Is it too late to change my mind?
Hello, Iíve been going through a rough patch the past week and really re-evaluating a lot of things. Iíve been in a semi-open relationship for about two years now. My bf and I have been living together for over a year and a half. Iím bi and have felt this need to find female companionship, I think mostly because Iíve never experienced a relationship or sex with another woman. Iíve been on a few dates, and made out a few times. Thatís it.
My bf and I have a mutual friend (letís call her Anne). Anne and I have tried dating once and it didnít work out, weíve had an on/off relationship- mostly off, apart from making out a few times. When I met Anne she considered herself bi, but then felt like she was completely gay, and considered herself a lesbian. One night we were very drunk and I told my bf that her and I were going up to the bedroom- once Anne and I got there we started making out. Almost immediately I panicked, and all I wanted was my bf. I had this horrible mix of emotions that just didnĎt feel right. After everything was sorted I went to bed with my bf and cried for a bit before falling asleep in his arms. Anne and I have stayed very close friends.
Since then Iíve been even more confused about my feelings toward my own sexuality (weather my attraction toward women is mostly fantasy, and donĎt need anything physical) and also toward poly vs. mono for myself. Lately Iíve been leaning toward mono. And think maybe I wanted a poly life for the wrong reasons (afraid of commitment, and purposefully separating myself from social norms) I didnít really talk to my bf much about these possible revelations.
Last week my bf tells me that he and Anne want to start seeing each other, with a date planned out and everything. This freaked me out so much. All the times I talked about dating outside our relationship he would say that he only wanted me. Now heís telling me that heís in love with me but loves this other woman and wants to be able to express these feelings. Iíve been a nervous wreck. I sob uncontrollably, detached in unhealthy ways, pulled away from my bf with whom I share everything with, and Iíve been thinking about ďtaking a breakĒ from our relationship to give him time to work out these feelings for Anne.
Once he really started to see how upset Iíve been over this heís backed off and is taking the ďthe pace of the one who is struggling mostĒ approach. Saying that weíre just going to talk about it for now. I just donít feel like this lifestyle is right for me anymore, but what if Iíve realized it too little too late? I feel like if I were to go along with this (I donít even feel like I can do that, and would end up leaving my bf) itís only in hopes that the two of them realize they're not meant for one another and my bf and I can close our relationship once they're done. I feel like Iím at a breaking point and emotionally I donít think I can handle this.
Thank you for reading and help.
Your boyfriend was willing to take a risk and try this for you. This didn't work out, but that was nothing to do with him.
You said he wants to go on a date, but then you also said he loved her. That doesn't sound realistic. You are jumping way far ahead.
You introduced the poly idea and invited her. It didn't work out, but why would the boyfriend think that meant the poly idea was done? It sounds like since it didn't work for you, he has no right to try. That sounds a bit selfish. I would never do something I would not let my husband do.
You and this girl are close. If he goes on this date, and all goes well, it doesn't mean he loves her more. It will mean he loves her differently. You should really read up on the topic of jealousy. Once you realize jealousy is usually founded on silly assumptions, it becomes that much easier to recognize how irrational they are.
I would say, he tried this for you. You should be willing to try this for him. It could bring the three of you closer.
However, if you are simply repulsed by this idea - it is never to late to change your mind. You always have choices.
To be clear, my bf and Anne have known each other longer than I've known either one of them. They've both had feelings for one another for I don't know how long, my bf says he loves her, but they've never dated.
I never meant it to be one sided, I thought I could handle it, but I feel like it's tearing me up inside.
Thanks for the advise- I do need to read more about jealousy and work on that.
Ah. My misunderstanding on their relationship.
Examine the feeling. Tear it apart down to its constituent components. Perhaps visualize a casual date between your bf and Anne (e.g., a meal out, some conversation, maybe a stroll somewhere, and then coming home, all platonic for the nonce). Then imagine him kissing her goodnight. Pay attention to exactly how you feel, when you feel it, and what you imagine them doing while you watch this little movie in your mind (so that you can identify triggers for your jealousy), and ask yourself questions: are you worried that he'll think she's prettier than you, or that she kisses better, or that he's going to leave you for her? You'll need to talk through these things, and he's going to have to be patient and give you reassurance and support as you speak truth to your fears and make them STFU. The single biggest reassurance, of course, is that he is still with you, freely, by his own choice.
Talk through all of this with your bf. While you're telling him what you feel, he needs to STFU--no interrupting, no arguing, no expressing frustration or exasperation, just STFU. At most nod, say, "mm-hmm" or something to let you know that he is listening attentively, but otherwise, STFU until you are done. You're stating your feelings so that they're out in the open--you're not making demands that he do or stop doing anything (make that clear from the outset). Make sure he heard you correctly. He shouldn't be telling you that you shouldn't feel X, Y, or Z. He should acknowledge that your feelings are real, and as you talk through it all, he needs to be asking questions to guide you through it, not to be making pronouncements that you should be all compersive.
Cunning Minx had an EXCELLENT special about all of this on her podcast a few years ago. The context was kink-friendly, and might not apply in that sense to your situation, but the scene they acted out about dealing with jealousy in a nonjudgmental, non-combative way was pure gold, and is well worth the 76 minutes to listen to the whole thing, as it addresses EXACTLY what you're feeling.
She has many of the podcasts tagged: the jealousy ones are at http://polyweekly.com/category/jealousy/ . The one in particular of which I'm thinking is the jealousy seminar posted on 16 April 2006.
Some people are not cut out for poly. If that's you, that's ok and you're allowed to walk away. But, judging from the stories we regularly get on this site, I would say that most people can learn to break down and manage their jealousy, and eventually even develop strong compersion.
Learning to understand and control your jealousy response may have major benefits to you throughout your life, and of course there's the obvious immediate benefit of keeping your relationship with your bf and your friendship with Anne. Because no, it's not too late to change your mind, but it will likely cause some serious resentment over time if you bar them from the path you spent so long toying with exploring. You can ask them to go slow and set limits, that is totally ok, but you have to be prepared to truly work hard on yourself with the goal of giving their relationship all the freedom that love desires in time.
Great resources here: http://www.morethantwo.com/jealousy-insecurity.html
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