Help..need some advice...
I am new to this site...
I am really struggling with my relationship right now. I am a gay male in a relationship with my partner for over 5 years. We have recently decided to open our relationship, not due to any problems or issues, but I think for some excitement.
My partner has become friends with another guy. I have known about the friendship and have even hung out with the guy on occasion. I have recently discovered that they have fallen in love with each other. At first I was shocked, felt lied to, deceived, hurt....all those types of emotions. As I have thought more about this, I can come to an understanding of why and how.
Through our talks about this situation, my partner has told me that he remains completely devoted to me and wants to be with me. I feel the same way, we are in love with each other and we have that connection...
He has also stated in a perfect world, he would like to love both of us and have a poly relationship. I am very open minded and would be willing to try this, but I am struggling with the point that they already have a bond together, that I do not have with this guy. So, I would need to get to know him and what not. I have thought about this with my partner and have laid some ground rules until the 3 of us can come together and talk. Basically, they cannot tell each other they love each other for now. My partner has to be completely honest with me from this point forward, or else our relationship will not be able to continue. We have to be able to talk to each other and express our feelings without being judged. My partner cannot hang out with this guy alone, until we talk, and if we can work this out, come to an understanding.
So this is where we are. Here it is 4am, I cannot sleep because I am worried about my relationship and how all of this could work. I really need some advice here...My partner has stated that he is in love with this guy and would be very upset if I asked him to discontinue the friendship...I don't want to do that, I want to be ok with this, but I am not sure I am strong enough.
Thank you for reading...
Hi, and welcome!
I am in a very similar situation with my partner through soon 13 years. She fell deeply in love with a close friend of ours, and came out as poly just recently, asking for my permission to start a relationship with him. They are very much in love, with a very deep connection underneath. I went through (and by all means, am still going through) the fears and insecurities which arises. There's all kinds of stuff popping up, and fear is excellent at finding new ways to scare you. I have actually been at times amused at what my mind can create...
The only real tip I can give you, is to sit down and have a good long think about yourself and your relationship, what do you want, what do you see as a long term goal. Then have a heart to heart with your partner and get the reassurance you need to feel safe. I had 2-3 weeks of constant heartache and churning guts over losing my partner. Now, only a month or two in, I feel completely safe with her. I know in my heart that she will not leave me for her new boyfriend. The one who can break this relationship is me. If your partner is clear and focused on you being as important in his life, and he has no intention of leaving you, you have an excellent start in this. If you also have a long-term goal of being with both of them, then it's even better.
Face your fears, grab hold of them and drag them out into the light, use your love and your partner's reassurance to contradict and prove your fears wrong. *hugs*
Great advice from closetpoly. Really looking inward is the best bet. I'm curious as to why you said they aren't allowed to say "I love you?" Firstly I have a hard time with others telling their partners the "aren't allowed" to do something. Making a request that they go at your pace and respect you are struggling I get, but to put rules down rather than discussing boundaries seems counter productive as there is no room to breath. Secondly I'm wondering why love is a threat.
You might want to do a search in the tags for "boundaries" "lessons" "foundations." The latter might give you a heads up on making it work.
I think i am looking inward as much as i can...i am trying to understand the feelings i have and why...
I told him not to say i love you because while this was brewing i was being lied to...i think it is a comfort thing for me...
I think i can deal withbthis but i am cincerned because the foundation is based on lies and decet...so we r going into this with a trust issue...
I am just in shock...feel very sad, hurt, alone...
Thank u for the advice...i am trying very hard to be open minded....
Re-reading your original post, I must admit I have some concerns.
First, you said you were lied to, and you point out in your second post that the relationship is based on lies and deceit, and I am a bit confused about this. Did you have an agreement on not falling in love with anyone? How did you find out? Did you partner know, deep down, that he was falling in love with this other guy? All I am saying is, you can feel betrayed and hurt, gods know it happens even with the honest of honesty, but for your own sake, write down what has actually happened, not what you feel, but what has happened. It might differ from what you feel has happened...
Second, take a timeout and consider the possibility that you don't necessarily need to have a close relationship or a deep bond with the new guy. Nor does he necessarily want to have that with you. What you are describing as a necessity for this to work, is a triad, and that is not something you can forcefully create. Your partner said that in a perfect world, he would like to love both of you, in a poly relationship. Are YOU poly? Is the the other guy poly? If not, you're looking at a challenging triad, and more likely a vee, where your partner is the hinge.
I really recommend getting a notebook and write down, handwriting (trust me, it's a direct link to your brain), what you feel and what you want. You love your partner, your partner loves you. You partner loves another guy. The other guy (hopefully) loves your partner. Your partner wants both of you. Those are the only facts, the rest are assumptions. So stop assuming, sort your thoughts and talk to your partner about it.
I really understand the urge to be a part of it, to feel in control, but trust me, it's not the way to start out. :)
Then I really suggest reading the thread "lessons learned" and "poly foundations" it sounds like starting fresh with no lies is your best bet, but everone agreeing is important. You might find it is worth all of you reading those threads.
