A Closed triad I guess, turned to a vee and now a disaster.

Unsure

New member
Hi all! I am new here and really appreciate the honesty, compassion and experience sharing on this site. I am looking for advice/experience/support and ideas on what to think about, how to look at our situation.

I married my high school sweetheart. We have been married 24 years, some rocky, but mostly good, but the last 10 or so have been so good and were only getting better. He is my best friend.

He has many friends who are women, who usually become family friends. he is very charismatic, I have never worried...

in Feb, he sexted a co worker who had become a friend of the family. I knew they talked sexually but not quite to this extent. I was upset but not overly. Until a few days later. We talked things through. I couldn’t imagine my life with out him.

We have talked about a three some before and decided wth let’s do it with her. We said if we didn’t like it we could just go back to the way we were before. We did not do enough homework, did not set boundaries very well, and really I think we just went into this all wrong(as I see it after the fact)

It went from a onetime thing to almost daily. I was ok, I think I felt compersion for her/him in the beginning because she was so starved for love/affection(she had a emotional/affection lacking marriage).

Now later I realize I think the time I started having trouble was when they started falling in love. She wanted more alone time, it hurt to see them together. I didn’t really understand my emotions and just figured it was jealousy and I could deal with it somehow on my own.

Trouble is my husband has always said I was first(I knew and voiced that it wasn’t a fair arrangement) everyone seemed ok with it in the beginning.

When I started having trouble I searched and looked and tried to find a way for me to be ok with this. Learning all I could about triad/poly/everything I could.

I have yet to find it.
I think I wasn’t ready because I didn’t process their sexting emotional break in trust, and made decisions to try this too soon after.

now I’ve told my husband I couldn’t do it any longer. It was making me physically ill when they were together or might be together. He chose to stop their physical/sexual relationship. She is still getting emotional support/affection from him. Our (she and I) relationship is rocky/uncomfortable.

I feel better as in not Physically sick, but the pain I have caused them hurts though because I do love them both tremendously.

I guess what I am looking for:

Is there anyone with a similar situation. Did it work out starting with this type of scenario.

What can I do to see if I can heal but also find out if I’m open to this kind of relationship.

How did you all of the sudden start sharing someone who you have always had to yourself.

Any other advice?

I am seeing a psychologist and trying to process my feelings. But struggle with understanding my own feelings.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle. I think it is good you are working with a psychologist to help you process. FWIW, here is what pops out to me.

I was upset but not overly. Until a few days later. We talked things through. I couldn’t imagine my life with out him.

Have you been doing stuff you really don't want to be doing? Or doing stuff underprepared just to please DH? Or doing stuff (consciously or not) to avoid a break up and preserve your relationship with him because you can't imagine life without him or standing on your own two feet without him?

What kind of relationship do you have with spouse?

Is this like the Letter "A" with two people leaning on each other, holding hands. So if one gets removed, the other side collapses, unable to cope?

Is this like the Letter "H" with two people holing hands, but standing on their own two feet? So if one gets removed, the other side is still standing on their own two feet?

Some long term couples become like a joined at the hip CoupleBlob. Everything together.

When it's better to differentiate. Yes, sometimes part of a couple. And other times? Individuals who have their own family, friends, interests OUTSIDE of the couple relationship. And while some things are in joint, they also have their own individual finance accounts.

Doing everything "joined at the hip" is not healthy. That isn't healthy interdependence.


Might help you think about detangling some.

This might help you challenge core beliefs.


But I think you pretty much nailed it.

I think I wasn’t ready because I didn’t process their sexting emotional break in trust, and made decisions to try this too soon after.

Too much too fast while underprepared. There's a lot to unpack there.

Husband started sexting his coworker. And it was in a fuzzy grey area.
  • Because she's coming from a love starved marriage -- which doesn't make her sound healthy. Is she still with the spouse or not? Does her spouse (if still together) know about her relationships with you and your DH?
  • Because she's a coworker -- and that can be a mess at work.
  • Because you knew he was sexting but not to this extent. So was it him cheating on your shared agreements or not? Only you all know.
Then jumping into threesome sex with her like "wth?" while not really processing the above. And also not really doing the homework on what group sex might lead to.... developing feelings and it NOT being "casual sex" any more.

Then leaping into a poly triad also underprepared. When you don't even know how into poly you actually ARE and a triad being like 3 v's stacked up together. One of the hardest models because you are all hinges, and your other partner is also your meta.

This is a lot of stuff too fast. I am glad you can see that and are slowing things down.

Is there anyone with a similar situation. Did it work out starting with this type of scenario.

Never been in these shoes. Coworkers are on my "messy people" list. Same as DH. I think people could articulate that. "Don't poly date my parents, my siblings, boss, coworker, best friend, roomie, etc. I will return the favor and not date yours." Cuz there's enough people in the world to date without going right for messy ones. The ones where if something goes wrong it can be a big mess.

What can I do to see if I can heal but also find out if I’m open to this kind of relationship.

Resolve to stop doing stuff underprepared. Stop doing any stuff you don't want to be doing right now. Do the catch up stuff needed that could have been done before jumping in.

I think you could do your soul searching and catch up on reading. Maybe start with things like



Here's checklists from the book "Opening Up." The website is wonky but you can read the forms through WayBack Machine.

