Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
Trust you to what? Tell the truth? Stop having feelings for other people? Trust you not to break her heart by announcing every time you meet a new hottie in the office?
I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I don't tell myself about all the hotties I meet at the office or the women I have feelings for. I was saying I tell her simple things like, "Hey, Jenny at work today told me about this thing that might help our son with that problem." And her response is, "Who is Jenny, why is she talking about the personal details of our lives with you? Is she pretty? Do you want to sleep with her?" "Why is Mary telling inside jokes to you on facebook? She must like you. Stay away from that girl." It's the sort of treatment I got after I was unfaithful, which is understandable at the time. But this new revaluation about myself has put her back in that place even though I tell her I would never do it again, unless we had decided together to do it and had established boundaries.
She is extremely hurt that I would sleep with other women or have relationships with other women if she let me. She doesn't understand that someone could feel that way and still love her completely.
As for talking about the attractiveness of other women, I do on occasion tell her I think another woman is attractive. I don't think that has anything to do with being poly or swinging though. Everybody finds other people attractive. Most people at least occasionally fantasize about what it would like to be with another person. Our relationship used to be one that I looked down on the floor whenever I walked by a pretty girl for fear that she would become jealous or catch me looking. It's come a long way. She still doesn't want to hear that I fantasized about being with someone else, but she is OK with the fact that I do, and is OK with me saying I am attracted to someone. I have obviously given her the right to tell me if she has and I feel closer to her ever time she shares.
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
That intimacy only comes if both people are on board. If one person is being dragged by their hair into an arrangement they're not comfortable with, it's guaranteed not to build any kind of intimacy.
Trust and intimacy aren't just about honesty and telling the truth. They're about feeling safe, having confidence that your partner won't do something that hurts you, that they'll honour the agreements and commitments they've made. Dropping the bomb that you're not monogamy-inclined breaks all of that, whether you intended it or not. It may be a burden off your shoulders to get that secret off your chest, but all you've done is thrown the burden onto her.
By the sounds of it, she will not agree to an open marriage. So you have two choices: suppress your poly inclinations and learn to be satisfied with monogamy, or end the marriage and begin a poly lifestyle. Staying married to her while remaining on the edge of poly is clearly hurting her and affecting her ability to trust you.
Suppressing who I am is no longer an option. I did that for far too long. I think it is what led us to the place we are in our marriage to begin with. I am however, content being monogamous. I just won't lie anymore about who I am. I am a poly person who is choosing to remain in a monogamous relationship out of love for the person I am with and my children.
And I don't think dropping a bomb that I am not monogamy inclined breaks any vows to her any more than saying I was gay would break a vow to her. When I cheated on her I broke our vows. I find a huge distinction there. But obviously y'all are more experienced at this stuff than I am. And I'm certainly understanding of the fact that this will all take time for her to process.
I think it's the sort of thing that would almost be easier for people if their spouse said, I'm gay, but I want to stay with you because I love you. At least being gay is more socially acceptable than being poly. Any movie you ever see about poly people or swingers and such in mainstream media makes it look like it's just a giant cautionary tale where people fell into "temptation" and paid the price for it at the end.
One movie I liked that didn't seem to have massive negative connotations for a semi poly type relationship was Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She chose at the end not to have that kind of relationship anymore, but seemed satisfied that she did experience it just once. Maybe you could guide me toward something else we could watch together that helps her understand where I am coming from more. At least something that helps her see my inclinations make me lover her no less than any other man could love her.