Thank you for sharing your story with us, WaterWolf. I'm a new member on this group and just went through a somewhat similar experience, when my wife wanted to add another person to our marriage and turn our mono relationship into a poly vee. I felt hurt, betrayed, jealous, angry... all of the above, and I didn't see any end in sight.
My first step was to understand what it means to be poly in the first place. Did lots of research and reading articles on the web, and joined various support groups. Some of them that were particularly useful to me were:
You may have read through many or most of these links already. I found them all to be very useful in my journey to understand how someone could love more than one person at a time, and what it meant to me as the mono in the relationship. They helped me feel happy for my wife (compersion), but didn't in themselves help me get through my jealousy.
To get over my jealousy, I had to deeply explore all of my emotions, recognize that I can't change my wife (who recently discovered she's bi and poly... that's who she honestly is), but I do have power over my own life. If I couldn't handle being in a poly relationship, then I could get a divorce. I had to feel comfortable with that option, that it wouldn't be a personal failure but rather a recognition of incompatible lifestyles, and we would have remained best friends. On the other hand, if I ended up liking the poly relationship (as I did), then we could even consider growing it more over time. Either way, I had to make sure that I didn't stay in the relationship simply because I felt obligated, but rather made my choice willingly.
The paper "14 Steps to Opening a Monogamous Relationship"
gives a lot of sound advice on how to first establish a poly relationship. I wish we followed it ourselves. We kind of botched the process, took everything too fast, and lots of mistakes were made. Fortunately for us, all three of us continually talked through everything. Communicate, communicate, communicate... without that, it wouldn't have worked out, and I would have remained very jealous and upset at the OSO.
Two very sound pieces of advise in this article were:
- "Giving a reluctant partner enough time to adjust is important" and taking baby steps.
- "Experiencing the feelings that come up when you see someone. It can't be done very well in a vacuum." In other words, I couldn't completely understand how a poly relationship could work until we actually gave it a try and went through the process. And honestly, it could have swung the other way, to not working out at all... I couldn't predict which way it would go at the time.
I think that's really all I can say on the topic. Honestly, I'm so new to being poly that I'm barely qualified to comment on it yet. But I can definitely feel for you, and I hope and pray that you'll work through all your emotions with FlameKat and build a better, stronger relationship together in the process. Just keep talking with each other, as you are right now.