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User Topic: Cheated on in an Open Relationship
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 8:23 AM, August 30th (Friday)

I'm in an open relationship with a man I am deeply in love with. We've been together about a year and 1/2 but from our first date, we agreed to be open sexually. Not polyamorous. Meaning we can play with others within a certain set of parameters but we don't share love or relationship stuff with anyone but each other.

We initially just had rules like no romantic dating while obviously meeting someone out for drinks a few times is important to get to know them, and no sleeping over. Obviously we'd covered that there should be a lot of feelings involved, while obviously you have to LIKE the person you're playing with but it shouldn't ever approach love. We talk very openly about each other's partners, we've met each other's play partners and in general things have gone really well. But over the last 4 months, I've just had a feeling that things aren't quite right about his connection with this one girl. She got upset once when he was going to see someone else - I'm going to call her OP since that's what it feels like. He immediately canceled his plans with new-girl to go talk with OP and make sure she was ok about it. I voiced concern at that point - it just didn't seem that she should be upset if all they had was a "friend" connection. He downplayed it, said she just didn't know and wasn't expecting it, maybe felt a little nervous that he might like new-girl more than her, etc. For her birthday, even though we'd already gotten OP a very nice gift, he ran out the day he was going to see her and bought her some sexy underwear. He didn't tell me until later and I was a little thrown. It took me a while to register that it didn't feel right. Sexy underwear is not a friend gift. A book is a friend gift. It bothered me but it was already done so I let it go. For the last few months we've had a period of high stress with him moving, me leaving my 12 year career to take another job, my ex applying for lower child support, his house needing a lot of renovations so he could rent it out, his parents having some health issues, and his uncle dying of cancer. Our relationship was strong but definitely stressed and our sexual energy for each other was pretty minimal. But he was still managing to find time and energy to go see OP - not often, maybe once a week, but it was still really bothering me that he'd have energy for that when our world was not quite what it should be.

At any rate, things with OP have not quite felt right for about 4 months. And I've voiced my concerns several times and always my partner has convinced me that everything was fine. The feeling never went away however and I finally told him that I was going to need to make some more rules because this "play partner" had seemed to become a relationship and it was entering an area that felt really bad to me. He agreed to all my new rules and suggested a few of his own and we agreed I'd send her a message so that she didn't feel like I was out to get her or anything and I could fully express the reasons that some of the things were bothering me. New rules were stuff like, no connections on social media sites, no gifts, she should expect some periods where we're not seeing others so that we can focus on each other, pretty basic stuff for an open relationship. I asked her to evaluate her feelings and make sure she was solidly in the "close friend" camp or to do the honorable thing and back off a bit.

He read it before I sent it so I really wasn't expecting any big reaction - I figured she'd feel a bit marginalized and maybe would admit to feeling a little more than she should be. She sent back a message almost immediately that I should ask my partner when he first told her he loved her.

Floored. Absolutely floored. He admits that he did, after she asked him to, say he loved her. But he maintains that he was always clear that it wasn't close to the love he feels for me. There's a thin line and I admit that, but he knew how I felt about him ever saying that to anyone else, or if he felt something more than close friends, he should be pulling back. I'd specifically asked him if he'd ever used that word with her and he told me no - but he says that was before he did use it. I would think having been asked that once he'd know that it was a massive betrayal to go ahead and do it.

I told him to write to her and copy me that this was over. We are breaking all contact with her and he did not hesitate. But now the fears and doubts are going through my head. I'm going over every conversation we ever had and wondering what else he's lied to me about. He's begging me to forgive his stupidity and says he'll do whatever it takes to earn my trust back. But right now, I don't see how I'll ever be able to trust him again.

Intermittently experiencing immense grief, anger, and then periods of feeling nothing at all. Help me. Tell me how to get past this?

Broken in Open

[This message edited by OpenButBetrayed at 8:24 AM, August 30th (Friday)]


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
k94ever
Member
Member # 11176
Default  Posted: 8:33 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Dear Broken,

Time. And what you do with that time is what will help you get over this.

