Wasn't looking for poly; LD BF's wife is pissed
(Started writing this on the 16th. Haven't bothered to change the time spans.)
Been reading, learning, lurking for a little less than a month. Feel like there are things I want to ask, so it was time to join, and start with an intro.
Late 50's, been married to B for over 34 years.
Wasn't looking for poly, and B says that what I've become involved in doesn't even qualify me for a poly "learner's permit".
The short story is that an old HS BF (JP) reconnected with me in early September. Both of us have been married to our respective spouses for over 30 years. All we've done is e-mail and then phone calls - we're thousands of miles apart. He was professing love but a totally different sort of love than what he has for his wife And then backpedalling and saying, OK, we're friends. Quite the roller coaster, particularly for him. He'd found our breakup (my junior year of college) quite traumatic and apparently never forgot it.
Meanwhile, I made up (as far as __I_ knew!) the term emotional affair, and then figured out that I was falling back in love with JP. I'd heard of poly and read up on it, finding this forum and other on-line stuff. While reading up on polyamory, found references to "emotional affair" and sent them to JP, who was horrified. This obsessing is _exactly_ what's going on! Is this affecting your relationship with B? I'll stop writing right away. JP was floored by the idea that I said, if anything, this was making my relationship with B stronger because of, among other things, appreciating his qualities more and because we were talking more.
Told my husband B about falling back in love first before I admitted it to JP. B is glad that I figured out a way to fall in love with someone else without falling out of love with him. (Told him I didn't _figure out_ anything!)
Same day that I talked to B, I told JP that I thought I was falling in love with him. And pointed him at some polyamory links. He had never heard of it, was calling it "pal-amory" for a while. Which is kind of cute.
Anyway, B pointed out that JP's wife A being unaware of this was unstable. The three of us (me, B and JP) had a phone call trying to give JP some advice on how to break it to her. B suggested he start slow, saying that, in spite of her previous objection (about our e-mailing via his work account, behind her back, so to speak), that he did want to still be in touch with me. Off the phone later, when B said to think of how I would want to be told, I said I was of 2 minds. While I could see being pissed and shocked at hearing everything at once, I could also imagine being upset to be fed the story in bits, and to find out that I hadn't been given the whole story when I started hearing things.
JP finally told his wife A that weekend (8 days after I talked to the both of them about falling in love), and apparently spilled everything more or less at once. I can't tell what upset her the most - that we'd been in touch behind her back, that she can't believe he hasn't lost any love for her, that she thought he wanted to her to become part of a some polyamory relationship (although I have no idea what that would actually _mean_ in this situation) or what. She said she wanted a divorce. I got some terse e-mails a couple of weekends ago telling me what a disaster telling her had been, and that he needs to drop out of sight for the foreseeable future. And a one liner saying it was over between us.
One of the things in her history is a previous divorce, and a first husband who cheated on her. So apparently the idea of being in love with someone else is a huge trigger. She has 2 daughters from the previous marriage, but the parent-kid love analogy doesn't cut it for her either. (B and I have no kids, and JP and his wife have no kids of their own, Although he helped raise her kids, and considers the grandkids "his", to the point where he doesn't expect to get cut off from them in the unhappy event that a divorce _does_ materialize.)
Talked briefly on the Monday (Happy Birthday to me, not that he knew that!) to get more details about the weekend, and he followed up with the e-mail he'd already been writing, pretty much re-iterating how terrible things were. And threatening to move out and see how much she liked that.
On Tuesday I couldn't stand it, and wrote a short e-mail saying I was breaking silence to advise him _not_ to move out. That it would only confirm her belief that he didn't love her anymore. He responded that he hadn't been serious about that threat, and that he seemed to be slowly getting out of the doghouse - they were going to counseling Thursday evening.
So, for the time being all communication with JP is cut off, understandably.
B is being quite supportive, so that's not an issue.
I'll get around to putting more into one of the relationship threads.
1) Is B right - that if I'm not juggling things like physical time together and sex, is it even worth calling poly?
2) Should I just forget the whole thing? B suggested that I write the e-mails that I would send to JP, just not send them for now. Most of them have been either catching up on 38 years or what has been going on that day. Think of them as kind of a journal, and maybe one of these days or months or years A will calm down and we'll be in communication again.
3) all the definitions of poly talk about everyone being out in the open with it. I feel like we didn't start that way because we had no idea where it was heading. We were a couple of old friends catching up. There's the piece of me that's kicking myself for having even brought up the reading material and/or giving JP the idea that he needed to talk to his wife, and there's the other part of me that insists that it was the right things to do, and that it would have just hurt more if it had blown up even later.
Thanks, all! Reading this forum has been really helpful!
M - Me female, 59 - _trying_ to figure out if I'm poly
B - 56 - my husband for over 34 years
JP - 58 - my high school boyfriend, newly appeared in the picture after 38 years; very long distance; haven't actually seen him
A - 65? - JP's wife of over 30 years
Last edited by FarAwayLover; 11-26-2013 at 10:49 PM.