I screwed up royally. Trying to fix it.
Welcome to my epic saga. I really could have posted this on any relationship advice board, but I chose this one because most people would just get caught up arguing over the right or wrong of poly, and that's not what this is about, so here goes.
So my partner and I met back in 05 while working together and hit it off. When we got together, she said that the only relationship she was willing to have was an open one. Now, this wasn't exactly what I wanted but I was ok with this because a.) I really liked her and this was the only way she would have it and b.) I had been in a couple of poly relationships before and it had been ok so I figured I'd give it a shot. At any rate, we got together, and the poly aspect of it was almost non-existent. We were mostly monogamous for several years. One summer she asked if it was ok if she hooked up with someone and I was in school anyways so I said ok. It happened, no problems, life went on. She also once asked if I'd be willing to have a threesome with a guy she used to see before me and since I knew him fairly well and got along with him I agreed, and that happened, no problem, life went on. I never really did anything with any other girls. I made out with a girl at work once, but never had sex with anyone else. Maybe I just didnt want to enough, or maybe I wasn't really looking for the opportunity. This is all mostly irrelevant to the story, just background info.
Time passed, we moved to different states several times until 2010 when we moved back to the city we first met. In early 2012, we had been having some disagreements. Being that we worked together, she had some beef with the boss and I was kind of caught in the middle. Also, she had some beef with my parents and I was again caught in the middle as the mediator. Mind you, us working together was a little different than most couples. She was an exotic dancer and I was the DJ at the club.
All that living-together-working-together spending every waking moment together sort of took its toll. She said she needed a little more independence and to have some parts of her life be her own. This made sense, so I said ok. She started hanging out with a customer from the club, which I was ok with since she assured me there was no sexual aspect, just friends, and I believed her so I didn't have any problem with it. Plus, I figured this was a good way to let her have some space. He used to pay her to hang out with him. Not have sex, just go out and do things with him.
But I could tell they were getting closer. Then the money stopped, so I knew, being that she would never screw a dude for money (she's not like that. Not all strippers are like that), I knew that there was about to be more to it. It began to upset me how much time she spent with him. I just worked and worked to pay the bills, she had gotten fed up enough with that place to quit by this time. She'd go to his house (in another state) for days at a time. Talk about how much fun she had with him and all this great stuff he did/bought for her etc.
Eventually I could tell something was up. I asked her, after she returned from one of these trips, if she was having sex with him. She admitted that on this most recent trip that she had, and it was the first time anything like that had happened with him. It wasn't really the sex itself that I had a problem with, I never had had a problem with casual sex, but the fact that it was like a little relationship. If she wanted to sow some wild oats, fine, but I was not down with two boyfriends. I flipped out. I said it was him or me. She assured me that she loved me and only me, and that I was the most important thing in her life, but could I please give her some space as this other guy was only going to be temporary. I agreed. She said I should consider finding another girl to spend some time with so that perhaps I would gain a better understanding and that made sense too so I agreed. Here's where it gets shaky.
The 'rules' for our open relationship was as follows. We were each allowed to make one. I said no douchebags that would try to steal her away from me. She said no co-workers (strippers). Now, he WAS trying to steal her away from me. I knew this because she told me that he had offered to take care of her, buy her a car, help her find a job near where he lived etc. But she assured me that she wasn't going to be leaving me so whatever. I thought maybe she would be willing to overlook the whole, no strippers thing since I worked 60 hours a week dj-ing (she quit remember so the bills gotta get paid somehow), and she was now dating a customer from there anyways. She just insisted that if I was going to hook up with someone, that I tell her first. Fair enough.
So I had a crush on a girl at work who also was interested in me. I explained to this girl the nature of our open relationship thing and told her that we would not end up as bf/gf but perhaps we could hang out and have fun together. So we made plans to hang out one day. I then told my partner of this plan, before it happened, and she flipped out. She said no-coworkers/strippers whatever, and lost it so hard that I just cancelled the plan with the other girl cause it was obviously more trouble than it was worth. She was also pissed that I had flirted with this other girl at work for like 2 weeks before telling her about it, but I DID tell her about it before anything was going to happen. I do remember her only telling me that she had sex with her other dude after the fact, but whatever. So I cancelled on this other girl.
Then there was another girl, stripper, who I had some interest in. It is just so freakin hard to meet anyone other than strippers when you work at a strip club 60 hours a week. Who wants to go to a regular bar after that? I didnt really have to energy to look for a non-stripper. And plus, as the DJ, they all wanted me anyways. So this new other girl asked me to smoke a bowl with her after work one night and I did. Nothing sexual happened. I told my partner about this the next morning and expressed that I liked this girl and could I please pursue her as my other girl? Well my partner flipped again. She said no strippers! Plus, she said, this other girl looked a lot like her, which was kinda true. Guess I have a type. So I abandoned that plan cause again, more trouble then it was worth.