Have you two considered seeking professional help through counseling with this? Your WS really needs to figure out what is broken inside himself that allowed him to take this relationship out of the "friends" category and into a full blown affair. And a counselor will help you deal with trust issues.

I really wouldn't be surprised if your WS and the OW don't take this underground. And yeah...he trying minimize his feelings for her.

k9


BS: 56
WS: 53
Betrayed: 23 years
Affairs: 14 (2 lasted 3 months. Rest were ONS)
WS died: 16 May 2011
Do not stay in your hurt forever. Choose to move out of it.

Posts: 6564 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: Wisconsin
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, August 30th (Friday)

I was cheated on by my husband of 12 years and I know that I could never have gotten over that with him. Sadly, I love this man more than I did my spouse, but I have a hard time believing that this will be the last time he'll lie or obfuscate the truth and I'm worried that in forgiving it, continuing on, I'm just being a complete idiot. I feel like such an idiot already.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
Kierst13
Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, August 30th (Friday)

If you and your s/o seek professional help you will need to find a MC that is *sex positive* and has experience with infidelity.

Give yourself time to accept what and how you feel. Be gentle with yourself.


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
SeanFLA
Member
Member # 32380
Default  Posted: 9:04 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Wow that's a tough one. The way I see it maybe you've just learned a very valuable lesson here. It's kind of like putting a child in a room full of cupcakes and telling him you can sniff all you want, but you can't desire or eat one. Eventually it's going to happen sooner or later.

If this is the kind of relationship you really want with a man, parameters included, my opinion is that it's playing with fire. Eventually somebody is going to get burned here. And in this situation it was you. As much as you would like to believe, you can't ever fully understand what another person is going to think or behave like. That's the basis as to why all of us are here. You hope your partners will always make the right decisions if ever tempted, but many don't.

I know somebody who tried this with her husband (ex husband now) and they went to a swinger's party or two to "observe". He wanted to go further and participate. She changed her mind. He wound up having an affair of some sort behind her back and she couldn't understand why. Nor did she trust him any longer. Eventually they divorced over it. Well I told her that much of it was her own fault (you know that 50% we all talk about?). She had already given him the key to unlock the door. What makes her really think anything different would eventually happen? You already gave him permission to be with someone else and in now that action has come back to burn you. My feeling is that whenever you allow a third or fourth person into a relationship like that somebody eventually is either going to get angry or become jealous. I think it takes a very unique relationship to be able to separate sex and love like that. Maybe you need to redraw new boundaries. If he refuses possibly you just weren't meant to be together and move on.


BS(me) 48
WW 46
1 son 14 yrs old
Married 18 yrs, together 21 yrs

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley


Posts: 1470 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: Zombie Land
Rubyred
Member
Member # 25454
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Getting information on what to do when something goes wrong in an open relationship is both difficult and easy. Most people and many counselors aren't familiar with the dynamics of this type of relationship.

Often people will assume that since you were involved in this type of relationship that you somehow made the relationship more vulnerable, or deserved it. This is bullshit. People cheat in both open and monogamous relationships. There are rules and boundaries that should never be crossed in either. A counselor well versed with both infidelity and alternative relationships can be of great assistance. They are out there. They can help you get through hard part of the emotional turmoil of being cheated on.

The easy part is that this fantastic website is here with great information. Most of it will apply to any type of relationship, whether it is alternative or monogamous. Affairs follow the same textbook patterns in both relationship styles. The actions you need to take to care for yourself and to get the treatment you deserve are the same as well. Please do some reading in the Healing Library.

At this point you need to figure out what you want and if your SO is up to healing this. Oh, and he was cheating on you. He went against your rules, and was lying. He left out information because he knew it was wrong.

His first step with going no contact with the OP is the right one. Now you need to make sure he is sticking to this. He needs to be open to you checking emails, phones, etc. to verify. He needs to be open to answering your questions. He needs to commit to counseling. He also needs to do whatever you need for your healing. If you decide to stay with him, I wouldn't recommend either of you bring others into the picture until you have had counseling, done some healing, and he has earned trust.