Wayback Machine
Creating Authentic Relationships

Wayback Machine
Open Relationship Checklist

Wayback Machine
Reflecting on Change

Wayback Machine
Self Evaluation

How did you all of the sudden start sharing someone who you have always had to yourself.

You might have extra hurdles right now because you married your HS sweetheart. It's not like HS freshman - HS senior is a lot of time to date people. And those would have been teen relationships anyway.

As far as adult relationships go? It sounds like he's been the only one til your involvement with this woman. Is that true? If so... is that the reason you are so latched on to him? And cannot imagine your adult life without him? Because he's been there for your whole adult life so far?

Sometimes long term couples get really enmeshed and codependent. So if that's something you have to untangle you might bring it up to your counselor.

Like how much of this pain is really from the wonky polyamory attempt? Or is it from poly shining a light on the fact that there were cracks or unhealthy things here? That would have just taken longer to discover without the poly? A bit of both?

In the end, only you can decide if you are actually into open/poly or not.

If it turns out you just are not into it? Best you be honest with yourself, DH, and your meta about that. Then each one of them decides what to do next. Maybe he sticks with you. Or you and him break up and he sticks with her. Or it's down to everyone single because nothing aligns.

If it turns out you are into it? Doesn't AUTOMATICALLY mean that you and spouse and this woman can all practice it together. He or she may have another style for how each wants to practice open/poly that do not align with how you want to practice it. There can be more than one way to do open/poly models. Not exhaustive, but the start of a list.

Before you can figure out what lines up with other people or not?

I think you need to figure out who YOU are.

The you APART from being a spouse. Who were you before you met him? Who is THAT adult person now? Who you are in your teens is not who you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

So this YOU that is here now... What does THAT person value and want from life?

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Unsure,

Based on what you have posted/experienced so far, I am inclined to think that you can be okay with sexual nonmonogamy, but that you can't be okay with polyamory (where your husband falls in love with someone other than you). There is nothing wrong with that, it's just you, and your wants, needs, and preferences. Your husband is in love with his coworker, which is not okay with you, and is probably something you can never be okay with. If you are to continue your marriage with him, you are probably going to need him to break up with her. If he's not willing to do that, then you will probably have to divorce. Maybe not right away, maybe you'll keep trying to be okay with it, but the resentment will grow, and eventually you'll realize you can't continue in a marriage like that. Or I'm wrong, I could be wrong, I'm just saying that's how it looks from here.

Even assuming this is "just" jealousy, you have to bear in mind that sometimes jealousy arises for a good reason, like maybe you are being treated unfairly, or maybe you are in a relationship that doesn't suit you. Jealousy isn't always something you should quash, sometimes it's something you need to listen to. You need to figure out which kind of jealousy you are experiencing. Is it an extension of your insecurities, or is it an alarm going off inside you? It may be trying to help you.

I'm sorry you're going through this.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Unsure

New member
Hello Unsure,

Based on what you have posted/experienced so far, I am inclined to think that you can be okay with sexual nonmonogamy, but that you can't be okay with polyamory (where your husband falls in love with someone other than you). There is nothing wrong with that, it's just you, and your wants, needs, and preferences. Your husband is in love with his coworker, which is not okay with you, and is probably something you can never be okay with. If you are to continue your marriage with him, you are probably going to need him to break up with her. If he's not willing to do that, then you will probably have to divorce. Maybe not right away, maybe you'll keep trying to be okay with it, but the resentment will grow, and eventually you'll realize you can't continue in a marriage like that. Or I'm wrong, I could be wrong, I'm just saying that's how it looks from here.

Even assuming this is "just" jealousy, you have to bear in mind that sometimes jealousy arises for a good reason, like maybe you are being treated unfairly, or maybe you are in a relationship that doesn't suit you. Jealousy isn't always something you should quash, sometimes it's something you need to listen to. You need to figure out which kind of jealousy you are experiencing. Is it an extension of your insecurities, or is it an alarm going off inside you? It may be trying to help you.

I'm sorry you're going through this.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Thank you Kevin, I don’t even know where to go from here, so much to think about talk about etc.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
If there's anything we can do to help, let us know.
 

Token2

Member
So she's still married? And her husband knows nothing about this?

Sorry if I read this wrong.
 

Unsure

New member
So she's still married? And her husband knows nothing about this?

Sorry if I read this wrong.
Divorcing, they are Married on paper but living as room mates for over 6 years. No emotional/sexual relationship, separate bedrooms etcetera. I had an issue with this at first.
 

Token2

Member
I guess if he has pulled back for you whilst she's actually available (and not in a sham marriage pretending to the husband everything is normal) that does speak to his dedication to your established connection.

I think all you can really do is communicate as much as possible with him. Both my partner and I found, in our separate instances of temporarily finding a connection elsewhere, that our partner's openness to the concept despite the fears made us feel more connected.

It's tricky territory though unless you're both able to agree on a mutual model of what poly means to you as a couple and even then the NRE may impact sound judgement.

What about you? Would you like someone to sext and connect with outside of the context of your existing relationship? Is your charismatic husband someone who could be ok with someone-else emotionally &/or sexually in your life?
 
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