Raga told me he had posted here, so I wanted to clarify...
I actually wasn't in a relationship with Sean. We were friends and we got closer and closer, and I did things that I had done with other people (without being emotionally or sexually involved with them) and that I was specifically allowed to do, such as sending naked pictures of myself (and I've done that with people of both genders who are just friends. I just enjoy showing off sometimes).
When we started being really close, I got uncomfortable, because I realised I had fallen for him, and I was already in love with two men (Raga and my interest) and falling for a third one freaked me out. I talked to him and told him I needed to talk with Raga first if we were to enter a relationship. He absolutely agreed and urged me to do so as soon as possible. He was adamant he absolutely wouldn't start a relationship with me if Raga didn't agree to it first, as he didn't want to come between us.
However the next day, before I talked to Raga, he's the one who came to me asking how I felt about Sean, and I admitted I liked him and we were close, and he reacted happily so I realised he was fine with it. So I told Sean we were good and could be in a relationship, and from then on we kept getting closer without refraining ourselves.
All the things we did prior to that were things that Raga had specifically told me were fine and things he wouldn't consider cheating if they were to happen (I remember asking him a while back, before we even talked about poly, what he considered cheating and what would be perfectly fine by him. To my surprise, he was okay with a LOT of things, which went as far as taking showers together for instance).
I was very nervous about telling Raga how I felt about Sean, and guilty because I felt it was just "wrong" to love three men, so I realise how my attitude could have come off as having broken rules and feeling guilty about it, but I didn't think I broke any rules... I would say I came close to though. Because Raga confronted me before I talked to him myself, and even though I provoked that confrontation by leaving hints, I wasn't as straightforward as I should have been, and I take it as a lesson to communicate more in the future, and be less worried and ashamed of my feelings.
I guess that's not very helpful in this specific thread. At the very least it still shows people can move forward even if rules are broken. While I didn't realise Raga felt I had broken rules, he still felt that way and went past it.
I think it also shows how communication is essential. If I had talked to him earlier, or if he had told me he thought I was breaking rules, we wouldn't have had this misunderstanding.
That brings me to another point, actually... You might break rules unintentionally, if you interpret them differently. You might feel you didn't break rules but have a partner feel that you did. I think that's why the rules should be as clear as possible to begin with.
I'll talk to Raga about it a bit more, but maybe I did break the rules as he understood them and if that's the case I need to apologise for it. I don't think "I didn't mean to" is a substitute for owning up to hurting someone.
EDIT: speaking of being clear with rules, I remembered something... (my post is starting to get huge lol).
A few days before I was to meet Sean in person for the first time (beginning of September) he called me, drunk, and told me how he had just made out with a girl who wanted him to come up to her room with her and have sex, and that he had refused because he wasn't sure how I'd felt about it.
At the time I said nothing because I was happy he had refused, and I realised we hadn't established rules about what was okay and what wasn't. But I didn't feel so good about the making out part, and mostly it was because it happened maybe a couple of days before I could meet him, and at the convention where we were supposed to meet originally and I couldn't make it.
I felt bad that someone else got to make out with him before I did, at the place where I was supposed to be.
I ended up bringing it back after that. I didn't mention it at all when we met and spent some time together, and to be fair it was off my mind. However it came up about a month later, and when I mentioned it he was genuinely surprised. He asked me to describe everything he had told me, and he swore he had no memory of any of that, that he knew it was no excuse, and that no, he would never had thought it was okay to make out with someone else and tell me after the fact.
I realise then just how drunk he must have been, and got upset that he got that drunk. But it was a good opportunity for us to talk about our comfort zone, what we were okay or not okay with the other person doing. I had lots of talks like that with Raga before I even met Sean, but I had never had talks like that with Sean.
Because we hadn't discussed it, and I hadn't told him I wasn't okay with it, I don't feel like Sean broke a rule, and I'm completely over that. (He says he would understand if I had left him over that though. He's still beating himself up big time for what happened, and that he seems to kind of remember now).
I think you can get past rules being broken. First there is the circumstances. Is there reason to believe they got carried away? Is there reason to believe they didn't realise what they were doing? Then the rules themselves. Were they spoken and decided on beforehand? So many people just assume other people are on the same page, when really they might not be. Were they relevant at some point but the situation changed since then?
And then there is the attitude of the person. How do they feel about what happened? Are they genuinely sorry? Is there reason to believe they'll never, ever make that mistake again?
I personally trust Sean completely because now we have talked about the rules together, we are on the same page, and I know he feels terrible about what happens and would make sure it never happens again. Also, it wasn't that severe. It was just making out, there is much worse. All of these things make it so that I don't even consider he broke any rules anymore.
Also, the fact he told me right away played in his favour. And even drunk, he thought about me, and refused to follow her to her room, and instead went to his room and called me. I feel very good about how things went. It would have been so easy for him not to tell me, and then to forget, and I could have heard about it from friends he was with at the time. THAT would have been pretty bad I think.
Me: 30F, straight
Seamus: My husband, 32M, straight
Dragon: My boyfriend, 29M, pansexual, married to Fox
Fox: My boyfriend, 29M, homoflexible, married to Dragon
Last edited by Tonberry; 11-04-2010 at 05:12 AM.