I personally will not be in an open relationship with a man that lies and that I cannot trust. These relationships are based on developing trust and very open communication. My heart, health, as well as my parners' are not worth putting at risk.

You deserve more. Eat, drink fluids, exercise, and get some support. You have a rough ride ahead of you.

[This message edited by Rubyred at 10:09 AM, August 30th (Friday)]


8yr relationship
me-40y GF
him-30y old selfish ass
OW-22?24? yr old homewrecker
Dday-7/13/09
Separated 7/13/09

Posts: 97 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Massachusetts
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 10:52 AM, August 30th (Friday)

@Rubyred: Thank you so much for saying that my choice of an open relationship does not mean I was asking to be cheated on. It's hard feeling this way but it hasn't convinced me that non-monogamy doesn't work. I know that non-monogamy can work and further I know that it works for me. Whether my partner can manage to be honest and adhere to our relationship rules is in question.

>>he was cheating on you. He went against your rules, and was lying. He left out information because he knew it was wrong…..At this point you need to figure out what you want and if your SO is up to healing this.

He absolutely cheated on me. I told him that last night after I'd had some time to think and some distance from him doing damage control. I was happy with his immediate and emphatic agreement to end the connection with the OP. He didn't seem very upset about it, even. In contrast to how upset he got when he thought I might end our relationship because I couldn't trust him. I also told him that if we're going to remain together, until we're past this, we're no longer in an open relationship. Figuring out what I want is tough. Right now I just want to not be hurting. I want to be in love with him like I was yesterday. I want there not to be damage and mistrust. But we're not the same couple we were yesterday - something is gone and I have no idea if I can get it back.

My initial reaction is to push him away, not let him see me, not think about it. But I'm afraid that we won't be able to fix it if we don't work on it right away. But the thought of putting any effort into that right now makes feel like throwing up. I just want to lay down and sleep forever.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, August 30th (Friday)

OpenButBetrayed - I am sorry you are here. I wanted to tell you that you are not alone dealing with this type of betrayal. I too was betrayed in an open relationship and there are others here as well with this type of experience.

Any type of betrayal is often associated with a spouse with very poor boundaries. As you demonstrated in your story, a successful open relationship makes having very solid boundaries extremely important. In my case finding out about the betrayal of the open relationship led to the discovery of a very long LTA that happened before we were open. Poor boundaries are ultimately at the center of both A's.

While an open marriage A is different than other A's that you find here, there are many similarities to how you will need to deal with it. Lying and deception is still at the core of the problem.

Read up on the info you can find on SI as much as you can. You will have to adjust some of the info you find to your own personnel situation. I have found that while everyone here tries to help, some don't have much personnel experience regarding open relationships and it affects their advise some. But if you discuss it in terms of just the betrayal itself they are better able to relate and many of the issues are really the same.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 485 | Registered: Nov 2012
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, August 30th (Friday)

OpenButBetrayed,

I am so sorry. This is how my STBXWW's infidelity started. I am going to send you a PM if I may.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1622 | Registered: Dec 2012
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 11:11 AM, August 30th (Friday)

Thank you all. I'm open to any advice or personal experience that you wish to offer, by PM or here. I truly appreciate it.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
sodamnlost
Member
Member # 37190
Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, August 30th (Friday)

In my opinion, your having an open relationship doesn't actually factor in to his cheating. He cheated. Period. Weather your boundaries as a married couple are pure fidelity or just emotional fidelity - he broke those boundaries and betrayed your trust. You did NOT ask to be cheated on by having an open marriage. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. This is in NO WAY your fault. While it may put you at a higher risk - so does marrying someone in a band, who works at a bar or works with mostly opposite gender people. That doesn't change his decision to cheat. Not does it make your "rules" for how you live your lives minimize what he did.

((((HUGS))))


If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it's not a fluffy pink unicorn squirting liquid rainbows, complete with pots of gold out of it's ass.

