New to polyamory - Did I screw up?
I have a relationship of two and a half years with my boyfriend whom I love very very much.. When we started out I had an interest in polyamory, read about it and felt it was my cup of tea.. The first halfyear I told him about it and he was very interested, but we were more like friends with benefits than really in love and having a committed relationship.. I experimented with other people and told him about it, because I wanted to be honest and he also wanted to be open and honest with me.. even though I was the only one sleeping with other people..
A lot has happened. We fell in love and the NRE sweeped me off my feet. As a new polyamory-fledling I didn't know better and declared our relationship exclusive.. We were exclusive for around a year, then I went abroad and our relationship turned into a LDR for (only) three months. Before I left we talked about being open or not. He told me to do what my heart told me to do, a very vague agreement ofcourse. And when I developed a crush on someone while I was there, he said that I could do anything I wanted to do. This touched me so much that I wasn't interested in the guy I had the crush on anymore..
But then I met a man who was very sexually attractive to me and we slept together ( no penetration) . Then I got home in between and immediately told my boyfriend about it, he didn't like it, was hurt by it and said I shouldn't do it anymore. Because of my love for my boyfriend and a lack of assertive communication I just went along with it and said I wouldn't... So when I got back there I -cheated-, went against our agreement, because I had already built up this attraction and felt overwhelmed by it...
After I told him that upon my final return he got very angry and slept with my best friend once, behind my back. (we're both bisexual) He did not tell me this, lied about it for a few months and slept with him because he was angry with me! The intentions and the lying hurt me much more than the act itself... Even though that was also defiled because of the intentions.. I thought of breaking up, but I loved him so much and we had a very good relationship on other parts. So I chose to forgive his lying because I understood he did it because he was afraid of losing me and we made amends.
We love being together, share this beautiful deep love and I do feel that we could be together for a long, long time. I feel very commited to him as my primary relationship, as my lover and my friend. After both our 'cheating' (lying and not doing what we agreed upon) we rebuild our relationship and started to trust each other again...
Now we had a very romantic time before he left abroad for a few months, I felt like I didn't desire anyone else, but because I know this part of myself well: I proposed to have a more open relationship while he was away.
The agreement was that we would attempt to warn eachother beforehand when something sexual or romantic was brewing, but when it would happen in the heat of the moment we would tell eachother as soon as we saw fit, either through skype or in real life. He was relieved by this agreement, because of the openness even though he said he wanted to stay clear of anything close to 'cheating' and I didn't feel like I would want to be with anyone else than him in the weeks to come either..
But when he was away I quickly slipped back into my nature, where I love to make love to people. I slept with a girlfriend of mine, without planning or knowing really in advance ( I did have a little bit of a clue, but telling beforehand is so difficult in a way.. I didn't know it could happen).. I told him this soon after and he was not hurt or angry and actually thought it was cute..
Then about two weeks later I noticed that I was thinking about an old friend of mine in a sexual way, and I was quite shocked/afraid about this.. I have felt attracted to him before and I really like him genuinely as a friend, but he has done quite some nasty things. He has a very loving side but also quite a dark side and he has hurt some friends of mine by being verbally mean to them. Also I was afraid I was spinning out of control in some sex-craze so I didn't want to give in.. Still it happened and I did it safely and it was very intense and loving and kind.. I didn't feel like I was cheating. I was thinking about my boyfriend all the time, cursing myself for not asking him beforehand but also assuring myself that I was really in love with him, my love whom I want to have children with and start a family with some day.... The love I shared with the old friend did not mean that I loved my boyfriend any less..
I told my boyfriend today online and he was very hurt, angry and sad.. He had to cry and went away in a hurry. Is it my fault? I am guessing we are victims of a misunderstanding here, I thought we were consensual non-monogamous and he told me today that he thought, at the moment when we talked about it, that a more open relationship would be a good idea.
I'm going abroad for almost half a year soon, I thought our love was growing unconditional, like really being open for eachother and allowing eachother to enjoy other people.. But I guess I should've seen it coming and be more open when I sensed this attraction? I just didn't take this attraction seriously, but when it happened it was so natural... Should I feel horribly guilty? I am so confused, how the hell could I have ""cheated"" again? I did not want to cheat and it didn't feel like it. I thought I was operating within the borders of our relationship, but I might as well have started to destroy it..
I am so confused.. How can I heal this? Should I just stop polyamory altogether and notice that my boyfriend "cannot handle it"? I don't want to hurt his feelings anymore, I cannot... I asked him "What is it that hurts you?" and he didn't have an answer immediately but will tell me.. It's so horrible that something that feels so good to me hurts other people... How can I find a healing way to get out of this mess... I love this other friend too, that I am talking with a lot now. I am not sure if he should be my "secondary relationship", considering my boyfriend's reaction, but I would like to continu seeing him and if my boyfriend would allow it (which probably will not be the case) I wouldn't mind continuing a sexual relationship... But my relationship with my boyfriend is the most important to me..
Last edited by Nymf; 03-07-2011 at 11:57 PM.