Help! My partner feels I cheated on them?

Eponine

Member
After kind of resolving everything, I can say that the issue was not necessarily that I had sex with Blue, but more that Red didn't know I was going to be with him in the first place. He wanted me to tell him where I was going and what my plans were going to be. And I know that the reason for that is because he tends to be a very worrying person. He's lost a lot of people close to him recently. So when he didn't hear from me like he normally does, he feared that the worst had happened when it came to me as well, and something had happened to me the night before. A bit overdramatic, but I can understand the whole worry thing. Doesn't necessarily mean he's justified in accusing me of cheating in my opinion, though.
I can relate to that, because my husband is the worrying type too. He needs me to check in with him when I go somewhere alone (it doesn't help that I'm pretty bad at driving). It was particularly hard for him when I went back to my home country by myself, so I can imagine it's harder for your primary when you're in different countries. However, if that's the case, it's not really a poly-specific thing, and what you did wasn't cheating. Do you also need to notify him when you go out for non-dating reasons, like hanging out with friends? Can you try something more realistic, like checking in once or twice a day?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I could be wrong. But some of this is just weird sounding to me. And not logical.

I'm not saying to make mountains out of molehills, but I hope this whole thing gives you pause for reflection.

He wanted me to tell him where I was going and what my plans were going to be. And I know that the reason for that is because he tends to be a very worrying person. He's lost a lot of people close to him recently.

So... he struggles with emotional management?

Him dealing with recent deaths (???) or him worrying about your whereabouts is his excuse for his behavior? Him getting all up in your private sex business with Blue and then acting out at you?

Why do you allow this? Like... why did you even agree to this in the first place? All these check ins?

Are you supposed to be his life raft?

If he worries THIS much... what's he doing with LDR? Could decide for himself "I dislike LDR, it pushes all my worry buttons, so I'm just not gonna do those."

So when he didn't hear from me like he normally does, he feared that the worst had happened when it came to me as well, and something had happened to me the night before. A bit overdramatic, but I can understand the whole worry thing. Doesn't necessarily mean he's justified in accusing me of cheating in my opinion, though.

So when he's full of feelings... he chooses to act out at you? Either wanting to monitor your sex life with your other partner, or fretting about your whereabouts? Or calling you names like "cheater"?

He also mentioned that us planning to have kids influenced his want of this as well- he feels that some people *can* function this way but it's simply not sustainable and not smart when there are children involved because the honesty and integrity about who we're with needs to be there otherwise it can become a toxic situation for the children.

You can see this is weird to bring up, right?

Like if you have future children, you have to keep on checking in with Red to tell him before you are going to have sex with Blue, your established partner. Because if you don't agree to do this, you are not honest and have no integrity. And it's toxic to children.

Um... say WHAT?

When really... what happened here?

You drank too much and didn't want to drive and too late to find a ride. So you did the responsible thing to stay safe. You spent the night with Blue, your other partner. And you shared sex. No surprise and not hurting anything. Blue is an established partner. You would have tried to check in, but Red was asleep. LDR time zones. And some of it was plans changing last minute. You checked in later.

If Red worries so much about your well being, why isn't he expressing he feels GLAD that you did the right thing in not driving drunk, and that you picked a safe person to be with? And yeah, bummer about not knowing before, but understandable due to late hour and plans changing last minute. Thanks for checking in as soon as you reasonably could.

Like... why such a big deal?

Because if something happened to you like a drunk accident? What could Red do about it from LDR? I assume you have local friends/family to deal with emergencies. Blue would prob be among them.

And how is it even cheating if he knows you have this other established partner already? You and Blue just can't have any privacy in that dyad? Red has to know you are going to have sex with Blue before every encounter? You and Blue can never share spontaneous sex? You can never have your plans change at the last minute?

To me it just sounds a bit much.

But I consider him my life partner, so I strive to always work things out with him no matter what.

Really no matter what? You have no limit of tolerance?

Whatever kooky.... you will still keep trying to work it out and keep going with Red?

And how does he try to work things out back with you?

