I screwed up royally. Trying to fix it.
Welcome to my epic saga. I really could have posted this on any relationship advice board, but I chose this one because most people would just get caught up arguing over the right or wrong of poly, and that's not what this is about, so here goes.
So my partner and I met back in 05 while working together and hit it off. When we got together, she said that the only relationship she was willing to have was an open one. Now, this wasn't exactly what I wanted but I was ok with this because a.) I really liked her and this was the only way she would have it and b.) I had been in a couple of poly relationships before and it had been ok so I figured I'd give it a shot. At any rate, we got together, and the poly aspect of it was almost non-existent. We were mostly monogamous for several years. One summer she asked if it was ok if she hooked up with someone and I was in school anyways so I said ok. It happened, no problems, life went on. She also once asked if I'd be willing to have a threesome with a guy she used to see before me and since I knew him fairly well and got along with him I agreed, and that happened, no problem, life went on. I never really did anything with any other girls. I made out with a girl at work once, but never had sex with anyone else. Maybe I just didnt want to enough, or maybe I wasn't really looking for the opportunity. This is all mostly irrelevant to the story, just background info.
Time passed, we moved to different states several times until 2010 when we moved back to the city we first met. In early 2012, we had been having some disagreements. Being that we worked together, she had some beef with the boss and I was kind of caught in the middle. Also, she had some beef with my parents and I was again caught in the middle as the mediator. Mind you, us working together was a little different than most couples. She was an exotic dancer and I was the DJ at the club.
All that living-together-working-together spending every waking moment together sort of took its toll. She said she needed a little more independence and to have some parts of her life be her own. This made sense, so I said ok. She started hanging out with a customer from the club, which I was ok with since she assured me there was no sexual aspect, just friends, and I believed her so I didn't have any problem with it. Plus, I figured this was a good way to let her have some space. He used to pay her to hang out with him. Not have sex, just go out and do things with him.
But I could tell they were getting closer. Then the money stopped, so I knew, being that she would never screw a dude for money (she's not like that. Not all strippers are like that), I knew that there was about to be more to it. It began to upset me how much time she spent with him. I just worked and worked to pay the bills, she had gotten fed up enough with that place to quit by this time. She'd go to his house (in another state) for days at a time. Talk about how much fun she had with him and all this great stuff he did/bought for her etc.
Eventually I could tell something was up. I asked her, after she returned from one of these trips, if she was having sex with him. She admitted that on this most recent trip that she had, and it was the first time anything like that had happened with him. It wasn't really the sex itself that I had a problem with, I never had had a problem with casual sex, but the fact that it was like a little relationship. If she wanted to sow some wild oats, fine, but I was not down with two boyfriends. I flipped out. I said it was him or me. She assured me that she loved me and only me, and that I was the most important thing in her life, but could I please give her some space as this other guy was only going to be temporary. I agreed. She said I should consider finding another girl to spend some time with so that perhaps I would gain a better understanding and that made sense too so I agreed. Here's where it gets shaky.
The 'rules' for our open relationship was as follows. We were each allowed to make one. I said no douchebags that would try to steal her away from me. She said no co-workers (strippers). Now, he WAS trying to steal her away from me. I knew this because she told me that he had offered to take care of her, buy her a car, help her find a job near where he lived etc. But she assured me that she wasn't going to be leaving me so whatever. I thought maybe she would be willing to overlook the whole, no strippers thing since I worked 60 hours a week dj-ing (she quit remember so the bills gotta get paid somehow), and she was now dating a customer from there anyways. She just insisted that if I was going to hook up with someone, that I tell her first. Fair enough.
So I had a crush on a girl at work who also was interested in me. I explained to this girl the nature of our open relationship thing and told her that we would not end up as bf/gf but perhaps we could hang out and have fun together. So we made plans to hang out one day. I then told my partner of this plan, before it happened, and she flipped out. She said no-coworkers/strippers whatever, and lost it so hard that I just cancelled the plan with the other girl cause it was obviously more trouble than it was worth. She was also pissed that I had flirted with this other girl at work for like 2 weeks before telling her about it, but I DID tell her about it before anything was going to happen. I do remember her only telling me that she had sex with her other dude after the fact, but whatever. So I cancelled on this other girl.
Then there was another girl, stripper, who I had some interest in. It is just so freakin hard to meet anyone other than strippers when you work at a strip club 60 hours a week. Who wants to go to a regular bar after that? I didnt really have to energy to look for a non-stripper. And plus, as the DJ, they all wanted me anyways. So this new other girl asked me to smoke a bowl with her after work one night and I did. Nothing sexual happened. I told my partner about this the next morning and expressed that I liked this girl and could I please pursue her as my other girl? Well my partner flipped again. She said no strippers! Plus, she said, this other girl looked a lot like her, which was kinda true. Guess I have a type. So I abandoned that plan cause again, more trouble then it was worth.
So then my partner went away for about a month to live/camp at this hippy campground type place that she'd been going to her whole life. Oh yeah, about a week before this, she told me that we weren't going to be officially together for the time being and needed a break. By this time, she had started sleeping in the other bedroom in our house.
A few days into her being gone, I started hitting it off on the phone with a girl that I used to work with, but hadn't worked there in awhile. It was quite accidental actually. This girl sent me a sexy text message, which she claims was meant for someone else, but who knows, thats how it started. Well, I figured that since this girl was a former co-worker, by definition, she was not currently a co-worker, and that I'd be within the rules on this one. Plus, she'd gotten fired so it didn't look like she'd ever be able to come back. Ok I was safe. It's not a co-worker.
Here's where I started to royally screw it up. When I asked her if I could get with the previous two girls, she kicked and screamed enough that I abandoned those plans, but when I had kicked and screamed about her other guy, which at this point had been going on for a few months now, it made no difference whatsoever. She had NOT told me until afterwards that she had sex with him, but I had always asked first and had been denied on the no-coworker grounds. So I guess it was wrong to embrace the shoot-first-ask-questions-later method, but she had, and I so dearly wanted to have this experience with someone else so that I could understand her thing, and also so I could not feel so inferior and unwanted, which at this point I did.
So while my partner was away, I picked up this other girl and brought her to my house and we had 2 days of wild sex. I shouldn't have brought her to my house, and even so, I definitely shouldn't have had sex with her in our bed. That's why you take a ho to a ho-tel right? It was wrong, but it's what happened. Couple days later, I went to visit my partner where she was camping and told her about it. Well, you probably know already how that turned out. She lost it. She said it was over, we're done and fuck me and all that good stuff. I explained that I just wanted to have the same experience as her so that I would understand. She was pissed about the house/bed thing, but in the end, I promised not to see this other girl again, and she cooled off and forgave me. She was glad Id had the experience, but just not happy about who it was and where it happened. Fair enough.
I didn't see this other girl for awhile after that. My partner came home from the campground, but then a week or so after, her other dude took her on a three-week vacation across the country. I had still been talking to other girl, but hadnt seen her. My partner kept saying she was going to end it with her other dude, but I didn't see how going on a 3 week vacation with him was accomplishing that. I was mad and heartbroken. I guess I felt that I deserved to see the other girl one more time before my partner got back. So I did. This time, I was shitty about it. I didn't tell my partner.