Suddenly there is this other woman
I'm here, because my husband might be something like poly. - Or maybe it is something else.
We've been together for almost 20 years. For about 10 years I've known of his D/s tendencies. He would have liked to establish an F/m relationship with me, and I tried my best to become more dominant, but I am vanilla.
I had thought we had found a way to handle the situation that suited us both, but 8 months ago, he suddenly confronted me with the fact that he had met another woman in the internet. A submissive woman how wanted him to become his online dom. (I didn't know that he was able to switch, but that's another story).
After many tears I agreed to their relationship. He told me that I came first and that he would end that other relationship if I insisted.
Well, after a couple of months I did insist, but he did/could not end it. Ė And that was a real shock for me. It was proof to me that she was so very important to him. More important than I was.
He claims that he still loves me more than anything else and that the way he loves me is completely different from his love for her. And he also makes the point that he doesnít have sex with her. (They have seen each other about half a dozen times now (so it isnít an online-only relationship any-more). She has knelt before him. He has held her hand and caressed her face. But there has been no sexual contact Ė and none is planned, at least so far.
I feel like he is no longer mine completely. And I want him to be mine completely. She now owns a part of him. Perhaps it is a part of him that never was mine in the first place, but still. Now she is there. In his life, in his thoughts, in his heart. And I feel terrible. I feel humiliated, devalued. And I am so ashamed. I just cannot tell anyone about it. Everyone would tell me to dump him or at least make him decide between her and me. I think I ought to leave him. But I canít. I donít want to lose him. I want the opposite. I want him to be completely mine again. But thatís not going to happen. He needs D/s. And I canít give it to him.
We have both cried so much in the last couple of weeks. It breaks his heart to see me suffering, but there just doesnít seem to be any solution.
I know that you folks canít help me either, but perhaps you can help me find out if this D/s relationship he now has and wants so badly means that he also has polyamorous tendencies which he wasnít aware of before.
This might also explain why he doesnít really feel guilty about it. He is sorry for hurting me so much, because he can see that I am hurt, but he canít really understand *why* I am so hurt.
What is going on with your husband is not polyamory nor do I see (from my standpoint) tendencies of such. Polyamory, first off, is built in trust, honesty, and communication - little of which I see in your husband actions. True he was honest with you eventually about this other woman but his actions dictate deceit and dishonesty.
Speaking to your actions in the future, it is purely up to you as to whether or not you allow this to go on and try to salvage the decades that you each have invested i your relationship.
His actions resonate with me as extremely selfish and without regard for your feelings. It takes a tremendous amount of self confidence and confidence in your relationship with your husband to shift from a monogamous relationship to an open one- you have to ask yourself if it is in you.... Do you really trust that he is committed to you? Or is he committed more to his own needs/ wants?
I truly wish that I had a miracle solution for you- it is very sad to hear of anyone who is faced with such betrayal and deceit but alas I do not.
I can only suggest that you talk with him and discuss your future together- search within yourself and find what you need to be happy.
I hope this helps and I hope that you find a solution to your dilemma that suits you both and keeps you happy.
I am Jim.
My heart goes out to you for the feelings you are in the midst of. You're clearly in a big struggle. The way your husband has delivered this information bluntly (and probably without being completely forthright,) is hurtful.
It is very possible to love more than one person without loving either or any of the other partners any less, so when he claims his love for you isn't diminished that may be true. His actions, however, suggest carelessness with your feelings.
You stated there is no sex planned so far. I would recommend you brace yourself immediately. I suspect that even if it's true that there hasn't been sex, or been a plan for sex, there has certainly been desire and intent for sex.
It sounds to me as though you are being given information piece by piece in order to gauge your reaction before he proceeds. (i would hedge that he has proceeded further, but your tears halted his admissions.) I'm fairly confident he didn't intentionally hurt you. The problem is, he also didn't intentionally NOT hurt you. Therein lies the rub. His priorities and procedures are completely in disregard of you. Demand he take a break while you sort this out. Demand honesty going forward. Honesty must come beforehand, not confessions after the fact.
Also, I would wonder what his story is to his other partner. In Poly, at least here at my house, the stories all of you get should match nearly perfectly. If they don't it is a dead giveaway there is deliberate deception afoot.
I wish each of you all the best. Let the truth be your compass.
My story is that my libido is about 20 times higher than my wife's. I also went the online route, but we talked it out before I get too involved. In the last 2 years, I've been involved in a friendship that has grown into a romance. It has changed nothing I feel about my wife.
My recommendation is find out is are you lacking anything (besides trust, you're going to have to repair that.. if you want to) in the relationship. Is he still giving you all the attention you need? Is he shirking household duties to be with his new lady? If nothing is actually missing, then what is that you really want? I know you say you want him to be all yours, but you don't own him even if he wasn't seeing anyone.
I would recommend Opening Up. Theres a lot of information on both inital relationship damage as well as dealing with different sexual needs.
It may help, it may not, but it's a short read.
