Monogamy didn't work either.
C and I tried to turn our relationship into a "friendship" in which we are still in love. We found ourselves back struggling with how to get any time together that wasn't impossibly squeezed between other things (since C lives 5 hours away). My husband recognized the difficulty we had with this before and consented to letting us take overnight trips once a month again, providing there was no physical intimacy. We planned a ski trip, but I injured my foot a few days ahead, so what we had was two days cooped up in a beautiful ski lodge. C splurged for my Christmas present, and got us a room with a fireplace. You can guess how this ends.
It wasn't that I was too horny to keep my promise to my husband, but rather that the promise itself felt like such a horrible idea. I felt like my husband was this negative presence in my head, interfering with a relationship that has already been established and is very meaningful to me, and has really nothing to do with my husband. We had no problem sticking to the boundaries that we have been operating under for all these months (no oral or PIV sex) but removing all the rest of the physical ways in which we are used to expressing our affection for each other felt way wrong.
I told my husband, of course, once I was home. I had no idea what to expect. We actually ended up having several good days in a row together where we really focused on being kind and loving to each other, followed by a counseling session that stirred up all sorts of nastiness. That took a few days to process, and now we are back to trying to increase the love between us.
As for polyamory, my husband is going to do his best to tolerate it, and he wants me to do my best to mitigate his suffering, both by making the overnights and visits as infrequent as I can bear, and by making sure he isn't reminded of them in between. (C gave me a recipe book for Christmas, and my husband asked me to keep it out of sight.)
So we've tried monogamy, and I can't do it. My husband is willing to keep trying (my) polyamory for as long as he can bear it. If it gets to a point where he'd rather not be married to me, then I guess that's where we end up, but I will try to keep it low key so he doesn't reach that.
Another big development is that C is condo shopping in my town. He wouldn't move here, but it would give him a chance to spend more time here, which could mean getting together during the work/school day or on my dance nights out, and that could make longer stretches between overnight trips easier to bear. I'm hesitating to tell my husband because I think he may suspect C is trying to set up house with me, but if it becomes a sure thing I will not want to keep it a secret. It does feel like it adds a couple hundred thousand dollars of seriousness to our relationship, but C insists it's something he was considering even before we met.
I'm feeling hopeful that we might be finding the balancing point. We're definitely continuing to discover the tipping points!
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