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'My wife has been acting strangely after finding out about our neighbors' open relationship.' UPDATED

'My wife has been acting strangely after finding out about our neighbors' open relationship.' UPDATED


"My (25M) wife (24F) has been acting strangely after finding out about our neighbors' (30M, 20F) lifestyle."

Last year my wife and I moved into a new house. We never could have afforded this house, but her grandmother left it to her in the will. It was a blessing. We could have sold the house and bought a much cheaper one, but we hadn't really put down roots yet.

My wife, let's call her Amy (not her real name), had a little bit more trouble finding a job locally than I did, and originally our shifts were a little bit weird, but after a few months things worked out and we both managed to get on similar schedules. During that time my wife made the acquaintance of our neighbors when she managed to forget her house keys in the morning and was locked out.

They waved her over and let her come inside to hang out with them while she waited on me to get home and have been very friendly with us ever since. Later that week we were invited over to meet them and that was the first time that I met them in person.

I sort of had to stop my jaw from hitting the floor when I saw these people. Ray and Maria (not their real names) were almost out of a movie. I wasn't exactly surprised to find out that Maria was a model. Ray does something in textiles. I don't exactly know what, but he seems to make a lot of money. As it turned out Ray and I hit it off and so did Maria and Amy.

They became our go to friend couple in the area since we didn't really know anyone, and we met their circle of friends. We hang out at least once a week as couples and Amy spends time with Maria far more frequently than that. They've become very close friends, and I think that Ray and I are getting pretty close too. We found out that we had a lot in common.

Ray and I didn't come from money but Maria and Amy did. We're both big nerds. We both paint Warhammer miniatures. Small world. Flash forward to this weekend. We were out shopping and Amy spotted Ray walking at a distance and tried to point him out to me. Then she paused and looked shocked. Plain as day it was Ray getting out of his car and kissing a woman.

A woman who was definitely not Maria. Amy was furious. Downright ballistic. I had to stop her from going over to immediately confront Ray. Not because it wasn't the right thing to do, but because I didn't want Amy to get arrested for assaulting Ray or the woman that he was with. When she cooled down she said that we had to tell Maria immediately. I agreed.

I started to text but Amy said that this was better to bring up in person. So we went home and Amy invited Maria over and said that she had something serious to talk about. Maria came over and looked happy to see us, but seemed a little bit confused about the heavy tone. Amy sat her down and explained what we had seen.

Maria didn't look mad. She just asked what color the woman's hair was. I started to say brown but Amy said red, definitely red. Then Maria laughed. We were a little thrown. Amy repeated that she had seen them kissing, not really processing it. Maria said that wasn't a problem, that the woman was one of the mutual "play partners" that they shared. That was when Maria basically said "welp,

the cat is out of the bag". She explained that she and Ray were not strictly monogamous. Sometimes they had singular partners that they played with together, sometimes they partner swapped, sometimes they did other things, but always with each other's consent and with both of them having veto power over the other's partner or shared partners. I was genuinely surprised and so was Amy.

Maria thought our reaction was sweet, but also hilarious. She mentioned it to Ray, who also thought the same thing. He came by later with pizza and wine, and we ate dinner together. He said he was relieved that we had told Maria and that it was also a bit of weight off of their shoulders that they didn't have to keep walking on eggshells about their lifestyle. I asked why they had kept it a secret.

Ray explained that they had ground rules and lines that they didn't cross. They tried to be careful in explaining about their non-monogamy with monogamous people because it could come across as an invitation, that this kind of thing wasn't for everyone, and it might be seen as trying to push their way of doing things onto people who were perfectly happy with what they already had.

Naturally we had a few questions, and they were very comfortable answering them. Amy had a lot more questions than I did. Later when Ray and Maria left Amy and I had a good laugh about the misunderstanding. That was when Amy asked me if I thought that Maria was attractive. This felt like one of those "do I look fat in this outfit" questions. So I said no.

She quirked an eyebrow at me with that expression that says "really?" After a little more badgering I eventually said that she was attractive but not the person that I was married to. Then I asked her if she thought that Ray was attractive. She said yes. We laughed about it and I thought that the conversation ended on a pretty good note.

Here's what's bugging me. Over the past couple of days she's asked me several times if I thought that Maria was attractive. I already gave her an honest answer, but that was when I really started paying attention. She's also had that "deep in thought" look on her face. At first I was worried that she was worried that I would want to go and be swinger buddies with Ray and Maria so I assured her that wasn't the case.

Today when I got home she was over visiting Ray and Maria again (she gets off about 30 minutes before I do now). When she got back home she once again had that "deep in thought" expression that she sometimes gets when she's thinking. I asked her what it was and she said it was nothing,

she was just still surprised about the whole thing and felt guilty about freaking out when she saw Ray kissing another woman. I know my wife well enough to know that's not all of it. She's not going to say anything more to me though until she's thought it all out, but I know that she will and will eventually bring up what she's been thinking.

