I have let him read these posts.
In discussing some of this with him, we are in agreement that to have a good chance of success, we do need to give more acknowledgment to the people we each see. So here we go, another couple decides to let go of the strict rules and try poly!
He feels adamant that he has not "fallen' for "S". He is fond of her, enjoys her company and that she is very aware of how important we are to each other and thinks very highly of me. I felt this from her too. We were friends with her before all this. He can see that his feelings for her were likely to grow since we all got on before any intimacy was brought into it. I think what he, me, they were feeling was natural.
From this we both see where much of the problems could have been avoided by keeping who we see more in the loop of what we ask of each other.
Had I given time to discussing my feelings with them both or prioritized the time I devoted to my relationship on the same level I gave my project, I really feel we would have had a much better result.
Had he kept to his own limitations of tolerance for alcohol rather than "keeping up" with others, he would have been more mindful of calling when plans change and not getting caught thinking with the other head at a time when he had agreements to keep with me. To say he was outright dishonest I think is a bit unfair. He at no point lied to me about the time he spent with her. He is however very guilty of not living up to his word and resorting to honesty after the fact.
"S" was pretty pissed about getting caught in the splash of our blow up and has removed herself from the picture to let us sort things out. I'm not fond of her drinking style, but beyond that the girl is respectful and that is rare. I think I was wrong and even perhaps, motivated by ego, intentionally not keeping her aware of the concerns my husband and I discussed. How awful of me now that I think of it! I didn't want to pay her that respect in return......I think I was in fear of placing what I perceived as a level of importance on outside partners that I initially expected only my husband and I to pay to each other. He and I left her feeling like she was a second class citizen in our attempt to assert our unity. Totally unfair.
To my end of things, I have been seeing "J" casually for a couple months. He is working in a city near ours for the next month if not two. He lives in our city otherwise. Husband would like to meet him, reflective of what we've been discussing, and I do think they will like each other. I am hopeful. "J" has some experience with this lifestyle so I think he will be comfortable coming over for an evening.
I also think I should sit down with "S" and tell her what I thought I could put off prior to all this. Some of why I stopped being sexually interested in her over may be alterable. I was at one point and for many years involved with an alcoholic so her drinking concerns me and eats at the attraction. As well, dreadlocks can smell just awful when they are not well cared for. I know, shallow, but it was a problem. She also has a roomate she is occasionally intimate with. They both refer to each other as "wife" but it is somewhat in jest? from what "S" conveys. What I find unsettling is that "S" finds introducing others to this woman to be distressing. I'm not understanding what her fear with that is and it throws up red flags to me.
My husband is okay with me talking to "S" and seeing if things can be mended, but he did not ask it of me or even bring it up. Should "S" be no longer interested or our conversation doesn't alleviate some of the concern, he will not be put out about it.
This site has been really helpful. I lurked through many stories since finding it and some of what others shared has been enlightening. It got me thinking about the friends we consider to be family and how we have been capable of accepting them and letting them know how important they are to us. Being this way with them not only makes them feel good, it makes me feel good to do it. It certainly doesn't make me feel our relationship is threatened by doing so. I think I can incorporate some of that into people we are sexually intimate with, perhaps even if they are his partner sexually and only my friend. He feels he can give this a shot with someone I see as well.