I'm so stupid....
I want to start with the fact that this is not a positive poly story but only because of stupid decisions made by me. This is more of a How-not-to-Poly than anything else.
I am 40ish and someone with very few friends but the few I have are the type that would do anything for me and I for them. My wife and children are the center of my life and most EVERYTHING I do, I do for them. I work 2 jobs so that my wife can stay home and be a mom. If we need more money, I find more hours or another job. They are my life.
I have an amazing wife who was my high school sweetheart and is my soulmate. I can't imagine my life without her. We have 2 wonderful children together. We started dating in the 80s and have been married for 15yrs now. Our neighbors and friends see us as the "perfect couple". We honestly never fight. We communicate better than any other couple I know. If something comes up that most couples fight about, we sit down and talk about it.
We are for-the-most-part on the same level of perversion with the exception of her declining libido (which isn't an excuse for my actions). We were eachother's "first" and have done just about everything you can imagine sexually. For a short period of time, we were actively having sex with another married couple. It was sex, no emotional commitment. We had groundrules that we put into place to limit the possibility from becoming emotionally involved in the physical act. No kissing, no activity without the other of us involved etc... We stopped when the other couple divorced due to completely unrelated events (financial). Since we didn't want to find strangers or freak out any of our other friends, we didn't continue the "swinging" lifestyle.
My wife and I have a common friend "M". We all grew up and went through school together. M and I were close and developed a tight bond and then we just lost eachother. For 20 years.
I would google her, look for her family in the phonebooks where I thought she might be... Then one night imagine my PURE DELIGHT when I saw her on another friends Facebook. I e-mailed her immediately and was giddy for weeks as we started to communicate again. I let my wife know that I found her and the three of us met up and had a GREAT time just hanging out and catching up. She became a regular part of our family in a matter of 6 months. She'd come over to watch movies, eat dinner, drink etc... The bond was still there and I was elated to have my 2 best friends in my life, my wife and M.
After about 4 months of having her back in my life, I discovered that I love M. I remember the first time I realized it when I saw her playing with our children and I put together my bond I feel with her and the emotions I was suddenly flooded with. WHAT THE HELL?!!!!
I can't love her! I still love my wife! If I love someone else, I have to divorce because that's what couples do! And I was raised Southern Baptist so now I'm going to hell because I have to get a divorce and I told the preacher and my God that I would not love anyone else after I got married!!! I have to stop loving her. How? I honestly believe (then and now) that M is ALSO my soulmate. I looked it up and learned about Polyamory. I believe that I am Poly in that I love two women with all my heart but I can't imagine either of them with another man. I have read on the forums that this is not uncommon.
Here is where M and I made a STUPID decision (yeah, you knew it was coming). We both discovered the other had shared emotions. We started to privately say "I love you". That is innocent enough. We started to meet for lunch and for coffee. Heck, that isn't bad. People eat and drink coffee all the time. We started to kiss (I was surprised the first time I kissed her because I was slapped with the memory of our primary rule while swinging). We started to fondle. We met at a hotel. I suddenly realized that the two of us turned this into a fully physical AFFAIR!!! THAT WAS THE LAST THING I WANTED!!!! Through all of this, my love for my wife and family never changed. If anything my courting of M re-sparked some of what was lost over time with me and my wife.
M and I never did any of this with the intention of breaking up the family or taking me away from my wife. M knows how much I love my wife and knows that the only thing that would make me kick her to the curb is if she tried to make me love my wife less or choose between the two of them.
Even though we did this horrible thing to my family, M and I still love eachother deeply and my love for my wife has not changed either. We have acknowledge to each other the wrong in what we have done and have stopped the physical portion of our affair. I don't know how to stop loving her though.
We stopped talking for about 4 weeks and that was hell for both of us. I honestly felt as though a family member died. My wife knew something was up because I was genuinely going through the stages of mourning. Since M stopped coming around, I had to lie about why and I told her that I said something that upset M and she's giving me the silent treatment and that I hope she get's over it. Thankfully, M would still call or IM my wife so she wasn't completely changing how things were overnight.
M and I were both doing this and finally we decided we had to talk, to at least be in eachother's lives to remain happy. We both know that we will never stop loving eachother though and that the physical intimacy will never happen again.
My deepest hope is that someday I'll be able to have M back into our family in a completely open poly relationship. I then think to myself "how would I respond if my wife told me that she loves another man and that she wants to add him into our family". I honestly can say that I would be angered and hurt. Then I think to the love that M and I share and realize that she wouldn't be loving me less. Then I feel like a pig but then I realize that I am not in lust with M... It really is love.
How does someone stop loving a soulmate? I am afraid that this is my deserved burden to carry for the rest of my life.
I am not looking for any sympathy or anyone to tell me that I did nothing wrong or that it's not that bad. I am an asshole for doing this to my wife and my family (who still don't and I hope will never know).