Upon finding out about A and the nature of their relationship, Leo and I had a few arguments (very few) and a whole lot of in-depth talks. I explained what specifically bothered me so much about the situation, listened to him talk about what he did and why, then we got down to the beginning of rules. I guess all relationships have some
rules, but these negotiations seemed downright strange to me. Regardless, we pushed forward. These were the ones that we started out with:
1. No more DADT. I don't like being in the dark more than I don't like knowing how he feels about someone else.
2. Any new people in his life had to know about me and respect my place in his life. We didn't have to like each other, but hatefulness and bitterness are a no-no.
3. If either party started developing feelings, the relationship is over. (Yes, this was my rule and I thank the gods I realized how ridiculous it was and nixed it before it ever became an issue. Therefore, it is an obsolete rule.)
4. Absolutely no
bad-mouthing to paramours, regardless. If one of us needs to vent, we do it privately with a friend. Not publicly and not to a paramour.
5. He doesn't have to tell me if he has started texting, talking to, or flirting with someone. However, if he feels it's becoming more, I have to meet them. (His rule, not mine. I happen to like it though.)
I really had to come to terms with myself on this. I was jealous - intensely jealous. I realized there was a need to figure out why this scared and hurt me so much. I don't believe that there is a limit on love. I know that you can love a limitless number of people. But it scared me to death none the less. I started searching for the how to identify my problems and deal with them. I realized a huge part of the problem was a fear of abandonment, made worse by the fact that it almost happened!
I had to figure out why I felt that way, and spent a lot of time talking to Leo. He was terrific about it. He spent time just listening to what I was saying, clarifying and verifying he understood, then giving me the assurance I needed to know he wouldn't leave me. We added a new rule:
6. Walking away from our relationship was not an option. Ever. We work on us, we keep up good, and we stay committed.
It worked. We are closer than ever, our relationship is stronger and happier, and I'm happier. The best thing about this journey is learning about myself and growing. I believe very strongly that love is a cornerstone to being a decent human, whether it is someone specific or just the guy across the street. This has helped reaffirm to me how important I think that is, and despite the discomfort, I'm glad he's brought this to me. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll decide to find a boyfriend.