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-   -   I'd like to receive some advice and/or opinions... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2986)

CharlotteCorday 06-10-2010 08:33 PM

I'd like to receive some advice and/or opinions...
Hi everybody! It's nice to find a place where people can comment about this subject with freedom and respect. ;)

* Note: I'm really not sure if we got a polyamorous relationship in the strict sense of the word, because it's more like an "open relationship" where any other relationship is "secondary". But hey, we're just begginers and really don't know what could happen next.*

Anyway, first I'm going to tell you a little about our story. We've been living together for 2 years now, we met at the internet when I was looking for places outside my country to go to study. We have this looong conversations at MSN for almost a year. I decided to go to his place, I was admitted in an Art School there and I'm here with him, now. (I'm calling him G. from now on)

We agreed from the beginning that we don't believe in sexual exclusivity nor monogamy; the problem was that I assumed that he will tell me about any new relationship that could appear on our lives, and G. assumed that our policy will be "don't ask, don't tell" and any other relationship will be treated as a secret.

Uh-oh. :P

Then, 5 months ago, by accident I discovered that G. was seeing someone else. And that they were dating since almost the same time we've been together (year and a half). It hurt me badly, first of all because he kept this secret and lied to me and I'd trusted him like no other partner I've had. Second, I was beginnning to experience some serious homesick feelings, and all my selfsteem and self-confidence were weak, so this discovery triggered a big depression.

I told him. We confronted the situation in a very civilized way, I must say. He really believed that wasn't important to me to know about this other woman, he believed that the "blind" policy was best. But I value honesty above most things ant I do think a polyamorous or open relationship cannot work if they're not "open". He agreed to face his fears and try to be more honest about this other relationship. We're working together my jelaousy issues and has been very supportive with me.

That's really nice, but... The other woman is married, and her marriage is a traditional monogamous one. She's cheating on her husband, and has a different view on things. She knows that I'm aware of her relationship with G. When he told her, she freaked out. She is afraid of meeting me on the street, she even warned G. not to go to a place we were going on the same day as she was going...that kind of stuff. Although I don't approve the way she's behaving, I try not to judge her and I don't want to upset her. I would like that we could have a coffe and get to know each other a little (I really don't know her except for a party where G. introduced us), but I'm not even asking for it because I know she doesn't want to.

I decided to get along with the situation and be flexible, G. has total freedom to see her whenever he wants (when they can manage to schedule a date). He tries to arrange their meetings when I'm out of town or at the Art School, so I don't have any complaints, I'm not deprived of love and time. :p

(By the way, I've been monogamous during this 2 years, mostly because my social circle is rather small and haven't met a guy that I feel attracted to, but I don't feel the need to meet somebody else, either.)

OK, that was "the prologue". :eek: Now comes the issue that's bothering me right now...

I assumed that G. always use condoms in the sex with her. But since I already had learned that you never "assume" anything about somebody, and was reading something about safe sex and polyamory, a week ago I asked him: "Do you always use condom with Her, don't you?" Silence. "...Well, I did at first, but then, after she did some tests, we decided to ditch the condom." "A-ha...Since when? Before I found out about Her?" "...Er, yes, maybe since a year ago or something like that."


I managed not to punch him on the face. I felt so betrayed, so humiliated...Here I am, struggling with a whole new life, away from my family, my friends, my career; trying to be understanding and flexible and committed to share and be honest...and this ***** tells me he's been having sex without protection with a woman who I don't know, that has been manipulative and deceptive, without telling me?!

I understand that he kept silent because didn't want to "make things worse" when I found out about Her, that he felt it was too much information. Also I know that we humans want to "get away with it" all the time, and that leads us to behave, sometimes, without consideration for the others' feelings and needs.

I know he trust Her and believes there is no risk of harm for me, but I think he's being too gullible: How can you be sure that her husband is 100% faithful (as she claims) when they have a marriage based on lies?

G. told me that he'll do whatever I want, even if I ask for something that will cause trouble between him and Her. Since he's facing lots of stress right now (because of work) and I'm so hurt and depressed, I decided to wait until things get calmer to make my petition.

I want to be fair, and just; I really don't want him to have any problems with her because of this, I don't want him to stop seeing her, but I feel like I need to stand up and be assertive because I'm not the one who's done wrong.

Should I ask G. to start using condoms with Her, again; even knowing it could mean she'll get mad at him and create a conflict? Or should I embrace his trust and just let them be? :(

Thank you so much if you made it reading until the end! ;)

River 06-10-2010 09:30 PM


There are several red flags I see in this situation, but the biggest and most problematic is that he is maintaining a secret affair with a married woman. The two of them are now involving you in keeping this secret. This is a blatant violation of trust -- for everyone involved --, and is likely to explode in all of your faces at some point. And even if it never does explode, as I predict, it's no way to be treating this other man, the one who isn't in on the secret.

That he, your partner, is willing to engage in such a secret affair should be seen as a red flag by yourself, CharlotteCorday. If he has been dishonest with you and remains dishonest with the one out of the loop, that's not a sign of good things. It's a bad sign. It doesn't look good at all -- especially for a person such as yourself who places a high value on honesty.

