How do I tell my husband?

bananafish

New member
Hi everyone.
I've been in a mono relationship for almost ten years, and married for half of those. Recently, I came to the conclusion that i have a strong connection to a friend who i have also known for a very long time. After some arguments and jealousy from my husband, I realized i didn't want to choose between one or the other, than I want and love them both in their own ways. I am terrified of telling my husband this because I think i will make him feel insecure, and Im not sure what is going to happen to our relationship if I tell him I also love someone else. So many things at stake. I don't know how to proceed. All I know is that I can't go back to a life of hiding and represing desires. But I also don't want to lose the two most important persons in my life.
 

tdh

Active member
All I know is that I can't go back to a life of hiding and represing desires.
Is this more in being able to tell him your desires and not be judged or is this more being able to act out on your desires? It is important to know what your needs are before talking to him so you can be clear and open lines of communication as safely and calm as possible. Else the conversation with end up with a million questions, no one has answers, so no one will be able to move forward. It will all be theoretical and just strain the emotional side of the partnership which sounds strained already.

I want and love them both in their own ways
This is an example of a valid feeling and desire but is vague and generic on concrete actionable understanding. Does this mean you get to flirt more with the other person and share your thoughts with your husband? Does this mean you want a similar romantic relationship to dating and/or sexual while also with your husband? Does this mean you want a second committed (marriage like) partner with all the non-romantic and romantic benefits? Does this person you want need to be dedicated to you and do you want your husband to search of other partners too? etc etc... You may not completely know at this time but working through your emotions and understanding of your desires vs needs and actionable items will take time. There will be agreements having to be made with all partners so knowing what you need vs want is going to be important on this journey even to get a fraction of not hiding it.

Also it will be key to empathise with your husbands feelings and acknowledge them. People tend to shut down if they don't feel herd.

Also baby steps can help in the actionable items category. Small bite sized chunks you and your husband can understand and work with.

Hope that helps
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Recently, I came to the conclusion that i have a strong connection to a friend who i have also known for a very long time. After some arguments and jealousy from my husband, I realized i didn't want to choose between one or the other, than I want and love them both in their own ways

So... you aren't loving them NOW in their own ways? One as your husband and one as your friend?

What is the arguing about?

Or do you mean you want to suggest open marriage to husband first. So you can move on you asking your friend to stop being "just friends" and be your dating partner too?

I am terrified of telling my husband this because I think i will make him feel insecure, and Im not sure what is going to happen to our relationship if I tell him I also love someone else.

Does your spouse not want to know what's going on in your inner life? Do you not feel safe sharing it with spouse because of how spouse usually reacts or responds?

Talking about a crush you have doesn't mean you are going to act on it. Just because one feels things doesn't mean you HAVE to pursue.

So slow down some. You don't have to leap right to asking for an open/poly marriage. How about working on your marriage foundations first?

All I know is that I can't go back to a life of hiding and represing desires.

Sounds like you want more emotional honesty and emotional intimacy/mental intimacy with spouse. Could start there.

Maybe that's the compromise place. He becomes more wiling to hear about your inner thoughts and feelings without having a cow so you don't have to go around bottled up so it is is open enough for you. You don't see anyone but him so it's closed enough for him.

But I also don't want to lose the two most important persons in my life.

So it is ok to lose yourself? Go around bottled up? Where do YOU rank on your list of "important people?" I hope it is #1. Not like in the selfish "memememe, screw everyone else" way. But in the self care way. You look after your own well being first, then you try to assist others with their rational and reasonable requests.

Because one cannot fill from an empty cup.

Galagirl
 
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bananafish

New member
Is this more in being able to tell him your desires and not be judged or is this more being able to act out on your desires? It is important to know what your needs are before talking to him so you can be clear and open lines of communication as safely and calm as possible. Else the conversation with end up with a million questions, no one has answers, so no one will be able to move forward. It will all be theoretical and just strain the emotional side of the partnership which sounds strained already.


