Advice needed for married mono who's wife now says she's poly
I'm sure you're fed up to the back teeth with people like me but I need some inforled opinion and I thought this was a good place to get it.
I've been married 10 years, am very in love with my wife, although we have our ups and downs. What has nearly always been wonderful is our depth of understanding of one another. We also, and she also tells me this, have a passionate and very active sex life together.
But... I'd been suspecting for a while that something was going on. Lots of late nights chatting on the computer and several weekends away (all for legit reasons - a funeral, birthday party, driving test...), eventually gave way to real suspicion that she wasn't being honest with me. She consistently denied there was anything and I continued to believe her.
A year previously, I'd found out by chance that she had a profile on a married dating agency (illicit encounters) and she confessed that she had seen a number of men but hadn't slept with any. I believe her on this. We agreed that she would not start seeing other guys again unless we agreed on it together.
But after her last weekend away a weeks ago (we live in France but lived in London until last summer, which is where she went away to) I rearly thought she was no longer telling me the truth. I purchased a software to log her computer activity and found her email account full of emails from various lovers. Confronting her with it, she could no longer deny it.
She's had 4 lovers since August, and has only seen 1 more than once. They're all in London. She tells me that taking lovers has no bearing on her relationship with me, and in fact says it draws her closer to me. She says she coudln't bear the thought of me leaving her either.
This is when she spoke of polyamory to me and hwo she feels it's something she wants to experiment with, possibly along with swinging. She is asking for
my permission to carry out this desire.
I just do not feel ready at this moment to make agreement with her to include polyamory or swinging in our marriage. It's not something I'm drawn to myself. I'm also hurt by the fact she lied to me for 6 months and that I had to find out by stealth, something I'm not proud of.
My head wants to say to her, yes it's fine, live out your desire. But the thought of me staying at home for weekends on end, with our 3 young children, whilst she is enjoying passionate sex, turns my stomach upside down.
At the same time, if she renounces this desire for my sake, I worry that she'll either feel resentment towards me in the long-term, or will just lie to me again.
From your experience, (as polys and monos) can you see a way forward for us? The idea that she has lovers does turn me on, but in a "kinky" irrational way. In the cold light of day, it gives me the chills. We have spent a lot of time this week speaking about how we feel, and it's really helped. It's also led to some amazingly powerful and passionate sex. But I really worry that when decision time comes (ie, her lover comes to Paris for the w/e or she plans another trip to London, I will not know what to do.
Do I just have to live with this and put on a brave face?
Should she renounce?
Might I change my opinion and feel alright with my wife taking lovers?
Should I try it myself to balance out our relationship?
Thanks for reading and look forward to your opinions.
Wow, just.... WOW.
My hat goes off to anyone that can still stick by anyone that has treated them with such extreme disrespect, dishonesty, selfishness, such lack of loyalty, fidelity, self respect. I wonder where her values are at all and if she loves you or herself (I am reminded of the movie "up in the air"). Not to mention her seemingly abandoning her children and using you for a babysitter. I just wouldn't want to be with someone like that, full stop. Whether they are with me because they are cheating on someone or cheating on me. I have little to no time for those who have no integrity.
I am erring on the side that she is incredibly unhappy. Cause that is the only way I can stomach it. I am also erring on the side that you lover her and see some value in her and am trying to respect that. I'm still going to be blunt though....
I hope the two of you have read as much as you can on here and on other sites and in other books. I think you will see pretty darn quickly that she is NOT poly and that she has a long way to go. As do you. Do a search on cheating and affairs and you will find it a hot topic on here.
If I were you I would put a quick end to any going away to London bullshit and give her the very firm boundary of "if you talk on line or go anywhere with the intent to do it again, then you are gone. I will kick you out on your ass."
Next I would get yourself to counseling darn quick and start getting your relationship back. You both have the responsibility to yourselves and especially your kids to get your acts together. That means a full stop on fucking other people. If she loves you she will do this I think. Yes, that is an ultimatum I have given you but I really think for the sake of getting to the bottom of this you need to have an uncluttered relationship and take the time to focus on the two of you... this will not happen unless she stays home and concentrates. She has fucked it up royally and it should take a really long time. I don't mean this as a punishment, but that kind of cheating is extremely damaging beyond perhaps what you are realizing just yet. It could be she has damaged herself, her relationships to her kids, to you, to her idea of what is normal.
I know some of you think this is harsh, but coming from where I do and wishing someone said these things to me at some point, I think not. If it is, then so be it, hate me for it. I don't care. I feel strongly that there is much more at stake than you know of yet and I care enough about you to say so with kindness but also bluntness.
There is a way through it.
But it's a hard way.
I had an affair.
It broke my husbands heart.
We're now happier then ever before AND we are polyamorous and I am dating the man I had an affair with, who lives with us.
BUT-it's been a HELL of a road. Literally HELL trying to get through all of it.
Jealousy is an issue ANYWAY that you should look into and work on resolving.
But you can't build a good loving relationship of ANY kind on lies. It doesn't work. The only way to build a GOOD loving relationship is to be totally honest with one another about what you need, who you are, what you want, where you are going and then decide from there how the two of you can make your paths compatible.
sometimes only harsh will get through thick skulls. (OP-not saying yours is thick-just making a point).
I have to agree with you counseling is a MUST.
Cheating isn't polyamory.
Reading all you can read on polyamory is a MUST if you are even considering it.
The same is true of swinging.
LR- I don't know how you do it... how you can stay so calm. I am in awe of you, you know that?! Seriously, you cheated and know it's affects more than anyone yet you remain calm,... I just blow the fuck up!!!!
