Cheating husband claims to be poly

Sairi

New member
After four years of supposedly happy and monogamous marriage my marriage fell on some hard times. I fell into a particularly bad depression that I could not seem to combat. My husband did not know how to help me and began to feel helpless.
Rather than talk to me about any of this, he began sneaking out at night while I was sleeping to have sex with random women he met online. This went on for a few months when he reconnected with an old friend he had met online in highschool that he had always wished he could be with. Long story short he travels across the country on "business" to spend several days with her. They supposedly rekindled their love and began to make plans for a future - one without me.
Several more months go by and I finally realize I need to get out of my depression because it is hurting him. Two weeks after I completely redirect my life - on my birthday no less - he admits to having cheated after I pressure him to be completely honest with me. He claims to still love me and want to be with me, but that he also loves and wants her.
I don't really have any issue with the idea of polyamory, it appeals to me to some extent. But I can not and WILL NOT accept the idiot he cheated with. Beyond the fact that he lied, cheated, and conspired to replace me with this woman, I do not believe the two of them have a healthy relationship. He has been fantasizing about being with her since highschool, frankly not even trying to get over her. By his own admission she is immature, unreliable, and frankly crazier than I am (which is seriously saying something).
Am I wrong to refuse to have her remain in his life, even if they could just be friends? I cannot be certain, but I believe I could accept having an open relationship with anyone else, except for her. Hell, I don't even know if he's truly poly and its not just another aspect of his midlife crisis. I just don't know what I'm doing anymore.
 

Inyourendo

New member
you deserve someone who will love and respect you. he's a cheater, let his mistress have him. why would you want to keep him around?
 

L23

New member
If someone breaks the rules of monogamy can they be trusted with the higher and far more complex ones of a poly relationship?
 

Dragonfly4253

New member
Being poly is not an excuse to cheat. He is not poly. He wants his cake and eat it to.
 

LoveBunny

Active member
I'm going to take a less black-and-white view. People are sometimes unfaithful in monogamous relationships. It happens a lot, actually. It's not a nice thing to do, but lots of people who are unfaithful aren't bad, horrible people. Sometimes they are struggling with marriage and monogamy or middle age, and they act out inappropriately and deeply regret the pain they cause. The OP stated that she was in a depression, and probably wasn't very involved in her marriage at that point.

That being said, husband and wife ought to be working REALLY hard on healing the marriage right now. Infidelity isn't an easy thing to get over, even thought the wife is open to the idea of polyamory. And he didn't just cheat with one woman, did he? Sounds like he was a serial cheater, hitting up women online.

@Sairi, I think you've been pretty amazing to forgive and try to move forward. with a non-monogamous mindset. But you don't want to move forward with the woman your husband cheated with as your metamour, and you don't trust her. Sounds reasonable to me. It also sounds like your husband wants to move forward with that woman. But does this woman really want to share your husband in a loving, polyamorous arrangement? Or does she want to steal him from you?

Frankly, I would be rather hesitant to move forward with a man who, not long ago, made plans to replace me with another woman without telling me, and with the woman who agreed to do so. What made your husband change his mind? Was it just that he got caught and decided to come clean? Or did you coming out of your depression remind him of the love he was about to lose?

Sounds like you guys need to focus on the marriage right now. He might be caught up in all the hormones of a hot new relationship and not thinking clearly. Or, he might be the cheating lying jerk the others on this thread condemn him to be. You know him better than us. But I don't think you're being unreasonable to say "not that woman, not now."
 

Dragonfly4253

New member
Love bunny I think you said it perfectly. While I don't condemn everyone for cheating in a monogamous relationship because I honestly believe that societal briefs about polygamy force us into monogamous relationships when some of us were never meant to be monogamous. That being said what the op described in my opinion was someone who cheated repeatedly and needed an excuse when he finally got caught. It wasn't a heartfelt revelation. It was an excuse to explain away his behavior. At least that was the impression I gotfrom the op. But I whole heartedly agree with your assessment as well.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
He claims to still love me and want to be with me, but that he also loves and wants her.

How is it loving behavior to cheat on you? :confused:

Rather than come to you and honestly express his poly desire to explore and date others? Update or disband agreements with you, and THEN go date them? That to me is more respectful/loving.

"Poly" is not a "whitewash" for cheating to me. It's not an excuse for cheating. It isn't like people cannot cheat in polyamory either. Some people do cheat on the polyamorous agreements they make with their partners.

It has to do with honesty/integrity more than what shape the relationship is.

He chose to cheat rather than engage forthrightly with you.

And unless he lied to his cheating partner about you existing and she was equally snowed? If she knew he was married and skulking about and she chose to participate anyway? She helped him to cheat. So I see why you would not be eager for this untrustworthy person to linger about. Did not respect boundaries before, why would she suddenly respect "friendship boundaries" later? All you know of her is cheat-y.

