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Newest Member: Goku06

Just Found Out :
After 9 years of R, I just got the 'oh I think I'm polyamorous afterall!' talk. At marriage counselling. Out of nowhere.

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 Hurthalo (original poster member #41782) posted at 2:04 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Back again after 9 years. Wife had an emotional affair (let's face it, it was liekly physical as well, but I'll never really know) in 2013 which resulted in a looong road to eventual R. Things have been great and we've had two more kids since then, and really ticked off some amazing things in terms of work and our own lives. The affair is now a memory, well in the past, and we did a lot of work to get over it. I'll admit, at the time, it took everything I had. Fast forward 9 years.

To set the scene: Wife has been struggling fro a bit in regards to life in general and the usual malaise with COVID and a busy work life. We have done well to get through it, and the kids are thriving. We have both suffered from a bit of anxiety and to be honest, the last few months have been a bit of a struggle. I ended up in hospital with a panic attack (which I thought was a heart attack - thankfully it wasn't!) a few months ago, which took me by complete surprise. Evidently I was dealing with a lot more latent stress than I thought - but who hasn't in the last two years, right?

We both have very busy and stressful jobs, and we've been drifting slightly apart in regards to emotional intimacy. Physically, we have a great sex life, but we just don't make time for ourselves. Without too much information, we talked about the possibility (and I stress, possibility) of MAYBE going to a swingers club for a laugh - not necessarily to do anything - but to get out of the grind and have a laugh. We are both sexually very open in regards to things we'd like to give a red hot go, and so we've floated the idea a few times or perhaps having fun with another couple - but we've never acted on it. Whatever floats your boat right? I have stressed over and OVER again that if we did anything, it would be as a couple - there would be no polyamory situations of 'dating' anyone else. If a bit of fun happened with like-minded firends, so be it. And it likely wouldn't anyway. We opened a couple profile on a 'couples' app that leans that way just for a laugh and to see what was out there. And that was it. We hadn't messaged anyone, nor were we really looking to.

As a side note, we have friends whose marriage is a bit rocky at the moment after the husband went away for work and had an affair. He's now decided he 'might be polyamorous' and his wife (bless her soul) is trying to work through this. She's been a saint really, and is trying to understand it. I made a comment to my wife that I thought his excuse was pure rubbish, but of course she took his side and could 'understand that it might just work for him'. I noticed she also started reading a book 'The State of Affairs: Rethinking (?!?) Infidelity' by Esther Perel. I thought this was a bit odd, but it's all a rich tapestry of research, right?

To compound this, my wife is having to move to another city for a two year military posting next year. We agreed to not move the kids noting they have finally settled after years of moving, and we promised we weren't going to do it to them anymore. This isn't a huge problem under ideal circumstances, we have dealt with this our entire careers and I am more than happy running a FT job and tkaing care of the home front. Besides, there are plenty of opportunities nowadays for flexibility, and she can always come home and work from home from time to time.

Anyway, in light of the above struggles and a bit of a lack of emotional intimacy, the wife suggested we see a marriage counsellor just to do a 'health check' on the marriage and work out some ways we can improve it noting everything that is going on. We also agreed that if it felt right, we'd bring up the idea of experimentation if we felt comfortable with the therapist. We have our first session, all is great. We talk openly, I do the homework on love languages etc and I'm feeling good about it. I go away for an overseas work trip, and we get ready for our second session. This was a few days ago.

I'll also add here that my in-laws are staying with us due to it being the last week of the school holidays. It's great having them down to see the kids, but you'll soon see why this swiftly won't be so great in the next paragraph!

