Adding a Third--But My Husband Has Moral Dilemmas
Main Issue: My husband and I have started a sexual relationship with another woman. We both really care about her, and are friends with her. She lives in a room in our house. I am really into the relationship, with her and all 3 of us. My husband feels conflicted: he desires her, likes being with her, but feels bad about that because of his religious/moral beliefs. He also feels bad that when he is with her (this all started this week) he has a hard time paying attention to me. I consider this normal for the start of a new relationship.
My question is: does anyone have experience with a partner who is not just experiencing the normal jealousy/monogamy conditioning when starting to open a marriage, but also this underlying belief that it's WRONG?
I have talked and talked and talked about the logic; I've given him books to read and he rejects all the concepts. He acknowledges his desire and how great he feels and how much he enjoys being with another woman, but besides being jealous of me and her together (which he totally is), he justifies all of his feelings by referring to his belief that god meant for one man and one woman to be together, that it's a sacred union, and that monogamy is god's standard. I used to be a conservative Christian, so I understand all the arguments and have great logic as to why they are not logical, but he is unconvinced by all my reason.
I love him and I want us to be together, but I feel so strongly that I am polyamorous. We have 3 young children together.
I really like seeing my husband with our third; my only hurt feelings come in when I can tell that he's upset because she and I are together, and I feel restricted in my relationship with her. He is not okay with us pairing off individually--in his structure, everything has to be done within the context of the marriage.
Based on what has happened in the past and what he has said recently, he would rather end the marriage than do more with open marriage. The fact that we have all 3 been sexually intimate is a big, big deal for him, and he doesn't know how he can continue with it because of his moral belief. I don't know how I can go back to monogamy--I'm very afraid I will cheat again.
I realized about 2 1/2 years ago that I am polyamorous. There was no other person involved in my life, it was all theoretical. I talked to my husband about it immediately, and he rejected the concept on moral, religious grounds. We have been talking, talking, talking since then, worked through a lot of other issues in our relationship, talked about divorce, decided to stay together.
This last March I messed up, got drunk, and had a sexually intimate encounter with 2 guys (I'm a woman). I lied to my husband for 2 days, and then told him what had happened. Before I actually told him about the event, we had a conversation where I basically decided that there were no lines for me sexually, and that I couldn't promise him that I wasn't going to cross his lines. He decided he couldn't live with me having a polyamorous lifestyle, and separated from me. A week later I asked him if he would take me back if I said I would not live the lifestyle, and if he could forgive the cheating. He said yes.
The one thing he said he might be open to is exploring a relationship with a third who is a woman. This past summer we had a few 'swinging' type encounters with strangers. He found it exciting, but also felt morally conflicted and bad about how he felt.
We have had a woman living with us for over a month, we are all friends, and they went hiking together last weekend for 2 nights. I gave him permission to become more intimate with her if that seemed like what she wanted, and with the idea that he would see if she was interested in something with all 3 of us together. She is definitely interested in both of us, and we have all been sexually intimate a few times in this past week. My husband is now shutting down and thinks that he can't do this, and I am really, really hoping that he doesn't decide to stop what all 3 of us have together. I feel quite 'in love' with my friend, and we are passionate together, which I know is hard for him. My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and have a very solid relationship where we communicate very honestly about very hard things.