So then my partner went away for about a month to live/camp at this hippy campground type place that she'd been going to her whole life. Oh yeah, about a week before this, she told me that we weren't going to be officially together for the time being and needed a break. By this time, she had started sleeping in the other bedroom in our house.
A few days into her being gone, I started hitting it off on the phone with a girl that I used to work with, but hadn't worked there in awhile. It was quite accidental actually. This girl sent me a sexy text message, which she claims was meant for someone else, but who knows, thats how it started. Well, I figured that since this girl was a former co-worker, by definition, she was not currently a co-worker, and that I'd be within the rules on this one. Plus, she'd gotten fired so it didn't look like she'd ever be able to come back. Ok I was safe. It's not a co-worker.
Here's where I started to royally screw it up. When I asked her if I could get with the previous two girls, she kicked and screamed enough that I abandoned those plans, but when I had kicked and screamed about her other guy, which at this point had been going on for a few months now, it made no difference whatsoever. She had NOT told me until afterwards that she had sex with him, but I had always asked first and had been denied on the no-coworker grounds. So I guess it was wrong to embrace the shoot-first-ask-questions-later method, but she had, and I so dearly wanted to have this experience with someone else so that I could understand her thing, and also so I could not feel so inferior and unwanted, which at this point I did.
So while my partner was away, I picked up this other girl and brought her to my house and we had 2 days of wild sex. I shouldn't have brought her to my house, and even so, I definitely shouldn't have had sex with her in our bed. That's why you take a ho to a ho-tel right? It was wrong, but it's what happened. Couple days later, I went to visit my partner where she was camping and told her about it. Well, you probably know already how that turned out. She lost it. She said it was over, we're done and fuck me and all that good stuff. I explained that I just wanted to have the same experience as her so that I would understand. She was pissed about the house/bed thing, but in the end, I promised not to see this other girl again, and she cooled off and forgave me. She was glad Id had the experience, but just not happy about who it was and where it happened. Fair enough.
I didn't see this other girl for awhile after that. My partner came home from the campground, but then a week or so after, her other dude took her on a three-week vacation across the country. I had still been talking to other girl, but hadnt seen her. My partner kept saying she was going to end it with her other dude, but I didn't see how going on a 3 week vacation with him was accomplishing that. I was mad and heartbroken. I guess I felt that I deserved to see the other girl one more time before my partner got back. So I did. This time, I was shitty about it. I didn't tell my partner.
You're broken up with this chick and she still keeps your dick in a jar ?
And why do you think of the other girl as a "ho".
I need answers to at least these two questions before i can even attempt to judge you. But i might wait until other people have asked questions before i do that this time. I'm undecided. Don't let that prevent you from responding though. You see, the one who judgeth casteth judgment upon his/herself, or so i heard somewhere.
I am sorry you are going through this and that you hurt. :( I apologize in advance if this is hard to hear. I did read all your post. But bottom line?
You seem to want to play like a Jedi player most of the time... but you have a Muppet Show partner who does not seem to want to honor shared agreements. :(
Part of the problem? You guys don't actually write down your shared agreements. She sometimes withholds information. She neglects your needs and sometimes creates emotional distance with some of her behaviors. When conflict comes up, she is unwilling to participate in clear, constructive conflict resolution. It becomes emotional hooha. Which is fine, feelings do need expression to clear the air. But that cannot be all of it. It's only part of the process to clear the air. To move it forward? You have to make CHANGES in agreements and/or behaviors and put it in effect! To actually reach the happy medium place where all players get most wants, needs, and limits met most of the time.
But without shared agreements written down, you cannot hold each other accountable in an efficient way.
Bang, bang, DONE.
Through the story, you were trying to hold up your ORAL agreements. Throughout the story, she was neglecting you needs even when the new agreement became an oral/implied "primary-secondary" type poly model rather than just a general "open" model with casual sex on the side. Sometimes she seems like she would “wiggle” the oral agreement. Enter more Muppet Show shenanigans to the point where you were tempted to break agreements just to get SOME of your unmet needs by her met SOMEWHERE.
You made mistakes because you were left neglected and hurt. While understandable, it is not an excuse for breaking shared agreement. Now instead of 1 person not holding up their side of the shared agreement/responsibilities stick... TWO people are falling down on the job! That does not serve the shared relationship at all. :(
I commend you for coming clean and trying to get BACK into right relationship with her. But relating takes two – some back and forth action there. You don't sound happy in a one-sided relationship.
But the bottom line? Loving someone is not automatic “stayingness” – if no accountable progress is being made, it may be easier to love her as her friend rather than dating partner and skip more shenanigans.
At this point where is your willingness? Done here? Or willing to try again? Where is hers? You could request a trial period if you are both still willing to give it another go. But SHE controls her behavior. It is on her to deliver to spec or not. This time do specify and write down your shared agreements. Do check to make sure they are actually realistic and keepable. (That "no coworkers" thing -- you agreed to something that was NOT realistic for you to keep.)
