I am Polyamorous. I dislike casual sexual encounters. You are right - this new group of people sounds a bit more like swingers, though many of them call themselves poly. the popular phrase is 'friends with benefits'. My partner used to feel more like I do: we only had serious relationships with others. He has explained to me that we had that rule when we were younger, in order to protect ourselves physically and mentally, but now that we're dealing with people in their 30s and 40s who are safe and generally mature, it's not the same issue. I'm not sure I'm explaining that point as rationally as he makes it sound, because I still disagree with it. Especially in light of what has just happened.
Also, I completely botched the 'she's married and not available for that' comment. I was reacting to what YGirl was saying when she said it sounded like they deserved each other. I was thinking, 'well she can't run off with my partner and go be rotten bastards together because she's married and is going to keep her husband primary'.
I'm sorry that I'm doing a poor job of explaining everything. My head is so clouded and confused right now. He and I have done a lot of talking and there is so much surfacing that it's startling. Damage he did to our relationship, damage I did to our relationship .... I'm not sure we'll survive but we aren't going down easy. There are a lot of issues to overcome, and lifestyle disagreements. I thought it was easy sailing after we'd made our original rules--tweaked them here and there over the years--but I don't want him to become a swinger, and I think he's feeling trapped and a need to sow his wild oats (not just sex, but crazy parties and drugs and acting foolish). That makes me really sad and feeling inadequate.
He says he feels lost and doesn't know who he is anymore, so I guess if he's going through some iteration of a mid-life crisis, that would explain wanting to do something drastic. He's helped me through my crisis; I'd like to help him through his, but I don't know where to start. I guess that depends on whether he thinks he still wants me or not.
btw, he did tell the other woman that what he'd done with her was cheating. Her response was, 'I am sorry I was a party to that, but I wasn't a knowing party'. ie, "It's not my fault so I'm not going to feel bad". I guess it's not, but I had hoped for more solidarity from her. I guess I was hoping she would punish him with her anger too. He didn't like that I said FOR REAL he can't do anything with her while we're figuring this out. I told him he didn't get Forgiveness AND Permission; he couldn't have both. THAT he understood. (That was me practicing not being a doormat)