Thank you Quath, for your thoughts andd for replying to my post. I like your analogy. I have told him thank you for his honesty when ccoming home and letting me know who he was with andd a general overview of what happened. And that it ddoes hurt a litte and make me feel not so good inside, but that i am working through those feelings etc.
We are both working a lot and have kids and there isnt as much time available to be together as we would like, but a month or two ago we startedd to make sure we had a date night together every other Wednesday, which has been really nice.
Thank you too for this; "His progress and yours do not have to be linked. He may be measuring "success" as getting laid while you may measure it as getting emotionally attached to someone." Good for me to think about.
So, i find it interesting, and really positive, that by me just posting my OP has really helped. We made time to have a heart to heart last night after the kids went to bed, and it was really good, insightful.
By my writing all of the above in the OP down, i was able to clarify and define my thoughts and feelings on the matter. It enabled me to be able to talk to DH openly, deeply, honestly, cohesively. I had a goal in the conversation and feel like we achieved it. I know there is a long way to go but we made such great progress. We know we still love eachother. He admits that his actions have partially stemmed from a place of hurt, containing elements of revenge.
A big part of why he never wanted an open relationship is because we live in a small community, and he has a prominent family, and he doesnt want for us to be known as having an unusual relationship. I can totally understand where he is coming from, but also feel there must be ways to deal with that issue. Discretion, and letting others think what they will, they arent us. Let us evolve!
He also opened up about the fact he felt like he never got to sow his wild oats, never was young and partied and went out and had fun NSA sex. he is a quiet, shy Capricorn and this makes sense. He is becoming more confident, and I feel I have had a big part in that. Now he is more confident to make a move on a girl, chatting and dancing etc.
He said last night, "well, maybe we should try an open relationship". I wish this had come about in a slightly different way, but am glad it has come about. I need to talk to him to find out if he feels coerced, pushed, but because this has been over several months and he has enjoyed the benefits of seeing others, i think he is coming from a place where he truly wants to, not just because i want to.
We reaffirmed our deep affections for eachother, what a great team we are, how we love our kids, lives, place where we live, what we've built together....
We spoke this morning, and agreed to slow things down. To be more considerate of eachother, the other persons feeling etc. A great pressure has lifted