Originally Posted by amk
but then she just lost it on me and told me to "suck it up". I wasn't ready to hear that kind of "tough love" from her and I broke down. Of course, she was frustrated with me and offered little in the way of comfort.
I'm going to give you my own version of tough love. I'm going to give you the facts. The relationship you had with your wife before she told you she is poly is over - period. You cannot get that relationship back.
Neither you nor your wife know where your relationship with each other is going. Accept that for now.
"Suck it up" is an ultimatum that tells you to give her what she wants "or else". She said that in a moment of anger, so it is the way she really feels. The "or else" is usually losing something. You already lost something - the relationship you used to have with her.
The only question you need to ask yourself (not her) is what works for you. Does it work for you to be married to a woman who gets initimate with other men, if there is the opportunity for you to be intimate with other women? If your answer is yes, that does not make you a good, more valuable person. It is just the way you are. If your answer is no, that does not make you a bad, less valuable person. It is just the way you are. Place no value judgements on your answer. When you find your answer, accept it with your heart open.
Your job is to stand up, take a deep breath and reevaluate your life until you find your own answer to that question. You are asking yourself this question. You are not asking your wife this question. This question is all about you.
Reevaluating your life is a task that will require your direct attention, and a lot of inner strength. Feeling sorry for yourself will make reevaluating your life harder.
Your wife has given you a very focused opportunity to reevaluate your life. Do not pretend you can give her what she wants (poly) and everything will go back to the way it was. It will not. You are now moving in a new direction that either includes an intimate relationship with her or does not. If you leave that direction entirely up to her by focusing your attention on what you are no longer getting from her and how bad you feel about it, you will have a more difficult time moving forward with your own life.
Decide for yourself how you want to move forward. Daysleeper gave you some very good advice, but you will not be able to use it if you spend your time feeling sorry for yourself. Dingedheart suggested bringing your wife to this board with her own account. This board has a lot of good people who can give her the benefit of their thoughts and experience.
Stand up, take a deep breath, acknowledge the mono relationship you had with your wife is over. Ask yourself how you want to move forward, and if that moving forward includes an intimate relationship with her or not. It does not have to. If you want a mono relationship and she wants poly, then the intimate part or your relationship with her needs to stop.
Do not make the mistake of placing yourself in a poly relationship with her just to please her and try to "preserve" the marriage, if you do not truly want it. Doing something that does not work for you just to please someone else never works. If you try that, your marriage will fall apart anyway. It will fall harder when it does fall than it would have otherwise, and will be more painful for both you and your wife. It's time for you to be strong enough to begin the process of looking at your own life so you can decide how you want to live, given the options you have.