Originally Posted by polyexplorer
However my wife sensed that for the first time I was opening myself up to another female in a way that I had never allowed in the past due to an upbringing that assumed monogamy was the only appropriate relational status.
Not quite sure what you mean here.
My wife started to feel enormous pain about this and kept telling me that she felt like our marriage was a threesome.
BTDT. First let me say, I am still in a mono relationship for the moment, but it was my husband's deep friendship with another lady that brought me here. We are also from a very conservative religous background. I truely believe that my husband (and myself) would be much happier if neither of us had these absolute monogamous expectations for our marriage and relationships. He is not yet at the point where he can shift his thinking away from church teachings, but I have hope.
We have a dear friend that my husband met nearly 10 years ago. They quickly became almost inseperable. They were both very involved in the Boy Scouts and would volunteer for stuff together. It took me a long time to get comfortable accepting her as MY friend and in truth, she isn't one I would have picked out on my own. The biggest problems for me was that my husband would just invite her and her family on any family outing we had planned without consulting me first. I began to feel that either my husband doesn't want to go with me or he just can stand to go without her, either way it was a serious stomp on my self-esteem. I really began to resent the fact that if I wanted just my family, I would litteraly have to say, "this is just for the 4 of us". The last straw for me was when I found out that he was sharing personal details about our relationship with her. To me this was a complete betrayal.
My husband and I had a looong conversation about those two points and things have been better. When I finally wasn't feeling threatened about my relationship, and my husband made a point to spend time with me and the kids without her things improved. I don't get jealous of their relationship any longer and know that if she is there, someone is watching out for him. Their relationship is non-sexual and there is no way that will change (even if he wanted it to).
In addition to a few things I thought my husband was neglecting, the biggest change had to come from me. It was not an easy process nor quick. Like I said, we have know her for 10 years and it has only been in the last 2-3 years that I have been able to accept things and start to change my way of viewing marriage, sex and relationships.
What are you doing to make your wife feel special when "J" is around? What is making your wife feel threatened? If she is willing to come here, it could be a great help for her to understand where your are comming from. I have gained so much VALUABLE information to use in my own currently mono married life, that I just didn't get from other sources (especially the religous ones). The people here seem to truely be focused on helping relationships work (period).