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-   -   Need some advice/support new to polyamory (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1722)

lovely 12-11-2009 09:45 PM

Need some advice/support new to polyamory
I have been reading for about 6 weeks now and I have read a lot about and thought it was time to post. A little background, I have been married for 11 years to my husband and we have been together for a total of 15. We have two small school aged children. About 2 years ago he had an affair with my best friend (I'll call her Mary), he was honest the entire time about what was happening (not all of the details, there was still a lot of deceit involved), I cut off my relationship with her and it was a very painful time for everyone involved. Last March the affair ended and Mary went back to her husband, I moved back home and my husband and I began the hard work of repairing our marriage. He was always honest about his love for Mary and between March and November we had lots of conversations about what happened and processed the pain etc. A few of those conversations involved the idea of opening up our marriage. During that time we recaptured our friendship and passion for one another.

On the first of November Mary left her husband and admitted to herself that she still loved my husband. I gave my blessing for the relationship to resume and that's what brought me here. It is one thing to discuss an open relationship, it's an entirely other thing to live it. I am committed to my husband's happiness and I have realized over the last 2 years that I am not in control of his feelings, and he can't change his feelings. I have a lot of pain over the affair and spent the first 4 weeks not trusting either one of them, but we have been actively communicating and I am also actively trying to heal my friendship with Mary. I have had really good days and a lot of bad, where I wake up with an ache in my heart that I can't explain. My contradictory feelings have led to lots of confusion and stress in my marriage, because one minute I'm fine and my higher self knows that this is not only great for him but also for us...and the next minute I am crying and yelling over the smallest thing. I don't want to lose my marriage and am hoping for some advice from some folks who have been down this road before me. I feel like right now my behavior could potentially sabotage what could potentially be a great thing for all involved.

MonoVCPHG 12-11-2009 10:32 PM

I have no great advice but your story touched me regardless. Simply be honest about what you want. Take a look at the relationship without considering anything besides the connection you have with your husband. Forget the house, retirement plans, kids, family pressure, and everything else just for a while. That is the stuff that artificially bonds people together.

When you reach that point of just seeing you and him, then listen to what your heart says. This is where I find my truth.

Take care

Catfish 12-12-2009 12:11 AM


Originally Posted by lovely (Post 15425)
It is one thing to discuss an open relationship, it's an entirely other thing to live it.

sage words.

My heart goes out to you. You sound like a very loving and committed person. I wish the very best for you, whatever that may be.

crisare 12-12-2009 12:13 AM

Hey Lovely. Welcome to the forum.

I'm with Mono that your story touched me. Some of the elements of it I can relate to in my own life, and others I empathise with.

I have a few questions - not necessarily for the board, although if you wanted to answer them as a way of getting your own thoughts straight, that's good - but mostly for you to ponder as you work your way through this.

Why did you "give your blessing" to their relationship?
Did you feel that you had to allow this opening of your marriage or risk losing your husband?
Do you think that you will ever seek another partner?
If you do, is that something you've discussed with your husband?
Is Mary also going back to her husband?
What is she seeking out of this relationship with your husband, regardless of where she goes?

For me, all of these questions would need to be answered for me to feel comfortable moving forward - and maybe you've already answered them between you. :) But if not, maybe working on some of these things will help with your anger and hurt.

lovely 12-12-2009 02:04 AM

Thanks for the advice and support.

Mono, I think you are right on about letting go of the big picture right now, I think those thoughts can trigger me because I am not sure what the future holds or will look like. I just know I have to let go of what ever vision I have been holding for the last number of years. It seems like the message of monogamy bombards us everywhere, songs, movies, commercials, books..and that is currently the thinking I am trying to restructure.

Crisare, you asked some good questions I'll try to answer because I agree processing happens in asking the right questions and thoughtfully considering the answers.

First of all I gave my blessing because I love my husband and support his happiness. During the 7 months we had together to process the affair and rebuild our relationship I began to realize the love he had for Mary was real and wasn't going away. It was quite an ego blow but something I have worked through. I also realized the love he had for me was real, he loves me deeply and didn't want our marriage to end. I also realized during the affair that I wasn't necessarily a possessive person so an open marriage could possibly be an option.

I never felt like I had to offer it or risk losing my husband, I knew I had to offer it to have a happy marriage.

I haven't decided if another partner is a necessary element for my happiness. My husband would be supportive if I ever chose to pursue that option.

Mary is not going back to her husband, she would like her primary relationship to be with my husband. She understands that he will never leave me and is happy to have whatever time she can get. Mary and I don't have any real relationship at this point although there is a very long history of us being friends, we have only spoken once in person since they began seeing each other again. My husband would like to keep both of us in his life, for the rest of his life. He is a very passionate man and loves 110%.

Thinking this through, I think my pain is around the unknown of the future and letting go of a dream I had for my future. I have been inspired by the success stories I have read on the forum and am trying to create a positive vision for my life. It has just been a lot to assimilate in a short amount of time...no real warm up period where I could get used to all of this in baby steps. I have already experienced the tangible benefits, my relationship is more intimate with my husband. I am uncovering many things personally that I need to deal with, regardless of the status of my marriage, and I always see the positive opportunity for personal growth. But again, the actual day to day still has some pain, he just left to see her and I can't say I am overjoyed.

redpepper 12-12-2009 03:27 AM


Originally Posted by lovely (Post 15442)
Thinking this through, I think my pain is around the unknown of the future and letting go of a dream I had for my future.

first of all may I just say if I could be half the woman you have been I would consider myself an incredible person. You are amazing. My hat goes off to you for putting in so much effort.

