Is poly worth it if you're downgraded from primary partner?
TL;DR - my (ex-?) sweetheart of 3.5 years and fiancee realized a few weeks ago that she wants a bigger/taller guy than me (we're the same height) after she slept with a hot dancer who seduced her in a club. She really respects my intellect, says that I inspired her and helped her become a better person, and the new guy she slept with (who's bigger) is not really relationship material (she said).
I wonder if I should stay in the relationship as a secondary, now that I've basically been downgraded.
We know that intellectually I'm a great match for her; we've been getting along very well until she slept with the new guy, and I'm deeply in love with her. Wanting someone physically bigger seems superficial, and she's under the influence of post-sex chemicals with him, the novelty etc.
But what if this physical desire of her for someone bigger is actually going to pop back up (if and) after we get back together? Do I set myself up for a future breakup, or having her as an unsatisfied wife?
Longer version below
Apologies for the long message. If it's too long to make it on the board, at least it's been therapeutic to pour my thoughts out.
My ex-sweetheart and I had been in a very loving and romantically committed relationship for 3 and a half years. She's 24, a student, smart, fun, friendly, crafty, very attractive but not realizing it until a few months ago, a people pleaser, and a little less assertive than she'd like. I'm 32, a business man, and a lot more experienced with relationships. We spent our first 9 months together in California. I fell in love deeply with her and we had many wonderful moments together. Since day one, we texted each other every day, and got along very, very well, with no fights until very recently. I was so lucky to have met her!
On NYE 2010-2011, in the warm waters of Waikiki Beach, I proposed to her that she be my fiancee, despite advice from friends that she's too young and needs to "smell the flowers". She accepted, though surprised that it was so quick (8 months) after we met. Later in January 2011, she moved to the East Coast for school, and we have been seeing each other every 2-3 months for 1-2 weeks, in a long-distance relationship. We went to sex clubs once in a while, and even had a threesome once.
Since she was only 22 when I met her, and wasn't very experienced with men and relationships (only 4 previous partners), and given that she was going to leave for school across the country and spend most of her time around smart attractive people, I knew that an open relationship was the most honest way to stay together. She agreed (reluctantly, for fear of losing me), even though I knew without a doubt that she was the one for me, and constantly reassured her of that.
In the intervening two years since she left for school, I only had sex with one new woman (a one night stand), and two former partners. She never had sex with anyone... until August, when she met a hot Latino guy at a dance club, who took her home and fucked her the same night - something really not in her character. This fling got her very emotionally confused. I was hoping for something like "Hey love, I just spent an awesome night with a new guy, and can't wait to talk about it with you; thank you for being so understanding, I love you very much". Instead, I got "It was GOOD... it was REALLY FUN... [and I have a lot of doubts about you now]". She's been having sex with him since, and gradually falling for him (the signs were obvious) while claiming it was just a physical relationship.
I knew her having sex with someone new was bound to happen, and I wanted it to (and encouraged her to go for it) so that she'd learn better what she wanted in a man (if you recall, I was only her lucky #5), and she would have some new exciting fun along the way.
So... - she had a "REALLY FUN" time with the hot new guy, and learned that she wanted someone else than me. I asked her many times to articulate what she liked in him, so that I could either develop those qualities, or reconsider the relationship if that was impossible. With a lot of difficulty, I finally learned last week that she wanted a guy who is:
So after learning the above, while on a trip to East Coast to be with her, that i.e. she no longer really wanted *me*, I was devastated. :sad: We still got intimate during the trip, but it was quite apparent that she was not really into it. She'd pass out, be standoffish, refuse sex etc. Kisses were flat, and at one point I asked her to kiss me while pretending she really wanted sex. That fake kiss was awesome. And I felt like shit afterwards.
I can learn to dance, I can show her that I love meeting new people and her friends (which is in fact the case, though for some reason she keeps bringing up this as a "problem" based on some incidents from long ago, that we talked about, and that I never repeated), but I can't grow taller unless I undergo leg lengthening surgery like the guy in the movie Gattaca (and believe me, I've researched it, and it's $30-$90k and takes 6 months to a year, it's frigging painful, and I WOULD DO IT FOR HER), but I can't really become wider, and besides that, I have a nagging feeling that she just no longer wants to be with me and keeps coming up with justifications that I can't possibly deal with.
To be honest, the quality of our communication frustrated me, because I asked her to educate herself just a little on open relationships if she really cares about me (which she claimed she does), but she hasn't even touched Ethical Slut or Opening Up, nor has she asked me anything about how to handle things better. She admitted she has been selfish, invoked the stages of love and how she moved from lust and attraction to attachment (I'm still very much attracted to her); and apologized for being "a terrible girlfriend". Nevertheless, I love her very much, all her flaws are manageable to me, and after 3.5 years, I saw myself married to her, even monogamous.
Anyway, after learning the things above during that trip, I booked a flight back for the next day, and have been bawling ever since (almost a week now). I tried the No Contact tactic in hopes of clearing my mind so I could move on, but she contacted me the next day saying she missed me, and the day after saying she was still thinking about me. Gradually, the way she greeted or called me dropped from "Hey baby, I miss you" to "Hello, I hope you're having a good day" to "would be hott to have NSA sex with you" and a tacit acceptance that she'll forget about me except for that purpose, which threw me into another session of crying my heart out.
I don't know what to do now. If I move with her on the East Coast, I could probably get some crumbs of affection and cuddling, maybe the occasional sex, perhaps while rebuilding my life and trying to find someone new to hug my broken pieces together until they stick. But it kills me to know that she really likes being with the other guy over me. This wouldn't be a problem if I entered the relationship knowing that (something I've tried in the past with a poly woman and was fine with), but to lose three and a half years of togetherness and be downgraded to NSA sex really hurts. And I still don't know exactly what she wants - it's entirely possible that the new guy won't work out as relationship material and she'll come back to me.
Predictably, I'm also scared that I won't ever meet another woman to really like and fall in love with, given that I'll never, for the life of me, make the mistake again of dating women even close to my height (this is not the first time I got burned because of my short stature), which drastically reduces my dating options. I also live in a suburban area that's not friendly to singles, my business isn't going well at all, and generally I'm in a pretty bad place in my life.
Is it wise to hold hope that a woman would come back to a man she was attracted to, and in a relationship with for years, after she discovers she likes a different type? Even if she comes back, won't she be secretly dissatisfied with the less-than-fantastic chemistry (esp. given that she's past the attraction stage with me)? She has also developed doubts about marrying me and implied she no longer has long-term thoughts with me, so what's the point of being in a relationship?
Advice? Thoughts? Empathy? Tissues? Thank you.
|big, physical affection, primary/secondary|