Well, that was awful. At first when I told her, she had a few questions but it was the end of the night and was tired. She said she needed some time to process, but that she loved me and would call me the next day. Well, when she called the next day she was angry and had lots of judgements. I'll bullet point some of her issues to help shorten this story:
- What is wrong with FJ? Why doesn't he love you and cherish you enough to want you all to himself?
- What were you missing from your marriage?
- What is your end game? This can only end in heartbreak
- I can understand wanting to experience being with a woman, and knowing what that feels like, why do you have to have a relationship?
- Isn't it hypocritical that FJ isn't having other partners?
- What does FJ get out of this?
- What are you going to do? Move MD in next door and share a swimming pool like on Big Love?
- When do the kids find out? You're going to screw them up.
- You said you prayed the other day. I'm curious…who exactly are you praying to?
- Is it because FJ gets turned on by this?
- This is basically cheating
- You are not committed to FJ or your family
- This is going to blow up in your face. It's wrong
Then she called a second time and just flat out said she hates this. That she doesn't know who I am, she feels like she's lost her best friend and that my kids are going to suffer. She then said she is so angry at FJ for allowing me to explore this. That if he hadn't been open to the idea, I wouldn't have gotten involved with MD and none of this would happen. She feels like he doesn't love me enough to keep me to himself.
I tried to answer her questions without being defensive. I understand that this kind of news can feel like betrayal, and I want to give her the space to wrap her head around all of this. But I never thought she would be this judgmental. I explained that by definition, cheating is breaking the rules. Our rules are different from hers, and that doesn't make either of the sets of rules wrong. That all 3 of us involved in this relationship are happy, and constantly communicating about our needs and wants and feelings. The minute one of us isn't satisfied, we'll work it out. I told her that I feel more loved, and closer to FJ through this all. Tried to explain compersion. Was honest about the challenges that we've been working through with time management and calming NRE (didn't use a bunch of terms...didn't want to freak her out). Apologized for not telling her earlier, and explained that the emotions were so intense, and I didn't even have words to explain the situation. I also reiterated that I am intensely committed to FJ and our children, and they receive lots of time and attention from me. And reminded her that when you have more children, your love grows, not divides. And that you don't add a child to a family because something is missing or that first child isn't good enough. I asked her to remember her love and respect for FJ & I, and to trust us because she knows us well enough that we hold our children's best interest above all else in this. She said she wasn't convinced that we are being good parents right now. That stung. Also, the whole "who are you praying to" pissed me off. I told her that I am being honest and acting with integrity, no one is getting hurt or being forced to doing anything. In fact we are all being less self-centered through this, growing personally, and that more love can't be a bad thing. In my opinion this has no affect on my personal spirituality.
Our last message was that she was SO angry, wasn't sleeping and had a horrible day. She said she hoped I thought this was worth it because she didn't know if she could be around for the fallout.
This is a friend that has stood by me through everything. EVERYTHING. I never thought she would be this upset. She has stood by another friend of ours who has 5 children as well, and cheated on her husband for a year, left him and is now married to the person she cheated with. In fact, they are good friends with the couple, visiting and vacationing sometimes. How in the world is what I am doing not worthy of the same love and understanding she gave that friend??
I told her simply that I loved her, that I wasn't going to push because I knew she needed some time, but that I was the same person.
I'm really torn up over this.