Is it possible that you could see a future with both of them in it? You were her best friend and she yours... your husband still loves you and I would wager that your ex best friend loves you too. It might take a change of thinking but is possible.

When all is said and done things settle and life goes on normally. Perhaps this can happen again, but with the understanding that your husband and her are in love also.

Mark1npt has a similar situation to you... he lives with his wife and her best friend, who he fell in love with. Perhaps he could help. Reading his posts might. They have been through similar stuff, but he would be talking from where your husband sits.
Might me helpful to read his words.

Mark1npt 12-12-2009 01:47 PM

Thanks for the props, RP.......Lovely......first let me state, that coming exactly from where your husband did, he never meant to hurt you or break your heart in all of this. My situation is remarkably similar to yours, and to many more out there in the real world, I'm sure. But very few of us get to try to live out our lives in this manner, I'm afraid. Too often, personal loss and tragedy follows, families uprooted, homes torn apart. It doesn't have to be that way. But of course, that's the norm in our society. Do you feel like not being normal? For the first time in my life, I do.

I had only ever been mono in my first 50 years, though growing up always had a lot of girl friends and few guys I hung out with. Straight arrow, no drugs, no experimentation of any kind, a pillar of the community.....but, circumstances changed and came together, people changed, times changed....viola! I'm living with my wife of 27 years still and her best friend of 20+ lives upstairs in our kids' old room. It's been 9 months that way now. It's difficult for each of us in some way, on some days. I'm sure worst for my wife, as she's the most possessive by nature. I don't mean that in a bad way at all, she's just the most traditional and conservative now, which is a far cry from her younger years. But it's been hard on her best friend too. She's also very mono. And also new to the dynamics of what we're trying to do.

How you describe your husband, it seems he is exactly like me, it really hit a nerve. I know this situation is not what you signed on for when you two got married. It certainly isn't where I thought I'd be after 27 years of marriage. I certainly never wanted to crush my wife's spirit like this, but.........things change. We grow, we expand, we flourish, sometimes we die. All I can tell you, is that if it's in your husband's heart and ability to love the two of you and if you still love him and your best friend, it can be a tremendously wonderful time. Yes, there are issues and problems but show me a marriage or relationship that doesn't have any, and I tell you they're lying!

If the three of you want this together and want it badly enough, it can be done. My heart goes out to you and your situation. I know I can't take back the hurt and pain I've caused my wife and I will carry that burden to my grave. I'm sure your husband will too. I hope this helps in some small way.

LovingRadiance 12-13-2009 02:25 AM

I cheated on Maca (my husband) with GreenGecko (my best friend).

After a big dramatic mess mostly created by me (see my early posts by clicking on my name and going to "see all posts" and finding ones from Sept 09) we went "poly" Sept 25th.

We all live together and it's not easy.

BUT-my point in posting here wasn't to share my side. :)

I wanted to suggest writing a post to Maca and asking him for his perspective, as he's only a few steps ahead of where you are right now-and our relationship is blossoming BEAUTIFULLY because of his patience with himself, me and GreenGecko.

Good luck!!!!

Fidelia 12-13-2009 06:13 AM

First, I want to second RedPepper's hat's off to you. You are an amazing spirit, and you must love your husband very, very much indeed. If his love is equal to yours, y'all will undoubtedly find your way through this vale of tears.

It's wonderful that you and he have been working on getting your marriage back on solid ground; IMO, that's exactly what must be done for to clear the way for any future happiness and stability in your relationship, regardless of what else happens. Heal this relationship first, then go from there. Adding additonal relationships to a troubled one is a recipe for disaster, again IMO.

And don't feel like you have to rush through the healing process. You've gone through a terrible trauma, created by your nearest and dearest. Your trust has been undermined, your security in those relationships destroyed. It's an earthshattering experience; I know. It's okay to go slow, as slow as you need to, and to do the things you need to do to heal.

Ask yourself:
What do YOU need for your healing? What do you need to be healthy and whole in your relationship to him, to her, and to the two of them?

When your heart aches, or when you find yourself yelling and crying, take the time right then to ask your deepest self why? What's causing this? Look at the pain; it's coming from the places that need healing. Spend some time looking deep into your heart and figure out what you need and want. Then ask him/them for it.

Good luck to you, SisterWoman, and godspeed.

lovely 12-15-2009 06:55 PM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 15445)
first of all may I just say if I could be half the woman you have been I would consider myself an incredible person. You are amazing. My hat goes off to you for putting in so much effort.

Is it possible that you could see a future with both of them in it? You were her best friend and she yours... your husband still loves you and I would wager that your ex best friend loves you too. It might take a change of thinking but is possible.

Redpepper, Thanks for the compliment, I have admired your ability to love so freely and see that I have a lot to learn from your example. It's that kind of freedom where my happiness may lie.

It is possible that I could see a future with both of them in it. I think the part I am having a hard time with is knowing what it would look like. I know I need to heal my relationship with Mary so that I can neutralize my emotional charge about her. It feels like right now we are creating compartments for my relationship with my husband and his relationship with her, and in the long run that won't create a satisfying situation for anyone. So tapping into the love that Mary and I potentially have (and had for sure) for one another is key. It's hard to process all of the pain of the initial betrayal, and to feel like I am the only one feeling the pain now. Their pain was in not being together and is gone now.

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