Married, and something has come up...
I'm new to this site. I posted in the intro and just decided to get things off my chest despite my anxiety at doing so.
I've been married for 10 years. My husband and I have dabbled in having an open marriage in the past which ended up very badly. We made some pretty big mistakes. Many other things went on and I finally decided to leave and took our three kids. With a marriage therapist (who is very pro monogamy), me and my husband have made great progress and I am back with him.
My husband was very admit that he wanted a monogamist relationship as part of getting back together. Which I was undecided about but didn't want to open things up again if he was not on board for that.
I've emotionally bonded to other men (though I am bisexual I just don't know many other women that are bi/gay.) I have had one time sexual experiences with a couple of them. These occured during times when I felt me and my husband were seperated. The last emotional relationship I had was one my husband asked me to end so we could concentrate on our marriage.
So why am I here?
My husband has reconnected, on a very powerful level, with an old girlfriend. This woman is someone he has loved for 11 years. I am trying to be supportive of how he feels and how they want their relationship to go.
She is married however. And as far as I know, has not told her husband what is going on. I hate secrets and this makes me very worried about how things will turn out.
I'm feeling a bit unsure about everything right now and perhaps that things are a bit unfair. I want to be smarter about my choices and am looking for help and guidance.
It sounds like it's time for a serious sit down conversation and boundary list making meeting.
It might be a good idea to get the book "Opening Up" so that you can use the lists in it as a guideline for what topics to address and decide on together.
The book is "so so" in my opinion in terms of reading it cover to cover-but the lists can be a HUGE help. I'd try the library first, but often you can find it on Amazon used for cheap.
Then, it's time for a deep heart to heart talk together.
Your husband is embarking on more bad decisions it sounds like to me. He is cheating with this woman. Its time to do things right and encourage her to be up front and honest from the get go. There is so much possibility if everything is based on honesty, integrity, consideration for others. There is nothing but deciet, pain, sadness and loss with cheating. If I were you I would be very clear that his relattionship with her right now will destroy all of your lives if she does not set this straight.
I would suggest that you and he do a tag search for "cheating" here and read up on what happens when you cheat. That way both of you can support her.
As for where you are at? I think that starting where I suggested is the first order of business. After that, see where you are at and see how you feel. Doing a tag search for "foundations" and "lessons" might help with ideas on how to start out with a foundation that works this time.
I may be a bit naïve here, but when you write:
Does it matter? Aren't they cheating if they feel strongly about each other and keep that secret from her husband? (Rhetorical question - I don't know: I know that to some husbands the sex / no sex question would play a determining factor. I'd be willing to bet that your husband is one of them.)
What I want to concentrate on is this:
Does your husband always change the rules to suit himself? Must you always kowtow to his whims? Do you know the song "We're Not Over Yet"?
The way you play this game by holding all the aces
The way you change the rules so you can always win
When you cash my cheques or steal my car or smoke my cigarettes
Then I know, we’re not over yet
Then I know, we’re not over yet
I'm not so sure that you need to be worrying about his relationship with this old love of his.
Maybe you should be worrying about his relationship with you.
Yours is a tough situation. You are not cheating but your primary is. While on the whole, getting heavily involved in partner-metamour shite is not a good idea, this one is a bit hard to sit out.
Do you know why your metamour hasn't talked about his to her husband?
Thanks for replying guys. I will keep searching around the site for those things you suggested.
I'd rather not be the one to say what they have or haven't done. If my husband wants to post about that then he can. Yes, they are going behind her husband's back and I would feel much better if there were no secrets and we could all move forward and work through this. But there isn't much I can do about that.
My polyamory has been more emotional than physical. I didn't go about it the right way though. Kept secrets that I was talking to people from my husband and let the communications take me away from time with him. I really didn't understand what I was doing and why and am still trying to figure that out about myself.
There have been times when my husband hasn't told me about things that have gone on with other people but I will leave it at that.
At one point a few years ago we did try to let someone into our marriage that my husband was interested in. I don't think our marriage was ready for that and things got out of hand. In the end the other relationship was ended.
