Confused and hurting - Please help.
Hi all. New member here. I am here hoping to get constructive advice or help.
Let me start with background. My wife and I have been together for 6 years. When we first started dating she told me she still wanted to date other men as she had recently come out of a bad marriage. I said that was fine, that I understood since I had left an unbalanced relationship a few years before and I really did understand.
Several months later she told me that she had cut off other relationships with men because whenever she was with anyone else she was always thinking about me instead. From that point forward for 5 years we had a monogamous relationship. During this time period we had discussed her having girlfriends and even fantasized about us both having the same girlfriend but not much happened.
About two years ago my work became very stressful and was making me very depressed. At the time I was not in a place to seek counseling or therapy for it. I admit I started to drink more than was healthy, but it did not impact my ability to work and live. In October of 2011 I was finally fired because I would not let go of my concerns about the ethics of what my work was doing. The next month my wife was fired as well. During this time period my wife started actively looking for a girlfriend and dated a coupe of women. I did not react negatively and I still feel that I am not threatened or have issues with her having girlfriends. At the same time she wanted to start going to some clubs and parties which is not a scene I am comfortable with. She requested to go with a relatively new friend of hers, we will call him Picard for privacy. I had met Picard and felt comfortable that he would protect and watch over her and this also allowed her to express her exhibitionist tendencies and for him to enjoy his own voyeuristic tendencies since his wife, like myself, is very uncomfortable with that scene.
In April my wife got a really good job. Much more money than in the past and really good benefits. I immediately started counseling for the depression and polyamory since my wife was making more and more requests to change the rules for more freedom for Picard. I never said no to anything that was happening except penetration until I had time to address my depression and jealously. As I started the medication and started to FEEL again it became much harder to deal with her developing relationship with Picard. I asked her to stop that relationship for a time, as was the agreement when she first started to look for girlfriends, so I could come to terms with it a little more slowly as I was feeling the hurt more.
Instead of stopping she told me to trust her. A couple months later I expressed again that I was hurting and needed more time. Again she said that I needed to trust her that she would always come home to me.
A couple weeks ago she sat me down and asked me if I would not be happier trying to come to terms with my depression separated from her and if I was only staying with her out of stubbornness and habit. I was destroyed. I told her no I did not want to leave and that I loved her. What I really needed was for her to stop seeing Picard for "six months, three months whatever time you can give" while I came to terms with it and my depression.
Her response was "is that an ultimatum?". Then she proceeded to explain that my behaving jealous and hurt was making her unhappy and she could not deal with them. That she has been desperately lonely since before we were married and that was why she was bending and breaking the rules with Picard.
I admit I was not totally rational that day or the next. That day I again asserted that I did not want to leave. But the next day thinking about that whole conversation I felt what she truly wanted was for me to be out of the way so she could be happy. So I packed my stuff and went to a friends house.
That was handled poorly on my part as I know she has some deep-seated abandonment issues. It is the one thing in our relationship that I truly regret doing.
She did agree to continue seeing my counselor as our marriage counselor and we have had one session to see if we can salvage this. We have also both scheduled appointments with separate counselors as well.
I honestly don't know if I can ever be comfortable with her dating men. I truly have and am trying to understand and become comfortable an accepting of this need but combined with no job and fighting depression it is very difficult.
I feel betrayed and heartbroken that her desire for outside relationships with other men apparently is not subject to compromise on her part and apparently is more important than our relationship.
I really don't want to lose her.
Does anyone out there have any advice or suggestions for reading material for me? I really don't want to lose her.