Yesterday C came through town, for our first experience in this new arrangement where he can be part of our family's activities but we can't be intimate any more. He only had a couple of hours so I suggested a trip to a nearby wildlife refuge, and my kids and husband all decided to come along. In some ways, it was really pleasant -seeing my husband chatting amiably with C, and being able to do something fun without leaving either of them out.
On the other hand, I'm now back to where we were several months ago, in love with a man I can't touch and married to a man who is holding me back. I had a terribly jealous boyfriend once, for several uncomfortable years, and as a result I am immediately repulsed by the slightest hint of possessiveness. It's hard to summon up any affection for my husband now. Demanding that I give up part of my relationship with C, knowing this causes me so much pain, feels unfair and uncaring. I've been careful to work within the boundaries we set and to try to meet my husband's needs as his wife and mother to our kids. Now I don't even feel like bothering with his needs. Certainly not any need for physical intimacy, since that feels like a part of me he is trying to own. I feel like the only way I can take charge of my own sexuality now is to shut it down completely.
Meanwhile C is taking everything in stride and without expectations, as he always does. He only wants me to be happy and my marriage to be stable, so he's agreeing with my decision that being able to be a part of my normal life (and kids' lives) is more important than the intimacy we were enjoying. I don't think he'd care if he never saw my kids again, but he knows how important they are in my life. It had always troubled him not being able to get to know my husband, so he's finding the silver lining.
I wonder how long this can be sustained... C and I having these strong feelings for each other, and not being "allowed" intimacy. Seems like one of these relationships is eventually going to break, and in my experience, rigid things break before flexible things do.
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