Posts: 766 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: Nowhere pretty
BeyondBreaking
Member
Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 3:36 PM, August 30th (Friday)

It doesn't really matter WHAT exactly your boundaries were- just that he was aware of what the boundaries of the situation were and he broke them. He was aware of the fact that if he was having more feelings than platonic/friendship for someone or she was for him, then they needed to end it. He continued. That is hurtful, he is in the wrong, and you didn't ask for it or deserve it.

Now might need to be the time where you sit down and re-evaluate your relationship boundaries. What are you comfortable with now, what are you not comfortable with? I might venture to say that while the two of you are struggling with trust issues, you might want to hold off on sex with anyone else.

Hang in there. :(


I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."


Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 10:51 AM, August 31st (Saturday)

@BeyondBreaking - yes, I hear you about re-evaluating the open relationship boundaries. We'd already done that before I sent her the message and before the betrayal became apparent. We talked it all through again last night - not for the last time I'm sure - and I asked for a lot of details and made him tell me his thinking at each stage, how it grew, shifted and changed, and why he felt he should keep it to himself. He definitely was, and knew he was, feeling more than he should. But when he realized it, he was trying to figure out if he actually wanted a poly relationship. He was planning on talking to me about it but felt like it would cause a major rift and at that point, he didn't know exactly what he wanted, so wasn't sure he could express it well. But then the summer stress started with his house renovations, his move, my job change and family illnesses. Our sexual relationship started to suffer and he felt there was then no way to bring it up so he just stuffed it away. Did he keep saying he loved her? Yes. Did he let her believe they had more than they should have? Yes. He only saw her about 4 times over the summer, so with the decreased visiting and the fact that she was dating again, he thought that the whole thing might just go way. Obviously, that didn't happen.

The thing about open/poly is that the regular communication is so important and I thought we were doing that so the fact that there was a massive secret and they both knew about it makes me feel like a complete idiot. He knows that if we ever make it back to a fully trusting relationship again and if it's ever strong enough for being open again, that you can't be in a relationship with someone if you're only giving them 1/2 the information. It's just not fair. We've learned something new about ourselves, about us together, and about where we want to go, throughout this process. And we've made changes as necessary to make sure we're both comfortable. But we've also grown in our own relationship to the point where neither of us can imagine losing the other. That's a pretty tough place to be in and be feeling this way right now. I feel like I SHOULD walk away. I've been lied to and disrespected, made into a fool by two people I trusted. And if I had any self respect whatsoever, I'd give him his walking papers. But I just can't.

Filling up my time with loud, crazy, busy stuff so that I don't have to think. Medicating to sleep so I stop the hamster wheel of horrible images, and just trying to get through the days. I've been here before and I know it will pass. But will the doubts ever go away? Will I be able to say I trust him implicitly ever again?


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, August 31st (Saturday)

My friend said something very insightful and I'd like to share it because I do think that sometimes this is how things go awry:

My guess is that he felt he could keep things "under control" with him and OP so that their stuff wouldn't spill out into his relationship with you. But, of course, he couldn't control her feelings. It might not be real "dishonesty," but more like a kid playing with matches, thinking he can keep it all under control, and then something catches fire and there's still this period where you don't want to tell anyone because you still think you can keep it under control, and then it's all too big and you're panicking.

I told this to my partner last night and I could see an immense sense of relief that someone had been able to express what he couldn't. If you'd have asked me three weeks ago if he was a trustworthy person, I'd have said "the most trustworthy person I know." He's the most kind and caring man I've ever known in my life. But the problem is that he's kind and caring with everyone. And when you treat a sex-friend like gold, especially someone who's had not-so-great relationships with men in the past, she's bound to get all wrapped up in you. I warned him about this and about how it's easy to let feelings slip and slide all over the place in open relationships. I'm just worried that because he's who he is, he'll never be able to find a way to be open without the risk of the deeper feelings.

