HI, I'm a newbie, thanks for having me in the forums.
My husband and I have been pretty happily married (monogamous) for close to ten years, Two kids.
Last Summer I wasnt thinking straight and found myself having an emotional affair with a man that wasnt my husband. (this probably for a combination of the usual reasons). I have always loved DH. But oh boy did it feel good to be having the butterflies and a giddish excitement of a crush for the first time in almost ten years. The emotional affair lasted 2 weeks, then my DH found out and was very hurt. I cut off contact with other guy. Understandbly DH does not like this guy (though we live in a small town so they run into eachother). Other guy has wife who had affair on him, though they were swingers before that. Other guy very hurt by his wife, looked for someone to have affair with. Found me.
But I have always wondered about polyamorism. As a pubescent teen and dreamed of communes and free love. I have had four major mono relationships. No poly apart from emo cheating.
I feel remorse for my actions and poor decisions that resulted in my good husband being so hurt. We did heaps of talking, which was a good result. After more talk and thought, I told him I wanted the option to see other people. He thought about it and decided no, I felt trapped, I felt like a possession I suppose. I am not saying he made me feel that way, but just that I felt like I was being told how to live. We decided we were both giving the other ultimatums. We decided to separate (in march or so), whilst still living together and raising our children. We still make love, and I believe are good friends. For the most part we get along, enjoys eachothers company, and have fun together. We work great together, so lots of things are like normal.
Whats changed is, since he became "single" he started going out a lot more often than he ever did. It used to be the occasional party, or when a band played at the bar. Now its every wed night and usually another night too.
In May he went home and slept with a girl he went to high school with, coming home around 6 am, leaving an hour or so later for work. He told me what had happened. I felt kinda ill picturing him with another woman but I chose this so I tried to suck it up, and get through it best as possible. What made it harder is that he used no condoms, and we had talked about this (briefly) and agreed that we would. He admits he fucked up. Now we have to use protection, which we never did before.
Now a couple of nights ago he does an all nighter with friends, and ended up making out (not sleeping with, but kissing and groping he says) with what you could call a family friend. ANother fuck up because this too we also agreed would be crossing the line. It is his best friends sister. She brings her son to our house quite a bit for me to watch him/ sleepovers etc, as she is a single mom and can use the help.
I have no bad feelings toward her, as DH told her our situation. I have anger and frustration toward DH. But this whole thing I started.
I havent seen anyone else, or flirted, or gone out etc. The irony!
-the first girl is a self admitted slut around town, and DH had 2 kinds of sex with her, no protection.
-the second girl, apart from being a family friend, is, I dont mean to be mean, not pretty. At least from my perspective she is unattractive. (I know everyone differs in what they find attractive). I feel DH is a hypocrite because he has told me in the past he finds her annoying, hard to listen to because of her accent, and that he didnt entirely trust her in our house, like she might steal something (she babysat for us once a little while back). The first girl not particular pretty either. Not to be conceited but I am a very attractive woman. So all this, my DH having sex/ making out with them makes me feel, like, really? I think he has no standards. He would stick it wherever he could. I am different, choosy, have standards. Is this the typical thing where I want love and passion and a relationship with more than just one person, whereas DH, the man, just wants to get his rocks off? Why cant he have waited and been with an attractive girl? I would truly feel better about that.
-I do really feel ill when he tells me he has been with someone else, its like there is the half of me that grew up surrounded by your typical monogamous relationships battling with something else deep in me that believes that poly can and does work, and the lifestyle can even make you grow in your spirituality because it challenges you, and involves deep communication and connection with others. It gets easier as time goes by and I dont think about it, which is pretty much how I figured it would be. Maybe gets easier over time/ each time.
-I didnt pursue anything with the guy I emo affaired with.
-please dont flame me, i know we have made some typical mistakes.
-I know DH and I need to have another big talk about his two f ups and what the heck we are doing. Which he agrees are f ups, but if we are "separated" then he doesnt have to abide by the rules, right? I know our arrangement needs a lot of work. I am sure many of you have been interested in poly but your partner wasnt. I wanted to be true to myself. I wanted the best of both worlds. Is that too greedy? SHould I have been content with my DH who for 10 years was kind, understanding, loyal, hardworking and a great father?
-I have even thought about saying lets go back to the way things were, and have this silly thought, but I was the one who wanted to be poly, have not been with anyone, yet its dh who has been with 3 people. Immature of me huh.
