New at 'N' Configuration non-open (!?) Poly relationships
I am new to this forum but also really excited that such a community exists. As I have realised and experienced, polyamory is so diverse and people's experiences are so varied that I thought I would share my thoughts and situation in the hope that someone with more experience can give me some advice or at least some peace of mind on my situation. My story starts like this:
My Husband and I have been together monogamously for 12 years now, polyamorous for 6 months or so. The first 6 years, blissful, then we decided to have children, which no doubt will put a strain on any relationship, however this is when things did start to change. Our relationship took many dips and spikes, though we never decided it was worthwhile ending it. We persevered. Or more so, I was too scared to walk. We married two years ago.
I feel like I should also point out that I have had many people come into my life for whom I have felt attraction - even love whilst being in my relationship, but I never really felt that was weird and always just acknowledged the existence of this attraction without ever following through with anything.
After six months of marriage, I decided to stand up. It was Mothers Day and I was again forgotten. No card, no acknowledgement - he was lazy and made very little effort over the years to show me that he cared. I told him it was over. At this point he realised what he was standing to lose and made me a series of promises that waxed and waned over the following few months and we found ourselves in a similar position six months later, only this time, we agreed to try an open marriage as a way to find happiness together - or as a band-aid.
We both got online, fighting and working through jealousy, we both met people, had dates, had sex. It was fun. It even spiced up our sex life in a way that I never expected. Hubby discovered his dominant side with an extremely submissive partner and I generally had a hard time finding a Mr Right, realising that the sex-only scene really wasn't for me. I suggested building relationships, even love (to his shock), and eventually he came around (though I believe his relationship with his sub partner was getting a little more serious, simultaneously).
In January, I met Ben online. I was open about my relationship and what I was looking for, and he admitted that he's not sure about it all but was willing to go with the flow. When we met in person I liked him immediately. He is an artist, intelligent and handsome and our chemistry was like sparks between us. Since meeting him those 4 months ago, we have spoken nearly every day, by various mediums and have both opened up to each other intensely. I have fallen in love. And see, this is where it gets tricky.
As I am seeing my Ben, Hubby is seeing his Grace. I have met Grace once (she was drunk) for only a few minutes and Chris has never met Ben. I have a keen interest to break down barriers between all of us - to share our lives somewhat. I fantasise about living in a house together, sharing food, love, my own little commune. My Hubby doesn't. He insists on keeping everything very separate. Even asking me to 'unfriend' Ben from Facebook as he didn't want him seeing our life/photos/kids, etc. Grace is happy with the current situation, though she has expressed to Chris that she would like to see more of him. I have been bringing it up almost daily and feel like there is hope of getting us all together, at least for dinner.
While all of this is going on, I have felt very distant from Hubby - having read all about NRE, I know now that I was lost in that energy. Pushing hubby away and having fantasies of moving out with Ben and having an exciting new life and path. I know that these ideas are fantasy and I am trying my hardest not to get lost in it and to try and re-kindle what I have with Hubby.
Meanwhile, Ben is feeling strongly towards me, though unwilling to love me as he feels he's leaving himself too vulnerable. He says no one has ever made him so happy before - not being naturally polyamorous himself, he wants me all to himself, though completely respects that I'm married. The mistake I have made with Ben, is that I have shared with him all of the problems Hubby and I have/had and I believe this has not painted a nice picture of Hubby to him. He wants to see me more, feel less restricted, show me to his family and friends, but he feels that what we have is doomed to fail, so he holds back from those things.
I want to feature in Ben's life as much as I'd like to show him off in mine and I want Hubby to let down our walls. Am I mistaken to believe that breaking these barriers would make our difficulties easier? I know that was a lot to read but having three hinges in this equation does complicate things.
Any thoughts would be so greatly appreciated.