This is an example of a valid feeling and desire but is vague and generic on concrete actionable understanding. Does this mean you get to flirt more with the other person and share your thoughts with your husband? Does this mean you want a similar romantic relationship to dating and/or sexual while also with your husband? Does this mean you want a second committed (marriage like) partner with all the non-romantic and romantic benefits? Does this person you want need to be dedicated to you and do you want your husband to search of other partners too? etc etc... You may not completely know at this time but working through your emotions and understanding of your desires vs needs and actionable items will take time. There will be agreements having to be made with all partners so knowing what you need vs want is going to be important on this journey even to get a fraction of not hiding it.

Also it will be key to empathise with your husbands feelings and acknowledge them. People tend to shut down if they don't feel herd.

Also baby steps can help in the actionable items category. Small bite sized chunks you and your husband can understand and work with.

Hope that helps
Thank you so very much for replying.
I definitely want to act on my desires. I haven't done it yet because I don't want to cheat. But I also want to make sure it is all worth it before dropping the bomb.
Thank you for all the questions you asked, I realized I hadn't thought about some. Esencially, I want a romantic and sexual relationship with my friend and be open about it with my husband. I do want commitment. I still want to live with my husband and keep the structure of our little family but I want to be able to see and love the other person at least every once in a while.
And maybe I'm egocentrical and selfish with this, but in an ideal situation, it would be some sort of v, in which I have a relationship with each but I'm their only person? Although I don't think I can ask for exclusivity of them when Im asking for the opposite thing for myself.
And, thank you for reminding me about baby steps.
 

bananafish

New member
So... you aren't loving them NOW in their own ways? One as your husband and one as your friend?

What is the arguing about?

Or do you mean you want to suggest open marriage to husband first. So you can move on you asking your friend to stop being "just friends" and be your dating partner too?



Does your spouse not want to know what's going on in your inner life? Do you not feel safe sharing it with spouse because of how spouse usually reacts or responds?

Talking about a crush you have doesn't mean you are going to act on it. Just because one feels things doesn't mean you HAVE to pursue.

So slow down some. You don't have to leap right to asking for an open/poly marriage. How about working on your marriage foundations first?



Sounds like you want more emotional honesty and emotional intimacy/mental intimacy with spouse. Could start there.

Maybe that's the compromise place. He becomes more wiling to hear about your inner thoughts and feelings without having a cow so you don't have to go around bottled up so it is is open enough for you. You don't see anyone but him so it's closed enough for him.



So it is ok to lose yourself? Go around bottled up? Where do YOU rank on your list of "important people?" I hope it is #1. Not like in the selfish "memememe, screw everyone else" way. But in the self care way. You look after your own well being first, then you try to assist others with their rational and reasonable way.

Because one cannot fill from an empty cup.

Galagirl
I am loving them in their own ways. The arguing comes from my husband feeling jealous because he believes I'm too close to my friend. Which is true, because he is a lot more than just a friend. I haven't taken any actions towards being with him because I don't want to cheat. I've talked to my friend, our feelings are out there on the table but I told him I don't want to do anything without my husband's consent. And that I want to have them both. I'm pretty sure he is good with the idea of sharing.

I guess I don't feel safe sharing my desires with my husband. I think I know how he is going to take it. He will most probably feel betrayed, jealous, insecure. Because he already feels that way sometimes when I spend time with friend.

Thank you for making me realize that, first, I need to work on mental and emotional intimacy with my partner. I see now that's where my biggest issue lays. And thank you for reminding me that I rank first, cause I do tend to bring myself down from there.

Your reply is immensely appreciated
 

J&k85

New member
Hi everyone.
I've been in a mono relationship for almost ten years, and married for half of those. Recently, I came to the conclusion that i have a strong connection to a friend who i have also known for a very long time. After some arguments and jealousy from my husband, I realized i didn't want to choose between one or the other, than I want and love them both in their own ways. I am terrified of telling my husband this because I think i will make him feel insecure, and Im not sure what is going to happen to our relationship if I tell him I also love someone else. So many things at stake. I don't know how to proceed. All I know is that I can't go back to a life of hiding and represing desires. But I also don't want to lose the two most important persons in my life.
It’s more important right now to be honest with him about what your feeling rather than who you’re having those feelings for. Help him understand that this is who you are. If that’s a bridge you can’t cross then you’ll go through life being unhappy.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Glad it helped you some.

