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  #1  
Old 12-04-2018, 08:36 AM
soulsearching soulsearching is offline
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Default Out of my depth

Hi there... Being here is very strange for me; my background is a pretty conservative faith one (though only since my teens - that's a whole other story). In my head I get why my faith community is absolutely firm on one opposite-sex partner for life, but my experience has been more one of not-quite-serial monogamy, finding myself wanting to get out of an existing relationship when the 'new relationship energy' kicks in with someone else. I've now been married for some long time, with what my community would call 'emotional affairs' along the way; all but the most recent eventually discovered/disclosed, with predictable consequences.

Reason I'm here is that not long ago I met a young woman. Forgive the mush, but she's truly remarkable; scarily smart, attractive, utterly uninhibited sexually. She also has her struggles, and that makes it 'worse' because I want to help, to be a rescuer (she absolutely doesn't want that!). She's also clearly poly. When we first met, our relationship went from platonic but intense (we're interested in a lot of the same things, and surprisingly have a lot in common, though from very different angles) to romantic, to lustful, to one glorious night. Oh my god. But then two things kicked in - first, I made some big mistakes, having no idea how to handle what was happening, and I hurt her quite badly emotionally. Second, there were shifts in her existing relationships, particularly one where she and the other discovered overwhelming attraction, feelings, shared values. That hit me like a train, being completely unprepared.

So now she and I have quite an odd relationship - hardly anything physical, and the majority of her time and focus is on her other partners. But she tells me what's happening in her life, and there are ways I help her practically. (And I hang on to the hope that some day she may come to some kind of faith experience, which on a human level seems very unlikely given her current philosophical commitments). I often wonder if she wishes I would go away - sometimes to my shame I let slip how needy I feel for the affection and all else I know she could offer. I guess I could look elsewhere for some of that, but - call me crazy - I feel a huge sense of loyalty to her and I want to still be there for her regardless of anything she does (I guess my faith community would call that commitment, and an acceptance of consequences - did I say, I tell her often that I love her?)

So that's my story...
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2018, 12:43 PM
powerpuffgrl1969 powerpuffgrl1969 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsearching View Post
But she tells me what's happening in her life, and there are ways I help her practically. (And I hang on to the hope that some day she may come to some kind of faith experience, which on a human level seems very unlikely given her current philosophical commitments). I often wonder if she wishes I would go away - sometimes to my shame I let slip how needy I feel for the affection and all else I know she could offer.
By helping her "practically," do you mean you give her money? If so, this isn't poly; she's using you.

Yes, you may be poly but you have some huge NRE-glasses on. This woman is taking you for a ride. You deserve better. The "White Knight" persona is NOT serving you well.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2018, 03:52 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Welcome.

I have difficulty understanding flowery writing. Could you please be willing to clarify? I'm going to repeat back what I think you are saying in my own words. You correct me if I get it wrong, ok?

Quote:
I've now been married for some long time, with what my community would call 'emotional affairs' along the way; all but the most recent eventually discovered/disclosed, with predictable consequences.
So... you are married with a tendency to have emotional affairs. And wife found out about all of them but the latest?

Quote:
...to romantic, to lustful, to one glorious night
The latest is that you met this poly woman and had a cheating affair with her. And this time it included one night of sex?

Quote:
first, I made some big mistakes, having no idea how to handle what was happening, and I hurt her quite badly emotionally.
Was the hurt that the poly woman find out you were married and dumped you?

Quote:
Second, there were shifts in her existing relationships, particularly one where she and the other discovered overwhelming attraction, feelings, shared values. That hit me like a train, being completely unprepared.

So now she and I have quite an odd relationship - hardly anything physical, and the majority of her time and focus is on her other partners.
And now the poly woman stopped the cheating affair with you and is more into her poly partners?

Quote:
I often wonder if she wishes I would go away - sometimes to my shame I let slip how needy I feel for the affection and all else I know she could offer.
She wants to you go away. And you keep on hanging around doing puppy dog eyes trying to start the cheating affair again?

Is that the story more or less?

If so? I mean this kindly, ok?

Stop bugging her. This is not ethical polyamory. It is also not self respecting behavior for you to be hanging around like that.

