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Old 03-02-2010, 10:15 PM
Vexed Vexed is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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Default Mono marriage in trouble

Hello,

I've done a bit of reading this past year about polyamory, and I just need to bounce some thoughts off of people. My situation is that I am in a severely strained mono marriage. My wife and I have been married almost ten years. We have one wonderful son together.

Although I never had sex with another woman while married, there were two occasions when I had too much to drink and ended up kissing other women. Additionally, I used to sneak looking at porn, something she abhors. Even though I said I wouldn't anymore, I would break down and look at it again after 6 months or so.

In these issues I hid the offenses, which naturally resulted in a huge trust divide once she found out. Now it's just gotten messy, with distrust, screaming matches, and woe if she does catch me glancing at another woman. While I feel I've made progress, I feel like it doesn't count for much in her eyes.

Trying to trace out my issues that resulted in me acting behind her back, I realized that even early in our relationship I felt regret at forgoing the possibility of pursuing emotional/romantic relationships with other women. Like I said, I was married young, and I thought emotional & physical interest in other women would pass. It hasn't. I have a feeling that had I not gotten married when I did, and had I heard of it then, I might have become a poly a long time ago.

I would like to believe I have matured since I violated my wife's trust. With counseling, I am trying to heal the effects of my dishonesty. At the same time, though, I feel relief at the thought that there is a type of relationship out there where responsible adults can form relationships with more than one person. I can't help but think that maybe it's that kind of relationship I truly belong in.

Due to my work we've been living apart for a few months, and in that time I feel less stressed, more focused, and have even started working out regularly, something I haven't done in years. People see me as kind, friendly, and reliable. I don't feel that way around my wife.

I am not afraid of the truth anymore. I have learned so much about myself, and about how my actions have hurt my wife. I am also very sad to see how much anger she harbors.

Even if she would accept polyamory, which she won't, I know that introducing polyamory cannot fix a broken relationship. The problem is I feel extreme pain at the prospect of having my marriage end because, it could be summed up, I'm not happy. It just feels selfish.

I don't know which "right" is more right...
1) Honoring my commitment, being at home for my son, and doing whatever counseling I need to do to re-establish our love and become a better husband, or
2) Recognizing that we are both in so much pain and will continuously cause each other (and our son, by extension) unhappiness because, at its root, I want something different out of a relationship than she does.

I'm not asking for people to "tell me what to do", but I am curious about other people's insights and thoughts. Especially those that had a divorce from a mono marriage before they embarked on the poly life. Thank you.
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