I'm sorry you are hurting. It sounds like you have been cheated on. The best way out of that I have noticed is to ask them to go at your pace and be patient. Ask them to respect your boundaries so that you can catch up.
I was lied to because it was a mutual friend...and I knew there were feelings before and my partner and I talked about it and he said that he could keep it under control...I actually told him he could never talk to this person again...I did some deep thinking about it and came back to him and told him it wasn't right of me to say that to him...so they started talking again. The talking has turned into love...they care about each other and love each other...I found out from a text message on the phone...I had no idea this was happening...with talking to my partner this has been going on for 2 months and they were planning on meeting up this weekend, because the guy was going to be back in town.
My partner had no intentions of telling me. He said he feels better with me finding out because he hated going behind my back. He says he loves me and cares about me and he thinks he is capable of loving 2 people. He wants to have this relationship with the other guy and with me and hopes that all 3 of us could come together and ultimately live together.
Like I have said before, I am a very open minded person. I am digging deep within my soul to try and be ok with this...to try and accept this...because I love my partner and don't want to lose the relationship...but I am just not sure I am capable of doing it. I feel so selfish, because I want him to have things in his life he wants, it excites me to think about experiencing things with him, pushing my boundaries and who I am as a person.
I am just having such an issue with this...I don't know why...as I feel selfish, I feel he is selfish too...why can't I be enough? Why am I not enough to deserve 100% of his love...
I have not eaten in 3 days, I can't function at work...I am crying on and off during the day...I just have to figure this out for me...for us...My partner has said he would cut all times if I say from this other guy...and while that would be the easy way out, I just can't do it...I don't want to be the controlling person in the relationship telling him who he can talk to or not...
Thank you so much for the advice, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it...I am just hurting so bad right now...well I ever be ok with this? Can I handle it?
K, first things first, you have to look out for number one. That is you, by the way. I had a much better start at this relationship, with honesty, but I have to admit, I went through very much the same reaction pattern. Why can't I be enough, why can't she just love me, why why why...I lost 6 kilos in 10-11 days, and had to get sick leave from work for two weeks. But you will get through this. You have to talk to your partner about how you feel, what your fears are, what you want and what you need to feel reassured that your partner is not leaving you.
This is probably a very troubling time for your partner too, with confusion, choices, hurt and whatnot, and if you're lucky, you are his best friend, and the one he needs to talk to. But that comes second.
FIRST! Eat! Take care of yourself, seek medical help if you need it. Get enough sleep, medicated if you need to, just don't let physical detori...deta...deterioration(?) get in the way of your choices. I know one really can not compare relationships, reaction patterns etc to anyone, but I feel your pain, I really do. Send me a private message if you wanna get in touch on chat or mail, I know how important it is to have someone to talk to in this. Just don't give up. If your relationship is worth fighting for, and your partner is worth fighting for, then step in to the ring. You'll be fighting yourself, but you can win...and come out a hell of a lot stronger.
Well, just so you know, you are not alone. Pretty much everyone here has either been where you are or has been where your partner is. Really the only thing to do is take it one baby step at a time and try it all out. Starting with meeting with them all together to tell them how you feel and give them some idea of how much you can handle at this time.
I wanted to come back and give everyone an update on where we are...
My partner had a talk with the other guy and the other guy told him that he was being selfish and trying to manipulate the circumstance so it benefited him. My partner agreed with him. The other guy (knows me) feels very bad, ashamed, and sorry for allowing this to happen.
So, basically I talked to the other guy on the phone and he has apologized to me and he thinks he is a bad person and what not. I explained to him that I didn't think he was a bad person at all. I actually thanked him for the experience, because this has allowed my partner and I a chance to have some very intimate talks about our feelings and our relationship. I truly believe that my partner didn't love me any less or anything like that, but was simply in love with 2 people.
Right now, we are dealing with my partner having a broken heart. I can understand that I am trying to be as supportive as I can, giving him the time to heal and get through this. I struggle a little bit because I am kind of embarrassed by the situation and can't talk to my friends about this, so I am dealing with a lot of emotions on my own...as well as a broken heart. A broken heart because I know at one time I was not the partner I needed to be in this relationship. I got comfortable, lazy, sloppy...and I took everything for granted. This experience has helped me to realize that I cannot talk our relationship for granted and has allowed me to begin the personal journey of working on my negative traits. I know I am not perfect, and will not be able to fix this all at once, but I owe it to myself, my partner, and my relationship to work on these things, and I committed to doing so.
So, the other guy has decided to leave our lives. I think this really hurts my partner, because if nothing else, he did want a friendship with this guy, but the guy says it is not possible.
I have told my partner that I would be open to new adventures in our relationship, but it is very important to be me that we do this together and build it on trust and honesty, both of which he needs to repair with me.
I really appreciate the support and tough questions people have asked of me here. I have done a lot of research on this site, and I can understand that is ok to love more than 1 person and have that connection with someone else.
I will still poke around here...maybe I could offer advice to someone in my shoes...
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