Struggling to breath....
Hi, I found this site after frantically looking for answers about our situation. Im 37, married 12 years with S 41 and 2 kids ( 8 and 11). Two weeks ago, I found out that S had an affair for 9 months. The other woman was an employee working with both of us as S's 25 yr old assistant. I have always had a funny feeling that S was attracted to this woman but he often brushed it off and assured me that he loved me and would never betray me.
After I found out about the affair, he said he felt relieved that it was out in the open and he could finally tell me how tortured he has been the past months. The reason he had the affair was that he developed a strong feeling for this woman which he could not explain and at the same time continued to love me. According to him, this woman had a strong effect on him on a spiritual plane with a kind of "pure" energy that revitalises and calms as well.Just by touching her, he would feel a current running through him to his very core. This really devastated me and I thought perhaps I did not have a right to deny him this chance at having such a relationship. I thought about leaving him so that he can enjoy this with her but he insists that polyamory will only work for him if I am with him. He would like me to share his experiences with him and will not go out on his own with a partner. When I asked him if he was happy with her because if he truelly was, I would let him be. He said, he was tortured the whole time he was with her because he could not share this with me and that leaving him would bring him back to misery lane as well. Sharing this experience with me was important for him and that it would enrich our marriage and take us to another level. Unfortunately apart from discussions of polyamory as a fantasy for the better part of the year, he never owned up to what he was doing behind my back because he did not want to hurt me. In the meantime, he did lots of soul searching, research on the internet, S is convinced that he is one of those people who can love two women at the same time. He has therefore come out as polyamorous.
I am just trying to come to terms with the affair and the gutting pain of betrayal but now S has tabled the suggestion that we should use this as a healing for our marriage ..with the same person with whom he cheated. I have heard that people do transit from cheating to polyamory so I am looking for help on this. I am feeling pressured and cornered and I told him so because instead of trying to repair the damage caused by the affair, we are introducing changes to it at its weakest time. He says its important to make a decision now because he is afraid the affair partner may move on. I feel like the concern is less on helping me heal and more on finding resolve for his affair partner. He says that we should give it a try and spend time together so that I too can experience this energy. According to him, she is the one person who can compliment us..in fact he said, both of us compliment each other very well. However, if I am not willing to accept her, he will, for my sake, bury this and stay with me. How can I consider this step at a time when my emotions are so mangled and trust in our marriage is on zero? How can I start thinking about sharing our life with the same person who has been sneaking around with my husband for 9 months, who I tried to comfort during her depression unbeknown to me that her affair with my husband was the cause of her depression?
I know the solution is not to bury the poly discussion but rather find a resolve that can work out for both of us. However, I have tried to ask my husband for time to heal before we take this step but he will not listen. I am still struggling with mind movies of their affair but he says I should try and use the experience to heal myself and us. I dont know if my mono mind will open up someday and accept this but I need this time to sort my mind out after the affair. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning.... I am sorry for the long post but I need some advice please. Seekinganswer
Hello and welcome. The long post is fine :). I believe there is a 10,000 word limit per post?
There's not a lot of relationship specific advice I can give but I can say a couple of things.
You seem to be doing what works for you: reading, researching, asking questions, self & relationship examination. Continue to do so.
I highly recommend www.xeromag.com . It is a totally awesome site.
Tell him, repeatedly if necessary, that you need time to do your own research & come to your own conclusions. He's had nine months to do so. You deserve the same sort of time.
ANY relationship should go at the speed of the SLOWEST person in it. Right now that person is you. You have a lot of things to wrap your brain around.
Your feelings are valid and in my opinion he should not be pressuring you to make such an important decision so rapidly. This has all come as a big shock to you and you need time to absorb it,research and come to your own conclusions. He should not be using the other woman potentially moving on as a means to coerce you into something you aren't ready for..
Take care of YOU first.
Yes, what Fitchick said.
Do me a favour, and remind him how 'unpoly' it is to pressure the ones you love. ;)
Are you ready for some bluntness ? It is blunt, but I deliver with a warm hand,...
