Any suggestions on moving forward from the heartache I feel?
Breathe. Give it time.
You are going to feel upset with him making out with the ex. Wife may feel upset on that too.
You are going to feel upset over wife just NOW learning you are lovers. Wife def feels upset on that too.
You can't help what you feel when you feel it. It's emotional storm inside. You don't get to choose to feel it or not.
What you DO get to choose is how to respond. You can choose REACT to the heat of the moment or you can choose ACT WITH INTENT. Emotional weather is just weather. To have sense to come in out of the rain is fine -- take a breather break. To burn the house down for not sheltering you enough from upset -- that could be a bit rash. So don't be breaking up or freaking out on your people just yet. Let yourself have time to cool off first. Let them have that time too -- they may say things in REACTION to the heat of the moment that may not be how they really mean it.
I'd suggest everyone take some time out to think about their needs, wants, and limits. Set an appt a week from now to go over it if all are willing. Establish your framework for conflict resolution because in life... there will be other conflict down the road. Learning how to ride it out together is part of the whole deal.
Me? How I'd do it? Spend that break time making your no more than one page bullet list and strip it down to the essential. Use "I" language.
- I want .... because...
- I need...because...
- I feel...because....
- I'd like to feel...because...
- My hard limits are...because...
- My soft limits (that could negotiate in time) are... because
Then start slotting into the right category. Don't worry about it being "reasonable" just yet. Just... get it out and slotted.
- Do you want to clear up assumptions? What are they? Anyone else have others?
- Do you want to apologize to wife for not checking in with her? (Did you assume he would?)
- Do you want him to apologize to both? (Did he assume you guys would sort it out among yourselves?)
- Do you want to know when/if other people will be on board?
- Do you want to know what we have here? (a triad? a V? just roomies?)
- How would you have preferred it go down? Why didn't it go down that way?
- How do you feel when in conflict? How you do process that? What do you need in terms of support to get through it well? What could they each need in turn? Is what you guess about what they need in the ball park for them or not?
Those kinds of questions... sorted into feel, want, need and limit piles.
Then rest it for a while and come back to it for the reasonable check.
- Are the things reasonable?
- Are there things that are still assuming?
- Are there things that are just expecting too much for what it is? Expecting too little?
- Are there too many "shoulds" and not enough "coulds" in there? (ex: He should know I don't like... I could be more vocal so he knows that I do not like....)
Hang in there. Breathe deep. Breathe long. Breathe slow. Recenter yourself and then take it one thing at a time.
Remember this is polymath. There are various relationships here that took a ding not just one relationship.
- Your relationship to yourself. You did not tell her you were lovers. You assumed things rather than taking responsibility. You may be upset with yourself.
- Your relationship to her - she may be upset you did not tell her you were lovers.
- Your relationship to him -- you may be upset he did not tell her. You may be upset he was making out with the ex without telling first.
- Her relationship to him -- he did not tell her you were lovers. He made out with the ex. There may be OTHER things you don't know about that he's shirked her on.
- His relationship to (you and her) -- Beware of him calling it like "all the girls are ganging up on me!"
- Your relationship to (him and her) -- Beware of you calling it like "the marrieds are ganging up on me!"
- Her relationship to (you and him) -- Beware of her calling it like "What am I? Chopped liver wife? You guys are ganging up on me!"
- Your relationship as a trio communicating as a trio. This sounds weak -- a lot of assuming before you moved in on how the relationship would be. Now you've got to lay that out in a time of duress and cloudy emotional weather rather than a time of clear emotional weather.
Each of these branches may need it's own kind of repair work. Again, breathe. Take it one thing at a time.