And it doesnít get any easier, does it?
Wow what a week. Lots of info here. As I was gonna post the first half, another big thing happened that I couldn't leave out. Bear with me. So my wife and I had our talk last monday. Greeneyes, I had to laugh when I read your post, as I had already broached the subject with her just about the day before you posted. We had our little chat on st. valentines of all days. Not under the best circumstances, but what can ya do? She knew Iíd been depressed for over a month, and that I was walling up my thoughts and feelings again, locking them away in that oh-so-healthy way I do. A hard habit to break. Told her I wanted to trust her enough to open up and I reassured her we would have our big talk as soon as we had time.
SO monday rolled on by and sheíd had the day from hell. Long, unrelated story. She came home at 1 am from work and Iíd already been up for 22 hours. What a time to have a heart to heart! But it was bugging her to know I had a secret that was hurting me so much. We agreed it was unhealthy for us both. So I bit the bullet and told her about the feelings Iíd had for other women in the past, how it had caused me great amounts of guilt for keeping it secret from her for so long. I emphasized that it wasnít about sex and that I had never done anything with these women to break our trust (if you can exclude lying by omission). I needed to explain to her how much my feelings had confused and frustrated me, how I forced my feelings down until they died out, believing it was what people with my ďproblemĒ should do. I didnít want to burden her with it, so I didnít. I also stressed that my love for her had never been in danger during these timesÖ that instead I felt like I had two loves in my heart, coexisting rather than vying for some arbitrary, finite amount of space. She seemed to accept this part remarkably well after a bit of shock. I asked her, ďHave you ever felt this way too?Ē She said no. Thatís where my candor faltered. I struggled to describe my polyamorous feelings and what, if anything that meant for us. I didn't go so far as to discuss the finer points of poly relationships at this point. Not only out of fear but also because, hell, I donít even know if itís right for me yet. And then her inevitable question: ďIs there someone you have feelings for now?Ē And my reply? A total lie. I am not proud of it. I was simply afraid to tell her. Too much is at stake in my mind. I donít feel right dragging the girl at work into this. Honestly I agree with Red Pepper that she was more of a catalyst for change than love interest. Thatís the part where things get a bit muddled and I donít know if Iím doing the right thing. Do I care about her? Sure. Should I throw things even more out of whack by adding her to this equation? Unclear. I harbor no illusions that I will ever become close to her. We might as well be staring at each other from opposite sides of bulletproof glass. What worried that night was how my wife approached the whole thing, as if my polyamorous feelings are some problem that could be cured with counseling. That it would just go away if she did her makeup more often, or...? It broke my heart. That's not what this is about. I donít blame her for misunderstanding. And sheís half right that counseling would be helpful.
Itís taken me all week to get my thoughts in order to post, and it still sounds cluttered as I read over it. Sorry. This week flew by like a whirlwind. And we hadnít so much as mentioned the discussion all week. Weíd been very intimate, joking and carrying on as ever, but that in itself shoulda been a red flag, eh? I fear that I was too vague.
And then last night happened, a situation that ripped that wound open something fierce. We were at a double b-day party at this bar for two friends turning 30. My wife and I rock-paper-scissored who would be the sober one and I won. I ended up getting fairly drunk which would prove to be a bad move... I was being pretty chatty with some people, men and women both. Something I said got under her skin. Iím usually pretty under control and wouldnít flirt or anything like that, for what itís worth. But with our seemingly stable relationship now tenuous, something about my demeanor tipped the scales even further. On the way home she brought up last weekís conversation. I told her we really shouldnít be having that talk when Iím drunk. And yet thatís exactly what happened. I guess I have no one to blame but myself. She told me how she felt: That she used to think she could trust me around other women but now she doesn't know anymore. She's thinking, "What if the 'next good thing' to come into my life will mean the end of us?" I donít blame her for feeling vulnerable. I told her again that having feelings for someone else in no way should be a threat to her, though I understand why she would doubt that. Told her I was frustrated because I feel as if I have to say everything just right or risk disaster. She said she wanted me to trust her. Damn it, Iím having trouble remembering everything else that was said. But at the end I suggested we get counseling together. We both cried and I told her I loved her and she told me it was nice to see me show some emotion about this. Everything feels so unresolved. I have to talk to her again soonÖ sober would be nice this time!! I donít want to be the one in power here, dominating the situation by withholding information. And yet thatís whatís happening. In fact itís pretty much ruined what joy our little breakthrough initially brought last week. My half-truths are just as dangerous as silence now. More dangerous than the whole story? Well that depends on how willing she is to accept my shifting views.
Greeneyes & Angeleyes, youíre absolutely right that I should have told her about this long ago. Man, would it have changed things. Hereís a lie Iíve maintained for six years! It's knocked her trust levels down a serious notch and she's specifically told me so. But in my defense, Iím still figuring this shit out myself. Anyoneís thoughts or suggestions are welcome.