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-   -   Help for an adulteress? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=780)

Ana 09-15-2009 01:35 AM

Help for an adulteress?
I have been in a traditional marriage for more than 20 years, to a man I dearly love. We have discussed polyamory many times over the last 20 years, but he is not sympathetic towards it. I am ashamed to admit that I have not been faithful, what's more I find I no longer desire hiim sexually. I feel a cheat asking you people for help, because I am not really in the right place. I am polyamorous, but only in spirit.

My problem is that someone with whom I had a wonderful loving friendship for more than 10 years and who was woven into my life in many different ways, both family and work related, totally altered the nature of our relationship several times in the last 3 years. He now seems to believe that friendship between us is not possible. I feel as though my heart has been torn out of my chest. I struggle to do anything and my children and husband are suffering because of that. I keep thinking that it will get better, but for the last year I have been dependent on anti-depressants and counselling, and I am still having periods when I wish I was dead. I don't want to tell my husband because I am 90% sure that he will leave me, and 100% sure that he will feel even worse than I do now. I guess this is a good reason not to have secret loves, but apart from that, does anyone have any advice on how o get through this?

Quath 09-15-2009 02:03 AM

Have you been sexual with this friend or is it just a close friendship where he wants it to go further than you are willing or able?

My wife once told me that if I cheated on her, that I should keep it a secret. She sees me having to hide that as punishment for me. So you will have to decide what to do based on what you think your husband wants to know.

Do you think your husband would ever accept polyamory?

When dealing with pain from losing someone, I find that time heals wounds (or at least dulls the pain). Also do many activities to occupy your time.

I wish you well.

Ana 09-15-2009 02:14 AM

We put strict limits on the friendship. He is also married, and very much loves his wife. I was more open to sexual exploration and pushing the boundaries than he was. We had infrequent sexual encounters (0-6 a year), but lots of hugs and other forms of touching.

I know what you mean about the keeping it secret thing. I find I need to either know everything or know nothing. I think that my husband would want to know. But I know that apart from the sex issues, he is very happy being married to me. My counsellor said at first that I should tell him, but not yet as I am not coping well, but then she said perhaps I shouldn't.

Do you think that there is any hope that I will be able to get over this while working with him still, or do I need to quit? Hearing him laugh and watching him lunch with what feels like anyone but me is very hard to handle.

Thanks for the good wishes. Not having anyone to talk to about my feelings is part of the pain.

redpepper 09-15-2009 05:19 AM

In my opinion: your situation is part of the problem with our western civilization. Do crappy things that make us feel guilty, but are somehow culturally acceptable; then the "professionals" give us drugs to dull the effect of the pain we cause and to make us too blurred to make good choices. That is another topic... on to the one at hand...

In my opinion: it really is all quite simple. There is a clear path to feeling connected to yourself again. The path to feeling strong, happy, like you are a good mother and a good prospect for a poly relationship is there, but is a very difficult path at this point.

In my opinion: you need to get your priorities straight. Those kids are your first priority. If they are being affected then you have major shit to fix. They have a right to a mother who is strong, knows how to handle herself and is a good role model. You are not any of those things right now by the sounds of it.

Second priority is to deal with your guilt and fix what you have fucked up. You need to live with that guilt on your own as it is your problem and not your husbands. I totally agree with Quath's wife (you have a good woman there Quath!) It is your punishment to feel guilty and entirely unfair to put anything on to your husband. He should never know, firstly, for your sake, as he thinks you are a wonderful wife and mother in his heart and, secondly, for his sake in that he does not deserve the burden of your fuck ups. It is not okay to give him that burden. Take it from me, who has done it before, it does not make your guilt go away to let your partner know that you have been unfaithful! It makes it worse as you see their pain and it is ten times worse than your own!!!!.... please please consider that if nothing else I say!!!

Lastly is the unemotional stuff.... set your emotions aside, be rational and weigh it all out. Is he worth staying with? What are the things you loved about him? What did you find sexy about him? Is he a good man? Do you admire him and look up to him as a person? Would you be better off being really good friends that raise kids together separately? Or could you live in the same house be friends and raise kids? Could you ever be lovers again?

