Need Some Advice...


New member
I find myself here by accident. Sort of. Or maybe I was always headed in this direction and now I need some advice from you august ladies and gentleman.

I'm married, 7 years, great wife, good marriage. My wife and I went through a really bad time last year, my heart fractured, I fell in love with another woman, all while still being in love with my wife. Me, loser. I kept it secret, cheated for a while, now its out in the open and my wife wants to meet my lover. She is open to polyamory, loves me, understands why this happened and is willing to work through it if I can stop lying and being sneaky. I desperately want to stop hiding my feelings for the other woman, too much stress, and lying is emotionally toxic. So we are supposed to have dinner on Sunday. ACK!? What do I do? How do we sit? Basically my wife wants to meet my love and get to know her, see what her intentions are, see if she is someone to welcome into our marriage. I will abide by her decision either way, especially considering that she has been loving and gracious enough to talk to me through all of this, forgive my betrayal, and try to understand how I can love her and the other woman. So, again, some advice would be great. No beating me up; I'm already feeling vulnerable and bad about myself so please, don't attack me, just not in the mood today. How do I navigate this? Its all really new and weird. I didn't mean to fall in love with the second woman; I just did. It was like a kick to the head when I first saw her and then it was an inevitable conclusion from there. Help? Advice? Suggestions?
You will suffer no beatings here.

No shaking fingers.

No judgment.

Just "Welcome" and "We are glad you are here".

It sounds to me like you are very loved already, by two women willing to sit down and share a meal together, with you. What a glorious dinner to finally have!!

I would imagine that everyone at the table will feel a little odd.

Myself, I would say thank you to both of them.

And also, before dinner, I would tell myself thank you, for having the courage to walk down a new and honest road.
Spot on! Rock on! ... Uh, I mean, ... neat!
Hi and welcome!

Just to make sure; is your wife interested in pursuing a separate relationship with your girlfriend, as in a triad, or is it still going to be a vee with you as the hinge?
So we are supposed to have dinner on Sunday. ACK!? What do I do? How do we sit?

How you sit depends on where you are meeting. Will it be in a restaurant/coffee shop, or in your home?

In a restaurant you will sit in chairs around a table.

In your home, whatever feels comfortable. You and your wife on the couch and the gf in a chair across from you might seem most natural. But you might all sit on the couch with you in between if you prefer. Or sit around the kitchen table if that's your usual way to entertain.

It's just going to be like 3 friends meeting. There will be small talk, drinks, laughs and maybe then you get into some of the more important talk. Maybe not. Maybe just all enjoy each others' company and get to know each other.
Thanks for all of you responses. It actually may NOT happen on Sunday, as we keep having ongoing conversations about it. One day my wife is open to it, the next day her fears about it make her shutdown and fall back into the old Either/Or paradigm that we've always lived in. Maybe I'm just being selfish and want my cake and eat it to? But I know me and I'm open to her having another partner, also. Besides that, I also know that I've NEVER believed or experienced love as a commodity that can be cut up, bagged, traded, and weighed. I want so badly to explore new ways of loving but I'm afraid that may not be possible in my marriage. The times when her fears are activated, she feels that loving someone outside our marriage will threaten her, will eventually usurp her. I've tried to address these fears but I realize that they are a normal reaction; I know that I would feel jealous and insecure about her loving someone also but I'm at least open to it.
Maybe I'm just being selfish and want my cake and eat it to?

It's not selfish to want to have your cake and eat it, too. "Selfish" assumes that it's wrong to have cake and eat it, too. I don't think that's true. It's not wrong to want to continue both of these relationships.

I think it's natural for your wife to be feeling conflicting emotions; even if she is genuinely enthusiastic about pursuing a polyamorous life with you, there's a lot of social conditioning we all have to/had to overcome to get there, right? It sounds like y'all have patience, love, compassion, and communication -- after seven years of marriage and the difficulties you've been through, that's great! I think those qualities will serve the two of you well.
my heart fractured, I fell in love with another woman, all while still being in love with my wife........

I desperately want to stop hiding my feelings for the other woman, too much stress, and lying is emotionally toxic.

These are really beautiful and interesting ways of describing your experiences... I can relate.

I think your wife is a saint! She had every right to blow up and kick you out and she hasn't, she sees that you are in need of something in your life and is willing to accommodate that. She doesn't see that you want your cake and to eat it too. Just that you are not complete without the love of others and to be able to love others.

I don't see myself as having cake and eating it too. I was not complete and now am... Someone that is mono in a mono marriage arrangement with someone that is also mono has their cake and is eating it too. That is what makes them feel whole and comfortable. The societal norm doesn't get to tell us poly folk what kind of cake we should eat. We are all meant to decide. You are making your choice. You have a right to do that...

