One leg of the Vee, Round Two
Hi everyone! I havn't yet posted in the introductions, so I'll provide some of the background here. My wife posted here first and brought this resource to my attention. (original post in the "Am I over thinking it?" thread).
I am the Monogamous husband in the second Vee now that my wife has initiated. The first relationship was great in a lot of ways for me.... she regularly took her partner and I to the same bed (and the sex was amazing). I enjoyed being a part of providing that pleasure for her. She would often be with both of us, whether sitting on our couch watching a movie at home or out on the town holding both our hands in public, and turn to me with this very deep look of appreciation and say "I Love You", with a face that I felt was a thank you for understanding her and allowing her to love another without hate or anger in my heart. Her happiness has always been my happiness, and the way she looked at me then is something I miss deeply in our current arrangement.
I felt a connection with her first lover that was more than just being buddies. We were both crazy for her, and we both enjoyed being her men, together. It also didn't hurt that I am Bi in my head, but Bi-curious only in practice (never been consumated) and I found her first man appealing, and potentially just-shy-of-straight. We all seemed very happy in our relationship initially.
Sadly, the distance between my wife and her new partner, his developing jealousy of the depth of her relationship with me, and her inability to cope with him having a relationship with anyone other than her driving him to committ monogamy to her all conspired to end that realtionship after around a year.
During that first relationship, I had twinges of jealousy that I felt i coped with well and treated as growing pains. When we started off, I had not expected her to fall in love with him. I thought it would be mostly physical, and hadn't considered the emotional implications. Looking back and knowing her as I do, I either 1) Should have known better, or 2) Did know better and ignored it .
I feel I handled the revelation that my wife loved someone other than me pretty damn well, since that definately was part of the agreement when we opened our marriage bed to others. The term "polyamory" was unknown to either of us at the time. The only truly difficult times I had were when she traveled to Los Angeles to work on the relationship without me (as I couldn't go due to work and family committments). Not too bad for the newly initiated??? Well, unfortunately that difficulty has become, for me, the one commanlity between the two relationships she has had.
Near the end, when the emotional damage of rejection landed on my wife, I didn't cope well because her relationship with him essentially stripped her away from me as a result of her grief. Someone else having that effect on her damaged me, as it made me feel somehow less important because suddenly I realized that I alone was not enough to maintain her happiness. I had already known that, intellectually. But until she had hurt that I couldn't fix or lessen in some way, that fact hadn't really sunk in. Logically, after watching both of my parents and damn near everyone else I know, for that matter, go through somewhere between 2X and 5X marriages, needing more than one person can give MAKES SENSE (yay for serial monogamy!! ) Emotionally, it still hasn't resolved for me.
(As an aside, I believe the root cause of said rejection was simply that her lover decided he could not handle being second to another, which he felt he was compared to me. What he said to her at one point was something like "I want what you and "MyotherB" have, but I can't have it with you because he already has it)
I felt I learned alot during that relationship. But I really don't know whether to call it a Triad or a Vee, because although he and I were not sexually more than friends, there was something there that was more. Maybe nothing more than mutual admiration.... but I'm certain we are now in a Vee. I'm not sure I'm OK with it.
Now we move on to current events!
She met her current lover while I was deployed ( <---Navy man of 14 years) She first slept with him while I was away, but with my (hesitant) permission. This caused tension, simply because I didn't know him I believe.
I met him while we vacationed back in my hometown about 2 weeks ago, and it eased things a bit, but not completely. Firstly, a large contributor to my acceptance/encouragement for her to be with another man was the concept of sharing her in bed, which is a huge turn on for me. Her current lover is not nearly as adventurous as we, and was obviuously uncomfortable just seeing me being affectionate with her. Hence, all intimacy has been seperate, and I am having an issue with it. For whatever the reason, I struggle with the paradigm of it being either "she and I" or "he and she".
Secondly, a ground-rule that we agreed to back before any of this happened was that I would not use her outside relationships as an excuse to bed someone else, as I said that I did not desire to. This has lead to a complication however, as I have begun to feel similarly to QuestioningMono in that I feel like I am being played like a chump. Truthfully, I don't really desire to be with someone other than my wife, except when she is away with her lover and I am left alone.
I don't think it is a revenge thing. I don't think it is a jealousy thing. I think I am envious of the fact that she doesn't have to be lonely like I do when we are apart, and a desire to be reassured that I'm not playing the doormat for her benefit and my own loss...
I only feel this way when she is away with him, like she is now (I'm home in WA, while she is with him in CA) or when she spent the night with him while we were on vacation, becasue things were awkward between the 3 of us when we we together.
Is it strange that I want permission to seek a relationship outside my marriage even though I'm not adamant about pursuing said relationship?? Does this mean I'm not really Mono, or does this mean I just can't handle the poly dynamic?
Would it be unfair of me to tell my wife she can't see someone that can't handle the 3 of us together? What if I ask her instead of "tell her" (since I've laid down the law maybe 2 times in our 20 year relationship ) and she tells me to suck it up?
Shit. Truth be told, I'm not really stoked about her new relationship. I feel like she jumped the gun on it, that he isn't right for us, and she was rebounding. I like the guy on a "hey, lets drink beer and watch the game" level, but I'm not sure he's the right guy for sharing the ONE love in MY life.
Fire away folks. I know that was long winded, thanks for reading the whole thing, provided you managed to do so