I have been seeing my partner for a year now. We have an incredibly fulfilling relationship in many ways. We have never had a formal commitment to one another, except a promise to be honest. Functionally, the relationship was mostly monogamous. Early in the relationship, while on separate holidays, we both slept with other people. During the course of the relationship we have had two threesomes (with women) and I had one same-sex affair that my partner knew about while we were separated. I have never felt jealous in this relationship (an issue I have struggled with in monogamous relationships in the past) until now.
Circumstance has now placed us in different cities. We are seeing each other every 6 weeks or so (meeting in various places), but the role we play in each other's lives is changing.
He has recently started seeing another woman. They have travelled together and have started having sex. This has been happening for a little over a month now and he was honest with me about it, even before anything happened between them. While I don't want to limit him, I feel very threatened by this situation. Since they live in the same city, I envision them becoming very close while my partner and I grow apart. The idea of him having sex with other people does not upset me, I am worried by the development of emotional intimacy.
He insists that his new relationship does not effect our relationship or how he feels about me. After weeks of looking for advice I am coming to understand that what he is interested in is essentially polyamory. He travels and moves often, and he seeks to maintain intimate, if discontinuous relationships with the women he becomes close with along the way. I am unsure how I feel about this. Certainly, my own self-confidence issues are being exposed. The new woman does know about me and my partner insists that a condition of his relationship with her is that he can see and sleep with me whenever he likes. She has a LDR of her own, but her partner is not aware of her new relationship. This makes me doubt her ability to be open and communicative and i worry it will impact my relationship with my partner.
My partner is incredibly communicative, which is why our relationship has worked thus far. As his new relationship has developed he has been honest with me and also supportive and reassuring as I struggle to deal with feelings of rejection, inadequacy and jealousy. I can rationally work through my emotions, but it is difficult and I sometimes wonder if it's worthwhile. I don't want my partner to be lonely, and I know he craves intimacy as much as sex.
I am potentially interested in a relationship (primarily a friendship, but perhaps more) with the other woman, although I have some concerns there. My partner insists I would "like" her. i could see a relationship between the three of us being both good or bad. So far my threesomes with my partner have been incredibly satisfying for both of us, but they have occurred with women we did not know well and have not been close with. I am afraid there will be too much of a sense of competition between two women who've had separate relationships with the same man and that I will be passive-aggressive regarding her.There is currently talk of my coming to stay with him for awhile in the spring but I am (probably prematurely) worried that it will not be appropriate for me, as a LDR, to come into "their" space months into their relationship.
All of this is very new to me. Before my current partner I wouldn't have imagined I was capable of opening up a relationship at all. Now, I am trying to gauge what I want, and what I'm willing to give to maintain relationships in complicated circumstances. My partner and I are unlikely to live in the same place again, so if we are going to maintain any relationship, we are going to have to learn to work through these situations. At the moment, the best thing I can probably do is wait, however, i am terrified of the dynamic shifting from me being his (not explicitly) primary partner and being (functionally) his secondary.
Any advice on LDR, open relationships, dealing with jealousy, and manuevering relationships without clear boundaries is appreciated. I'm learning :)
Seems you have a choice (and are already choosing by your writing) here.
You can choose to look at the new person/relationship in a positive light. Or you can choose the conditioned fear route and paint it all black before you even see it.
It's entirely in your hands hun !
There could be tremendous potential brewing here for you all. New friendships, new love, new sex, new ideas, new perspectives. An adventure. You can look for and anticipate the possibilities on the positive side just as much as the negative.
As far as the distance element is concerned, that stands on it's own. Unless something changes on someone's part that brings you closer to each other, the long distance relationship will follow the course of all such relationships. But when people truly love each other they find a way to keep that closeness. Love has that funny way of forcing things to happen :)
You have to accept that. Distance vs proximity always does have SOME bearing on our actions. I guess it's a practical, convenience thing.
That has nothing to do with her - personally - at this point. Not fair to blackmark her in advance just because she happens to live where she does, and you live where you do. That's only a side effect of his current lifestyle. As you say, there are, or will be others too. I suggest getting used to it until something physical changes.
A chance here to make a new friend/lover/companion/who knows. Are you open ?
Which will you choose ?
The second one is also a red flag because it seems like sex in a threesome is a quick fix solution for something that is uncomfortable for you... I don't suggest going into this thinking that sex is the answer to all the emotional questions and insecurities you have... that might happen later after all that is sorted out, but the solution lies in communication and dealing with your own issues here. Not having another threesome. This kind of relationship dynamic is not like the ones you have had in the past with your partner, he has feelings for her beyond a fun fuck. Messing with that could potentially blow up in your face.
There is a lot written on this forum about all you are struggling with. A search in tags or looking at the stickies will bring up lots of threads and posts on jealousy... have a look and see what you find...
The number one thing for me with jealousy is that it is a fear/threat... it means that you are likely worried that your needs won't be getting met (closeness, time together etc.). If he is saying that this new love doesn't change anything for him, trust him; at least until you have reason not to... along with that, walk through your feelings and break them down to see what is really in there. Jealousy is made up of many emotions, not just one. See what you find and deal with one emotion at a time.
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