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Over 5 Years Together...can a one sided open relationship work?


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Hi everyone. I don't really have anyone I can talk to about this. My fiancee and me have been together for 5 years this past July. Sure, we've had our ups and downs, but we've stuck it out, through thick and thin. Recently, she started the transition to become a male, which I fully support him in (will refer to him as such from this point on). Before this started, he had a breakdown and told me that he was ashamed of a part of him and told me that, even in past relationships, he wants the freedom to flirt and potentially take it farther, but doesn't want to leave me. He says the other stuff is meaningless to him. It's more about excitement and freedom, that he hasn't ever cheated and that's why he told me how he was feeling. He said that he honestly doesn't know if he could take it farther than a kiss, but he just doesn't know. He said that he doesn't want to lose me and doesn't want to break up, that he just wants the freedom to do that. He said it wouldn't be all the time and it wouldn't be often and he'd be safe about anything he did. He even said that he felt selfish and if I couldn't handle it, he didn't want to hurt me and do it...but I know that a lot of our issues in the past stemmed from him holding this in and hiding it. He has stated that he isn't someone who can just be tied down completely, that he has tried. I know he needs this. I feel comfort in knowing he doesn't want to leave. He says he is very much in love with me and wants us to get married and adopt a child together. He said he can't say if this will go away or if guilt will keep him from ever taking it to a higher level than flirting, etc. I want to support him in this because I love him more than anything in this world.

 

I personally have no desire to sleep with or even flirt with another person, but that's just who I am. I can see how people can be this way though. It's just a part of life. I believe him when he says that he is happy with me and wants to stay with me and that all the other is meaningless excitement and fun for him. I truly do believe that. But the girl-mindset in me is freaking out to the point of making myself physically ill over it. I trust him, but yet there is a part of me that is still hurt by this, which I feel is normal....

 

Can a one sided open relationship truly work when there is complete openness and honestly and trust there? I'm so confused...I do not have a thought of leaving...but I know we've argued because it does hurt me and I'm afraid if I can't just learn to accept it and truly believe in him that it will tear us apart....Please help....

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It has nothing to do with girl mindset. At all. It has to do with your values as far as relationships go, and his, and how they differ.

 

Only YOU can answer that question for yourself. There are a lot of alternative arrangements out there. But there isn't an element of being driven to nausea by the idea of it, it's something those couples are open and in agreement upon. You're terrified at the idea that if you don't agree to it, he'll leave. And that should never, ever be the reason to agree upon any alternative arrangements, because you are scared to lose someone. It should be a shared value.

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I honestly believe my fear isn't that he'll leave if i don't agree to it....my fear is what if he develops feelings for someone that he doesn't foresee happening? I know that that can happen, open or not, but it's just a huge fear of mine. It has been our whole relationship its been in the back of my mind "what if he finds someone better?" etc...I have no idea why I am so insecure when he has never given me a reason, such as never acting on this without talking to me. There is a part of me that is okay with this because we have talked about rules such as never staying, always coming home to me, being honest about everything etc and again, he says its not about wanting someone else or seeking a relationship because he's happy with me. I believe him, but its still new and scary.

 

He's a good man and he is my best friend. This is really the only thing that has ever caused a riff like this. He has even said he doesn't know if he could carry it past what it has been since I said we'd try (which has been flirting and getting flirty pics with a girl at work who is bi and knows the situation, who knows me and flat out said before she did anything that she wouldn't do anything that would hurt me, that I had to be okay with it first, which happened after he and I talked, her saying that isn't what lead us to this discussion - started long before they met and deepened long before they were even friends)

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>> I feel comfort in knowing he doesn't want to leave.

 

He won't want to leave until he meets someone who really excites him, then he'll go.

 

It's very easy for him to say NOW when he's not actually met someone else that he'll not want to leave you in future. Just be very aware that you've chosen a partner who has just told you he can't be monogamous. So he won't be. And if he actually falls in love with one of his FWBs that he's smooching and boinking in future, he'll be gone.

 

My experience is that monogamous people don't mix well with people who are not monogamous. It works for a while, but eventually the resentment and complications grow.

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btw, if he's a good man and your best friend, then he can stay your friend, while you can go off and find a spouse who believes in monogamy. It is a HUGE value differences, and you need to stop and consider how you're going to feel then he starts shorting 'family time' in order to be off running around with other people. You can be at home feeling fat with strained peaches in your hair from the baby tossing the bowl at his head, while he's out wining and dining his latest flirtation? How would you feel about that? If the answer is that would depress/upset you, then don't do it, make the hard choice to recognize you have different value systems and you need a monogamous partner and he needs to find another swinger for a partner.

