I’ve been in a relationship for almost nine years, well, not exactly in 2017 we broke up. After the birth of our child life became hell, we had tons and tons of arguments, but the worst part for me at least was that she did not want any more sex with me. She suffered every time we had it, she started to hate man and liking women more (she always had crushes for other women, we had a couple of one night stand threesomes in the past). We always had more hetero normal friends and couples than any gay/lesbian friends, except for a small group of friends of hers that were lesbans, however after our child was born, she started to hang out only and ONLY with gay people. The relationship became alcohol abusive and violent until one night i found her in bed with another women and we ended b

My self esteem was on the ground, i felt so attractive and so gross for the fact that i turned my ex-wife into a lesbian! I even had some suicidal thoughts, but of course, when you’re a father you have to keep your shit together, i was able to recover my self esteem, and started dating again, and after some months when we fought about tuition and some separation issues we started to hang out again super nicely, she worked at home with another girl (which i suspected was her partner from day one). They seemed happy, and we had a really cordial relationship when i came only for visit one or two days in the month.

I had a lot of sex, at first due to insecurity problems i had to pay, but after a while i was again full of confidence and tinder girls and club girls and old girlfriends started to appear in my sex life that was before that destroyed.

I went to do a masters degree in germany for most part of this year, there i met an old girlfriend, there was always a sexual tension between, we knew each other from college, we started dating, and wow, what a relationship, more sex that i ever had, and not only the amount of it but also the quality of the orgasms, of the excitement, of the desire.

Eventually my ex-wife realised i was in a relationship and she started asking if i was happy, if i had forget about her etc etc. I said i was and that i really cared about her and our child, that i really used to love her very much, we cried over the phone, she said she wanted to pick me at the airport with our kid and ask me if we can try it again. I said to her it is too late.

Soon after she came out with her new girlfriend (which was of course the nice girl she works with). We started a life outside the capital city with my new girlfriend, but sometimes we have to go to the capital to do stuff you cant do in town. At first i stayed at some friends house, and only went (without telling her) to my ex wife’s house to play with my kid and say hello. Until one night i stayed there with them and had a couple of drinks, they both said that they have a crush on me, that they think i’m the best man on earth but that they are both into girls rather than men. I said i feel flattered but i cannot be with someone i cannot have sex with. Her new partner (the coworker) said to me, “i could have sex with you every day, you are handsome and smart and i think you are very attractive”. We laughed and i left, but of course with the whole idea in my head.

Later we started to have kinky video chats, they would answer my video phone calls without any clothes off, they would have sex on camera for me to watch, it was impossible for me to hold up any more.

In my next visit we ended up having sex, we were all pretty nervous so it wasn’t great (and i will tell you later why not), but it still was very romantic, with a lot of love and care, we cuddled and slept like babies, i never felt so loved in my life. We talked, my ex wife said i should break up with my GF, the co-worker said i shouldn’t cause it wouldn’t be fair cause right now (for working reasons) we cannot be together as a family (the three of us). So we ended up concluding we would keep the secret.

Two days ago we had another series of encounters, and this time it was mind blowing, awesome, the most pleasant, the most amazing, the most… i have no words to describe sex i ever had in my life. It was kinky but still with lots of love and respect, it was quite heavy to see in one moment, one on top on each other, rubbing their bodies, moaning of pleasure while i only watched but even if it was a little akward i swear i did not feel jealous in any moment, cause i felt i was being treated with lots of respect.

Now we have a plan, i have to finish a lot of stuff away from the city, i have to build a life here, that will take a couple of years, the thing is that nobody lives in this little town and i don’t want to be alone, that is why i don’t break up with my GF, cause i need her, but she would never understand this polyamorous thing. The idea is keep the triad until we can all move to the countryside and live the life we want without anyone messing around.

But i’m afraid

i’m afraid of hurting my new GF, she has been nothing but nice and complacent with me.

