Learning to be me
After many months of posting here in moments of confusion and frustration, and getting such wonderful advice and support, I'm now in a place where I would like to write about my life but I don't have pressing questions to ask. Time for a story.
Chapter One: As a single woman, I had a bad habit of falling in love when I was already involved with someone else. Or having a boyfriend and a close male friend, close enough to make the boyfriend uncomfortable. Once, two sexual partners, neither of whom was in love with me so they didn't mind. When I met my husband, at least one friend cautioned me to respect the relationship and not cheat or dump him for someone else.
Chapter Two: I married a virgin from India in 1999. Well, he wasn't a virgin once I got my hands on him, but he had no previous relationship experience; not even a kiss. He built me a dream life, complete with a luxurious house, two brilliant daughters, and just about anything I ever ask for.
Chapter Three: My long time friendship with L, a man parents' age who I have known since before I met my husband, took a sharp turn towards romantic love. We had been flirting for our whole friendship, but all of a sudden I wanted way way more. My earliest threads on this forum delve into my journey into honesty with my husband, and trying to find the right path. We settled on limiting the expression of our love to words and kisses, which sometimes have been achingly insufficient.
Chapter Four: I met C (a year ago now) and felt an immediate bond. We corresponded by email almost daily. I was confined to bed with a long term illness, he was traveling, and lives several hours away. He'd come by about once a month. We have gradually fallen in love. My husband has struggled with this a lot. Between this and my illness, all the weak points in our relationship came to light. I felt like L and C were filling gaps (affection, passion) and I knew that wasn't a good reason to be involved with them.
Chapter Five: My marriage was turned inside out and upside down while we talked this all through. We got weaker. We got stronger. He asked me to stop kissing them. Then he decided to draw the line only at oral and penetrative sex. (That much intimacy felt weird in my friendship with L, so I decided not to do it again.) Then he said anyone I am intimate with is forbidden from coming to our house or being around our kids, so I stopped with C too. Then he said just to not be intimate in our house or expect him to socialize with them. So C and I are intimate again.
Chapter Six: It all feels pretty good now. L and my husband are on good terms, with just a hint of awkwardness. C is head over heels for me right now, which sometimes makes me nervous and usually makes me extremely happy. We are trying to live in the moment, because his long term goal is a monogamous partner who can join him on his frequent travels, and of course have sex with him, so I know this won't go on indefinitely. My marriage feels good, but I know it needs continually feeding (expressions of love and affection) for my husband not to feel like I am short changing him.
Today's milestone is finally talking out loud about this to a friend. I was gradually piecing together that this friend is polyamorous, so I asked him about it today. He told me his story, and listened to mine, and I feel really good for having someone who knows me who can understand what is going on (besides those involved, of course). He said he and his wife haven't told very many people in their various social circles, so I suspect he enjoyed having someone to talk about it with too.
C is coming to town tonight, so I'll spend tomorrow with him while the kids are at school. We have noble intentions of spending less than half the time in his hotel room. Life is pretty fulfilling, and I also feeling like I am finally healing from my long illness (ironically, an inflammation of the lining of my heart). No complaints here! And lots and lots of gratitude for the good people here who helped me figure out who I am and gave me the courage to live honestly.
Married to a monogamous man 15 yrs, mother of 2, dating C 3 yrs, and in a romantic friendship with L more than 20 yrs