Through all this, I knew that he had one long-term girlfriend, who was married and who he knew long before we ever met. Over the last 6-8 months, I have been increasingly having this feeling this feeling that something was not right and that he wasn't telling me something. I asked him a couple of times, and he told me I was imagining things, which made me start questioning my instincts.
Yesterday I accidentally saw a letter a woman had written to him, a letter that makes it very clear he had been having an emotional and sexual relationship with her. I asked him about it calmly and he initially denied it, but given undisputable evidence, he opened up and said he has been seeing 3 other women on and off over the last year.
I am stumped. I have always been happy for him to find new people, and I do not have issues with jealousy. I would have been completely okay with him dating these women. The only thing I asked for upfront in our relationship was honesty, because I have challenges with trusting people.
I have spent the last day gobsmacked. Why would he have kept this from me the last 6 months? I am left wondering if this was a subconscious way to pay me back for something he is angry with me about? I'm really not sure what to do or say. I'm not upset, I'm just really, really confused.
[This message edited by Eartham at 5:17 PM, December 26th (Thursday)]
we'll you're emotions are likely to sway back and forth so just be prepared for some emotions to break out and understand that would be normal. But I do want to say, it is really never "your fault" for someone else's actions -- they own that 100%. As for the trust, it's both difficult and delicate, while he is likely just as confused as you, you should ask him why, although he probably doesn't know that answer either, but it will get the discussion going.
I know that every relationship has different dynamics, many of which are agreed upon, some which unfortunately aren't.
To me, and open relationship means that boundaries are anything but firm for fidelity. Yes, you had a spoken agreement, but because the floodgates were open to experiencing ANYTHING with another partner, it's easy to imagine that anything resembling an allowable EA might give way to PA, and vice versa. We talk about the slippery slope here... I think your relationship was greased from the start.
Yes, he lied and you were betrayed. The thing is, he was a kid in the candy store and there were no parents around...
I had a relationship like this in college. I told him I was ok if he wanted to date other women, just to please let me know so I was aware of it. He kept me on the line and had girls on the side he hid from me. I couldn't fathom why at the time, but later I realized it was because there is an inherent guilt that comes along with stepping outside of a relationship, even when there's an agreement that it's "ok."
Bottom line, he broke a commitment to you and you get to feel what you need to feel and do what you need to do. As for the confusion... I think that either new, more exclusive boundaries need to be discussed or he is just going to continue to do whatever he wants and hide behind the loose constructs of an open relationship.
He's been hiding these women, and lately is not having sex with you. He's been more about them than you. Is it possible that through this open relationship he is more about moving from person to person than he is about maintaining one constant relationship?
This, to me, is the issue with open relationships. When a person moves through people, always finding something new, eventually the person that is 'by their side' becomes incredibly boring. Open relationships are about always having that 'spark', which is NOT what a LTR is about. I think this is why so many such relationships eventually fail. If you allow everything, eventually you get everything.
I'm NOT blaming you for his lying, please understand that. I'm only offering possibilities that may be happening.
I'm sorry you're hurting and that he's been lying. Lying is never good.