Do you think that the grand canyon between us right now will ever get smaller? I feel like I put something down somewhere and can't remember what or where it is. I know I need it, but I can't find it. It's that panicked gripping feeling of dread. I hate this.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
Later
Member
Member # 39375
Default  Posted: 4:33 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

IMO the key to remaining faithful is to have personal boundaries that will protect you from temptation. You don't rely on your strength at the edge of the cliff, you don't go near the edge.

For me, that means I do not go to lunch alone with women I am attracted to. I don't go out for drinks with them. I don't talk about my marriage with them.

I don't see how you can have boundaries that will keep you far from danger in an open relationship. You are dancing at the edge of the cliff.

I am not saying you "deserve" his betrayal. I am looking more to the future. I don't share your optimism for "fidelity" in an open relationship.

Just my 2 cents. Feel free to disregard if you don't find it helpful. I am sorry he broke your trust and hurt you.


Posts: 385 | Registered: May 2013
Loyalty2Liberty
Member
Member # 36714
Default  Posted: 6:22 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

Others will tell you that's what you get for having an open relationship, but the way I see it, it actually takes talent to fail when the bar is set so incredibly low. All the "variety" he wants, and that still isn't enough.

Nope, because gosh darn it, that wouldn't hurt the one he professed to care most about badly enough. I mean, really, if it doesn't fuck up your whole damn life, where's the fun in that?

It takes constant, willful betrayal over time to build a "relationship" like that. And he was callous enough to do it right under your nose. Nice...

How to get past it? First, you gotta survive the trauma. Time is a key ingredient here, and good coping mechanisms help. Gallows humor, venting on SI, having a family member or friend to cry on, a little ice cream if you're in between vommiting sessions. Anything to get by.

Meanwhile, he better be pulling his weight and carrying you through this like a champ. If he even once flinches at giving up even his very last freedom or his last ounce of strength just to support you, he ain't R material. It's that fucking hard.

Reconciling from a deep betrayal is one of the most difficult tasks two consenting adults can undertake. You should take time to step back and decide if it's absolutely the right thing to do in this instance.


me:BW
him:stbxWh


Posts: 236 | Registered: Sep 2012
alphakitte
Member
Member # 33438
Default  Posted: 7:04 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

What you describe is a betrayal.

It sounds like he needs to be
KISA (knight in shinig armor), broke a promise because it suited his purpose, and covered it up. Nothing new here. He wanted external validation and has poor personal boundaries.

It is too early to know if you will consider this a deal breaker, or not.


------ Some people are emotional tadpoles. Even if they mature they are just a warty toad. Catt

Posts: 349 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: 3 klicks north of Ambiguous
movingforward13
Member
Member # 38405
Default  Posted: 7:27 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

Might I throw in some insight here...

I find it very difficult to believe your boyfriend is going to have an easy time finding women who are OK with just being used for sex and not mean anything, because essentially, that is what you are asking him to do. Giving him permission to sleep with other women but not share his love with them.

Women want to mean something to someone who we are giving our bodies to. So the chances are highly likely that this will happen again because he will need to say or do something to keep up getting the sex, even if he doesn't mean it. Many waywards do this all the time.

I am not judging your relationship arrangement, but I honestly feel it doesn't work in the long run, especially with a person with poor boundaries. You definitely have to reevaluate and maybe just close off all borders.


Once a cheater, always a cheater happens when your cheater doesn't have remorse.
Regret is not remorse- know the difference!

Posts: 638 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: DC
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 7:56 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

Women want to mean something to someone who we are giving our bodies to.

I respect that this is the way you feel and I know that traditionally, this is how we see women, but trust me, and I know because I'm one of them, there are women out there who can separate sex and love.

And I don't think for one second that OP was in love with him. She barely knows him. She knows nothing about his life. She hasn't shared any of his pain or fears or hopes for the future. They shared sex for a few hours a few times a month for a year. There's a thriving open/poly community and I'd be willing to be that some of the people you know are out there in it. Monogamy is not the only relationship style that works. And cheating in a relationship isn't about having a ready partner to cheat with, it's about:

He wanted external validation and has poor personal boundaries.