I haven`t ever seen a poly relationship that starts out from cheating, end up in a 'happily ever after'. Not if it`s with the person they cheated with.
It appears to be a uphill battle. Poly is a enormous retooling of everything we have been taught. It is difficult, even if you are prepared, and on the up-and-up. People walking into this fairly, with all parties living in truth, will still have a roller-coaster ride. I can`t see how a relationship built on a fair distribution of rights, overcomes the shock of being cheated on, and learn to be poly simultaneously.
Those that cheat, first have to take a step back, and fix their exsisting relationship. Fix that hole in their primary relationship, that allowed for an affair in the first place.
Then, worry about the poly one. Real love, will always be there. Some way, somehow.
A lot of cheaters fall in love, and are terrified of losing their loved ones. They get determined to keep both relationships. They are prepared to move heaven and hell,...ANYTHING,..but to lose one or the other.
Problem is, you can throw as much water into a bucket as you want,..but if there is even a small hole in the bucket,..all that beautiful water, will still slip away.
The flip-side is,...none of us ever know, until we try. It might be a neccesary pain of life. To try, against the odds. Otherwise forever wonder. I am not sure, but that could very well be the case.
Back to you :
Don`t be afraid to ask for what you need. The time to heal, in YOUR own positive way. Your spouse may be a excellent spouse in every other way. Your spouse may of moved mountains for you at various points in life. That said, your spouse is fibbing to themself, when he/she says, that they lied to you,..in order to protect you.
Lying and cheating, is always cowardly. Wether for grandios reasons or not. It`s the cowards way out, of dealing with a tough reality. Hurt is a part of life. Wanting to 'protect' your spouse may be natural, but treating someone you love with true respect, is of the utmost importance.
So,..that said, make sure your spouse is ready to get real with you, before you agree to open up to anything. I think right now you are confused, and overwhelmed. It may feel 'nicer' to just agree, so that the horrible nightmare passes. DON`T force yourself to get past something you aren`t ready to. It will surely bite you in the ass later on if you do.
Good luck. Keep reading. Knowledge is power.
(P.S.- If there are people on this forum, who started out cheating, and stayed long term, happily ever after with both their spouse, and their co-cheater, please give this lady some positive examples. )
You might want to check out this blog: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2713
You have gotten some good advice and support so far. I think you are on the right track finding out as much as you can and staying on top of what is going on for you. I hope you and he are doing the searching and learning together. Perhaps he would like to chime in at some point.
there is a lot on here about cheating and affairs. If you do a search for tags and look at the stickies you will find a lot of information about what happens for people in their marriages and beyond when an affair happens. I hate to say it but I agree with SJ, not a good outcome usually and he hasn't had a could start with the healing process it seems.
As to your husband. He is being selfish and uncaring. He has not empathized with you and what you might be feeling and has not considered anyone but himself. Not even this woman that he has this energy with. She is in this too and he is assuming that he can just paste the two of you together. I have spent years of work getting to where I am in poly relationships... it just doesn't happen like that for intelligent, emotional animals such as humans.
the only think at this point that he has going for him is that he has finally been honest. Well, he has 9 months to make up for that. that trust you had in him is likely gone forever and he is worried about losing this woman?! Wow.... wake up call, he could very well lose you if he doesn't get busy and start doing the work necessary to begin healing.
I agree, you could use this to make your relationship happy and healthy again, but I think that he needs to back right up to a time before he decided to cross the line and be at arms length from her for a time until you are comfortable, if ever. that to me should be the result of his actions and what I would suggest. His face and heart having been going in her direction, a firm set of boundaries might just bring him around... as much as he will hate that :) As far as I'm concerned if he wants your trust he will go with whatever boundaries you have and do it willingly and humbly.
I know I sound firm in this, but really, having read peoples stories on here for 18 months and experienced my own stuff, I think he should not be encouraged to lay around in that "energy" one moment longer and should get back on track with fixing what he and she have broken. Maybe, if he is lucky, he will be able to have her in his life also...
