There will come a time in any poly relationship when your partner will have sex with someone else. If this is a surprise to you, stop and call for immediate assistance. If they are married, then as a secondary partner, it’s pretty obvious they are probably already sleeping with their spouse (not always, but that’s another issue). But, some poly relationships are more fluid than just a primary and secondary partner. People may come and go to meet purely physical and/or emotional needs. And, as long as all parties agree and understand the perimeters, then everything is spiffy.
So Jack messaged me the other day that he was going to be seeing someone next week. I believe, as far as I know anyway, that this is the only person other than his wife that he’s slept with since he saw me last. I’m not sure why that matters, but it seemed to stick in my head as I was letting this information wash over me. I appreciated his honesty. He was letting me know that he would be a bit absent online for a few days. It was sweet, honestly. And it was much better than if I would have found out after the fact through a tweet or picture that I wasn’t prepared for.
However, me being the mess of a human being that I am, I didn’t take it so well. I tried to keep my responses light and positive in our DMs. Luckily, I was heading to bed anyway, so I cut the conversation a bit short. But my husband could see right through me, and when he asked me what was wrong, I broke. The stress of everything else had been on a precipice last week and that was just the tipping point. In practically any other situation, in any other week, I probably could have worked through it as a small bit of jealousy. Not last week.
Instead I pulled out all the stops on my low self-esteem pity party. I wasn’t enough; I lived too far away. I immediately started questioning if a long-distance relationship like this was worth it. And as soon as the husband suggested maybe finding someone else local I realized that because of our jobs I can’t do local. And, in my opinion more importantly, I didn’t want to. I really care about Jack. I don’t know that I want to wait for that to ‘just happen’ again. Who knows if it would.
It was a rough night. I cried so hard my husband had to put a nose strip on my face so I could breathe. He was very sweet. And I know that Jack had not intended to hurt me in any way. I obviously just wasn’t prepared for him to have other partners besides myself and Jill. Not sure why, but I really hadn’t prepared for something that should have been obvious.
My Advice (such as it is):
Don’t do what I did. Something that I should have seen coming and been ready for completely took me off guard. And because of my attempts to escape reality it was forced upon me at a bad time. It’s not that I shouldn’t have been hurt. My feelings are my own and I accept them. I am an emotional person and I fall hard for partners. However, I should have processed this reality before it happened so it wouldn’t hit me quite as hard. And, if I could see that my reaction would have been worse than this, maybe that would have caused me to rethink ever starting this relationship. What could have been dealt with as a pang of jealousy was instead was a melt down. It wasn’t fun.
Do what he did. Jack has always been open and honest about his expectations and what he can offer me at any point during our times apart. And he respected me enough to let me know before hand that he would be off his phone a bit more. One, because he knows that I would worry and two, because he realized that any tweets relating to him being with another woman might hurt worse if I didn’t know about it. He had no intention of hurting me or rubbing it in my face. And I know he felt horrible when I told him I had had a rough night.