I'm asking for advice because my mental processing power is kind of stretched just accepting that our friends are swingers. I've never been in this situation. Neither has Amy.

So I can't really read her reaction to it and I have no idea what she's going to say, but I'm already basically neck deep mentally and asking for strangers to throw me a rope by way of advice on processing the situation on what my wife might be thinking couldn't hurt. I don't want to screw up. Thanks for reading this far. If you're puzzled by this situation, trust me, I am too.

Commenters weighed in:

-Fast-Molasses- said:

How much were y’all interested interested in their lives before you found out? None? Leave it that way. Adding, don’t sleep with your neighbor.


She is trying to decide if this lifestyle would be something she wants. Probably she asked them about it. You need to think about if this is something you would be interested in doing, because, she very well, will ask you if you want to try this lifestyle. If you aren't interested in this lifestyle, be firm that you do not want this. This has messed up marriages of people who are not into this.

If you did try this, then setup firm boundaries of who and when and both agree. Some people can do this, others it is a disaster. For instance could you stand knowing your wife is sleeping with someone else? Could she stand knowing you are with another woman. I would suggest not getting into it unless you both can handle it and both truly interested. Yes the question will come up.


Maria is only 20. How long has she been with this guy who is 10 years older than her. Don’t assume that these people have something you would want. You have a good happy marriage. Protect what you have.

Unique-Yam said:

Please be careful. How are you going to react if your wife asks if you might be interested? I just read and responded to a poster whose wife posed that question. He did not react well and it’s highly likely that his marriage may be over. For some, even the mention of ENM is a dealbreaker.

They view it as the partner not feeling they are enough. If you feel the same, you may want to put that out there before your wife asks. It may save you from a lot of heartache.

Later, OP shared this update on the situation:

I am grateful for all of the advice, and a lot of people took an interest in sharing perspectives on things that I hadn't considered. I definitely haven't managed to respond to or even read everything, but I took what people were saying into consideration.

Last night Amy told me she had finally worked something out and that I would want to hear this. I kind of went in dreading what she meant, but she was relaxed. I asked if this was about Ray and Maria and she said sort of. I asked if it was about their lifestyle and she said only obliquely. I realized that playing twenty questions with my wife instead of just letting her talk was a bad idea so I just listened.

Amy pointed out a few things and told me about some experiences with Maria and things that she had figured out about Maria. First, she kind of dropped a bomb by saying that she was attracted to Maria physically. I asked if that meant she was bi or maybe had realized that she was a lesbian. She said no. If she were bi she would have figured it out in high school or college.

She quoted Archer and called it a singular same sex attraction. I said I couldn't blame her because I guess everybody thinks that Maria is hot. I asked her when she started to feel like that and she said that it was a couple of months ago when they were out shopping together.

She was very confused by it but couldn't put a label on it because she had never felt physical attraction to another woman before. This last weekend she was finally able to place a label on it. So I asked if she was going to want to do something with Maria and she said let her finish because she was getting to the genuinely funny part. I still had no idea how this could conceivably go in a comedic direction but I said okay.

She's been going over and subtly trying to figure out just who most of Maria's play partners are. As in the gender ratio, but she was trying to be circumspect about it because she was trying to confirm something without directly asking it. Amy said that most of the partners that Maria picked out were women.

Ray vetoed slightly more men than women, but of her own volition Maria picked more women than men. I said okay, but what's so funny about that? That's when Amy stood up and said that she was deep, deep in the friend zone before she even realized that she was actually attracted to Maria or that Maria slept with other women. I asked how all of that added up.

She said that she was thinking back to all of her interactions with Maria and how Maria had never once checked her out or anything like that. I said oh. She said I could laugh, because it was actually a pretty funny thing.

So we laughed. I felt bad for her, but the conversation was basically realizing that her girl crush had pre-friendzoned her before she even knew she had a crush. That's the kind of humor that we can laugh at as a couple. We ate ice cream. Watched dumb movies.

Later we talked about the open relationship thing. She said it probably wasn't for us, but if it came up later we would talk about it. Mostly what had been on her mind was her confusion at her own same sex attraction and the realization that she has been pre-friendzoned, basically.

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm not sure if this is a good update or not. Tonight Ray is off playing with one of his partners and Maria is coming over to watch movies and play cards with us. If the situation changes I'll mention it, but I'd like to say thanks again.

TLDR: OP's wife Amy realized she had a fluke same-sex attraction to the neighbor Maria after learning about the neighbor's unconventional lifestyle, and was trying to calculate whether it went both ways. It didn't.

Sources: Reddit
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