I’m afraid of being alone here

I’m afraid of going to a crazy party with my triad and that they end up having sex with other people without an invitation for me at the party (this is like feeling jealous, i don’t like jealousy i think this is the key for non monogamists)

What will my friends and family say? They already have a problem with my ex wife being a lesbian because a kid should have a straight couple as parents (yes both friends and family are huge conservatives, i’m not).

But most important, i’m afraid my ex wife will stop loving me at one point, cause t this point i’m starting to develop strong feelings for her again, and for our new partner too. Everything has been amazing till now, but everything is like that at the honeymoons. I really want to be with them, it is like a dream, but i’m afraid in the end it will be like that… a dream

Everything is new for me, i had thought for a triad for a long time but i didn’t even know the term triad. So a little advice would be very helpful, thanks a lot.

There’s a lot going on in this situation, but I’m going to try and address it all in these points:

  • Honesty and consent
  • Better self-awareness
  • Red flags and red marquees
  • Polyamory priorities and children

Honesty and consent

First and foremost, you need to be honest with your current partner who you’ve been cheating on. I understand that you don’t want to hurt her, but you’ve very likely already have. And there’s absolutely no point regardless in keeping this from her, regardless of what path you choose down the line.

One of the reasons I don’t say ‘ethical non-monogamy’ is for the same reason I don’t say ‘breath assisted swimming’. By definition, non-monogamy, as with monogamy, should be ethical and if it’s not, it’s cheating (and if you’re not breathing and swimming, it’s drowning). What you’re doing right now is unethical by monogamous or non-monogamous standards and it’s not fair or right to continue to lie to your current girlfriend. She’s consenting to a relationship with you on the basis that you’re exclusive and she has the right to informed consent and the choice of not being in a polyamorous relationship if that’s not what she wants.

Even if your girlfriend was amicable to the idea of polyamory, the fact that you’ve cheated on her and continued to lie to her might mean that, regardless of relationship styles, she will not want to pursue that with you. And even if she tries to pursue this with you, she’s going to be in an extremely difficult position to try and cope with newly becoming polyamorous on top of having metamours who encouraged her partner to be dishonest to her — and two of them on top of that. Especially if everything works out and you all end up living together in the countryside, that’s an incredible amount of pressure to put on a person all so that you can have your cake and eat it too — and it’s really not fair to her.

Tell her the truth. She deserves to know.

Better self-awareness

I’m not sure if you realise how obvious it was from the start that your ex was behaving inappropriately towards you, but from the start when she was asking you to try again once you were in a relationship, the red flags began flying to me. Throughout this entire interaction between your ex and her new partner, you had several opportunities to stop this in its tracks. You had several points where you could have put up clear boundaries that stopped this from happening. And you didn’t.

You said at one point ‘it was impossible’ for you to hold up, but I think part of you willingly walked into this situation and knew very well where it would end up, but you don’t seem to have the self-awareness to realise when something is clearly going too far outside of the remit of what’s acceptable and not acceptable. And regardless of what relationship style you choose in the future, this is going to continue to cause you problems. I’d honestly suggest you find a therapist who can help you better identify these situation when they happen because I don’t really feel like you’re as beholden to other people swaying you as you’d like to think.

Red flags and red marquees

Putting aside the ethical issues with cheating, I think you need to take a good honest look at your ex’s behaviour throughout this entire situation and ask yourself if this is the behaviour of someone you want to trust your life with. In the first instance, you broke up because she cheated on you and you say the relationship ‘became alcohol abusive’. I’m not sure if that means she or you became abusive, or both, but clearly there is a history between you both of dishonesty and damage.

You suspect that her current partner has been someone she cheated on you with the entire time and the second she learns you’re in a new relationship, she starts trying to get back together with you again. Despite knowing full well you are in a monogamous relationship, both she and her new partner take advantage of the fact that you are over at their property just to see your own child, and do their very best to convince you to cheat on your current partner.

