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Old 05-17-2009, 06:56 AM
JustMe JustMe is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2
Exclamation Don't even know where to begin...

My husband and I had a dear friend, a best friend, a friend who we'd known for three years before we invited him into our home to share our lives. It was wonderful. He was "just a friend" but we worked incredibly well as a household - for 3 years. My husband has always been very jealous and so, when I developed sexual feelings for our friend, I didn't feel comfortable sharing them with him.

Then I did something really stupid and we started an affair. I lied to myself and told myself that I could have everything. I love them both so much, in slightly different ways. It has always been so clear to me that I love my husband deeply and passionately and want to share and build a life with him. I also always wanted to have this other person in my life and felt such a strong emotional connection. As it is with all deceits, we were found out. About 8 months ago, our entire world exploded and our friend was forced to move out. I can not express exactly how much I realize that I was wrong and committed the unforgivable betrayal.

My total comfort with the concept of polyamory opened it up for discussion as we have been trying to work things out. My husband had a good friend from a previous job that he often confided with as he struggled to work things out and one night, one thing led to another. He knew that I was okay with it so he could explore that experience. He had never thought that it was possible to have that kind of love for two people simultaneously. He realized it was possible and that it had happened.

We agreed that he could explore the relationship and acknowledged that my betrayal made it still too soon for me to have any contact with my former lover. If he decided polyamory wasn't for us, I was willing to make the choice live in a monogamous relationship - and I could be (and was for several years) happy this way.

However, he decided poly wasn't something he could deal with. The idea of me with someone else, especially this other person (the only one I really have any desire to connect to besides my husband), wasn't something he could handle.

He also has really fallen in love with this other woman and I truly want to honor that. I've been there and know the pain of separation. He's allowed me to have electronic contact with my former lover, but acknowledges that he's still incredibly angry with him. Angry enough that it scares him.

Sometimes, as I'm home alone, while he's off with his girlfriend (note: this doesn't happen all that often, 1x/every 2 weeks or so) I start wondering if my guilt has made me overly compliant. The irony of my interest in polyamory triggering him having a new relationship while I'm not allowed to is not lost on me. His being with her doesn't make me jealous but it makes me angry/sad/baffled that he can feel that connection and still deny me having it again. Is this fair, some suitable consequence for having cheated?

To be true to my beliefs, I feel like I have to allow the relationship to continue. Destroying something that I know is special and precious to him would make me feel like a heel. Selfishly, I also don't want to have to trade off "you can't see her" and losing the little remaining contact I do have with the person who was basically my best friend for years.

Anyone ever had such an experience? Do any couples ever start an open relationship after an affair? Am I being foolish to let this continue in the hope that his views will continue to change and he will grow comfortable with me at least having a platonic relationship with this person? We talk and talk and I know he's tortured by it all but I also know he doesn't want to give her up or let me also be open.
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