My job places me in direct physical contact with clients, including a woman and her husband, both early 40s.
Recently, the woman said they’ve started a polyamorous relationship.
She seemed to be waiting for my reaction.
I was curious about it – she told me they both had one other partner so far.
I don’t know any other couples with that situation, and I wouldn’t want it for me and my boyfriend.
So, I changed the subject.
Later, a co-worker said that my client was testing me, if I was interested in joining their arrangement.
Do you agree? If yes, how do I handle it the next time she or her husband raise that topic?
Your client’s a very direct communicator.
She was testing your reaction. Maybe she’s curious about what others think of a couple agreeing to each have one or more added sexual partners.
Or, maybe you seemed the right “fit” and she was checking if you’d be turned on to joining them.
Be direct in return.
Say it’s not something you’d ever consider for yourself. Then change the topic.
On future visits, don’t let her or her husband back you into a debate.
Just repeat that it’s fine for them, but it’s not for you.
My son, 24, dated extensively since he was very young.
His most recent girlfriend, 22, withdrew from university after a failed first semester, and has been "floating" for three years. My son completed his Bachelor’s degree.
Their relationship began last summer. By September, she’d moved in here.
She has her mother’s credit card and freedom to use it.
The girl's mother is long divorced from her father whom she sees rarely.
Her mother's currently single, apparently a successful entrepreneur. She invited my son to spend winter in warm weather with them, which he did.
When she’s here, she’s constantly complimenting him to the point of embarrassing. She mentioned that he should now get his MBA degree as she did, but gain business experience first.
I suspected that she was trying to sew up the relationship by offering to "mentor" him.
I warned him that working for in-laws is fraught with difficulties, and that his previous interests, and others were probably better bets.
He was disinterested. I emailed her mom that if she was thinking of hiring him I didn’t think that was in his best interests. She denied any such possibility.
He returned home and confessed that he’s now her mother’s well-paid employee, with a detailed contract.
The couple plan to get an apartment together near her mother's (about 30 minutes away).
I’m concerned about tying his future up with both job and girlfriend after a short-term relationship with someone unemployed and uneducated, who’s only spent "vacation" times with him.
Her mother and I are no longer conversant as she obviously lied to me about her plans.
I don't trust her. He’s very naive about others’ motives. He knows I’m unhappy with the arrangement, but isn’t rethinking it.
Otherwise, we’ve always had a pretty good relationship.
Back off. He’s young and may do well in this business, and/or gain good experience and more clarity about his interests and future.
Maintain your good relationship so he doesn’t have to disengage from you. He may need your caring and wisdom soon enough.
You don’t have to trust the mother. But it’s better for your son if you maintain enough contact to sense any more lies or schemes.
Reader’s Commentary “I feel badly for the grandmother who’s not seen her grandson since his first birthday (April 16):
“We were a big part of our two grandsons’ lives until they turned age eight. That’s when their mother suddenly refused to let us see them.
“We were devastated. I saw a lawyer and learned that "grandparents have rights too."
“We told the mom and she let us start seeing them again. We said, "This isn’t about their father, it’s about us and the children.”
“They’re now teenagers and we're so happy that we have them in our lives. They needed us just as much as we needed them.
“That grandmother should seek a lawyer. It's not fair for the child or her not to have a relationship.”
Ellie – These grandparents acted wisely in seeking legal advice and then communicating directly with the mother. They reassured her that they were doing this strictly for the sake of the children (not their son).
Tip of the day:
Enticements to unwanted sexual experiments and behaviours can happen anywhere. Be true to yourself.