Then act!!!
Dump the man friend you are seeing now immediately telling him that you no longer want to hurt his wife (who I assume doesn't know) by being in his life and suggest that he take a good long look at his own life. Also tell him that he may not see it now, but you are doing him a big favour by pulling yourself together and getting what you need out of your life. Be an example to him of what can be accomplished when you act out of love for others and yourself, not out of greed and self serving motives because YOU are not being fulfilled.

Then do it, decide that you are not going to see the man again, decide that you are going to go out and take on your life because you owe it to your self and others who love you to do so. Love the people in your life enough to realize that even though your actions from here on in will be difficult for them at the beginning they will benefit from your happiness, sense of well being, courage and ability to move towards a better life. It will inspire them to do the same if you do it with empathy, compassion and love. Be the person you think is worth loving.

I am so glad that you told your story because it is SO familiar to so many. It breaks my heart to hear people suffering by their own actions and the action of others. It's because you have told your story that you can move forward, that others can move forward and that I can give some of my hard earned wisdom on the topic....for that I am thankful. I feel for you, I really do, as I have been there and have talked long and hard about my own story, listened and strategised with others.

You aren't alone, many of us on here have struggled. You have a chance to show the world what you are made of and give your life all you've got. I really hope you do that and can stand proud. I do now and there is NOTHING like it :)

go do the right thing.

Ana 09-15-2009 06:35 AM

Thanks Redpepper, I will think seriously about what you have said.

Minor corrections:
1. My friend's wife does know about our relationship. I don't fully understand what she knew and when she knew it, but my friend encouraged us to meet and talk earlier this year. I am afraid I totally messed up later on by trying to sort out what I thought was a misunderstanding about what had and had not happened in the friendship, and told her things she did not want to know (e.g. we never had intercourse sex, but did... etc.). She no longer wants to have anything to do with me.
2. What you say I should do to my friend, ending the relationship, being strong etc. is more or less what he has done to me. It is very hard because we are colleagues in a reasonably small group, in an occupation where it is very difficult to find work. And, of course, because it feels like everything that makes up the 'just for me' stuff that I love doing is tangled up with him.

My husband currently has a much higher sex drive than me, but says he is not interested in forming relationships with other people, partly because of the time they take (he has a lot of time consuming interests) partly because he does not want me to do the same, but also because he is worried about people being hurt. He hates the idea of me having any kind of sexual relationship with someone else more than ever now my lack of desire for him is clear to him (that makes me feel even more of a heel than being unfaithful). The bizarre thing is that when I did have a physical relationship with my friend, I felt more desire for my husband rather than less.

Truth is, I doubt that I will ever be in a position to have a polyamorous relationship, because he will never agree to it, not even if we agree ahead of time that I will be mono and he poly for a trial period. I would be very, very interested to see how well I could handle that!

Thanks again, I very much appreciate the feedback and the various postings I have read on the site.

Quath 09-15-2009 01:34 PM

I think a lot can come down to perspective. You had a good time with your friend. Remembeer it for what it was and let the past flow behind you. Maybe when you hear him laugh, you can just appreciate what you two have had and try to let it go at that.

It is hard being physically close to someone you can no longer have a relationship with. But you can try to turn it positive by focusing on the fond memories and less on the breakup itself. Over time it gets easier to deal with it. So it is just an endurance contest in a sense.

So does your husband just assume you have a low sex drive or did you tell him that you are not sexually attracted to him? (It is pretty common when someone takes a lover, their overall libido increases.) How is he handling that?

River 09-15-2009 02:25 PM


Originally Posted by Ana (Post 6966)
The bizarre thing is that when I did have a physical relationship with my friend, I felt more desire for my husband rather than less.

This happens often enough that one should conclude that there are knowable reasons for why it is so. Might it be that you felt better about yourself and about life generally when were involved with your "friend"? What was at the root of this?

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