I am really sorry for what you are going through. And certainly MichelleZed has some great points. (Though probably the last thing on your list to think about is deciding if you think unprotected oral sex = safe sex.)
I was married to my first husband for over 10 years when we decided to try poly. I felt it was from a safe place, with somebody I trusted, who I had no doubt that was my soul mate who I'd been on a decade long honeymoon with, etc
After months of discussion we had our plan of action, I was inviting my trusted (and interested in me) good long distance friend to visit for 5 nights while my husband went out of town for a cross state bike trip where hundreds and hundreds of women would be around. The only "rules" we had for him were for condoms for sex, to be honest with each other, not to sleep with anybody who was in a relationship and cheating, and that three women who had tried to sleep with him before when he was on these yearly bike trips, knowing he was unavailable, were off limits.
During and after his trip we communicated, he told me about woman who he had an encounter with on the trip, life went on, we both dated some, and 9 months later we were both in lovely relationships with other people and he was making plans to go on that next years bike trip.
Something felt off, but I didn't know what it was. We had started having arguments here and there that weren't making sense to me. He was saying I was angry, and I didn't know what he was talking about, since as far as I could tell I wasn't... He walked into the room one day and said he wanted to talk to me about something. He told me that he had made up the woman he said he'd slept with originally, and he had actually slept with one of the three women who had hit on him before. She was married and cheating on her husband. He'd told me at the time she hit on him originally that she had said she had an unhappy marriage. He decided that since she hadn't cheated on her husband before (even though there were good chances her husband had cheated on her if they were that unhappy) that she wasn't a risk for STI's. He'd had a vasectomy too, so it seemed extra safe for him to not use condoms and not worry about consequences. Instead of the one sexual encounter he said he had it turned out they'd slept together the second day and every day after every chance they got.
Obviously I was immediately crushed. I could have probably forgiven even the breaking of our safe sex rules if he hadn't been making plans to be in the same camp as her on the next trip and repeat the affair. I couldn't understand why when he had permission for SO much freedom that instead of taking it he would choose to break the rules and lie instead. He seemed to have tried so hard to step on every agreement that we'd made that I felt his subconscious was screaming SOMETHING so loudly he must be able to hear it.
Now in my case our romantic relationship was over pretty much as of that day. I fell out of love with him. More and more details came out and it turned out that he'd been dishonest about some little things over the years - nothing that was a big deal, just ones that showed a pattern of being afraid of being honest, and to agreeing to things, then going behind my back and doing what he said he wouldn't, instead of being brave enough to negotiate with me for what he wanted.
If we had children, things may have worked out differently. As it is we closed a business we had just opened, and sold a house we had just purchased. I wish some of the reasons that came out for why it happened were more fresh in my mind, so I could offer some better insight about some things possibly going through her mind. It has been almost 7 years though, and the only thing I really know from his perspective is that he couldn't handle that I had sex with my friend and he couldn't find anybody the first night, so got angry and retreated to the safety of a sure thing instead of telling me he wanted to call it off.
I urge you to spend a lot of time talking, but with lots of breaks for yourself to regroup. What happened with my husband and I was that we married young and as we matured just wanted different things but he didn't have the skills to communicate about it. He's now my best friend...but he is a free spirit, daily pot smoking, living in rural areas for months at a time with no electricity, camping and hiking addicted, otherwise up all night partying, drum circle loving, healing circle attending, money wasting loon. And he is the happiest I have seen him in years. We just weren't that compatible anymore, and it took something extreme to bring this to light. We did try to date right after we broke up, but the revelations that came about why he had done what he had made me realize that we needed different things in life. It was a sad and angry time for us both, but by remembering the good things about him I was glad not to ditch somebody who had been in my life for so long, just because I was so hurt.
In time I am sure you will get to the bottom of her fears of why she felt she had to lie. I am guessing there was guilt, fear that even though things were OK to do, how COULD they be OK? Shame that she was allowed freedom that you hadn't had the opportunity for yet. I imagine you'll find out things about her that totally surprise you (and maybe even her), and be even more angry that she didn't feel she could share them with you, or to figure them out for herself before you had to get hurt in the process. Maye you aren't compatible enough to want to be together anymore, but you don't have to rush to that conclusion.
I don't know that this is helpful at all. I know when you're in pain that making big dramatic decisions is easy, and it gets harder to do that the longer you put them off. I think it's good you've stuck it out through the first round of pain without doing more than trying to find out the truth and being angry and hurt. I hope you can figure out if you two still have goals and hopes that coincide with each others, and are able to figure out just what made it so that something so unexpected could happen.
I'm wishing you luck, and want you to know that couples can get through stuff like this even if the outcome isn't predictable. I'd go more into the impact the unprotected sex had on me, us, his at the time girlfriend, my friendship with his girlfriend etc, but I'm pretty sure I've gone on long enough for now. I guess if I were to start a blog, most of what I just wrote would be the first entry...Some of the issues or patterns I point out in my relationship are for you to see if there is anything similar in your interactions that might help start any useful discussions.
I hope she is able and willing to refocus all her energy on your relationship while you work this out. I know it's hard to set aside the bitterness and anger you feel to give your partner a "safe place" to do the work to understand why they are acting the way they are, but I hope you are able to as much as possible.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Last edited by Anneintherain; 10-07-2011 at 08:20 AM.