Did you make the choice in a respectful way? no.... you can read other threads by doing a tag search to hear what has past before you on cheating... there is interesting stuff there you could learn from, but you seem to be quite aware of the fact that the intro to all this was not the best choice and that is all that matters at the moment.

As to the supper? What worked for me was to take a back seat and just keep quiet... watch and do most of the actual supper work.... fill glasses, get food, serve and remove dishes... anything to facilitate the "head" work of the event, rather than the work of achieving supper. Your wife might be like me though and do her head work while moving.... I don't sit still ever really. I get a lot done in my head when I am achieving the end goal of filling bellies at a supper (or other tacks)... I think if she is like me in this way I would be sure to take over in moments when she is engaged with your other woman... if you find that the two of them are engaged in something deep, take over.

The point of metamours coming together for me is that it isn't about me, its about them. I don't even go to a place of the joy I feel when they are all around. I make sure I am humble and in awe of my situation instead. If that makes sense. Their getting along is a HUGE part of the success I have in my poly situation and the kind of poly I describe myself as. If they didn't, it would be over. They do that work, I don't... I cannot even presume that I should think I have anything to do with their relationships together succeeding. They work on it because of me.... a HUGE gift and I am grateful beyond believe. :eek:

Your second quote above makes me think of this mentality. It is important right now to keep your feelings controlled and look at what they offer rather than what they are. You aren't in a position to be free to be bowled over by your excitement and love. Investing in that would be foolish at this point. that would be reacting to NRE (you could tag search that).

Talking about your love for this other woman is important, as much as your determination to keep her in your life, but being overly emotional one way or the other, I don't think is appropriate and is disrespectful... You have already done the disrespect thing and unfortunately learned that lying is easy on the surface and a cop out to real success in relationships. It's so easy to fall into that over and over again once its learned... Take the fearful road of honesty and calmness and hopefully you will find that you fair better in the end. It likely will be a longer road than is evident at the moment.

Your wife, as amazing as she is, will likely not be able to contain her anger at some point... she is acting rationally at the moment, but those emotions of betrayal, pain, deceit will likely come out eventually and need to I think. At some point she will have to purge them in order to move forward. This is where your controlled, respectful, honest, nose to the grind stone approach will be handy in sustaining you... at least that has been my experience.

Think of donkeys climbing with a huge load up a steep hill... that is where you are at I should think... you will reach the top after a long journey, and the rewards can be more than you ever thought possible. But the journey will be hard I think. Good luck.
I would just like to say congrats. You will quickly learn that those are the little things. If they get along, you have a great foundation to start from :) (regardless of HOW you found your love)
Well, dinner did not happen. What DID happen was that my wife decided that she is NOT open to having a poly relationship and that, if I were to pursue one, she would have to leave my life. I'm not surprised that this was her response, considering what I know about her and the screwed up way I introduced the "other woman". I am disappointed that we won't be able to take this opportunity to explore love and relationship in a new, expansive way. But, again, I realize that my wife is probably not someone who will EVER be open to something like this and I am...we were just raised really differently and got really different messages about love and belonging. So, I appreciate all the support and encouragement from you august ladies and gentlemen, but I will probably just be lurking on your forum and living vicariously through your posts for a long while LOL.

Now my issue is this: my wife threw down the gauntlet and says I have to let the other woman go. I can do that, but not gracefully or easily. My wife's feelings are my primary concern and I've always been willing to do my best to meet her needs, but how do you let go of someone that you truly are in love with? Its such a tragic irony: having the other woman in my life will destroy my marriage, not having her in my life may destroy me.

WTF?! How did this even happen? How does one fall in love with a second person? I mean, how do people stop themselves from falling in love with other people besides their primary? Do people choose who they love or is it that I made the mistake of feeding the emotion?
Is this other woman someone you fell in love with due to just knowing her and having social interactions with her, or did you cheat on your wife and have sex with this woman? It is unclear how and when you fell in love, unless I missed something here. Certainly, the circumstances could affect how your wife feels toward the whole thing.

I think it might behoove you to talk with her about it again and ask for specifics: What is she afraid of? What is love to her? Can she ever see new possibilities for growing in love with you? What made her consider meeting the woman in the first place, and then what happened to change her mind?

You can only benefit from getting clarity on everything. Both of you.

Edit: Sorry, I re-read your first post and see that you did cheat. Ah, well, yes, she has to deal with feeling betrayed and you have to deal with being the betrayer. That's probably the place to start in examining what's going on between you. Let go of the other woman for now and look at the cheating. At least, that's my take on it. You need to repair the relationship with your wife before moving forward with anyone else. And you might find that it's only lust with the other woman and not love. Who knows.
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WTF?! How did this even happen? How does one fall in love with a second person? I mean, how do people stop themselves from falling in love with other people besides their primary? Do people choose who they love or is it that I made the mistake of feeding the emotion?