Second session is going great, we're having a great chat about ways we can improve our emotional intimacy (wathcing a TV show in bed so we can cuddle etc), and I mention that I am feeling a bit insecure about the upcoming posting noting we had to rebuild trust after wife's affair in 2013, and so I was feeling understadnably a little anxious about next year. All is great until wife drops an absolute clanger: 'Yeah so I am lacking emotional fulfillment from the marriage, and despite my best efforts to convince myself that I'm not like this, I really think the only way to get fulfillment would be from seeing other people in an ethical non-monogamous relationship or relationships.' You could have heard the therapist's mouth drop....probably matching my own. I instantly went into flight-or-flight mode, and that feeling I first felt back in 2013 on DDay came flooding back. Needless to say, I went into shutdown; I was present in the room, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The therapist sucked his teeth, looked at me and said, 'how does that make you feel?' I replied, 'I feel like I've just been had.' I also mentioned that her posting is now like an hourglass, we are swiftly running out of sand as the time flies this year until we are faced with its reality. And now in light of this information, my anxiety has just been compunded exponentially. The session was a blur after that, I struggled to take anything in. My blood was throbbing in my veins, and I broke out in a cold sweat while my stomach flipped. This wasn't a case of, 'oh hey we've thought about perhaps being comfortable enough sexually to maybe experiment, this was full 'I want to see other people and I want you to understand it and be fine with it eventually'. I was f#%king ropable.

At the end the therapist said, 'I really think you two should go and get a coffee at the end of this and talk.' My wife suggested that would be a great idea. Still seething, and barely able to conjure a coherent thought let alone hold it together, I mumbled, 'No, that;'s not going to happen - I need to go to work.' I paid, my hands shaking, nonchalantly mumbled goodbye to my wife, and got in the car and drove to work. I didn't leave work until 8pm that night. I simply couldn't face going home. I eventually did go home, kissed the kids goodnight and just got in my gym gear and went and worked out until 10:30pm. Other than my kids, home is not a space I want to be in at the moment. I left for work at 6am this morning, and stayed there all day again. I eventually felt compelled to come home (I desperately love seeing my kids), but I didn't speak to my wife. I can't tell you how akward it is to make small talk with the in-laws like nothing is going on, while my marriage feels like it has blown up.

But here's another rub: When we set up our seperate-but-couple profile on that app, I don't think she realises that my notifications let me know that it dings my phone when she logs into the app. Long and the short, she is logging into the app multiple times a day. This app isn't like Tinder, and noting the niche and the size of the city we live in, it's not like there are large numbers of people creating profiles on it daily. I can seperate the curiosity and/or boredom of just looking at profiles from the idea she's messaging people/couples WITHOUT me (another strict boundary we agreed on when all this talk started), but in light of all of the above - it's not looking great. She's been on it 3 times in the last 12 hours alone.

I had a mini-panic attack in the car (just a fluttery heart, countered by some deep box breathing), but I drove myself to the doctors and unloaded everything (without specific details). He is ex-military as well and he has prescribed me anti-anxiety medication. Noting the potential side effects, I'll start that course on Saturday to be safe.

I'm also very bloody angry that she has dropped this at literally the worst possible time; I am trapped in the house with her parents and I am now expected to slowly chew this dripping excrement sandwich while maintaining a cool and calm demeanour. She asked quietly to talk tonight and I told her no. My anger is absolute.

To be honest, I feel like the whole marriage counselling push was for her to validate droppng this bomb. She evidently wants this far more than I do, and she doesn't seem to understand why I have some reservations, and probably more correctly, clearly defined boundaries. I said to the therapist, 'this isn't asking me to try a food I haven't eaten before, this is asking me to move to Mongolia; when I have absolutely no desire to do so. It's asking me to try and 'fall in love with Mongolian culture' when I know full well that I have no interest in the culture whatsoever because I like Japanese/French/Canadian culture instead.' Weird metaphor I know. At any rate, the therapist now wants to see us 'on our own', which (and I could be wrong) is usually codeword for 'shit has just spiralled out of control and I need to see what's going on!'

I'm at a loss. It's Friday tomorrow and she's going out with girlfriends tomorrow night. I'm leaving the house early again so I don't have to deal with the whole uncomfortableness of this rockshow, and I really have a good mind to pack a bag tomorrow and just leg it for a few days. Hell knows my body is screaming at me to do so. Any advice would be appreciated from anyone who has gone through similar, or advice at all really. Thanks for the read, it's good to get it out regardless.

