I am new here, and I wanted to start with a basic introduction and then maybe proceed to the confusion that has become my life.
My name is Carrie, and I'm 36. I've been married to a wonderful husband, who happens to be my 2nd, as I'm previously divorced. He's 5 years older than I am, we've been together for over 9 years and have been married for 5. We have the most amazing daughter who will be 4 in April.
For the most part we get along great. It's like we're made for eachother, although our sexual relationship has suffered since our daughter was born. We've had a lot of financial issues among other things, but we've weathered the storms thus far because of our love for eachother and our daughter.
I've considered myself bisexual for as long as I can remember, but basically have said that it was either or, for Mike's sake. If I'm with him, I don't need a woman, or another relationship for that matter...or so I thought.
For a while now, I've been interested in the concept of polyamory, partly because I feel I need more, not just sexually, but another person to share a deeper connection with, who would be considered outside the normal realm of a friend. I never thought that would happen.
In fact, this mess I seem to have created for myself began over a month ago with good intentions, as I know my husband wouldn't be able to share me with another man. A woman maybe...but a man, no.
What happened was I have a friend who has THE worst luck with men, and I decided to post an ad under the Platonic section on Craig's List, where I was searching for an IM/E-mail/Texting male friend only. My ad was apparently very well written and witty that it garnered a # of responses, but only a few stuck out. One in particular. I e-mailed a few, but I got easily bored with them as I can be picky lol. However "K" and I hit it off quite well and instantly bonded, which is odd for him. In fact I thought he may be good for my friend, until I found out he has two sons, a 7 and 9 year old, is divorced, but is in a commited relationship for the past 4 years. My husband knew of my writing "K" and why I was initially doing so, and that I then found out he was already taken. He knows I continue write him, but isn't aware of our IM's. In fact, I've been off of work for several weeks due to an ankle surgery from an injury where I broke my ankle...so it's allowed me to have a lot of time to talk to "K" for like 6+ hours a day, as he works with computers and helps to put out fires so to say...and has time to talk on IM.
I never expected this to happen, but feelings for eachother have developed, and they're mutual. We're pathetically addicted to eachother unfortunately. The only thing is he's afraid to mention me to his girlfriend as she will get jealous and not understand the motive. I can't mention to my husband that this other guy also makes my heart go pitter patter, and that I want him in my life, but want Mike as well. He'd be upset, jealous, and would feel like our relationship was lacking something. I don't think he'd understand, and this is based upon previous converstaions about this before I met "K", that I was only supposed to have as an online friend.
Well now I've got myself in a bigger bind. What "K" and I have, we don't want to lose, but we don't want to lose our present relationships, yet we want only eacother too, meaning, we're not searching for other love interests. 2 for each of us is enough as it is, if that makes sense.
And I think "K" has helped spark the passion with my husband again, which hubby doesn't understand why, but is reaping the benefits. I don't want to be a secret to "K's" girlfriend. I want to be real, but how can we come clean, and should we at this point? We've already met. Our conversation never fizzled. In fact, we made love (essentially cheating on our others), but just laid in eachother's arms, cuddling, conversing, sharing an intimate time like lovers do. But this is NOT about the sex. This started as a friednship first and has blossomed into this thing that might be out of control. He's always on my mind, but so is my hubby, and I don't want to lose him and need him in my life. I feel I have enough love to give both of them, but how can my hubby and his girlfriend know or understand? Should they? I'm so confused. I don't want to give up our happy homes, but I don't want to let him go. I want them both, and I want it accepted as it feels natural. I'm so very confused, and don't want to lose both and end up utterly heartbroken. Help? Please?
Welcome to our forum.
Polyamory is often difficult, but it can be done if everyone involved is willing, and it's usually worth it. The first order of business is to establish 100% honest communication, which, among other things, means that your relationship with "K" can't be kept a secret from your respective partners. You need an exit strategy from the situation as it is. Tell your husband that you have growing feelings for "K," and would like to be in a polyamorous relationship someday, if your husband would be willing. Tell "K" to do likewise with his partner. Do research about poly and keep the conversation going. In the meantime, if you can backpedal in your relationship with "K," do so. Refrain from sex with "K" for now, slow down on the romance in general, ease off on the IM's. If/when you and "K" have a green light from your respective partners, then warm it back up again.