In talking with friend about the crush stuff? I think you jumped the gun a bit there. Could have talked to spouse first. But I get why you did, if is spouse is not a safe person to talk to and you've been going around bottled up for a long time.

Do work on your relationship with spouse first.

And maybe tell the friend that no, you jumped the gun and shouldn't have done that. You have to work on things at home first.

I guess I don't feel safe sharing my desires with my husband. I think I know how he is going to take it. He will most probably feel betrayed, jealous, insecure. Because he already feels that way sometimes when I spend time with friend.

So why is he that way? What do you do in your behavior that ADDS or TAKES AWAY from a safe environment between you and spouse? Is he carrying baggage from family or origin or past dating experiences? Does he not like himself much? Something else?

You don't have to answer here. But in case that helps you talk with your husband.

Even when not poly? Married people are not DEAD. The vows to forsake all others? That doesn't mean either of you is blind to beauty in the world or won't have passing fancies. The point is that you both promise not to act on them because you both have agreed to monogamous marriage.

It's gonna get old if you have to always be walking on eggshells around him for the rest of your married life because he feels insecure. Like you can't be your authentic self around him because what? He can't deal with you being you? So instead of him working on his stuff so the monogamous marriage can be comfortable for BOTH... you have to go around bottled up so just he can be comfortable?

Sort all that out. Sounds like marriage foundations could be better than how they are now.


If you do eventually want to act on your desires and ask husband for an open/poly marriage? You can ask about that later down. There's no rush or fire.

And really think it out. Because if he doesn't want to and you do? You may have become incompatible over time. The marriage may have to end so he can be FREE FROM poly things he does not want. And you can be FREE TO pursue poly things you do want. In a CLEAN way without anyone cheating on any agreements. Because you disband and the agreements no longer apply.

That's a whole other thing to think about besides the lack of emotional/mental intimacy with your spouse.

Galagirl
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
Personally I think any soft approach or foundational work is a waste of time because there is an active romance in the air and the OP‘s husband feels it and is threatened by it. WHAT work what words are going to to rewind the clock pre special friend that’s going to be believable or credible? I hate to sound cynical here but anything but the cold hard truth in a blunt fashion will seem like just spin and or tactics with a forgone plan in mind.

PLUS ....why work on a relationship or marriage that is about to change forever. As we say here all the time once you go down this road the old marriage is dead and NOT coming back start building the new relationship and or new marriage. So drop the bomb and start building the new relationship and new marriage Life is too short to being hiding and repressing your true self.

GOOD luck 👍
 

3908

Member
welcome to the forum.

Im not to the level of many on this forum as to their knowledge of poly, but my story has a positive surprise.

for months i have been talking to my wife about me being interested in poly, and there have been arguments, endless hypothetical scenario questions on her end, threats of divorce, etc....

we are a Christian marriage, and there were also accusations of me hating God, she didn't sign up for this in our wedding vows, blah blah blah.

recently I decided that loosing her was not worth chasing my interest in poly, so I decided to put it aside. after that my wife had a change of heart, she said that I could be friends with one of her close lady friends. I know this woman, I Like her and we share abuse recovery experience in a step program.

My Wife is clear that my interest in this woman is just friends, but the other woman is very aware of my poly interest, and is cool with it. we are just friends, but its a little different than other woman i know, in this friendship there is an emotional connection with her. my wife does not mind us hanging out without her.

I can suspect that maybe my wife does not perceive this woman as a threat. I have always said that I would never leave my wife for another woman, which was one of her fears of me getting into poly.

I have offered that my wife can have a boyfriend with equal arrangement, but shes not interested, at least not yet...lol. I think its only fair that if I'm interested in other woman that i need to offer that to her as consent as well. I think you mentioned something about that in a previous post.
maybe offering your consent to your husband to look around could help things?

thanks for reading my ramblings...
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
That's the thing. Is this considered and "active romance" just because they told someone they crush on them? If it is? Then I agree. Drop the bomb and get on with it.

If this was more "eye opener to problems in my marriage" than anything else? The crush is not all that important? Just a passing fancy? Could drop the crush and work on the marriage issues.

