Husband of 10 years is Poly-Just Found Out

ladyintricate

New member
Much love to all!

Thanks so much everyone. Your words and the dialogue in general have helped me get some perspective and feel some much needed support. We don't know anyone in our area (Houston, TX) that is polyamorous (although I am sure they are here) and all that the few friends I have told about the situation keep telling me is to leave him, or their was something I wasn’t giving him so he went to find it with another woman, or he is just being selfish, and blah, blah, blah.

That kind of talk and perspective, while I realize they are on my "side;" is not helpful to me at all (or to him, obviously). I truly believe him when he tells me he knows he royally messed up when he lied to me and acted dishonestly and that he does love me and always has. He WAS trying to protect me and that was why he lied and it got out of hand. I have made it VERY clear that I need him to treat me like an equal and be completely honest from here on out.

However, as much as I am trying to empathize with him (and I feel that I do for the most part – I see him hurting) that he loves A. and misses her, I also recognize that MY needs at this time are that he does not have contact with her. We have talked about this at length and he understands that and that she betrayed me almost as much as he did. For now he has not contacted her at all (except the day after I found out when we agreed that he would call her and say good bye to her) and he says that he understands why this is something that I need to heal. I have told him that maybe (but at this point I don’t see it changing) in the future this will change. My husband and I are being brutally honest at this point. We are both so happy that the lies are done and he told me just last night that me being able to accept him for truly himself was something that he didn’t think anyone could do, so he didn’t really give me the chance. He is so happy now that everything between us is in the open and that we are now working together to find out what will make us both happy means the world to him (and me!).

We have an agreement that we both need to work through this time and both heal and then we will re-evaluate. Do you think we should talk about a time frame with this – when we will re-evaluate, I mean?

Keep in mind that A. also had a boyfriend who has been with her well before my husband met her and he is all of our friend as well. He had no idea of their having a physical relationship until this came to light and is very hurt also. They are working on their relationship that was supposed to be monogamous, too.

Anyway, I don’t want to seem like I am defensive. I really have had my eyes opened to the fact that a part of who my husband is means that he has the capacity to love more than one person deeply at a time. This is not at all a bad thing about him. It is beautiful, in fact.

All of the changes that this brings to my perceptions have me reeling right now, but the complete honesty and the love that we are making sure we are expressing every day to each other is helping me get through this.

Also, even though he hasn’t posted anything on the forum, you better believe he and I are reading these posts together. :D

Much love to all of you!
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
We have an agreement that we both need to work through this time and both heal and then we will re-evaluate. Do you think we should talk about a time frame with this – when we will re-evaluate, I mean?

In my experience, yes. It's a very good idea to put a time-frame in for re-evaluating.
EVEN if what happens on that date is that you agree to extend to a new date, it shows good faith on both parts that you both understand that there is "work" to do, and that it needs to be done in a "timely" manner.

That doesn't mean that "everything" gets resolved at the next "evaluation". It just makes it easier to hold yourselves accountable and to see that you are both serious about holding yourselves accountable. ;)
 

ladyintricate

New member
The lying is what really hurts me

So…I figured I would give a bit of an update on what has been going on. It has been going on 2 months since I found out my husband was cheating on me. The first 2 weeks were excruciating. I had a lot of anxiety because I felt like my world had been turned upside down and that I couldn’t trust anyone.

I am feeling much stronger and calmer now. My husband and I have been going to counseling individually. Eventually we are going to go together, but right now we are working on our own individual issues. I have told him that I just cannot have A. in our life and be happy. I told him that I am sorry and I feel for his pain in not having her in his life anymore, but that this is the way it has to be for now. He agreed to this and has been very good about no contact. We continue to be friends with A’s boyfriend (who is currently still with her) and have spent time with him on a few different weekends talking and hanging out.

It hurts me to see my husband hurting because he cannot see the other woman he loves, but I cannot and will not lie to myself again and tell myself that I will be ok if she is in our lives. At this time I will not be ok. I will be panicky and scared every minute. I have told hubby that I am sorry for putting him through this and that he is a beautiful person in my eyes, inside and out.

Right now I worry about his deceiving me before with the cheating and that it will happen again. Just last night I asked him if I could look at his text messages (this was how I found out about the affair to begin with) in front of him because it would make me feel more secure and he deleted a message before he would let me see. This all ended up resulting in me finding out that he had seen A earlier that day by accident when he was at his job and in the same area of town that she works in as well. I was very hurt and mad that he hadn’t just told me that to begin with because pretty much this exact scenario we had talked about maybe happening and I had said that as long as he was honest with me it would be ok. He delete the text message, lied to me about it, and then when I confronted him because I could tell he was lying, he finally told me the truth.

