brand new to this and hurting
Hello. I am researching polyamory at the request of my husband. He has fallen in love with a much younger woman (he is 44, I am 37, she is 24). We agree that we are still in love and want to stay together regardless of what happens with her, but he has asked me to be open to letting him have this relationship, and I am struggling so hard with it. My heart is broken and I've become badly depressed; am barely eating or sleeping and have lost interest in everything I used to love. This was a complete shock; I had thought our marriage was great, though now I see that he had unmet needs he was not expressing. So we are going to work on the problems in our marriage, but I still feel rejected and less-loved, because he is very much in love with her and can't let go of that.
They have been on several dates and spent one night together, with my permission, which to me was like cutting off a limb - probably the hardest thing I've ever done. There has been no sex so far, only kissing and cuddling, but to me this is just as painful. I've met her twice now - once shortly before they had the night together, which I insisted on because I didn't think I could tolerate it otherwise. Then last weekend she came over for a more extended time and I got to spend several hours alone with her. We both came to like each other very much and want to be friends. She reassured me that she had no intention of displacing me. But the times when she and my husband were alone together were absolute torture; I felt like I was going mad from jealousy and pain.
I guess my question is, is there any hope that I could come to accept this situation? My husband believes this could be good for me, that she could become a good friend to me and all of our lives would be enriched. There's also the chance that she and I could become involved as well - she is bi, and I have had crushes on girls in the past, though no actual experience. My feelings are unbelievably confused. Part of me sees this as a potentially wonderful adventure, and it is also something that I would like to do as a gift of love for my husband. But most of me is in unspeakable pain. Have you seen situations like this where the initially hurt/reluctant partner was able to grow and eventually thrive in a poly situation? What can I do to deal with the pain and open my heart to this kind of love?
I should add that my husband has said that I'm free to see other people, but I have absolutely no interest in this. The only other person I could imagine getting involved with is her, but I wonder if this is merely obsession - I have this intense need to know her, to know just who it is he fell in love with, to have the same experience even. Probably this is not healthy.
All this is complicated by the fact that she has just moved a great distance away. But she may move back to this area in a year or so, and will definitely be back for holidays and vacations, and will want to see my husband then. I feel like the distance will actually make it harder - instead of this getting resolved one way or the other, there will be this passionate email correspondence and this will remain a future potentiality for a very long time, which I don't know if I can deal with.
I'm corresponding with her also, so that we can get to know each other better. She does know that this is extremely painful for me but is so much in love with my husband that it may be impossible for her to let go of him.
I hope this was halfway coherent; I'm so unhinged with pain and confusion that I fear it might not be. Thank you in advance for any advice or insight you can provide.
Last edited by Rachelina; 09-05-2010 at 12:02 AM.