"Relationship broken, add more people" doesn't work. It's not like the crush friend is supposed to be some "poly band-aid" to help enable OP endure a wonky marriage. I don't think that's ethical.

Using poly as a "soft exit" from a marriage to line up someone ahead of time before dumping the spouse just to avoid being alone/single? I don't think that's ethical either.

Only OP can decide how it is with them and figure out what path they are on.

Galagirl
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
That's the thing. Is this considered and "active romance" just because they told someone they crush on them? If it is? Then I agree. Drop the bomb and get on with it.
First of all I have no idea what would be an active romance by today’s standards BUT clearly the amount of time the amount of attention possibly the flirty natural of the banter suggest that. At the very minimum it’s caused arguments and issues with her husband. You can label him insecure with childhood trauma or not liking himself but maybe he’s just unaware of the possibility of the poly process. And or he might just simply prefer not sharing or being in line for his wife’s time and attention.
If this was more "eye opener to problems in my marriage" than anything else? The crush is not all that important? Just a passing fancy? Could drop the crush and work on the marriage issues.
yes completely possible however it reads to me like the special friend has opened her eyes to her true poly nature.
And this new poly nature may cause some friction with the existing marital structure.


"Relationship broken, add more people" doesn't work. It's not like the crush friend is supposed to be some "poly band-aid" to help enable OP endure a wonky marriage. I don't think that's ethical.
Again ....this May or may not be true. These facts aren’t in evidence yet. It sounds like open and poly might be the thing that breaks the relationship.

Im sure the op will now enlighten us on the state of her marriage Pre special friend because IMO thats the marker husband will be going off too.


Using poly as a "soft exit" from a marriage to line up someone ahead of time before dumping the spouse just to avoid being alone/single? I don't think that's ethical either.

Only OP can decide how it is with them and figure out what path they are on.

Galagirl

and yet it happens all the time.

I’d say there’s nothing in this thread that suggests thats the op’s intention.

And I agree it’s a cowardly manipulative thing to do And sadly happens way too often.
 

Rob_46

New member
Hi everyone.
I've been in a mono relationship for almost ten years, and married for half of those. Recently, I came to the conclusion that i have a strong connection to a friend who i have also known for a very long time. After some arguments and jealousy from my husband, I realized i didn't want to choose between one or the other, than I want and love them both in their own ways. I am terrified of telling my husband this because I think i will make him feel insecure, and Im not sure what is going to happen to our relationship if I tell him I also love someone else. So many things at stake. I don't know how to proceed. All I know is that I can't go back to a life of hiding and represing desires. But I also don't want to lose the two most important persons in my life.
My wife and I have been together for 20 years
She told me the week between Christmas and New Years that she wants an open marriage . She has been in one date already and has 6 lined up for the month two a week. I am a different king of person and I am open to being open. Good luck with your situation
 

bananafish

New member
That's the thing. Is this considered and "active romance" just because they told someone they crush on them? If it is? Then I agree. Drop the bomb and get on with it.

If this was more "eye opener to problems in my marriage" than anything else? The crush is not all that important? Just a passing fancy? Could drop the crush and work on the marriage issues.

"Relationship broken, add more people" doesn't work. It's not like the crush friend is supposed to be some "poly band-aid" to help enable OP endure a wonky marriage. I don't think that's ethical.

Using poly as a "soft exit" from a marriage to line up someone ahead of time before dumping the spouse just to avoid being alone/single? I don't think that's ethical either.

Only OP can decide how it is with them and figure out what path they are on.

Galagirl
I think it is both. The crush was an eye opener to my marital problems. But it is also not a passing fancy, believe me. I've been struggling with my feelings for this person for quite a long time. I've been in hard core denial, telling myself he was just a friend, for years now.
I don't want to just add something. I do realize my relationship with my husband might be a lot more cracked than I thought it was, and I'm certainly going to work on it, but this is not about being bored and wanting to try poly or whatever.
I don't think I would open my relationship for anyone. Im not into dating random people. I started thinking about the possibility of poly because I can't deny myself any longer the fact that I love two people at the same time.
And really, I am not trying to use this as a soft exit. There is no soft exit out of here. It wasn't my intention to have someone lined up before I dump my husband (specially because I don't want our relationship to be over). Talking about it with my friend was inevitable, because I wanted to make sure the connection wasn't only in my head. But thank you for calling me out on that. I will certainly give it a longer thought.
Appreciate your insight
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I can understand your husband's feelings because my ex husband was also very possessive, territorial and would get very upset if he sensed I ever had a crush on someone, whether it was a friend or neighbor, or even just an artist/musician/actor type celebrity I enjoyed!

