Married and poly, privacy issues
Hello, I'm fairly new to being poly and am in need of some good advice. I did check the forums for awhile, and haven't found a question quite like mine.
I am a 34 year old male, married to a 27 year old woman. My wife and I have been together for 7 years, married for 2. We recently made the jump to being poly a year ago. Up until the last couple weeks, we have both felt that being poly has been great to us, and we have been successful at tackling any problems or insecurities that have arose. Recently though, we have reached an impasse, and our differing opinions here are becoming heated, and taking away from the great thing we have going, both between the two of us and others.
Recently I met a woman, at a bar with whom I went home and had sex. We have kept in contact and got together twice more since that first night. All is fine up to this point. However, when talking to my wife about the encounter, I told her that when the new girl and I met we kissed and danced together before leaving the bar.
This upset my wife, and she was very concerned that someone we knew might have saw me, and being married I would have some explaining to do.
All of our close friends, basically the open minded ones, are aware of, and sometimes involved in, our sex life. We haven't shared with certain friends, and have not told family. My wife especially isn't interested in sharing this aspect of our life with her family or coworkers, and is afraid a slutty rumor about her could affect her job as a catholic school teacher.
I understand her concerns, and her desire to be private about her love life. I myself am indifferent to anyone knowing or not knowing, and am more prepared to stand by any choices I've made, should anyone question them.
We started our adventure into being poly with my wife meeting a male at her summer restaurant job, and having a 2 month romance with him. I didn't realize they did not have any PDA throughout their relationship. Since then we have both slept with several people, sometimes together, sometimes on our own, but they have all been planned, or happened at the end of a night of partying, where the results have been private.
When we decided to try polyamory out, we both agreed that we were seeking more than just sex, and that spending time with someone for more than just a hook up was okay. We both still feel that way, except I had assumed I had the freedom to meet someone publicly, and my wife had assumed we could both do that while appearing monogamous to those we don't want to discuss our private life with.
I feel like this puts a stranglehold on any opportunity I would have to meet someone and develop a relationship with them. And I feel my wife doesn't have the same concerns, as she has a pretty good group of friends, males and females, who are interested in hooking up for sex, sharing partners, and occasionally planning a group sex evening. I have been a part of some of these occasions, but as they are my wife's friends and coworkers, I'm kind of left waiting to be included in something.
I shared a mouthful, and tried to cut out anything irrelevant to my question. Basically I feel like I can't push my wife to give up her privacy, and yet 'behind closed doors' wasn't what I wanted out of being poly. My compromise was to not PDA in public, with the exception of nightclubs, and bars which is where we go to meet people. This isn't enough for her, but she said she may be okay with it in time.
This leaves me feeling like, if now, when the situation has come up, isn't a good time to stand by your personal choices, when is? I am afraid we'll be in the same place 6 months or 2 years from now.
Please help. I'm stuck between supporting the woman I love, and standing up for what I feel is fair to me. I should have titled this thread: The pitfalls of making assumptions.
Thanks so much for reading and sharing your advice.