I've just been through a rough spot in my current relationship with a polyamorous woman, and while things are on the road to getting better and I'm doing all within my power to ensure it continues going that way, I'm still picking apart what happened to make sure I understand everything about the situation and myself. I would greatly appreciate any wisdom the community here has to offer, as I'm still quite young and know there are quite a few mistakes I could avoid with such wisdom. So, here's my story, and thanks in advance for any help.
I met this woman last year and after dating her for about three weeks, we decided to enter a relationship with one another. She absolutely thrilled me...beautiful, smart, fun, and I couldn't have cared less that she already was in a long-term relationship with another guy...after all, her attention was mostly on me. And so we spent a lot of time together...I didn't ever really get to know her other boyfriend, and was having a wonderful time with her, and so things were great. This went on for about six months, and though I did get to know her primary partner a little better, we never really got past the point of "oh hey you're that cool guy the woman I'm dating is also with". But overall, I was fine with things as they were, and insisted to her that I would never become interested in another woman.
Around the sixth month point she began dating, and then entered into a relationship with a new boyfriend. I made one of my first big mistakes here in that at the time, I was not at all alright with this happening...polyamory was something entirely new and scary to me, and I was still trying to adjust to her having -one- other boyfriend. However, I did not directly tell her this...though I spent quite a few nights in intense jealousy, and sometimes sent her messages expressing just how jealous and upset I was, I never directly confronted her and told her that I wasn't okay with the situation happening. And so while there's still a part of me that wants to blame her for not paying attention to my feelings, I recognize that it was fully my responsibility to tell her what my feelings were.
So over the next six months after that, I struggled in dealing with my jealousy and continued telling myself that it was silly, that she didn't love me any less or was any less interested in me. I had a chance to meet her new, third boyfriend a couple times and acknowledged that he was a really cool and nice guy, which made dealing with the jealousy a bit easier after putting a face to him. Still, I wasn't exactly happy with the situation, but I told myself to get over it...it was only her new boyfriend I was getting jealous over, not her primary at all, and I figured that must've been a good indicator that I didn't seem to have any issue in particular with polyamory and there was a way to make things work.
And now we come to a point two weeks ago. I was still very much in love with my girlfriend, enjoying spending time with her, and I continued telling myself that I was most likely not polyamorous myself, and would not become romantically interested in any other women while with my girlfriend. That weekend, I went up to a party with my girlfriend being hosted by a friend of hers, whom we will call Girl B. My girlfriend was romantically involved with Girl B, who is in an open relationship with her boyfriend, and so while not in a relationship the two of them were fairly close. The party goes as most parties do with drinking and all that fun stuff, and at some point during the evening I ended up in conversation with Girl B. Somewhere in our conversation, my girlfriend comes over and says to Girl B, who was apparently interested in me, "It's okay for you to make out with my boyfriend." While I had found Girl B attractive and interesting before that night, in the past hour or two of talking to her I had found myself becoming interested in her and so we happily started making out.
At some point during this, however, we started making out less and just sort of...talking romantically, I guess. Those kinds of moments where you're smiling stupidly while staring into their eyes, whispering about how you can't believe this moment is actually real and how unlikely it was for it to happen. And so a bit of this happened mixed in with more passionate making out, until finally the night got to the point where we were all deciding to get to bed. I know at some point before this we had been on the bed making out more, but we didn't have any level of sexual intercourse. So we're in bed, and my girlfriend comes in and appears distraught, and I get concerned and ask her what's wrong, to which she replies that she's unhappy I've been ignoring her all night. Even as drunk as I was, I realized she was right and I told her we ask Girl B to not join us in bed (for sleeping) that night so that I could spend the rest of the night and following morning paying her the due amount of attention.
My girlfriend, however, invited Girl B back into bed to join us. While I recognize that this was because my girlfriend was herself romantically interested in Girl B, my fairly drunk self was confused at this action after being told I was ignoring her and took it as a sign that it wasn't as serious as I had thought. So we all fell asleep with Girl B between us, and the following morning Girl B and I had more of those romantic ogglings of each other next to my sleeping girlfriend. She said she wanted to see me sometime, and I said I wanted to see her as well...I didn't intend it as a promise to start dating and I don't think she did either, more a romantic comment of interest in one another, but my girlfriend overheard this and was very, very unhappy.
Though I had to leave that morning, I came back that night because I understood that I had done something to upset my girlfriend and needed to make things right, even if I was confused as to what exactly I had done that was so wrong. Although I ended up arguing with her that night while trying to understand what I did wrong, I ended up apologizing until we were back on good terms with each other once more. I agreed to not pursue Girl B romantically, and both my girlfriend and her primary (who was also dating Girl B) told her to not pursue me romantically. Though I was extremely disappointed, I recognized that things needed to be resolved before I could even think of trying to pursue Girl B.
The following day, however, I found Girl B had sent me a semi-romantic letter expressing regret over the situation and a desire to at least get to know one another better. Reading it brought an incredible smile to my face, but I knew I couldn't respond to her letter as I wanted to and spent the rest of the day trying to decide what I should do with it. I ended up deciding to tell my girlfriend about it and ask what I should do, which made her both angry at Girl B for sending the letter and at myself for "trying to find ways around my agreement". I immediately felt guilt over telling my girlfriend about the letter, feeling like I had betrayed this kind gesture from a girl I really liked and when asked to send it to her, I hesitated. I continued hesitating even once my girlfriend threatened to break up with me if I didn't give it to her in ten minutes, and though I eventually sent it to her after the deadline expired my girlfriend was incredibly hurt that I had not done it immediately. She told me we were broken up and I was at a loss for what to do, feeling like I had tried to do the right thing and had it bite me in the ass. It was in phone call with her primary that night that I had it clearly explained to me that what I had done the prior weekend with girl B was cheating, and so the next few hours I figured out what I had done wrong and apologized to my girlfriend. Eventually after many apologies and convincing her and her friends that I should be given another chance, she told me she wanted to make things work and so we went to sleep with things heading in a positive direction.
The following afternoon she came over and we spent some time being close to one another, me giving her reassurances that I loved her, though I still felt intense guilt over telling her about the letter. It was in an angsty, guilt-ridden moment the following afternoon I put up a facebook status along the lines of "giving up something wonderful for the sake of doing what is ultimately right", which was a very very stupid thing to do when I was on my second chance. The next few hours consisted her very angrily telling me we were broken up and that she hated me, and myself still being so confused about my emotions and my situation that I was unsure whether or not I wanted to beg her for another chance or send a letter to Girl B apologizing and telling her that what happened between us -had- meant something to me. I was halfway into writing the latter when my girlfriend called me again and asked me why I wasn't begging her to take me back...I realized I was being stupid, and so I proceeded to apologize and tell her that I would rather start over from the beginning than have things ended.