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Old 03-12-2013, 03:15 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,164

I am confused. Are you and wife still wanting to be lovers, or moving it over to companionate love and letting go of being lovers? Be more like married parenting friends?

Lover needs which would now be met by other people in an open marriage only? Or you are lovers AND have other lovers?

The shape you are aiming for helps frame the boundaries. So not being clear on what shape this is makes it hard.

When I confronted her about it, she said that our relationship had felt stagnant for a long time, and while she considered us good friends and good parents, the romance was not there. She thought I felt the same way, that we had grown apart.
She just thought you felt that way too but did not ASK you to know for sure? Why this emotional distance between you?

She has said that she is confused about the way she feels, and needs time to sort out herself.
Fair enough.

Likewise, she is concerned that I am doing this to make it work when I may not have true feelings of love toward her, just feelings now that this affair has happened.
What behaviors do you need to demonstrate to her for her to recognize that you do indeed love her?

And do you love her?

And is she still willing to receive these behaviors from you or not interested any more? Like too little too late? Better to friend zone it?

When we look back on our relationship, I can agree that I have not shown her the love I now feel, or want to feel from her.
Again.... what behaviors need to be done/not done then. By you and by her to sustain the relationship.

She has told me several times in the past that she was unhappy and I changed for a short periods of time, but always reverted back to our normal rut. And plus having three kids, things get in the way and our relationship has always been pushed aside.
So when you tapered off... did she call you into account? Was she holding her end of the stick in tending to the marriage or expecting you to carry it all?

There could be an attitude change -- sometimes in parenting we're so focussed on meeting the kid wants, needs, and limits that we shoosh our own to the side.

It could be a new attitude of "We must MAKE the time to spend together as a couple. With children, it won't just come from the air automatically. And the children need fit parents so OUR fitness has to come first. Put our own oxygen mask on first."

We have come to the decision to try an open marriage, for both of our benefits. She can pursue this man and find out if this is just something that is short term or something she has been missing for so long. I will try to see what is out there, with the hopes of seeing if I find someone that truly makes me happy enough to want to do the things my wife has been wanting from me for so long, or not.
That implies you withheld loving, kind behaviors your wife wanted from you for so long because what?

You were not happy with the wife?
You put the kids ahead of the wife instead of the wife ahead of the kids?
You were depressed? Distracted? Took her for granted?
Something else?

Just some thoughts you could think about and bring up in counseling as you make your new boundaries and agreements. A poly friend counselor could help -- you guys may want to think about changing to one.

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