Originally Posted by idrider47
I'm hoping someone out there has some pearls of wisdom that can help me learn how to do this without feeling bad all the time....
Well, I don't know about 'wisdom', but you ask some fair questions.
But some of them I do admit to wondering if you're being 100% honest with yourself ?
Addressing that first..........
You mention this activity that you discover you have an interest in that has created a conflict. And you mention your 20+ year relationship. And that (maybe?) she had no idea you would have any interest in this ? Does something sound a bit odd about that ?
Do you REALLY have any interest ? Enough that you would have had any real excitement about participating if the new BF wasn't in the picture ?
Be honest here...................
Let's pretend you ARE honest and would like to participate. You ask a variety of legit questions about zero sum relationship mathematics, conflicts of time etc. You also have to acknowledge that NRE is playing a factor in this and that long term things will change. Do some homework on that one ! It's a biggie.
Your situation is a great example of why so many of us try to recommend that everyone be at LEAST friends ! Because there may be a certain amount of overlapping interest and it's simply a shame to have the hinge person being forced to flip coins all the time (which by the way is a good tool to use on occasion).
How would she feel (minus the NRE) if you all did attend together ? What better an opportunity for you two guys to get to know each other a little better ? Maybe start a bond centered around her - and HER happiness ?
Trust me, the better you know the BF the better YOU will feel about the whole situation. Is is going to be a tiny bit uncomfortable the first couple times ? Probably. But we aren't always allowed to exist in our comfort zone all the time if we want any forward movement.
You mention this change bringing out 'weaknesses' in your marriage. Discovering things (assumptions) you didn't know about each other.
Why do you feel that is a 'weakness' ?
Many others might well look at that as one of the biggest strengths ! The more you REALLY know each other the (potentially) closer you may become. History has shown this to happen
Don't assume a negative position until it really is negative.
But leaving on the time conflict note..............
Yes - the more we involve ourselves in ANY activity, the more we have to balance those 24 hours. And although that may seem a theoretical conflict, in reality is usually isn't something that doesn't work out better than we thought. I might suggest you don't let your mind run away with all the 'possibles'. It's possible to be struck by lightening or hit by a train. But in reality, it seldom happens.
Deep breaths...........deep breaths.........