Need a clear, insider view into this world that I view as twisted
I apologize in advance if my thread title is abrasive, but I'm in a bit of an emotionally unstable point in my life, and don't have time to pussyfoot around how things are right now.
"I want to be able to have men in my life whom are friends, that I am emotionally attached to, make love to, and can fill in gaps in my life"
My girlfriend of over 4 years has just dropped a bomb on me. We had talked in the past of planned transgressions, "hall passes" that are available when someone tickles our fancy. Though my basis for that over "friends with benefits" was the emotional attachment; I need to be the man she comes home to every night.
After a series of traumatic events over the summer, she has started to seek counseling/therapy. Last week she mentioned that as opposed to a hall pass system where the risk of STDs and danger are higher, she would prefer a "friends with benefits" type of situation; even going so far as to mention 2 men she fancied. I told her it's not something I would be okay with, based on the fact that I fear her emotional attachment to myself would weaken, or our relationship would end because of it. We left the conversation at that.
Last night, she sent me an article that she said would help explain her feelings better.
For lack of a better phrasing, I nearly shit myself. My girlfriend of 4 years, whom I live with and a have a beautiful 3 year old boy with, wants to have boyfriend(s) outside of our relationship.
I have told her that this simply will not work, it's not something I feel I could ever be okay with, and I'm not willing to try it and see.
"I don't think I can remain faithful to you anymore"
Apparently, the idea of multiple relationships is something that is a taboo bit of intel that she failed to inform me about early on in our relationship. That would have been a deal breaker for me early on.
I love her dearly however. We've been through hell with, and for, each other. We live together, 3 years now. We have a son. We have a happy home and family. Why does she seek out to destroy what we have with this? Why does she feel like I should have to share her? I didn't share my Legos as a kid, and I am sure as hell not inclined to share the woman I want to marry.
She stresses how much she loves me. How I'll still be #1. She doesn't want to lose me. I don't see this ending well in any situation. I'm inclined to leave her so she can live our her desires with people who may understand it better. I'm inclined to stay until she pulls her head out of her ass (no offense).
I'm lost. Please... Please help me.
You are hurting.
It's generally not a good idea to make major decisions in the midst of a crisis.
So, take a timeout from the topic for a week to calm.
Then, go to lifestyles and blog page, read through some of the blogs.
There are more articles on xeromag worth reading too.
Ultimately, if you absolutely won't accept poly, end it as peaceably as possible.
I guess I shouldn't say I would never accept it; just not now. I spent the entirety of 2011 trying to reel her in from bad influence new friends and a nasty habit of not coming home at night. I don't trust her enough to let her do something like this. I told her that years (probably) down the line it may be feasible, but our relationship is not a canoe on calm waters; it's a wayward speedboat careening towards a waterfall at the moment, and anymore deviation or loss of control would be catastrophic.
I've begun reading all the articles and trying to flesh out an understanding.
She was in a relationship with a woman for 8 months or so while I worked out of state. She said it's the happiest she's ever been in a relationship and wants that back. I just see my self esteem issues and anger/jealousy being a really bad fit for any type of poly relationship.
I can't deny my own inhibitions and the fact that it was I who initiated the hall pass suggestion, but holy can of worms, Batman!
You're actually completely right that poly is a bad fit for a relationship that needs repair. Work on yourselves first, get to a place where you're really strong, individually and together -- THEN you'll be in a much better position to withstand the often-rocky initial transition phase that happens in poly.
That said, why the acceptance -- even the suggestion, on your end -- of no-strings-attached sex with others, but the flipping-out reaction to the idea that emotions might get involved? Didn't it ever occur to you that some people, especially many women, either don't want to ever have sex with someone that they don't have feelings for, or can't have sex without feelings developing? Why is it ok to share the "legos" of her body but not the "legos" of her heart? What would you have done when she... or YOU (you never can predict these things)... developed feelings for a supposed-to-be-no-strings-attached sex partner if you and she had never talked about this in the first place? Feelings happen. Fact of life.
