Husband of 10 years is Poly-Just Found Out
My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have two kids together. Two years ago he kissed a woman that he worked with and I found out about the kiss. I confronted him and was very hurt because I felt up until that point that we had a loving and honest relationship. It was very emotional for me and him. He apologized profusely that he had kissed her and especially that he kept it secret, but said that he was starting to love this woman and he thinks that he is polyamorous. He begged me not to leave him because he “loves me and always has” and said that his dishonesty was wrong, but it was because he was trying to pretend that he didn’t love this other person when he did. Anyway, I was very hurt by the dishonesty, but I love him and what he said was genuine (of course there was much more said, but this was the gist). I agreed that as long as he was 100% honest in the future he could be close friends with this woman and I would try to be friends with her as well. Basically, that she would be in our life – if I could handle that, I would try.
Fast forward 2 years (now) and my husband cheated on me with this person. I was doubly betrayed because she had become a friend. I feel like I did all that I could and I tried so hard and then he lied to me again and he had sex with her as well, when I told him that this was NOT ok. He says that it was a huge mistake and that he still loves me and he knows it was wrong. He says that he fell completely in love with her through continuing to be friends with her, but that he never wanted to hurt me. Per him, he knew that I could not handle him having a “more than friends” relationship with her because of what I had said before, but could not bear to not be in love with her, so he lied to me. I do not think any of that last part, as far as his actions, are OK at all and I have told him this. I told him that the only way we can even hope to work through this is if he does not have contact with her anymore. It has been about 3 weeks now and he has honored my wishes.
Some days I feel like I am working through this, but he still misses her and tells me about that. I understand that he loves her and that he is dealing with not having her in his life anymore, but I cannot handle him telling me about that because of the betrayal associated with it for me. He has said that he still loves her and wants her in his life and he is worried he will never be happy and that he will just make me miserable.
I am definitely monogamous- that is just me. However, I am willing to accept him for who he is and maybe someday (after a lot of healing) even try to be in a poly relationship with him. However, I cannot ever try to open myself up to that with this particular woman involved (it just hurts too much). What should I do? Should I just give this all time for us to both heal?
I'm sorry to pour all this out (I know this is a book), but I don’t know what to do. Totally unchartered territory for me and him. We went to a marriage counselor and she really wasn’t much help at all.