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  #1  
Old 05-03-2013, 03:20 PM
stonebreaker stonebreaker is offline
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Default Trying to correct my colossal screw-up

Hi,

I am here because I am looking to repair my colossal screw-up. I cheated on my wife of 25 years. She caught me, and now we are trying to recover.

Over the last few days, as we have discussed my atrocious behavior, we have communicated more than I think we have in the last decade. Because of this, she is willing to consider an open relationship with the other woman, with me as the "fulcrum", as I believe it is called. She is willing to tolerate, and even admitted to being a little turned on by, the thought of me with another woman.

I am blessed by having the most wonderful wife in the world. The other woman, call her 'U' in deference to Noble's article, is just as amazing, because she is also willing to consider this arrangement.

I have discovered that continuing this arrangement with these women is extremely important to me, because I love them both. Each fills gaps that the other does not. If I can figure out how to make this work, I think I will be happier than I can ever remember being.

So I need your help. I realize that this arrangement will not work without meeting the needs of everyone involved. I want my wife to say, in six months, that this was one of the best things we have ever done. I want U to say the same thing. I want to make sure that they are as happy with this arrangement as I am. I love making my wife happy. I love making my U happy. If I can make them both happy at the same time, I will be in hog heaven. My ultimate goal here would be to end up with two equal wives, all of us living in one house.

I don't know if it is significant, but we are all in our 40's. As I said, my wife and I have been married for 25 years. My U was married for about 20 years before divorcing 5 or 6 years ago.

So what pitfalls do I need to look out for? What issues will I need to address first with these women? They have not met each other yet, other than to read each others' texts to me. My wife said that she has a good impression of U because U, in a series of texts to me, tried to take the blame for the affair and apologized for hurting my wife, even though she had never met her. After the way I behaved towards my wife, I deserve to be kicked in the nuts. Multiple times. Instead, this wonderful woman is willing to consider a relationship with the other woman, in order to make me happy. I want her to be just as happy. I want U, whom I've known since the 5th grade, to be just as happy. Both women want to meet each other, so I was going to set something up for this weekend.

-Stonebreaker

Last edited by stonebreaker; 05-03-2013 at 03:22 PM. Reason: adding sig
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2013, 04:47 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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You are one lucky soab that your wife is into it and the girlfriend too. Plenty of People come on here and go, "i cheated, i was caught, but i realized i'm actuallu poly so it's ok! How do i get my partner to let me try it" or "my partner cheated & got caught. Now they say it's because they are poly. They want to date other people, and they want me to try. I'm not into that, but i don't want to break up either. What should i do?"

You have been lucky to get past both of those hurdles, plus the additional hurdle of "finding someone to date who is ok with dating a married person".

Even though you started out by cheating, it sounds like you accomplished what many people who start off the "right" way never seem to get - choosing partners who are not only compatible with you, but with each other to whatever degree is "ok".

Do yourselves all a favor and drink plenty of water.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:40 PM
kkxvlv kkxvlv is offline
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If you're looking for potential pitfalls I'm gonna tell you right away don't ever say that one fills holes the other doesn't ever again.

Ok that could just be my opinion but as someone coming from a somewhat similar story I winced.

Maybe that is true for you and maybe these two woman could handle knowing that. Personally I look at my two relationships as two people I would want to be with if the other didn't exist. I imagine it would not feel great after 25 years of marriage to be told, hey you actually weren't filling all my holes all these years and now this other person does but don't worry you fill holes she doesn't too YAY! I can't tell you how much time I have spent trying to make sure my husband knows the reason I have another relationship is NOT because he wasn't enough. I guess for me that is true. Maybe I'm overreacting.

Next slow way way down. You might be imagining all of you living together in that equal harmonious home but they have never met. That fantasy is a long way off IF it ever happens. Tell yourself this now and you'll save yourself a lot of frustration and many many mistakes pushing for something none of you are ready for. Manage all of your expectations. Unless your wife has been sitting around secretly wishing for this to come along and U just happens to end up being the best friend she's ever met or something, it seems pretty unlikely she is going to see this as the best thing you've ever done together. Even if she does, it won't be 6 months from now. Read around a bit in the blogs section. Relationships like this have growing pains. It's a whole new ballgame. Your ultimate measures of success just sound way too high right now. I'd be looking for things like no one cried today, it was a good day.

I get it, you are probably elated this possibility is even on the table. For me this is the happiest I've ever been and at times the worst pain I've ever felt. It is far from all heaven all the time. Thats the advice the struck me immediately, slow down, manage your expectations.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:25 PM
Nox Nox is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkxvlv View Post
If you're looking for potential pitfalls I'm gonna tell you right away don't ever say that one fills holes the other doesn't ever again.

Ok that could just be my opinion but as someone coming from a somewhat similar story I winced.
I think that depends. I feel the same way in my relationships. There's lots of overlap, but there are certain things that my wife provides that T reacts negatively to (sports, able to talk about anything and have an interest in it, long term planning), and vice versa (classic books, non-vanilla sex, society).

