I don't know if anything there will resonate with you -- esp the "pitfalls" one.
Here are more:
You could learn about open models.
If polyamory is NOT how you are wired inside, it is NOT a failing or you being "less than" somehow or "not enough" some how. You have the right to have your own desires and your own preferences in how your romantic relationship come in. There is NOTHING wrong with monoamory.
YOU decide what your core values are.
But if after reading and learning and reality testing your core values you come to find that "Yup. I'm wired for monoamory. And my preferences is a CLOSED monogamous romantic relationship" inside you? Stick with your core values then!
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?
If it is not for you, it is not for you.
How can I become a better partner for my wife?
Listen to her side. Tell your side honestly.
- Thank her for coming to you honestly with her crush things, and her Shared Vulnerable. That was probably scary to do.
- Ask her for time to digest things -- would she be willing to do that?
- Ask her for time with a counselor if needed -- would she be willing to do that?
- Ask her for what her suggestions are if after thinking you come to find you cannot be a willing participant with open marriage. Is she thinking it is best for BOTH of your LONG TERM health to split up and be friends then? Even if it means SHORT TERM suckage of navigating a split?
You can read more of my thoughts in my blog thread
on mono-poly. It's mostly the first few pages.
Bottom line -- Entering into something that you are not really WILLING to do for your own self, and you do it from a fear of "losing her" -- that's not going TOWARD your happiness. That's running away from things. Face the fears, and do the best choice thing for BOTH your long term health.
All relationships come with a clock attached. Even "til death do us part" is an ending. So... choose what is ending here. Even if you decide to Open, the Closed Marriage portion is ending. The relationship is evolving to a new shape. That's nothing new. Once you were BF & GF. That ended. It changed to a marriage.
So remember to BREATHE deep. Assess what you have here, where your willingness lies, her willingness lies, and come up with the best plan for BOTH you LONG TERM HEALTH. As you both face this next checkpoint in the relationship and decide where it will evolve to next.
Even if that means navigating an amicable split.
- So she has space to find her romantic happiness.
- So you have space to find your romantic happiness.
- While preserving the space for you both to maintain the existing friendship.
The feelings may be hard to feel.
But you guys are in charge of how you choose to behave in response to those feelings.