I spent the first 5 months of my poly"ness" going through a lot of pain about my ability to fall in love with more than 1. I was in a non-mongamous relationship already, so most of the stuff attached to poly I already had down. Falling in love with someone else was the part that kicked my ass.

How do you stop yourself from falling love with anyone? No idea. But I imagine it would have to include removing yourself from human interaction..

You can't choose who you love but you can make sure you act accordingly. You are in a monogamous relationship. You are going to be kind of limited unless you figure out a way to open up.

Best of luck.
Quite a pickle, my friend. NYC is right on the money. all you can do at this point is repair your marriage bit by bit, day by day. Forgive yourself first. You are human and therefor bound to fuck up from time to time. Apologize with sincerity for the hurt your actions have caused, not for who you are or what you believe. Let the love happen as it will. Best of luck to you
I'm so sorry you are in pain. I can empathize with what you are going through. For me it took talking and talking and crying and fighting and being numb and unable to move some days for fear that my world would come crashing down. Well, it hasn't and I indeed found that working on myself and my relationship was a better idea than pursuing more love relationships. That doesn't mean that it won't come up again, but each step is, well a step to something. That is all you can do.

I agree that getting to the bottom of why she decided to "not allow it" would be helpful. what do you have to lose by asking some hard questions? not much at this point, you are already talking honestly and openly, might as well continue with that no?

It is possible that what I mentioned in my last post is what is going on for her. Sometimes there is a delayed reaction to someone confessing that they have done something that is hurtful. Give it time. After some time has passed and if nothing moves, then I would be concerned. It's all still so new to her.
First of all let me be clear that I am not judging you in any way with any of my comments. They are just observations from a viewpoint....mine.

Asking someone to consider a concept when there is no emotional involvement on their part, in a calm, quiet, detached and friendly spirit of "Let's explore this together" is one thing.
Asking them to explore that same concept when they are bleeding, hurt and angry is a whole nother thing.
Homo sapiens, being the sort of creature that we are, tend to strike back when hurt by someone. Not saying that reaction is right, just saying that is the reaction to expect.

Asking someone to put aside a lifetime of learning and belief systems is stretching the relationship at the best of times. I cannot speak for anyone else but I know my travel down the Poly path began very slowly and it took me quite a while to digest the info at the various stages before it all made sense to me. Think in terms of years before I was/am comfortable enough to feel secure and confident in the Poly lifestyle.

Asking that same person to put aside that same lifetime of learning and belief systems after you have just figuratively stuck a knife in their chest is going to have some predictable outcomes. None of which, I suspect, are calm, quiet acceptance and embracing the concept.

You have some very difficult choices to make here made even more difficult by the plethora of inputs coming at you. Your own, your wife, your g/f, society at large, the list goes on for a while. Open honest communication combined with patience is the only cure imho.
You are blessed

I did the same as you but my wife doesn't want to meet the other love in my life and is come back to a mono marriage or divorce. I feel you are blessed
I'm the wife in question and since Hades posted, I've met with his girlfriend and have begun considering how this could work for us. I will say that the fact that they were cheating and that I discovered this not once, but twice, has definitely impacted my trust levels--with both of them. I'm trying to be open to the idea of all of this, but at the same time, I'm a little worried that I'm being manipulated into something. I'm definitely keeping an eye on the energy and connections going on.

This is a big change for me and is challenging all of my beliefs about relationships. I find that to the extent that I'm included in the relationship between Hades and his new love, I'm feeling relatively comfortable. But the idea of them having a relationship that's separate from me right now is very painful.

I'm trying to to maneuver this strange new path in front of me and to be open to expanding my notions of love and connection. I'm hoping that this will be a place where I can get support for that, as I know this is not an easy path we're choosing. And the fact that it started with Hades and his love cheating is definitely not a positive start. But I also like his girlfriend, and this is part of what is making me more open to the idea.

Any advice you can offer to me is greatly appreciated!
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Hi and welcome!

First of all, I think it's incredibly brave what you are doing.

And then to a few clarifying questions:

Do you consider yourself bisexual? Are you attracted to this woman? If you feel at your comfiest when included, you might have a possible triad situation in your hands.
Although I've been turned on by the idea of a woman and have always enjoyed lesbian porn, I have never actually been with a woman or found myself super-attracted. That said, I was definitely drawn to this woman and could at least imagine having some kind of physical relationship, although I really won't know until I actually try it how I would feel. At this point I'm just trying to be open to it.

Honestly, I'm not sure how this would actually work. I feel like I'm in the very tentative opening stages of trying this out.
I think you are having a very healthy attitude. I'm in a similar situation (at the tentative stages of dating a couple, although no previous history with either one of them), and had the most fabulous advice from redpepper my very first days on the forum - try to have as little expectations as possible. People are people and situations will most often evolve in most unexpected ways.