Thanks for all the info guys. I found out about The Ethical Slut and I have been reading it. I'm down to reading the final third of the book now. It has definitely changed me a ton.
I can now see all the flaws that existed in the relationship I described for everyone involved. I see what was wrong with how I viewed things, how my SO viewed things, how the cheater dude views things and even how his wife views things.
I don't hurt at all now. I think the only thing I'm unsure about at this point is how to feel jealous about anything at all now. I read the chapters describing jealousy and I don't really feel I have any. I'm ok spending certain days alone by myself.
I'm not really the type of person to hold onto negative shit for very long. I'm absolutely healed from the experience I had. I'm thrilled to know what happens next for me. If she and I break up, we will still be best friends and will be open about everything. If we stay together, we will still be best friends and will be open about everything. See what I did there?
I think at this point I feel the most sorry for the cheater dude's wife. She has worse possession/attachment issues than I ever have. I learned that their relationship has gotten physically violent in the past. He has scars from her. They both need the book way more than I did.
I told my SO that she needs to read it as soon as I'm finished. We agreed we wouldn't attempt to form opinions about what to do next until we have both read it and discussed things with informed understanding. At this point I am happy with any outcome. I am happy for her in any lifestyle she chooses after reading the book. With or without me, I will always treat her as an extended family member in the best friend sense. In the book, one of the authors mentioned that one of her male partners stopped being romantically involved with her. She had a child with another man. They all still live together in the same house and both men are friends and take care of the child when needed. The guy she isn't romantically involved with still lives in her house and is still a great friend. I know for certain that this could be the case with my SO if she chooses not to be romantically involved with me after she reads the book. I'm ok with that.
I guess I feel like I would have been poly my entire life if I was raised knowing that it was an option. When I was a kid, I thought that no woman would ever allow me to have a second girlfriend. I thought this because at the time I wouldn't have wanted any girlfriend of mine to be seeing another guy. Well now that I've learned that I can be happy for my girlfriend if she loves multiple people... I think I'm officially open to NM/poly/ and open relationships.
I know I'm a newb and I could have possibly worded my original post better to show you I'm not doing this "for her" and that I in fact do not hold her on a pedestal. But the long story shorter is that I'm learning new things about this lifestyle every day. I have not come across anything that didn't sound absolutely exciting and full of joy.
Thank you for all the kind words. This will be my last long-winded post! Sorry about that!
Last edited by ShpaceEchsplorer; 08-19-2013 at 07:45 PM.