This may not be an easy road to travel, but it's a necessary road to travel if you want this to work in the long run. Polyamory has to be done with the knowledge and consent of all involved. If it isn't, there will be disaster, drama, and heartbreak on the road ahead. You don't want that. Nip it in the bud now by changing your policy to a 100% honesty policy with your husband. Break the news gently, respectfully, but break the news.
I am happy to answer further questions or concerns if you post them here (or direct me to another thread if you start one). I sympathize with the difficult position that you're in, and I know I am placing a tall order in the advice I have given. Sometimes things have to be difficult for awhile before they can get easier. :(
Glad you could join us, in any case.
Thank you for the reply!
Thank you for the reply Kevin. I shared it with the other man "K", and he appreciates your advice and can understand why you say what you say. I am willing to discuss this further and be honest with my husband as I really want this to work. I'm afraid he'll be devastated though, as he's already mentioned that he could understand me wanting to be with a woman as they have attributes that he doesn't possess. However he said if it were a man, he would feel as if our relationship was lacking, or that he wasn't providing me what I needed if I had to search elsewhere for it, and that's not the case in my opinion. Like you suggested, I may need to share readings and literature with him regarding polyamory. He loves me so very much as do I him, and I really don't want to hurt him, but fear I already have by essentially cheating on him with the other man, "K".
Now "K" on the other hand, knows for a fact that his girlfriend of 4 years will not understand, will be jealous, and will not accept him being involved in a poly relationship, and he's hesitant to even share that he has a friend in me, as then he'd have to explain how we met and why he was on Craig's List, etc.
I feel like at this point it's not going to work out, especially if he's not willing to budge, but he doesn't want to give me up, nor do I him. He has however stated that if this is going to cause me too much of an emotional heartache, he understands if I want to back out. I love him. I love my husband. I have a very tough decision to make. Like I said, I never expected this. Who is to say I will even ever find someone whom I connect with like him again? I think if I weren't married, or my husband and I shared similar views, this would be a bit easier, but then there is still "K", and it's my fault for allowing our friendship to become more. I'm so angry with myself, but I can't expect him to disrupt his relationship of 4 years, for love that has to be less than what he has for her. *sighs* I'm so confused.
I am sorry you hurt. I am concerned that in your hurt, you are not seeing clear. :(
You do not sound confused at all to me. You want to dial it back and assess and maybe even terminate the relationship with K. You are within your rights to do that if you want to keep agreements with your spouse.
K is making it hard for you to take a time out to think things out without static on the channel. That's called disrespectful. Maybe also manipulative.
You had the ok for friendship from your DH. You had misgiving about K at the start because of his situation. You were sick and laid up and spent lots of time with him. It went to romanceship grey area. You need to discern. A time out. It's only been a MONTH here and it could be the brain dump hormones of a new crush clouding your vision.
It's hard to feel, but you know the ethical path to go. So GO have your time out so you can discern for yourself what you want and what it is your have here. Do you want to keep agreements with DH or not? Could align your own conduct toward that goal then.
If K makes it hard for you to have that time out without interference so you can meet your own need for a calm zone to discern in?
Could it be he does that because he want his cookies from you and does not seem to care who he burns to get them? Have you had time/space to consider that yet?
WHAT motive does he have toward you that she would not understand? This one?
Does he offer himself as a fine, upstanding, forthright, loving, and ethical dating partner or friend for you? No.
Does he offer himself to you as skulking around shenanigans dating partner/"friend"? Yes.
He also makes it hard for you to take a break or leave when you have determined you have strayed from your own "friend zone" agreement with your DH. If he "loves you" why does he make it hard for you to honor your agreements with your husband? How is this loving and respectful to you or his potential metamour, your DH? It isn't.
If he "loves" his girlfriend why does he break agreements with her rather than renegotiate or break up honestly because it is not a match?
So he does NOT do behavior that demonstrates respect for GF, you, or DH so far in his conduct. :(
"We are facing some hard limits here. We must take responsibility for our behavior. We cannot go on like this and still be ethical. I love you and will not allow us to do unethical things. We must stop and sort our other relationships FIRST. Then see where this can grow. Let us not tarnish what we could share and could grow toward by doing unethical things at the starting line.That could be saying to you...
You noticed that, right? His weak ethics? His poor conduct? Not his sweet talking words. HIS ACTIONS.