We have talked and still talk A LOT about all of this, our feelings, how we are hurting, what we need, what we want, everything. I am very reassuring to him. I don’t understand why his default seems to be to lie to me.

Anyway, I guess the update in a nutshell is that things are better, but moving very slowly. We have agreed to re-evaluate every month as to the situation and how we are both doing and what our needs are. He says that my needing him to not have contact with her is hard, but understandable and he can do that, yet he lied last night about something that need not have been a big deal at all (it was an accident that he saw her, that is totally understandable). How are we ever going to move forward if the lies continue?
 

SNeacail

New member
Just an FYI - my cell phone bill shows the phone numbers of any incoming and outgoing texts, the text itself doesn't show up, just the number. Wouldn't have helped me when I discovered my husbands affair, because he uses a work phone, but I do watch my kids messages.

My husband's default for a LONG time was also to lie to me, even small stupid stuff, like how much he spent at the grocery store (as if I couldn't find out from the bank statement):rolleyes:. I think we are getting past that with the help of the marriage councelor. I actually told him one day that he might as well just punch me in the gut, it would hurt less and I'd get over it quicker. When they lie about small stupid stuff, there is no way to trust them with the big stuff, there will always be doubt.
 

ladyintricate

New member
I actually told him one day that he might as well just punch me in the gut, it would hurt less and I'd get over it quicker. When they lie about small stupid stuff, there is no way to trust them with the big stuff, there will always be doubt.

SNeacail, I completely agree (with the punch in the gut and everything else) and I have told him this. I think that maybe in my husband's case he is very afraid of rejection or of me leaving him. He also has lied about realyl dunb stuff in the past that doesn't make any sense. Ex: one time he lied about how he had done the dishes. I looked over and saw a sink full of dishes sitting there. I had to raise an eyebrow and say, "Ummm...you did?" Look!"

I am glad to hear that the counseling is helping with you and your husband, hopefully it will with us also. I still have a lot of love and hope. :)

He says that he very much wants to have an honest relationship and he loves me but that it is very hard for him. I can understand this, but it makes it VERY hard for me to be able to trust him, especially right now. :(
 

nycindie

Active member
I have found that even when two people agree to be "completely honest" about everything, that still often means something different to each of them.

I think that he probably thought that telling you might've hurt your feelings, and so his first inclination is to protect you from hurting, coupled with protecting himself from any possible fallout. Often I find that men just cannot believe that women want the whole story - they've been programmed to keep us safe, or what they perceive as safe. Hence, we are in the dark a lot of the time.

I am curious, though. If it was an innocent situation in which they just bumped into each other while out and about, why was there a text message? Who followed up the encounter with a text and who responded? That seems like going against your ground rules, too.
 

SNeacail

New member
I think that he probably thought that telling you might've hurt your feelings, and so his first inclination is to protect you from hurting, coupled with protecting himself from any possible fallout.

I will have to say, it is usually not to protect the person being lied to (although they may use that as a justification once they get caught), but it is definitely to avoid dealing with the possible fallout. It is purely selfish. Sorry, I know that sounds really cynical.
 

kreeativ

New member
things are better?? yea things sound better, not. why do people put themselves through so much agony for something they think is love. of course everybody has their own version of love,but true love has only one definition,and it aint whats going on in this little story. egos run rampant.
 

Penny

New member
I am curious, though. If it was an innocent situation in which they just bumped into each other while out and about, why was there a text message? Who followed up the encounter with a text and who responded? That seems like going against your ground rules, too.

I've been curious about this too.
 

ladyintricate

New member
I am curious, though. If it was an innocent situation in which they just bumped into each other while out and about, why was there a text message? Who followed up the encounter with a text and who responded? That seems like going against your ground rules, too.

It was A's boyfriend (I will call him B) who my husband had texted that day. He is also our mutual friend. That was what made the situation even more difficult the other night was that when I confronted hubby about why he deleted the text message and he gave me a vague answer, I then felt like I couldn’t trust him or B. I wondered WHAT had they been talking about?! Were they planning something that was against my ground rules or talking about something that had already happened and that was why he had deleted the text message?

I confronted hubby on all of this and told him that I felt like I couldn’t trust either of them after that (can I trust ANYONE, period, anymore?!). This was when hubby came clean about seeing A that day on accident and he said that the text message said that he had seen her to B. he also said that he was going to tell me about it, but I had asked to see the text message before he got the chance and he panicked.