He was old school and basically thought of me, his wife, as "his woman," and hated that I ever thought anyone else was attractive ever. Men, that is. I'm bi, and he didn't like that either, but he was less threatened by my "lesbian" feelings.

We did therapy together and individually over the years, and it helped in some ways, but he never got over my having crushes. We dug deep with a therapist after 20 years of marriage and it was very obvious he had deep issues with low self esteem. But the feelings stemming from his childhood was so painful and so buried, he refused to face them enough to process them and grow. Our therapist had to drop him as a client.

A few years later, despite the good things we did have in our marriage, I had to also drop him. I could not lived being constrained by him, being spied upon, suspected. He'd even imagine crushes that I didn't even have!

Maybe this resonates with you somehow. My biggest crushes were on self-confident men (and women) who had a certain swagger (without being arrogant) which my ex never had. They shared the good qualities of my ex, but had a certain calm self assurance that was so much more attractive.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for more info.

So this isn't a passing fancy.

Could take some time to do your soul searching. If before you were answering to your fear of a break up or your fear of DH's jealousy and chose to bottle things up and say/do nothing? And after years of doing that behavior, it has led to you feeling bad? Something has to change somewhere in order for you to feel something else.

Maybe it's to answer to "living my life authentically" instead.

What exactly the behavior change(s) might be... well, that for you to figure out with DH. Somewhere a conversation has to happen.

I get that you are scared of a break up and hope that he would be willing and able to go there towards an open/poly marriage so you could be with both. But every person is responsible for things they will and will not participate in. They are in charge of their consent to do things or not.

When you bring it up? DH might be pissed you were talking to a potential before coming to him. He might consider that cheating even if he had a share in things between the two of you not being so hot which made it hard to come to him first. And if he blows up and has a cow? Well, it is what it is. Still gotta talk him anyway. Unless you plan is to just ask for a divorce.

When you talk?
  • It might be a deal breaker for him. He may want monogamy only.
  • He might be willing, but find he's not actually able.
  • Or he's able, but not willing because polyshipping is just MORE -- more stuff, more people, more calendar, etc. and he doesn't want to deal in that right now. He may want more time to educate himself, prepare. Or he just may not want to start in this phase of his life. (ex: parenting kids time, a stressy career time etc)
  • Or he might be willing and able ... but not with HIM, that crush potential. Because it felt too cheater-y
  • Or he might be willing and able and do fine.
How about your own willing/able? Or Potential's willing/able?

You can't know where all these people stand without actually asking. So ask yourself first in your soul searching. What is it you want?
Think it out and then clear up your stuff at home first.

Ask husband how he feel about open/poly so you can know where he stands on this. Depending on his answer?

Then you can pick from a place of knowing more info. You could
  • give up the crush and the desire to poly and stick with monogamy with DH but this time with better relating between the two of you
  • let DH go and disband the marriage if you are no longer compatible and want different things from life. He wants to be free from poly stuff he does not want and you want to be free to pursue poly stuff you do want.
  • postpone and both get better poly educated while also doing the marriage repair work you both now see was missing and/or wait to leave a phase of life that is problematic to starting poly right now
  • Or you both move on to polyshipping in pandemic safe ways if that's something both want to be doing now.... with or without this particular crush in the mix
  • Something else I can't think of right now.
You already know it stunk before -- going around bottled up for years. And life isn't a dress rehearsal -- you only get the one. So you have to figure out how you want to be living it.

Galagirl
 
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AlwaysGrowing

Well-known member
I think you're getting great advice on examining YOUR feelings but would like to add... From your husband's point of view, you are likely already cheating. Sharing an emotionally intimate relationship with someone, confessing love to him, hiding the depth of the relationship from your husband... While it may not be intentional, the lack of physical steps does not mean you haven't acted on your feelings.

