Reader’s Commentary Regarding the man with the polyamory-seeking wife (April 18):
Reader – “He thinks he has a choice in the polyamory decision but he almost certainly doesn’t – especially given that his wife has cheated in the past.
“She’s likely trying to legitimize her cheating but if not, she’ll proceed with polyamory regardless of her husband's blessing.
“Here’s my friend's story as example: Several years after they’d married and two children later, he caught his wife cheating.
“Although his trust was shaken, he forgave her and they stayed together for several more years and two more children.
“Then she proposed an “open” marriage. He refused the idea and doubled down on his effort to be an even more attentive husband – doing most of the cooking, laundry, childcare, etc.
“Months later, he discovered she was having an affair with one of their neighbours. She refused to give up her lover!
“The humiliation was heightened by him having to face her lover in the neighbourhood. The guy felt no shame.
“She also had the nerve to complain that it had been more exciting when she was sneaking around and cheating, than once her husband had discovered her affair and was planning to move out.
“For months after they split, his wife boasted to him about the men she was dating.
“Nevertheless, a few times she asked him to come back to her – which of course he refused.
“Months later she found a high-income guy who seems to have fallen hard for her.
“I expect she will continue her self-indulgent ways and eventually leave the new guy,
“The good news is that my friend has met a new woman who loves him and declares she didn't know men like him existed.
“So, here’s my strongest suggestion for your advice-seeker... RUN!!”
Ellie – In fairness to people who’ve responded to past stories like these, countering the warnings in them, polyamory isn’t defined as serial cheating.
It’s considered an arrangement that both parties commit to agree is acceptable. They both understand that each can have other intimate partners.
Usually, there are agreed rules – such as no sexual encounters in the original couple’s home (especially if there are children living there) and not having sex in the marital bed.
It’s been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy."
From my experience hearing from people in these relationships, it works for some (one estimate says 20 percent of couples have tried multiple ongoing relationships), has been tried and dropped by others, rejected by many, often before it got started.
We met years ago, always friendly.
Two years ago, he flirted, but I was in a relationship.
Now single, I decided to give it a go. We've seen each other several times and constantly text.
We have fun and so much in common.
However, I think he's now hesitant about our 15-year age gap.
It doesn’t bother me. He agreed, but I heard faint reluctance.
We’re both financially secure. I’m no "gold digger,” he’s no “dirty old man."
There’s no baggage or drama from our pasts.
Do I keep trying to further this? I really like him and think this could be something.
Liking him is worth getting to know him better. Give it some time without pushing for a definitive response.
The 15-year gap can be meaningless, or not. It depends on how each of you views a “relationship” – for now, or a commitment? As lovers, or as partners? Wanting children, or none?
Time will tell.
FEEDBACK Regarding readers’ and your responses supporting the brides’ views during wedding planning (May 24):
Reader – “Let’s remember that there are traditions, and values in those traditions, that are sometimes nurtured in these celebrations, and need to be respected.
“In some cultures, e.g. the Italian culture, usually the parents (on both sides) pay for the wedding.
“Yet I see brides and grooms frequently disrespecting tradition, insisting on who and who not to invite.
“This puts parents in a precarious position and usually creates rifts within family members ending their communicating for years.
“A wedding’s a joyous celebration full of love and joy. It’s an occasion, especially when family members haven’t had contact due to some issue, re-unite, reconnect and re-evaluate.
“It’s not just about the bride and groom, but about bringing two people together who’ve opted to make a commitment to each other and should be celebrated by all those around them.”
Tip of the day:
Polyamory requires a couple’s mutual agreement; it's not just an excuse for cheating.