I guess because I cheated too and it devastated me more than anyone. I ruined myself. Now I fight back and make myself strong by being a hard ass.... it really is because I care, not because I hate you. I hate myself that is like your wife Cap'n. I hate what we as humans have done to ourselves that makes it okay to cheat.
We as a society (the proverbial "you") teach our kids this at a young age by not respecting their need for independent thinking. We bark out orders to them and don't respect their feelings, we tell them what to do and deny them from making descions and seeing the affect, they are not their own people in this way of being raised, they are ours to mold into what everyone else is.... it all leads to teaching them how to be deceitful and how to lie in order to get their needs met. I see it all around me.
I saw it this morning as a mum yelled at her 3 year old to "smarten up and stop being shy because he is severely damaging his future." I mean What The Fuck! What is that, no respect for his feelings and personality, already in training to be just like everyone else, a damaged adult that doesn't know his true self and who sneaks around behind others back to get his needs met and doesn't know why. We are doomed.... I just feel we are all doomed. :( so sad.
Your situation in reverse
I am living through your situation only in reverse. I am the wife but also the mono hear. If you read my blog on LifeStories and blogs it is called The Blog of the Mono Wife that is fine. That way everyone else doesn't have to hear me retell it yet again.
But you do have choices. I just vented how I feel as tho mine were taken away, I know. And there are times, the really hard times I do feel that way. Today for instance I feel as though I only have two choices. Either get a divorce or allow him this life. If I don't give it to him openly he will take it anyway.
Because I am still working through the fact that my husband has had multiple lovers throughout our years of marriage and didn't tell me I am having a hard time trusting him again. I feel as though no matter what I say he is going to do it anyway. When I first found out about J, the woman he is in love with now, I told him to stop. I was furious, hurt and every ounce of pain clouded all of my judgement. He said he had stopped but really didn't. That was when I had to go into my own place in my mind and really figure out what I wanted, what could I live with, what was I willing to do for my marriage and my daughter.
My daughter needs her father. I need my husband. I know when I threatened to leave him in the beginning, when I wouldn't allow him to kiss me or touch me it hurt him but he respected the distance he had to give me. He had times where he didn't care anymore. He didn't care what happened to us. He had to find his place in his mind as well. He had to figure out if our marriage was worth fighting for. If it was worth being painfully and completely honest, no matter the consequence.
We are really trying very hard to work through this. He has been cheating on my for three years and I never knew it. I felt stupid and disrespected and disgusted with him, myself, and J. J was suppose to be my friend.
She and I have come a long way and we are friends again. I have lunch with her and we talk all the time by text. We have chosen not to come out to people. She respects me marriage and understands that if she were to ever ask husband to leave that would be the end of things. She is poly and is married to a poly with children.
The women before her weren't poly. They were sluts, one night stands and it burned more than a fire could possibly start to do.
But right now we have chosen to stay together. I have chosen to remain mono. I have no interest in being poly but I know this is important to him and who he is. All I have asked is that he not lie. And if I catch him in more lies then I will unfortunately have to walk away, but that won't be easy. Lies have no place in a poly/mono relationship. It can't exist.
I hope you can find your answers. It will take some deep searching. No one can really answer this for you. I found out because my toddler got into his text one day and I read them, without him knowing. And the shit hit the fan. Like you finding her emails. He didn't just one day decide to start telling the truth. I found out and confronted him. You need to learn and research poly and yourself. But don't take the full burden of the pain and responsibility on yourself. She needs to shoulder some of this as well. Another lesson I have learned the hard way. It won't be easy or quick, it will take months, maybe years.
From my point of view she should be damn happy not to be out on her ass already. Not only has she lied to you but she has put your physical health at risk. Who knows who else the men she has been having sex with have been involved with themselves. Who knows if safe sex was practiced and who would trust her even if she says she did.
Counselling....as a couple to see if your marriage can be saved and for her individually to see what is the cause of her deceptive tendencies.
You caught her and she is looking for a way to salvage either your marriage or the babysitting service you provide. Of course she would claim poly as a defense, but for the most part it sounds like she is engaging in one night stands. I thought poly included a meaningful connection besides the connection of penis and vagina?
Take care my friend. You are a strong and caring person it seems. I hope you find a way to achieve what makes you both healthy but don't let yourself be walked over for the sake of kids, family stability or anything else external. Do it for yourself.
NOW-that isn't to say EVERYONE does. A LOT of people only learn "when they hit rock bottom". THOSE people need someone to "blow up in their face". We're all different I guess. ;)
I figure on the board-if everyone takes a different tack, ONE of them is bound to work!
Thanks for your replies
Thanks to all. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I'd like to share your replies with my wife, even though I think it will be hard for her to read some of what is said. But it could be a way to continue our dialogue and work on how we can find a way forward.
I'll keep you posted and will certainly keep reading up on the issues we all face, caught up in this emotional maelstrom.
Best to all,
123 you said in your post that he shouldn't take the burden of pain and responsibility on himself? That she should take some of it? Shouldn't she do more than that? She is the one who cheated numerous times. He was simply trying to get at the truth. As were you. There is no blame in that in my mind.
Also, there is no room for dishonesty in any kind of relationship. Not just a mono/poly one. Not just a poly one either. Cheating is cheating. Dishonesty is dishonesty. It isn't welcome anywhere I would think.
Lies are no way to start a new, unchartered path. Honesty is the only way to build a good foundation. . . your wife may need sex counseling. Some people have sex issues that make them act out. And if this is the case she needs a therapist to help her with that LONG before you can begin considering a poly relationship.
Yes it makes for great sex and then you feel guilty for getting turned on by the thing that hurt you the most. That's why there is a way to live to live this way and mind blowing sex together - most of the time - but you have to go back and start over with a clean slate and she really needs to learn a lesson on being honest.
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