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Old 02-23-2011, 06:35 PM
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ladyintricate ladyintricate is offline
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Default Husband of 10 years is Poly-Just Found Out

My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have two kids together. Two years ago he kissed a woman that he worked with and I found out about the kiss. I confronted him and was very hurt because I felt up until that point that we had a loving and honest relationship. It was very emotional for me and him. He apologized profusely that he had kissed her and especially that he kept it secret, but said that he was starting to love this woman and he thinks that he is polyamorous. He begged me not to leave him because he “loves me and always has” and said that his dishonesty was wrong, but it was because he was trying to pretend that he didn’t love this other person when he did. Anyway, I was very hurt by the dishonesty, but I love him and what he said was genuine (of course there was much more said, but this was the gist). I agreed that as long as he was 100% honest in the future he could be close friends with this woman and I would try to be friends with her as well. Basically, that she would be in our life – if I could handle that, I would try.

Fast forward 2 years (now) and my husband cheated on me with this person. I was doubly betrayed because she had become a friend. I feel like I did all that I could and I tried so hard and then he lied to me again and he had sex with her as well, when I told him that this was NOT ok. He says that it was a huge mistake and that he still loves me and he knows it was wrong. He says that he fell completely in love with her through continuing to be friends with her, but that he never wanted to hurt me. Per him, he knew that I could not handle him having a “more than friends” relationship with her because of what I had said before, but could not bear to not be in love with her, so he lied to me. I do not think any of that last part, as far as his actions, are OK at all and I have told him this. I told him that the only way we can even hope to work through this is if he does not have contact with her anymore. It has been about 3 weeks now and he has honored my wishes.

Some days I feel like I am working through this, but he still misses her and tells me about that. I understand that he loves her and that he is dealing with not having her in his life anymore, but I cannot handle him telling me about that because of the betrayal associated with it for me. He has said that he still loves her and wants her in his life and he is worried he will never be happy and that he will just make me miserable.

I am definitely monogamous- that is just me. However, I am willing to accept him for who he is and maybe someday (after a lot of healing) even try to be in a poly relationship with him. However, I cannot ever try to open myself up to that with this particular woman involved (it just hurts too much). What should I do? Should I just give this all time for us to both heal?

I'm sorry to pour all this out (I know this is a book), but I don’t know what to do. Totally unchartered territory for me and him. We went to a marriage counselor and she really wasn’t much help at all.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:24 PM
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this must be hard for you i understand. i think it might be well known that we dont get a choice for whom we fall for,love happens. but we spend our whole lives being conditioned to the lie that we are special,and that there is only one out there in the big world that will help us feel special.
this might be an oppertunity to search deep down into your self and understand how you love yourself. if you can love yourself unconditionaly,you will heal.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:39 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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i think it might be well known that we dont get a choice for whom we fall for,love happens.
Perhaps not, but we DO have a choice about how we go about ACTING on our "love".

The OP's husband should have had a talk with the OP before he fucked his "love".

Last edited by NeonKaos; 02-23-2011 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:51 PM
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no disagreement there,communication,honesty,which the lack of causes alot of unneeded turmoil. sounds like hubby is just lacking in courage.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:39 PM
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First of all, I am so sorry for you. What your husband did was wrong. Cheating isn't okay no matter how poly you feel yourself to be or how much you love the person you cheated with.

I have one question; when your husband told you he might be poly, did you just leave it at that? Did it ever come up again before his betrayal was uncovered? Or did you think it should be enough for your husband to be just friends with this woman? It's likely that after the discussion, you had somewhat different understanding of what you had agreed on. Or it might be that you had a perfect agreement, and he chose to go against that.

What I would do in a situation like that is take a lot of me time. You are under no obligation to hear him rant on about his other love. Since you have kids, it might be hard to consider a temporary separation, but if you don't feel like talking about it, you can just say that out loud. Get into therapy and suggest he goes separately, so you don't have give therapy to each other.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:17 PM
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ladyintricate ladyintricate is offline
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BlackUnicorn and Kreeativ, Thank you for your supportive words.

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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
I have one question; when your husband told you he might be poly, did you just leave it at that? Did it ever come up again before his betrayal was uncovered? Or did you think it should be enough for your husband to be just friends with this woman? It's likely that after the discussion, you had somewhat different understanding of what you had agreed on. Or it might be that you had a perfect agreement, and he chose to go against that.
We talked about it a LOT. I wanted to be very clear and I was (he has told me that himself). At the point where I first found out he was poly and that he had kissed this other woman (I will call her A.) I was very hurt and upset and confused. I wanted to know what he needed and what I needed so that we could both evaluate if we could do those things and continue our marriage and how to do that. He said that he was ok with just having her as a very close friend (platonic - no sex or kissing) in his life and he hoped that I could accept her as a friend as well. I agreed to this with the caviat that we would keep communication open and no dishonesty. I talked to her about what I was comfortable with and with him and everyone agreed to that.

This all worked fairly well for a while, except that I never felt much more than a weak friendship for A while he seemed to get closer and closer to her up until now/the affair.

My husband says that he wasn't able to keep it to the platonic love level and that he basically panicked because he loved us both and then the sex and dishonesty happened. He says that if it is between her or me it is me. At this point I know myself well enough to know that I cannot trust her again and I cannot trust him again with her, so that situation (if I am involved) much to my husband's unhappiness, is over.

