I've thought a while about starting a blog. This is by far my favorite part of the forum. I used to think my life was unusual, but living vicariously through so many of you, I've come to realize maybe I'm more normal than I thought. That caused a little shudder!
I'll start by saying I have always been monogamous. Always. When I first met my hubby, I'll call him Leo, I was simultaneously puzzled and intrigued. He's an artist and from "the wrong side of the tracks"; I'm a yuppie with 2 kids and a white collar job. But I'm pretty open-minded. I have a closet life. I'm a pagan in the South, not something that you reveal lightly in the bible belt, especially when the vast majority of your co-workers are Christian. I was in no way prepared for the turn my life would take with Leo.
Initially, we were just friends, then friends with benefits. Somewhere along the way, feelings started getting much stronger and we matched up and moved in together. That's when the talks started. He wanted an "open relationship" so he wouldn't have to contain his sexuality. Just sex, no emotions, but he's a very sexual person. I had a very hard time with that. Though I was open to the idea, he was very specific in what he would do. Since this was only about sex and we have a very
active sex life, it would only be when he was out of town on business. No emotional involvement, and he would always hold me at the top of his priorities. I reluctantly agreed, but I did agree. I asked only that he not tell me about it. I cannot stress how bad an idea that can really be.
What I didn't know when we started these talks and started exploring the concept was that he already had another girlfriend (she shall be A), and emotions were already involved. Yes, he was lying to me from the start. He didn't want to give up his girlfriend, but he wanted permission to have her and me. As our relationship progressed, I found myself confused and dealing with almost constant arguments. I couldn't understand why he was picking fights with me and starting to treat me horribly. And BOY did we fight. After a couple of days of fighting, he would go to a friends house about an hour away to stay the night and cool off. Not wanting to throw away the friendship I'd treasured for so long or just kick the relationship to the curb, I continued to try to determine the root of the problems so we could work them out, or just end things on as high a note as possible. He got drunk one night, angry at me over something one of my friends had said to someone else, and blurted out that he'd been carrying on a relationship with A for months, that he had feelings for her, and that he had almost left me for her. I was shattered. It did not take long for me to piece everything together, including a strange message I had received from her on Facebook, and realize he had been seeing her before we started dating - basically the entire time we had been together. That he had lied from the start about other relationships being just sex and no emotion. It was a horrifically rough time.
A became enraged when Leo decided that in order to save our relationship he needed to put his relationship with her on hold. She made several nasty comments about me ruining everything. She had known about me the entire time. She had been his sounding board; every time he argued with me, he vented to her about me. She had heard all the worst things he had to say about me, whether exaggerated or not, and thought I was trying to control him because I had the rules about "just sex" and "no emotion" even though he was the one that told me that was what it would be. I'd only asked him not to tell me. I never imagined "out of town" meant a town only an hour away when he needed to get away from me. To top it all off, not only had he thought of leaving me for her, she had been encouraging him to leave me while I had no idea what was going on. Leo would pick fights with me to justify going to see her.
Frankly, our relationship almost didn't survive. I was hurt, felt betrayed, and enraged at him and at her. I told him I'd changed my mind and didn't want to marry him anymore, didn't even know if I wanted to ever see him again. Yes, I'd agreed to the open relationships as he had described to me, but I had never agreed to being tricked into arguments to allow him to go see his girlfriend, nor did I agree that it was okay for him to put our relationship at risk in such a way. Though he had been in open relationships before, they were always casual relationships to start, not one in which he was marrying the woman in the relationship with him. Looking back, I believe he handled it very badly and much because he was lying to himself.
Two things had to happen to get us back on track. I needed to completely open my heart and mind, even if I didn't want to hear what needed to be said. He had to be completely honest and remorseful. No more lies, no hiding, no trying to make things seem less than they are, and no more trying to manipulate me to justify his actions. He apologized, talked to me, and made amends.
We spent months going over everything, with the occasional peanut gallery text message thrown in from A calling me a bitch because he put their relationship on hold. I never asked or even implied he should do that. He realized the painful nature of the reality of their relationship along with the venomous way she acted about me only compounded problems and did it on his own. Eventually, he decided he needed to break things off from her entirely. However, that was after he and I were well on the way to working out our own problems.
We are married now, and he has had 1 girlfriend since. One of my realizations through all this was that he did need that emotional connection. It would never be just sex. I worked on my insecurities and fears and expectations to determine whether this was something I could do, and together we made our relationship stronger and happier for both of his. He's had 1 girlfriend since, whom I really liked a lot. We have both come a long way and have remained honest ever since. I have the freedom to have a relationship with someone else if I want. So far, I just haven't wanted to. I'm open to the possibility, but it's not a need for me. It is definitely a need for him. I'm just glad we found a way to meet both our needs and to grow the happiest, healthiest relationship we've ever had. Coming here has also helped me understand how I see everything, and know that I'm okay with what he needs and I'm happy with our relationship just the way it is.