If you now wish to practice ethical polyamory?

Apologize for the past cheating. Explain you cannot keep current agreements. And ask your wife if she is up for Opening the marriage and having new agreements you CAN keep because you are just not able to keep to your marriage vows as written any more. Could update the marriage agreements so they become keepable and allow you to date other people on the level without any more cheating affairs.

If wife does not want Open marriage? Agree to end the marriage. Then you aren't cheating on those agreements any more that way. You can then date as you please, including poly dating. You are then free TO pursue like you want without having to cheat. And wife is free FROM any more new cheating AND any new open/poly things she does not want.

Quote:
She also has her struggles, and that makes it 'worse' because I want to help, to be a rescuer (she absolutely doesn't want that!).
Again... stop bugging the poly woman. Respect her limit. She doesn't want you to be her rescuer. Stop trying to ingratiate yourself or involve yourself in her life again. Let it be ended and leave her ALONE.

Worry more about cleaning up your own life rather than trying to help her with hers.

What is it you actually want in life? You don't sound happy doing what you are doing. Are all these affairs a way of "running away" from your life or like distraction?

Setting aside what the faith community says or what your marriage vows say and all that... how do YOU want to be living? What do YOU want from life?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-04-2018 at 11:03 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2018, 09:41 PM
soulsearching soulsearching is offline
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Default Out of my depth

Wow... First of all, a real thank you to both people who responded to my introduction, particularly GalaGirl; I genuinely appreciate the thought and time that you took replaying what I said and giving your responses, and it means a lot to me to have an 'independent' view of the situation from people who have clearly thought about this area a lot and have a coherent set of principles and a framework to look at these things (apparently I don't right now, that's fair enough )

GalaGirl, you have pretty much everything right. Only thing I'd clarify is that my friend (let's call her Amy) knew from the get-go what my situation was; that was one of the things that drew me in so quickly, I could finally tell someone everything and Amy got it, understood. Clearly she too was under the influence of NRE but there was no deception with her. I can't really explain what my big mistake was, but what it comes down to is that the parameters of my marriage agreements aren't negotiable (because my wife doesn't see them that way) and Amy - rightly, I think - wasn't prepared to fit into a role where I seemed to treat her as less of a person in order for us to continue to have the kind of relationship that we did. (I don't know if that makes any sense but it's the best I can put it). Plus Amy has other SO's who it's not as complicated to be with...

I still don't really know what to do. With all respect to powerpuffgrl, where Amy can still use my help and asks for it, my conscience tells me I ought to do what I can. Whether that's guilt, or dumbass hope that it'll get me back to how things were before, or real compassion, who knows?

Again thank you, and I really will think hard on what you've both said.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:53 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Ok. Sounds like poly Amy knew you were married when the affair started.

At this time...
  • Wife doesn't want to do Open marriage. (Just to check... Have you actually asked?)
  • Amy doesn't want to be the mistress/Other Woman person or treated "less" or "hidden" or something. So she no longer dates you.

Still sounds like putting cart before horse to me. You might be WILLING but are not actually ABLE to poly date ethically at this time. Because you are not in an Open Marriage.

I don't think you continuing to cheat on your current marriage agreements is an ethical way to go.

If wife doesn't want Open Marriage and you do? You have become incompatible. This is no longer the wife for you. Address it rather than avoid and sneak around.

Work to clean up your life first before you try to poly date. Whether it is with Amy or anyone else.

That's my suggestion.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-05-2018 at 01:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2018, 12:14 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Greetings soulsearching,
Welcome to our forum. Please feel free to lurk, browse, etc.

You mentioned that Amy still tells you what's happening in her life, which makes me think maybe she is still interested in you on some level, perhaps just as a friend? Like you've been friend zoned? I am thinking that if she still had a romantic interest, she would give definite signs. I wonder if she kind of broke up with you because she didn't want to be a secret mistress? Does she want you to tell your wife about her?

Obviously Amy is a really good catch, and you have a lot in common with her so maybe that is a sign that you should be dating her. But something is blocking that as a possibility, whatever it is it needs to be unblocked. Do you need to divorce your wife before you can start dating Amy? Do you want to divorce your wife? What kind of shape is your marriage in? Do you have any hidden resentments toward your wife?

