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LOVE LETTERS

I want him to consider polyamory

‘I also flirt with his wife when I see her’

Love Letters

Love Letters

Q. I fell in love with someone I shouldn’t have — outside of my marriage — and it led me to get divorced. I haven’t pursued a relationship with the man I fell for, despite having an open marriage prior to the divorce.

We work together and he’s married. However, he has treated me far better than my ex ever did, and it opened my eyes to how toxic my marriage was. He is kind and supportive. He is protective of me and helps me set appropriate boundaries surrounding work. We have great banter and flirt. I also flirt with his wife when I see her, as she and I are both bisexual.

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I’m certain he has feelings for me as well, but I’m wary of the situation, as he has expressed discomfort with the concept of polyamory in the past (though that was several months ago, and I’m under the impression that may be changing).

We work together, so getting involved could be messy. Also, I really do need his support as I navigate the aftermath of my marriage. That said, it’s getting harder for me to hold back. I’ve had feelings for him for well over a year now, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve felt this safe with someone.

I feel as if I’m at a standstill where I want nothing more than to be with him (and while I haven’t talked much about his wife here, I would be more than open to a relationship with her, as well). I can’t move forward with or meet anyone new because I am so emotionally unavailable as a result. My logical and emotional sides are at war, and I don’t know where to go from here.

Do you have any advice for a confused soul?

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OPEN TO MR. (AND MRS.) RIGHT

A. It sounds like you need a better post-divorce support system. Figure that out before taking any next steps with this man.

You say you need him to help you navigate life after marriage, but I’m not sure he’s the best person for the job. You require a network of platonic connections to help you adjust to this new chapter. If he’s your first call, find someone else — someone you’re not hoping to kiss.

After you know you have others to lean on, you can consider what’s appropriate, and what you really desire. It’s all too blurry right now because he’s so important. After all, he’s the man who inspired you to think about a new kind of life. Even if he initiates the conversation and wants to try a relationship, I’m not sure you could begin something good with him (or his wife) just yet. Not until he’s less powerful in your mind.

Remember that polyamory has come up in his presence, and he wasn’t thrilled about the idea. You say you’re under the impression that his opinions are changing, but you don’t know for sure. Also, there is no reason to believe his wife is on board, and she is a huge part of this.

You say you can’t date others right now, but maybe that’s a good thing. Again, this seems like a moment to focus on everything that isn’t romantic love.

Maybe in a year you’ll be in an incredible relationship with these two people, but it’s also possible you’ll change your mind about what you want. Give yourself time to find clarity. No big steps until you’ve found ways to make your world feel safe with or without him.

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MEREDITH


READERS RESPOND:

The cure for a divorce is not jumping out of the pan and into the fire.

WIZEN


You need some space, perspective, and time. As awful as it may be, you need to distance from your crush. Seeing him every workday is keeping you stuck. Also, you are rationalizing that you have a chance because his wife is bi. He said he was not comfortable with polyamory. He told the truth and will not change.

NANOSECO


If you are open to all types of coupling/throupling, your dating pool is vast and it makes no sense to put your employment/career in jeopardy. The circumstances surrounding this potential blowup at work will follow you, in a negative way, for a very long time. Although it appears you’ve already crossed some lines, you can choose NOT to pursue this further. Fish elsewhere.

COMMENTOR2


If polyamory works for you fine, but that doesn’t mean making where you work a messy place. That doesn’t sound professional to me. I’m sure others notice these flirtations and it just doesn’t bode well for office etiquette.

BKLYNMOM


You “fell in love” with someone outside of marriage, and got divorced — check. You’re pursuing a relationship with a married co-worker — check. You’re trying to get said co-worker and his wife into bed with you without even considering how the wife would feel about your predatory nature — check. You’re fixating on these people to the extent that you won’t even consider another relationship — check. Step back, dear letter writer. Step back and away from a minefield here. This has the potential to blow up in all of your faces and the one who will be most hurt by this is the wife. You don’t indicate any willingness on her part to share her husband with you.

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HIKERGALNH128


^Bullseye.

JIM501

Send your own relationship and dating questions to loveletters@globe.com or fill out this form. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.

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