I used to struggle to see how other people's assumptions and advances had anything to do with me. After all, I'm nice to everyone and enjoy people. But as I've gotten older, I've realized that the tiniest signals--not changing the subject, asking too many questions, showing too much empathy--send the message that I want the inappropriate attention, the awkward marital sharing, the boundary crossing. It not only signaled that I was open to listening, it signaled that I WANTED these boundaries crossed (good god, that's how the desperate or narcissistic perceive it)!
I was NOT open to or wanting any of it! But men kept up the inappropriate sharing until I hung a big ol' sign around my neck that said, "Not interested!" And I'd get angry and upset that people kept crossing my boundaries, but now I get that my boundaries should have shut that shit down much earlier, when I thought it was sad, pathetic, and simply harmless sharing. It wasn't harmless. They were testing me. They were looking for ego kibbles, and I did not want to assume the worst about these people. But I was wrong.
Your "friend's" problem was that he pushed, tested, and pursued you because he wanted ego kibbles. Your problem is apparently that you liked it instead of being offended or disgusted by his two-timing game plan. And then you lowered the bar and justified the accepting crumbs from him by "hoping" he/they would be poly. But he wasn't, they weren't, and you knew this going into the bonding! Yet you are not owning this part. This is the selfish part that is on you and your issues and has nothing to do with him being special. No, cheaters who seek ego extras by overinvolving themselves with other women are anything but special, and you absolutely knew that. But your neediness kept you ignoring that red flag. And guess what? Because this need lives in him, he eventually would have two-timed you just like he did to the wife. And polyamorous or not, it would have hurt like hell to watch him lie and deny about his new relationship, when your connection was supposed to be "special" and more honest than that. (Cheaters Handbook: belief #27. "We're special.")
I'm sorry you did this to yourself; I know it hurts because I've lived it. But you were not (merely) a victim. You made choices that caused this pain, choices that devalued your needs and your person. I hope you will reconsider when a close friendship is offered by another married man (not all friendship, just the close, connected, "we overshare" kind) and remember that if he valued the sanctity of honest relationships, he would not be closely bonding with another woman behind his wife's back. This is a red flag on the type of person he is and a signal that he is not good enough for you. No matter your common interests or good times, see him for the selfishly flawed person that he is and throw up those high walls next time:
"Gotta go! Can't really talk!"
"I'm sure things will work out at home, but either way, this does not seem like something you should be discussing with me."
"This conversation makes me uncomfortable. Can we change the subject?"
Be clear. Respect yourself. Respect your time, energy, and personal goals. These Bozos are a dime a dozen, and they are not thinking about you or your needs in life at all. They are not even thinking about their family. They are just trying to take, take, take for themselves.
[This message edited by OwningItNow at 1:12 PM, Monday, December 27th]