And just when I thought it couldn't get more complicated....
So ever since I discovered love at the way too young age of 15, there's been one constant. One guy who's always been in my heart, and often in my bed. I left him (thinking it was for good) when I started dating my now-husband. I cheated with him, twice, but managed to make it through that with a lot of honesty and work on trust. I thought we'd said our last goodbyes when I got engaged and he did too. More than once I've felt his presence, nearly every day I've missed him. Through a mutual friend I know it's been the same for him. But I stayed strong. I avoided temptation. Not having him in my life tears me apart and drives me a bit insane, but I was willing to deal with the madness if it meant making my husband happy.
Today when I was shopping with my husband and his mother, I saw him. He was working as a security person there. I was immediately reminded of every feeling I have for him, and of how much his absence hurts me. And through our mutual friend, he indicated feeling the same, and that he wants to start our friendship up again. I indicated that I wouldn't start anything, but couldn't lie and say if he did I would reject him.
To make my situation perfectly clear, my first love (FL to make it easy) is more than just a fling, more than some old flame. He is the father of my baby that never made it. He was the first person to make me feel safe that wasn't my brother. He is the only person to this day that understands me perfectly. We are bonded on a level most people never experience. When I'm around FL, I don't have schizo episodes and my mood swings become extremely manageable. I don't have painful flashbacks when he is there. I know him intimately, we speak a secret language of glances and body language and silences. I feel whole around him. He is everything I ever wanted. But the downfall is that he's broken too, in a way that made admitting his love impossible. And now he's married (admittedly to a woman he doesn't love, and only because I didn't stop it), and he isn't the sort who would leave her.
On the flip side, I also am in love with my husband. He can be judgmental and stubborn and vain and horribly proud. But he is also endlessly generous, and sympathetic, and he tries so hard. He would never mistreat me, and he only wants to help me be the person I want to be. He is my rock, and with him I have become a stronger person, a better person. I can't afford to lose him, I've been through too much at this point. I've had nearly every bad thing done to me what can be. If I lose him, I am giving up on love for good. I'll move in with my gay guy and be his surrogate and take care of him (he could use the help, he's got a history of breakdowns and I'm pro at fixing him). Losing my husband will send me over the edge. But FL.... He's part of who I am.
I can't openly have them both. They hate each other. Husband can't see the good FL did for me, because it kills him to think of FL. He can't handle it to the point where he refuses to believe I was ever pregnant. (admittedly, I was only a little more than two months along with nothing but symptoms and a women's intuition, I didn't want to take the test until I had an escape plan [crazy mother it's a long story] but still...) And FL is a bit jealous as well, not to the point where he can't handle me being with my husband while being not-with him, but enough that he hates thinking about me being with any other man. (slight improvement on Husband, FL would be able to handle having another girl in the mix, provided she were a good fit)
I know the "right" answer is to just ignore FL and stay strong for my husband. But the "right" answer is also that I shouldn't love both, if I listen to most of society. I just don't know what to do.... I'm selfish and I want them both. I want Heathcliff and Linton and hang the rules.
I'm sorry, but I don't see an answer to your predicament...
If your husband does not see the good that FL did for you then and actively hates him, then, even if he would be okay with a poly arrangement, it sounds like he would not be likely to be okay with a poly arrangement with this particular guy.
Someone can be part of "who you are", and important part of your history, someone that you love and STILL not be the right person for you to be in a relationship with.
If FL's marriage is not rock solid (i.e. he is married to a woman he doesn't love) then he is in an even worse position to be considering a poly relationship.
There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, on loving both. What would be wrong, again in my opinion, would be acting on it without the knowledge and consent of EVERYONE involved (you, your husband, FL, FL's wife). We cannot control our feelings, we CAN control our actions.
Just my take. Sorry I don't have a brilliant solution for you.
PS. Whether or not FL would be comfortable with having another girl in the mix seems to be an irrelevant fact...maybe he is more open to being poly than your husband but that doesn't seem to be the issue.
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ
My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
I am with Jane. We do not choose when or how to feel. We do choose our behavior.
So love them both. FL from a distance, out of respect for him, him wife, your husband, and you. You can love him without being in active relationship with him. Where is problem?
Practical suggestion for your behavior?
You could stop fueling your angsty desire for active relationship with him by changing the record playing in your head. It could be "I miss what I had once there, I will always love him, but we're both in different places now. That old thing is done. I have a wonderful spouse and I'm sure he does too." Acceptance and moving on words to HELP you accept and move on.
Rather than playing the record of "I can't have both! I can't have what I want! I can't this and that!" and working yourself up over it so that you remain "stuck" emotionally and focussed on what you do not have rather than what you do have.
Or if you want it be so, and want to be free to poly date -- do it CLEAN. Break up and leave your mono husband. End the old thing before starting a new. Clearly feel your spouse is not up for polyamory. I assume you have brought it up and he's turned it down from your other post. My advice on that post is still the same -- choose to behave in ways that keeps your nose clean.
Even in this post's context. Keep it CLEAN.
You are not sure FL's wife is open to polyshipping. Hell, not even sure FL himself is! But if you want to make yourself available to FL in a clean, honest, ethical way? You break up with your husband and let FL know you are single and poly dating. Then you sit back and wait and see.
Then he, if FL wants to be with you too, he can do the work needed on his side for that to be so. He would have to break up with his wife if she's not up for polyshipping. Everyone ends their old things before starting a new CLEAN thing.
You do not want another cheating thing with FL. Right?
And why did you guys break up anyway? Aren't exes exes for a REASON? Are things in your marriage happy/healthy? You sure you aren't projecting wishful thinking on the past with the rosy glasses filter because things in your present aren't going well? ARE things going well in your marriage?
Does he treat you bad or not? Or is that bold bit you rationalizing bad treatment of you? "He treats me bad but doesn't mean to" or "He only does it for my own good" type excuses? What bad things have been done to you by WHO? The husband?
You type you cannot afford to lose him but elsewhere you say you are going to move in with your gay friend. What's going on there? Why would you lose him? Is he threatening to abandon you?
Between the quad post where you sounded like you needed acceptance, and woman you crush on here and this post with running into the ex who was your cheating partner -- you don't sound solid and secure in yourself right now. Kinda flailing about emotionally?
I am concerned. I hope you are ok.
Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-18-2012 at 04:39 AM.