You can only control your own behavior. You can deliver your end of things and OBSERVE how she behaves and if she meets the new bar or not.
If you just want to be a Jedi player playing with a Jedi player -- could end it here and go seek one out. It is just not here at this time. Maybe you are at full limit and just done. And need support in that arena.
If you are willing to be a Jedi Player playing with a Muppet temporarily to see if she can grow to meet the standard? Maybe you need support in that arena. You could decide how long "temporarily" is to you and at what volume you can stand Muppet Show at. What are your dealbreakers? (Muppets are fun to watch on TV, but nobody needs to LIVE their real life in backstage chaos being hit by flying chickens and stuff. Ugh. :( )
Again, I am sorry you are going through this and that you hurt. :( However it is this one particular relationship plays out... You could choose to keep your OWN CODE in general. Choose ethical, self respecting behaviors and a personal standard that supports you in YOU keeping your best long term healths in good balance – mind, heart, body, and soul.
You are ultimately responsible for the care and keeping of you. Choose carefully who you keep company with and how. It's your own health at risk.
What else could you need from forum people as you sort yourself out? Which direction are you leaning toward? Breaking up or giving it another go?
Hang in there.
Seems to me she wanted her cake and eat it to. And u get sniffs of it lol
Also. , why get mad at house thing? U make the $ it seems, saved on going to rent a room. Lol I get all of the "our bed" thing. But Uhm.. didn't she say break time and- move to different bed, claiming as her own. Oh lets not forget she put u two on hold. In what seems to me a perfect time for her, she can do what she wants, and not tell u,and it be peachy.
All in all. My opinion, u both made mistakes, starting from her side in my opinion, asking u to just deal with it, it'll be temp with the one guy.
And re reading it, did I read, she basically cheated on u? First. As she would go out of stare to this guys house, for days at a time. And u were ok with that? Man.. I gotta say, as I don't know her but seems yes, she ease a stripper. Who tend to over time feel their time is "worth something ". Uhm kinda materialistic. In a way. And u were shocked when she said yup they had sex, but oh hey it means thus,that, don't worry. Just keep going to work an paying the bills while I sleep in other room, an yet go visit a guy who wants me more then a friend, ,outta state an sleep in his bed? Lol
Dude, let it go. Ur better off. She sounds like she needs a dose of her own medicine, and relationship reality check
You seem conflicted. Are you saying the girl you had a crush on and the one you were interested in were both just vaginas to you? If not, its somewhat hypocritical to your statement to your gf that you don't want her to have two boyfriends, and you might want to examine that. If they are just body parts to you, then you probably wont find the answers you seek here.
What was wrong was that you weren't keeping your agreements (you OR her) and that you punished her with "keeping the score" and cheating on her to feel like you were even or had one up on her.
DJing pays enough to go to a counselor a bit right? If you want to keep having a relationship with her, it sounds like you might want a third party's input about how to negotiate something that works for both of you and to help be upfront with each other about what you do or don't want from an open relationship, so a counselor who is experienced in non monogamy can help you both out with coming up with compromises you can both live with.
But yeah... if language use like that is the norm? Just adds to the problems... does not take away from the the problems.
Why did you agree to not see strippers if you knew that was the only kind of girl you would be able to meet? Why not tell her you need to change that agreement? You own your body and your time, they are yours to decide where and with whom to spend them. She can either accept that or find a new sugar daddy.
I don't see how you actually "screwed up" according to the parameters of your relationship. Before going out of town, your girlfriend broke up with you. You then had sex with a girl in your own bed. At that point, it was not a shared bed and she had no claim to it. She was not even paying rent, so she has no claim to the house. Most of all, she'd broken up with you before leaving, thus ending any "relationship agreements."
Going forward? You need to renegotiate your agreement. Now that you have a little more experience, you have a better idea of what you want and don't want. Clearly, "no strippers" is not going to work for you in your present situation, and runs counter to your desires. What difference does that make, anyway? Does she have a reason why you dating strippers is "bad?" Or does she just not like the competition?
You and she also need to define exactly what is meant by "open relationship." Does that mean friends with benefits, but no romantic attachments? That's probably unrealistic, given your recent experience. Clearly, she is pursuing more-than-friendship. Last time I checked, people don't buy cars for and "take care of" their "friends." Maybe it's nothing romantic to her. But then she's just using him, and that's not cool.
So she doesn't like stripping any more. That's cool, I can get that. But is that her one and only skill? Can she not get a job working in an office or bagging groceries? Of course, if you're willing to work 60 hours a week to support her, I can see why she wouldn't want to. But dude... why do you allow yourself to be used like that?
I have a whole host of other thoughts about your attitude and treatment/characterization of women, but they're not really relevant to this conversation.
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