I could definitely not stay with her if this would become a recurring pattern. If I wanted cheating in my life I'd be monogamous
To be honest, I can't believe this is happening now. It is extremely out of character for my wife. Which is why I'm hoping she'd "find herself again" soon.
To answer your question, the other person (C, for "cheater"
) is also a lesbian. We don't know her wife, which I think is what's making it possible for R to ignore her existence, or at least her humanity and right to the truth.
C tells R that the marriage has no merit, no sex and no communication (that last part I'm inclined to believe...). Than again, she also tells her she's cheated before, and if her wife asks, she has every intention to lie. So yea, I don't really think she's trustworthy. And I told R to take everything she says with a grain of salt. And she naturally resented that, but didn't exactly disagree.
I think R was just taken by surprise by all this. Despite the definition of our relationship as "open", she was totally mono, in action and mind, for 8 years. I had crushes (never pursued) every 2-3 years, she never did. I would imagine my poly triad of the future, she would picture us with a mortgage and two kids, picket fence and all. Said she never wanted anyone but me. Maybe just for 1night stands for variation, sometime in the future.
Then she had a crush on a (way) older, and married, teacher. They became coworkers, and started getting closer. She assumed a friendship was building. Sexual tensions became obvious. She went to talk to her about limits, convinced C would tell her they can only be friends. That's not what happened.
When she came home after the first time they made out, she looked so shocked I was afraid something awful had happened. In hindsight, I should have offered taking it slow at that point, you know? figuring out what she (and I) want first, jumping into bad second. But that didn't happen. I never thought there was an option of asking to slow down until I've seen it suggested here on various posts. Too bad I started reading here so late in the process...
I do know C, not very well, but we've had a few interactions, and they were positive. She's R's mentor at work, and a nice and giving person. I do believe her marriage has it's problems, and from what she tells R, she tried to discuss them with her wife and was shut down. I don't think her wife is oblivious as to their problems, but I also don't think she knows she's being cheated on repeatedly
. This is partly why I won't tell on C to her wife, she is a stranger to me. If she weren't, this would probably be unbearable.
Granted, I don't think C is handling her marriage very well. But who am I to judge. It's harder for older lesbians in a conservative country like ours. And there is honor in sticking it out for the kids even when your unhappy. I am inclined to be judgmental, but am working hard to find some compassion towards her situation (but not towards her choices!). Every relationship is complicated, there are no bad guys and good guys here (actually, there are no guys involved...
What's interesting to me is that once I made up my mind as to what I'm feeling and what I need to do, I feel way better. Thank you all.