Charlesgarnier, you are not the first person ever to cheat on a spouse. You're not the first to want to change it into a poly situation after getting caught. There are other members here who came to poly that way. No, it is not ethical to cheat and it may seem like everyone here has hammered that point a little too much for you. That is because polyamory is considered an ethical form of non-monogamy which demands honesty and openness. I am sure most of us here, even if we have not cheated on a partner, knows what it's like to give into something unethical... have I always returned the money when a cashier gives me too much change, even though I know she will have to suffer for her cash drawer being short at the end of her day? No, I admit it, I thought only of myself and kept that $10. We are human, we get that you are human, too.
However, in interpersonal relationships, the only way back after such a major transgression against a loved one is lots and lots of hard work to regain trust -- you have to be a man of your word in all ways from now on -- and deep soul-baring communication in order for both of you to find a place of balance and security again. There is also forgiveness, from both of you.
You don't want to see your wife unhappy, but the fact is that you can't make her happy. We are all, each of us, responsible for our own happiness. As I see it, she needs to find her own happiness, whether in or out of relationship with you. That is the choice before her, to accept what is or walk away. To accept that you want to keep your lover, she needs to forgive you fully and completely and let go of resentments. She has to do it wholeheartedly, and that means she has to stop going along with something she doesn't want to do (having these empty flings) just to give her some unreal sense of fairness, revenge, or some weird way to hold the relationship together. If she isn't allowing love to develop in her other relationships, that is not poly, and it seems like she is somehow reserving her love only for you. Yes, you fucked up, big time, and she surely had lots of pain about that, but if she just keeps on holding onto her hurt and acquiescing to an arrangement that creates even more pain for her, then what she is doing is holding both herself and you as hostages of the marriage. If she can't have you monogamously, at least she can make you feel guilty and shitty with how unhappy she is. A shallow victory on her part. It would be good if you could get her to join and post her side of the story.
Anna is your hostage, too. You are blindly going along in your fantasy that your are balancing two relationships and everything is good, oh but, except that your wife and your lover's husband aren't happy. You have some immature ideas about having another wedding, you are all wrapped up in this "passion" for your lover that you have let things slide with your wife. She is like a beggar, looking for companionship and affection with the crumbs thrown her way by you and her other sexual liaisons, but what she wants is to reconnect with you. Meanwhile you are texting your lover all the time and living in la-la land. You both have lots of work to do to recover from this and regain, and create anew, the beauty of your marriage, if that is ultimately what you both want, but it isn't impossible. It isn't hopeless, but it isn't a sure thing, either. I think taking a break from Chris might be a good idea, and to continue with couples therapy with Anna, and to get back to the foundation of your marriage and truly make a choice about whether or not to stay married. And yes, get together with everyone and talk about your deepest, innermost feelings, and goals. As Magdlyn said, you all need to shit or get off the pot. Take action, but don't just feel like it's okay for you to be in this bliss with Chris at the center of other people who are still hurting. It may be that the most loving thing you can do is let go of your marriage.
Last edited by nycindie; 08-21-2012 at 09:17 PM.