Broken rules, ill-communication, feelings of inadequacy
My wife and I recently decided to explore our sexuality more and opened ourselves up to other partners - we have done this in the past, but wound up hurting each other. With the growth we've experienced in the years since, the comfort we have with each other, and confidence we have in ourselves, we decided that we could overcome the obstacles that hindered our polyamorous explorations before.
Her work schedule is very intense now, so our son and I took a trip (over a month with family out of town) since we wouldn't really see her anyway. It was only a week or two since I left town when she took her first new lover in a long time. The news excited me, though I was a little caught off-guard by the intensity and length of their interaction... they stayed out late, had many drinks, and banged pretty much all-night long, and then again the next morning before she left for work. So, already there are some broken rules - mostly HER rules - they didn't use a condom, he stayed over (not EXPRESSLY forbidden, but something that we viewed as further down the line, and as a maybe), and it was a weeknight - she hardly slept. Also, she went to sleep without calling me to say goodnight. That right there got me worried, though she insisted I have nothing to worry about - she loves me and wants to be with me as much as ever, and is just exploring something new... that I have no reason to feel inadequate, that I'm "better endowed" than him (not that this really makes a difference to me), and she told me that while they had very good sex, that I was still tops. She was with him again the very next night, and again, not the night directly after, but the night after that. They saw each other numerous times since, and he stayed the night again in our home once or twice more. Their lovemaking sessions continued to be lengthy, involved, passionate, and rough, too. She used words to describe him like "vigorous, dominant, takes what he wants, virile, persistent, extremely driven", etc. This continued to make me feel a little uneasy... More facts came out that bothered me a little, and each time I thought I had completely processed everything and was 100% ok, there was something new that I found out and threw me for a loop, and I had to process all over again. Apparently he slaps her (in the face) and she likes it (I tried that once in bed and that ended badly), and there are some other things in a similar vane that she's never enjoyed before him. She insisted that it wasn't "him" that made her enjoy it, but the "way he did it, and his attitude." I also found out that he was on cocaine the first night they were together (no drugs for anyone involved, another of her rules), and then later on I found out he was on steroids, which triggered an "Aha!" moment for me, and further contributed to my own building feelings of inadequacy.
She recently came out here for a visit (travelling nearby for work the next week, so took a weekend with myself and our son), and the first two nights were good - we had very good sex, and even got a hotel room for a night for a romantic getaway, with the boy at my folks' house. The third day, her story started to change a bit - she owned up to what I suspected all along - that her lover IS superior to me in the bedroom (though she says only by a small margin)... not something that in and of itself would bother me - I don't need to feel superior to everyone in the world to feel good about myself, and I know there are many far superior lovers out there to me. This made me question everything else we've talked about, and brought all my other worries and concerns out again. When it all adds up, I feel emasculated - he's physically larger than I am (not in all ways though, and he's chunkier), a better lover, on drugs that GREATLY improve ones sexual prowess (and that she'd kill me if I were to do), he's reduced her inhibitions more than I was able to, she's broken her own rules, and she doesn't like it when I do the same things he does - she says it's because I don't do it the same way, but I have to wonder if the difference is not the technique but the man. This all came to a head Sunday night - I was very rough and dominant in bed, and she said she felt "trashed" afterwards... I thought I was giving her what she wanted. Afterwards, she was very upset, and I was very upset, and we had a big fight and discussion about all of these issues. It really sucked to end the visit on such a bad note. She said she felt like she was being interrogated, and that I was blowing things totally out of proportion. She may be right.
We've talked since, at length, and I've discovered that I had some creeping feelings of inadequacy before all this began, though maybe I buried them. I haven't been feeling 100%, sexually lately either, which contributes to it. I've been overtraining in the gym, and I'm getting older too (30 now), and I'm feeling the effects of my own masculinity beginning to wane. She insists that I have nothing to worry about - no need to feel inadequate, that I'm a very good lover, and that she loves me very much, that it's just fun and new, NSA sex with her lover. She just wants me to fuck her brains out this weekend when she comes back for a visit, and wants to see her lover from time to time when we're all back at home again. I worry because if she felt the need to hide the truth about his superior skillset, what else is she hiding? I've asked myself what she'd have to gain by hiding anything from me, and the answer I've come up with is freedom from guilt when she's with him - that's a powerful motivator. She's feeling hurt because my confidence has taken a blow, and she feels like its her fault - though it certainly is not! I have zero jealously over her receiving pleasure from another man, in fact, it turns me on to see her so sexually liberated. It's the little things that added up one after another that brought me down, and the one big thing, in my mind, the fact that she hid something from me - our primary rule is to be completely open and honest with each other about everything. ...she thinks she was in denial about it, and that's why she didn't tell me - a plausible explanation.
I'm probably blowing everything out of proportion - this has been a mostly positive experience - in many ways we've been communicating BETTER than before, and I'm glad that these feelings have been dragged to the surface so that we're both aware of them, which can't be bad. The tough part now is overcoming them without resorting to drugs. My confidence IS recovering, and my mojo is on its way back up... I've met a new lover myself, more recently than my wife, and we have a passionate connection... but she's in a tough situation (and I'm staying with my parents) so we dont' get together much. The NRE from that is a big help, to be sure. I guess I'm just looking for support and reassurance - and a new set of eyes on these circumstances to tell me whether I should be worried or not.
Sorry to post all this here and not in the "introduction" forum - this seemed like a more appropriate place to air all of this out.