dagypsy - I felt the same way you did when this started with me and my husband. I do understand your hurt and anger - I've experienced it. It has taken me a really long time to understand and accept this. I have told my husband again and again how selfish he was being and how much his selfishness was hurting me. I am not just sitting back and playing the victim. I love my husband, his love for me is stronger than ever, and I have no concerns (anymore) that he will leave me. If I gave up (which I have wanted to do again again) my life would be much, much worse. What would I gain by getting divorced? Nothing. It would be emotionally unbearable and it would hurt our children. He is my best friend and I don't want to lose him. I made the decision to stay in my marriage, to work towards acceptance and understanding and to give my husband the freedom to explore this other relationship. I am in no way being forced. And should his relationship with his girlfriend end - then there will be no others. He does not feel like he NEEDS to have other relationships to be happy. What happened was that he fell in love with someone he has known for 5 years. He didn't go searching for her. It happened and I love him enough to let him be who he is at this point in our marriage. We are not the same people we were when we met 19 years ago. People evolve and change. Marriages evolve and change.
My husband still loves me, is still committed to me and our children. He comes home everynight. He helps around the house (more than a lot of men I know.). He takes the time to let me know that I am loved. He NEVER misses a family event, our sons games, our daughters recitals. He is doing the best he can to keep our marriage and our homelife unchanged. He is typically with her when either: I'm at work, when he should be at work (he'll occaisonally take a day off here and there to see her,) or after work when I am home sleeping. He does his best to make sure he is not choosing time with her over time with me and our kids. Also - he needs her AND I to be happy. If I left him - his relationship with her would probably end. If they split up - then he will be hurt and it will have an impact on our marriage that we would work on together.
He wants me to be happy. If I wanted to sleep with someone else or wanted a boyfriend - he is ok with that. This isn't all about him. I simply choose not to at this time.
dagypsy - you have to make this decision for yourself. I think it is great that you are trying to understand this lifestyle. A lot of women wouldn't even bother. You have to decide if you would be happier staying in your relationship and learning acceptance or ending your relationship. The hurt and pain this has caused me is nothing compared to how I would feel if I lost him.
I wish you luck - I know it's not easy.