I guess I need some more information before I can give any advice. You seem to have a complicated situation on your hands. Also you have a conservative faith community which makes things even more complicated. You are hoping Amy will have some kind of faith experience, but can she do that and still remain poly? Do you want her to remain poly? Maybe you are hoping to divorce your wife and then marry Amy? I just can't tell.

I hope we fellow forum members can be of help.
Sincerely,
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:05 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Originally Posted by soulsearching View Post
My background is a pretty conservative faith one (though only since my teens - that's a whole other story). In my head I get why my faith community is absolutely firm on one opposite-sex partner for life, but my experience has been more one of not-quite-serial monogamy, finding myself wanting to get out of an existing relationship when the 'new relationship energy' kicks in with someone else. I've now been married for some long time, with what my community would call 'emotional affairs' along the way; all but the most recent eventually discovered/disclosed, with predictable consequences.
I'm not sure why you're being coy about your "faith community." I'd guess it was conservative Christian, but of course it could be Muslim or a branch of Judaism, or some other religion.

Anyway, if you obviously can't, or don't want to, do monogamy, why the hell are you in a faith/church that demands it? And it sounds like you've always had multiple loves or crushes, or emotional or even fully sexual physical affairs. Why the disconnect?

Quote:
Reason I'm here is that not long ago I met a young woman... she's truly remarkable. She also has her struggles, and that makes it 'worse' because I want to help, to be a rescuer (she absolutely doesn't want that!).

She's also clearly poly. When we first met, our relationship went from platonic but intense (we're interested in a lot of the same things, and surprisingly have a lot in common, though from very different angles) to romantic, to lustful, to one glorious night.
She may call herself poly, but most healthily poly women do NOT date/fuck married people who are cheating (ie: in monogamous relationships which are NOT Open). First mistake! This is not, never was, polyamory. Your wife must joyfully consent to you having a romantic or sexual relationship with anyone else. She does not. She found out about other affairs, and you say there were consequences. But you're still married, and still in the faith community? So obviously the consequences were not divorce or ex-communication or dis-fellowship, despite your wife and the "church" being anti-cheating, anti-polyamory. What were the consequences? Obviously not too bad, as you're still continuing to cheat on your wife.

Quote:
...I made some big mistakes, having no idea how to handle what was happening, and I hurt Amy quite badly emotionally. Second, there were shifts in her existing relationships, particularly one where she and the other discovered overwhelming attraction, feelings, shared values. That hit me like a train, being completely unprepared.
Hmm. You had a crush, and one night of sex, and now you're jealous/upset/sad/angry that a poly woman, and one of her ethically poly (I assume) partners have strong feelings for each other? Why were you "completely" unprepared? You know Amy is polyamorous. Didn't you realize amour means love? Did you think she loved you so much, she couldn't possibly find love elsewhere (with a more compatible person)?

Quote:
So now she and I have quite an odd relationship - hardly anything physical, and the majority of her time and focus is on her other partners. But she tells me what's happening in her life, and there are ways I help her practically. (And I hang on to the hope that some day she may come to some kind of faith experience, which on a human level seems very unlikely given her current philosophical commitments).
Why would she be interested in your faith if YOU don't even practice it wholly? If she's poly and you want her to be in your faith, she'd have to be mono (like you are supposed to be)?

Quote:
I often wonder if she wishes I would go away - sometimes to my shame I let slip how needy I feel for the affection and all else I know she could offer. I guess I could look elsewhere for some of that, but - call me crazy - I feel a huge sense of loyalty to her, and I want to still be there for her, regardless of anything she does (I guess my faith community would call that commitment, and an acceptance of consequences - did I say, I tell her often that I love her?)
I don't call you crazy, but I find you strange. Where is your loyalty and desire to be there-- for your wife (regardless of anything she does)? The one who shares your faith? The one you, I assume, vowed to be faithful to, to love, to respect, to honor, to commit to, one on one, forsaking all others?

Also, if you're helping Amy out financially (and no doubt secretly, from your shared funds with your wife??), it almost sounds like you're trying to buy Amy's love. And that's just sad.

