you but since you call the person you're living with a "mate", it doesn't sound like you're in a commited "marriage" relationship in the first place...correct me if I'm wrong? You might view things differently if you took vows before God and "promised to keep yourself 'only unto him' as long as you both shall live"! I took those vows myself and believe that they are not to be taken lightly....but hey, everyone is entitiled to their own opinion! I just gage mine by morality!  (yeah, I know it's sounds old-fashioned, and not the popular thing now a days, but try it you might like it!)  Like they say, what goes around, comes around.

All I can personally say about those who are involved in the poly life/lovestyle is, "What abominable thing are people in this world going to do next?"
 
February 1, 2006, 11:49 am CST

to pennynichol

Quote From: pennynicol

I feel I need to put my thoughts out on this subject, as so many people are quick to call Polyamory just another form of cheating. This is the furthest thing from the truth.  Polyamory is best described as a belief system. I believe that it is possible to have ethical, open, nonmonogamous relationships with more than one person.

 I also feel  that most people who have been in a relationship where their partner felt the need to see someone else would agree that it was done in secret. In true polyamorous relationships, there are immense amounts of communication, discussion and caring for all people involved.

 It is often said that there are as many ways to do poly as there are people. I know groups who practice polyfidelity where both the man and the woman have other partners; I am friends with a triad of a man and two women who are raising 2 children. One of my partners has a sister that is in a male/female/female triad. They have been together for 10 years and currently raising 3 1/2 yr old twins. I myself have been poly for as long as I can remember. I have been practicing poly for the last 6 years and am involved with 3 men, one of which I live with and will handfast with this Spring. We attend family dinners every week with other members of our tribe, and will be taking a trip this weekend with one of my lovers and two more of his loves. I can think of no better way to improve the world than to be open to love and affection in all its forms.

 I would never tell someone that monogamy is wrong. Why do people feel that they can tell me MY relationship structure is wrong, just because it doesn't work for them? Poly is NOT for everyone, and neither is monogamy. Poly is also NOT about sex, which is what people tend to get hung up on. Our country has some very warped ideals about sexuality and being sexual. Because of this, everything seems to be brought down to how often you sleep with someone. Polyamorus relationships are so much more, dealing with deep, loving, caring emotions. 

 In reading the description of the show, I can see how this man's wife would feel betrayed and not trust him. If it was me, I would feel the same way. If he truly wants to explore poly and find out whether it is right for him and his wife, he needs to start at the begining, not in the middle with trust and security issues. This is a classic example of how NOT to do poly. Things done in secret are wrong, no matter what the "excuse".
Well, call me old-fashioned, but that's just too weird for me.  And in response to your comment that poly is not about sex, if it were only about caring and friendship, there would be no controversy about it.
 
February 1, 2006, 11:54 am CST

To all you "Polys" out there!

If Dr. Phil tells this man on Thursday what he told the man last year on the show that wanted his wife to go swinging with him, ya, all ain't gonna like it!  Tune in and prove me wrong!

Hope you all watch!

Happily monogomous!
 
February 1, 2006, 11:57 am CST

Jealousy issues

Quote From: rebeccamo

How do you handle jealousy?  It is a human experience that we all feel.  I understand that they say there is a difference between sex and marriage, but I guess I am just not that with it.  My husband's arms are meant to hold me, not another woman.  His kisses and his gazes should be a gift for me, not shared with someone who doesn't care for him, raise his children, or clean up his dirty underwear!  I want to do all I can for his happiness and I understand that they may mean sacrificies along the way, but I am struggling with the idea to just say "Go ahead, find another woman."  Don't you worry that he will fall in love with her too?  Can you really happily share your husband with another woman? 
   Jealousy is actually a combination of many emotions, most of which stem from fear ( loss of intimacy, love, etc). I've experienced it myself and found that all I needed was more communication. My partners and I TALK...we talk about how we're feeling, any problems we are having, about sex and how it affects all parties involved. For all the couple I know and have known, jealousy only rears it's head when there is a lack of communication.

 In response to your comment about your husband possibly falling in love with another partner...in poly, that's not a fear, it's a reality and one I hope everyone can experience. When the love is open, honest and true, I don't feel that you can have too much in your life.
 
 In poly relationships, it goes both ways. Just as the man might have a girlfriend so the wife might have a lover outside of her husband. . I know that D loves me with all of his heart and will always be there for me, even if he has another love. Just because they don't do his laundry  doesn't mean he loves me any less or more than he does others.  You assume that "other women" wouldn't care for him as much as you do. In my relationships, I care as much for my other loves as I do for the man I live with and will soon marry.

 So yes, I can happily share my future husband with other lovers, because we talk about it and are open with each other. I know that he can love another and love me at the same time.  Again, though, this is not for everyone, anymore than monogamy is for everyone.


 
 
February 1, 2006, 12:05 pm CST

02/02 Twisted Love

Quote From: elwood

Well, call me old-fashioned, but that's just too weird for me.  And in response to your comment that poly is not about sex, if it were only about caring and friendship, there would be no controversy about it.
 I fully support your right to your beliefs and relationships, even if they don't work for me. That's what freedom is all about and I will stand up for anyone in that regard.

There is only controvery because people feel they have a RIGHT to tell us how we should structure our relationships. Even if it WAS about sex, I'm not in your bedroom..why are you in mine?




 
February 1, 2006, 12:13 pm CST

02/02 Twisted Love

Quote From: sheltie2

If Dr. Phil tells this man on Thursday what he told the man last year on the show that wanted his wife to go swinging with him, ya, all ain't gonna like it!  Tune in and prove me wrong!

Hope you all watch!

Happily monogomous!

I doubt if you will find anyone who disagrees that pressuring an unwilling person to live in a poly lifestyle is wrong.  It has been said and said on this board and elsewhere.  Polyamory is the right choice when everyone is freely consenting and everyone's needs are being met. 

  

I don't know the exact situation regarding the couple beng profiled on Thursday except that the wife does not wish to engage in a polyamorous lifestyle. Because of that fact alone,  my answer would be the same as Dr. Phil's-it is wrong to force it on her.   

 
February 1, 2006, 12:14 pm CST

Children and Poly

Quote From: zapatasred

I saw on the web about grandparents that got custody of their grandchildren because of this lifestyle. It would be an interesting study of the children of these relationships - how much secrecy is necessary from the children or other relatives or the schools. also, psychologically is this healthy to expose your kids to this? I still tend to think the nuclear family is for the protection of the kids and the mother and father. Kids have enough problems growing up without this but live and let live as long as it doesn't harm someone else in your family.
 I can respond to this, as I am in a relationship with a man who is married and has two children. Both of his kids are fully aware that their parents love more than one person. His 17 year old daughter is one of the most well rounded, open, honest and communicative people I know. She has had the experience of seeing different types of relationships and at this time, she feels no need to "settle down" with anyone, unlike a lot of teenagers I've met.

 Another friend is 15 years old. She is strong, open, honest, and relishes the fact that she was able to grow up in a household that included more than two parents. She was always able to go and talk to an adult, even if she was having an argument with mom or dad. If you happened to see the Montel WIlliams show on Polyamory a few weeks ago, she had a recorded statement in answer to just this question. I have yet to meet a more secure and educated 15 year old girl.
 
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