Struggling with monogamy
I've been married 12 years to a sweet monogamous man. I came on this forum last year and received a lot of help as I learned about polyamory and realized this is how I tick, emotionally. With encouragement from the good people here I started talking to my husband about this, and we have come to terms with my penchant for loving others besides him. Sexually I'm monogamous, and fine with that. My husband is not thrilled but is accepting of my romantic attractions to others, as long as he knows I still love him.
I met someone several weeks ago who I felt an immediate bond with. He doesn't live nearby but we have been exchanging emails almost daily, and have had occasional opportunities to visit in person. I'm really growing to love him, and he seems comfortable developing a relationship with me in spite of the limitations (no sex, no "partnership," no one-on-one commitment, and we both know he's still seeking a life partner).
My husband is fine with this being a friendship, and tolerant, at best, of the romantic attraction involved. Yesterday this friend came through town, and we ended up alone together for several hours. I have been bedridden for weeks with a painful illness, and I got a little self indulgent -he ended up giving me basically hours of massage. (It wasn't erotic massage, but there were definitely moments of arousal for both of us, and we chose not to act on those.) It felt wonderful. My pain levels went down and stayed down for hours after he left. It felt like exactly what I needed.
I talked to my husband about it -how much it helped me, but I asked if he was ok with it. He's not. He'd rather I pay a massage therapist. He doesn't want me being touched so much by a man who is so attracted to me, and vice versa. I get it, and I respect it, and I told him that since he feels this way, I won't do it again.
However, I feel really unhappy about this.
Then I feel selfish for feeling this way.
I want to be a good wife for my husband, since he is an amazing husband for me. I want to find a compromise, since I know it has not been easy for him to come to grips with my having other men in my life with strong emotional connections to me. Keeping sex as something just in our marriage seems like a fair thing -he's quite satisfying, and I did marry him after all. But I know when I see my friend again next (which could be Monday) I am really really going to want his hands on me again. I've never had anyone else caress each joint of my finger as if he were appraising a beautiful object of great value. He makes me feel extremely good, and that's combined with the beautiful connection we've made through sharing a lot of personal thoughts in our emails. I honestly love him.
It's going to be really hard to respect my husband's wishes on this one. I've considered whether I should even stop the visits in case there'd be too much temptation, but not seeing him would be painful too. I don't know what to do about this.
What happens when mono and poly can't find a happy medium? No amount of talking seems to get us there.