You’re Monogamous, He’s Not — What To Do
My man's allowed to sleep with whoever he wants. That's not a trap for him, or some ploy to make me seem “edgy” or “progressive” to you. It's just the way it is.
It started back in the day, when M introduced me to this girl he'd been flirting back and forth with since the dawning of time. And me being the try-sexual (“I'll try anything.”) that I am, I got a little “If you lived closer, we'd totally do you.” about the gal despite a bad experience I'd had with an ex and a threesome gone terribly awry.
This chick was cool. She liked the same things we do, and enjoyed the same kinds of sex we do, and wasn't all hung up on traditional boundaries and posessing someone like so many people in relationships are. Eventually, I developed an interest in a relationship with her, too.
And that freaked me right the frack out. I mean, I enjoy relationships with both men and women, but aren't humans supposed to be monogamous? Isn't having sex (or a relationship) with someone other than your partner cheating? So when push came to shove, and we stood at the precipice of a relationship that went three ways, instead of two, I froze.
The most interesting part of this situation was how open and honest I was with both of them about even my negative thoughts and feelings. Prior to this relationship, being honest with my partner was incredibly difficult. I'm diagnosed with severe social anxiety, and one of the many ways this manifests is wholeheartedly believing no one – not even your loved ones – cares about how you feel. So I'd keep it to myself unless and until all the small things became too large to overlook, and then I'd push my partner away.
With M, I decided to change the way I did things. So I tell him everything. And I figured if we were going to get involved with this chick, not being as forthcoming with her as I was with M was just stupid. I didn't want my first real attempt at a three-way relationship to fail because I couldn't be honest about my feelings. So when she asked why I was so afraid, I thought about it, and then told her the truth.
I've been cheated on and lied to a lot. My ex used to sneak out to go clubbing, go to a motel with some girl, and then come home to me acting like I was crazy when I asked where he was when I went to the bathroom. And every time, I was okay with the fact that he'd slept with someone else...until he lied to me.
He always cheated when I didn't want to have sex. He was never interested in having a relationship with them beyond sex, because he was fulfilled in that area with me. And when I really thought about it, the fact that he was able to have his needs met elsewhere was kind of a relief. But when he lied to me, rather than talking to me about it, any understanding I may have felt went out the window.
“So what if we make a rule. No lying, ever. We'll all be completely honest about everything always. Would that help?” she asked.
I admitted it would help a little, and then grew quiet.
Sensing that there was more, she pushed. “What else worries you?”
Well, what would worry you?! I was worried that M would get to know her better, like her better, and eventually it wouldn't be us three. It would be them, and then me.
It's not that far of a leap. I'm not the easiest person to get along with. There are plenty of much lower maintenance women than me.
Before I was finished talking, the woman laughed. She laughed! And then she asked me if I'd ever heard M talk about me.
“There's no way anyone will ever be better than you in his eyes. That is a completely baseless fear. I'm actually kind of jealous.”
With the fear of him losing interest in me alleviated, holding on to monogamy simply because my parents taught me it was “The Way” seemed counterintuitive when I had already been in variations of the traditional open relationship with other partners, and things worked out just fine.
So, I agreed. Why the hell not? Like I said, I'll try anything once, and in the end, if it did end up them and me, then at least I learned something.
Turns out, I don't really like sleeping with other men, and I much prefer sleeping with other women when M is involved. I am currently completely monogamous.
But my man? He can sleep with whoever he wants. And strangely enough, giving him that right was one of the biggest steps I took in learning how to trust him.