Thanks for these thoughts. A difficulty that arises when it comes to my emotional bond with both of these other men is that they live far away (2 hrs and 5 hrs drive). For the past six months I've really wanted to spend time with the one 2 hrs away, who has known me for half my life. I've been going through some tough times and he's exactly the person I want to talk to about it, since he is both close, in knowing me so well, and distant, in being separate from my day to day life. We do talk on the phone weekly and have had a couple of times where we've crossed paths in situations where we were surrounded with other friends or family, but I'd like to just have a few uninterrupted hours in person for his special brand of heart to heart talks that have helped me understand myself better over all the years I've known him (my entire adult life). My husband doesn't want me to go visit him. It's not proper. For 20 years we've successfully refrained from having sex with each other, and now I'm also willing (with sadness) to forgo the kisses, but it seems even the friendship has to be limited. I'm not sure I can accept this.
There doesn't seem to be any compromising going on. I guess my husband feels like he is already giving in by having a wife who loves other men, and it's my job to give in by not being close to them. Or I get close, and he gets hurt, and it's my fault for making that choice. I want to believe that his reaction is his own choice, and that if it turns out to be pain (jealousy, fear, etc.) we can stop to figure that out, but he is simple not open to exploring it. His feelings are the "right" ones in this situation, and mine are part of being raised in this loose American culture by twice divorced parents -I'm pathological (as is everyone who feels like I do, so reading the other stories here won't help him).
What to do? I love him but my very nature causes him pain!