Run away ... Run away......
What was the resolution to the original problem? and how did he handle that? I am guessing he handled it poorly.
I dont know that she is more important than you. Much like the person above me who asked. Is he neglecting you or the household in anyway?? There is the ability to love more than one person and not let it affect the others, so he is probably telling you the truth.
There is no reason to feel bad, or less, or humiliated about this. Actually in our case (mine and hubby's) I am proud that he can love multiple and treat each one like they are thee only one in the world to him. It fills me with great joy that he is so full of love that he enjoys loving others. There is another way to see this.
It's not an easy road no matter which way you go, but your going to get more out of him and a better understanding of things if you both sit down and talk and not make ultimatums until you fully understand all sides of the issues.
Thank you all for your answers.
Writing about such a complex topic is not easy, and you have to focus on certain aspects while neglecting others, so some things may not have come across exactly the way I intended them.
First of all:
For all I know, my husband has been candid with me all the time.
Three days after he had met her in the internet (stumbling across her in a general forum - not searching for somebody in a BDSM community or something like that) he told me about her and asked if he could be her online dom.
And I also knew that they would meet.
I knew that he couldn't give her up. He didn't lie to me about that. He didn't say that he had ended the relationship or something like that.
So, there is honesty. We do talk. Actually, we've done a lot of talking.
And I still trust him.
As for her and the sex. She lives in a open marriage and has sex and/or SM (not D/s) with several other men on a regular basis.
I believe my husband when he says that there is no sex planned. He wants to be special for her, not just another fuckbuddy.
As for the aspect of neglect. I don't want to go into detail there, because that's a very complicated story, too. Just one thing:
I don't think that the lack of neglect alone proves that everything is ok. I guess a man who cheats on his wife with his secretary during his business trips isn't necessarily neglecting her. Perhaps even the opposite. But still most people would understand that she was hurt if he did that.
Yes, I know that it is nobody's fault that he has needs that I cannot satisfy.
But, well, we've lived for almost 20 years in a mutually exclusive relationship. That's what I bargained for. That's what I'm used to. That's what I want. That's what I need. And it is not my fault that I need that, either, is it?
I know: I will either have to find a way to come to terms with the fact that he has somebody else, or I will have to leave him.
Welcome to our forum.
There is also the option/possibility of talking him out of seeing this other woman. But that involves something he controls: his actions. You can ask him to change his actions, but only he can decide whether he'll actually do that.
I gathered from your first post that he originally promised he'd break up with this other woman if you asked him to. A few months later, you did ask him to, but he did not comply -- either because he couldn't, or because he didn't want to. Either way, he failed to keep his promise.
So I guess I am skeptical about whether it would be possible to convince him to leave this other woman. His track record indicates that that just isn't gonna happen. Whether that means the other woman is more important to you is something of a riddle. It could mean that both women are equally important, he is tore up about it and can't bring himself to leave either woman. Or it could mean that he just isn't keeping his word to you.
Underlying all this, somewhere, I realize, is the idea that all people have a right to a faithfully monogamous spouse. Your husband has not been faithfully monogamous, so you have been "robbed" of that right. As this is a poly forum, we could probably end up with a long thread arguing about whether monogamy is a right. Some people think polyamory is a right. I don't think either position greatly matters here. What matters here is that you need one thing from your marriage, and it looks like your husband needs something else. The two needs are not compatible.
If you stay in this marriage, you will essentially be denying your own essential need for monogamy. You will (by staying) be condoning your husband's relationship with this other woman. I can't sugar-coat those realities because the rest of your life is at stake here. Do not stay in this marriage unless you are 100% sure you want to do so.
There's always the chance that you might get used to this other woman being in the picture, that you might eventually find yourself able to be at peace with polyamory. If so, great, and sticking with the marriage would certainly be worth it if that's the outcome. I guess the question is, how long do you think you should give this process before giving up on it? Since it might never work, you are gambling another year of your life for every year that you stay in this marriage. There are, after all, other men out there. Men who would be truly faithful to you.
But, you should probably try to decide on a reasonable time frame. What would be fair in terms of giving this poly thing a chance to work? I would roughly estimate a year, but that is a highly inadequate estimate as people are so unique and individual, and a year may be nowhere near the right amount of time for you. Ten years might be the right amount of time for you. Ten days might be the right amount of time for you. You can of course (and should) get perspective from this site on that sort of subject, but ultimately the decision has to be yours. Remember, we are now talking about your actions. That's what you can control.
I am sorry that you have invested almost 20 years of your life into something that has turned out to be a heartbreak for you. You are a good person, tried to meet your husband's needs, and didn't deserve this kind of pain. We can only try to decide what to do about it, now that it's already happened.
I might suggest you do some reading on various threads on this site, and glean some perspective in case it might help you get your bearings. The Life stories and blogs board might be helpful, as it describes real-life poly situations in detail, how people coped with various things, and what did and didn't work.
In any case, I hope things somehow turn around for you so that you can eventually be happy.
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