I'm sorry you guys are struggling. I'll be honest though -- you two have a LOT of layers there. It is overwhelming to read. I cannot imagine what it is like to LIVE.
I could be wrong. But here's how it sounds to me:
STAGE 1 : You guys set expectations that you could not keep. (ex: monogamoous, closed marriage). Instead of renegotiating and learning to set realistic boundaries for yourselves, you went off into affairs. Yours sounded emotional maybe, and hers became sexual affairs. Lies and/or lies of omission all around.
STAGE 2: You had a problem with forthright disclosure which led to deception. Did NOT seem to make space for learning this skill. Or for sharing authentic feelings and authentic communication with each other along the way to prevent future deception or regain trust/heal.
Instead you guys made room for the thing being lied about (sex outside the marriage) only. You created a boundary that could block authentic communication in future by agreeing to (polysexual sharing sex with others, but not polyamorous sharing love with others.)
- Because what if feelings DO develop? The expectation is for her to dump a beloved? How's that wonderful for her or BF?
- The other choice is to have the feelings but withold the information from the other beloved? How's THAT wonderful for her or husband(you)?
The unrealistic boundary helps to create an environment where deception is very tempting your wife -- which if she keeps silent, could partially be ok/stink for her. But could be ok for you and BF since you are both in ignorant bliss. But she gets to be with both. Until she pops and it comes out. UGH for all then.
NO solution is planned for ALL people to be healthy and supported. Either together or apart here. Things are set in place so that it sucks for for 1, 2, or 3 people instead to varying degrees.
STAGE 3: So now you come to find that sharing sex with others CAN and does lead to deeper feelings sometimes. It actually did come out. Ugh for all! After some run around, you come to new agreement -- she can see the BF on the expectation that she dump him eventually. (Does he know that condition? He's happy about that? I suspect he doesn't know. MORE lies of omission? )
How is this boundary different than before? It isn't. She is still expected to dump him when "too many feelings" happen -- the only thing is the "feeling line" got move over a bit from "feelings at all" to "deeper feelings."
In short, a new snooze tag. Not actual resolution here. You guys STILL struggle with the issues of (forthright disclosure to avoid deception) and (boundary setting that works for all.) Same as way back in Stage 1! Until you all learn to solve those things, you will keep on merry-go-rounding on that even if all break up.
You do not seem firm of purpose at this point in time and not clear on desired outcome. What outcome ARE you hoping for? It's hard to give any advice to help you arrive there if you cannot articulate where it is you want to be.
You sound like you have been though cheating affair weirdness
and may not have fully healed. You also sound like some polyhell
I doubt you want to "just trust her" to keep her word when she has failed to do so before. And to trust her to keep using her BF until she's used him up and dumps him in the end... .whenever "the end" may be? This is treating him with respect and kindness how?
You are married to a user person? How's that bode for YOU? Is she going to use you until YOU are used up too?
Of course you are worried!
She says she needs him to "escape." Have you guys even talked about what she's trying to escape FROM?
You could decide what you want here. For sure STOP participating in weird, dude. Call time out! So you all can GET firm of purpose. If you need more information to get firm of purpose? Start having the conversations you need to be having with yourself, wife and BF!
Is she trustworthy? Do you still want to be married to her? What if she DOES NOT want to break up with him? You could decide if you are in or out.
- You are in this polyship. You are married to her, she's the hinge, and you accept that this BF could be around long haul. So you choose to work on forgiveness and trustbuilding with each person in the polyship -- yourself, the wife, and the BF. All three co-create the new way of going and delineate the expectations of behavior from each player so that ALL the players needs can be met and all players can be treated with respect, value, and dignity. You agree on how to break up should the polyshipping experiment have to end at a later date. So you choose to do the work required and hold up your end of the agreement and expect them each to hold up theirs. You all hold each other accountable and intentionally grow the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills required to polyship well.
- You are NOT in this polyship. You choose to continue with the separation and steps to divorce.
- Because you don't want to deal in this any more and you wish to be free of uncertainty.
- Or because the players here are willing but not actually ABLE to polyship not wonky and it's best to accept that the skills will not be grown here.
You choose to leave in a way that is self-respecting, dignified, and helps preserve your self worth. You stop signing up for new wacky.
Could GET firm of purpose and could align your behavior accordingly.
How about instead of asking her to choose, you ask YOU to choose what you want to be doing with yourself at this time? And you state where you are at with this to both wife and her BF? In or out? And get their "in or out" to see what lines up and what does not?
Hard to FEEL, maybe... but pretty clear on what to DO. The rest is just details in the plan toward doing it.
That is my suggestion to you. Focus on getting firm of purpose here -- and if you need a counselor to help you sort your feelings and thoughts and weight the pros/cons -- please do so. You are under heavy load.
Again... I'm sorry you deal in this. But it's up to you to restore order to your universe. Hang in there!