I think I'm actually *more* bothered by the fact that he puts it to me like his way is the only way and he knows better than anyone else than any part of this other argument that him and I had. He brought a friend of his into it who's had a successful Polycule with kids for the past ten or so years and she agrees with his way of thinking- which of course is fine. I know this may be how some people are comfortable running things. But my sister is also Poly with a relatively large polycule (for me, this is five or more people) and she tends to agree with me. But his argument there is that he's older and has more experience than her. Which... Yikes

So... even though this is between just you and him...

His way to do conflict resolution with you is to act out, make excuses for his behavior, or to go recruit other people to back him up for "proof?" And to discredit anyone else who might support your POV like your sister?

Does Red want to be "right" all the time or does he want to be in "right relationship" with you?

What would you like in a life partner in terms of conflict resolution skills?

Again... I'm not saying to make mountains out of molehills.

But if after three years of LDR? Red is STILL insecure and picking at you about stuff like this when he's supposed to be poly and has SO much more experience...

How many years does he need to finally get secure with you? Is he ever going to get around to doing his personal work?

If he gets like this LDR, what's he gonna be like local? Or as a co-parent?

To me? At a distance, this would be annoying. Up close, this would start to feel really suffocating. But I'm not you. So... I guess you could think about it and decide what you want to do.

At minimum, could apologize for breaking agreement even if it is unreasonable, because you did make it. Then tell him you won't be keeping this agreement any more because it doesn't work for you. And then you resolve NOT to agree to anything else that is not reasonable and not rational. Nip some of this in the bud.

You could expect him deal with his feelings appropriately without any acting out at you stuff.

If it means he doesn't want to be in a relationship with you any more because he's looking for someone who will just bend to his will and prop him up in whatever insecurities? Maybe it is ok to let this go.

Galagirl
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Could you explain how you got into this situation? Did you date Red in person for quite a while before you were separated? Were you separated because of work/school? Is there going to be a permanent reunion any time soon?

Him bringing up how to do poly while raising kids, and recruiting your sister (who does have kids) to bolster his opinion, is kind of putting the cart before the horse. You two don't even live in the same country, much less cohabit, much less have kids. So your relationship is going to be different right now.

I hear Red has lost some loved ones recently, so he's got a fear of losing you, as well. Not hearing from you for a few extra hours could be a bit worrying. Sure. But getting the reassurance a few hours later that you got drunk and spent the night with your established OSO should be enough. I think that would be enough for most people in a poly LDR. You don't have to change your personality and tailor all your choices for Red. If he lost loved ones and is having trouble dealing with the losses, he could get therapy. It just doesn't automatically follow that you have to check in long distance every time before you make a choice for how your day goes. That's not practical.

If you two did live together and did have kids, poly dating would be different. Someone needs to be with the child/ren at all times, so you need to share that burden, or arrange for a sitter. But that's not the real issue here. The real issue seems to be his trauma over losing others, and his choice (and your agreement) to have you check in constantly before making any moves in your life, or else! (He will break up with you!) That's a big threat hanging over your head. Polyamory requires a good degree of independence, trust and respect, and I am not seeing that here.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hey Kiki,

I'm a little curious. Do you and Red have access to phones? Could Red call you? Could he text you? If so, then that would be the appropriate thing for him to do, if he was worried that something bad had happened to you. I'm just sayin' ...

So, was it like he woke up, and hadn't heard from you, so then he called you, and that's when you told him where you had been and what you had done the night before, and at that point he got mad at you because you hadn't informed him sooner? If so, I don't even see where his supposed worrying had anything to do with it.

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

HeyItsKiki93

New member
@GalaGirl you've said some really interesting things here that I think are really important for me to consider. It's interesting for me because as you know Red and I have had similar disagreements before and I have a friend who has said some very similar things to what you just said, particularly about him being right.
You're right, he definitely needs to work on his trauma, and I don't expect this to be a forever behavior, which I've made clear to him. The LDR aspect absolutely brings his insecurities to the surface. And I've expressed my concern to him about him being this way when we're living together but he insists that he's not this way with his fiance, who lives with him. Her and I haven't talked about it, but the fact that she doesn't currently have a partner outside of him- and hasn't for a very long time- does slightly concern me. Along with some other things he said the other day, namely the fact that he mentioned that "people can't be poly forever, it becomes unsustainable when they're older." Needless to say, I disagree. It's something to consider, certainly. Him and I both have internal things we need to work on.
 

