Poly at heart, lost in conservative culture
I'm 25, married, and have a 2 1/2 yr old son. I was always a tomboy, and living in a small town, that doomed me to singlehood or being labeled as lesbian. I dated a few people from my hometown, but I always felt trapped by what everyone thought our relationship should be. I love my friends, and I feel fulfilled by very intimate, honest relationships with people. I just can't handle all the BS people put forth to hide themselves from the world.
My husband was married before we met, but his ex cheated on him. Now he has a SEVERE fear of being cheated on, but has come to realize that I need more than he can provide. He grew up in a very conservative home, but despite rejecting those values, they still have a hold on him (and our relationship). Recently, he had an epiphany and decided that some of the troubles we have are related to my extreme openness and ease with being so intimate with other people. I have and never will cheat on him, and as he begins to embrace the idea of letting me go, our relationship is getting much better.
This isn't always about sex, but sometimes it is. My husband is completely satisfied with what I do for him, but he has trouble "keeping up" and satisfying me, and it has made him depressed because he knows I am not completely satisfied. Last week, an old friend of mine (whom my husband greatly admires) came over, and my husband gave me his blessing (and practically begged me) to explore my polyamorous needs with my friend, but my friend was uncomfortable and nothing sexual happened. However, we were able to cuddle, talk, and be non-sexually affectionate for several hours as we watched tv and hung out.
Right now, I am torn. My husband wants me to explore, but to be honest, I don't think I could ever handle sharing my husband with another woman. It feels selfish, even uncaring, but he has not expressed the desire to be poly himself. Does this mean I shouldn't explore?
Then, even if I do explore, we live in a conservative area, and most people I encounter are ok with the sex but not the rest of the relationship, so Im not sure where to begin.
I joined this forum to get more information, to learn how to be more comfortable with who I am and what I have always wanted but just never known how to handle.
I look forward to meeting more of you.