Brand new to this and need help with my marriage
I've been married for over 5 years and we've been monogomous but my partner just told me she is not happy and has had a revelation that she needs to live a polyamory lifestyle. This came out when she cheated on me with a poly woman whom I also assume opened her mind up to the lifestyle. This was devastating to me but I love her so much that I'm willing to give it a try to make her happy and keep us together - as I think we are really good together. Here are the issues: 1. The betrayal that I have to get over and learn to trust again - that takes time and healing. 2. We're on opposite sides of the fence and agreed we need to figure out a way to get those two together in which we both feel safe and share power. Unfortunately, Im like a wounded bird right now and don't feel safe to open it up until we fix our own marital problems that surfaced due to this. She has told me countless times - she loves me and wants to be with me and doesn't want me to leave her. That is reassuring but I don't know if she is willing to make some difficult decisions in order for this to work.
Here is a question I've been wanting to ask: if you are in an open marriage and your partner wants to engage with someone that you dont like or whom doesnt work for you - isnt that appropriate? Should not both parties be OK with the partners one takes on? Just briefly - I havent discussed this part but these were some rules I wanted:
1. Our marriage comes first - we are primary lovers and we alone share our household. She wants to have children and our family has to come first.
2. Respecting each other's comfort level. I get the feeling that she may want to have a relationship with anyone she finds attractive and that wouldn't work for me. I like to idea of discrete - planned that don't interfere with our home life or our jobs - my MAIN point being so neither of us doesnt feel safe in each other's work and home space.
3.The woman she cheated on me with - in other people's opoinions - is it unfair for me to never be able to feel safe with that relationship? (This is how I feel) I had thought for sure ties would be cut and we would work together in counseling (which she suggested) to build this thing organically together (her words). We're not building something safe and organic if she has someone "waiting in the wings". Im really hoping other poly people agree with me on this one. I see so much what we could be but if we start out this way - it could never work.
I want to believe I can make this work but I feel so scared and disrespected - like if I dont accept this new person - she will leave me. Thats a very scary feeling especially how I am getting contradicting messages that she doesnt want me to leave. She even said twice that shed give me time to process and for us to figure this out - months, a year etc. But now its been 2 weeks and Im already feeling pressure. Its painful because we do have relationship issues we havent work on ourselves yet. Her head sometimes is with me and other times I feel Ive lost her. I do not want to lose her. I see a world we could make together of shares power but it only comes from a feeling of deep safety, respect and shared control.
I want this to be good, pure and healthy for both of us and I hope to get some good advice here.