So, my newest issue. From the outset of my husband and I realizing that we are poly, it was discussed that he is allowed to date any girls he wants (he is straight. Should he ever decide otherwise, I've told him that he would have my blessing to date any man that he wants) and that I am allowed only to date women (I am bi).
When that very first conversation happened, I expressed that although at the moment I was only seeking a gf, down the road I wanted the option to date a man. He was uncomfortable with that, and since at that time I truly was only seeking women, I dropped the subject and agreed. Life has been grand! Extremely happy in every sense.
Now I am at that pivotal point in time where I am ready to start dating men. Specifically, a man that transfered to my work from another state. Honesty is, I feel, the most important thing in my relationship with my husband, so I have made no secret of the attraction that I feel for him, and also the friendship that we share. My husband has always been ok with me flirting with other people (men included) and has always just laughed about it because he loves me, and that is a huge part of my personality.
A few nights ago, I started texting this guy really late into the night. My thoughts were that I wouldn't be neglecting anything or anyone, because at that time of night, my husband is asleep, my daughter is asleep, everyone has been fed and taken care of, I haven't jeopardized my time at work, and there are no chores for the house or anything else that would be done during such hours. I also didn't have any untoward conversation. Mostly it was all just part of the regular 'get to know you' type. There were a few mildly flirty comments, but nothing overt. So a couple nights of this goes on, and then one night my husband wakes up to find me texting him (also I should mention that I didn't hide the fact that we were texting from the outset. My husband knew we had already been texting before he fell asleep). He asks who I'm flirting with so late (with what I thought was a joking tone) and I tell him that I'm not flirting at this point, just talking. He proceeds to pretend to sleep, and I finish up my conversation shortly thereafter, and go to sleep.
The next morning I wake up to find my husband has already gone to work. Usually he wakes up when I do, but it isn't unheard of for him to go in so early, so I text him some good morning love and go about my day. When he gets home, it is immediately obvious that he is upset. He answers any of my questions or comments with rude, short answers. Repeatedly I ask for him to talk to me about what's wrong. "I can't fix it if I don't know which part is broken." I say. Finally he tells me how upset it made him to find me texting another man in the middle of the night. I explain the reasons I chose that time, and also that nothing more than friendly conversation happened.
This discussion eventually works it's way around to the fact that I'm not supposed to date other men. I tell him that I'm not, and am not going to until he changes his mind about our agreement, but that I wish he would. To me, being bi and poly means that my heart has the ability to love another person. Any other person. I don't have any say in what my heart wants, so for him to not 'allow' me to date men, doesn't change the fact that I may develop feelings for a man. I tell him I don't find it fair to let me flirt with anyone I want to, except for this one person. I have a proven trustworthy and faithful track record, and am always beyond honest. He tells me that he doesn't think it right for me to be having such conversations with someone I would date down the road. I tell him not to worry about anything down the road yet, because he hasn't given consent, so nothing will happen until that comes.
I flat out told him that I find it unfair for him to keep me from talking to someone that I have found friendship with, even if I am attracted to them, nothing untoward will happen, and that I will continue to talk to him whenever I want (which will still be during times that do not detract from my husband or family time). He asked me to stop pressing the issue of opening up our relationship to include me dating men, and I told him I will wait for a long time before revisiting the issue, because I do hope that someday he will come to terms with the idea, and how would I ever know if it was never discussed?
So that's where we are now. It is still very fresh (last night) but things seemed much better for us this morning. My question now, is how do I deal with the fact that I work with this man, still do have feelings for him, and don't want to alienate him because if in the future my husband changes his mind, I really would like to date him. I want to continue getting to know him. I feel like I'm having NRE without the R. How do I go about this?
Oh, what a tangled web we weave...