Surprisingly what Heath said was “I have to tell you something”. It turned out he hadn’t had sex with the person he’d talked about having sex with (queue melodrama!) but he’d actually had sex with uh…Melanie. Melanie was married, cheating on her husband. Heath and I had a few rules and they were
Use condoms for sex
Be honest about what is going on
Don’t have sex with somebody who is cheating (did not put an onus on him to investigate this, he could take them at their word
don’t fuck A, B, or Melanie, because they tried to have sex with you last year and tried to get you to cheat.
It turned out Heath had panicked when I had sex with Todd, because he didn’t have sex with somebody the first night. Instead of telling me to stop/slow down, he went to the easy solution of finding the weak link of somebody who had already expressed interest. Melanie had said she had a bad relationship with her husband, but she hadn’t cheated before, so apparently that was enough STI control for Heath, and he hadn’t used condoms cause you know, we’d been mono, Melanie had been mono..its not like if you're in an unhappy marriage maybe your spouse is cheating on you without condoms so when you cheat on HIM you’re passing along something. He slept with her for four nights, but decided to make up an imaginary woman he slept with so he could tell me about her, but left it at the one night of make believe.
So that is the bitter unhappy truth of the end of my first marriage. If condoms had been used I could’ve forgiven, if it was a one time event (or just that trip event) I could‘ve forgiven. But 9 months later when Heath admitted this to me, he was making plans to meet up with her again 3 months later at the event, and spend even more time with her that year (in a close 12 hour long daily work relationship for the event). I’d had a feeling something was wrong with the situation but since we were open and poly now, I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so distressed, and never would’ve seen something like that coming. Truth is he’d been a prick the last 6 months but he kept saying it was because I was angry. I felt like I was going insane since I believed him and was trying to figure out what horrid behavior I was doing, but later we realized and discussed at a counselor it was him projecting because he felt so guilty.
Sadly instead I had to ask him to call his gf and let her know to get tested there was risk (he hadn’t gotten tested since before the event) I had to go get tested, three days later we had the house up for sale. Wtf all our cats died in the next year, everybody was miserable. I was embarrassed. I was angry he had by omission lied to his gf and put her health at risk. I could not get over the fact he would risk me dying for his desires. He wanted to stay together, we made a few halfhearted attempts but I could tell he said one thing and meant another. He denied it vehemently at the time but 8 years later he admits it was right for us to separate. Well he admitted it after 3 years, but now we are comfortable with it!
Crap, I hate looking back and seeing I used to be able to have 4 pretty reasonable agreements and after being lied to by somebody I trusted the list got so much longer. Food for thought.
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.