heartbroken and in need of advice/help
I am new to polyamory (recently divorced) and have been dating a poly man for a little over 4 months. Before the relationship began he was very open --I asked a lot of questions, read about poly relationships (including this site)-- and he did a remarkable job (I thought) answering my questions and explaining the challenges and rewards of loving more than one person He has been poly for 20+ years.).
We both enjoyed the process and each other and decided to begin dating. We discovered that we are both kinksters and have compatible (high) sex drives and that seemed like a big bonus. This was looking like a LTR, which is what he said he wanted. We seemed to be developing an intellectual, emotional and even spiritual intimacy that felt very genuine.
I met his wife, had family dinner with her and his 8 yr old sons. I thought I was doing pretty well with all of it. He always talks about the importance of open communication, honesty, and ethics. He seemed to "walk the talk" and often checked in with me about my feelings of emotional safety.
Pretty awesome, I thought.
I've been very open with him about dating other men--unlike him, I do not have a primary relationship and would like to have one. When he seemed uneasy about my dating a couple of months ago, I initiated a conversation about how we wanted to handle this. Did we want a "don't ask don't tell" sort of policy--complete openness or something in between. The conversation didn't go anywhere, however. He seemed reluctant to state his needs about this. I continued to be open about what I was doing.
Fast forward to yesterday when I stumbled across a series of very graphic postings he made on a Kink social networking site a little over a week ago. One was an "ad" of sorts soliciting women who wanted to receive oral sex. After describing his masterful expertise, he ended by urging interested women to contact him to see if they might "have some fun" together.
It was very graphic and I was shocked and hurt. This is a side of him that he kept completely hidden.It seemed contrary to everything he has said to me about what this lifestyle means to him and how he feels about me ("falling even more deeply in love") and what he is looking for in his relationships.
(I'm not a prude or easily shocked. It would feel entirely differently if we had established the relationship as a sexual one only, no strings, etc.)
I feel as though I've been run over by the proverbial "truck." Betrayed comes close to what I'm feeling along with profound sadness. He claims that this goes with being poly. If it does, then I missed something important before I started dating him. I lost it last night--crying--feeling incredible pain.
I don't know what to think--did I misunderstand? misread? I felt so brave stepping into a world so different than the monogamous one I've inhabited for the past 35 years--brave to let myself feel love for this man. Now I feel like a fool. I went through my day today in a state of shock--I feel lifeless, zombie-like. I don't know what to do. Is this really par for the course in polyamory?