Who needs a drink....

posts: 177   ·   registered: Dec. 26th, 2013   ·   location: Australia
id 8730914
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 2:23 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

I dont see many options here.
Consider filing or seeing an attorney

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19511   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8730916
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 3:18 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Wow this is awful! Insane!
Your wife pulled the rug out from under you. What the F?
I am very sorry. It’s not right and not fair. She is selfish. You’ve put in so much work and gave her a second chance at marriage and she now wants what she wants? When the two of you married, you agreed to monogamy. Now she’s changing the rules and wants you to come along.
So very sorry.
I hope whatever path you take,you will find peace and joy that you deserve.

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 314   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8730919
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Notthevictem ( member #44389) posted at 3:50 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Hooooooooly shit

To be honest, I feel like the whole marriage counselling push was for her to validate droppng this bomb

No kidding. I can't see it any other way.


Two things:

Emotional - I'd be flying off my shit right now in your shoes. I don't doubt you wanna but kids and inlaws are curbing your actions. You have every right to be pissed about this. Bamboozled.

You CAN'T trust her.

She's probably already cheating again... or never stopped.

Actions - If I were in your shoes, I'd be planning to file for divorce as soon as she's out of the house and at the new duty station. I don't honestly see a way back from this.

BH: Me 37 WW: Her 41DDAY Mar 2014 Washington StateWidowed - breast cancer

posts: 13420   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2014   ·   location: Washington State
id 8730926
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20yrsagoBS ( member #55272) posted at 4:05 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Hi,


I absolutely agree with your feelings in response to that bomb your wife dropped on you


Other than not wanting to break apart your family, why are you still with her?


I stay legally married to my Cheater because of my crummy health and the health insurance I receive remaining married to him

But, do I WANT to be his wife? No, not once I learned he is still a liar


Truthfully, discovering they aren’t the decent human being you thought you married, makes remaining bound to them difficult


So, please think about your whys


Both of my adult children know I don’t like their father, and they know why.


They also know I would rather be single, living alone in a cabin in the wood somewhere


But that’s not realistic

I hope my foibles in not dumping my shit sandwich has shown them what not to do


My daughter already dumped one boyfriend for lying to her. Good girl

BW, 54 WH 53 When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas

posts: 2186   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2016   ·   location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
id 8730928
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:26 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Just a few days ago I mentioned EP believes an A can lead to a healthy exploration of open relationship options. I disagree. Sorry, but I think you have to go nuclear. Unless *you* want an open relationship.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2096   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8730932
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 4:33 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Sorry, you had this shit dropped on you. See an attorney. There's no reconciling what you need to feel secure and what she's now made clear she wants. Even if she back pedals, that 2 year separation will be fatal to your M after this bomb and her history. Her activity on the app is just a side show. I'd have her served as soon as papers are ready. There's no point in dragging this out further. I wouldn't hesitate to let the in-laws know that your wife is pursuing something that is incompatible with remaining married to you.

I wonder how much that heart attack was that your subconscious acting on the subtle signs that she's straying again? Like is there a correlation between both your WW and the friend suddenly deciding they are polymerous.

[This message edited by grubs at 4:40 PM, Thursday, April 21st]

posts: 1304   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8730933
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 5:02 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Your marriage is over, if it ever really existed. By marriage, I mean your mutual fidelity to the vows you took, which included a vow of lifelong monogamy. She has made it clear through both actions and words that she wants and will pursue sex with other men. It's over.

Get your financial ducks in a row, get a good lawyer, and file for divorce.

Don't "talk" to your wife about divorcing first. Just do it and have her served, just like she served you in MC. Do it while she's on her new post, which will put you in an excellent position to keep primary custody of the kids.

She doesn't love you. She doesn't have your best interest at heart. She is not invested in the marriage.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8730939
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:16 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

I'd like to see you calm down and discuss this with your W on something approaching, 'Monogamy or D' or whatever term you'd use to describe the type of M you want.

My W can get pleasure from sex with a woman or a man; she may be able to get pleasure from sex with a tree, tree, too, for all I know. That doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is that she has committed to monogamy, which is what I want from M.

I suspect you're right in thinking your W wanted MC so she could drop this bomb. I agree it's a bomb. Right now you've chosen flight, but that leads only to 2 unwanted lives - D or fearing she's acting out.

Choose fight instead of flight. Find out if what you fear really is what's going on. Choose your next steps based on facts, not on fears. You are strong enough to do this. You don't have to feel good about doing this to do it.

