Thinking about approaching my husband...
Hi. I am completely new to the idea of polyamory...I live in a rural area where it is practically unheard of, but I am having some very strong feelings and am considering approaching my husband with the idea. So here is my story.
I just recently turned 30 and have been married to my husband, the love of my life, for almost 5 years now. We have a beautiful family of 4 children. I am a stay at home mom and my husband has a job in which he travels and is sometimes gone working for 6-8 months at a time. It is a hard lifestyle, but we have always made it work, and up until recently I have been so busy raising our younger children that I haven't had time to be lonely. We always do what we can to *try* to stay connected, I travel frequently with our children for visits, we talk every night on the phone, and utilize every mode of technology we can to keep in touch. The last job that he just finished up was over 1000 miles away, so it was near impossible to visit very often due to distance/financial constraints (it is financially draining to fly 5 people across the country very often, and the time it would take to drive was almost impossible to achieve with children in school) and it was nearly the breaking point of our relationship, with only 2 weekend visits in a 7 month time span. The only thing that kept us together was our family and our deep love and trust for one another, although it was a very rough time for me, feeling very lonely and neglected (which I have trouble admitting because it isn't because he is "neglecting" me on purpose...he is solely trying to provide for his family and I know that it isn't any easier on him...so I feel selfish in saying that). We had 3 very tough pregnancies in 4 years, and during this last job with our youngest turning 1, it was almost like my hormones leveled out and I got my "desire" back with a vengeance...I needed to be satisfied and he wasn't there to meet my needs...and I almost resented him for that (again, extremely selfish). But I take my marriage and my vows very seriously and I know I would never cheat on my husband, so I just tried to suppress those feelings and go on. I just needed to feel loved in a way that isn't through a telephone.
Then, a few months ago, out of the blue, a man that I had dated a few times years before my husband and I had gotten together contacted me, and in chatty "catching up" he admitted to me that he had always still had feelings for me, he had always thought about me alot, and that he had always kept up with me through my Facebook page (we had friended each other years earlier, but had never really posted to each other or anything). He knew I had gotten married and had the children and was happy that I was happy, for lack of better terms. This floored me. It made me feel good that he had still thought about me all these years, but wondered why he had let us kind of drift apart if he had those feelings for me in the beginning. But we started talking here and there, and since then it has become a situation where we text and keep up with each other almost daily. He does have a girlfriend, and has been married in the past and has 3 kids. I feel horrible that I have had to keep our "friendship" a secret from my husband, I guess you could call it an "emotional" affair because we have talked about some pretty deep stuff, things I probably should only be talking to my husband about (although it just seems easier to talk about them with him rather than my hubby) and has escalated a few times to almost sexual in nature although I have been very upfront about being very against a PHYSICAL sexual relationship. He also has kept our friendship a secret from his gf as well. He came to me exactly when I needed him though, when I was feeling very needy for an emotional connection with someone when my husband can't because he is working. But we decided that we would cool it once my husband came back home...because we needed time to reconcile our marriage and almost "fall back in love" with each other after being apart for so long, and I wanted a clear head so I could give all of myself to my husband. It has worked, somewhat...I am just as much or more in love with my husband than ever and our marriage is great once again...but I just can't escape the feelings I developed for my friend. I really love him, and it has been really sad not to be able to talk to him. I know that the basis of polyamory is that it is possible to love 2 people and be connected to 2 people at the same time, but I just don't know where to go from here.
I feel like my friend completes me. He doesn't take anything away from the love I have for my husband, but, especially when my hubby is gone, he fills the void left in my life, emotionally, which I feel like actually makes me a better person, mother, and wife. He makes me happy, he gives me an adult person to have conversation with at the end of a long day with the children, the house, ect. all the things I am responsible for taking care of when my husband is away, and I have found over the past couple of weeks, makes me a better lover with my husband.
