Cheating to Poly
We are very new to the Poly scene and would like some insight/advice from some experienced folks.
My wife Lora and I have been married 27 years. She is 48 and I am 53. We have two kids in their early 20's twenties living at home and going to college. They do not know any of this. We had become complacent in our marriage and I had taken her for granted. We didnít talk much, and when we did I only half listened. Our sex life was routine and she was not at all satisfied. I had long ago stopped doing the little things to make her happy and show my love for her, and so she checked out of the marriage. I say all this to let you know I am just as responsible for what happened as she is.
Lora is the leader of a state advocacy group and started spending several days a week at the state capital in January. We live an hour away so these were long days. She became friends with a married professional man she met there which turned into flirting and they started an affair in April. They would meet two or three times a week in the capital city or half way between at a motel while I was at work. All the clues were there, but I had my head buried in the sand and didnít catch on for four months.
Two months ago I figured it out and confronted her. She said she wasnít giving him up but didnít want a divorce. Her happiness was the most important thing to me and I didnít want a divorce either. I agreed to let her continue seeing him but I had a really hard time with it. We are seeing a marriage counselor and I got on Wellbutrin and Xanax. Then I found the More Than Two website and discovered there are a lot of people out there like us and that I wasnít alone. This has helped tremendously.
We had actually set up boundaries and rules before we discovered Polyamory. She only sees him when Iím at work so sheís not taking time away from me, and usually only two days a week. She tells me when she sees him and is completely honest. We also determined that in order to make this work we both have to be happy. For her it was easy, she got great sex twice a week. For me, it was a lot harder. We talked about it a lot. She provided stress relief for me with sex. I started doing the little things to make her happy which made her want to make me happy. After two month of working on it she has checked back into our marriage and we are happier than we have been since we were first married. We fixed our marriage outside the bedroom and now weíre working on our sex life which has gotten better.
I know they love each other and he gives her a sexual satisfaction that I canít. But I know she loves me too. Our arrangement is hard on me but is getting a little easier every day. I feel lonely and abandoned at times even though I know sheís not going to leave me. I am envious of the passion she has for him and how much she misses him on the weekends.
I would like to hear from others that turned an affair into a Poly relationship.
How has it worked out?
How long did it take for the Mono partner to get over the initial hurt and accept the lifestyle?
How did you do it?
How I do I stop smothering her with a need for attention?
Any other advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
I know this is long but it helped to write it out.