@Loyalty2Liberty, I hear what you are saying and it is particularly galling that the variety wasn't enough. But I don't agree with the below:

it actually takes talent to fail when the bar is set so incredibly low

Actually, the level of trust and communication that has to occur to be successful in open/poly relationships is so far beyond what mono couples do, I'd say the bar is set far far higher. I think most mono couples set the rules at "I do" and don't bother to ever talk about how they're feeling in their marriage again. People grow and change and the relationship does the same. It takes intense communication to remain close friends and lovers and to stay on the same trajectory in your relationship, or soon you end up in two different relationships that don't resemble each other at all. And this is true whether you're mono, open or poly.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
sinsof thefather
Member
Member # 29295
Default  Posted: 7:57 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

My guess is that he felt he could keep things "under control" with him and OP so that their stuff wouldn't spill out into his relationship with you. But, of course, he couldn't control her feelings. It might not be real "dishonesty," but more like a kid playing with matches, thinking he can keep it all under control, and then something catches fire and there's still this period where you don't want to tell anyone because you still think you can keep it under control, and then it's all too big and you're panicking.

This doesn't make sense to me. How can lying by omission not be 'real' dishonesty? The second he KNEW he was 'playing with matches' (and according to that theory he always KNEW he was) then the moment he realised that fact and decided to not tell YOU what he was doing - that was 'real dishonesty' by choice. I think he
felt great relief when you told him your friend put it this way because it lets him seem less guilty than he really is.


All the "variety" he wants, and that still isn't enough.

This ^^...and I think you have to think very deeply about this. Variety wasn't enough for him. It was about more than that - it was about him choosing to have another relationship and choosing to lie by omission about it. I'm sorry to be so frank but it's my honest opinion and I think you need to think deeply about this aspect of it. ((OpenButBetrayed))


...second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Posts: 1877 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: UK
movingforward13
Member
Member # 38405
Default  Posted: 8:06 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

I respect that this is the way you feel and I know that traditionally, this is how we see women, but trust me, and I know because I'm one of them, there are women out there who can separate sex and love.

And I don't think for one second that OP was in love with him. She barely knows him. She knows nothing about his life. She hasn't shared any of his pain or fears or hopes for the future. They shared sex for a few hours a few times a month for a year. There's a thriving open/poly community and I'd be willing to be that some of the people you know are out there in it. Monogamy is not the only relationship style that works.

Please stop being defensive. I am just throwing another idea out to you. Yes, there are women that can separate love and sex but chances are the many women he will encounter want to be something special for giving up something special.

And you don't have to tell me about love. We all know they didn't love each other and etc. We see that PLENTY of times on here... APs and WS claim to be in love and they barely know a thing about one another. Infatuation is a tricky bitch and many people throw that love word around like it is a real.

Again, just giving you another perspective. Non-monogamy can work, but in your case, I don't think it will. Think of it like this, you two have been together only a year... Do you think you can make it to 20 like this, when this happened at year one? Not trying to be harsh, just trying to open your eyes a little. Sometimes we BS are so hurt that we are unable to rationally think and consider down the line. I hope things work out for you. Infidelity, no matter which relationship type you have, is horrible.


Once a cheater, always a cheater happens when your cheater doesn't have remorse.
Regret is not remorse- know the difference!

Posts: 638 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: DC
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 9:04 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

Please stop being defensive. I am just throwing another idea out to you.

I'm sorry if I sound defensive. I do feel like people are not accepting of a different lifestyle choice. I'll try not to take it that way going forward.

Yes, there are women that can separate love and sex but chances are the many women he will encounter want to be something special for giving up something special.

There definitely are far more traditional-relationship women out there. And even the poly women don't really fit with our relationship because while they understand it, are good with rules and communication, ultimately, they're poly because they know that they tend to love multiple people and be very free with their hearts.

Non-monogamy can work, but in your case, I don't think it will.

