**I want to clarify one thing before I post my reply - I am mono, my husband is poly. However, I am free to have a relationship outside of our marriage if I choose to. At this time, I choose not to (unless we go swing together.) Prior to this past year, my husband was mono. He met and fell in love with someone at work - which has led us to research this and discover polyamory - which he can identify with. If things don't work out between them - we will go back to have a monogamous marriage.**
suadade - your experiences are definitely worth alot - thanks for sharing. It helps to feel not so alone when you see that there are other people in the same situation who have found a way to make it worth. I think it helps my husband to understand me when he hears how other people have dealt with this. So thank you.
ak2381 - isn't it great to realize that you are not alone? Maybe we can help each other through the ups and downs? As I said earlier - DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION. I have wanted to give up, I have told him I wanted a divorce, I have taken off my wedding rings - - - then I realized how much more painful that would be. I cannot and will not give up my marriage, my husband, my best friend, my lover, my childrens father, my life, my everything! He means the world to me and my world would be nothing without him. So I have to learn this new way of thinking. I grew up with the societal expectations and definitions of marriage. Its hard to think any other way. But I'm trying.
I think a lot of my negative emotions come from the fact that I sometimes feel like she is trying to take him from me. That the 19 years of ups and downs, good times, bad times and horrible times now mean nothing. The sex is one thing - what gets me really worried, upset and jealous is the intimacy between them. It hurts knowing that they are learning things about each other. That things I only knew before, she now knows. It hurts to picture them laying in bed and him sharing personal and intimate things with her. I hate that she thinks she knows him as well as I do - like the 19 years are insignificant. I hate that they have the little inside jokes, secrets, and special places together. That is what hurts me more than anything. Those are the things I am trying to work through on the way to my goal of compersion. It's been extremely difficult though!
I think it would be one thing if when I meet my husband 18 years ago that he told me he was poly. Because then I would have had the opportunity to make the decision myself if this is something I can learn to understand and accept. That didn't happen - so I am now left to reevaluate my marriage. To accept that my marriage is different than I thought it was. Sure we still have love, committment etc - but I know have to accept to understand that my husband has a girlfriend - that isn't so easy. I feel like I don't have a choice - I have to either end my marriage or learn to accept this. Obviously I have chosen the latter - but it's a process of ups and downs. I am seeing a counselor (so are they, seperately) I am reading everything I can get my hands on and I am here, trying to learn from those who have been there, done that.
My husband and I had a big talk last night. We are trying to communicate, communicate, communicate. It was a nice talk. Until he brought up that the girlfriend wants more of a committment from him. She wants to start meeting his family and friends. I am not ok with this. I am still trying to figure this all out and I am not ready for that next step. Neither is he really. He feels like she is rushing things. This is where I feel like she forgets I am here, that what they do does affect me. I don't really understand where she thinks this is going. He is married, she is married, we all have kids, this isn't going to be a communal thing. This is limited to some extent. She wants more and more and that is where I am starting to feel resentment again. I understand that relationships are fluid - and I am trying to keep that in mind. However, this is a huge step that can and will affect him and I for the rest of our lives. Once we tell people, we can't take it back. Their opinions of him and I will forever be changed - if she sticks around or not. One of our family members already knows and they didn't take it well, they don't understand it and they will never accept her. It's a very touchy subject. I do understand that she is not a monster, that she does have feelings and needs too - but I don't think she is being realistic and I don't think she realizes how this will affect us.
Sorry for rambling - sometimes just getting this all out, helps.
Thanks - Kat