A Mono walking the POLY journey
Where to begin.. I am 39 and my wife is 36. We have been married for 14 years and together for 18. It has been a closed-monogamous for all that time. We have 3 children, 1 girl and 2 boys (8,10,13). Our marriage has been very happy and successful. It still is. We've always had date nights, as much as we love and adore our kids we've made it a point to prioritize our marriage (for the sake of the kids) over our role as parents. This has meant date nights every week, weekend getaways without the kids every few months and the occasional vacation without the kids. Even thouigh our relationship and marriage has always been smooth sailing, we've always saw a marriage therapist. Not due to any serious problem, just the value we saw in it in terms of getting an objective 3rd party and as a way of maintaing the health of our relationship... You can always learn more!
As far as I am concerned, I am one of those rare people who have been able to maintain a feeling of newness in our relationship. Sure it is not as intense as it was earlier in our marriage/relationship, but it is still there. Of course it is coupled with a deep sense of security and bondedness as well.. My wife has some times struggled however, not due to the lack in our marriage, but because she has always felt that monogamy was too limited, she felt she needed more people in her life for emotional, relational and sexual reasons. She said that it wasn't because of what I failed to give her, it is what she feels she can give and cannot because of monogamy.
She has respected the fact that I am a MONO person. Partly because of the way I am wired, partly because of the experiences I have lived. I have never dated anyone other than my wife. I have always been very heavy, struggling with binge eating since I was in my early teens. Bullying throughout my childhood connected to weight issues has damaged my self worth. MY parents marriage (physical & emotional abuse) and the way it ended (divorce and infidelity) was a very traumatic event for me. I am terrified of it happening to me. I dread a divorce, and fear (at times) not being enough for my wife. I struggle with Jealousy and fear of abandonment and loss. The idea of any open marriage, sometimes even hearing that my wife desires another man on occassion triggers intense emotions of rage, jealousy, insecurity and fears of abandonment. I rarely act on it or discuss these feelings with her, because I do not want to become a burden to her. I want to be confident within myself to have full disclosure and honesty in my marriage.
In September 2010, my wife went back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a Nurse. I have encouraged her to do so for a while now, and it wasn't until now when the children are old enough to be a bit more independant that she allowed her self to pursue this dream. I've been more than willing to do more around the house and take on more hours at work in order to help her pursue this.. She has been such a wonderful wife and mother, and I would do anything to show her how much I love her and to demonstrate my gratitude for her being in my life. I am happy she is doing this for herself.
It started near the end of september that she began speaking of a fellow student that is in her class. I will call him OG (other guy). OG is 23. Naturally my wife and he have a common interest and goal in mind right now, in that they are both wanting to become nurses. Since September they have spent many of their lunch times together and gotten together to study etc. It was clear by October 2010 that she had developed strong feelings for him, and that is when her and I started seriously discussing POLY and opening our marriage.
At first I was hesitant, and started feeling some deep anger at OG, started crying more and feeling some jealousy and fearing my wife would leave me for this younger guy who she seems to have more in common with (right now at least). My wife has been patient and has re-assured me that her growing feelings and attraction to OG is because of OG, not because of any lack on my part. She loves me as she always does. She said that she would be willing end contact with OG if that would make me feel safe and secure again.
I wanted that to happen, but I could see how much pleasure and joy she was experiencing in this new friendship in her life. So I gave the go ahead, I said that if she wanted to see where this relationship with OG went, then she had my blessing... To say that, to open our marriage like that just gutted me. I almost felt like passing out.. I could hardly sleep for a week after I said that, I had dreams about my wife with OG.
The week after we had the discussion, she had her first date with OG. She assurred me that it was non-sexual. I trust her. Since then, her and OG have had one night a week (Friday) she calls "OG NIGHT", where they have their date night.
Their relationship turned sexual near the end of January.. This was also the same night my wife and I explored the possibility of her having a night at OG's place (Friday).. The pattern being that she goes to OG right from college, and she comes home late morning Saturday after they've had breakfast.. Staying the night and my wife's sexual relationship with OG has been the most recent development.. Since then, not much new has been added.
This is getting long, but I felt this was needed to explain the back ground of how things got to where they are now.. I'll post again shortly to talk about some of my experiences with this now, some of my emotions surrounding this situation and how we are working this out now since it has been ongoing and some kind of a regular pattern between my wife and OG have developed.. I have some strong feelings about it, both negative and positive and I just need a few minutes to collect my thoughts so I can post a more succint message next time.