Obviously there are a lot of messed up behaviors in this mess of a night. I am really worried that hubby’s default is to lie because he is so afraid of rejection. One of the difficult things for me in all of this is that i have never rejected him. He never realyl gave me the chance to accept or reject him. He was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to accept that he was poly that he was never straight with me about what he actually needed and kept it all a secret until it got way out of control and led to a big betrayal. I have no way of knowing for sure what could have happened if he had told me right upfront BEFORE anything happened that he had romantic feelings for A and he wanted to have a romantic/physical relationship with her, what would have happened. I know I wouldn't have been instantly ok with it, but I believe that it would have been better for all involved if the trust had not been so badly broken with the lies and cheatig.

I am starting to come to grips with 2 things in this situation. 1.) I can not control him – he will do what he really wants to do, and 2.) I do not trust A or B in so much as that they respect our marriage and although I will be friendly to B, I no longer feel that I can trust him as a friend.

I will never officially “know” what the text message said, I have to go on what hubby said and what my gut tells me. It tells me that the truth did eventually come out and that he was worried that I would not believe him when he said nothing happened and then I would leave him so he lied about it.

I am working on figuring out what I want and need from our marriage and so is he. For now we have both agreed that we want to continue to be married and we love each other. It is also agreed upon that honesty is very important to build up trust between us. Honesty does not come easy to him, this is something I think I have been in denial about for a long time. I have realized that TRUE honesty is something that I need going forward and hopefully through therapy and talking about things at length each step of the way we can achieve that.

It should be said that hubby has done a lot right during the roughly 2 months since I found out about the affair. The 2 things I said I needed in the immediate aftermath were: we are going to therapy to work on our own issues as well as those as a couple AND no contact with A. I feel confident that he has followed through on both of these. He is actually in a therapy session right now by himself while I am at work typing this. I hope it goes well for him.

I know that it appears that I am not giving a lot right now, but my part is for the moment to accept him for who he is, be supportive and loving of who he is and that this is hard for him as well as for me (that part is not difficult at all). Also, to wrap my head around the betrayal that took place and that our future together is likely not going to be just the two of us, but possibly him and I and another person. In some ways I am really coming around to this idea, but in other ways I feel like I can’t trust him enough to do that because of the lies and sneakiness that lead us to this moment.

Anyway, I hope that answered your question, NYCindie. Sorry about the book. Thanks for your support and everyone's who has given me feedback and advice. This forum means the world to me right now. :)
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I am really worried that hubby’s default is to lie because he is so afraid of rejection. One of the difficult things for me in all of this is that i have never rejected him. He never realyl gave me the chance to accept or reject him.
That's one of the struggles I have with Maca. I'm the poly one and the one who cheated.
But, when I found out about polyamory-I had started researching how the hell to fix my relationship and get my own head straight. I realized I had to come clean with myself first-and then the rest of the world. I've worked my butt off to be honest (sometimes to a fault I fear) since then.
Unfortunately, that isn't always true for Maca and I keep wondering if he is going to have to go through the nightmare I did from decieving myself and him and the whole affair before he understands what it means to be really and truly honest?

He was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to accept that he was poly that he was never straight with me about what he actually needed and kept it all a secret until it got way out of control and led to a big betrayal. I have no way of knowing for sure what could have happened if he had told me right upfront BEFORE anything happened that he had romantic feelings for A and he wanted to have a romantic/physical relationship with her, what would have happened. I know I wouldn't have been instantly ok with it, but I believe that it would have been better for all involved if the trust had not been so badly broken with the lies and cheatig.
I absolutely agree with that. I wish I had been more aware of myself and not put us through so much hell. :( I can never delete those memories for any of us.

Honesty does not come easy to him, this is something I think I have been in denial about for a long time. I have realized that TRUE honesty is something that I need going forward and hopefully through therapy and talking about things at length each step of the way we can achieve that.
I hope that helps! I hope it helps us too. :) I know for me, reading on this board helped me A LOT with finding truth and honesty in myself. Also-the other thing that really helped was reading about "radical honesty" (there is a book-but I didn't read the book just a lot of articles).

It should be said that hubby has done a lot right during the roughly 2 months since I found out about the affair. The 2 things I said I needed in the immediate aftermath were: we are going to therapy to work on our own issues as well as those as a couple AND no contact with A. I feel confident that he has followed through on both of these.
I'm glad. It's important, for both of you. ;)

In some ways I am really coming around to this idea, but in other ways I feel like I can’t trust him enough to do that because of the lies and sneakiness that lead us to this moment.
That's perfectly reasonable. I've been on both sides of that coin. It's hard.

This forum means the world to me right now.
I for one am glad you're here. ;) keep sharing.
 

