Married, in love with her best friend, at a loss ...
Ok, here we go. English isn't my primary language so I have to excuse myself for making mistakes. I am gratefull to all the people on this forum, when I stumble over this place I was really relieved that the feelings and situation I am experiencing right now aren't some weird stuff happening to me alone.
First of all, I'm absolutely new to this whole idea, never knew something like polyamory existed and would NEVER have thought I could feel the way I do. But it somehow happened. Some details on my story.
I'm married, we are a couple for almost 11 years now and I honestly and deeply love him. He was and will be always in my life, I'm sure about this. Of course there have been some ups and downs but it would be strange to expect something different. The downs were pretty tough but they glued us together even more. He will be the father for my children and the one I grow old with. This would have been my answer without a second thought, if you would have asked me 2 weeks ago. I still want this future to happen, but things became difficult.
I have got a close friend, he has been with me for 6 years. We stayed best friends for 2 years without problems, but then things changed. I started to have really confusing dreams about him and me and my bf (at that time), feelings developed which I forcefully shut down. As I later got to know, it was the same for him as well. Since we became friends we have always been in very close contact with each other. We talk for hours every day and are able to talk about everything that is on our minds.
When we first saw each other (I met him on the internet and we kept talking over skype), it was a real disaster … emotionally. It has been the third year of our friendship and he couldn't keep his feelings from showing. When we (he, my husband, some other friends and I met for New year's eve) were back home, he confessed, I rejected him furiously, how he could think of something like this despite me having a boyfriend etc … But deep down I wasn't really mad at him, but at myself, because I knew I felt the same. I needed almost half a year to get the thought of really loving two men into my head. I had always thought, that one love has to decline for a new one to develop. But I still loved my husband, it never changed one bit, despite having this feelings for my best friend.
During the next 3 years this incident and the mutual feelings kept hidden under the surface, we never talked about it again and followed our daily routine as before. The distance helped us quite a bit, I really don't want to guess what would have happened if we would have regularly seen each other from day one. We broached this topic casually and frequently as time went by, but always beat around the bush. And somehow we became able to cope with it. But our boundaries expanded significantly as well and finally we went back to square one two weeks ago. And it was more intense and nerve wrecking than ever. I wasn't able to lie again and now we put our cards on the table.
I did some thinking already, but I am so confused about how to handle this stuff. I don't want to lose my husband. Never. I don't want to lose my best friend as well. And I don't want the ones I love to suffer and don't want to suffer myself. But I really don't know how to achieve it.
Another difficulty is right around the corner, because there could be the chance to move in together in September this year. We decided to try to start a company half a year ago and if everything goes well in August, we will be seeing each other every day. At this point I'm horrified to let this happen.
I don't know why, but one of the first thoughts I got after the confusion left me, was the urge to get those two under one roof, try to include him into our two person circle and life happily ever after. But I know how I would feel, if I had to share the person I love with another. I would feel really betrayed if I put myself in my husbands place. He knows how important my friend is for me and how much he means to me. He even suggested a 3some, but I think it was some kind of joke, I don't think he would really let this happen. My friend is suffering greatly, he feels terrible because he is butting into a marriage, as he sees it, and hate putting me under pressure and causing this great confusion for me. But he is no longer able to go against his feelings and as helpless as me about this.
When it comes to me, I can only think of solving this by losing none of them. I want to keep them both, want to have them, the two special persons in my life, right next to me. I told my friend how I think and he really began to think about how we could make this happen. He is still unsure if he would be able to share me, or if his feelings would be too strong for this. Therefore he suggested a meeting to make sure of it. His birthday is around the corner and we had already decided to meet again before this mess happened. Now it kind of seems like a chance to confirm if at least we would be able to wangle this special kind of relationship. He thinks it would be best to know about this, before I tell my husband. Even better would be not to mention anything at all, keep our best friend level until we actually moved in together and see what could or couldn't happen then. I would love to have this work out, but I am so damn insecure about the reaction of my husband.
Now, after this wall of text (I'm really sorry that it took me so long to come to the actual point, but it was really great to get all of this off my mind finally) I would like to ask you for your opinion and maybe help me with some suggestions and advice. Because I feel like betraying my husband by loving someone besides him. And I don't know if the idea to wait and see what happens could work out. And I don't know if I could ask of them to suffer this kind of relationship for me. I read some of the mono experiences on this forum and I was shocked and could understand how they felt. I would as well. But the one thing that is quite clear to me now is that I just can't go against my feelings in this case. My monogamy-is-the-only-way-till-death-do-part-us world view is shaken to the core and I don't know how to handle it.
