Thank you. All of you. I/we were heard. Before going out last night, my wife read my post and most of your comments, harsh as some of them were. We needed exactly that - to be called out.
After reading what's above the day before yesterday, my wife immediately called her GF and shared my concerns with her. They agreed to still go out together, because they needed that time. (They both have high pressure jobs and lead very busy lives which will undoubtedly prove challenging as they go forward. But as my wife said, "It's a good thing we're both organizers.") They agreed that there would be no expectation of sleeping together, and they held to that.
My wife's first comment to me after reading all this was "I get the impression that you expect that xx and I will be together long term." I said I did, but nothing in her relationship background suggested otherwise. My wife said she expected me to seek consultation elsewhere, so my posting to this forum neither surprised nor upset her. (If it isn't obvious by now, she's amazing.)
To update this thread, I'll say that last night the two of them did go out for dinner and to the hotel room (a necessity, given both of our homes have children in them) to talk uninterrupted and throughly about their relationship and their relationships with us, their husbands. Aside from kissing, they did not get physical and they did not stay the night. My wife and I talked a bit when she got home and again this morning.
It sounds to me like they've gone a long way in clarifying their feelings for one another and acknowledging that they must put on hold acting fully on those feelings at least until the other husband is brought up to speed. The other husband returns from out of state on Monday night. Then time will tell whether he proves himself up to the task of saving their marriage and earning a place back in her heart. My wife said she urged her to tell him about the two of them as soon as possible. The GF said she knows she should. Furthermore, she said she can imagine him accepting and supporting it.
That's a big step forward. Now the challenge is the follow through and dealing with however he responds.
He may well react with anger and be inconsolable; unable to address his wife's needs. No more would be expected of him, if my scan yesterday of the crammed "relationships" section at the local chain bookstore is any indication. There must have been more than a dozen titles advising unhappy couples on how to shore up their listless monogamous marriages, deal with the aftermath of affairs or, for more suspicious and untrusting spouses, books on how to sniff and snuff out affairs before they happen.
The shelf included only a couple copies of "The Ethical Slut" to challenge our hard-wired assumption that everyone must couple up, commit to one another exclusively or divorce and die alone.
I spent several moments gazing at this book selection and wondering, "Am I wrong to trust my wife when she says she loves me more than she ever has in nearly 30 years, but also that she is now in love with this other person I barely know? Should I run? Would anyone blame me for running?"
It didn't take me long to conclude that I am not wrong to trust my wife. Yes, she left me once before for another woman. But we found eachother again. And since then she has, on countless occasions, demonstrated her commitment to me and our family. She is unwilling to risk losing us; the fortunate and love-filled life we've built together.
Although I have spent only a handful of hours on this discussion board, it has amazed me. Rather than adapt a laissez faire attitude about any and all nonmonogamous arrangements, you folks challenge people's motivations, and assumptions and point out their blind spots. And you unfailingly promote fairness, full disclosure, obtaining consent and sharing/receiving love with the utmost integrity.
As I've said, my relationship with the woman I married started nearly 30 years ago. In all that time, I admit I haven't worked this hard on "us." It hasn't been easy, no, but laying bare our fears, our dreams, our expectations and our boundaries as we have over the last couple weeks has been extraordinary. (So, too, has the more frequent and more adventuresome sex we've been having, not coincidentally. Enough said.)
So thank you for this forum. Thank you for calling us on our shit. It's all been instructive and, I expect, it will continue to be.
Last edited by BraverySeeker; 09-27-2012 at 05:45 PM.