In June of last year, I met a woman (D) and we started dating. She and I got along well, and I was excited about cultivating the romantic chemistry for myself that she seemed so clearly to feel for me. She and J got along really, really well and I was happy that they liked each other and seemed like they could be good friends.
J and I fantasized about a threesome with her, but for me that is all it was: a fantasy. D had a boyfriend at the time who was very explicit with his boundaries: D could date women but not other men. So I thought those boundaries were very clear, and was happy having hot sex with J fantasizing but never expecting that fantasy to become a reality.
Stupidly, we decided to take her on a 5-day long trip (it had only been 3 weeks at this point in my relationship with D). Our very first night, with the aid of a hot tub and wine, a threesome happened. After that, the chemistry between J and D was palpable to me. I felt completely overshadowed and lost.
I stopped trusting D. How could I trust this person I'd known for 3 weeks if she was willing to break a very clear boundary with her boyfriend of 2 years? I started feeling emotionally manipulated. She would tell me that her relationship with me was "way, way" more important to her than her relationship with J, and it just never felt honest or sincere (it wasn't that I wanted to feel so much more important; it was the context of the conversations and her behaviors toward J, and the conversations that I would later hear about).
I ended up breaking up with her and tried my best to stay connected to J while he continued an emotional relationship with her. But, J and I were not connected because I was so upset from everything that happened and he had ceased to support me and provide emotional support to me around the break up. Eventually, he made the decision to stop talking to her because he realized our relationship was not thriving.
He has made it clear in the past month that D was one of the only people he has met since we opened up our relationship that he has felt natural chemistry with and totally relaxed around and comfortable with. He desires to see her and reconnect with her.
My challenges, fears, insecurities:
1. I didn't trust her. And, what does it mean to me that my partner would choose to have a relationship with someone who is untrustworthy? (J agreed with me at one point that she was emotionally manipulative.)
2. People who cheat are less likely to practice safer sex. It would be imperative for me that she was tested for STIs before they had a sexual relationship.
3. I have pretty deep fears about being replaced or displaced. I feel insecure because she seems so compatible with J. They enjoy a ton of the same activities, and she seemed to adopt poly values (non-possessiveness, less jealousy, etc) really easily when she met us. Because those things have taken a great deal of personal work for me and haven't come as naturally, I feel insecure about how wonderful I am and worrying that J would rather be with someone that doesn't have to do the same amount of personal growth work that I do. (I know part of this solution is to work on my own self confidence and self esteem.)
4. Sleepovers are the biggest source of anxiety for me right now, and when I was with D, she was ready to have one so soon. She ended up staying the night with me once, and it was too soon and uncomfortable for me. I ascribe a lot of meaning to the act of sleeping in the same bed overnight with another person. (Maybe I should just work on taking away that meaning??) I am afraid that she would want to have one with J after a week of reconnecting with him, and I could foresee J wanting that with her. I doubt my ability to manage that situation successfully right now (successfully meaning: not breaking down into a histrionic pile of depressive thoughts and negativity, not disconnnecting completely from J, being able to sleep and eat).
5. I am honestly unsure whether or not I could stay emotionally present and connected with J if he were to pursue a romantic relationship with D. I really don't know how I would feel. Thinking about it right now, I feel resistance in my heart toward J. And I do not want to feel such resistance to my primary partner.
6. It feels really crappy to me to expect that I wouldn't want to interact with my partner's partner at all. But that is how I feel now: I would not want to talk to her, interact with her, or ever see her at our home. But that goes against the kind of openness I want so much in our relationship! I want to be at least friendly with my partner's partner(s). I want to trust them and respect them, and have them respect me. I don't want to operate with a DADT structure, but that's almost how I feel I would need it with this particular person.
Any thoughts or feedback for this confused person?