Quote:
Amy knew from the get-go what my situation was; that was one of the things that drew me in so quickly. I could finally tell someone everything and Amy got it.
What did she understand? That you were in a faith but not practicing it? That you are a serial cheater? That you've hurt your wife, and maybe had consequences from your church, over and over again?

Quote:
Clearly she too was under the influence of NRE, but there was no deception with her.
Except that she agreed to deceive your wife! (Who doesn't even rate a nickname; who seems like an afterthought in all this.)

Quote:
...the parameters of my marriage agreements aren't negotiable (because my wife doesn't see them that way)...
Nor does your church!

Quote:
Amy... wasn't prepared to fit into a role where I seemed to treat her as less of a person, in order for us to continue to have the kind of relationship that we did... Plus Amy has other SO's who it's not as complicated to be with...
Absolutely! She knew she wasn't being ethical dating and fucking you, a married man. Most poly people wouldn't have even gone that far in the first place. Good for her for pulling back.

Quote:
I still don't really know what to do. With all respect to powerpuffgrl, where Amy can still use my help and asks for it, my conscience tells me I ought to do what I can. Whether that's guilt, or dumbass hope that it'll get me back to how things were before, or real compassion, who knows?
You've called yourself crazy and a dumbass. That's rather harsh, but I agree you seem to be treading in some very muddy waters. Amy may be a poly person who made one mistake, having an emotional and physical affair with a married man in a conservative faith, where monogamy is expected (required, I'd think). But you're making the same mistake over and over again.

Now, if you love women, and find yourself repeatedly falling into deeply emotional relationships with them, obviously this "faith" isn't a fit for you.

Your quandary hit close to home, for me, and this is why:

I'm currently dating a guy who was raised Catholic as a child, then became an evangelical Christian in college. He married a woman from that church, they were together 20 years, and they had 3 kids. He was so committed to that religion, he'd even evangelize quite a bit, formally or just to anyone. But he kept falling for other women. He even fully cheated twice. Finally he realized he didn't believe in (conservative, evangelical) Christianity anymore, and he was going to keep falling for women. So he divorced his wife, left his faith, and became ethically polyamorous. He lost some friends. He made new friends. He had new experiences. He started dating. He met a poly woman. After 2 years, they got married (this past summer). This year he's also started ethically dating 2 other women, one of them me. He's clean. He's not cheating. He's not faking anything. He is spiritual but not an (orthodox) Christian anymore. He can love and lust for and have sex with 3 women and we all joyfully consent!

Doesn't that sound like a better way to go? Face the music. You're a bad example of a person of your faith, and you're a cheating husband. This sounds like a very unhappy way to live.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2018, 09:07 PM
soulsearching soulsearching is offline
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All, thank you again for taking the time to reply, and so straightforwardly, with clarity. I appreciate that this isn’t an ‘academic’ discussion – we’re talking about real people here with real feelings, and real consequences. But nevertheless it’s interesting and at the very least I guess I may be a useful ‘specimen’ here, albeit a very flawed one. Of course if the discussion ceases to engage, or you want to throw up your hands and decide I’m beyond hope and help, I’ll understand ☺

GalaGirl asked at the end of her last post, what do I really want? Well, I don’t think I’m really hankering after a poly lifestyle, per se. If I could wave a magic wand, or conjure up the traditional genie with three wishes, I’d ask for:
  1. My marriage to be less frustrating. And yes, Magdlyn, I did make the promises you refer to. To be frank, I did try and leave one time, just because I knew there was the kind of disconnect you’ve put your finger on, but my wife made it pretty clear that for her that would be an appalling prospect, virtually equivalent to destroying her and her life, so I backtracked. Along with that she reiterated that she expected me to adhere fully to the mono way of things (so I guess that counts as me asking the question and getting a firm ‘no’). [By the way, you’re right, my wife needs a nickname; let’s go with Abigail – yes, I read Heinlein too ☺]. I get that I need to fulfil the basic point of my marriage vows and provide a secure, committed environment for my wife. It’s just the ‘forsaking all others’ part I’ve obviously always had trouble with.
  2. I want what’s best for Amy, because in my way of thinking, love equals wanting the best for. That already makes things complicated, because in my faith framework, the sorts of things that are best for someone are likely pretty different to what they may sometimes want. But – and I mean this very honestly – one of the things I’ve worked hardest on, is to understand and appreciate, in Amy’s way of thinking and being, what for her seems ‘best’ and what she finds fulfilling.
  3. I really, really want Amy to be a friend and to continue to give me her trust and confidence. As I’ve said, she truly is very special. Again maybe dumbass me, but if all I can be to her is someone who always listens, never betrays a confidence, never judges, never turns away, then maybe despite my deep flaws I’m somehow still portraying what’s at the heart of my faith position. Feel free to say, utter self-delusion…

