Dropping the Polybomb
I used to lurk here a lot. Still do. Occasionally I made a comment or two on a thread. Never felt the need to post my own. NOW
ALL THAT CHANGES
I came out to my wife last month.
We've been married for 24 years. For 25 years, I'd also loved someone else with whom I had intermittent contact. At one point my wife and I separated, because I wanted to explore being with this other person. Due to baggage on her part, it went nowhere and after a year of frustration I went back to my marriage. I moved hundreds of miles away and my wife and I had kids, got on with life.
10 years ago, this other person contacted me out of the blue and it didn't take much to rekindle things. We began an LDR that was emotional for 7 years until it finally got physical. It got more and more emotionally intense, and as my desire built, so did my guilt and shame. I was a mess inside but kept wearing a happy face. Usually. I went into therapy.
I was torn between my love for The Other Woman and my wife- and then there were the kids to think of. Ultimately, I resolved that I had to be with this other person even though it was killing me to think of leaving my marriage and breaking my wife's heart. I agonized over it; I'd come to a decision but it just didn't feel right. Nonetheless I was close to ending my marriage.
But then I was dealt a wild card. My lover dumped me. It turned out she'd been seeing a mutual friend and had fallen for him, and I was now, regretfully, out of the picture, and that there could be no future chances for us, ever. The door was locked. I was devastated. I couldn't keep my pain and guilt bottled up any longer and spilled the beans to my wife.
To my amazement she didn't kick me out. We reconciled, but I continued to descend into depression. Deep, clinical, scare-your-shrink depression. The trigger was the end of the harrowing affair but it grew, and was fueled, by lusts and doubt. I was tormented by my desire to form intimate relationships with others and the "fact" acting on those feelings would mean I'd have to discard my marriage. I felt depressed because I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me; I had a loving wife, a house, two beautiful happy children, a home I loved to be in! What the fuck was my problem? Isn't that the prize? Why would any sane individual throw that away? My psychiatrist, my counselor, and my confidants all advised me that sometime the heart just wants what it wants and there's no rational explanation for its desires. I suppose that's true, to some degree, but I couldn't accept that explanation. I felt there had to be a reason I was broken. I had to find it or lose my mind. The reason remained elusive. I couldn't figure myself out.
That's where I was when the poly epiphany hit. I cried like a baby, out of joy. My depression lifted and I felt happy; it was almost scary because I realized I couldn't remember the last time I
felt that way, truly overflowing with happiness. I rode that wave for a month. I read Opening Up and The Ethical Slut and cried all over again; Easton's book pushed almost every button I had. It's like it was written for me. My wife couldn't help but notice. Understanding that I wanted to share myself with others actually let me share myself with my wife again. Things were great; "all I had to do" was come forward with it.
And so I slid back down into the pit. Things were largely better, because I'd figured myself out, but now I was keeping another secret. Until last month when I came out.
It hasn't been ugly, but it surely isn't pretty. At first I was met with an ultimatum: be poly and divorced, or mono and married. I caved in and chose the latter, being desperate not to lose this amazing woman I love so much, and break up our family, even though I felt I'd just given up on myself. We continued to talk, though- and my poly thoughts weren't going away anytime soon. She's decided to allow our marriage to open up; she has a deeply-ingrained philosophy that inhibiting the desires of others is bad, but there's also a huge sense of resignation. Compersion is not on the horizon. Not that I expected it to be.
She's happily hardwired mono. She's said as much and I believe her completely. We're still in bed together, with all that implies, and honestly our sex life has never been better; it's been on an upward curve since she took me back into her heart when we made up after the admission of the affair. But there's a hesitation, an awkwardness between us. I don't want to fuck our marriage up. I do not want a divorce. Though she might feel she's holding the door open for me, I don't want to go through it- or, rather, I'm afraid to. I've given her so, so much to think about in such a short time that I would rather we just continue talking for the forseeable future. It's something of a false option at this point, I feel.
So that's where I am. Hesitant, hopeful, and tremendously anxious.
Questions, comments, flames? Bring 'em on. I know there are gaps in my story and incomplete explanations- but then this post is already pretty huge and I didn't want to bloat it further.
Last edited by SoCalExile; 12-16-2011 at 11:00 PM.