First I would like to thank you all for your responses, I feel a little lonely at the moment, and it feels great to have the support.
Phy - What have said was exactly how I felt at first. My instant response was to tell him and everyone that was involved to go to hell. And some days that same response rises up in me. Mostly because honesty and open communication is No. 1 when it comes to any of my relationships, friends or otherwise. But I know my mum was a black sheep in her family, and I understand that honesty and openness is not the 'norm' for a lot of other people. I have definitly reshuffled these 'friends' around, but what I have also tried to do is include them in the process of what I am going through, and the expectations I have of friends. I guess everyone can learn from the mistakes of others.
One of the girls has blatantly denied anything happened and that my husband who we shall call (c), is lying. The only reason I know that isn't the case is because the situation when he slept with her was a threesome, and the other part of the threesome has been supportive of my need to be able to talk about the whole mess. The girl who cannot be honest with me is definitely gone from the friends list. The others, I am reserving judgement. Some thought that it was his place to say - others thought he had said something and that I just didn't want to talk about it.
One of the greatest fears I have is that if I stay with him, that his behaviour will continue to dishonest.... and the recent situation will just cause him to be more secretive. I dont think I could manage another situation like this.
JaneQ - I totally agree that he has taken advantage of the situation. I know there is no excuse for the 'oops I slipped and fell on top of one of your friends' thing. He kept saying 'situations just came up', but I know him well enough to know that he is a man that is very capable of making such situations arrise.
I agree that he had no regard for me, but I do believe in his head he lied to himself, and that is how he was able to justify it. It freaks me out that he is capable of convincing himself of a reality that is so far from the truth and so hurtful to others. I really appreciate the comment that you make about the fact that he should be worrying about his relationship with me rather than how I would react when I found out. That really gives me some food for thought.
Eudora - Whe I am not completely of my rocker and bouncing from tears to anger what you have said is pretty much the best conclusion I can come to about it
It seems to me that your husband went a little berserk on testing boundaries, that he might be one of those people who needs to step over limits to understand them... and that he may have gotten a little high on the new-person-to-sleep-with thing. He may be a little addicted to it. And he may be ashamed of that addicted, ashamed of his new sexual freedom, and deeply afraid of losing you and probably pretty conflicted about his actions.
I find it difficult to understand because it is not the way I would act. Its not my nature. Im a 'gently, gently, dip my toes in and see what the waters like' before I jump. He was the least keen of us to enter into Poly - not that he doesn't want it, but perhaps it hadn't processed it in his head the same way I had in mine.
He is a fool, but he does seem to know that. At first he was very defensive about his actions, and would throw some blame my way.... but he has since settled back to earth - Im not sure which planet he went to, but I really think it all went to his head (pardon the pun). I really think he had convinced himself his actions were fine, and then when he realised the consequences and looked at his actions from a perspective other than 'I was just having fun', he realised that he wasn't single, and that consideration of the other person in the partnership was part of the deal.
He is trying.... I am just so afraid. I am afraid that he is just going to wait until I am back in a place where there is no doubt, and then abuse that space.
I have asked him to do a couple of little communication exercises, to try and engage his mouth and get him a little more aware of what is happening in his head.
I have moved out, for the mean-time because I am in desperate need of my own safe space, and he can be invited in.
Everyone believes he is devoted to me - even the people he slept with, a couple of whom were very clear that he always spoke of me with respect and love if a conversation about me came up.
Do I believe it? No - but I know that I have a bunch of my own issues that I carry around anyway...
I have given myself a timeframe of 6 months, to see if we can work through the issues that this has brought up.... I know that if I continue to feel the insecurities that I have at the moment then it will never work - he wont be able to go to the cornerstore without me thinking there is something going on.
I guess I dont even know right now what to think. My instant reaction was to leave, and to be mean and nasty to everyone involved.... but that isn't who I am. That reaction is the one that has been born out of an ugly situation, but the people are not bad people. But I am hurt as a result of their actions. It has brought up huge buckets of shame for me, which is why I think I want to leave.
If I stay what will people think, if I go what will people think ... blah blah blah I know it doesn't matter... but it does.
Im not perfect, I have made plenty of mistakes in the past, but I have generally learnt from them. And I would like to believe that he can learn from this, as can all the people who were involved.
I just struggle with it, it has been a month and a half, and still feels very raw.
I have pulled in all the 'guidelines' for our relationship because I am feeling very insecure.
Its hard, there are no rights and wrongs in how do deal with it. There is no guide book that says - if this happens, do this. I feel like I am walking through all of this stuff, and Im doing it alone.
I want to be able to work through it, but I dont want him to abuse that. And I feel like I dont know. I know he will never do "THAT" again. But that doesn't stop him from doing other things that aren't "THAT", but just as difficult to deal with. He is a man that does not put a toe in to check the water.... he jumps.
In the end i need communication... I just dont know if he knows how.
Thanks all for your input x