-DH is still affectionate as he was before, around the house, but doesnt want to do PDA now, which I can understand.
I could say more but this is enough for starters. Thanks for reading this, I really appreciate your input, and go easy on me, I am new to this and I am sure lots of you on here are much more worldy and learned.
PS how do you know when love is real?:rolleyes:
I was laos going to mention DH would have slept with the secccond girl (family friend/ best friendds sister), but she stoppedd as she is doing a 1 year celibacy.
It reminds me a little of the kid that lived with very strict parents going to college for the first time. There is a lot of partying and lots of "fuck-ups." Eventually they adapt or majorly screw up.
There are many ways you can respond to all of this. Let him know you feel a little ill at the thought. There is nothing wrong with that. It can take some adjusting to look at the relationship in a new way.
Ask him if he is having fun and be happy for him if he is. Yeah, it sucks that you have to use safe sex practices (hopefully he will get screened to see if he has anything and if not, you can talk about how it can change).
Try to find fun things to do. Go out on a date and have fun as well. His progress and yours do not have to be linked. He may be measuring "success" as getting laid while you may measure it as getting emotionally attached to someone.
What you have to watch out for is if he is trying to get back at you through a passive aggressive approach of sleeping with people you may disagree with. It probably wouldn't hurt to find a poly positive marriage counselor to help you two get to a good place with each other.
Thank you Quath, for your thoughts andd for replying to my post. I like your analogy. I have told him thank you for his honesty when ccoming home and letting me know who he was with andd a general overview of what happened. And that it ddoes hurt a litte and make me feel not so good inside, but that i am working through those feelings etc.
We are both working a lot and have kids and there isnt as much time available to be together as we would like, but a month or two ago we startedd to make sure we had a date night together every other Wednesday, which has been really nice.
Thank you too for this; "His progress and yours do not have to be linked. He may be measuring "success" as getting laid while you may measure it as getting emotionally attached to someone." Good for me to think about.
So, i find it interesting, and really positive, that by me just posting my OP has really helped. We made time to have a heart to heart last night after the kids went to bed, and it was really good, insightful.
By my writing all of the above in the OP down, i was able to clarify and define my thoughts and feelings on the matter. It enabled me to be able to talk to DH openly, deeply, honestly, cohesively. I had a goal in the conversation and feel like we achieved it. I know there is a long way to go but we made such great progress. We know we still love eachother. He admits that his actions have partially stemmed from a place of hurt, containing elements of revenge.
A big part of why he never wanted an open relationship is because we live in a small community, and he has a prominent family, and he doesnt want for us to be known as having an unusual relationship. I can totally understand where he is coming from, but also feel there must be ways to deal with that issue. Discretion, and letting others think what they will, they arent us. Let us evolve!
He also opened up about the fact he felt like he never got to sow his wild oats, never was young and partied and went out and had fun NSA sex. he is a quiet, shy Capricorn and this makes sense. He is becoming more confident, and I feel I have had a big part in that. Now he is more confident to make a move on a girl, chatting and dancing etc.
He said last night, "well, maybe we should try an open relationship". I wish this had come about in a slightly different way, but am glad it has come about. I need to talk to him to find out if he feels coerced, pushed, but because this has been over several months and he has enjoyed the benefits of seeing others, i think he is coming from a place where he truly wants to, not just because i want to.
We reaffirmed our deep affections for eachother, what a great team we are, how we love our kids, lives, place where we live, what we've built together....
We spoke this morning, and agreed to slow things down. To be more considerate of eachother, the other persons feeling etc. A great pressure has lifted ;)
Cool. That sounds pretty positive. I hope it continues.
I find that writing down my thoughts will help clarify them a lot. Where I work, we sometimes talk about lecturing a dummy. In other words, explain what you are working on and your problem is sometimes enough to give you the insight without any feedback.
Ugh. I have been on both sides of this coin at various times.
There aren't any simple answers, because in a relationship that well established with that many things going on (I'm sure your posts only scratch the surface), nothing is simple.
At the same time, it's all very simple, as always. The answers you'll get here are the same ones we've all given and gotten a 100 times or more.
-just wanted to say that I really don't have any advice for you at all, never been in that situation. I'm pretty much a lurker, and pop up now and again, I suppose.
I am glad things are working out, that's great.
I do have a question, btw. What do you mean by an emotional affair?
