A complicated relationship between three guys
First of all, I wanted to say that I am very glad that I have found this forum. I have been reading a lot of posts in the “New to Polyamory” subforum, and I have finally decided to post myself. I already feel I’m in the right place, since the feedback you guys give is so excellent!
I apologize if my post can get a bit confusing and long, but right now I am very confused and unsure about lots of things. So please, bear with me for a while. Now, I will try to explain my situation in as much detail as possible, so that I can get proper feedback.
I have been in a fairly steady and very happy relationship with my guy (we are both men) for almost 10 years now. We have never been consciously polyamorous, but I guess that the life style that we had was somewhat similar to it. My partner and I dated other guys together or, sometimes, separately. For him, it was always more about sex, while I experienced a few episodes when I felt that I fell in love with another person. On a few occasions, we almost had to end our relationship, but after a lot of fighting and arguing, we still managed to work things out and stayed together. I have never stopped loving my boyfriend, but for some reason I could not stop myself when I was feeling that I was getting too involved with someone else.
Then, about 7 months ago, my boyfriend met a guy online whom he invited to our place. I met him too, and it all clicked between us. We had sex together and it was nice. At first, we didn’t think about a relationship with this guy. However, he actually made the first steps to let us know that he’s not simply interested in just sex, but wants a serious relationship with the two of us. He told us that he’d really want to live with us and that he loves us both. He also started talking about wanting to have a committed relationship with just three of us. We took it as if he wanted a “monogamous” relationship with us. At first, we had some thinking to do, since what he wanted was not the way we lived our life before we met him. After some consideration, we actually agreed that it might be a way of life that is worth pursuing, as we found someone who clearly liked us and was happy to have a relationship with us both, and not with just one of us. In addition to that, the thought of being in a “monogamous” relationship sort of appealed to me. It made me very happy to feel that I can be committed to someone, while he is also committed to me.
All seemed to go fine, until the first signs of trouble appeared. First of all, this guy did not have much experience with gay relationships. He is bisexual, have been married (now divorced) for 5 years and has a son. I guess he is still pretty much just starting to explore the gay world and same-sex relationships. He says it is the first time he’s fallen in love with a man (or men). Of course, he is not open to his family about his relationship. It has caused some troubles because he was afraid to tell his family about us and it conflicted with some things that we wanted to do with him.
Later I found out that he actually been flirting with a lot of people online, proposing to meet, talking about having sex with them, and eventually even meeting a guy, with whom he ended up having sex. This behavior clearly contradicted with the type of relationship that he claimed he wanted to have. I learned about it by accident, but it was enough to throw me into a very depressive situation. I talked to him about the things that he does online and whether he still wanted a relationship with us, and he said he did want it and that everything he does online is stupid and not serious. I told him that I had some trust issues, since his innocent talks online did lead to a real meeting and sex. I was feeling insecure about our relationship; I was feeling confused and angry. He deleted his profiles, but I learned later that he opened new ones instead. Since I felt that I loved him, I decided to work on my trust issues and try to build a healthy relationship with him. We had a couple of very difficult months, full of arguments. On a couple of occasions, we were ready to break up, but neither of us had the courage to stop it completely. I even went to therapy, but I could never commit myself to it completely, since I had major troubles of talking to my psychologist about my relationship (mostly due to the fact that there were three of us involved it in).
About two months ago, he moved to the city where I live with my boyfriend. He found a new job and we actually thought that now, since we were close to each other, the relationship will become better. But it didn’t… He never stopped his internet flirting and looking for new people to meet. He has girls calling him every day to whom he says that he loves them… All of it just drives me insane… I have never been a very jealous type with my current boyfriend, but I have become very different with this guy. On many occasions I tried to speak to him about the way I feel, but every time it ended with a big fight. Eventually, whenever he gets a text message or a call from those girls, I can’t control the way I feel and I get very uspet. Eventually he sees it, gets upset too… But when we try to talk about it, it always transforms into a major argument.
Eventually, all of us started doubting about whether this relationship is going to work or not. He says that I’m a control freak, who tries to control every aspect of his life. I do partially agree with it. He said that he wanted more freedom, but not when it comes to relationship and sex with others. He says that I have no right to tell him what to say or how to behave with other people. Again, I agree with that. But I just can’t seem to control my emotions anymore. The way he behaves is making me uspet. I really want to talk to him about the way I feel, but he thinks that I am just looking for another reason to have a fight with him. I get to the point when I shut down completely, cause I can’t share with him my feelings. The only thing I can do sometimes is cry from desperation…
I even got to the point where I offered him to start dating other people together. I felt it was some sort of compromise for us both. That way he could still be talking online to others, without me being obsessive about it… But the problem is that it’s difficult for us to meet guys who are clearly interested in all of us. We have very different looks and body types, so it’s not easy to find someone who is attracted to all of us… Then, there is an issue with his bisexuality, since we don’t know how to approach dating girls as a gay/bi-couple… I do understand that I can’t give him everything that he wants in sex, and actually told him that if he wants to have sex with a woman, then it’s always possible to pay a hooker. However, he clearly wants something deeper that an half hour of paid-for sex. I just feel now that maybe it’d be a good idea to drop the “monogamy” thing completely. But it felt so nice to actually be committed to someone. I am not sure that I want to return to the way things were before we met him. On the other side, I know I can’t control the way he feels and I can’t dictate him how he should live his life… In a way, I’m searching for a compromise that will help us feel happy together… But I have no clue about the way we can reach it…
I’m sorry if it’s a very long post. I just really feel like I have nobody else to talk to right now. I would just appreciate any thoughts and/or advice about this situation.
Phew! A lot of complexity, you're right.
I have no answers. None. Zip. Nada.
You seem relationship-oriented and he seems to have a side that is fascinated by casual sex. Is that the fundamental issue?
How does the partner you've been with for 10 years deal with this? Is he OK with the flirting and attempted hookups, or is he feeling uncomfortable too? Does he think you're being controlling, or does he think your feelings are justified?
It's important in relationships, and poly ones especially, to see that each person is getting most of their needs met. It's important to cultivate the sense of compersion, feeling happiness when you know or imagine a loved one is happy or pleased. (It's the feeling that one gets when one knows one's lover is getting all sexed up and happy with someone else -- "I'm so glad she's feeling good right now, it makes me feel all tingly for her.") And it's important in all relationships not to be a doormat! How those dynamics are playing out in your relationship I can't say. But you might think about it.
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