Originally Posted by ferenc
What’s really bugging me right now is that somehow I feel less of a man because my wife feels the need for another, which is crazy as I know I can’t be everything for anyone.
And here’s the really unfair bit – it would be super-cool for me to have another woman, but I’m embarrassed to admit my wife has a lover. WTF?
Is it ego, insecurity, cultural conditioning? What is going on here?
I'm with the others who think/feel that it could be a combo of all three. I think that my husband went through something similar when we finally (after 19 YEARS) addressed the "no boys" clause to my extra-curricular activities. (Which clause, to be fair, I never felt the need to really challenge...until Dude came along.)
MrS can't really explain how he came to his reversal/refutation but I have a few theories.
In term of ego: I think
this may have been predominant for MrS. He knows that he understands me (how my mind works, my likes/dislikes, how I will respond to different situations, what makes me happy, etc.) better than anyone else. I think part of it was his ego being tied up in somehow needing to believe that he was the ONLY person who has ever understood me/COULD
ever understand me in such an intimate fashion. When he stepped back from his gut-reactions he came to the conclusion that ... wait a minute, how is it a BAD thing if someone else ALSO comes to understand me in that way? How is more happy, more love, more understanding in any way a NEGATIVE? Sharing that understanding (of me) doesn't depreciate HIS understanding in any way - it can only augment
In terms of insecurity: I've CHOSEN to be with him for 20 years, we love each other more each and every year, my life's plans with him include "forever" - I think he looked at this with a fresh perspective and realized that THAT was a solid enough foundation that his insecurities (that he was carrying from when we were first together) were unfounded. I COULD have run off and left him for some "new shiny" guy (or girl) at any point - poly or no - and I haven't (and wouldn't - but that is a whole nother post on my views about commitment).
In terms of cultural conditioning: this is a hard one because I think this conditioning runs deeper than we realize on a sub-conscious level and requires some serious rooting around to figure out the underlying assumptions
that these biases are based on. Luckily, for me, MrS was already partway there in terms of questioning the underlying basis for many of society's "rules" (think, hippy-bohemian-meets-rugged-individualist-survivalist-libertarian). The next step seemed to be applying the same type of scrutiny to personal relationship dynamics rather than cultural/societal/governmental "institutions".
For MrS the "epiphany" was already in the making, the stage having been set by various conversations and experiences we have had. The actual trigger for his total re-evaluation of all of the the above was a could-have-been-fatal-but-thankfully-wasn't
car accident. (I DO NOT
recommend this!) This incident caused him to re-evaluate his outlook on a number of things that he had previously understood on a purely "intellectual" level...
I don't know if any of this is helpful...but "sharing water"...