Originally Posted by Seasnail
When my husband cheated on me, I remember feeling like the world was falling apart, in the same way as when a family member died. How I got to poly is a long story...
We had grown up together, and were super-christian. Our wedding ceremony included vows that indicated fidelity in an obvious and explicit way. It didn't feel like an *assumption* of fidelity to me. I think that if he had wanted non-monogamy, he was responsible to ask first. And like Mono, I found the betrayal to be quite self-centred of him. I believed that he hadn't thought of me at all when he made the choice to have affairs.
In the present, I can see that he did think about me, and that the lying was a huge part of the feeling of betrayal. But beyond that, there was a feeling of being disrespected... of being duped into giving my rights away. For one, he left me behind in the emotional space where I stayed fidelitous for a very long time. But also, it didn't give me choices: to state my preferences or negotiate our life together, to get to know his lovers in a positive fashion, or leave until it was already a huge deal.
Ultimately, though, his habit of doing things in secrecy and without my input led to the end of our relationship as husband & wife. Though not of our friendship, or of my exploration of poly.
Wow! This sounds scarily familiar. The first time my husband cheated, I refused to see the signs and told myself that he would never do that. We were also raised in "super-christian" households. It wasn't until years later that I put all the pieces together. I knew it was too late to just up an leave, but the hurt cut deep, it ate at me and resentment built up, which effected nearly every aspect of our marriage.
When I caught him this last time (cheating, getting ready to cheat, whatever), it sent me into anxiety attacks. I have never had one before and it was seriously scary. I spent alot of time thinking about the real issue, my first instinct was that it was about the sex, but that really wasn't it. I told myself that if we stay married, I will have to live with him looking for others (which is how I found myself here
), I quickly realized that I could live with him having sex with others, but not the lies, that was the deal-breaker. The hurt that hits me when it looks like he is keeping secrets again, is overwhelming, as if I had just discovered his betrayal all over again.
I'm told that the secrets were to just save my feelings, but I say "Bullshit!" The lies were to avoid the fall out of my reaction and therefore avoid the consequenses. I truely don't know what I would have said if he had asked to open our marriage. The first time, probably "No Way", but that was only 6 years into our marriage. However, if he had been serious and had good arguements that didn't put me on the defensive (that's hard for him, even now
), I might have changed my mind, I tend to be swayed by logic.