How much is he really loving you? He brought you into a mess and expects you to go along with it. Right? That's a power imbalance besides the other issues.

I think you deserve better.

SchrodingersCat 06-10-2010 09:45 PM

First things first, having a relationship with someone who is cheating on their spouse is playing with dynamite. Spouses always find out, and when they do, it's full of pain and turmoil, which you and your boyfriend will get dragged into. Condoms are not your only concern.

I'd be worried not only whether her husband is faithful, but whether your boyfriend is the only person she's having an affair with. She's proven herself to be a cheater and a liar, what reason could you have to trust that she's being honest anything?

You have every right to feel hurt and betrayed. You have every right to decide who you're sharing body fluids with, even if it's by proxy. You have the right to know they're not using condoms so that you can use them with him to protect yourself (which I recommend at this point).

STD tests are a minimum, but they don't guarantee safety. They don't catch things in the incubation stage, and they obviously don't protect against things you haven't caught yet.

Asking him to use condoms with her is not a big hardship. Yeah, yeah bareskin feels soooo good blah blah blah. Tough shit. She's having affairs, probably more than one, and that puts you at risk. But considering his reluctance towards honesty, you would be safer to use them yourself.

MonoVCPHG 06-10-2010 11:46 PM


Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 32351)
that puts you at risk. .

putting anyone at risk is for any type of STD without thier knowledge is a brutally selfish act which borders on criminal and sometimes is. The worst example of this is when it involves an unknowing partner being cheated on. This type of behavior effectively has an impact not just on the unknowing person's health, but on thier abiltity to form new connections in the future. Think about it: you find out that your spouse had unprotected sex and caught an STD which they passed on to you. Now you have a responsibility to inform any other potential partners that you are infected and they will have to add that to the equation when deciding if you are worth the investment. All because soemone you thought was honest gave you an STD?! The only other thing worse would be if you knowingly engaged in unprotected sex with someone who had an STD and then continued to have sex with another partner without telling them. SELFISH!...there's my rant :o

SchrodingersCat 06-11-2010 07:55 AM

Selfish or else just ignorant.

As much as it blows my mind in this day and age, a lot of people just aren't well educated on safe sex and STDs. I don't know if he realized he was putting her at risk, or if he sincerely believed the lover was safe to have unprotected sex with. We can assume that he himself did not want an STD either.

After all, they started out with condoms and only quit after she tested negative. He's naive enough to believe he's her only affair and that her husband is also faithful.

Now if all those variables were true, then it would theoretically be safe to be fluid bonded with her, assuming other birth control is in place of course. However I see no reason to believe that she's not having other affairs. If your boyfriend already knows you're married, it makes it extremely easy to see other men, you just say you're with your husband.

CharlotteCorday 06-11-2010 02:50 PM

River: You're right, I need to rise above the love I feel for him and be more objective. But right now I'm on an emotional rollercoaster that makes me "distort the reality", so to speak. I cannot make a decision about finishing the relationship right now (he's caring, loving and very supportive in other critical areas of my life), I must regain balance first.

SchrodingersCat: I don't trust her either, as you say, she's a cheater. And you're right about me using condoms with G., too.

Mono: You've got a point! :D Selfishness, plain and simple.

SchrodingersCat: I know he really believed that there was no risk, that her word was the truth. You see, he trust people, he really does. And I know because I'm the exact opposite, it amazes me how he never thinks that something anybody says has hidden stuff or could be a lie. That's why I didn't send him to hell in the first place ;)

Thank you very much for all the input! :)

rpcrazy 06-11-2010 03:50 PM

tell him to wrap that shit up, or make him pull out with a towel/on her with her on birth control and keep the receipts...imho :/
I feel his pain 'cause condoms suck, especially for uncircumcised guys(if you want me to elaborate, pm me). Magnums help, but they stick sooo bad. Anyway, I feel his plight, but if anything it should be you he isn't using condoms with, not her. I think it's outrageous that he's doing that...as someone who relates to this plight I think he needs to check himself, his compulsions, and his self-control for the benefit of his and his loved ones' lives.

redpepper 06-11-2010 06:15 PM


Originally Posted by rpcrazy (Post 32468)
That's kinda retarded...

Hey! Watch the language there Mr. or I will get my biggest toughest client on here to give you a run down of what kind of pain using that term causes people with developmental and cognitive disabilities...... not okay to use derogatory terms to describe someones actions. I know its a common term right now, but that doesn't make it okay.

rpcrazy 06-11-2010 06:25 PM

I apologize love. Forgive my juvenile remarks, the people I work with put me in a really unprofessional mode, so i forget sometimes what kind of viewers may read what I write. I also apology to anyone who I may have offended by using those derogatory words.

jkelly 06-11-2010 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 32494)
Hey! Watch the language there Mr. or I will get my biggest toughest client on here to give you a run down of what kind of pain using that term causes people with developmental and cognitive disabilities...... not okay to use derogatory terms to describe someones actions. I know its a common term right now, but that doesn't make it okay.

Thank you for calling this out, RedPepper.

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