Hey Annie -- Issue #8

The Truth. The Whole Truth. And Nothing but...
Advice Question: 

<p>&nbsp;Hey Annie:</p>
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<p>My wife and I are polyamorous and we both actively date others. I&rsquo;ve noticed a small difference in the way we handle talking about our outside relationships. I ask her if she had sex or not when she comes home from a date. I want to know. I also want her to want to tell me. She doesn&rsquo;t ask me, ever, listens without response if I tell, and never volunteers the information.</p>
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<p>I feel that it&rsquo;s my business what she&rsquo;s doing because she&rsquo;s my partner. She seems to feel it&rsquo;s none of my business what she does with her other partner. She does talk about other things they do, if they go to a movie or have a nice meal, what they talk about.</p>
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<p>Should she tell? Should I stop asking?&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Busy Body....</p>
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<p>Hey Busy:</p>
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<p>You should stop asking. Not forever. Not because it&rsquo;s wrong to ask. Not because it&rsquo;s none of your business. You should stop asking so that you can sit with how it feels not to know. During this time, at least a few weeks, you should not tell her about your experiences unless she asks you specifically.&nbsp;</p>
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<p>What does it represent to you that your wife has private experiences she doesn&rsquo;t share with you? What would it mean if she told you without being asked? What if you feel afraid, angry, frustrated, isolated? How do you experience these feelings? What do you with them when you can&rsquo;t have the information you think will sooth them? This work will open up a deeper understanding of yourself. Why do you want to know? What is at risk when you don&rsquo;t know? How do you soothe yourself when you can't reach out to her to be soothed in this way?</p>
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<p>And, she should tell you. After you spend a period of time not asking, ask your wife if she would be willing to tell you, every time, without being asked, for a while. Let her feel what it&rsquo;s like to be accountable for the information. Ask her if she&rsquo;ll sit with those feelings for a while and find that deeper understanding of herself. Why does she prefer not telling? What is it she gets from you asking? What feelings does she need to face in order to tell you?</p>
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<p>When these two experiments are over sit down with your wife and without expectations for any particular result, talk about what the experiences were like for each of you. Tell your wife what you learned from the experiences you shared. Let her talk and listen to what she discovered. Then give one another some space. It is important that the two of you make this choice together and find some peace about it. You may choose to tell each and every time without being asked, to answer if asked or to stop asking. It could also be to do what comes most naturally to each of you in the moment. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The beauty of the journey is all the stuff you get to learn about each other and yourselves in the process...</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>Annie Ory</p>
<p>Dating, Relationship &amp; Grief Coach</p>

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Annie Ory - Advice Columnist - Former Contributor