I don't know if this helps you any.

http://felislunae.org/relationships-love/coming-clean/

I am very sorry you deal in all this. :(


Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Sairi,

I'm sure you'll have to make the call on how you want to handle your husband's old high school flame. Obviously you have every reason to be infuriated with her, and no reason to trust her. I just think the primary culprit here is your husband. So if you want to keep him but get rid of her, then you're getting rid of the lesser of two evils. Maybe as Inyourendo said, they should both go?

Of course if she lives across the country, she is certainly an LDR which makes her less than a convenient match for your husband. But, that part's his judgment call to make. Now is it up to him or you whether he'll having anything more to do with that woman? You might have every right to demand he stop interacting with her, but he can still find ways to sneak around your demand if he really wants to.

It does make sense to say he should cool it with her for awhile, while you and he work on your marriage. I think a marriage counselor would be a really good idea at this point. In the meantime, I think the big decisions should be put on hold. When you're really angry, it's hard to make rational choices, even if you have every right to be angry. I advocate giving therapy a chance to serve as an outlet, say for six months or so? Then see if you feel the same way.

In any case, you're going to have to rely on your husband's good behavior going forward. You can't just assume he'll stop cheating because you told him to stop. And should he be practicing polyamory at all right now? I'm not so sure. He, too, should see how he feels in six months.

You can make the choices about your own behavior; he can make the choices about his own behavior. We can only hope that there is an intersection between those choices where your marriage can be saved.

Just some thoughts,
Kevin T.
 

Sairi

New member
Thank you for the article link - I read it and showed it to him as well.

People do make mistakes - gods know I've made more than my share, and when he began cheating I was almost never leaving the bed, too wrapped up in my own fears and insecurities to really be a part of our marriage. He grew up with a family that did not talk about problems and had absolutely no idea how to handle mine. That in no way shape or form excuses what he did, but that is a large part of why he did what he did.

I'm not really new to the idea of polyamory, my sister has been in a largely successful poly relationship for years. It has its ups and its downs, particularly when one partner is slacking in their personal responsibilities, but by and large they are happy. However I do not think he is in a place in his life where he can be the man he needs to be to have a poly relationship.

We have appointments to start therapy (both individual and marriage) on Wednesday. As tempting as it is to simply burn bridges and run, I DO love my idiot husband and I do think we have a chance to salvage this. If after some time in therapy he is still unwilling to end his relationship with her (entirely, I don't even want them talking) I will end our relationship and figure out where to go next.
 

graviton

New member
I don't think its reasonable to expect him to completely cut off communication with her. He can certainly change the nature of their relationship but demanding complete and total subservience to you while you are angry and bitter will only cause resentment. Its no more reasonable than it would be for him to snap his fingers and demand that you cheer up when you were in a depression. He made mistakes during your depression. He felt abandoned by you and didn't know how to handle it, they don't usually teach us before marriage what to do when a spouse emotionally abandons us and the marriage is a shadow of its former self.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
We have appointments to start therapy (both individual and marriage) on Wednesday. As tempting as it is to simply burn bridges and run, I DO love my idiot husband and I do think we have a chance to salvage this. If after some time in therapy he is still unwilling to end his relationship with her (entirely, I don't even want them talking) I will end our relationship and figure out where to go next.

Sounds like a plan.

GL!
Galagirl
 

Sairi

New member
1655

I suppose I should have clarified, this conversation has been going on for almost a year now. Last March is when he admitted to cheating. He kept pushing me off when I told him he needed to make up his mind as to what he wanted to do, he's only just now beginning to work on any of this mess. We've kinda just been floating on until recently.
 

Sairi

New member
4 years later

Randomly remembered this post the other day and thought that since I always want to know how things work out that others might too.
I stuck it out with therapy, and realized I did not need to push him to a quick conclusion - within a month of my posting it became clear to me the other woman had no intention of being poly (beyond the girlfriend she already had) and was going to become massively controlling. By September 2015 he cut her out of his life because she started threatening to harm herself, him, or even me once because he refused to immediately divorce me and move to be with her.

As for our relationship, we are poly and have been since then. Minor issues around time management but overall it's been fine. I did start relationships with 2 people but quickly remembered why I have social anxiety in the first place lol.

We have ups and downs but are happier than we were before.

Oh, and our devilishly adorable son just turned 1 :)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad to hear it worked out in the end.

Not everyone can come out of a cheating thing and make it. Glad you guys were able to.

And happy 1st bday to son! :)

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Sairi,

Thanks for posting an update on your situation, I am glad to hear that things have worked out relatively well. Congratulations on your son's birthday. :)

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

MeeraReed

Well-known member
Thanks for posting this--I would not have bet money on a happy outcome for remaining in your marriage. Glad I was wrong! :)
 
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