This is an update from this post I wrote last week.
We are working on rebuilding trust and strengthening our primary relationship. It will take a long time. I won't go into the details of the resolutions we came to, but we are heading in a positive direction, I'm happy to report.
For those of you without time to read my novel-long posts, here is the nutshell of our situation: my partner and I met someone we were both interested in, but it became clear this person was only into my partner. My partner wanted to date her solo, which would be a first for us. I had a really hard time.
Partner got impatient, got caught up in NRE, and hooked up against our agreement. Drama ensued.
I'm posting because, now that the third party got fed up and left, I (of course) feel much safer. But (of course) my partner is hurting something fierce. And it ended because of my struggles, and her poor decision making in the face of NRE.
She's holding out for a chance to see this girl again sometime in the future, but I'm not sure when/if I'll ever be okay with it. But this person made my partner feel happier than I've ever seen her (with another partner), so this person is extra special to my partner. They have a strong, very positive, healthy connection. My partner had waited a long time to find a second person to feel that way about, so this isn't just a fling she can't have. My partner misses her ex really badly.
And I can fix that, if I agree to tolerate their relationship again. But I'm not ready yet. And the "yet," according to my partner, is leading her on to thinking she could, in the future, try dating this girl again. She's asking me to tell her straight whether to let it go, put it out of her mind, or hold onto the hope that we can heal and they will have another shot.
She knows she fucked up. She's willing to accept that this relationship is a no-go. But I feel for her, a lot. It just isn't helping how I feel for me, after getting burned.
Part of me is like... NEVAR!!! Because I can't trust her to pace her new relationship.
Part of me knows if I learn to relax, it won't be that bad, in the end.
But I don't want to do what I did last time and bend too much so she can be happy, only to find myself in a state of panic. Because then she is out having fun with someone with no baggage and coming home to a sad, weepy me, all over again.
ALSO: My partner has almost no jealousy issues around me dating/sleeping with other people. And just last night, I did. And she is happy for me. And I so, so badly want to be there with her, be able to be cool with her things too, because now I'm the dictionary definition of a hypocrite. We understand different people have different hangups, but I have to fix me so she can be happy with other people. I just don't know if I can fix me around this specific other person because things went so poorly. She is also heavily prevalent within our social scene, so I'm leaning toward working on how to handle the "next" potential secondary and writing this one off to loss. But like I said, she makes my partner feel amazing. And my partner doesn't want to see anyone but her (and me). So there is no "next" secondary in the forseeable future.
1. Would you give someone another chance, if they made a royal mistake during their first pass at a secondary relationship? What might that other chance look like? Do I loosen/negotiate less tight boundaries so my expectations aren't so high and I'm less likely to be let down? Or do I hold tight to the same boundaries and remove them as I feel safe, the way I hoped it would go the first time? Or do I work on trusting her the next time, but with someone new instead?
2. How do you help a partner mourn a relationship that involved agreement violations? Do you? I feel as her partner, I have a responsibility to help her through any kind of tough time. But given the circumstances, I'm having a hard time gathering any sympathy. I have empathy, but... I'm also still hurt and angry (though less every day), so they seem to be cancelling each other out.
Ideas for me guys? You're awesome!