Thanks for reading and thanks for some ideas on this in advance.
Hullo and welcome!
Talk to your husband about how your feel. There really is no other way around this.
The moving in thing? Bad idea... I would not suggest it at all. I don't see why you need to start a business and move in together. Why is that? I think that would be playing with fire and there is no room for that in poly relationships in the sense that you are talking about....
I suggest you take a step back and look at this. You are in one relationship already, and have realized you love your friend. Okay, that is fine, but be realistic; you are not in a situation to indulge yourself. You are in a position to do a shit load of work. To even have the indulgence to even consider that this might work will take huge amounts of patience and thoughtful process with your partner and this other person. Respect that and do the work.
Threesomes are all fine and dandy, but that is a long shot that will likely not come out of this as it is... so shelf it for the time being.
This is what I would do if I were you.
1. Tell your partner that you have been in love with your friend for years and that it has been manageable until this point but now it isn't and you need his support to see you through to the next stage, whatever that is... ask him to do this with you. This will show him that you are being respectful, have not cheated, have integrity and consideration for his feelings and position on this.
2. Make a list of what you see would work for you in terms of boundaries. Ask him to do the same. Realize that he is starting at ground zero and you have been in this for years. It could take months for him to catch up. Do research, read, study, find a group near you, go to a poly friendly counsellor, do whatever works to help him feel comfortable and safe in this new information.
3. Ask the friend to back right up and concentrate on your partner. They will have to get to know each other in a different light now and that will take time. The friend will have to realize that you will not be available to him until you have established something solid between you and your partner.
4. You won't be able to indulge in the feelings you have right now, so stuff them and wait... practice that and don't let them out until you have been given the go from your partner. Then wait some more until your partner says, "for pities sake, I'm fine, go be with him." If you get to this point you will feel very proud of the work you have done and everything will be right in the world. It's worth it and possible.
5. Look for other ways to have a business and don't move in with this guy...
This is all my opinion of course and you are welcome to take it or leave it. I have done a good bit of work on this kind of stuff and have been here a long time. What you dream of is possible, I have seen it happen. The above is one way to create that that I have seen and experienced working.
Do a search for tags on "NRE," "mono/poly," "foundations" and "lessons"... maybe they will help.
Good luck :)
Thanks a lot you two. I think you are totally right, I just freaked out in a way and tried to solve this as fast as possible. I don't know what will come out of this, but I think I really have to get my husband in the picture, even if my friends isn't quite sure if he could be part of this or not at the moment. I was pondering over the possibility to have him decide first, before I tell my husband. This could have given me the confort of not telling him at all, if things failed to go "right" to my liking, because he decided to get out of this, if he wouldn't feel able to share me in this kind of relationship. I will try to do the right thing. Thanks again.
Hi, Phy, and welcome!
You've been given 2 loads of good advice. I hope mine also helps.
a) This is new to you. 4 years ago (3 1/2?), your skype friend lets you know that he's interested. You reject him in clear terms, but are mad at yourself for having that same interest. 2 weeks ago you're both honest with each other about it, admit that the attraction is mutual. It took you 3 years to come to terms with your own desires. How can you expect your husband to be quicker to accept the "rightness" of desires that aren't his?
BUT b) [And this is what I consider even more important.] You haven't yet talked to your husband. You're worrying, fearing that he'll get really upset about all this. How do you know? OK, you know your husband better than any of us, you have a feeling about how he would react based on your experience of him. But he, himself, mentioned (joking) the possibility of a 3-some. Do you know the expression: "Many a true word is spoken in jest"?
c) Imagine - just imagine - that your husband has thought about opening up your relationship... but doesn't bring up the subject with you because he fears how you might react!
d) How well does your husband know you? When you all met at New Year's Eve (and have the 2 of them met since then?) do you think that your husband might have guessed that there were strong feelings there?
e) You write "He knows how important my friend is for me and how much he means to me." I honestly can't imagine ANY man knowing this without considering the possibility of an added sexual attraction being there.
f) Some husbands get wildly jealous about their wives' strictly and obviously only platonic friendships with other men.
g) Your husband - from your account - is maturer than that. He might be (at least) understanding of the existing of a sexual interest.
h) Be honest with your husband. Tell him how you feel. Don't expect him to jump up, clap hands, and shout: "Great!" Give him time to get used to the idea. (Didn't it take you 3 years?) He might surprise you by taking less time...
i) If you really don't want to lose your husband, if he really is important to you, don't lie to him... and don't put yourself and your other friend in a position where you might do something that you feel you'll need to hide from your husband.