Poly IS more work than just swinging or having an open relationship or what have you. But that doesn't have to mean that you lose out. It comes down to whether or not you view love as a limited resource. Many, many people (me, my partners, the majority of the other long-time posters here, the Xeromag guy, others you can find numerous articles about) love more than one person without it lessening their feelings for anyone involved. It's really more a question of time management than anything, in the end, seeing as time is, in fact, a limited resource. But it's not like you'd try to stop her from having a hobby or a friendship that took the time that a boyfriend might, I assume?
So, yeah, my advice -- tell her you guys need to work on your relationship first (you will actually find plenty of support for this on the Xeromag site and in other poly writings), set a timeframe that you both can live with for re-opening the discussion (hopefully when she says that she doesn't think she can remain fidelitous, she doesn't mean that, like, she needs to put up a dating profile next week?), keep reading, and try to stay open-minded. Or dump her, your call. Cuz this probably isn't going to go away.
Never a good idea to open a relationship on the rocks. It is also very unfair to the other people to do that.
Definitely, read Galagirls thread! Tell her to also.
NO ADDITIONAL PARTNERS UNTIL EVERYTHING IS ROCK SOLID.
Hi and welcome,
Can she articulate what's driving this for her. Does she have a crush, read a book, met people who are poly ?
Everyone has deal breakers and knowing and respecting each others is a good thing.
There are several struggling mono threads you might want to read.
Before the relationship with you did she have other serious dating experiences?
How old are you two?
Also, your girlfriend, the mother of your son, your lover is not a Lego. Not a clickable bit of plastic you attach to other bits of plastic. I too didn't share my Legos as a kid. Hated other kids even touching them. But people are not possessions. You don't own her. She doesn't own you either. You only get a say in who she 'shares' herself with only as long as she says you do. Bluntly, it's not your decision on when, who and if she shares herself with. It's hers alone. The consequence of that decision might be that your romantic relationship ends. But it is her call, and yours in how you decide to react to her decisions and needs.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting monogamy. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the sole focus of your partner romantically, sexually. It works well for lots of people.
If that is what you want, what you need, then end this relationship gently and transition to becoming co-parents. You've pretty much stated that you don't want a poly partner and could not tolerate her being poly while you remain mono. (Some people make this work but it is a hard road.) You have a son together - you will be in each other's lives regardless of how your romantic relationship works out. Focus on remaining good co-parents for your son.
This is painful stuff and might be a fundamental incompatibility. That is hard and I feel for you.
In regards to the other woman, she said the happiest she's been with me is when she had the freedom to enjoy that other woman. In my mind, a woman is not a threat to me.
She invited me to go out with her and her friends last night. I said I would go, but we'd need to wrap it up around 1. She was adamant about staying out later and said she'd find another ride home. She hopped in the shower, and I began to have rampant thoughts on why my girlfriend wouldn't want to come home at the same time as I did...
Disconcerted as I have been, I discovered a way to bypass the security thingy on her phone. I found out the truth I have been suspecting for almost 1 1/2 years now. She has been involved with her supervisor at work for over a year. In addition, she has also been with 4 other men, and 5 women. Everyone knew, except me; her friends who have come into my home and put on their plastic smiles without telling me the truth, her family, her own mother whom I have been consoling over the death of her son.
Everyone. Fucking. Knew. And I didn't get so much as an anonymous facebook message or note saying as much.
I had been questioning her about it for a number of months, even offered her "amnesty" to tell me whatever is going on without immediate consequence. She always lied. I knew something was going on, in my gut I knew she was cheating, but I never had solid proof. I never had anything definitive and had even beaten myself up about accusing her for it.
I confronted her. Asked her who this person was who she was texting lovey dovey bullshit too. I was simply accusing her of being interested in someone; She admitted her infidelity. And continued to admit it. Long story short, I managed to get out of the house with her phone to see everything with my own eyes.
