Thanks for the reply!
I felt terrible for my mistakes and owned up to it. BF1 (now DH) at the time amazed me with his take on it. Firmly told me "I am upset. I do not think this is unreasonable to feel in this situation. I do NOT love this. I DO love you. We will manage." Then he kissed me went back to bed because he had work in the morning and needed to sleep, and the practical thing to do was to sleep and discuss later when he got home.
I wanted to vomit. I know now that part of all that is the initial "fight or flight" brain dump of hormones. It can take a few days to clear the system so yah -- I felt like crap. Like I was ill or something. I don't know how many days it has been since she came to you with crushy stuff... but perhaps knowing the physical/gut symptoms could help you weather out your feelings? Like make no major decisions until that's cleared?
Until the "new normal" BECOMES normal it's going to feel pretty weird. And in choosing to explore this with her -- you are off into uncharted waters on several counts. Recovering from the "pretty big violation" thing, and moving toward "a new relationship model" thing.
I've accepted that Wife is more inclined to non-monogamy.
And you are willing to be in an ethical, non-monogamous relationship from this point forward? Of what open relationship shape?
What are the agreements or personal standard that have to be upheld for you both to be in right relationship to each other in a non-monogamous arrangement? If it could help you b oth start talking about it, there's mine
as a conversation starter.
the obvious of sex health things like birth control and lab screenings... what else do you need? Are you both in accord with your new agreement? Talked it all out and made provision for how to resolve the unexpected? (You can't predict every situation ever. Nor should you try. Focus more on HOW you want to be together weathering Life's Journey -- rather than predicting WHAT every situation life will throw at ya will be.)
MY biggest issue is that when this all started (badly), there was no option of giving up (or even slowing down) New Relationship or Polyamory.
Has trust been rebuilt? Or is this "in progress" right now? What is being done to build trust back up?
THE COUPLE AREAS:
So we're trying to move forward with being in harmonious, ethical non-monogamous relationship.
Ok... so what does the couple have left to do? Is the couple willing to read resources together?
Improve their communication skills? Conflict resolution
More recently, she started developing feelings for a friend online and came to talk to me about early on.
Did you thank her for being more honest/forthright?
MY fears were whispering that if I balked, she'd go forward anyways and that would cause a lot of damage.
What did you/ could you do to put down the fear so far? As your supportive partner person -- what has she done / could she do to reduce the "fear volume" other than come to you in honest, forthright fashion?
Have you both read up on jealousy?
Doing the page 5 and page 6 things?
Take it one thing at a time as you sort yourselves out.