Yes, what Fitchick said.
Do me a favour, and remind him how 'unpoly' it is to pressure the ones you love.
Are you ready for some bluntness ? It is blunt, but I deliver with a warm hand,...
I haven`t ever seen a poly relationship that starts out from cheating, end up in a 'happily ever after'. Not if it`s with the person they cheated with.
It appears to be a uphill battle. Poly is a enormous retooling of everything we have been taught. It is difficult, even if you are prepared, and on the up-and-up. People walking into this fairly, with all parties living in truth, will still have a roller-coaster ride. I can`t see how a relationship built on a fair distribution of rights, overcomes the shock of being cheated on, and learn to be poly simultaneously.
Those that cheat, first have to take a step back, and fix their exsisting relationship. Fix that hole in their primary relationship, that allowed for an affair in the first place.
Then, worry about the poly one. Real love, will always be there. Some way, somehow.
A lot of cheaters fall in love, and are terrified of losing their loved ones. They get determined to keep both relationships. They are prepared to move heaven and hell,...ANYTHING,..but to lose one or the other.
Problem is, you can throw as much water into a bucket as you want,..but if there is even a small hole in the bucket,..all that beautiful water, will still slip away.
The flip-side is,...none of us ever know, until we try. It might be a neccesary pain of life. To try, against the odds. Otherwise forever wonder. I am not sure, but that could very well be the case.
Back to you :
Don`t be afraid to ask for what you need. The time to heal, in YOUR own positive way. Your spouse may be a excellent spouse in every other way. Your spouse may of moved mountains for you at various points in life. That said, your spouse is fibbing to themself, when he/she says, that they lied to you,..in order to protect you.
Lying and cheating, is always cowardly. Wether for grandios reasons or not. It`s the cowards way out, of dealing with a tough reality. Hurt is a part of life. Wanting to 'protect' your spouse may be natural, but treating someone you love with true respect, is of the utmost importance.
So,..that said, make sure your spouse is ready to get real with you, before you agree to open up to anything. I think right now you are confused, and overwhelmed. It may feel 'nicer' to just agree, so that the horrible nightmare passes. DON`T force yourself to get past something you aren`t ready to. It will surely bite you in the ass later on if you do.
Good luck. Keep reading. Knowledge is power.
(P.S.- If there are people on this forum, who started out cheating, and stayed long term, happily ever after with both their spouse, and their co-cheater, please give this lady some positive examples. )