New to this and having a hard time
Hi, everyone. My name is John. I'm 44yrs old and live in San Antonio.
This is kind of a long story, so ready yourself!
So, where to begin? lol...at the beginning, I guess.
About a year and a half ago, my wife passed away, unexpectedly. I won't go into too many details here, as that is not what this post is about, but it changed my life.
Flash forward several months, I was feeling sad, lonely and in need of some companionship, so I joined an online dating site with the intention of finding a casual companion for some fun. Nothing serious. I just wanted to find someone to keep me company and to have some intimacy.
And something amazing happened. I met someone who changed my life. She contacted me and proceeded to tell me about her situation. She was in a loveless marriage. She had not been intimate with her husband for over 5yrs, slept in seperate bedrooms and had finally had enough. She informed her husband that she wanted to try Polyamory. It was either that or divorce and she didn't want to break up the family for her kids' sake. She was very upfront about this with me from the beginning and I thought this was perfect for my needs as I wasn't looking for anything serious. Upon our first meeting, we hit it off immediately. It wasn't just a spark, it was a flame! People always talk about love at first sight and so few ever experience it. I know several would label this a rebound relationship, but I'm a realist and I took that possibility into account when we met. But this was different. I reviewed my feelings to make sure they were genuine and not simply the result of my emotional ordeal. They were genuine. I can honestly say that through all my experience over the years, I've never experienced a love like this. So fulfilling in every way. And she felt the same about me. Needless to say, I couldn't imagine not having her in my life ever again. A couple more months down the road, she was casually seeing another guy and at that point I told her I wanted to see her exclusively, knowing full well her original intentions of being poly. She agreed to see me exclusively and the subsequent months were the happiest I've ever known.
Then she dropped the bombshell. We were approaching our 1 year anniversary together and she informed me she felt she had compromised herself by agreeing to be exclusive and wanted to be poly. In fact, she had already begun seeing another guy. My feelings since then have been a mixture of hurt, anger, jealousy and anxiety. So many emotions.
I love her more than anything in the world and would do anything for her. She made it clear she still loves me and doesn't want to lose me. I didn't issue any ultimatums as I would never try to hurt her or put her in that position.
I went into denial mode, trying to convince myself it wasn't happening, telling her I didn't want to know, but that only works for so long. I was still experiencing tremendous anxiety and didn't know how to deal with it. I thought several times about simply stepping aside and told her so as the last thing I wanted to do was poison our relationship with my inability to adapt. I was also very angry with her about the fact she did all of this without discussing it with me first. I felt betrayed and tremendously hurt. I told her so, but essentially got the impression I was supposed to deal with it. That my inability to adapt was my fault, not hers.
I began to read up on Polyamoury, surfed the forums and read about the experiences of others. I was starting to open myself to her new lifestyle. I was willing to listen and to communicate openly, both about her and her new partner. I told her this a couple weeks ago and then she went on a vacation with her family. I felt the burden easing a bit and wasn't experiencing so much anxiety. I decided I wanted to meet her new partner and she said they were both open to that. So she returns and we're feeling better about this. Tonite, she tells me she's going out with her partner. This is the first time she's communicated this with me and I'm feeling better about it. Then, on a hunch, I ask her if she's going to spend the night with him. She asks me if I mean if she's going to have sex with him and she says yes. Another bombshell. Another thing not discussed beforehand. I get upset and tell her so, she informs me they've been intimate for a few weeks now. I had my suspicions, but to hear it hurts so much.
I'm having such a hard time with this. I acknowledge all of my fears, doubts, anger, hurt. All of those emotions. I want to give her the compersion she so dearly wants. I want to be able to give her the happiness she wants but I also want to be happy. I want to learn how to cope with this and to rationally deal with all of these emotions and move on to a healthy, happy relationship. I'm trying to be honest with myself and her about my feelings. I'm willing to work on this and not bury my head in the sand. I just don't know how to go about it. I don't know if I'm truly hard-wired for monogamy. I don't know if I'll be able to love someone with the same veracity that I love her. How do I do this?