As with anything it is much in the way it is phrased.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2013, 12:22 AM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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I have experienced a very similar situation. My husband cheated on me. I knew something wasn't quite right and I gradually gathered evidence and worked out exactly what was going on. There was a lot to sort out in my head and I experienced a whole range of emotions; I was hurt, angry and confused, but in a way it was a relief to be dealing with reality rather than lies and suspicions. I gave myself time to think things through before I confronted my husband. I could tell that he cared very much about the other woman (C) and it was clear that she cared for him too.

I told my husband that if there was to be any chance of working things out I needed him to tell me the whole truth about everything that had happened. It was hard to hear some of it but it helped me to understand why it had happened and I think it made him realise how much he had hurt me. I decided to accept the relationship if he could promise absolute honesty from that point onwards. That was three years ago, it didn't work out as I expected, C and I have become very close and what I thought would be a V is much more like a triangle, each of us is very important to the other two and each of us plays an important part in making the relationship work and supporting the other two.

To answer your questions I think you need to change the way you are thinking about this situation. It is not all about you, there are three people involved in this and all their needs need to be met not just yours. So far doing it your way has achieved an emotional mess and you are very lucky that you have not lost both of these women. Don't 'set something up for the weekend' give each woman the email address and phone number of the other then take a back seat and leave them to contact each other and get to know each other in their own way and their own time. if anything more is ever going to happen they need to become friends and build up trust in each other and you need to give them space to do that. The worse thing you could do is to try to rush things. Your wife will need lots of time and reassurance from you, so for now devote most of your time and effort to your wife and remember that U has feelings too and she will also need reassurance. Most important of all no more lies!
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2013, 01:20 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi stonebreaker,
Welcome to our forum.

There is a great deal to learn about what to and what not to do. This site is replete with valuable info. Take some time and read some of our threads; you might wtart with the Golden Nuggets board since it references some of the most important stuff.

You are indeed one lucky man. Take some time to count your blessings and show appreciation to both of the women in your life. Like the others have said, don't be in a hurry to make anything happen. There are still many hurdles to overcome.

I hope everything continues to go well, and that this site proves helpful.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:42 PM
newguy newguy is offline
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Stonebreaker...

Cheating...not cool! Regardless of what happened in the past about the "how" or "why" you got married, your wife of 25 years was (and still is) hurt by your deception...that's not cool at all dude! Now, off of my soapbox.

Fast forward to today...from what I have read, it seems that your wife is still worried about being replaced so she is offering to 'step aside' to make you happy. I applaude your efforts to reassure her that the replacement will not happen and you don't want a divorce. However, she still feels this way after all of your reassuring efforts.

My suggestions are simple...please don't take this as me knowing the right way to handle this situation because I never been in your 'shoes' so to speak...

1) Ask your wife to join this site (or one like it). This will give her an outlet to discuss these issues with like-minded people about how she is feeling. It will also point her (as it did you) to posts or articles that may help her with dealing with your situation.

Also, this site (as well as others) will let your wife know about NRE...basically (as I understand it), it when your primary feels (or actually is) neglected because you are concentrating on building your new relationship(s).

2) Althought you have been reassuring, have you ever thought about slowing down with U until your wife is 'ready' to fully accept this? Again, just my opinion, but I would (for the sake of my marriage) ask U to understand why we have to slow down. This may SHOW your wife that you are serious about not wanting to lose her and SHOW her how committed you are to saving your marriage.

I think that this would go far with your wife...knowing that you are willing to take it slow for her feelings would let her know that you really do want your marriage to work...my Mother always say, "Actions speak louder than words!"

3) When (if) this works out like you want...take BoringGuy's advise he gave in his first response..."drink lots of water!" and take vitamins...your not young anymore. Also, make sure your wife don't feel 'left out' in that department...now that DID happen to me!

Last thing, someone (can't remember who) asked you a question and you didn't give a response....

What happens when (if) your wife or U wants another man in their life...are you prepared for (or have you even considered) that situation?

The reason I ask (again) is that both your wife and U are straight and have no desire to be with another woman, so what happens when either (or both) of them want another man?

I'm just giving you food for thought...situations that I preceive (or have been in) for you to consider.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:28 PM
stonebreaker stonebreaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy View Post
Stonebreaker...

Cheating...not cool! Regardless of what happened in the past about the "how" or "why" you got married, your wife of 25 years was (and still is) hurt by your deception...that's not cool at all dude! Now, off of my soapbox.

Fast forward to today...from what I have read, it seems that your wife is still worried about being replaced so she is offering to 'step aside' to make you happy. I applaude your efforts to reassure her that the replacement will not happen and you don't want a divorce. However, she still feels this way after all of your reassuring efforts.

My suggestions are simple...please don't take this as me knowing the right way to handle this situation because I never been in your 'shoes' so to speak...

1) Ask your wife to join this site (or one like it). This will give her an outlet to discuss these issues with like-minded people about how she is feeling. It will also point her (as it did you) to posts or articles that may help her with dealing with your situation.

