Navigating the new waters as mono
Hi, I just joined this forum and am so glad to have a community to talk to. I have been with my life-partner for 16 years and we have one son, 10. We've always lived a mono life, though I consented to a threesome just for the experience over a decade ago, and he came clean this year about several intimate occasions over the last 16 years.
We have a lot of friends who would probably say they are poly and he has wanted to explore this for a long time. He has complained about feeling intense shame at his attraction to other women. I have often judged it and still wonder if there is some addiction or unconscious ego-gratifying going on (he has other addictions and was abused as a child. I'm pretty sure he has some deep beliefs about his self-worth).
A year ago, in couples therapy, I softened around the subject and believed I had at least a little willingness to watch him explore without leaving the relationship myself. Our relationship was doing well throughout therapy and for months after.
His first other was very mono. After several months of mostly an emotional relationship, she expressed the desire to be married to him. She became his confidant and our relationship became dark and we began to separate emotionally and intimately. He eventually explained to her that he loved her but that he wasn't going to leave his family, that he needed to be successful with me, she separated completely and hasn't made but necessary contact since - all or nothing (they have business dealings together), and I understand this condition well. We live in a very small town, and the whole relationship was painful and confusing to all of us, and did not support the intentions we as a primary, committed couple had.
Within hours of their separation, our relationship again began to flourish and has been so and deepening ever since...we processed for days and days about what we had learned and how grateful we were that our relationship and family survived.
We met another woman very recently at a party. He and she hit it off right away, and hooked up a few days later. Our agreements and intentions were very clear, no sex. He called the next day (I didn't know he was with her - he was out of town for work) and they had had unprotected sex. Needless to say, I was very disappointed, scared for my health (he had just met her, didn't know more than a first and last name...) more processing ensued, more clarification and re-commitment of our agreements (which were equally made by him), lots of intense love-making, and a feeling of deep commitment by him.
This morning, I knew he might be seeing her again tonight. They have communicated and I perceive an attachment forming. Our last conversation was when he pulled up to her house for dinner and we agreed that no matter what would happen (he wasn't feeling romantic and didn't know whether he would stay or not), he would call to say goodnight (again, we are a family and we felt it would be best to stay with what we normally do when he is away...mainly for our son). He didn't call. Perhaps I am looking for an excuse to be sad. After having unprotected sex only a week ago, breaking our agreement, I found myself not trusting but open to the idea that we could heal it. I thought I was over it. I know forgetting to call is a very small thing, yet I feel forgotten and invisible, and have a huge lack of trust.
I have worked on the issues of fear of loss, self-worth etc...so I don't feel sick to my stomach or desperate, but I do feel very disappointed and sad. My son didn't notice dad didn't call, by the way, so this really is my issue. I guess I didn't realize I counted on him doing what he said he would do. Perhaps it was a set-up so that I could nail him, I don't know. I have no room in my life for denial, so I am looking at it all in the light.
Writing this post is therapeutic and if anyone reads it and has any thoughts, I would love to read them. It seems like such a small thing, but it feels paramount. Oh, my birthday is in two days...so I'm watching the victim in me try to scream cause!
Last edited by Aria; 12-07-2010 at 10:46 AM.
Reason: subject didn't do it for me but I realize I can't change it