I'm really sorry you're faced with this devastation. If it means anything, I suspect every BS who reads this thinks your reactions are normal. But you've healed from one A, and you can heal from this. It's unfair that you have to do it. It sucks. It hurts. You don't deserve any of this pain. But you can heal and thrive.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27570   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8730943
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:17 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

I really have a good mind to pack a bag tomorrow and just leg it for a few days

I think I might do that if I were you. Let HER explain to Mom and Dad what happened.

I agree that it really does look like she dragged you into the MC's office in order to spring this on you. Read my profile page, btw. I'm not a fan of Love Languages or any other "unmet needs" shtick which asks us to be responsible for our spouse's perpetual giddiness.

Anyway, it kind of looks like you have inadvertently undermined the monogamy in your marriage by undervaluing it. And for you, this was just a mental exercise maybe. But once you've as much as said to your partner that you are okay with her having sex with other people, it's hard to make an argument for why monogamy is important to you. Yeah, there's the matter of lies and openness, etc., but those things seem like much smaller transgressions once some legitimate form of adultery is on the table.


Not to alarm you, but I'd go through all her shit with a fine-toothed comb. I'd go through her phone, any PC or tablet she might have, online cell bills, banking statements, everything. Typically, by the time a partner is asking to ride, they've already peeled a pony out of the pack. Hopefully, yours will be the exception to the rule.

In the meantime, maybe take a couple of days to yourself? After that, sit her down and tell her EXACTLY what is acceptable to you and what is not. You might want to do some real soul searching about what sex means to you in your relationship. If it's an expression of your love for your spouse, non-monogamy is probably not for you.

You are at ZERO obligation to share your wife with other men. If that's something she insists on, maybe she's not the right wife for you.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5929   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8730944
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 5:39 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Blow this up right now ... in front of the in-laws would even be preferable.

A good starting point to set the proper tone ... tell her that you refuse to babysit the kids and her in-laws, while she heads out for a GNO (or possibly meet up with potential OM) to get her non-monogamous fix. Action is required right now ... either nip this in the bud, or file!!!

posts: 134   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8730949
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 6:11 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Under the circumstances, the GNO could just be her cover story to meet someone she's been texting online.

posts: 2589   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8730954
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Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 6:22 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

I agree with those saying that 1) you need to talk and lay out your expectations sooner than later and 2) the GNO could be cover to hook up with an AP. So, kill 2 birds with 1 stone and ask her to discuss the state of your M on Saturday night or whenever the GNO is supposed to be. She’ll prioritize one or the other, and provide an answer for how much value she places on you and the M. She owes you some flexibility after ambushing you at the MC.

posts: 789   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8730955
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 7:17 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

You’re in a no win situation. Agree to her demands snd you’re unhappy. On top of that, she’s a proven lier snd cheater so the prospect of her cheating if you agree to an ethical non monogamous relationship is high. People cheat all the time in ethical non monogamous relationships.

If you say no to her demands, she will either say that the marriage is over, or agree with you, but the prospect of her cheating is probably 100 percent, especially given the geographic separation.

If you divorce, you will have to move to be close to where she will be stationed, which is something you don’t want to do for your kid’s stability.

My recommendation is to lay all of this out to your wife as I stated above. I would tell her that your plan (you need to now take control of the situation) is that you will all move to her new duty station and that this is non negotiable. Tell her that her selfishness is now driving what is not good for your kids, and that’s on her and not you.

Then, once you move to the new duty station, you will file for separation. The separation agreement will include you moving out and live close to the kids, you both will foot the bill for your new living arrangements, and you will share joint custody. Then, from separation, you most likely will seek divorce, but will wait on that for a little while so you both can get your affairs in order.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this can be saved.

posts: 507   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8730958
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 7:18 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Hi Hurt,

I'm so sorry you've found yourself back here after all you've done to heal. I'm absolutely furious on your behalf. I cannot believe this was sprung on you in this manner and WHILE YOUR INLAWS ARE IN TOWN... unbelievable.

I'm so so sorry. I can only imagine what you're going through right now. The fact that you've been mostly able to hold it together at all these past few days is impressive. Going to a hotel to get some space until the inlaws take off is not a bad idea. Let her explain to them why you're not there (do they know about her previous A?). Do you have an IC or a friend who is familiar with your situation who you are able to confide in? This is a lot to shoulder on your own.

