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Old 01-25-2010, 05:31 AM
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Seasnail Seasnail is offline
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Red face Puzzling new developments

How do I start? My husband had an affair, and in the aftermath, asked me to consider polyamory. I agreed to open our relationship up to the possibility of polyfidelity. We tried for a bit to make it work (it was complicated!!) with his GF, but there was too much hurt there and none of us had any experience with polyamory. She decided to walk away, and even though there was so much hurt, I grieved to see her go, because I came to love her too.

It came as a complete surprise to me to find a second relationship before my HB did. I think I am still shocked. I wanted to be open to my HB having addional relationships, but I never suspected I would have one! I have been seeing my BF for nearly 3 months now, and my HB has been supportive of the relationship the whole time. He has recently developed a relationship with a woman that I think is lovely, and I want to be supportive of him seeing her too.

I really don't like the change process. I feel very vulnerable not knowing how much she will become a part of our lives. I am afraid of reacting poorly should I see them being very intimate, because I am afraid of being rejected by her. Rationally, I know my HB would not continue to see someone who wouldn't love me, but my emotions keep rising. I decided to reach out to her to help combat my fears, but it is difficult because she lives in another city.

HB and I had a long talk today. I asked him a lot of questions, trying to understand where he is coming from and what he wants both in the long and short term. I am still not sure I understand his needs at all, and I wonder if he understands mine.

I am an introvert, and I have been completely monoamory-oriented until this time last year. At first the very idea of polyamory was threatening, but I challenged my assumptions because it seemed so important to my HB that I understand him. I love him, and I want him to be happy, and I think that denying him lovers other than myself will eventually make him unhappy. And I have discovered that it's easy to love two people at the same time, and that I like a close bond between metamours. I like the casual way my BF can sit between us and give us each a hand to hold, and I like co-supporting him when he's had a rough day. It's also one of the things I missed most when my HB's first GF decided not to stay.

One of the things my HB and I touched on today was (going back to the topic of introversion!) how his relationships with others affect me. I tend to like to keep myself private. I am very choosy about who I will be intimate with. I want to have a deep sense of trust with anyone I am intimate with, be they friend, family, or lover. I want anyone who is my HB's family to be my family.

HB on the other hand is an extrovert, and will tell anyone pretty much anything they ask. He would also like to have casual relationships. This is a sticky point for me, and I'm still puzzling out why. It doesn't feel safe to me on an emotional level. Am I afraid that I will bond deeply with the metamour, only to be hurt when it doesn't turn out to be a long-term thing? Is it that I am afraid he will share intimate things about me with her, and that I will feel my privacy has been violated? Am I afraid just because it is new? Maybe I am remembering the pain of his affair, and putting it onto this new situation?

I want to get beyond these fears and insecurities. HB and I brainstormed today, things I could do when I am afraid & need some reassurance. I notice that my HB and my metamour both have this way of checking in every once in a while. Because I'm an introvert, I find it very challenging to go somewhere without being invited, even if "somewhere" is my husband's lap - I don't want to invade his privacy. He came up with the idea for the code phrase "Hey, I've been looking for you, we're supposed to go get hot chocolate." The idea is that if he's with his GF, then that gives him an opportunity to invite me to spend time with both of them together and develop our team/family relationship. While if he's with someone new, he thought it would be a good way for me to tell him I needed to check in with him for reassurance. He said he could excuse himself for a moment to go with me to get hot chocolate, and if I don't need privacy, I could invite the new woman to come with us.

In summation, I have a lot of puzzling to do, and I feel a bit confused, as I work through old values and reactions and experience new ones. I'd sure like any support you can offer.
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