I'm in a quad we just had a group discussion about opening up
Hi, I'm in a quad. We've been in a polyfidelity relationship for two years. Recently my secondary approached the group after meeting a new possible romantic interest from a party and wanted to re-negotiate the agreement within the quad. The request was to see this new interest in a sexual relationship, and she requested that we meet to discuss what type of rules to put into place.
There were a lot of other issues that we've been working on as well. Some of it was drama I created, but I've realized part of that is because I felt like I had to be agreeable, which wasn't I realize fair to the others in the quad. So when we met, one of the options we discussed, each party who ventures outside the quad must practice safe sex (condoms) and if there is a mistake, that everyone be alerted.
One of the rules, the ladies wanted. That any new potential partner, that they would have to agree to take a STD test, but then they wanted to proceed with the sexual relationship after results were returned. I didn't like this rule for a number of reasons. The first was when we got involved with this couple, my wife contracted Herpes from most likely this couple. We all were a bit niave, we had been tested at Planned Parenthood, but we hadn't gotten the HPV/HSV2 test. Well, my wife came down with it about 3 weeks after we started having unprotected sex with this couple. This of course caused a lot of drama, the couple in our quad felt responsible (they both tested positive) and our knowledge and research of Herpes told us that we most likely contracted it from them. They were the only ones we had sex with (safe or unsafe) in about three months. So naturally, I'm a bit gun shy now. So to me, 2 weeks and then "okay, they demonstrated a willingness to get tested" is good enough now... that didn't work for me.
But instead of vetoing the rule, I felt like if I didn't then I'd be a stick in the mud. I also had some jealousy issues with the new relationship, not to mention I felt pushed by my girlfriend in terms of the speed and rapidity in which she wanted to have this relationship. So I did something I shouldn't have, I went along with rule. But emotionally I was not happy, and the meeting we had took a wrong turn and both she and I got into an argument.
One in which she brought up a number of past issues she had a problem with in terms of my listening skills, etc.. regardless, we've been working on these issues in a cooling off period.
What I didn't find out until the other day, is she has since started a sexual relationship with this other man. Couple of things still bother me, and I'm not completely sure how to back up start this conversation over again without sounding defensive, jealous, etc. But I am not feeling my concerns were heard. I'm also a bit frustrated that the four of us didn't more clearly define the procedures or communication that should be required when and if we have a relationship outside the quad.
What bugs me, some in this quad (including my primary) think that condoms are the panacea for STD's. But as a male, I've had "condom" malfunctions in my experiences, I've known men to sometimes break the rules (as do women). I trust that our partners feel they will respect the rules, but I also think there is this misplaced faith that condoms are going to stop all the little bad guys from affecting any of us. If it was just an easy choice of .. well if you do this, then we don't have sex for six months with my girl friend, then it would be easy. But my wife doesn't want to stop having sex with her boyfriend, my girlfriends husband. He's not going to stop having sex with his wife. So it's a complicated thing where I'm trying to decide if I'm being too paranoid and condoms should be fine.
I think the deeper issue is that my girlfriend wants her "Freedom", but she gets mad at me for not listening, then turns around and steam rolls to what she wants with little regard for my feelings or the health of the quad as well. This is a bit troubling.
I'm just curious if anyone else has made this type of mistake, how they resolved it. I am aware that one choice and it's one I've considered carefully, just end this relationship all together. But then again, that does not resolve it with my wife. Polyamory can be wondeful, but it can also be complicated. Frankly, I want to see if my girlfriend and I can work through this at this point, there are some issues that I've been responsible for in this relationship, the big one is not listening (understanding) her. I've really worked on that during this break and feeling I'm much better then I was a month ago.