Personally? I think you need to tell husband everything now. Let him make an informed decision on how to move forward. You're not just wanting to change the rules of the relationship, you're wanting to overcome infidelity. That's two big things that require a lot of very honest, very open communication. Actually starting another relationship during that process? That would be a THIRD very big thing to stress an already cracked relationship.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
I think it’s pretty clear as to why she chose to discuss this with her love interest first. WHY BLOW UP MY LIFE / MARRIAGE if this dear friend doesn’t have romantic feelings he wants to explore with me . “ GREAT I trashed an ok / fair marriage for a peck on the cheek or a fucking hand shake...Now what “ Thats like having an affair to get someone’s attention it just seems like more work in the end.

I think perhaps the aforementioned cracks in the marriage might be a bigger focal point than the order in which people were notified Of their true feeling.

I think if ...DH gets pissed you were talking to a potential before coming to him. He’s lost sight of or doesn’t fully grasp the bigger picture On what’s being asked here. His special status or role in this dynamic is about to be revoked or diminished and or rewritten to fit a new reality. In the end it might be a trivial thing to be pissed about.
 

bananafish

New member
I can understand your husband's feelings because my ex husband was also very possessive, territorial and would get very upset if he sensed I ever had a crush on someone, whether it was a friend or neighbor, or even just an artist/musician/actor type celebrity I enjoyed!

He was old school and basically thought of me, his wife, as "his woman," and hated that I ever thought anyone else was attractive ever. Men, that is. I'm bi, and he didn't like that either, but he was less threatened by my "lesbian" feelings.

We did therapy together and individually over the years, and it helped in some ways, but he never got over my having crushes. We dug deep with a therapist after 20 years of marriage and it was very obvious he had deep issues with low self esteem. But the feelings stemming from his childhood was so painful and so buried, he refused to face them enough to process them and grow. Our therapist had to drop him as a client.

A few years later, despite the good things we did have in our marriage, I had to also drop him. I could not lived being constrained by him, being spied upon, suspected. He'd even imagine crushes that I didn't even have!

Maybe this resonates with you somehow. My biggest crushes were on self-confident men (and women) who had a certain swagger (without being arrogant) which my ex never had. They shared the good qualities of my ex, but had a certain calm self assurance that was so much more attractive.
I do resonate a lot with what you said. Specially cause he always felt very threatened by my male friends but not women, even though he knows that ocasionally I like women too. And I always thought that talked miles about his issues and insecurities. I don't think im being spied on or anything, and I do have my freedoms under the pretense "go do what you want and deal with my mood afterwards". but mainly, it feels really bad knowing i am married into a relationship where I can't be myself because I'm going to be badly judged.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me.
 

bananafish

New member
I think you're getting great advice on examining YOUR feelings but would like to add... From your husband's point of view, you are likely already cheating. Sharing an emotionally intimate relationship with someone, confessing love to him, hiding the depth of the relationship from your husband... While it may not be intentional, the lack of physical steps does not mean you haven't acted on your feelings.

Personally? I think you need to tell husband everything now. Let him make an informed decision on how to move forward. You're not just wanting to change the rules of the relationship, you're wanting to overcome infidelity. That's two big things that require a lot of very honest, very open communication. Actually starting another relationship during that process? That would be a THIRD very big thing to stress an already cracked relationship.
Thank you. I realize that, even if i don't necessarily agree, a lot of people would consider that cheating. So I will keep it in mind.
 

bananafish

New member
I think if ...DH gets pissed you were talking to a potential before coming to him. He’s lost sight of or doesn’t fully grasp the bigger picture On what’s being asked here. His special status or role in this dynamic is about to be revoked or diminished and or rewritten to fit a new reality. In the end it might be a trivial thing to be pissed about.
truth is, I didn't talk to him cause I also never felt safe to do it. And that tells me a lot about the type of relationship I am in. That I don't feel safe enough to talk things with the one person I should be able to trust? that speaks miles about our problems, to begin with.
 
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