What honestly seems to be happening is that we run into "grey areas" where we haven't explicitly laid things out clearly enough, and suddenly I either find myself having done something that my husband felt I should have known was not ok, or find my husband nixing a plan that I felt should have been ok. In his mind, I am continually "pushing the boundaries" every time this happens.
For example, when he had plans to go out the other night for volleyball and it was one of C's 3 nights in town, I suggested C come over while he was out and we put on a movie we could watch with the kids. My husband felt this was completely unacceptable, because the movie room is the basement room where he works from home, and that felt like a violation to him. Instead, he canceled his own plans and stayed home. Up to that point I had understood our agreement to be "C doesn't come over when my husband is home" and "C and I will not be intimate in our house," an implicit "other people don't go in our bedroom," along with my attempts to limit my time with C to time my husband isn't spending with me anyway. So he clarified that he didn't want C "coming over" to do activities at our house, but only being here incidentally, such as to pick me up, or to spend time with me if I am too ill to go out (I had another relapse of pericarditis and have been in bed a lot again).
The next day, I was out with C and my pain came back and I felt a strong need to lie down. For complicated reasons we had about 20 minutes when the place C was staying in wasn't available to us. I was at a loss and finally decided that I should be allowed to lie down in my own home when I'm in pain, so we returned to my house and went to the guest room, which doubles as my home office so I feel it is the closest thing I have to my "own" room. The bed is in a nook with no space for a chair so C stretched out alongside me (no cuddling, of course). I was under the covers, he was not. My husband was irate to find this out, and to realize that we had passed through the movie room to exit the house 20 minutes later. The bed in the guest room is one we used to have in our bedroom, so it felt obvious to my husband that C shouldn't have been on it.
In the end, my husband felt these grey areas were so pervasive that it would be best just to bar C from our house entirely. I don't like going along with this at all. My home is a big chunk of my life I don't want to keep hidden from a loved one. But as my husband keeps pointing out, it has been mostly his earnings paying for the place, so he feels he has the right to make these rules.
I've been browsing condo ads. I want a place where I can make my own rules. My husband supports me using my own earnings for my own place (not to live in, just a getaway), although I know that will make "our home" even more into "his home".
I just feel that in the end it comes down to my husband really not being ok with this relationship with C, and C being firmly against causing problems in my marriage, which pretty much leaves me in the position of trying to make monogamy work. I've asked my husband to let me know what kind of agreement he would feel really truly comfortable with (he says he felt "coerced" into all our previous agreements) and he is taking some time to figure that out. I don't know what to expect. C is just hanging back being prepared to engage with me as much or little as I offer.
I hate how complicated life has become just because of the addition of some extra love.
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