Nice little trainwreck so far
So being poly - for just a few weeks - has been incredibly time consuming and stressful because I go into things with good intentions (well, the intention to love and be honest about it) and then these situations I create come back to bite everyone involved.
I am female, married over 10 years to a wonderful guy (who is about to sign up for an identity here and read everything in the forums... he'll say he's my partner). I'm mostly straight but a bit bi-curious. The crack that let the light in was me having an intense emotional affair involving largely unrequited love and severe limerence a few months ago and being a mess (I told this dude I wanted to have a baby with him, wtf was I thinking?), thinking there must be something wrong with my marriage, thinking I must need to get a divorce - leanings of serial monogamy, trying to do the right thing, even though divorce would have been a horrible decision because my husband and I get along really well, have a great sex life, pretty good conflict resolution skills, and tons of positive affect... After realizing that divorce was one the stupidest ideas I've ever had, I realized that I have always been poly my whole life, that none of what I had done or felt had detracted from how I feel about my husband, in fact if anything it had all made me love him more.
I then came out to my husband as poly and my heart opened in a way almost similar to when I was first a mom. A couple days later I came clean about cheating for years. I refused to rationalize it anymore. He wants to stay with me but he doesn't want to let me do what I want to do which is be in a mfm romantic vee and have my husband feel free to pursue relationships, casual sex, or mff dalliances, help him fulfill his fantasies or control my jealousy if I'm not present (or am present). In short, find out who/what he is if not mono, but he's kind of obsessed with revenge or fairness and I keep telling him that no matter how many women he has sex with, he will still feel jealousy for me, but go ahead and see for yourself, I tell him. There is no "evening the score". I still feel like I have a right to set my own boundaries but there are very few things I feel really uncomfortable with as long as everyone is being respectful of each other and safe - a tall order in and of itself.
I hate hurting other people, but the way I pursue my emotional needs seems reckless. I am an NRE crackhead and it's not funny even though I joke about it. But to continue the metaphor, I feel like I'm hitting old ladies in the park and taking their purses, unwrapping the sweet sweet hard candy of NRE inside with delight while the actual human beings lay on the sidewalk suffering traumatic brain injury. I feel like the vampires in Interview with a Vampire - when I can't get humans to drain of thick heady NRE I'll desperately slay poodles and then feel bad about myself for being such a loser of a vampire, reduced to poodles.
I know what NRE is - it is when you have a few scraps of information about someone's good qualities while they're putting their best foot forward, and you enthusiastically fill in all the gaps with cupcakes and rainbows. I know not to make any decisions during NRE, I know for a fact that it changes nothing about how I feel about my cherished husband and our awesome ORE, and yet I am still vulnerable to NRE... vulnerable - hell I am seeking it out. I'm hunting it down and then squealing with ecstasy while it smites me and everyone around me. Then I get up, look around at what I've done, and tsk tsk tsk.
Recently we answered an ad for a couple to be friends with a couple and what do you think happened. I got all involved emotionally with the guy and it was super intense sexually, chatting, exchanging photos, videos, compliments, sweet nasty sex talk, even though we never met in person, and my husband was there every step of the way. Well it turns out that this guy and his wife are swingers and he said he developed feelings for me, and that's what I wanted him to do, I helped make it happen, actively. Well his wife was not happy about it but he said they'll be ok. My husband got on chat and apologized for the role he played in letting me make the emotional connection happen. The two of them had a really good discussion where my husband laid out his boundaries. I am leaving the swinger guy alone now so he and his wife can work it out but I miss him like crazy today and I didn't even know him, all I knew is that he is a good, sweet, and incredibly kind person (those are real attributes of him, it's just that I don't know what his flaws are). At least I am not contacting him to let him know how much I miss him and am thinking of him.
In brief, I am at this moment a ridiculous and terrifying poly creature of the darkness. It's lame to even talk about my pain when I've caused others so much, but I truly feel like parts of me have been lost in each of these relationships behind me now, even though I have healed and resolved my feelings beyond a shadow of doubt. I learned from each one, and it was all worth it, bla bla bla, personal growth, but right now I feel like it's not the greatest thing in the world to be a poly person. The wreckage and the damage... oh the humanity. My husband is kind of a saint for going through it all with me.
Sorry for the novel. Taking a breath and stepping back, it's really not as dramatic as all that, everyone's going to be fine, it's just kind of a pain in the ass to deal with it all and I hope it helps you to know my silly stories. If you made it through, good on ya. Thank you all for sharing your stories, this forum has helped us so much and will continue to.