I have been seeing a man for a little over a year now. He States he wants a non monogamous relationship. He and I have had several; so many; conversations about this. I am open minded and am willing to broaden my world to all new experiences. We had agreed we would find a third; another woman together; so I thought.
I started feeling the presence of another woman when I was at his house. I would ask him about certain things and he would not tell me the truth. Right down to blood on his duvet he told me it was mine when I knew it wasn’t. I basically caught him red handed hiding things from me; months later. He finally fessed up that he met a married woman whom he had been having sex with.
He says it’s just sex; I’m fine with that other than the lies and hiding this from me. He says he has a deep seeded issue with not telling the truth because he doesn’t want to upset me or ruin our time together. I obviously am severely torn by this. He has been dishonest about a few other things also. He says he loves me and sees a true potential for he and I to grow deeper, connect deeper and have something really incredible. I feel this in my gut. I have deep issues with lies and untruths; which we also discussed many times prior to this coming to light.
Now I second guess EVERYTHING he tells me; right down to how he feels about me and us. I feel he tells all the women in his life this BS. He does want me to meet his friends and family these upcoming holidays. He asks me to keep things at his house. He bought me tampons and my favorite lotion; for his house. He says he doesn’t feel for anyone else the way he feels for me. He want me to meet his “sex buddy” and she’s open for a threesome together. I feel like I’m the outsider. I share my thoughts and feelings with him and he tries to reassure me he doesn’t feel the same not even close about her as he does for me.
Is this just my own insecurities getting in the way? Can I move past this ? I don’t believe trust can ever be rebuilt once it’s broken a few times. Is there any suggestions you can offer me? I really do care for him, I feel so loved and special when he and I are together; then I think he makes his lover feel the same way, etc..
He said he’s willing to talk to a therapist with me to help me understand and accept you can love several people as much but differently. I do believe that can happen and does happen as I have had my own experiences with similar situations. What should I do? Is there any advice, books to read, anything to help me move past the other woman thing and the dishonesty. He believes we both have issues and we were brought together to help one another mend those issues, grow, deepen, love unconditionally, all accepting. I’m at a loss…
Please help …. My fear tells me to end it. My heart doesn’t want to let go. But I don’t want to invest more time and effort into him and us if I can’t truly move past the dis trust or him constantly telling me lies. I feel he’s hiding stuff if he can’t tell the truth. That is why we people lie… Will I feel better if I meet his lover ? I don’t trust how he even met her .. he’s very attentive to me and us, I never feel deprived or neglected. Even when he and I are apart. Do I want to know when they’re hanging out ? And there is an 4yr ex in the picture who lives in a different state..
Can he change, he says he wants a truly honest and trusting relationship. Is he capable of that ?
I’m going to be extremely honest and blunt with you here: You’re being played like a fiddle and this concert absolutely needs to stop.
Cheating is possible in polyamory
You began this situation at your absolute best. He approached you, wanting a non-monogamous relationship, you talked it out and you were willing to try it. You didn’t have to. You could have ended things then and there, but you were willing to give a shot. You were even interested in finding someone together, which might be a problematic approach, but regardless, you were willing to try.
What did he offer in return? He lied to you. He not only lied to you but attempted to gaslight you when you caught him in a lie. That is cheating. Point blank. There is even less excuse for the cheating when you are in a non-monogamous relationship. And to continue my trend in bluntness, his reason for cheating is absolute horse shit.
It’s totally understandable to be worried about your partner reacting badly, especially if you broached the subject of non-monogamy and they were hesitant about it but I want you to think about it logically. At what point would being lied to somehow make you or anyone else less upset? I feel like that is some bullshit he came up with when he knew damn well he got caught. Maybe what he didn’t want to tell you was that he was sleeping with a married woman and that was what he knew you’d be upset about because many, many people would be worried about being complicit in someone’s affair.
I’m confused as to whether this married woman is also his 4-year-old ex, which makes me wonder if this was his entire premise for beginning and introducing non-monogamy to you. I might be speculating there to a point which is unhelpful, but it I do think that if someone does lie and make a mistake, it’s important for them to own up to it. He is not only not being honest about what happened but also being dishonest about his motivations.
But what he did, point blank, is cheating. And there’s no excuse for that. Had he apologised, fully owned up to his mistakes, and made an honest commitment to change, then I would tell you to give him a chance. But not only is he not making an honest commitment to change, he’s also burdening you with his own faults, which brings me to my next point.
The blame is not equal
At no point is he taking responsibility for his actions. When you catch him in a lie, he pretends like you are the one imagining things. When asked him directly, he lied. When you caught him red-handed, he finally fesses up but then says he doesn’t want to upset you, so he’s still not responsible. He wants *you* to see a therapist so that *you* can accept that your an love more than one person, but not about his own inability to tell the truth? He believes you *both* have issues?
Honestly, if you can see my face, I’m totally exasperated by the audacity of this man. He completely lies to you on multiple occasions to the point where you have to catch him in the act and then attempts to pretend your problem is somehow due to jealousy? He is hiding you from friends and family but not from his partner when you can be a ‘sex buddy’ for them. You feel like an outsider because you are, whether he buys tampons and lotion for you or not (and that’s a pretty basic thing, nothing to brag about). It half makes me wonder if this ‘other woman’ even knows you exist.
It’s also a massive red flag that he is reassuring you by trying to tell you that this other woman doesn’t matter to him. It’s one thing to say, “I have a romantic relationship with you which means a lot to me and a sexual relationship with this other person” and another to say that he doesn’t care for this woman as much as you. If that is the case, which sounds horrible still, then why is he hiding you from friends and family? Why did he lie to begin with?
This is categorically and fundamentally unacceptable behaviour on all fronts. Of *course* you have a problem with dishonesty. Most people have a problem with someone lying to them. If he wanted to grow and deepen your connection together he could have started by being honest with you in the first place. Of *course* you second guess everything he says to you. He’s shown you on multiple occasions that he has no regard for your boundaries, your wants or your needs.
Listen to your fear
This is one of the reasons why I dislike some of the polyamory 101 advice. You could go off and read things that will reaffirm to you that you need to work through jealousy and I’m quite sure this guy would be happy to find a way this is your fault. But it is *not* your fault. Please listen to your fear and do not invest any more time into this man.
You have only been together for a little over a year and he has already cheated on you. It’s unacceptable and you deserve better. Meeting his lover will not change his dishonesty. This is not a problem you are having with his lover, this is a problem you are having with his behaviour. Even if you might feel cared for and paid attention to (which he is absolutely doing on purpose), someone who lies to you is not worth this.
Had he truly owned up to what he did and took it upon himself, rather than continuing to make this partly your problem, I would say maybe give him another chance. But the fact that he is continuing to make his problem your problem is telling. Leave and find someone who treats you better. You deserve better.
I hope this helps and good luck!
Note: I wrote this column in 2017 and it’s possible my perspectives may have shifted. Please feel free to ask a similar question.
Do you have a question?
If you have a non-monogamous relationships question to ask, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question will be posted anonymously.