Originally Posted by Hades36
my heart fractured, I fell in love with another woman, all while still being in love with my wife........
I desperately want to stop hiding my feelings for the other woman, too much stress, and lying is emotionally toxic.
These are really beautiful and interesting ways of describing your experiences... I can relate.
I think your wife is a saint! She had every right to blow up and kick you out and she hasn't, she sees that you are in need of something in your life and is willing to accommodate that. She doesn't see that you want your cake and to eat it too. Just that you are not complete without the love of others and to be able to love others.
I don't see myself as having cake and eating it too. I was not complete and now am... Someone that is mono in a mono marriage arrangement with someone that is also mono has their cake and is eating it too. That is what makes them feel whole and comfortable. The societal norm doesn't get to tell us poly folk what kind of cake we should eat. We are all meant to decide. You are making your choice. You have a right to do that...
Did you make the choice in a respectful way? no.... you can read other threads by doing a tag search to hear what has past before you on cheating... there is interesting stuff there you could learn from, but you seem to be quite aware of the fact that the intro to all this was not the best choice and that is all that matters at the moment.
As to the supper? What worked for me was to take a back seat and just keep quiet... watch and do most of the actual supper work.... fill glasses, get food, serve and remove dishes... anything to facilitate the "head" work of the event, rather than the work of achieving supper. Your wife might be like me though and do her head work while moving.... I don't sit still ever really. I get a lot done in my head when I am achieving the end goal of filling bellies at a supper (or other tacks)... I think if she is like me in this way I would be sure to take over in moments when she is engaged with your other woman... if you find that the two of them are engaged in something deep, take over.
The point of metamours coming together for me is that it isn't about me, its about them. I don't even go to a place of the joy I feel when they are all around. I make sure I am humble and in awe of my situation instead. If that makes sense. Their getting along is a HUGE part of the success I have in my poly situation and the kind of poly I describe myself as. If they didn't, it would be over. They do that work, I don't... I cannot even presume that I should think I have anything to do with their relationships together succeeding. They work on it because of me.... a HUGE gift and I am grateful beyond believe.
Your second quote above makes me think of this mentality. It is important right now to keep your feelings controlled and look at what they offer rather than what they are. You aren't in a position to be free to be bowled over by your excitement and love. Investing in that would be foolish at this point. that would be reacting to NRE (you could tag search that).
Talking about your love for this other woman is important, as much as your determination to keep her in your life, but being overly emotional one way or the other, I don't think is appropriate and is disrespectful... You have already done the disrespect thing and unfortunately learned that lying is easy on the surface and a cop out to real success in relationships. It's so easy to fall into that over and over again once its learned... Take the fearful road of honesty and calmness and hopefully you will find that you fair better in the end. It likely will be a longer road than is evident at the moment.
Your wife, as amazing as she is, will likely not be able to contain her anger at some point... she is acting rationally at the moment, but those emotions of betrayal, pain, deceit will likely come out eventually and need to I think. At some point she will have to purge them in order to move forward. This is where your controlled, respectful, honest, nose to the grind stone approach will be handy in sustaining you... at least that has been my experience.
Think of donkeys climbing with a huge load up a steep hill... that is where you are at I should think... you will reach the top after a long journey, and the rewards can be more than you ever thought possible. But the journey will be hard I think. Good luck.