Starting from Square -1
I've read a ton of good information here about people going through things similar to what I'm experiencing, so I suppose any question I'd ask is probably redundant. Still, I feel like I need to talk, and maybe be heard by people who understand.
My husband and I met our best friends a few years ago. Kilo was my colleague and his wife Juliet became close friends with me and my husband, Charlie. Juliet was the matron of honor at our wedding. Kilo and Charlie have game nights multiple times a week. (names not real, just for the record)
Charlie and Juliet began an emotional and physical affair about a year ago now, and I found out about it in January. I found out, and then I drank all the rum in the house.
And then Charlie and I talked, a lot. And eventually, Kilo and Juliet and I talked a lot as well. Charlie and Juliet wanted a poly relationship with each other and Kilo and I, but they had messed up the steps to get there very badly. We went to some therapy, exchanged very long letters, and over the months since January went through different phases, each of us.
For me, it started with shock, anger, and hurt. Then a kind of denial. Then, waves of panic, anxiety, depression, exasperation, and (with some difficulty) a growing sense of independence. I worked a lot on myself, and came to a place of basic acceptance. I've seen others here refer to a kind of resignation, and I think that sums it up. I still have negative feelings, but I'm working with them, and I am tired of putting myself through hell. What will be will be.
For Charlie, the affair had been exhilarating, gratifying, even spiritual, but also uncomfortable in its secrecy. It was a relief in some ways to have it in the open, but he feared losing me. He went through periods of self-justification and making excuses. Sometimes he was angry with me. He and Juliet are both very proud people. In the end he has been sympathetic, balanced, and remorseful, but always he is unwavering in his belief now that poly is in his heart.
For Kilo, surprise became acceptance very quickly. He is devoted to Juliet, and has no wish to cage her. He and Charlie resolved their tension in that mysterious way of men - gruff noises, a hearty handshake, and a cold pint. Ahh, simplicity. Kilo now seeks his own secondary relationship(s).
Juliet started out uncommunicative, defiant, and ultimately paralyzed. Guilt, to which she's normally a stranger, was tough for her to acknowledge, and she became frustrated with all of us, including herself, I think. It's fading, now, and she's remorseful.. Fear has her stuck, though, and she is unsure of much but her ultimate goal - to live in love with both Charlie and Kilo.
And so here we are. Me, cautious but invested. Kilo, supportive and embracing poly in his own way. Charlie and Juliet knowing what they want, but not how to get there. Our journey into poly began with an earthquake in our lives, a great destabilization - not really a good way to begin a relationship where so much trust is needed. But here we are, trying to approach the road ahead with open minds and hearts.
I've been reading a lot since all this began, and I copy down a lot of things that help me. This one feels appropriate for the occasion:
Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.
- Mary Oliver