new(ish) and struggling
As many before me, I find myself struggling with my open relationship. I’ve read some of the posts here and find your advice to be grounded and balanced. So, here I am asking for insight to navigate my relationship.
My boyfriend, S, is hardwired as poly. I’m more hardwired mono. I’ve agreed to our open relationship out of my love for him, a desire to learn a way of relating that I’m unaccustomed to (but believe to be viable) and because I believe that everyone gets to be who they are and I want to support him being who he is. In addition, I’m not interested leaving this relationship. However, I also acknowledge that I entered in to this agreement not as a deep set desire, but because I want to find a way for us to continue being together in a way that meets both our needs.
My understanding of what he wants is, what I believe to be, an open relationship: One where I am his “primary” partner who he has intimacy, support, longevity and a life path and he is able to have un-committed sex with other women. On occasion we will also include another woman in our playtime.
Our relationship started when he was married and I was his secondary. That was 11 years ago. Nearly 2 years ago, he and his wife (after trying counseling and working very hard to preserve their relationship), decided they were no longer able to and split up. It was very hard on him and he was careful to not jump right into a primary relationship with me until he had done some unwinding and work around the loss; that being said, I was very much part of his support system. I held my space so he could process as he needed to and supported him as I could without getting overly involved. At this time, he says he very much wants to spend his life with me and considers us primary partners.
So, here I am. Even though I started as the secondary I’m having a very hard time navigating being a primary. I am jealous in ways I never was with his wife or another casual relationship he had that has since ended.
Part of the problem, as I see it, is he doesn’t really understand some basics that I believe are necessary for a healthy open relationship. We have talked about what my boundaries around it are, but I feel like he only pays lip service to them. He says he agrees to the “rules” but he doesn’t really adhere to them if they go against his impulse to act.
The current situation is that he started a casual sexual relationship with a new roommate who is half his age. She’s a 22 year old woman. It’s a situation I had said would make me very uncomfortable, but he went with it. He has told her that I am, in no uncertain terms, his primary partner and that he considers their relationship recreational sex. He has told her what he’s willing to do (play) and what he’s not willing to do (get emotionally involved). But, she’s 22. And this is her first time being involved in an open relationship.
When I agreed to be open with him, I told him that I wanted to know about partners, but did not want to bear witness to the relationship.
In addition, I have never really liked her. I don’t necessarily dislike her, but she’s not someone I felt compelled to be friends with. I always kind of just tolerated her. And now I find myself in a situation where my partner is living with his casual sex mate and I’m not feeling especially comfortable going to the house they share (with another couple – also open).
When they began, I asked him that I be given respect when I’m at his house. As I had not wanted to see his other relationships, I asked that I not have to see her be sexual with him (kissing in front of me for example). Now I feel like she’s very careful to make sure I find evidence of her having been in his bed. Leaving underwear in the sheets, a vibrator on the table etc. I have repeated my request that I not find her things in his room. He does not understand why this is upsetting to me. Since the last time I asked, I have not been presented with more of the same. I’m hopeful that he has finally heard me. I do feel, however, that she is “power playing” me on some level. She continues to make sure that I’m aware of what they’ve been doing.
I have chosen not to communicate with this person, as I believe she is mischief making, very possibly trying to undermine my relationship and for the fact that I have stated that I don’t want to be involved.
So, that’s a lot of back story to sort through. I guess as far as questions, though there are many, I’ll start here – 1) How would you navigate this situation? 2) Am I being unreasonable to request I not find her things in his room when I come over? 3) What advice do you have for a mono to deal with NRE?
Not my best piece of writting, but I have watched you all sort through many a convoluted story. Many thanks in advance.
Last edited by Stellarmoon; 10-01-2013 at 01:18 AM.