Thanks to you as well. Some of the points you mentioned were the cause for me getting the idea of trying a v-relationship (if I'm getting this term right).
a) No, I didn't consider my husband to be as slow as I have been. I kind of realised all this at that time already, but I was just to stubborn and scared to act accordingly. He is way different than me in this regard. IF he decides, it will be quick and clear. (Quick in the sense of some weeks, not years)
b) Yes that is exactly what I hope for... don't wanted to get my hopes up to easily. I know he is considerate of me concerning this, we had discussed some possiblities in this field already, but I don't know if he still thinks it could be a good idea if I want a lasting relationship instead of a night long experience.
c) No, generally speaking he wouldn't do that. This would be a great impact on his "We grow old together, I raise the kids, we build a house, etc..." He is really traditional and mono concerning this point.
d) Yes he did. He asked if there was something going on. But I have been under the impact of the confession and my denial and therefore I said "No, we are just friends."
e) As stated in d), he trusts me 100%. I do as well. And I think he doesn't see my best friend as a threat right now in this domain. The reason why he could have chosen him to be the third one for his little joke.
f) That's one of our bad points. Or his to be more precise. He is almost never jealous. Or if, he can hide it really well. I complain about this quite often.
g) He knows that I am some kind of open minded. With a slight bi tendency. There have been some experiences with a woman and us before. But as before, just once, not regularly.
And no, I kind of already knew this would be a bad idea. I was just too scared to do something that is more aggressive. I am collecting my courage right now to do so.
You really are of great help. I feel much more relieved then before. Still tense to the point of shaking but my heart is lighter. Thank you.
There are plenty of people on this board who will be happy to help. Many have worked through (sometime PAINFULLY, sometimes just "tense to the point of shaking") some of the same things that you're facing now.
If you talk about this with your 2 men, encourage them to join us here. There are some monogamous members here as well. We can all learn from each other. It's always good to be shown the World from somebody else' viewpoint.
p.s. You wrote that English isn't your first language. Are you European? If so, you might be interested in a group for Europolys that I started. (Click on my name, then choose "see public profile" - where you can click on that group.)
Ähm well yes, I didn't get the love notion out of your point there. I simply meant jealousy and his take on it. I know that he isn't insecure about his place in my heart and the other way round. At least not until now... I was just stating that I sometimes miss the general presents of jealousy. He never gets concerned about me having male friends.
And yes, I am from Germany, but they wouldn't be albe to do so. They aren't able to communicate in another language except German.
Just a word of encouragement.
Thank you, I'm in some kind of need for those at the moment.
Today I was able to move a real step forward. My friend and I talked a lot after I got your responses and I encouraged him to go and see a counselor. (He gets medical treatment because of a health problem and has one "available" at the hospital.) She mentioned some really helpfull steps we should regard in this process and I think I will do as she suggested.
This means, we have to get our situation clear first. Because we have never really seen and been with each other, except for the daily talk, we need to meet once before making a decision now. There is some truth to this and I will start out with getting my feelings clear before confronting my husband. This goes for my friend as well, he is still unsure about how he would actually be able to act as he thinks he would on a completly theoretical basis.
What ever the outcome will be, I will still tell my husband everything. But I need to be clear about what I actually have to tell him. Fact up to now is that I am greatly confused about my own feelings. I am sure that I love them, but not how to handle it.
What has been mentioned before "You said that you are afraid to think what would have happened if your best friend had been around more. I take it to mean you think you would have cheated on your husband with him already if it wasn't for the distance between you two." was taken in a wrong way. I don't think (one can never be sure of course) that I would have cheated on him. I was never able to do even the smallest bit of this in any situation so far. This shouldn't change, it just isn't in my character. I meant that this whole mess would have happened earlier and I take that I would have been even less prepared for this at an earlier point in time.
We are going to be around each other on a everyday basis and see how the other and we ourselves will react. I will get started from that point onwards. Don't know if it's the best solution but it seems to be the one with the most practical setting and less confusing potential to me. And I as well as my friend will make sure to cross no boundaries in the process, that goes without saying. Not an easy but managable way of handling this in my opinion.
Thanks again for your concern and offered help. It helped me find a way through my inner jungle and think about the whole situation while taking a step backwards.
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