K does not seem like an emotionally safe dude for you. Be careful. :(
At best, he seems wishy washy in his ethics and cannot be trusted to keep a limit / agreement in relationshipping.
At worst, he's a predator.
Neither sounds like good dating person or good friend material to me. :(
Perhaps "K" wants both you and his girlfriend. This would be great if his girlfriend was informed and consenting. However he is sure that he can't get her consent, so he chooses not to inform her. This will blow up eventually; no affair can be carried on in secret forever. If he's sure that his girlfriend won't consent, then it's his responsibility to make a choice between you and his girlfriend.
You are at least willing to broach the topic with your husband. This gives your husband the chance to decide whether to be consenting. If it would help, you could point out to him that no two men are alike, and that therefore you do get something different things from both "K" and your husband. Sharing poly reading materials with him will probably also help. Franklin Veaux's poly pages might be a place to start.
But even if your husband (eventually) says "okay," you still have a decision to make. Do you continue to see "K," thus making yourself an accomplice to the secret he is keeping indefinitely from his girlfriend? Do you want to be the secret partner forever? How long should the secret be kept?
I realize these aren't easy questions. Give it some time to think about it ... and as GalaGirl said, be careful.
So your emotional affair turned into a physical affair. Very common. I think you should either 1) Cut all ties to K and never contact him again and never mention any of this to your husband, or 2) Come clean with your husband and, based on what he wants to do, work with him to mend the hurt you will have caused him and vow to work on your marriage. I'm not at all a fan of entering polyamory straight out of an affair. I know it occassionally works, but only after a LOT of work to mend fences and establish a lifestyle of honesty and openness.
Think about it from your husband's perspective. He's already said he wouldn't be comfortable with you seeing another man, yet you are engaged in an affair anyway, even though you know it will break his heart. You have a lot of work ahead of you, and it can be done, but try to take the moral high road on this. Don't engage in behaviors that endanger BOTH marriages.
These thoughts are my own, and based on my experiences being cheated on.
Well, you wanted what you wanted, so you cheated. Now you want to know what to do so that you can keep everything you got. You are being selfish. You need to come clean to your husband for betraying him and lying to him, and you will have to work very hard to make amends and regain his trust. There is no way to keep your relationship healthy without honesty.
Regarding K, it's so very convenient that his gf "would never understand," so he just won't tell her. Of course not! He got what he wanted, too. I wonder how many other Craigslist penpals he secretly fucks?
I think you lost your head and got yourself into a bad situation. Whether out of frustration or complacency regarding your marriage, you chose to focus elsewhere instead of working on what needed fixing. Now you have to lie down in that bed you made, as they say. How honorable of a person do you have the courage to be? Time to step up.
Thank you again.
Thank you all again for sharing your thoughts. Some were more helpful than others, as is most advice. It's given me a lot to think about, even if a lot of it I already knew but didn't want to face. I'm not stupid, just don't make some of the best decisions.
And, I don't believe I should have posted this to a poly board to begin with though. Our 'relationship' that K and I have will never be more than it is, as unfortunate as that is. My husband wants monogamy from me, K won't budge on informing his girlfriend that he has a new friend he met off of Craig's list. I can see how easy it is to demonize K. But I am just at much to blame for what has transpired, whether our intentions were innocent from the get-go. I should have stopped it before I got in over my head. K IS a good person. Some may not feel he's being a very good person to keep an affair from his girlfriend, but people make bad decisions daily. I don't discredit him completely because of this action.
I told my husband about my feelings. Still a no-go. He doesn't know about us meeting. I think I will take this from the poly board, and if I ever return, I hope to return with something more positive. I hope I can make my husband understand that I feel as if I'm missing something by continuing monogamy. Hopefully he won't leave, as I do love him. Or maybe I won't return and will have to settle in order for him to remain a part of my life.
I don't know what else to say, I think I've said too much aleady. But again, thankyou and best of luck to you all.
Well, for what it's worth, you're always welcome here from my point of view.
K's actions are understandable, even if I can't condone them. As for your husband, I am sorry to hear he is unable to accept you as having a polyamorous nature. Maybe someday his outlook will change, we can always hope.
You have some tough decisions on the road ahead, I don't envy you. Willing to help in any way I can.
Good to Know
Thank you Kevin. Nothing against the other responders, but your responses have been the most helpful. And, it's good to know that I'm always welcome here. :)
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