I agree with Sisoon that you obviously need to have a conversation with her about it all. If home is not possible at the moment given your houseguests and young kids, are you able to schedule a time out of the house to meet in a car or something to discuss? I'm sure more was said during the counselling session but clearly you were not in a position to take it in. What does she forsee happening? She gets a two year break from marriage and kids and responsibility to "ethically" fuck around while you hold it down at home? She has a lot of nerve - especially after a history of infidelity. I get it - I'm also a parent of young children. My spouse and I both have busy careers that we've been left to do mainly from home. We don't have family nearby to help. The pandemic has been brutally taxing on us - I can see the lure of any kind of novelty right now. This isn't that though - does she appreciate what kind of bomb this is?

I also agree with ChamomileTea that if she is suggesting this now, she may already have something in mind. Whether she's acted or not, she's clearly in Wayward mode. Now might be a good time for you to go into investigative mode. As you know, she's not safe to you right now. You have made your boundary clear and she is asking your permission to take a shit on it. Please hold your boundary. You've been through this before, you know its not for you. I am a little surprised that she is even considering going out with her girlfriends at the moment. I know I'd have a tough time doing that if my marriage was in flames and holding on by a thread.

I am a bit surprised at how quickly people have so jumped in to say there is nothing to save here. #1 because you didn't ask; and #2 because you haven't had a conversation with her about it yet. You've been through this before. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. You will get to the other side of this with her or without her. Please take care of yourself and keep posting.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8730959
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 7:27 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Fyi there is no reason for OP to have to move. The children's current home county is typically where custody is legally established, to avoid trauma to them. There is no reason for this wife to get primary custody of the kids, either. She is planning to deploy and leave them with the OP. He should have primary custody.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8730960
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:47 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

This appears to be very well planned.

And if you say "no" she’s living apart from you. She will do it anyway. This is her way of being allowed to cheat on you again.

How sad.

You don’t have many options. File for D may be your only option.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12497   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8730967
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Jsmart ( member #56437) posted at 7:57 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

With your marriage already having so many problems, she's going to be moving away for 2 years and you're going to be staying with the kids and her family? WTF.

You're stressing about your wife talking about an open relationship, how are you going to be when she's living on her own for 2 years? Talk about a convenient time for her to drop the open relationship plan. You at home with the kids and her parents while she's living the vida loca with the cloak of an open relationship because you agreed to it by you being willing to sign up to this site. You're thinking about swinging, she's talking about hooking up on her own. 2 very different things.

I have to ask, why do you want to say with a woman that's not into you? She can tell you I love you with her mouth but her actions are screaming that she wants to live a single life. Being willing to move away from her young kids for 2 years is also very telling. She's just not into the marriage/family life. I'm guessing her parents are taking on a significant role in the child rearing and household chores. You really need to do some deep thinking on what you want out of life.

Also, I agree with the others that a GNO could be a cover for a date/hookup she may have already scheduled.

posts: 433   ·   registered: Dec. 15th, 2016   ·   location: Florida
id 8730969
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 8:05 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Hurthalo,

The first thing that jumped out to me was the 7 year of R, yet you don’t know if you have the truth.
To me that’s like saying you have been 7 years sober except for the occasional drink…

My suggestion is quite simple. Tell your wife something like this:

I want a monogamous marriage without all this fear of infidelity. It’s clear you want something else. Thanks for the run, but its time we accept that we are looking for completely separate things. How can we end this in the least painful way possible."

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10919   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8730972
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:28 PM on Thursday, April 21st, 2022

The best thing you can do for yourself is talk to a lawyer immediately and get the ball rolling on splitting up; this will help you put the nervous energy you're having into doing something productive instead of stewing in your anxiety.

I see no point to any further discussions or debriefings with your wife; all that will do is allow her to confuse and manipulate you further. I doubt that your wife has been the picture of fidelity these past 9 years, you know that she isn't being faithful now, and it's safe to assume that she will have relationships with other men once she lives separately from you.

So really, what else is there to talk about?

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 863   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8730975
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