That may be so. Time will tell. We've learned something about ourselves at every step of the way. But the trust is so damaged that it certainly can't right now. And I have no wish to be policing my partner all the time. If I can't trust him, I can't be in that kind of relationship with him. And maybe not in any kind of relationship with him.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
Rubyred
Member
Member # 25454
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, September 1st (Sunday)

Open, you do seem to realize that you need to make the choices that are right for you. I'm glad you are taking everything into consideration. I admire your strength in trying to tackle this difficult decision.

People don't often realize that open relationships often do work. I know couples that have been together for around 20yrs. I have been with my husband for 12yrs and neither of us have broken boundaries or rules during that time period(It was another SO that did this to me). I've also seen someone cheat within a year. Some work, some don't, just as with monogamy. As you know, people are not "out" about the lifestyle due to societies judgement.

I don't think you need to rush to any decision, but you need to watch his behavior. I do think the lying was purposeful, whether to avoid conflict or to just get what he wanted. I hope he isn't going to see new people until he can be trusted and does what you need to heal. That is, if you even decide to stay with him. Has he ever considered counseling to figure out why he let his boundaries slip or what made this seem ok?

Take care!


8yr relationship
me-40y GF
him-30y old selfish ass
OW-22?24? yr old homewrecker
Dday-7/13/09
Separated 7/13/09

Posts: 97 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Massachusetts
mysticpenguin
Member
Member # 38839
Default  Posted: 5:53 AM, September 2nd (Monday)

Chiming in here as someone who renegotiated the terms of my marriage to be more open -- after the betrayal indicated in my signature and before I knew I had been betrayed, we entered into an open relationship with several boundaries.

I am so sorry for the pain you are experiencing. What is your WBF doing to help you? What are you doing to take care of yourself?

I would recommend a couple of books:

Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass
How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair
Intimacy After Infidelity

(((((Hugs)))))

[This message edited by mysticpenguin at 6:45 PM, October 25th (Friday)]


Betrayed

Posts: 306 | Registered: Mar 2013
Girlietoo
Member
Member # 38719
Default  Posted: 9:18 AM, September 2nd (Monday)

I am very sorry you have experienced such a painful betrayal. I sincerely hope that the two of you are able to come out the other side of this even stronger. ((Hugs))


Me- 40
Him- 47
March 9, 2013- the day my heart died

Posts: 247 | Registered: Mar 2013 | From: Canada
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 8:17 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

Thank you all for your support. We were able to spend a normal weekend together and he's been right with me and very supportive since this all happened. He woke me in my sleep the other night because I was crying. I barely remember it because I fell right back to sleep, but in the morning he told me about it. Tears welled up in his eyes and he couldn't look me in the face when he told me it was the worst thing he'd ever seen and he is so ashamed that he made me feel this way. He said he's worried I'll never be able to look at him, feel about him, the same way as I did before. I reassured him that I'm going to try and I do think we can get past it.

I've told him of my fear that if we ever open our relationship, this might just happen again, since it really wasn't about her and him, it was about getting some other need filled that allowed him to abuse my trust. He says he'll never let this happen again. Do I believe that? Not at this moment. We'll see once the pain is gone.

One thing I know is that I won't be happy being monogamous for long. But I think focusing on each other only for a while is what's necessary to get beyond this.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
lost_in_toronto
Member
Member # 25395
Default  Posted: 8:17 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

How are you doing today, OpenButBetrayed?


Me: BS/39
Him: WS/37
DDay: August 23, 2009
Together 14 years.
Reconciled.

Posts: 1670 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: not toronto anymore
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 11:11 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

Open, I get what you are saying, the problem is he doesnt' seem to be able to stick to some clear boundaries, and this type of relationship may work for you, but not for him.

I do think that both of you sticking to manogomy right now is probably a really good idea. He needs to figure out why he crossed the boundary, and fix that, before you are going to be able to trust him to have an open relationship again.
Which may make it difficult if you are able to maintain the boundaries, and want to be able to have an open relationship on your side of things.

