Originally Posted by BDaemon
I have to ask how this was broached. Were you mono before and after you two talked and rebuilt trust, did you see things differently and see poly differently overall?
I kind of have been through what Tigger is describing myself, and fairly recently. I was the secret and he is married. We didn't get too far into things before we agreed we had to back off in order to figure out how we can go forward and it NOT have to be a secret (something I'd wanted from the start because I honestly like his wife and want them to be able to stay married). However the problem lies in how to broach the subject, when the two of us are completely new to the idea of a poly situation and have no idea how to even approach his wife that won't ruin things for them.
Hence why I ask. I detest the idea of sneaking around and constantly walking on eggshells (to say nothing of the damage I know it can cause), but when you've found someone you know you want to spend the rest of your life with....what approach is actually the "right" one?
I'm sorry but if you seriously want to know which approach is the right one, I would say that the right thing to do is to leave well alone and stop kidding yourself. If he is married and he is still with his wife, he is there because that's where he chooses to be. If he is seeing you without her knowledge he is cheating on the person that he chose to marry. He may honestly think he loves you, but even so if he is prepared to treat his wife like that, sooner or later he will treat you like that too. If he wants to open up his relationship this is not the way to do it, I don't have any facts and figures but this way will cause hurt to all concerned and it probably has a very slim chance of working out as you would like.
To answer your question, no we were not poly before. I didn't even know there was such a thing at the time. You use the phrase "after you talked and rebuilt trust" as if it was just a matter of talking it through and getting over it - it isn't! It's a very slow painful process and it will probably never be possible to regain the degree of trust that once existed. In our case I knew why he cheated (but I'm not excusing his behaviour) and to be fair to him he had tried to talk to me about the issue before, but none of that makes it okay to lie to me and betray my trust.
At the time he was begging forgiveness and promising that he would never do it again. It was me that encouraged him to get back with her and he had a hard time with that idea at first. It took a while before they got back together and it was rocky to begin with. My reason at the time was mostly gut instinct, it is very hard to explain it logically. I knew that she met a need that I did not, and I knew it was wrong to ask him to deny that aspect of himself. It works very well now, but I think a lot of the credit for that is down to the fact that the other woman and I get on well and we have become very close, when issues arise we deal with them together. I don't know, but I suspect that our situation is fairly unusual, my guess is that few relationships would survive in the way that ours has.