My husband and I have been together, like, forever. Okay, 16 years. Since I was 20 and he was 35. I picked him up.
I guess I was always a little precocious. We met in the small town I grew up in and he lived in for 15 years, but moved back to the midwest where he's got a 'sprawl' and i got my masters degree.
We have four kids now and as the baby turns two, have really turned our attention to a 'meaningful marriage' given our recent habits (over the last two years) of drinking too much, ignoring each other and doing that thing where we are just living in parallel. Not that it was terrible, but we were certainly not very connected. Sometimes that happens. We've been through ups and downs before.
My partner and I are also extremely close to his best friend. Its R's best friend from childhood and adulthood. The bff (they really are!) has always supported us; when R had a small stroke (heart defect) he was the first one on the scene. When bff left his wife he stayed with us and we supported him through a horrible divorce and a shitty rebound relationship.
Bff and his ex wife are godparents to one of our kids. His middle child (adult child) and I have hobbies in common and share a dog (we're dog people).
R, bff and I cut wood together, go out together and take saunas together. Group txt almost every day. When R is out of town, Bff is the one I call if I need help. It's a long friendship but we've really gotten close since Bff divorced, moved back to help his parents and lives on a homestead near us. We also looove to party together. I looked back at pictures and we have pictures of our families together for at least 10 years. We are all pretty intertwined.
One night, after drinking way too much, bff and I ended up in a compromising position and R walked in on us.
The good part (and I'm always such a 'look for the silver lining' person) is probably nothing less would have forced R and I to talk and become more open with each other. We've been under a pretty strict 'don't ask don't tell' military code as he HATES conflict and will just leave the room. Throughout the course of our relationship I have *deeply* wanted to see a couples counselor to work through things and I've always been talked out of it by R. Always told that it was in my head!! Also unfortunately we had some bad habits sexually. Over the course of time R has convinced me that his needs require him to pretty much have sex daily. If we don't, he is an absolute dickhead to me. Not overtly, but very distant and not very nice. And always stomping out of the room. So, I've got these little kids to feed and care for, I want a happy husband, and I got in the habit of just giving him what he wanted with no regard for myself. Not that it was always bad, but it did not help me feel very close to him. Oh plus R is a depressive type personality. Sounds fun, huh?!! Lol, IRL he's a pretty great guy when he's not retreating into himself. His bff understands this and had always always stood by my/our side to lift him up.
Okay, so the three of us have our friendship and also bff and I are very very close. We txt and talk just about every day too. R knows this. Nothing was ever hidden from him.
After 'the incident' we did go to counseling and guess what- R likes the woman we see and we finally could talk to each other without being defensive. R was finally open to reading relationship/marriage and sex books. I could finally say what I felt without feeling retaliation. We took a few weeks being closed to all other people and worked together without interruption. Then R and bff finally met, talked and cried, got things out in the open. I do believe bff couldn't live without R. Me, maybe, but those two go too far back. We (R and I) could not and did not want to cut bff out of our lives.
Now we're a few months past that point. R is such a 'when can we go back to normal' person and, for the most part, we have. R would like it to be 'okay, we talked, apologized and now it's over' but I know we aren't really done.
First, we've had lots of deep talks about monogamy versus 'open' relationships versus swinging. I've introduced the idea of polyamory, albeit slowly with the idea that 'it is possible to love more than one person at once.' I am working hard to not just let R assume that monogamy works for me, even though I have been (mostly) monogamous. And what I've done he knows about.
Second, I have been discussing the depth of my relationship with bff with R and also bff himself. R is aware of the emotional connection we have and that we talk, text and see each other pretty much daily, although bff and I have really distanced ourselves since 'the incident.' I know that bff won't resume texting me until he gets an okay from R himself, even though I've said it's okay. R doesn't want to read emails, txts, or have play by plays of where I am. For my part, I tell him 'bff stopped by for a beer' etc so that he knows.
I have also been painfully honest and told him gently that bff and I love each other. I have mentioned that I am physically attracted to bff. He was pretty okay with that until he realized that I desire a sexual relationship with bff. Then it was 'omg I can't believe you want to fuck my bff.' Sigh. So then we did the work as to what real intimacy is and what it means to us and also the fact that is isn't just 'fucking.' He calmed down.
Bff and I have talked also. It's easier with him 'cause he gets this stuff. He might be from a small town but he is also pretty damn open. He and I both put R first. Bff enjoys time with the three of us and he also likes me. We have also said 'I love you.' He is not afraid to be pretty open emotionally. When asked what he wants out of a relationship with me he said, 'well, how to I explain it? I feel like I'm your second husband. I like to chat with you, see you and yes, I am attracted to you.' He has also stated that he has no desire to replace my husband in our relationship and actually awhile ago he was the one who said 'you need to go back and work on your marriage' and has pushed for that, for both of us.
Finally, I am strongly attracted to bff and would like to add physical intimacy to our relationship. Bff has already stated that he has arousal issues, so being intimate with him may well not be super traditional anyway.
Reading and following links here has helped me understand how that might work in practical terms. And I feel like we are all (almost) on the same page. R and I have no desire to exclude bff from our lives (you should have seen the look on the counselors face when we said 'oh yeah, we talked and worked through it' we are all okay) and R is okay with the relationship bff and I have currently. Bff and I do not exclude R, we really like to be together all three of us. Bff isn't jealous or resentful of R, I asked. Due to the nature of our schedules, it isn't hard for Bff and I to see each other separate from R. So on one hand, we're actually already somewhat polyamorous (sp?) anyway.
I have been painfully honest with my husband about my desire to be intimate with his/our bff. I absolutely understand how hard that would be to hear, especially since R and I have been working to deepen our sexual relationship. Of course, once I was able to express my needs it got a hell of a lot better. I am not 'replacing' my husband, I feel like our relationship has to be strong because that's what we want and we are committed to raising our kids together. Also, I read the posts from some of the people here and can see how hard it is to be the one 'waiting at home' for lack of a better term. I don't want to turn my husband inside out.
On the other hand, I have the feeling things would not change much really. Bff and I have already gone through a lot of NRE, that's how we ended up with 'the incident' although we had not acted on feelings previously. Now going through this, bff and I already have a much more mature relationship (not that it wasn't) just given the kinds of discussions we've needed to have. Plus the idea that we both put R first.
So there. That's my long winded story. Do I just 'want to have my cake and eat it too' as my husband says? I've always liked giving of myself to other men. Occasionally (once or twice before) it's been the kind of person that I could also be sexual with, R knows about these 'crushes' he calls them but I didn't act on them, other than closeness in front of dh (R).
The hard part is separating out working on my marriage, becoming aware of who I am, then this relationship threesome. Does this sort of thing ever work out?!