Magdlyn, to answer your question – and I really appreciate you explaining why this is relevant to you personally – why don’t I just let go of the faith thing, or those parts of it that are in such conflict with what I seem to want and consistently choose? Well, several reasons, but mainly because my life experience is that – with the one seemingly glaring exception we’re discussing here – my faith works. I’ve had countless experiences, and outcomes of situations, that to me can only point one way, that the core idea of my faith is actually true, there is a Being who engages with me (and wants to engage with everyone) very much in the way that Christianity says. And there’s a logical corollary – that Being loves Amy, too, and maybe all of this came about so Amy can have someone assure her of that, show her. (I’m bracing myself for the comeback on that one…)

So yes, maybe I am a bad example, a cheat, and this is a terrible way to live. But as C. S. Lewis says, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

As I said before, don’t feel under any obligation to reply, I’ll understand if you think this is nonsense. But if anyone still finds the discussion engaging, I’m here…
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:14 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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my wife made it pretty clear that for her that would be an appalling prospect, virtually equivalent to destroying her and her life, so I backtracked. Along with that she reiterated that she expected me to adhere fully to the mono way of things
What does your faith say about compassion? Because I find that info lacking in your post so it is hard to advise. In general?

Is it really being compassionate to your wife to stay in a marriage you want to leave and where you cannot actually keep your vows? Just because your wife doesn't want to deal with changes?

Is it being compassionate to you? Like it is not ok to make her suffer changes but it is ok to make YOU suffer unkeepable vows? You are taking up her sweetie spot, and blocking her from having a the mono marriage she wants where vows CAN be kept.

That she's scared of changes is not a reason for you to stick around just going through the motions on top while cheating in secret down below. Living in an inauthentic marriage does YOU harm. How are you reconciling the cheating with your faith?

I also don't see where she is being compassionate toward you. If she's in the marriage just for the stuff you provide? Paying the bills, providing home, whatever... that's blocking YOU from things too. Being in a future relationship where you are seen as MORE than just a wallet. Being seen like an actual PERSON.

Amy? Set that aside. She wants poly, you do not. If you find comfort in the friendship that is fine. But don't keep dreaming of pursuing romance there. Amy is not the "bandaid" to help you endure wonky/frustrating marriage better.

Right now? I think you could examine your marriage and how to leave if leaving is what you want. If you have entered marriage in bad faith, or are continuing it out of bad faith from fear or something? You have to clean it up if you want to be less frustrated with marriage. Otherwise the frustration will continue. "Square peg round hole" is not a way to live.

I suggest you seek a counselor AND talk to your faith leader.

I don't think any responsible faith leader is going to ask you to continue a wonky marriage/spiritually dead marriage. If they do? You may have to accept that this may not be the house of worship or faith leader for you.

You can continue in your faith denomination, but seek a different house of worship with a more compassionate faith leader.

You are not the first, and not the last to come to this place. You wouldn't be the first nor the last to think about leaving a marriage. Faith leaders in many denominations have had to comfort and tend to their people who hit this place. Yes, try to work something out if possible. But if it is just NOT workable? Then they have to guide their people through the divorce process in good faith. Not tell them to just go through the motions, pretend, and just suck it up.

That kind of faith leadership or that kind of marriage serves/pleases God (by whatever name) how? It is healthy for the people how?

I think when one promises marriage "til death do us part" it means physical death or spiritual death. One spouse gets run over by a bus? That's physical death. The remaining spouse is widowed.

Spiritual death? Where the partners no longer feel like real partners any more? They are just phoning it in or going through the motions? That is spiritual death. It's over. Dead marriage walking.