Is what he is doing poly...I don't know. I am a guy who usually has sex well before love. In fact I need that physical connection to process love. Honestly it sounds like he is dating :)
It sounds like you had a great talk, and thats good. I agree with people moving at different paces. I also believe you can be open AND poly. They are not exclusive. I don't love everyone I have dated or had sex with. But I have loved multiple.
Best of luck
It seems to me very interesting when people get so wrapped up in monogamy that they forget that it is possible to follow your own rules within it also, just like poly.
There is no reason that having emotional affairs should be a bad thing if it makes us feel alive and vital. There is no reason that we can't go out and have a good time on our own with out partners to escort us as if we are some how unable to handle things on our own... Mono and I have had MANY conversations about this along the way and it has really helped him realize that just because I go out dancing and get drunk does not mean I can't handle myself or situations that come up... or that I am going to take someone home or be taken home!
I finds I ironic that he is going around town fucking and messing around with women yet he doesn't want people to think that you have an unusual relationship! Jeezuz. That to me is unusual... woman stays at home while her husband goes out a fucking.... does the town know you are broken up. Is that what makes it okay? Sorry, it's my thing, but it alarms me when men say they don't want something different and yet they are doing whatever they want and don't see that as unusual/different/bizarre whatever... as if they have the monopoly on what a relationship should look like, what their relationship should look like!
I came from a small town, what am I thinking! When I went back for my reunion a few years back it seemed like everyone was divorced, separated, having affairs, cheated regularly... perhaps that is normal where you are from.... THAT is what makes me feel sick when others have sex, the deceit, the casualness of it that is just to cover other insecurities and hurt... it makes me feel sick because it doesn't add up to good stuff in the long run. Having been through all that, the sick feeling comes from my own triggers and the emotions that come with it. Not putting anything on you, but for what it's worth? It might be helpful in letting you know what I have learned about myself. Also I feel sick when people have sex without loving one another because I don't get it. I have sex because of love.
It sounds like in separating that freed you both up to and open relationship anyways... is that not what you have been doing? You are still living together, still sleeping together, still intimate and love each other. You are already open... it doesn't take much more thought than what you have gone through already, except that you can freely love each other and bond over your experiences rather than see them as separate from each other.
I don't get why sleeping with three people would even up the score towards the emotional affair you had.... that seems way off to me and completely irrelevant. The fact that he didn't get to sow his wild oats makes way more sense. I would hate to think he is laying a guilt trip on you by saying that.... totally unfair. You should never feel guilty for loving another. No one should make you feel guilty and certainly no one should even up the score...
By the way, you did yourself a world of favours by not engaging that guy in an affair.... cheaters and everything that comes with them, are nothing but a nightmare by the end. the sex and love part are all fake and a cover up for their own bullshit. I feel for the guy, but really, being intimately involved with you would never solve anything and only make things worse.
I think if you ever really decide to have a poly relationship... or even the Open one you have decided to now have, you will need to KEEP boundaries you have. They are there for a reason and I would think by the fact that he has broken agreements that you would be very cautious and hurt now. He hasn't made a good start. He's got some proving to do and some making up for that. In our relationship the consequences are stepping waaaay back for a bit among other things... hopefully by the fact that you have to use condoms now will help him realize the seriousness of breaking boundaries... the family friend though? That is a tough one.
I would be furious and would come up with all kinds of ways to make that right. For me I just close off, no contact with me for a bit until I'm over it and by then they usually are very sorry... cold shoulder kind of thing. I never forget though and it will come up over and over for a very long time. That usually means that boundaries are not broken...I annoy my partners into submission.
The thing with boundaries is that both parties have given something in order to make them work. If I think that what I have given is not respected then there is hell to pay.
It sounds like a very good idea to go slowly. I don't think your man has a clue at the moment what poly is, so it's a good thing you are thinking more Open at this point. Poly is about what you were feeling, love and closeness, attachment, desire to know someone....this to me is love. Generally speaking being Open means there is a casualness to your relationships; having sex when you feel like it, when the desire arises with someone you find hot, or are warmed to them in the moment; having the opportunity to do whatever, whenever (within reason sometimes).
It might be a good conversation to discover what your common goals are and what goals aren't common as it sounds like the two of you are differing on many levels.
I hope you and hubby are doing some reading on here and elsewhere. There is a lot to learn and a lot to take in... bottom line though? You sound like you are getting somewhere and are on a journey that is positive. Some stumbles, but that is to be expected. Keep at it!
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