I took time to myself, sough out her mother for advice, and eventually found my way back to our house. I told her to tell me everything; how and why it happened, what had been going on, why she lied, etc etc. Suffice to say, last night was the most emotionally painful night of my life to this date.
She had been carrying on with her boss for over a year. Had sex with him in our bed. This man, who I was assured by her was just a good friend, had been laying with my girlfriend for a year. I asked her how many times; she said more than she could count. I asked about the others; they were random and far between.
I'm not so concerned about the physical act of what she did, so much as I am hurt, no, fucking devastated that I poured my heart and soul into the woman and helping her cope with her brother's death (among other things) and she was laying with another man when she said she just needed to see a friend.
I don't know what to do. I love her. But how could I ever trust her again? How could anything ever be "normal" again.
We talked until 7 in the morning. I calmed down (My question when I walked through the door at 11pm was "Are you packed?") I have a sense of understanding how her mind worked. I told her that had she come to me in the beginning, that maybe things wouldn't have played out like this. Maybe I would have been okay with this if I had a chance to process it. She tried to say my controlling attitude pushed her away, but that didn't start until after she had been cheating on me for awhile it seems.
What bothers me the most is the length of time and how dedicated she was to this other man. How our sex life had all be vanished, and I felt guilty for having thoughts of fulfilling my needs outside the relationship, while she was already deeply involved with it.
I told her that I could consider the idea of trying to work through this for our son's sake, and maybe things can be better now that this shit is out in the open: She doesn't have to hide what she did, and I don't have to suspect it. I told her that all ties with all people she was involved with, and all of her friends who knew, need to be severed. I told her that I may not ever come around, even if she does that; she agreed. She admitted that her circle of friends had influence over it and egged her on in some cases.
She said she still has the desire to have a much more tame version of what she had with this man. I don't know where I am on that, but from reading A LOT on here and other places, I feel it's something I could handle so long as rules and honesty are the most important factor. Full disclosure, I have a say in things etc. I'm just concerned that I'm setting myself up for more damage if she can't stay true. She said she swears to be brutally honest and allow me full access to her communications and social outlets to prove that she's following the rules.
Does that make me weak and pathetic? I mean, I could easily find someone else; it's not a case of oneitis or fear of being alone. I guess I truly do love her and want to make her happy.
In light of all of this, I have realized that I too may be interested in more of a "FWB" situation than the prospect of being allowed to have NSA sex with anyone who tickles my fancy. I don't know if or how that plays into my decision to give her a second chance, but I'm sure it has some factor. Maybe I can relate to what she did and understand that she lied not to hurt, but because she didn't want to hurt?
I haven't typed this much in one sitting since I was in high school. I appreciate any input, even if you don't read the whole thing. I'm scared, confused, hurt... numb even?
Disclaimer: I am not that experienced either in the world of poly or in the world of relationships.
Having said that, it doesn't look like this woman is capable of the level of honesty required for a poly relationship. She didn't just cheat once. There have been relationships where one partner cheated and they were able to work through it and save the relationship. But that is some SEVERE cheating you're talking about right there.
If you want to save the relationship, you need some very good, very thorough relationship counseling. Poly shouldn't even be on the table until you've worked through all the issues and addressed WHY she cheated and WHY she was completely and utterly dishonest with you. And my feeling is it will probably take YEARS and there's no guarantee that it will even work. Because it will only work if SHE truly desires to make a change, a deep-down change, not just a look-I'm-behaving-better change.
Personally, I would straight up end the relationship. You love her, yes, but do you also care about yourself? Because staying in a relationship with a person you can't trust is NOT GOOD FOR YOU. It's not good for her either! Because it's just enabling her to avoid the fact that she seriously hurt you and did you wrong.
Either you go into counseling so she can face that fact and deal with it, or you leave her ... so she can face that fact and deal with it.
Edited to add: I do have experience with leaving someone I love because I can't trust them. I'm in the middle of doing that right now. It hurts, but if the untrustworthy partner refuses to deal with their problems, leaving is the best thing for both of you.
How old is your son, by the way?
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