Now I am trying to figure out where do we go from here? I truly love him and I want him to be happy. I want ME to be happy too. No more lies, no more deceit, but how do we make this work?

Last edited by ladyintricate; 02-23-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:16 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Originally Posted by ladyintricate View Post
...................

Now I am trying to figure out where do we go from here? I truly love him and I want him to be happy. I want ME to be happy too. No more lies, no more deceit, but how do we make this work?
Hello Lady,

It's unfortunate that things unfolded the way they did but if it's any help, understand that this seems the rule rather than the exception.

LovingRadiance has posted some very sage comments that ties in much of the reality of this. I would read this over, and over and over until I fully understood it.

I would only add possibly one thing that might add clarity.

It's critical to truly understand that loving more than one person is our NATURAL state ! We do it all the time in various other ways. It's only when it comes to what some call "romantic" love, sex etc that people have tried to change the rules.
But we all know what happens when people try to make rules that run against our basic human nature. The rules get broken unless we can identify some real danger more serious than our discomfort.

So what happens here is that in general, a church dominated culture has suppressed any real education and dialog regarding what love is and how we may deal with all it's various facets. So when these totally natural events eventually pop up - and they do for a majority of people - we have little knowledge how to proceed in any wise and caring manner. So we stumble, make mistakes, hurt ourselves and others and then cry foul.
What we needed to avoid this was not more rules that go against our basic natures, but more knowledge & understanding of this nature and constructive methods for dealing with it ! That seems to be what the growing public polyamourous culture is trying to bring to light.

It's entirely possible to live in complete harmony with ourselves and loved ones, but like so many other things, we need some 'lessons'. A little help. A little support along the way.

If you can embrace this, this place along with many others, books and other resources can ease this transition into a more natural way of living & relating.

All I can suggest is wipe the past clean. Don't hang onto mistakes born of ignorance. You both TRIED to navigate this with what little knowledge & instinct you had. It simply wasn't enough. Nobody is truly at 'fault' except the culture that has tried to suppress basic human nature. Take a deep breath, get learning and TALKING ! Incessantly ! Forgive each other if that helps.
Start again. This time wiser and more curious.

We're all here to help any way we can.

GS
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:32 PM
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Well said - both Loving Radiance and Grounded Spirit...

I have nothing to add that would not sound trite next to their words of wisdom...

hugs to you and I hope you find the peace in your heart to move forward a step at a time
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:38 AM
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ladyintricate ladyintricate is offline
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Default Much love to all!

Thanks so much everyone. Your words and the dialogue in general have helped me get some perspective and feel some much needed support. We don't know anyone in our area (Houston, TX) that is polyamorous (although I am sure they are here) and all that the few friends I have told about the situation keep telling me is to leave him, or their was something I wasn’t giving him so he went to find it with another woman, or he is just being selfish, and blah, blah, blah.

That kind of talk and perspective, while I realize they are on my "side;" is not helpful to me at all (or to him, obviously). I truly believe him when he tells me he knows he royally messed up when he lied to me and acted dishonestly and that he does love me and always has. He WAS trying to protect me and that was why he lied and it got out of hand. I have made it VERY clear that I need him to treat me like an equal and be completely honest from here on out.

However, as much as I am trying to empathize with him (and I feel that I do for the most part – I see him hurting) that he loves A. and misses her, I also recognize that MY needs at this time are that he does not have contact with her. We have talked about this at length and he understands that and that she betrayed me almost as much as he did. For now he has not contacted her at all (except the day after I found out when we agreed that he would call her and say good bye to her) and he says that he understands why this is something that I need to heal. I have told him that maybe (but at this point I don’t see it changing) in the future this will change. My husband and I are being brutally honest at this point. We are both so happy that the lies are done and he told me just last night that me being able to accept him for truly himself was something that he didn’t think anyone could do, so he didn’t really give me the chance. He is so happy now that everything between us is in the open and that we are now working together to find out what will make us both happy means the world to him (and me!).

We have an agreement that we both need to work through this time and both heal and then we will re-evaluate. Do you think we should talk about a time frame with this – when we will re-evaluate, I mean?

Keep in mind that A. also had a boyfriend who has been with her well before my husband met her and he is all of our friend as well. He had no idea of their having a physical relationship until this came to light and is very hurt also. They are working on their relationship that was supposed to be monogamous, too.

Anyway, I don’t want to seem like I am defensive. I really have had my eyes opened to the fact that a part of who my husband is means that he has the capacity to love more than one person deeply at a time. This is not at all a bad thing about him. It is beautiful, in fact.

All of the changes that this brings to my perceptions have me reeling right now, but the complete honesty and the love that we are making sure we are expressing every day to each other is helping me get through this.

Also, even though he hasn’t posted anything on the forum, you better believe he and I are reading these posts together.

Much love to all of you!
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:17 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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We have an agreement that we both need to work through this time and both heal and then we will re-evaluate. Do you think we should talk about a time frame with this – when we will re-evaluate, I mean?
In my experience, yes. It's a very good idea to put a time-frame in for re-evaluating.
EVEN if what happens on that date is that you agree to extend to a new date, it shows good faith on both parts that you both understand that there is "work" to do, and that it needs to be done in a "timely" manner.

That doesn't mean that "everything" gets resolved at the next "evaluation". It just makes it easier to hold yourselves accountable and to see that you are both serious about holding yourselves accountable.
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