And after successfully getting you to cheat on your partner, your ex tells you that you should break up with your current girlfriend — this is the biggest red flag of them all. If your ex wants polyamory, there is absolutely no reason to convince you to not only keep this a secret from your partner but also to break up with her. Which makes me wonder what the motivation is to separate you from your current partner.

You say that your plan is to move away from the city, perhaps away from some of the people you regularly rely on, and be in the country with these two people, which sounds to me like isolation, not a good thing. Is this actually polyamory she’s trying for? Or does she just want to, for some strange reason, collect you and keep you along with this other person who’s perfectly happy to engage in toxic behaviours along with her.

Is this really something you want to be a part of for the rest of your life? Is someone who has a history of demonstrating that they have no problem cheating on you with other people or helping you cheat on your partners someone you can trust? Is this someone who is setting a good moral example for your own child?

I get the fear of being alone, but sometimes being alone is part of life. It’s almost better for a person to experience being alone and learn how to be comfortable and happy within themselves than fall into toxic and abusive relationships or even just relationships that don’t make them happy because they think it’s better than being alone. Because the truth is, no horrible relationship is better than being alone if that’s what you need to be. Especially if it means going down a road that, in all honesty, does not look good for you.

Polyamory priorities and children

Throughout this whole process in deciding what to do with your life, it’s hard to see where you’re prioritising your child in all of this. I know this is a relationships advice column/podcast and you’re obviously going to be primarily focused on your romantic relationships but I’m slightly worried in all of this that your main priority seems to be sexual connections and excitement in what you decide to do with your life. I could be wrong about this, but that’s why I’m highlighting this.

Likewise, I’m unsure that your ex is prioritising your child in these exchanges either. You were together for nine years. I’m not sure when the child was born, but they could be anywhere from eight to nine years old and dealing with a lot of change in their life. Forgive me if I sound critical of either of your capabilities as parents because that’s not what I’m intending, but I’m really wondering what conversations have been had with your child about how things are changing. I’m wondering who is watching the child when you’re all three together and if the child is really being prioritised in all of this.

People are welcome to manage their relationships however they’d like, but I personally feel very strongly, based off my own experiences of dealing with people coming in and out of my life as a child, that when a person has a child, unless they decide to sever all of their parental ties, they need to prioritise their child above all of their other needs and ensuring that the child has a good life which includes a collection of stable adults to rely on. I don’t agree with your conservative family in that children need a ‘straight couple’. I don’t even think children need two parents. But having one dedicated parent that’s putting them first is much better than three parents who are not considering them as a huge priority.

I think it’s worth thinking about your child in all of this. If you’ve had previous issues with abuse or alcohol problems with your ex and your child, is your child safe in this environment? How would they cope with a move out to the countryside? What about their feelings if you try it with your ex again and her new partner and then you decide it doesn’t work? Have you considered how they might explain the situation to friends visiting their house or how you might explain the situation to them? It just doesn’t seem like the child is a big priority here and they really should be.

In summary

I think the first thing you need to do is be honest with your current girlfriend about your infidelity because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of your choices. Then I think you need to take a good hard look at your ex and her current partner’s actions and really think about whether or not this is someone you can trust with your heart again. Someone who cheats on you and helps you cheat isn’t exactly going to be completely trustworthy in the future. And then I really think you need to think about your child in all of this and how this impacts them, because they seem to have been left a bit by the wayside.

Definitely look towards seeing a therapist in the future to help you gain more self-awareness in identifying some of these patterns before they seem inescapable in the future.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Do you have a question?

If you have a non-monogamous relationships question to ask, please email it to nonmonogamyhelp@gmail.com. Your question will be posted anonymously.

To read new columns, subscribe to the newsletter or follow us on Twitter.

If you would like to support me and get these columns early, please become a Patron or make a PayPal donation. Patrons get access to podcasts and columns 5 days before they are posted.