Also, this site (as well as others) will let your wife know about NRE...basically (as I understand it), it when your primary feels (or actually is) neglected because you are concentrating on building your new relationship(s).

2) Althought you have been reassuring, have you ever thought about slowing down with U until your wife is 'ready' to fully accept this? Again, just my opinion, but I would (for the sake of my marriage) ask U to understand why we have to slow down. This may SHOW your wife that you are serious about not wanting to lose her and SHOW her how committed you are to saving your marriage.

I think that this would go far with your wife...knowing that you are willing to take it slow for her feelings would let her know that you really do want your marriage to work...my Mother always say, "Actions speak louder than words!"

3) When (if) this works out like you want...take BoringGuy's advise he gave in his first response..."drink lots of water!" and take vitamins...your not young anymore. Also, make sure your wife don't feel 'left out' in that department...now that DID happen to me!

Last thing, someone (can't remember who) asked you a question and you didn't give a response....

What happens when (if) your wife or U wants another man in their life...are you prepared for (or have you even considered) that situation?

The reason I ask (again) is that both your wife and U are straight and have no desire to be with another woman, so what happens when either (or both) of them want another man?

I'm just giving you food for thought...situations that I preceive (or have been in) for you to consider.

Good luck!
newguy,

Thanks for those thoughts. Yes, we have discussed most of those options. I'll just answer them below rather that cutting and pasting into your quote:

1) I have already given her links to articles. I haven't given her a link to this forum, because I'm a little nervous that she may misinterpret some of my posts. Some of what I'm doing here is practicing for our own discussions, because one thing I am finding with her is that she is hyper analyzing every word I say; and if she can find a way to feel hurt and offer to leave again, she will. If I don't say "I still love you and want you as much as I always have" with enough conviction and emphasis, then she interprets that as I'm just saying that and maybe she should go. So when you guys misinterpret what I'm trying to communicate, then I know I need to rephrase before I talk to her.

2) Yes. My wife has requested that U and I refrain from anything physical until she has had a chance to talk to the therapist and is comfortable with it. This seems perfectly reasonable to both U and I. I hope to make this a long-term thing. Holding off a couple of months to insure long term happiness is not a problem.

3) On the physical side, at least for now, I'm discovering that being with one energizes me for being with the other one. This was something I did not anticipate. But my wife actually asked me if this was why I have been so attentive to her lately... and the answer is, yes, yes it is.

As for the other guy... I have already been asked about that one too, on a purely hypothetical basis. I admitted that right now, even though I would have no moral ground to object, I don't think I could handle that. I couldn't stand the thought of her with another guy. Weirdly enough, this was apparently the right answer. I think maybe she was interpreting my jealousy (correctly) as desire for her to remain. So I'm glad I gave the honest answer instead of the fair one.

Last edited by stonebreaker; 05-07-2013 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonebreaker View Post
As for the other guy... I have already been asked about that one too, on a purely hypothetical basis. I admitted that right now, even though I would have no moral ground to object, I don't think I could handle that. I couldn't stand the thought of her with another guy. Weirdly enough, this was apparently the right answer. I think maybe she was interpreting my jealousy (correctly) as desire for her to remain. So I'm glad I gave the honest answer instead of the fair one.
What worked for me (Mono in a Mono/Poly relationship) was knowing that the option is open to me (in an effort to be "fair"), but having my partner understand that, given the way I love, if I were to start dating around, it would mean that our relationship would be in "casual" mode, and could quite possibly be replaced with something "serious". My partner would not be happy with that, but understands that with the option comes the consequence.

I personally don't plan on ever taking up this option (although there is a saying at work that "a plan is something to deviate from"), but knowing that he's thought this through and understands my Mono-ness versus his Poly-ness in this situation is a good thing.

His offering up the fact that I could date, though, was initially met with distaste on my part - that this relationship was, somehow, more of a casual one than I'd been led to believe. I'd caution anyone offering this to a Mono partner (especially one in an established, previously-Mono relationship) to beware that the offer may be taken as a "demotion" of the relationship rather than as an effort to be fair.

I would still caution you that the friendship between your wife and U may wax and wane as the emotions fluctuate. They may be great "friend material" but there are some pretty significant emotions floating around right now, and resentment is a sneaky little bugger. You will want to keep up the lines of communication with your wife and U and make sure they aren't falling prey to the "should monster" (which tends to be my big nemesis): "I should/shouldn't feel this way."

Instead, emotions just ARE. And when they ARE, they need to be addressed, or resentment can form. If you fall prey to, "I shouldn't feel this way," it can lead to burying your emotions instead. When it gets to that point, resentment is a much uglier beast to address.

Good luck...
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:53 PM
stonebreaker stonebreaker is offline
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YAH,

Thank you for alerting me to the "should monster". That seems like a very easy trap to fall into.

On the subject of additional dating, what I said to my wife was, if she wants to date, I wouldn't stop her because that wouldn't be fair. But I couldn't stand it. All I'd ask is to let me know she is going to date, then don't tell me anything else. I'd just be too jealous. And she smiled and hugged me.
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