Where do I begin?
I think I'm working up the courage to bring up the subject of poly with my husband... who, as far as I know, has and always will be completely mono and completely devoted to me. That used to be partly down to (co)dependency; but we're slowly dealing with that.
This forum is amazing, and I'd like to ask some of you amazing people (flattery will get you everywhere, so I've heard, but you really are quite gobsmacking round here) for your advice as I take some deep breaths and limber up to taking my first steps....
If my husband and I had had a very open, honest, communicative relationship during the past 23 years, I'd probably just sit him down and gently begin... but our relationship has been far from open. We've only recently, at crisis point, confessed to each other about the deep issues we've been harbouring for the last 15-20 years or so.... issues which had been left to fester for so long that they had developed into crippling anxiety (him) and bitter resentment (me).
Our relationship broke; I couldn't take it any more. And not just because I'd fallen in love with another. I was deeply unhappy and so was my husband, T. One of us had to make a move. After a few weeks of therapy, I finally grew the balls (proverbially, not literally), to say, "we're not working any more... enough is enough". And I'm so glad I did.
I left for a while, but now we're halfway back.... back to working together, but not living in the same house. We still love each other deeply, and tell each other so several times a day. Yes, we still have many things to work through, but we're doing OK in the sense that things are calm, we're able to work, and even to go out with friends and enjoy our time together. His panic attacks seem to be over (apparently a big shock can sometimes rewire the brain), he's starting to get a grip of his dependency, and is generally healthier. I'm dealing a lot better with my crap. And a lot of the little things which seemed so big a few months ago have just faded away. I look at T differently now; and am so full of appreciation for what we've got.
But my Other man, G, is not someone I can let go of. I've always, always believed it's possible to love more than one person at once. And by "love", I mean deep, complete, utter, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking, heart-breaking love. That's what I feel for both of them. There are differences between them and what they give me / what I give them, but essentially I know (as far as I know anything) that I want to keep them both in my life.
I didn't know "this" had a name, until my therapist asked me if perhaps what I really wanted was a polyamorous relationship. When she explained what that was, I had a Eureka moment......... Yes! that was what I wanted! But my epiphany was quickly followed by...."but that would be impossible.... how could T or G ever accept that?"
So........... to stop rambling and get to my question. How do I begin to tell my husband that I want to go back to him, but in a relationship that is somewhat different?
That I want to stay with him - forever - but that I want to openly bring another person fully into my life - and that I want the Other to be in my life forever, too?
How do you bring up that subject with a man who is a) very monogamous (he says he has never even thought about being with someone else since the day we met)..... b) suffering from terrible low self-esteem....... c) no doubt still suffering feelings of rejection from our break-up just a few months ago, when he "tried" to throw himself out of a window...... (I'm using quotation marks because he used to threaten suicide on a regular basis if I didn't stay with him forever.... and I didn't believe that the run and jump towards the window was genuine, although it was very distressing at the time.)
(Bringing up the subject with G is another matter... equally difficult but I realise I need to take this one step at a time otherwise none of us will cope.)
From reading this forum, and from the benefit of my own experience in our recent discussions, I'd imagine that I probably need to tackle this gently, patiently and carefully.......... but how? Do I drop gentle hints? Write a letter?
The bottom line for me is that I want to save our relationship... and for me, that means changing it. I know this is going to be hard, but I believe it's worth a try.
My ideal, btw, is Vodkafan's arrangement - that I would spend 4 days a week with T and 3 with G......... but first things first. I need to find a way for the words to come out without causing any more pain and hurt than I already have done.
Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Thank you so much to anyone to takes the time to read this and respond.
The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin