Welcome to our forum.
Heh, you've come to the right place if you're wondering whether anyone else has ever been in love with more than one person.
Yes, we definitely have, though that's not to say there's no monogamous members on this forum.
"Has anyone ever felt like this? or am I just some selfish jerk to think that it is even possible to salvage my current relationship and still be able to keep my friendship with the other woman in the whole deal?"
Selfish jerk? Certainly not. Mistaken dreamer? Oh, maybe. Some people can tolerate polyamory; some people can't. I don't know which type your wife is. I gotta be honest, it's not sounding good. She's certainly not ready to tolerate polyamory right now. I don't know whether she can change in that regard. If she can, it's probably going to take awhile, and you have to figure out what you're going to do about that delay and uncertainty in the here-and-now.
Let's start with the scenario where you sever your friendship with the other woman (the one that's not your wife), and cut all ties with that other woman. That would secure your relationship with your wife, or would it? Isn't she hurt and angry over the mere fact that you're in love with another woman, without you having laid a hand on that other woman? Will your wife ever get over that wounding? Then years from now, when you've lost all contact with the other woman, will your wife still be complaining at you for still being in love with the other woman, and will you be dying inside with a love for the other woman that you'll never be able to pursue? These are the types of things that can happen when one parter says, "You are *not allowed to fall in love with anyone else.*
It's not like we have a magic wand that can wish all those unwanted romantic feelings away. And severing contact may slowly starve those feelings, but it may also make those feelings grow stronger and more urgent.
So are we sure that cutting off contact with that other woman will make your wife happy? I'm not sure. Only if it makes you "stop being in love with the other woman," from what I can tell.
Your next option is to divorce your wife, and take up pursuit of the other woman. Pretty straightforward outcome there: You'll lose your wife, but may gain the other woman. And the other woman may be more open to polyamorous ideas, which would be a bonus.
Also you could try to just maintain the status quo, keep the platonic relations with the other woman, and stay with your wife as long as she'll let you. Since your in-love feelings are making her so mad, maybe maintaining the friendship with the other woman wouldn't bother her as much as she might think. The two drawbacks are:
- your wife may divorce you for maintaining the friendship,
- even if she doesn't, you'll never be able to connect with this other woman romantically.
I guess the most likely course for you to take is to explain all this to the other woman, and then sever all ties with her (except being in love with her which will only go away if such way the wind doth blow). Variations: reduce contact to once a year, retain a record of how to get back in touch with her in the future. Depends on whether your wife would abide either variation.
After that, you could begin to attempt negotiations with your wife for polyamory as an idea. There's a great book called "Opening Up" by Tristan Taormino, that might help, especially if the two of you could read it together and discuss your feelings about each part that you read. If your wife were willing to join (or at least explore) our site, that might help. Some people find Franklin Veaux's poly pages
helpful in demystifying polyamory to the skeptical and uninitiated. Such as the FAQ page: http://www.morethantwo.com/polyamory.html
Another idea would be couple's counseling with a poly-friendly counselor, if you can find one in your area. Or barring all that, the two of you could simply sit down once a week or once a month and talk about how you are feeling about things, including poly. Sometimes just opening up the communication channels help, if you try to avoid assigning blame and put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Above all, try to make peace with the fact that if your wife chooses to leave you, that is her choice, right, and privelage. Don't try too hard to *make*
her stay. Just remind her sometimes that you still really want to be with her (and that your interest in the other woman doesn't change that). You have control over your actions; you have to accept that others also have control over their actions. So try to stay focused on what you can do, rather than on what you *wish*
your wife would do.
I am sympathetic that you find yourself caught up in this poignant dilemma. It reminds me of that old song,
Torn between two lovers,
Feeling like a fool;
Loving both of you,
It's breaking all the rules.
The message of hope in polyamory is you don't always have to choose. Sometimes you can have your (ahem) Kate and Edith too.
I hope your dreams come true, or at least that things come out better than you'd have even imagined.