I know a few couples that have open relationships, and honestly they were couples for a long time, before they opened boundaries up. I'm not sure how it works, from the get go. I would urge you to get him to go to IC at a minimum, and couples with someone who has worked with relationships that are open.

Most of all take care of you.

((((and strength))))


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8600 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 1:50 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

How are you doing today, OpenButBetrayed?

Actually, I'm not doing too badly right now. I think spending that low-key time together this weekend doing mundane, simple relationship stuff was really important. When I did feel awful, we talked about it. And he related his anger at the OP for trying to hurt me/us. He can't believe someone who professed to care about him would do that. I know we're both going through something right now but it does feel like we both need each other to get through it.

Open, I get what you are saying, the problem is he doesnt' seem to be able to stick to some clear boundaries, and this type of relationship may work for you, but not for him.

This may be so. We've learned so much already about doing this well. Some bumps and bruises are expected I think, and I consider them the cost of this kind of relationship. Our communication on the whole has been better than any relationship I've ever been a part of. I am optimistic that once we're healed, we'll know how to progress.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
bionicgal
Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

I am pretty open minded, and I do not think anyone deserves to be betrayed. I suppose one can make any set of alternate boundaries that are contrary to general trends, and then get their heart broken over them as well.

I am afraid that with open relationships, however, that many people who enter them are folks that don't like having boundaries forced upon them from society -- and hence, are unlikely to be super respectful of any boundaries that come from others/outside.

Just something worth thinking about.


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 2004 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
alphakitte
Member
Member # 33438
Default  Posted: 6:06 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)

He's mad @the OP? Well, now, isn't that classic blameshifting, right there!?!

Apparently he STILL doesn't get it.


------ Some people are emotional tadpoles. Even if they mature they are just a warty toad. Catt

Posts: 349 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: 3 klicks north of Ambiguous
OpenButBetrayed
New Member
Member # 40498
Default  Posted: 11:30 AM, September 4th (Wednesday)

He's mad @the OP? Well, now, isn't that classic blameshifting, right there!?!

Actually, I don't agree. He's not blaming her for how the relationship got out of control, he takes full responsibility for that. But he's angry, and I think he has a right to be, that someone who professes to care about him would actively TRY to hurt him by hurting our relationship. There were many ways that she could have responded to my message without bringing the whole world crashing down around our heads. There were respectful ways to recognize that this had gone somewhere that it shouldn't have gone and of backing out, maintaining the friendship and not hurting everyone.

Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have the band-aid ripped off and get the whole truth right up front. But I can see why he is hurt that she'd treat him that way.

Had she actually just admitted that her feelings were more than they should be, it still would have ended, but it would not have been quite so destructive. And someone who's going to act that way or react that way really has no business saying that they are "open" or "polyamorous" as it really requires a bit more maturity and the ability to empathize to behave correctly in these types of relationships.

I am trying to remember that he is having a lot of the same feelings probably that I am having with an added massive helping of shame to boot. It has to be hard.


Posts: 11 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Massachusetts
ReunitePangea
Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 12:40 PM, September 4th (Wednesday)

OpenButBetrayed - I think you are handling this as best as you can. While you have a more unusual type of betrayal you are processing it all with strength and I am confident you will get through this. It just will take time.

I would caution you on spending too much time focusing on her and his feelings for each other. You expected her to care for him but not love him. In my opinion those type of feelings are not so black and white as to which box you fit in. I think the reason why you may feel the difference between care for and love is important is because you dont want to be replaced as a result of too much caring for or love for an open partner. If that is your boundary make sure he understands your fears clearly so he gets it is more than just words that may be said.

The bigger issue you should focus on in my opinion is why he choose to lie and deceive. Because he did that he knew what he was doing was crossing the line of what you were comfortable with. It sounds like he is acknowledging that he was wrong to lie and deceive you but he needs to earn back your trust. This will take time.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 485 | Registered: Nov 2012
Topic Posts: 33