Seeking advice... Secrecy in relationships
Hi, everyone. This is my first post here, and I'm very eager to get some feedback on my situation. I feel like I have no one to talk about this with, and I respect the honesty and forthrightness with which the members here address other people's questions. I would appreciate some of that honesty now.
So here's my situation. I am a bisexual female in my late 30's, and I have been with my husband for close to 14 years as a monogamous couple. Then a few months ago, I suddenly found myself back in contact with an ex-girlfriend "J" whom I dated very soon before meeting my husband.
When J and I were together, she was married but in a polyamorous marriage. Her husband and I got along very well; we met and were friendly with one another, but he was in the military and was deployed overseas for most of our relationship. He and I e-mailed one another daily, though, and he was happy that I was "taking care of" J while he was away. I loved J deeply. I felt like she and I were best friends as well as lovers. But then when she began seeing another guy (with whom I did not get along so well, and of whom her husband did not approve) who was also married and had a family, I quickly became overwhelmed by the relationship with its web of myriad connections and walked away. Not because I didn't love her, but because it was too complicated and there were just too many people involved for me at the time.
Fast forward to today. When J and I started talking again, it was like no time had passed. Now we are 14 years older, wiser, with life experience on our side. When we first started talking again, early on she told me that she still loved me, and it became clear that I still loved her. She is married as well, but knowing that she had been in a poly marriage before, I didn't see that as a potential problem I believed that we were moving toward a reunion, based on the types of conversations we were having.
[I should also mention that she lives a few hours away from me and our conversations have been primarily texting and e-mailing, though we have also gotten together in person.]
Because of the direction in which things were moving, I talked to my husband (who has always known about J) about the situation, and to my surprise he gave his blessing for me to pursue a relationship with her if that is what I felt moved to do. He has been incredibly supportive, has loved seeing how happy I've been with J back in my life, and has made a true effort to get to know her. My relationship with my husband has actually gotten closer as a result. My love for him has grown because he's willing to let me have this other relationship just because he knows it's important to me. It makes me feel like my marriage to him is unbreakable, like I can tell him anything, like I can share ALL of myself and who I am with him without fear of judgment or rejection.
Anyway, back to J... at a certain point, after weeks of flirting and innuendo, somehow I ended up professing my love for her in such a way that she realized I was serious. She then revealed that she wasn't sure that her husband would be comfortable "sharing" her. But that she feels the same way about me and will talk to him about us when the time is right. I was surprised because I had assumed she was still poly, based on all the indications she had given me, but at this point, I was already in too deep emotionally to pretend that I didn't have feelings for her again. But she was VERY clear that she would like to get back together with me in every way, when the time was right to talk to her husband. This was a few months ago!
The problem is that the time apparently is not right! He knows we are friends, but my understanding is that she hasn't even told him that we were ever romantically involved. She wants us to be really good friends for a while again before she will talk to him about the possibility of being with me again, which I can respect, but the problem is that emotionally I feel like we are already together. We say "I love you" to each other, and we are in contact from morning until night, all day, every day. There is a lot of flirtation. She feels like my girlfriend. But she's not.
So I am completely and utterly head over heels in love with her, and she knows this very well. She tells me she feels the same way but then always stops short, and I know it's because she hasn't come clean about me to her husband yet. Which, I have to say, I am not comfortable with. I don't want to be some kind of secret, and I don't want her husband to feel like he's been betrayed. She has implied that they have some sort of "don't ask, don't tell" type of relationship, and that he wouldn't care about not being informed... I don't know. I don't understand it, mainly because I have been so open and forthright with my own husband.
She has said she wants me to meet him first (she has come to visit me, but I have yet to come to her), and because of scheduling issues it appears that September will be the earliest I can visit. But I'm worried that when he finds out about our history, he will feel like *I* have betrayed him and lied to him, which has never been what I wanted. But it's not my place to be honest with him! It's hers! I feel like I'm stuck.
So... Please be brutally honest here. What should I do? I don't feel like I can/should make demands of her regarding her relationship with her husband, because truly that is not my business. But the fact that she hasn't been honest with him and is holding back with me because of that fact is sending my heart through a meat grinder. Not just because I'm frustrated, but because I frequently feel the sting of rejection in spite of the fact that she tells me she loves me all the time, and assures me that she feels the same way about me even though she can't go there right now. It's simultaneously reassuring and frustrating. After a while it wears me out, emotionally. But I can't turn off my feelings for her. They are there, like it or not.
Am I just setting myself up to be hurt? I don't want to lose her again. My life has been so much happier, richer, and more wonderful with her in it. I just wish she would be honest about me so that one way or another, I can have some definition in our relationship. Do I have the right to ask for that? Or... what else can/should I do? I really don't want anyone to be hurt by what is happening here.
I'm sorry this has been so long. I value your opinions deeply. Thank you to anyone who made it this far and who cares to respond.
Last edited by MyHeartOverflows; 06-24-2013 at 01:24 PM.