Oh, thanks everyone. I got stranded in someone else's exciting story here and didn't notice all the nice comments coming in.
MrFarFromRight, it wasn't "He's 70, I mean really," it was "I'm 40, he's 70, I mean really!" I don't have a problem with age, but I surprise myself sometimes with the age difference
in my attractions. L is 66 (and I'm still
40). As a senior in high school I dated a freshman. I seem to be all over the map. A fluke that my husband is my age, I think. Older men are often the best dancers.
The story I keep reading here (probably because it says "New to Polyamory" right up there at the top) is the one where the happy monogamous couple is struggling when one of them finds or wants to find another partner, and then a roller coaster of pain and happiness and self-discovery ensues, as they grow into a "poly lifestyle." What I love to read about is all the communication barriers breaking down as everyone is forced to take a good look at themselves and their partners in the process.
Is my story less common, or just doesn't make it to these boards? My love for L opened a lot of channels of communication and self-discovery and I am extremely grateful for what I learned about myself and my husband in the process. (That process wouldn't likely have happened without the amazing support of you folks here. Thank you!) But ultimately I feel like sex is just one way to interact, and if my husband wants to reserve that one for just us, it's no big loss to my other relationships. Don't need to rub certain body parts together in order to have a connection, even if it would feel nice. With L I feel like we have a kind of intimacy that comes from just knowing that we would like to have sex, but we don't really need to do the actual body-part-rubbing. We talk about how memories and fantasies are both in our heads, so our sex life together is just fantasy not memory, and that's ok. Or we joke that it could have happened but some magic pill erased the memory so I wouldn't feel guilty towards H. In other words, having done it or not having done it doesn't make a difference in how we feel about each other.
What keeps me from feeling like I'm trapped in a 5 star prison with my husband is that he is amaaaazingly open to my doing the things I need to do to be happy. For example, this weekend another male friend (another crush from years ago, in fact, and another older man if anyone is counting) is driving me up to L's town so I can dance with L while this friend plays in the band. When I asked H how he'd feel about that plan he said, "Sure, and he (musician friend) should sleep here when you get back." Most weeks I go out dancing one or two nights without H, and he knows me so he knows I am out there loving the physical touch and attention from men. He's home babysitting our kids. I feel like it's this amazing gift (given many past relationship experiences) to be with a man who doesn't feel jealous, who truly wants to see me happy, who accepts that my heart just seems to open up easily, and just lets me be me. All he asks is that I save sex for him, and that's fine for me.
In some ways when I read things here I think we have just stalled on the poly path and might be denying ourselves a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other if we moved towards me sleeping with L. But my husband grew up in India, and I think it would just about rip him in half to try to change the way he thinks about sex and marriage. (He recently told me he decided to marry me the night we first had sex -his first sex ever, at 26.) I don't feel like we need to go there. Are we missing anything?
All right, so it's all a spectrum, and we find where we fit in, and if we're lucky our partner(s) fit in somewhere near us; is that the consensus here? And I feel so so so happy, being in three romantic relationships that all pour into one incredible sex life with my most devoted husband. AND I'm going dancing tonight!