BlackUnicorn

New member
I have a super-embarrassing tendency to sometimes get into the same reflexive lying trap. My reasoning behind this is something as lame as 'I don't want to hurt them', 'This is not the place to deal with this, let's get home first' or 'I need time to figure out how to break this out to them softly'. When confronted over the phone, I'm especially prone to guttural reactions like these. It's a bad communication peeve I need to work to get rid off.
 

Thespian

New member
I realised I was poly when I fell in love with another woman. My wife and I were not good at communicating at that time so, to my regret, I failed to talk to her before beginning an affair. Of course she found out and it did make us reconsider our relationship and begin talking properly. Even after my wife knew about my affair I found myself effectively lying (or at least not being completely open) about silly things like meeting my other for coffee. It just seemed to cause more trouble to be honest than it was worth.

Sadly my wife was unable to deal with me loving two women and I have split with my second love because I could not handle the pain I was causing. I have issues with my wife now because she would not try to learn anything about polyamory. I hope I can overcome this resentment.

Believe me that it is possible to love two people, and for me it was the difference between the women that was so much part of it. So it was nothing that my wife was doing wrong, nor anything she was being that was the problem. I would not have wanted her to become more like my new love.

Anyway, just some thoughts from the other side.
 

kreeativ

New member
something i realized long ago is we cant be resposible for others feelings. they will choose what they choose to feel and they have the right to feel how ever they choose. by "protecting" them from there own feelings by lying is a control issue. and by robbing them of there feelings on something could very well inhibit their own growth process. thats why somebody said the truth shall set you free.
 

ladyintricate

New member
something i realized long ago is we cant be resposible for others feelings. they will choose what they choose to feel and they have the right to feel how ever they choose.

I agree completely. This is something that my husband has had to face. He is also facing that he lied to himself just as much as to me.
 

ladyintricate

New member
I have a super-embarrassing tendency to sometimes get into the same reflexive lying trap. My reasoning behind this is something as lame as 'I don't want to hurt them', 'This is not the place to deal with this, let's get home first' or 'I need time to figure out how to break this out to them softly'. When confronted over the phone, I'm especially prone to guttural reactions like these. It's a bad communication peeve I need to work to get rid off.

There is a time and a place for things. Telling someone bad news when they are in another crisis or when you are at a group family function, for example, is probably not the best idea.

However, I think for the vast majority of the time, telling those you care about the naked truth saves them more pain in the long run. Also, by not telling them the truth you are robbing them of the true story and possibly yourself of what their true reaction would be. My husband thought I would hate him and leave him if I knew about him being poly so he lied and cheated on me. Now he realizes that him being poly is not a bad thing to me, it is the betrayal and the lies that have almost split us apart.

We live, we learn (hopefully...;)).

I am trying to learn that I cannot control things except myself. He will be him and I will be me. I am also learning what I need and what I want and seperating that from his needs and wants. I have a long way to go on this. :eek:
 

ladyintricate

New member
Believe me that it is possible to love two people, and for me it was the difference between the women that was so much part of it. So it was nothing that my wife was doing wrong, nor anything she was being that was the problem. I would not have wanted her to become more like my new love.

Anyway, just some thoughts from the other side.

Thanks, Thespian! You sound just like my husband in the quote above. He has told me that I was and am perfect the way I am and that was not why he fell in love with someone else. That helped me a lot in the very beginning because that was exactly what my first thoughts were: that I was inadequate and so he went looking.

I feel a lot of guilt for telling him that if he decided to stay with me then he cannot see A. (the woman he had the affair with) but I have had to come to terms with the fact that she represents so much betrayal and pain to me that I cannot even think her name without feeling pain. This is a NEED for me. She is clearly not going to be able to be our third, at least not anytime soon. I have been completely honest with hubby about this and I think he understands and although hurts, he has chosen me. We are taking this one day at a time and that is all we can do for now. I hope you and your love are doing well on your own journey. She still won't even talk about polyamory with you?
 

Thespian

New member
Thanks, Thespian! You sound just like my husband in the quote above. <snip> We are taking this one day at a time and that is all we can do for now. I hope you and your love are doing well on your own journey. She still won't even talk about polyamory with you?

Well "it's not polyamory unless everyone consents and I don't consent" and "the three of you (that's me, my ex-lover and her husband) ganging up on me" and "there's no point trying to persuade me" is the level of response. Not exploring any possibilities, not discussing why she feels so jealous and what I could do more to help her. It's just a denial.

Sad really, as I think there's so much more we could both learn about this.

Anyway I'm delighted if putting this side of the issue helps you understand how your husband feels. Believe me he will be hurting very deeply but it shows how much he loves you that he's stuck by you.
 
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