Thanks for the reply. I believe she was somewhat surprised by this as well. I've actually started going to the gym and I'm trying to pick up some hobbies I had let slide when I was busy with school.
My intention is to stay in the marriage. My hope is to reach a point where I'm not feeling as "strained". It already feel much less uncomfortable than at the beginning so I'm hoping it continues to get easier. She has apologized and still cringes at a lot of her NRE behavior, and is trying to do things with everyone in mind.
Thank you. I liked the bed being flipped over analogy. You responded to graviton better than I probably would.
I'm not opposed to polyamory. Philosophically, I think it's a valid option. It's a little stickier in real life to practice, but we're working on it. And it's easier to say "Just up and leave" when it's not YOUR long-term relationship and family at stake.
Unfortunately, yes, it did start out as cheating. Both of us acknowledge this. However, the sticky part is what comes after. In affair recovery, there is a heavy emphasis (or mandate) to either dial the new relationship WAAAY down or end it completely. Most new "polys" are not willing to do either. In "normal" opening of the marriage, the advice is to discuss things BEFORE a new relationship happens. Little late for that, so that doesn't apply much either.
Part of this was motivated by posts on a Poly / Mono mailing list where I've seen over and over the story of "Partner was having an affair, now they want to just snap jump to polyamory with no transistion, or we can just divorce" and the established partner is going insane! Wife and I went through this in a fashion and we're trying to recover but it's a little rough with no guidance. Trying to find out how others have handled this since "Surprise" Non-monogamy can't be that rare.