Cosmopolitan (UK)

‘MY WIFE’S NEW MAN’ The night he came to dinner

Jack* comes face to face with his wife’s ‘poly’ lover. But will it all end in tears?


As I drive home from work, I know this isn’t going to be an ordinary Thursday evening. That’s because after we’ve put the children to bed, my wife’s lover, James,* will come to dinner. The idea is for all of us to be friends. Polyamory is nothing if not unconventi­onal.

My hands are clammy with apprehensi­on about meeting him. This is the man who is sleeping with my wife. How am I supposed to feel when we come face to face? Lucy* and James have only known each other a few weeks, but are obviously getting on well enough to not only have shared a bed, but also to take things to the ‘next level’ in the polyamory stakes – it’s meet-the-husband time! Maybe this is the polyamory equivalent of meeting the parents?

Lucy’s idea is that once James and I are, if not friends, then at least acquaintan­ces, then it will become somehow less ‘weird’ for him to bang her in our family home when I’m not there. That’s if I don’t rip his head off first, of course. Right now, tapping my hands on the steering wheel with nervous energy, I’m not sure I won’t be overcome with jealousy when we meet. I’m not the violent type at all – my default would be to make sarcastic comments all night, but right now I feel like losing my temper. The evening could end up being a horrible mess.

For once, the children do not play up at bedtime. I cook my usual Thursday night chilli, and Lucy and I uncork some wine prior to James’s arrival. At 8.15pm, right on cue, the doorbell rings. And suddenly, there he is in my house. My wife’s boyfriend. Sitting on my sofa. Surprising­ly, rather than feeling overwhelmi­ng possessive anger, I find myself looking at him somewhat critically in a ‘you’re not good enough for her’ sort of way. He’s a pleasant guy, and clearly just as uncomforta­ble about this whole situation as me. He’s not poly as such, but has neverthele­ss been made fully aware of the open nature of Lucy’s marriage to me. I’m pretty sure this isn’t Lucy’s idea of the perfect relaxing evening in either, but we all get on well enough making polite small talk, and after an hour and a half we say our brief ‘nice to meet yous’ and that’s that. I wouldn’t say it felt normal exactly, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared.

Meanwhile, things with Nell,* my poly girlfriend, whom I met on Tinder six months ago, is also entering a new phase – sex in hotels. Booking a night in a place near my work (which is also close to where she lives with her long-term ‘primary’ partner) is a good way for us to make sure we keep our relationsh­ip, erm… active. One night, emboldened by our newfound intimacy, we even head up a nearby hill and have sex in my car – something I’ve not done since I was a teenager. If meeting my wife’s boyfriend was an uncomforta­ble part of the poly lifestyle, having my own passionate new relationsh­ip is a definite bonus.

But, arriving home a few days later, I’m in for another surprise: Lucy has dumped James, because their sex life was struggling to go anywhere. Instead, she has turned her affections to Greg* – who is into S&M. The limits of our unconventi­onality are about to be tested yet again…

The Polyamory Diaries chronicles one man’s reluctant journey into polyamory in order to save his marriage. Read the previous instalment­s at Cosmopolit­an. com/uk/polyamory-diaries

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