My husband of now 8 years has decided to finally come out to me that he felt he was poly, but did not know there was a title to it. I am having a really hard time dealing with seeing my husband happy with another woman.
I hear you, that is tough. I myself came out to my wife as polyamorous, while she identifies more as mono.
A lot of pain I think comes from misunderstanding the others perspective. The mono perspective is usually the persepective that is more widely understood, since it's our main role model and sorrounds us in our daily culture. Thus it is the norm.
It is hard to think outside this norm.
Your husbands feelings propbably never fit this norm. It probably caused him a lot of pain and confusion in his life. I mean, who is there who understands, if one does not even understand yourself?
Talk to him how he sees the world, how he has seen it in his past, as a child as a teen, in his past relationships in the past of your relationship and so on. Try to listen. You can gain some outside perspective for instance from works of the author Elizabeth Sheff, she has written a concise book that is called "when someone you love is polyamorous" and another that is called the polyamourists next door. The latter is also great because it gives a lot if adive for poly family parents.
But what do I mean by other perspective? E.g. your sentence "my husband happy with another woman. " can be interpreted two ways:
The normative and implied version is the mono one: He has another woman now and she replaces me, he is happy with her.
The poly perspective is: Yes he is happy, he is happy because he can be himself and he can express his love freely. He is happy because he has people in his life he loves, and who love him back. There is no need to use "another".
These are the two perspectives, but of course there is still jealousy!
You can try all the poly resources on jealousy even if you don't consider yourself poly. These books are great for self realization. Working through feelings of jealousy is the fastest way to grow. I know you didn't as for it.
Books with good sections about jealousy are e.g: "Jealousy Workbook" and "More than two".
On the flip side because he is happy our life has become wonderful, our sex life is great, our communication is better than it has been and he openly shows me affection and love.
It really sounds like you love him and he loves you <3
Somtimes I think because his gf is openly ok with all this he is taking it much slower than he would have if he was just having a relationship with her, and he didn't have to think about me.
Well, he probably is. And that is a good sign that he values you and your relationship and family. It is also a good sign, that she is ok with this. This can all work out!
I daily have break downs and second guess his love and whatever this is. I guess I am just trying to get some feedback from people who have been doing this. We have 4 children and while this is how my husband feels a relationship should be I struggle and do not want our kids to see/deal with these struggles as I muddle my way around in this world. Send help
It makes perfect sense to second guess it: We have all learned from day one, that this cannot be. This is not what love looks like.
Maybe it already helps trying to understand his perspective, to understand you don't have to second guess his love.
There is also a lot of social stigma associated with this. Your family is right now moving outside the norm. This causes external, but of course also internal resistance. This is what you experience. It is perfectly normal and ok to feel this way.
Be open with your kids about this. Author Elizabeth Sheff has a lot of insight about poly parenting and how to approprietly tell the kids.
But see it like this:
How would your kids react if neither of their parents them told them?
How would your kids feel, if they found out their parents betrayed them for 18+ years to find out?
What does it make with your kids, if they turn out to be poly as well, but not even their parents want to be their rolemodels? How much pain and confusion would it be for them?
Handle the situation as responsible adults and your family will grow indefinetly.
Maybe a thought experiment for last: How would you react, if your husband told you he was gay or actually felt like a woman? How would you react, if he was these things, but never told you about them?
How would that be for your children, if he was either of these things
How would it be, if he never told them?