What if polyamory stops working?
My story is on this forum in bits and pieces from the past two or three years, but the summary of my situation is that I have a monogamous husband who is tolerating my relationship with a man I fell for about a year and a half ago. Through lots of trial and error we agreed last summer to an arrangement where I can go out of town two days a month to be with him. My husband prefers this to having him cross paths around our home on a less predictable schedule, and the boyfriend and I love getting to have a solid chunk of time together rather than trying to fit short visits between other things in our busy lives.
The problem is, this is getting harder and harder for my husband to take. Even though I am scrupulous about sticking to our agreements (including no PIV sex, which is increasingly agonizing) my husband feels like I am cheating on him. He doesn't feel like he can love me as much as we used to, and he feels like he is getting shortchanged out of the marriage he expected. I totally understand his perspective, and I feel awful about it, but I don't know what to do.
We are in counseling, and trying to focus on improving the relationship we have between us, leaving my polyamory as a sort of side issue that the counselor almost seems to find irrelevant for now. I do think there is a lot my husband and I can do to improve our marriage in terms of how we treat each other and how we live our lives. However, it's clear that this business of polyamory is hurting him more over time. He won't tell me to change what I do because he doesn't want to be in the position of controlling me or forcing me to give up something important to me, but I think he feels more and more betrayed by the fact that I am going forward in spite of his pain.
How would I go backward? Can a connection be unmade, or a relationship unformed? If I told my sweet adoring boyfriend that I wasn't going to see him any more, would that make my marriage stronger, better? Should we put a stop to our physical intimacy? I already feel like making PIV sex a taboo has had the unintended effect of giving all of our intimate encounters a layer of excitement and creativity that exists for the mere fact that we can't have routine sex, so I think if we stopped all of it, we'd build up an enormous amount of sexual tension. If I stopped seeing him at all, I'd cry buckets.
I'm trying to find the middle road between guilt and longing. I love them both, and I want them both to be happy, but my husband is not happy.
Married to a monogamous man 15 yrs, mother of 2, dating C 3 yrs, and in a romantic friendship with L more than 20 yrs