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I see what you're saying. I'm not sure how'd I'd feel, to be entirely honest. He wants a solid relationship, but feels the need for the freedom and has admitted that he couldn't be in a relationship with someone who is like him - that he couldn't handle his partner doing this. I know its weird, because usually that would make it easier on the person, but in his case, I don't think it would. Idk...I'm just torn because even when he texts her, he barely does it when I'm around, he respects our time (and I know, that's easy to say/do now)

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^ Ok, well that's a huge red flag.

 

It's not an arrangement he's comfortable with in general. He is ONLY comfortable with it for himself. So it's ok for him to go around and indulge in his flirtations/kisses/whatever else, but should you have decided you wanted this to be a 2 way street, that wouldn't be cool and it would be over. That's the definition of "me me me" selfishness.

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It does indeed seem selfish, yes. I have no problem admitting that. Is there any way this will work? He has said that he doesn't know if he can do more than what he's doing because his guilt will more than likely stop him....what I don't understand is if this is something he wants, then why does he feel guilty? He said because despite me trying to be okay, he knows it hurts me and that's why he feels guilty. That's where I'm not sure where to go from. Either you do it once, feel guilty and can't anymore or you do it repeatedly and live with guilt.

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No, it can't. If one of you wants it and the other doesn't, if seeing him with someone else and him not wanting to commit 100 percent to you is going to be a problem now it will definitely be a problem down the road. It sounds incredibly selfish on his part to say he wants the ability to see other people knowing you don't. Also he likely doesn't want to leave right now, because he doesn't have anyone else. This will change when he finds someone new, you are unhappy and he chooses the new over the familiar, which is what he's already telling you he would rather have. Please, please don't bring a child into such an unstable situation whatever you do.

 

Sorry, one-sided relationships never ever work. I don't really get why people think they do or would. You each want such vastly different things that it's impossible. Open relationships take serious commitment on the part of both parties, total honesty and both parties agreeing to and wanting that open relationship, not just one. I know because I have friends in an open relationship and they have both stressed to me several times that it only works, because they both want it and they both are very careful never to hurt each other. They also put each other above any outside person, that's the only way it works i.e. very much like a monogamous relationship except they each will sleep with other people who they never ever bring into any other aspect of their lives. If you and your SO can do that more power to you, but it's rare and it doesn't sound like that's what you want at all.

 

And if you don't want an open relationship then it isn't one. It's just your partner telling you "I will cheat on you and you'd better be okay with it, because I want you here until I find someone else." I've done that one and boy did it backfire on me first big time. Then on him when I left him forever. And the fact is I should have packed my bags or his the first time he brought that up. And so should you if you want any shred of self-respect and sanity left before he puts you through the wringer.

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OK, I may be saying something upsetting here, but he is putting a higher priority on his libido and chasing the next fantasy than he is on ensuring you are happy as his partner and your relatisnhip is strong.

 

And talking about his 'guilt' is a red herring. The truth is that if decent people REALLY fell guilty, they stop doing whatever it is that is making them feel guilty. But in this case, he is using his guilt as a manipulative tool to turn your attention to the 'oh, poor him, he feels guilty, i'm a bad person if I make him feel guilty so I need to let him do any damn thing he pleases no matter how destructive it is to my heart and our relationship.'

 

And I agree with the others... DON'T bring a child into this or marry until you know how this really plays out. If you are determined to stay with him and let him pursue other women when with you, you need to try that on for size before you make a permanent entanglement then realize you can't hack it or it's just a smokescreen for him to shop for new partners while he's with you and bolt when he does find someone he likes better. He could just be testing the waters to see what's out there, and giving you a line to keep you as a Plan B until he's ready to jump.

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You said he is already texting someone/flirting. Hes asking for permission to pursue this person that hes already got feelings for. Read between the lines. Hes not being honest with you. Hes gonna cheat whether you agree to it or not-hes already cheating.

 

Do you not respect or value yourself as person? Why would you settle for this? You deserve someone who has the same morals and values as you

 

it sounds like you have already sacrificed an awful lot for him. You fell in love with a woman who is now becoming a man and throughout all this stress-he wants to add more and hurt you by seeing other people.. and he wont agree to you doing the same even if you want to..

 

I think you should work on your self esteem. Perhaps see a counsellor so you do not settle for second best or allow yourself to be treated this way..

 

and you should also have a serious think about your sexual health coz everytime he touches someone else-he is putting you at risk of diseases

 

not to mention the emotional and mental implications this will have on you.

 

Your fear of losing him is forcing you to allow him to walk all over you. You should love yourself more than him or this relationship and walk away as it has already become all about him, one sided and very selfish. You are not respecting yourself, your morals, wants, needs, values or desire for monogamy. You have lost you in this dysfunctional relationship

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It is the wrong question. Can a relationship like that work? The answer is yes it works for some people, but why should that matter to you? The question to ask is can a relationship like that work for you, the answer is probably not.

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