But in addition, I keep wondering what it would be like to fufill some of my sexual desires with my friend, especially when my husband is gone and can't. I would never cheat...and I am wondering how I could approach my husband with this idea without him lashing out, leaving me, loosing my trust, or making him feel like I think he is inferior. He has joked about me cheating before, I know he has a jealous side, but we have always agreed that it is something we would never do. Our family is way too important to us. And I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize what we have, even if it means I have to be unhappy. But I know in my heart if I approach him with the idea of an "open" marriage that he would never do it...I KNOW he would never do anything with another woman (a testament to how much he loves me). And although I would feel completely comfortable with it being mutual...that he could seek happiness elsewhere as well, the thing that makes me UNCOMFORTABLE is the idea that, while I have only one other person that I feel very strongly about and would like to be with when my husband is gone, my husband *if he were to be open himself* travels to different places all the time, and I would not want him to be "sleeping" around with different women with whom he doesn't care for, just for the sake of being open. That is unsafe, IMHO. But then I would feel extremely selfish again. :/
Sorry for such a long post...but any advice on how to approach this? I want to as open as possible in our communication, and am new to this so it is completely uncharted territory for me. I really feel we could make it work, as long as we lay a strong foundation beforehand. How do I convince him that I need this to feel whole, and that it would never replace/compete with/take away from what WE have together? That I want our trust level to remain what it already is? I hope I am going about this the right way...I hope I haven't already made a mistake in having this "secret friendship" in the first place...but I never would have discovered these things about myself if it hadn't happened...I wouldn't have developed these feelings for my friend that I have...and I wouldn't have figured out how it completes me and has actually made the marriage, in my opinion (of course, this is pre-approach, I hope it doesn't change things) much better and stronger. I haven''t even approached my friend about his feelings about opening up to my husband...although he knows he wants to go to the next level with me...and we have both agreed that we want to stay in our current relationships...I love my husband and cannot imagine my life without him...but even if I could, we agree that logistically a relationship/marriage would never work between us because of children/family/life/financial reasons...at least not at this time. I just want to get a feel for what this is all about and how to approach it. And how the "rules" work...and advice on what to do when my husband is back home, how to manage my feelings for both men.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
And I have to say: I so absolutely know what you are talking about. Reading about your insecurities and worries is like remembering how I felt roughly a year ago. I didn't know what to think of it, how to approach it, what I should do with the whole mess. So first of all, you are not alone.
But unfortunately there is no 'how to' book in regard to this matter. People are just so different. After years of pondering and worrying I just had to face my feelings and talk to the two men in my life. You will have to do the same. You have to explain yourself, explain the weird (from a monogamous point of view) situation to them and wait for their processing. You can't 'make' them wrap their head around it. They need to find out for themselves how they can deal with this. The only thing that you need to address for now is the state of things as they are for you.
Take your time, read more about possible problems and solutions to particular issues that you think are likely to surface in your relationship with your husband if he would be confronted with your desire. The stories on this side helped me to master the early stages of coming to terms with my wishes and the shape my desired future should have from my point of view.
When you feel ready, approach your husband and friend with your ideas and after you have done so: wait. Wait for them, give them at least as much time as you yourself needed. And talk to them. My husband needed many conversations to understand what I was trying to tell him. You can't do more than being there for them to talk to. They have to work through it for themselves. You can help them by showing some online resources or books that explain the matter or just parts of it and read through them together with them.
I can't guarantee that it will help, but my story has been similar. If you are interested, I wrote about it in my blog on this side (see signature). My husband has been really understanding, as well as my friend of many years, all of us are living together now. But that is an exception, as far as I know, most people maintain separated households when being in multiple relationships.
Cheer up and unknot your stomach for now. (I know that this is easier said than done :)) There is much support to be found on this side. Start with sorting out what you want for yourself and how you possibly can voice those needs. There has been a point during that process, when I was unable to explain any more. It was all said. But I was able to show my husband that there has nothing changed. That I was still as much in love with him as before. That is the only advice I can give. If words don't work, try to make him feel that your feelings are still there. Good luck.
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