So given our marriage history I have been worried about setting down the rule of monogamy. I really did(do) want to try and fix our marriage. My partner was asking for monogamy and I wanted to respect that that is what he needed. Having an open marriage only works if both are onboard.
My knee jerk reaction is to say yes he is now changing the rule because it fits what he wants but neither of us foresaw this person coming back into his life.
When he first came to me about wanting her in his life I told him to go and figure it out. But I struggle with emotions when he is out seeing her. And I am overly concerned about him getting hurt if this all ends badly so I tend to be pushy about the situation.
How much of a say do I have in all this? I don't want to be pushy and make the situation worse by being a stressor. I want to be supportive and sensative to his feelings. I'd hope he'd be that way for me.
If I were his wife I would be talking about this constantly from every angle I could think of in terms of getting him on the same page as me. If he isn't on the same page, then I would assume trouble will start. For me that would mean ending my relationship and leaving our home. Even if temporarily. I wouldn't subject myself to someone elses deciet. I wouldn't want it be known by anyone that I was part of it. I'm a hard ass on these things though and it wouldn't be until after a huge fight. Their are always other loves to find with similar values as me I reckon. I would get about the business of finding them and moving on. Sadly, but I come first in this world and to me this would be a move for my own sanity.
OK, so I really don't want to infringe on the space of my DW, but I would like to make a post regarding our current situation. I probably won't post beyond this one because I want my DW to have a space where she can express herself and I don't want her to hold back for fear of hurting me.
For starters, I believe that the situation is immensely more complex than DW has explained it to be. I also understand that when dealing with emotions between two people, the relationship is complex enough. Throw more people into that and it gets exponentially more complex.
That said, I have seen a lot of assumptions made about me and the current situation that I believe have stemmed from a lack of information. I'm here simply to provide my perspective because I do care very much about how my DW feels.
OK. I spent an hour writing an epic tale of everything that's going on. I realized that I was being far to verbose and bringing up a lot of things from the past that didn't need to be brought up. So I'm cutting this down to what is, I believe, relevant.
For starters, I fully acknowledge that I am a control freak. it's taken me a long time and hours with a therapist to come to terms with that and work through that.
My post here is not intended to come across as anything more than a one time explanation of my perspective.
For starters, I have been polyamorous since circumstances beyond our control forced my then-GF and I apart. I have never been able to stop loving her, and god help me I've tried. I think part of that has stemmed from a lack of closure on our relationship.
2 years ago, we reconnected on that huge social network. We talked for several hours a day for a couple weeks. We talked everything out and I did find the closure I was looking for on that aspect of my life. We were both in different places at that time. We just kind of stopped talking because we didn't have anything more to talk about.
A little over a month ago, she reached out to me again on the same social network. A week or so after we started talking quite regularly, she told me that was and always has been in love with me. This was a bombshell for me, since she had implied the opposite two years ago. It was also a shock for her that she actually admitted it to me.
Here's some of the complexity of our predicament.
I think there's more than that, but that's a good list so far.
So, just to clarify a couple of things.
When DW and I started talking about reconciling, I did stated a desire that we not have an open marriage and being polyamorous was the furthest thing from my mind at that point.
My ... whatever she is ... and I have not had sex. At present, we're not planning on it. That's not to say that the desire isn't there. We were sexually active together 11 years ago and the chemistry is still very much there. At this point, though, it's simply not feasible.
I do not feel as though I am cheating. My DW knows everything. I have tried to keep her in mind throughout this full process. That said, I do think that she's cheating on her DH. I don't like that. I've encouraged her to talk to her DH about me and about what she's feeling. I do not, however, have the right nor ability to try and force her to do anything. At present, I feel strongly that she knows her relationship with her DH much better than I do.
I understand that controversy that surrounds cheating. I have encouraged her, numerous times, to come clean to her spouse. But I hold the position that it's not my place nor my call to make.
