Hello from (Upstate) NY
Brand new to the forum today but SOOOO glad to know that I am not alone in what I was surprised to recently discover about myself, literally within the last 4 months.
I've been happily married to my DH (I'll call him "A") for 9 1/2 years (I'm heading for the big 5-0) and love him dearly and would do anything in the world to avoid hurting him. I found something really special with him and don't want to give that up for anything--it's a second marriage for us both.
However, about three years ago I met a guy (who I'll call "M"), via email, due to a mutual hobby. I hadn't really expected it to go beyond 2, maybe three email exhanges in total. But the emails have kept up, nearly every day steady, usually several times a day, ever since. It wasn't long before I found myself trying to deny the feelings I was feeling -- in fact, "A" observed even before I did that I was starting to fall. And fall I have, although unfortunately for me it's quite one-sided, perhaps because I am married. But this is still a very deep emotional relationship/friendship and we have met in person a few times. If "M" is aware, it's never been explicitly discussed, mainly because I know I'll probably be in for a disappointment. (I know, denial much?)
Then a couple of months ago, I reconnected with my first love from over 20 years ago (who I'll call "T") -- there were a lot of unresolved questions I had that I felt needed answers as we just sort of drifted apart and into other relationships. Soon after our reconnection we discovered that we still had strong feelings for each other and it wasn't long before the word "love" was being used nearly as frequently as it was back then.
So now I find myself in a very weird (for me) position...being potentially in love with three guys at the same time, with only two of them returning the feeling. To be fair to "A" I have told him everything and he is fully aware of how I feel about both "M" and "T", who at best would be LDRs that I would only see a couple of times a year each due to the distances they each live from me. "A" is still reeling a bit from hearing my "Honey, I think I'm a poly" announcement -- he always was and always will be a mono and has no desire to change. "T" is also a poly -- in fact it was our getting together that sort of gelled that for both of us. I don't know for sure about "M", but I suspect mono.
"A" and I have sat down on several occasions to come to an agreement on "ground rules" regarding the other "relationships", mostly governing what could happen (or more accurately what *SHOULDN'T* happen) when I am on a visit with either "M" or "T". At the moment he is mostly "don't ask, don't tell" with respect to the details of the other relationships, but still wants the reassurance that the agreement lines haven't been crossed. I'm more than happy to oblige there. He is tolerant of me having some, but not total leeway and I have accepted the rules we've agreed to. For him having been hit with this out of the blue, I am quite surprised that he has been this tolerant (could he still be "in shock"?)
I have also, perhaps to my detriment, (and maybe as my way to prove to him that he will always be my first and foremost relationship) promised him that if he ever gets to a point where he can't handle this arrangement anymore, I will not pursue the poly lifestyle. He told me that part of the reason he is being tolerant is that he doesn't want me to resent him for giving up part of who I am, even though it was a recent discovery.
Whew, this is the first time I've ever verbalized my situation and in reading it over, even *I* can see how complicated it is. Of course, this could be just because it's all so new, but dang, for being so new, I'm in deep! For those of you who may have been in a similar situation, can this ever work out so that no one gets hurt? Sometimes it just seems like an impossibility, but I haven't given up hope.
"G" -- married to "A", but love "M" & "T" as well