Feel it's time for some extra support
I have been practicing poly or open relationships for almost tens years and have decided I need some sort of support in order to better deal with the pitfalls of this lifestyle.
When I started having open relationships it was with a different guy than I am with now and we had a pretty smooth time with it since I did my thing, he did his and that was that. We were always open and honest about where we were at and did a pretty good job at solving any issues. We did tell any other partners that we were dedicated to each other and anyone who couldn't handle the sharing we dropped. We were and still are very close after we went our separate ways.
The relationship I have now, we are pretty serious about each other being the love of our lives and have also unfortunately ran into a lot more problems handling the poly side of things. When we first started dating, we each had our other love interests and as we got closer we ended up moving in with each other and became very domestic. Then one day he was trying to start a relationship with a girl he had been just friends with and she told him she had no real interest in him until after seeing our place and meeting me. Suddenly she was very interested in him and even though she was actually against the lifestyle we had, she started dating him and manipulating her way in. She claimed she was dying of cancer and was losing her place. She was also addicted to cocaine and basically made herself out to be a damsel in distress. unfortunately we fell for it and did our best to help her and allow her to move in and get clean, but she said she wouldn't be able to handle the whole poly thing and it would only make her personal problems worse. By this I made the brave decision to move out myself since I couldn't even handle the situation, but still wanted to give this girl a chance to get healthy because I believed she was really sick and my guy really cared about her. Man was I glad to be away from that when it all went to heck a week after she moved in. She wouldn't get help for her drug abuse but instead just sped up her downward spiral til he told her it was either get help or get out. She chose the coke and split. later we found out through her family she was lying. What she actually had was HPV which can lead to cancer after several years if gone unchecked, but she actually didn't have cancer.
After that hurricane, we were pretty monogamous for awhile and took the bad experience as a test of our own love for each other. Eventually we decided it would be fun for us to have a lover we can share. We chose a girl that was really sweet, but young and didn't have a lot of experience. We did our best to explain what we were looking for and began relations. There were certain rules such as the need for honesty, condom use, and the understanding that if she wanted more from the situation than we wanted to offer, she had to find that elsewhere.
Things seemed to be going great til I went to the doctor and found out we had contracted HPV from the last girl. I was very devastated and guilty about possibly giving her this disease and wanted to cut down the sexual play between us and her, but still have a relationship. This made her jealous. I began to feel even more guilty and also a bit jealous back because I still felt she was getting most of her other needs met and if she wasn't happy she needed to go elsewhere for those needs. but instead she stayed and continued her issue of wanting more by looking sad all the time. I went back and forth between trying make her feel better about the situation and just plain not caring because I was getting sick of the guilt. Things went on like this for a long time since we all wanted to make it work some way.
One day my guy found out she had been lying to us about some things that were important for us to have known. She had had relations with a guy we told her she could be with and instead she lied about having slept with him. He was a friend of ours and felt he had to tell us since she was very strange about it and wanted to keep it a secret for some odd reason. We called her on it and this led to her confessing a lot of other lies and secrets. She and my guy had had unprotected sex aka broke the rules two weeks into our relationship and she had gotten pregnant and had given herself a miscarriage. She also confessed to have just contracted the HVP from us and also had another form of HVP herself. At this point I was having trouble getting rid of my HPV due to all the earlier stress and was done. I didn't want anything to do with her. I still loved her, but I felt so betrayed I knew things would never be the same.
We didn't really talk to her too much for a while and finally my guy wanted to try and have something again with her. I didn't feel I could trust her so I didn't want us to have anything more with her than a friendship. She acted very strange still and I knew something was not right. My guy was also trying a little too hard to get us back together. Then he finally confessed to me they were having a sort of affair and it had been going on since I got HPV. I was once again very devastated. It hurts all the same whether your poly or not to be cheated on especially by both partners. It's like a mega whammy!
At this point I wanted nothing to do with the girl and didn't know what would become of my relationship with my guy. He was very sorry for how things turned out but still had feelings for us both. I still loved him dearly, but wanted him to be monogamous til I got over my HPV. I told him he could be friends with the girl, but that was it. After a few weeks trying that, I knew he was still lying to me and also seeing her without telling me. I flipped out on him and threatened to leave if he didn't just drop her at this point. We talked a long time and I had to come to the bittersweet conclusion that although I meant more to him than her, he really cared about this other girl and she had redeemed herself to him after our fallout.
It's been a very rough road at this point, but I really didn't want to lose him even after all this. Like I said eons ago in this post, we confessed to each other as being the loves of each others lives and we have a great relationship aside from what has happened. I decided to allow him to date her under the condition that he had to be honest with me at this point so I could gain the trust back in my relationship. Unfortunately I still want little to do with the other girl. I am however perfectly fine sharing as long as things don't go wrong, otherwise I fold. I hope that things work out for us at this point, but regaining trust does take time. I decided to start dating other people again as well since it's too painful to put all my eggs in one basket.
I find now I am in need of the support and advice of the poly community to help me make better decisions and deal with whatever is to come next. Hopefully nothing more than what I've been through, but at this point I have no clue.
Thanks you to anyone who sits and reads all this. I know it's a long, messed up story, but it is why I'm here.
trying to love all,