Right now, she's afraid that he'll try to make her stop talking to me. But she also understands that she needs to do it.
We have not seen each other but a couple of times in the 5 weeks since we've reconnected. But we have talked nearly every day.
MrFarFromRight, I do not believe your inference to be accurate at all. The reason that we separated was because she wasn't happy and I didn't know why. We had developed issues talking to each other about how we were feeling. She wanted me to do things differently, but she wouldn't tell me what they were. I asked her if she wanted to move out because I didn't like seeing that she wasn't happy.
I asked her to end the openness of our marriage because at the time, she was talking quite regularly to another man, a relationship that she hid from me until I discovered it and that I was never comfortable with as a result. She also, contrary to what she would say, had sex with him in retaliation against me because she was mad at me. I asked her to remove the open nature of our marriage because at that point, what I felt we needed to do as focus on our relationship more than our relationships with other people.
And I do hold some resentment toward the assumption that I change the rules to suit my own whims. Actually, you make a lot of assumptions in your comment that are fairly inaccurate.
As it currently sits, I do spend time with my DW. Prior to my ... whatever she is ... coming back into the picture, DW and I set up some guidelines, at the advice of our counselor, that we try to adhere to. I haven't given up on that and I still do my very best.
There are periods in the day when I interact only with her. There are periods of the day, though, when she's in bed and I have late night work I have to do that my ... whatever she is ... and I chat while I work. We don't talk at all during the day on the weekends. But her and I are night owls ... our spouses are not.
At the end of the day, I still don't know what the end result is. Neither does she. The only thing that I do know is that yes, this relationship does fit into a polyamorous mold. The truth is, I wish I didn't have feelings for her anymore. I want to be completely monogamous. But I'm not willing to give her up, either. Doing so the first time, even though I had no control over it, has been one of the biggest regrets of my life.
Don't disappear, no one is hear to gang up on you - however, they may be very blunt about their observations.:eek:
My husband has a "... whatever she is ... ", BFF, Non-Sexual GF, Non-Sexual Partner, Sister (but not related)... I have also refered to her as his "other wife", but she definitely doesn't like that title, so it's down to BFF or Sister. Unlike you the sexual tension is not there and will never happen. That didn't stop the pain when I found out that he was discussing intimate things with her, that he wouldn't discuss with me. I would look at the cell phone bills and see multiple calls and texts to her every day and I got nothing. This was cheating and the pain was real and helped fuel the deterioration of our marriage. We have since turned our marriage around and I now welcome her invovement in our lives.
My suggestion would be to cut back on your contact with her to normal friend level (definitely not every day nor for hours on end) until she has had the discussion with her husband. Your right that is not your call to force this discussion, but you can help avoid cheating on her husband.
Thanks for writing Mr. Dragonart. Its always helpful to hear all sides and I appreciate that you took the time and had the guts to express yourself. It isn't easy when people have made assumptions that push buttons. Please remember that those assumptions are made from lack of knowledge or from one persons opinion. Most people in this communuity are radically honest and open, but usually come with a heavy dose of compassion. Most of us have been there and know something of what you are going through. I hope that you take what others say and have said and use it. Their is wisdom here.
Poly has a firm root and takes pride in being about consent and good ethics. This woman you are finding yourself attached to is not getting consent and is not acting ethically. In my opinion that means that if you are involved with her, you aren't either.
I understand that tight rope that is walked between talking every day and having a full blown affair. Most affairs start like that. I also understand the denial of what is going on also. "I'll be fine, it will be fine, no one is REALLY getting hurt. I have control here." I get it. The thing is, people will and are going to get hurt if this goes on as is. You've already met up with her twice behind his back.
This husband of hers is not being considered at the bottom line, and that is hurtful. That is on your head as much as hers because you are prompting her to be in touch with you rather than saying no until you have heard from his mouth that it is okay that she engage you on a romantic level.
I suggest you do some searches here for "foundations," "lessons" and "cheating." You will find a lot. Your story is up there with the top five reasons people come to this site. At least you are in good company.
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