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Old 04-24-2010, 07:12 PM
atheist atheist is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 3
Unhappy WOW! What a SNAFU! Part one.

This is a bit of stream of consciousness writing to help me try to figure out where I am and how in the hell I got here in the first place.

Almost a year ago I started playing pool and throwing darts with a female friend on a fairly regular basis about once a week. It started out as a group of friends but as time wore on more and more it was just us shooting pool. Almost 6 months of shooting pool, and a month or so of my wife asking me if I was going out with my ďgirlfriendĒ on the weekend to tweak me, my wife basically informed me that, yes, I had indeed fallen in love with this other, married, woman. I tried to deny it, not wanting it to be true as I feared how something like that would damage the relationship with my wife, who I considered and referred to as my angel. I was also somewhat embarrassed that if it were true, Iíd been *caught* at something that felt wrong to me and that I probably should have seen and if I were a ďgood husbandĒ Iíd have acted to end pool nights and keep from being in situations that would result in us getting even closer than we already were. That didnít work, and in very short order I admitted that yes, I was in love with her. Immediate dilemma for me, what to do now; what do I do? Pool night comes around and again, itís just us two at the pool hall. I told her I loved her and asked her how she felt. She needed a little time to think about it. That same evening after taking what felt like forever, she told me that she had also fallen in love with me. My wife knew, and our families were very close so in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, we both decided right then and there that her husband needed to be told about this as soon as she got home.

He didnít take it well. He didnít take it well at all. My lovely wife basically told us we were morons and should have kept it a secret since the only thing that could have happened by him knowing was that heíd be hurt, which isnít good for anyone and is actually quite cruel to him. She had been in favor of us having an affair. Oh well, it was too late for that now. So we dealt with it as best we could. Over the next few days or maybe a week or so I learned the following.

My wife had a 4+ year long affair with my best friend, and she has had a one night stand with two other people. In the distant past she had sex a few times with the person who was my best friend at that time, and she was the person with whom another friend lost his virginity. My wife has been ďin loveĒ with yet a different person for over 20 years without my knowledge. Wow! I can either have a blow-up and demand that behavior of that sort end forever or weíre done, or I can blow-up and leave her for cheating on me, or I can ďcopeĒ and let the intellect win over the feelings of jealousy and betrayal. Two teenage children, a mortgage, and 22 years of marriage spent building a life where I had never felt neglected or unloved, the *best choice* seemed to be to ďsuck it upĒ and get on with life, and just deal with my self-proclaimed polyamorous wife, and let her continue to have her fun, so to speak. Not only that, in large part, apparently, because 22 years ago I had told her, and kept telling her every once in a while, ďwhat I donít know wonít hurt meĒ, she had a rationale that was basically unspoken permission to have affairs and/or trysts as much as she wanted, with the responsibility that I never learn about them. But now I was in love with someone in addition to my wife, and that didnít diminish the love I felt for my wife, and it was a nice feeling to be loved by two women, so now I could probably empathize with wanting to sleep with other women (at least this one) without it affecting how I felt about my wife, like she said her trysts/affairs didnít affect how she felt about me. Welcome to the world of polyamory.

Did I have any affairs during the 22 years of our marriage? I think I *might* have had a couple of one night stands within a couple of the first two to three years, but if so, I donít remember them, but remembering back to the kind of person I was, I believe I probably did have a few. I did have one ďaffairĒ with a girl about 5-6 years into our marriage where I met her and had sex on 2 or three different occasions, and I had a one night stand about 8 years into our marriage, but my wife knew about that one beforehand, and while she said sheíd rather I didnít do anything with her, I did. Maybe because a couple of years prior to that I had an opportunity to sleep with an old high school girlfriend that Iíd never had sex with before, I asked her about that and when she said sheíd rather I not, I didnít. Iím just not sure, but for the most part I had permission from my wife to sleep around if I wanted to while I was an over the road truck driver, and I took advantage of it, without her knowledge, only with that girl I mentioned having the very, very short lived affair with. I never specifically gave her permission, other than the rule that sent a double meaning; ďwhat I donít know wonít hurt meĒ.

My wife is polyamorous in that she can love more than one person at a time, and sheís known this since before we got married. Hell, she almost talked me into a ďgroupĒ arrangement early in our marriage, but I just couldnít get rid of the jealousy, so I put the stop to it. Well, what I know is that I put the stop to the group arrangement, and I put a stop to this particular individual, but not my wifeís sleeping with other guys. Isnít that a nice thought? Yeah, that was snarky, and whatís good for the goose is good for the gander, and I was sleeping around on her several times during the time leading up to our engagement, which was short as we married soon afterward, so itís also hypocritical, isnít it? Okay, so my wife tells me about her various ďencountersĒ with other guys. At the end of the first evening of her confessions she says to me that thatís all there was. Then thereís another night of further confessions, and thatís all there was. Finally, at least a third night, and thatís all there is, and this is, if memory serves me correctly, the night of the confession to the 4 year affair, or the confession of the 20 year love interest, but maybe both. I honestly donít remember the order anymore. What I didnít pay enough attention to, apparently, was that she was adamant about telling me that nobody had her heart like I did by telling me that at the front end of every tryst/love affair she made it blatantly obvious to her chosen partner that theyíd NEVER supplant me in her heart and there was no way sheíd allow them to ever consider her their primary love interest, and she demanded of them that she never become their primary love interest. Talk about quashing and muting the potential for unfettered, uncontrolled emotional bonding and growth; itíd be nigh impossible if thatís on the very front end of any ďengagementĒ.

During this time of confession and getting ďhonestĒ with each other weíre also discussing my own first-hand knowledge and experience with honest to goodness love of more than one person. Iím very uncomfortable with it, and tell her on more than one occasion that for some reason, whether socialization or something else I canít identify, I think Iíd actually be more comfortable trying to hide the whole thing from her and just have had an affair. Good idea, bad idea, who knows? Itís probably a bad idea since we are supposedly being honest and totally up front about everything. Iím also learning that she believes lying, or preferably deflection and misdirection, is acceptable when the truth serves no good purpose and will result in hurt feelings, and when thereís no good result but itís known that hurt feelings would be the result, the truth in that case is the equivalent to intentional and calculated harm to someone, and itís not nice, nor is it acceptable to intentionally hurt someone when no good can come of it. Okay, I understand that. Does that mean the same rule applies at all times, even when dealing with oneís spouse in what is now a totally open, honest, up-front relationship? Why? Because that relationship isnít worthy of the protection others are afforded by the ďwhen is lying and/or misdirection okayĒ, rule? Or is the critical assumption that nothing will hurt because weíll trust that it isnít the intent to cause pain, or that somehow the pain is a good thing, or what? I donít get it at all when itís applied here? How much trust do you have for your spouse and how much do they trust you, and in what terms and to what degree under what circumstances?

cont'd in next post.
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