Is this poly...
I am a 40 yr old woman, in a relationship of 22 years, married 18 of those to my first love, boyfriend, and only sex partner.
I am very comfortable in a monogamous relationship. We have alot of fun together, we have great sex on a regular basis. My husband is my best friend, favorite playmate, and an amazing life partner.
However- over the years. He has expressed to me he is not wired for monogamy. That he has a need for other relationships. Not to replace me. Not to seek to replace me. But to have other experiences and to feel alive.
In the past I always shut that down, like it's ok babe- you are just going through a phase, or he will mature one day and this will go away. However, I am finally wrapping my brain around the idea that this may actually be who he is. Which has led me to this forum.
In the past after he has had this conversation with me- and I say no- he has had affairs. I found out. He is sad and tells me he has tried to get me to understand this aspect of him. That he would prefer to be honest with me. That he would like for me to accept this about him. And that these relationships somehow recharge him and then allow him to feel happy and fulfilled and want to be with me.
I love my husband dearly. I do want to see him happy and fulfilled.
A month ago- on my 40th b-day these talks of his alignment- of being able to be in more than one relationship simultaneously came up again. He says it does not make him love me less. Does not take away from how he feels for me. That the love we have is so huge and wonderful and warm and beautiful and he would never want to lose it.
I asked him if there was someone else. Point blank. He said no. Finally he came clean a week ago. He met someone out of town at work. He is really "into her". "Can't see it really ever lasting longterm." "He just wants to explore it."
Fast forward to today. My husband is across the country visiting this gf. He booked the tickets initially with the cover of- "going to a class reunion" but came clean a week ago with the revelation of this girlfriend. He genuinely seems conflicted over his interest/feelings for this girl and the fact that this is hurting me alot. He told me he would not go if I didn't want him too. I told him I didn't want him to go but I couldn't make that choice for him. He needs to be true to himself. He has told the other woman he loves me. Which seems to be causing some confusion/chaos in that space.
Sorry for the ramble. But I guess my position is this. I need to be in a relationship that is healthy. I don't want to worry about my physical health. I would like to be in a secure drama free zone.
He has promised me he will do what ever it takes to fix himself- marriage counseling etc when he comes back- but that he needs some alternatives. He has told me that while me knowing is less comfortable for him, he prefers honesty and hopes we can find a way to figure this out and not lose each other. He wants us to spend more time together enjoying each other and working to put time in our relationship- to try and offset any pain I am feeling from the other relationship- and to make us stronger and happier.
So many questions- but to start- does it sound like he is a confused coming out of the closet poly (for lack of a better analogy) -or just a downright mean serial cheater?
And if he is a poly- I will need to be able to accept that and embrace that part of him and still be true to myself if we are to go on. Where do we even begin?