New, Scary and Exciting...Help!
This post is going to be a long one, so I apologize in advance. My husband and I are somewhat new to polyamory and I need some advice from those wiser and more experienced than I. Hubby also has an account on here and we have both been following the threads closely.
I am a 48 year old female happily married for 7 years now to a man 24 years my senior. This is a second marriage for both of us. My first marriage of 20 years was, for the most part, monogamous. Toward the end of that marriage, my ex and I had ventured in to the swinging world, with disastrous results. The one great thing about my introduction to swinging was meeting my current husband online. He was swinging solo, without his wifeís knowledge at the time. We formed an instant connection through online communication without meeting face to face (East coast, West coast.) He was also married at the time, comfortable, but not happy.
After separating from my ex, current hubby and I met, finally. Let me say that I had never been attracted to anyone that much older than me, but we just hit it off from the beginning. Things progressed, I divorced my ex, moved to the East coast. Current hubby was still married and was secretly seeing me on the side. I had 3 separate, year-long relationships with other men I cared about deeply. Current hubby knew about this was ok with it. I wonít go so far as to say that we didnít have to deal with jealousy issues along the way, because we did, He with my lovers, and me with his wife, but we always managed to work our way through them by talking things out. Three years into the relationship, he left his wife. I ditched my current lover (who was on his way out anyhow) and we were married. He is my best friend and I enjoy being with him and doing things with him. I can talk to him like I can no other, til now.
It is important to mention here (I think) that while closeness and affection were always there between current hubby and I, the sex angle was difficult for both of us. Erectile dysfunction was a problem. We both worked hard together trying all the different treatments, not all of them pleasant, but none worked. Eventually over the last seven years, we gave up trying, but the closeness and affection has, and always will be there.
It is also important here to go into the swinging aspect of our relationship. I always knew that he was involved with swinging, but given a bad experience in my previous marriage I wasnít sure if I wanted any part of it. That was okay with him because we were in love and riding the waves of NRE, even if the awesome sex wasnít there. When we began discussing marriage, he was concerned with the fact that he would not be able to provide enough sexual satisfaction for me. We began to talk about swinging, and go through some scenarios that might work for us. He was not interested in being with other women sexually. I am not bi. He is a voyeur and wanted to watch me with other men and hold my hand during the process, so to speak. I love sex and like the whole experience of getting to know someone sexually. After much discussion, we jumped in. We had no problem finding men willing to join our threesome. There were many, and it was funÖat first. Then, I felt that something was missing. I wanted more than just recreational sex. I was craving the mental and emotional connection that can make sex go from great to mind-bending and astounding! I think that if I had met someone during our swinging experiences that I could have connected with like that, then I probably wouldnít be here posting this question today. Hubby would have been fine with it and he would have felt more connected. That didnít happen and eventually, I slowed down on the get togethers with other men and then stopped altogether. Hubby felt resentment because I took away the only thing that stimulated him sexually anymore. I felt resentment that he felt resentment (hey, itís my body!)
For the last three years we have both basically neglected each other. It happened so gradually that I think neither of us even noticed it until now. What about now? Well, after a little over a year of no sex, I decided I wanted to go on a dating site, explain my situation and find a friend with benefits. Hubby agreed and participated in the search. I was not amazed at the number of responses I got, but none seemed to be what I was looking for. I will admit that I was searching for a married man specifically, to avoid complications that might arise if somebody got to attached. This had happened prior with a single man that hubby and I played with. The attraction was not mutual on my part, but he was a nice person and it wasnít easy to let him down. Well, about a month and a half ago we met someone, married and cheating (there are special circumstances here.) Things have taken off like wildfire and the attraction grows. The sex gets better. The conversation gets better and I am feeling more alive than I have in a long while and the feeling is mutual for my new partner. I realize that NRE is playing a huge part in this, so I am working to keep a handle on my emotions, but I can easily envision a long term thing here.
Problem is, hubby is not happy. He feels like I am too attached to this guy for it to be called a friend with benefits. That is when I brought up polyamory and that I donít think itís really anything new to us. I feel we have been living on the edge of a polyamorous lifestyle ever since we metÖwe just never looked at it that way. We have been having lots of discussions and trying to work this out. We have sat down together with pen and paper and set up guidelines. Hubby is truly giving it his best to work with me, probably more so than I have. We are both working on getting the touching, holding and hugging back. We have discussed him finding a friend, which he brought up and then decided against. I am trying to convince him that my feeling for the new person in my life takes nothing away from the feelings I have for him. If anything, I truly believe it is helping us to gain back some of our own intimacy. My conundrum, I am not willing to give up either one of them right now.
We would both greatly appreciate some advice. I know we sort of put the cart before the horse on this one, but is my new relationship doomed if I wish to remain with hubby?
Well, first off poly to me (and most people) is about honesty and full disclosure. The description of it includes responsible and ethical non-monogamy. It is about integrity and consideration. The core root of poly is empathy/compassion. Cheating and having an affair with a man that is married and not up front with his wife, is not poly.
First off, I would suggest that he be up front with his wife and go from there. If he doesn't do this then I believe he should leave her. In order to live a life of integrity this is the only way I think.... I realize that there are circumstances that make this impossible, but I don't know what your's is and really. I am not easily convinced.
If you want to know why I am coming off as such a hard ass about this then please read some of the threads on this forum by doing a search in the search engine on "cheating" "affairs" and then read the "lessons learned" and "foundations" threads.... specifically this one and this one.
So lets say that you actually get through that... and you are where you are; I think you have A LOT to learn about poly and the basic concepts. All of you do. It is completely different than swinging and open relationships. Although there is a lot of sex by the very nature of the fact that many people are involved, the structure of is is based on healthy relationship dynamics. I don't see you as having that with your husband or your new lover. I would start with working on your marriage. I would leave the bf to get his work done on cheating and in the mean time work on this sexual issue you have. Every little thing that is a concern in your relationships will be blown up to huge proportions in poly dynamics... you might as well get on it while they are small and seem manageable before that time. Otherwise there will be chaos, pain and people could get hurt.... at least that has been my experience and that of many others that have come by this forum...
Thank You redpepper!
Thank you for your response. I truly appreciate the time you took to read through that whole mess. It is a busy time of year right now and both hubby and I are taking a break from this dilemma we are in because both of us consider our relationship and family to be invaluable.
I would really like to continue this thread with you after the holidays have gone by. In the meantime, I value your response immensely.
I do plan on creating a profile on here and look forward to learning more.
Thank You Again,
Looking forward to what your thoughts are after the holiday season. :)
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