Wife wants Open Marriage
Let me start by saying that I am here to educate myself and hopefully gain an understanding of what my wife is interested in and why she is.
I am a 33 year old male and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 12 years. Early this year (2012), she approached me and told me that she had feelings for a male coworker and that she needed to tell me about it. I was completely devestated. My entire world seemed to be crashing down.
Then, 4 months later, she told me that she wasn't happy, she didn't know why and wasn't sure she wanted to be married anymore. By this point, I was completely destroyed. My heart was broken and I didn't know what to do. She assured me that she would try to figure her feelings out before making any decisions.
The relationship was tenuous at best and I had to get myself into counseling. I was near suicidal. I have always been completely and utterly head-over-heels for my wife.
Now, last weekend, we were talking and she told me that she thinks she's figured out what she wants. She went on to explain that life is short and she wants to experience things with other men that aren't me. She told me she loves me more than anyone else, but that she didn't see love and sex as being the same thing. I did my best to be open-minded and listen without passing judgment. She told me that she is attracted to other men and she wants to have sex with them. She encouraged me to do the same, if I wanted. I asked if she would interested in being with other couples and she told me that she doesn't want me to be there at all.
Once again, I "tried" to be open-minded, but I was hurt. I feel a deep sadness that I am a failure in someway. The compulsive thoughts of "what's wrong with me" and "where did I go wrong" began and haven't stopped.
I started trying to imagine how I might react to her being with other men. When I imagined another man doing intimate things to my wife, I literally threw up. I'm completely disgusted by the idea of my wife with another man and I don't think I can move past it.
My fear is that my wife will be happy if I don't find a way to become "OK" with her desires and she will eventually just leave me despite her telling me that she won't. I am having a hard time understanding her desires because, personally, I have no desire to be with other women. I am a man, so I find other women attractive, but I don't want to sleep with them or wonder if I'm missing out.
I guess my question for those of you who are more experienced is: what can I do to help myself become less disgusted with the idea of my wife being with other men? How can I become a better partner for my wife?