Advice – I want my husband to date my wife.

I am a hinge in a V, but I would rather the three of us form a triad.

My husband and I have been together for 17 years. My wife and I started out as best friends, but realized we were something more than that about five years ago.

About 2 years ago, my wife and her husband divorced (for reasons other than our setup), and we took a step back so that she could heal. We are just now getting back to where we were before her divorce.

I don’t want to push anything, but my husband and my wife get along marvelously. They share a lot of traits, from political beliefs to sense of humor, etc. I would love for them to be more than friends. I think they would be a great match.

My husband has brought up the fact that he wouldn’t mind dating her, but I told him to hold back while she was dealing with her divorce. Now that she seems to be on the other end of that tunnel, how should I broach the idea of them dating?

We have a pretty good dynamic the way we are now, but honestly, I think we would be closer and happier if we were in a triad.

/u/Gw3nhwyfar, /r/polyamory.
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on

Dear Gw3nhwyfar,

The laws of attraction is rarely just. Relationships are complicated because it requires three major things: match in availability, mutual attraction, and basic chemistry. For example, let’s say that you and a potential interest were mutually attracted to each other and had basic chemistry, but your potential interest was in a monogamous relationship with another. Even if you were single and/or polyamorous, this just would not work. If you and your potential interest were both available and had mutual interest in each other but lacked basic chemistry, it would quickly fall apart as there would be no “spark.” Absent all three, a relationship will quickly unravel.

It is even more challenging to ensure a spark to a new relationship if it involves two of the people you are romantically connected with. Here is why this is such a challenging feat. First, it requires that both your husband and your wife are open to dating others who are in serious relationship with another – you. Even if they have other partners, your husband and/or wife might be currently polysaturated and therefore not looking to build any new connection. And even if they’re both familiar with each other, a romantic connection will be a new one. Second, it requires that both your husband and your wife are each interested in each other. Based on what you have shared, I get the sense that at least your husband has thought once or twice about connecting with your wife. But we have no idea whether or not your wife is interested in your husband in a romantic or a sexual way. Third, it requires that both your husband and wife feel basic chemistry with each other toward each other. I don’t just mean interpersonal chemistry as if they’d be dating each other as folks who are just discovering each other for the first time, but initially as each other’s metamours. Then there is the added potential difficulty of logistics and balance between each of their intertwined relationships.

I wrote in a column a while back that triads are about three times as difficult as a traditional hinge-type poly relationship. Triads are a completely different type of a relationship than functioning as a hinge relationship. It might be more important to get down to why you feel like you want a triad relationship, rather than your husband and your wife being a good match for each other. I get the sense that you have a deep sense of appreciation and affection for each of your partners. And through that appreciation, you might also see compersion through your partners dating each other. What is it about triad relationship that appeals to you in general? And why with these two very specific people?

Photo by Ryan Baker on

If you really are insistent on pursuing a triad relationship, then you need to start lowering your expectations. Relationships cannot be forced. And if a relationship is on a roll, its natural rhythm can rarely ever be stopped. Love and care is often beyond reason and stands often times against reason and logic. And instead of coming from a place of “I would really like for them to have a romantic relationship with each other”, perhaps start from “I would really like for them to get closer”.

Once you have properly set your expectation, allow for them to forge and foster their own connection at their own pace. This isn’t the place for you to assert yourself by declaring your desire for them to connect as lovers. Even if the romantic potential is there (as you stated), it is completely and wholly beyond your sense of agency as the hinge partner of the two relationships. Instead, allow them space and time to build and establish a wider foundation for them to build a different house atop their current existing one. Give them space to better flesh out the type of connection they each want to have with each other.

I’ll leave you off with this thought. I’ve had a handful of deep and enriching connections with my metamours that never intensified to a sexual or a romantic relationship. Adding sex or attaching romantic aspirations to those connections might have soured the incredible connection that we had as metamours. There are a lot of different shades and depth of connection that is just as invigorating as an intense lustful connection and just as relaxing as a long-term connection with whom you’ve developed an immense amount of trust with. Keep that in mind.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

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