Am I meant for polyamory?
Hi everyone. Please bear with me as I'm very new to the concept of polyamory, but certainly not new to the difficulties I've had being in a monogamous relationship. I've come seeking advice from those who may have once been in a similar situation. I apologize ahead of time if I say anything that offends anyone or comes across as disrespectful of polyamory; I just don't know any better, to put it simply.
I've been with my common-law husband for well over twelve years now. We met when I was 16 and he 21. We have always had a very strong and meaningful relationship: lots in common. Lots of trust. Great communication. Common goals and dreams. We are considered by friends to be a "perfect couple" and just the thought of being without him frightens me to the core. In other words, he is my best friend and the person I love the most in this world. We spent about 6 months apart at one point (at my behest) and dated others; this only solidified for both of us just how good a match we are, and I wouldn't ever want to lose him again.
However, over the years I've encountered issues that he isn't aware of, and they've been eating away at me more and more. There seems to be a pattern that repeats itself every few years. Twice I have had long-time friends express a physical and emotional interest in me despite my relationship. I never went all the way with either of them, but I'm ashamed to say that we've gone as far as oral activities, which I constantly deceive myself into thinking wasn't cheating. I just couldn't help myself, particularly as I'm aware of being of a submissive nature, and their aggressive approach set fire to my blood in a way that robbed me of rational thought. I was completely uninterested in an emotional relationship, but I craved their physical attention. I live with the guilt of it every day, and fear losing my husband should it ever come to light.
The last one was about two to three years ago, and though I remain friends with these people it's quite clear that I'm off-limits. After the second one I swore I would never allow such a thing to happen again.
We now have a mutual friend who has a girlfriend. He has a profound love for her and, like me, has no intention of leaving her. However, earlier this year, he professed having a powerful physical attraction for me. Gradually, he began pressing my buttons--being dominant, he knew exactly what to do. Hugs became tighter and longer. His hands began exploring. Yesterday, we came near to kissing, though both he and I have been trying so very hard to tone things down. We want each other desperately.
To make things worse, he also revealed yesterday that his feelings are becoming more than physical, and I realized that mine are as well. However, we both know that our current partners are the best matches for us, and we don't want to hurt or lose them.
It's very frustrating. Both he and I don't "believe" in monogamy, but it's the lifestyle we've chosen. Both his girlfriend and my husband would never participate in swinging. They are both very trusting and would be crushed to know this is going on. Guilt issues aside, I wonder about myself: since this keeps happening, what's my problem? Am I just wired to seek out the thrill of being wanted so badly by another? My husband and I have fairly regular and fairly satisfying sex, but I find myself craving other sexual experiences that aren't possible within the context of my relationship.
So, when I first heard of the term polyamory, I researched it briefly and thought that, perhaps, this is what I truly am. Again, I'm happy with my husband and this friend of mine is happy with his girlfriend, but I'm again facing a situation where my physical desire for another is consuming me, and becoming an emotional concern as well.
Finally, I found that I feel very depressed in terms of my sex life, because I feel that my needs are not being met. However, these needs are not ones I can discuss and fix with my current partner. He can't make me crave the mad passion that these other encounters have offered...
I appreciate any feedback. Thank you for reading.