With each step of the way, my husband and I recalibrated our boundaries and expectations. For several months, we talked daily about our relationship with Brad and Amy. We renegotiated, discussed our fears, and wouldn’t leave the conversation until we were both okay. By making room for emotions, we allowed the experience to unfold in its natural course. By doing this, I actually gained more faith in my relationship with my husband. I knew where he and Amy were at each stage which imparted a sense of safety. Unfortunately, Brad and Amy were not talking at this level. Instead of expanding the boundaries to allow for emotions, they slipped into a false sense of security and ignored the changes of our relationships. Even though they both were feeling, they did not admit this to each other openly. Amy was the first to feel jealousy with how much Brad and I were texting at night, especially about music which she did not share with him. My husband and Amy started exploring kink, which triggered jealousy in Brad who never knew his wife wanted to explore these fantasies.
As we plunged deeper into emotionality, there was a distinct shift in the eagerness of Brad. After that first overnight, we all agreed that it was a bit overwhelming. We decided to take a few steps back to couple’s dating with no more overnights. Amy started pushing to see us more often which made Brad uncomfortable. Our couple’s dates would turn into full weekends because she would think of other activities to extend our time. Brad started pulling back his communication with me and became less responsive to any emotional sharing. As Brad was retreating, the daily conversations with my husband were tinged with frustration as I began airing my concerns about relationship imbalances.