You have every right to be angry, hurt, broken-hearted and devastated. He has broken a huge commitment and if that weren't bad enough, he is trying to rationalize it and make it out to be a thing of beauty. What would of been a thing of beauty would of been bonding with you over being honest about his feelings when you asked him. He didn't and now he has lost his integrity by being dishonest, disrespectful, and not communicating.... the three foundations of what poly is about; honesty, communication and respect.... how about he get on board with that with you so that you can trust him again.
Trust is not a given or a right. It is earned and he lost the right to your trust now... it is not a given that you will just move over for this woman. She has to earn your trust also, she cheated with him. Who cares about the "energy" that is all lovely, it has nothing to do with you and isn't based in reality.... the reality is that they fucked up by giving in to it for nine months.... now it is bad energy if you ask me... and will take you going at the pace that you want to make it good again...
I'm sorry he is hurt and having a hard time, but it's not his time, he had that.... or rather took it. it's time to get back on track with his commitment to you... that is my thoughts.
Just wanted to say you're not alone. There are several people on this forum who have gone through the exact same thing. I'm sure you'll hear from some of them soon.
In my opinion, S isn't being very respectful or thoughtful of you right now, and I can see why you feel his concern is more about your co-worker, than about you. It may be that he has constructed a fantasy in his mind that you will adjust easily to this betrayal of trust, and be happy to transition smoothly to poly. He certainly sounds impatient, and afraid of losing his new love. He needs to recognize how much love, attention and reassurance you need from him, if there is any chance of this working out.
You sound like you're in so much pain; my heart goes out to you. Hang in there!
Hello! It's true you are not alone. I am in the same situation (and even the ages of all involved are similar!) I don't have time to write much now but wanted to give you the link to the thread I posted when I first joined, because the responses were so very helpful to me and they might be to you too.
It's not clear in my first post, but their affair went on for many months before I was told anything. This kind of betrayal HURTS and will take a long time to heal, and is actually separate from the issue of whether or not I/you can accept a polyamorous relationship.
I think you absolutely can use this crisis to heal any preexisting problems in your marriage....that is what has happened with us and we are stronger and closer than ever now. But it has to go at YOUR pace.....slow!
Also wondering, how close are you with this woman - is she already a friend? Becoming close friends with my husband's girlfriend, and talking with her openly about the whole situation, has been really helpful to me and gone a long way towards me opening to the possibility of making this work.
I think if you all work really hard at it, you might get over it, but he needs to realise that it's not going to be easy for you to trust him again after he betrayed your trust for so long. He needs to realise how disrespectful of you he was and take responsibility for it rather than play the victim ("it was so hard for me!").
I think he should be more afraid of rushing and ruining everything than of this other woman moving on. Not to mention, maybe that woman is fine with being a mistress but wouldn't be fine with being in a poly relationship. Does he know where she stands? Does she know that you know?
Like Rachelina, I am in almost the exact same situation...the only difference being that his current girlfriend is not the first occasion of cheating, and we've already been down that road. But this time around, it's all fairly fresh with me as well - I've only known for 3 weeks.
That being said, I have been supported in the most amazing way here. I've been given things to think about, in ways I hadn't approached them before, and have felt lifted and supported over a very rough 24 hours this past weekend.
And like Rachelina, here is a link to my original post: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3953
At the end is another link to a new thread on the blog pages.
I completely understand the feelings you're going through - the sense of betrayal, of not being heard, of needing time to process. And like you, I've felt like I've been steamrolled and offered some hard choices. I have done a LOT of thinking and processing...and pretty much every bit of it is here.
What's been most helpful to me is that by coming here, I've finally felt that I am not alone, and that is valuable beyond measure.
Please know that you are not alone either. I wish I had words of wisdom for you...right now I'm walking this same path, and trying to figure it out for myself. Read and research, certainly - I have been doing that a LOT, and it's been insightful and helpful - but also try to leave some space to just be...to take things moment by moment, and to create a space for you to simply breathe.
Holding you in my heart...
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