It seems to me very interesting when people get so wrapped up in monogamy that they forget that it is possible to follow your own rules within it also, just like poly.
There is no reason that having emotional affairs should be a bad thing if it makes us feel alive and vital. There is no reason that we can't go out and have a good time on our own with out partners to escort us as if we are some how unable to handle things on our own... Mono and I have had MANY conversations about this along the way and it has really helped him realize that just because I go out dancing and get drunk does not mean I can't handle myself or situations that come up... or that I am going to take someone home or be taken home!
I finds I ironic that he is going around town fucking and messing around with women yet he doesn't want people to think that you have an unusual relationship! Jeezuz. That to me is unusual... woman stays at home while her husband goes out a fucking.... does the town know you are broken up. Is that what makes it okay? Sorry, it's my thing, but it alarms me when men say they don't want something different and yet they are doing whatever they want and don't see that as unusual/different/bizarre whatever... as if they have the monopoly on what a relationship should look like, what their relationship should look like!
I came from a small town, what am I thinking! When I went back for my reunion a few years back it seemed like everyone was divorced, separated, having affairs, cheated regularly... perhaps that is normal where you are from.... THAT is what makes me feel sick when others have sex, the deceit, the casualness of it that is just to cover other insecurities and hurt... it makes me feel sick because it doesn't add up to good stuff in the long run. Having been through all that, the sick feeling comes from my own triggers and the emotions that come with it. Not putting anything on you, but for what it's worth? It might be helpful in letting you know what I have learned about myself. Also I feel sick when people have sex without loving one another because I don't get it. I have sex because of love.
It sounds like in separating that freed you both up to and open relationship anyways... is that not what you have been doing? You are still living together, still sleeping together, still intimate and love each other. You are already open... it doesn't take much more thought than what you have gone through already, except that you can freely love each other and bond over your experiences rather than see them as separate from each other.
I don't get why sleeping with three people would even up the score towards the emotional affair you had.... that seems way off to me and completely irrelevant. The fact that he didn't get to sow his wild oats makes way more sense. I would hate to think he is laying a guilt trip on you by saying that.... totally unfair. You should never feel guilty for loving another. No one should make you feel guilty and certainly no one should even up the score...
By the way, you did yourself a world of favours by not engaging that guy in an affair.... cheaters and everything that comes with them, are nothing but a nightmare by the end. the sex and love part are all fake and a cover up for their own bullshit. I feel for the guy, but really, being intimately involved with you would never solve anything and only make things worse.
I think if you ever really decide to have a poly relationship... or even the Open one you have decided to now have, you will need to KEEP boundaries you have. They are there for a reason and I would think by the fact that he has broken agreements that you would be very cautious and hurt now. He hasn't made a good start. He's got some proving to do and some making up for that. In our relationship the consequences are stepping waaaay back for a bit among other things... hopefully by the fact that you have to use condoms now will help him realize the seriousness of breaking boundaries... the family friend though? That is a tough one.
I would be furious and would come up with all kinds of ways to make that right. For me I just close off, no contact with me for a bit until I'm over it and by then they usually are very sorry... cold shoulder kind of thing. I never forget though and it will come up over and over for a very long time. That usually means that boundaries are not broken...I annoy my partners into submission.
The thing with boundaries is that both parties have given something in order to make them work. If I think that what I have given is not respected then there is hell to pay.
It sounds like a very good idea to go slowly. I don't think your man has a clue at the moment what poly is, so it's a good thing you are thinking more Open at this point. Poly is about what you were feeling, love and closeness, attachment, desire to know someone....this to me is love. Generally speaking being Open means there is a casualness to your relationships; having sex when you feel like it, when the desire arises with someone you find hot, or are warmed to them in the moment; having the opportunity to do whatever, whenever (within reason sometimes).
It might be a good conversation to discover what your common goals are and what goals aren't common as it sounds like the two of you are differing on many levels.
I hope you and hubby are doing some reading on here and elsewhere. There is a lot to learn and a lot to take in... bottom line though? You sound like you are getting somewhere and are on a journey that is positive. Some stumbles, but that is to be expected. Keep at it!
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Last edited by redpepper; 07-10-2010 at 05:28 PM.