And that's not a way to live long term and expect to be in spiritually robust health.

Quote:
That already makes things complicated, because in my faith framework, the sorts of things that are best for someone are likely pretty different to what they may sometimes want.
Ok. How does that apply to your wife Abigail? Who wants to keep going with the wonky marriage because she's too scared to leave it? Is participating in marriage like this best for her? How?

How does that apply to you? Is participating in marriage like this best for you? How?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-06-2018 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:37 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Originally Posted by soulsearching View Post
...
GalaGirl asked at the end of her last post, what do I really want? Well, I don’t think I’m really hankering after a poly lifestyle, per se. If I could wave a magic wand, or conjure up the traditional genie with three wishes, I’d ask for:
  1. My marriage to be less frustrating. And yes, Magdlyn, I did make the promises you refer to. To be frank, I did try and leave one time, just because I knew there was the kind of disconnect you’ve put your finger on, but my wife made it pretty clear that for her that would be an appalling prospect, virtually equivalent to destroying her and her life, so I backtracked. Along with that she reiterated that she expected me to adhere fully to the mono way of things (so I guess that counts as me asking the question and getting a firm ‘no’). [By the way, you’re right, my wife needs a nickname; let’s go with Abigail – yes, I read Heinlein too ☺]. I get that I need to fulfil the basic point of my marriage vows and provide a secure, committed environment for my wife. It’s just the ‘forsaking all others’ part I’ve obviously always had trouble with.
  2. I want what’s best for Amy, because in my way of thinking, love equals wanting the best for. That already makes things complicated, because in my faith framework, the sorts of things that are best for someone are likely pretty different to what they may sometimes want. But – and I mean this very honestly – one of the things I’ve worked hardest on, is to understand and appreciate, in Amy’s way of thinking and being, what for her seems ‘best’ and what she finds fulfilling.
  3. I really, really want Amy to be a friend and to continue to give me her trust and confidence. As I’ve said, she truly is very special. Again maybe dumbass me, but if all I can be to her is someone who always listens, never betrays a confidence, never judges, never turns away, then maybe despite my deep flaws I’m somehow still portraying what’s at the heart of my faith position. Feel free to say, utter self-delusion…

Magdlyn, to answer your question – and I really appreciate you explaining why this is relevant to you personally – why don’t I just let go of the faith thing, or those parts of it that are in such conflict with what I seem to want and consistently choose? Well, several reasons, but mainly because my life experience is that – with the one seemingly glaring exception we’re discussing here – my faith works. I’ve had countless experiences, and outcomes of situations, that to me can only point one way, that the core idea of my faith is actually true, there is a Being who engages with me (and wants to engage with everyone) very much in the way that Christianity says. And there’s a logical corollary – that Being loves Amy, too, and maybe all of this came about so Amy can have someone assure her of that, show her. (I’m bracing myself for the comeback on that one…)…
I'm going to gently call you out. I think you are attempting to be the best person you can be and mean well. However, if you want to stay married, fulfill the vows you took in that marriage, and stay true to your faith, you cannot be friends with Amy in the way that you want. You are not being fully truthful with yourself in wanting to remain close friends with her.

You are setting up a situation where you attempt to be the perfect friend and confidant to Amy in the hopes that she will convert to your faith. And I think somewhere deep inside, I think you are hoping your God will reward you with Amy being in your life romantically and sexually, if she converts. Like perhaps Abigail will suddenly be ok with your connection to Amy if she is also a believer.

You cannot be the impartial, objective person in this scenario. You want to be friends with Amy because you want her, want something from her, and that something is more than her soul going to the proper place (in your mind). This is a bad idea. It will hurt you, and Amy, and Abigail.

Given the limits you have accepted, you cannot be close friends with Amy. You cannot support her, be a confidant, or be more than a distant acquaintance. I generally never suggest cutting off friendships to save a marriage as I think that is controlling. But given your particular situation, I see no other ethical way for you to behave.

I have strong reactions to people who try to convert others. I could go into why but I've also learned that there is often little value to trying to discuss certain matters of belief. I think you mean well. And I hope I have not been too harsh. But you are heading into what your faith would call temptation for sure.
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