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Old 05-21-2012, 03:25 AM
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Shannanigan Shannanigan is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: St. Thomas, VI
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I was where you and your girlfriend are about five years ago, except I was in your girlfriend's shoes. I'd like to weigh in.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
1. Communication - i want to know when she is going out, and i want to know who it is (maybe even if it is just a name) - she seemed okay with letting me know this
Glad she was okay with that. I had the same rule with my SO when we started opening up, and it turned out to be an important one for us.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
Also asked if I would be able to ask what they did (not sexually) . . .
- to this she seem a little hesitant, but POSSIBLY open
She might be thinking that there might be some things that she wants to kind of be between her and her friend, something that is "their thing". My "friend" and I really liked going to Hooters for All-You-Can-Eat wings on Monday nights, and while my boyfriend was always welcome, and on occasion joined us, it really was my and my "friend's" thing, and didn't feel the same/right with my boyfriend.

Conversely, my boyfriend once found out that I drove my friend to a beach at night and we sat in the sand and made out, and that bothered my boyfriend, because he felt that this was something that was "our thing." He asked me not to do that again, and I didn't. Communication was key. If you two can't be honest about each other and your feelings on these things, and if you BOTH can't be willing to compromise, this will quickly become a problem.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
2. Safe sex - this is obvious - she is always safe, even for the longest time with me.... but what if someone has herpes mouth and there is oral? is it wrong of me to ask her not to allow someone to do something like that to her?
You can ask her to get her friend tested, or you can see if she's willing to forgo oral. My boyfriend asked it of me, and I tried for a long time to forgo it, but eventually I had to admit that it was too difficult for me - oral sex is a big part of what I feel is sex. I got my friend tested and we went from there.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
3. Home - She wanted to be able to bring him over here (assuming i wasnt home) and I flat out said NO! this to me is sacred place that is just for me and her - she seemed a little upset about this
I'm sure with time she'll understand. If you need a safe space, and that's non-negotiable, she'll just have to decide whether or not she can deal with that. I definitely split hotel rooms with my friend when we weren't able to use his place. Be prepared for her and her friend to get creative with locations if she can't use the house, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey View Post
4. I come first - When I go to sleep I want here to be in bed with me everynight. . .she seemed POSSIBLY okay with this
This did come up between my boyfriend and I. The biggest problem was that we were keeping my friend a secret, so often I would go out at night with my girlfriends as usual, and go to my friend's house afterward, which may not have been until 1 or 2 am. It took a lot of compromise and back-and-forth, and eventually even prompting from my "friend" once we were done to get out of his house and head home. What wound up happening was I had to choose on weekends whether to go out with my girlfriends OR go out with/hang out by my "friend's" and make it an early night. It was a hard adjustment, and there was a lot of sex a little too soon after dinner for my taste, but it wasn't all that awful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corey View Post
5. She very secretive about getting text... how do i handle that?
If you can't trust her, this relationship is doomed even without opening up. My guy never wanted to read my texts or the things on my computer. If he was feeling particularly insecure, he might ask what I was texting/talking about with my "friend", and I'd give him a summary, but he never asked to see it. How do you handle it? Decide whether or not you can trust her, and if not, decide whether your relationship is going to work.

Her texting during "you time" is definitely an issue worth discussing - I was guilty of doing it often. At certain times, I think it's fair to say, "hey, can you tell your friend that you and I are having some "us time" right now, and you'll text him later?" Try to be nice about letting her know that you want her company, and that you don't feel you have it when she's texting.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
6. Cheating - how / what is cheating at this point?
Some boundaries exist out of necessity and need to be discussed, others you're going to want to create because they'll make you feel better, but the reality is, is that too many boundaries IS controlling, and will doom you to failure. I was told this when I first asked the questions you were asking, and was sure I could handle it, but one by one, I found that I couldn't follow all of the boundaries my boyfriend had set up. The curfew and oral sex were big ones, and I admitted to him one night that I had broken the oral sex "rule," which was "cheating," and that's what spurred the discussion, the STD testing, and the adjustment of that boundary.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
7. Timeframe - i think she spoke about hanging out with this friend maybe once a week. . .this is new to me
If this is what she has in mind, it's probably what is going to happen if she is an adult and has transportation. If you're really unable to deal with her being absent that often (after trying it for a bit), perhaps you could ask her how she'd feel if you asked her to skip a week once in a while, to remind you of how important you are to her.

I'm really hoping that SHE is as concerned about all of this as you are, because it will be necessary for her to do quite a bit of re-assuring and re-stating her love for you and your importance to her. If she doesn't seem able to do this, you might be in for quite the bumpy ride.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
8. Ending her relationship with her friend. . . things happen...
Things do happen, and you can't stop them. In article I recently read on the topic of open marriages, a woman said that her friends say, "but your husband might leave you for someone else!" and she says, "Yeah, or he might run away and join the circus, there are no guarantees, monogamy or not." You are posting in a polyamory forum, and I'm going to be honest with you here: I fell in love with my "friend." I still am in love with him. It was hard for my boyfriend, but once he realized I still loved him and wasn't leaving him for someone else, we were stronger for it, and even more in love. That probably sounds devastating and impossible to you right now, but you should know from now, that we can't control feelings, and if feelings do develop, trying to stop them will only push your girlfriend further from you and closer to the person who has been accepting of her "other" relationship (you) the whole time.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
9. Someone for me to talk to . . .not sure if she can be accepting of this
Perhaps an anonymous person here on the boards? Perhaps a friend who doesn't know your girlfriend, who lives in another city, far far away? My boyfriend would talk to his gaming friends on COD about it; people who he never met in real life, and I had no issue with that.

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Originally Posted by corey View Post
10. She should tell other person she is in relationship . . .makes me feel like she is cheating on me
You "think" she would not like this idea? Bring it up to her. Ask her. If she's not looking to leave you, I don't think it should be a problem. Have her tell her friend that she's in an open relationship, to do otherwise would be a lie of omission, and it's dishonest. If she's not willing to tell the friend about you, then yeah, I think I'd be a little worried, too, if this is supposed to be a long-term friend-with-benefits situation. One night stands, not so much, but this sounds more serious.

It's okay to start of stricter, to rules she's willing to follow, with the idea that maybe in a month, three months, six months, a year, you can revisit the rules and adjust if you've become more comfortable. You're going to have to move at your own pace, and she's going to need to be willing to be accepting of and communicative about that.

In all seriousness, talk to her. Talk to her about how willing she is to be "open" in this open relationship and honest with you. If you can't trust her to be honest, it won't work out (monogamously or otherwise). Some people share everything, some people don't want to know everything; know how much you want to know, and see if she's willing to share that or not.

Good luck.
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