poly and affair
HI everyone, i am new to this forum and i am also fairly new to the polyamory lifestyle. Its been an off and on thing for me but my partner and i have been heavily involved in a polyamory relationship with another married couple for the last 2 1/2 months.
my partner and i have been together for 5 years and have always been extremely open and honest with each other and have always had complete trust for one another. We have had the type of relationship that people envy where we are so into each other and display our love for one another to the world. he makes me feel like the only woman alive and i know i do the same for him. We take the time nearly every day to focus on our relationship and work on it to make it continually better. So its safe to say that what we have is pretty special and amazing and neither of us have any doubts that we will be life long partners.
Soooo... last year we become friends with a couple and it was quite flirty between all of us from the beginning. At first it was only about flirting but after a drunken party we ended up swapping with this couple who have never been involved in a poly type relationship. My partner and I had discussed the poly lifestyle before so we were half prepared for what was ahead of us.
We became heavily involved with this couple quickly after that first night together and i fully believed that my partner and i were on the same page as far as what the boundaries were as well as our level of honesty and communication. We helped each other to feel secure whenever there were any doubts about the situation and i thought that all was well in our own relationship. HOwever, i can see now that there were still some grey areas that we should have addressed further for ourselves as well as with this other couple.
There was a point where i thought my partners "girlfriend" was getting too involved with him by having too much outside contact (through texting and facebook). I KNEW that she was after more from him so after speaking with BOTH of them i believed that they were toning things down as we all agreed that it was getting too heavy.
so to suddenly make a long story abruptly short we ended up breaking up with this couple just over a week ago because it was slowly but surely starting to create problems in my own relationship, despite my partner and i doing everything we could to keep each other feeling secure and following all the "rules". At the time i believed that both my partner and myself wanted it to be this way as he seemed happy to end it with her.
So here i am thinking that its all over but last friday i happened to see my partners facebook open while he was in bed. i had long suspected that his girlfriend was too involved (as i mentioned above) and my instincts were screaming at me to look at the facebook messages. i could not resist looking to see if i was right or not and what i came across has completely destroyed me.
it turns out that they were pretty much having an affair over the last 4 weeks. They were talking like they were in love (i was always under the impression that he did not feel that way about her as he has always told me that) and they were lying and sneaking behind my back (as well as his girlfriends husbands back) constantly.
To me it is an affair because it was based on lies and deceit and anything that you wouldnt tell your partner about is considered an affair in my books. I always believed that we were 100% honest with each other as we have always been this way since we've been together. so it was such a horrible shock to see him lie like this.
obviously i have confronted him and we are working on why this happened and my partner admits that it wasnt about "her" but more about fulfilling his need to experience that initial "honeymoon phase" when you first meet someone. That 24/7 constant excitement, that crazy passion, the butterflies etc etc. I understand this completely but what i am struggling with is the level of deceit that he went to. for 5 years i have had nothing but complete trust for this man. We have always been so honest with each other and i took great pride in that so its extremely hard for me to believe that he would lie to me like this.
He said that he knew he was lying but once the first lie was created he found it more and more difficult to stop and the more he lied the more he couldnt bring himself to tell me what was going on. he didnt want to hurt me. (that is a cop out but i still understand where he is coming from) i also know that this girlfriend pushed him constantly into getting more (the evidence was in their facebook exchanges) and that he denied her at first but slowly fell into the trap of deceit and lies.
So my question is how does one recover from a situation like this and learn to trust again? My partner has ALWAYS gone the extra mile to show me his love and trust and now seeing him go that extra mile to win back my trust isnt working because i dont believe in him. Its so sad and I am in so much pain.
We are going to counselling in a couple of weeks (we cant get in any sooner) so in the meantime i am trying to figure all of this out on my own. i am so confused and heart broken and want to find a way to believe him again.
has anyone else had their trust abused like this or has your partner had an "affair" while you are in a polyamorous relationship?
i hope everything i said makes a lot of sense. i had to leave some things out in order to keep this simple and easy to follow. I know that i havent mentioned much about my "boyfriend" but there really isnt much to tell because neither of us crossed any boundaries.
any advice is truly appreciated