Honest w/o Hurting?
(Originally posted in Personal Summaries, but that's not a discussion area.)
I'm MorningTwilight, a straight forty-something living in Texas with my wife of nearly two decades. Like so many, I was raised to believe in the fairy tale of "meet a girl and live happily ever after." I've had various crushes over that time period, and have repressed my feelings fiercely, not realizing that there was any other honorable alternative to beating myself up with guilt over my feelings, despite the fact that I have never so much as kissed another woman in the entire time my wife and I have been together. I've grown to resent the notion of monogamy, but I have thus far not had the courage to "come out" to my wife (and my, that sounds pretentious to me, but I think it's accurate) because the thought of dishing out the hurt and confusion that goes with that to someone whom I love so much, and who has been so very good to me, just crushes me.
Two years ago, I fell hard for a woman I work with. I've not told her about it, nor have I acted on it in any way (see "beating myself up with guilt," above), and I've not told my wife either (see "dishing out hurt and confusion," above). I realize that it's a messed-up emotional situation, and there's no guarantee of any kind that even if I successfully negotiate polyamory with my wife that my colleague would go for it. Still and all, I've come to the realization that I should stop beating myself up--one cannot control what one feels; one can only control what one does about it, and I think that I've not done anything dishonorable to date. I also think that I should stop living the lie that I can deal with monogamy for the rest of my life. The woman at work might not ever happen, but I'll certainly meet others as life progresses, and I hate, hate, hate the feeling of having to hold wonderful women at arm's length out of fear of having a friendship that "leads to something else."
I'm reading Tristan Taormino's book, Opening Up, in the hopes that seeing how others have succeeded might give me some courage. I'd be very grateful to be pointed to a thread about (formerly) monogamous couples who have faced the same fears I'm facing, and who have successfully had "the discussion" without it all going to pieces.
Anyway, it's good to be able to tell someone. Thank you.
(And no, I have no intention of an "OK for me but not for thee" arrangement, nor do I have any inclination to push her where she doesn't want to go, just in case anyone should get that impression. I don't want to lose my marriage, but I don't think I can pretend anymore, either.)