HeyItsKiki93

New member
Could you explain how you got into this situation? Did you date Red in person for quite a while before you were separated? Were you separated because of work/school? Is there going to be a permanent reunion any time soon?
He has always lived overseas and I've always been here. We met online. Eventually we plan to move in together but that's likely at least 3 years down the road- if it happens.
 

HeyItsKiki93

New member
Hey Kiki,

I'm a little curious. Do you and Red have access to phones? Could Red call you? Could he text you? If so, then that would be the appropriate thing for him to do, if he was worried that something bad had happened to you. I'm just sayin' ...

So, was it like he woke up, and hadn't heard from you, so then he called you, and that's when you told him where you had been and what you had done the night before, and at that point he got mad at you because you hadn't informed him sooner? If so, I don't even see where his supposed worrying had anything to do with it.

Regards,
Kevin T.
So Red contacts me through Whatsapp due to the overseas situation. He did text me when he woke up. He was up around 4 my time and I didn't text him until about 9. When I texted him, that's when he got upset.
I feel it would probably also benefit to know that he has the means to track my phone and part of what made him upset is that he saw as soon as he woke up that I wasn't home. But the whole having the location of my phone thing is something I happily agreed to. It's part of our whole dynamic... Which, once that's brought into it, is a little bit more complicated. Perhaps I should rethink this whole location thing? I don't know...
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you do rethink some of this.

Is he doing grief therapy? Seeing someone about the trauma? Actually working on his stuff? Or not really?

Why does he need to track your phone? Is there a kink component to this relationship? If so... Is it healthy kink? Is this a healthy dyamic in general?

You plan to live with him and his future wife? When he thinks his way of doing poly is the only right way? And he does not think poly works out long term? What is his plan then? To have kids with you and eventually dump you?

Why invest so much here? And make such big changes in your life for him?What is so great here for you?

Why is Red your primary? He is ldr and has a fiancee. Isn't the fiancee his primary?

You have Blue who is local to you. Why isn't Blue your primary? Or maybe you want to be your own primary?

Is that that Red wants poly only for him? And not for anyone else? Or wants everyone prioritizing him?

Galagirl
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
PS Do not move in together without first planning to live nearby.

Like if in three years you decide to move to be closer to him? Move closer to him but have your own apartment. Try that on for a while.

Because if he says it will get better when nearby? But then he just gets worse?
You already have your own place. You just have to break up. You don't also have to move out of his house. Or live with a surly ex while saving money to move out. Or risk him kicking you out and no home or friends in some other country.

And what does his fiancee think of you living with them? Or you having kids by him? Does she know this is the plan? And she's good with it and agrees to get married with this being the future plan? Or is this going to be some big surprise for her after the wedding when you show up at the door?

Galagirl
 
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Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
"people can't be poly forever, it becomes unsustainable when they're older."

Other than this evoking a WTF from me, also what is "older"? Because there are plenty of "older" people right here who are sustainably poly.

And just because this is my first time commenting on this thread, I'll add my 2 cents that to claim you cheated on him is such a stretch he might as well be turning a penny into copper wire.

I practice courtesy as trained into me as a teenager by my mother. I generally let my people know in advance where I'm going and when I expect to be back, and will contact whomever is expecting me back if I'm going to be later than anticipated.

I also tend to worry if someone says they will call me/see me at 7 and I haven't heard from them a couple of hours later. But I also accept that sometimes life really does get in the way and if something was actually wrong, someone else would have contacted me. No news is good news styles. This is a matter of self management, not controlling others and employing hyperbole when talking to that person again.

Please seriously consider how you (plural) and going to move forward with this because it sounds like he's not going to be a healthy partner unless he can address his own issues.
 

HeyItsKiki93

New member
Is he doing grief therapy? Seeing someone about the trauma? Actually working on his stuff? Or not really?
I'm not sure what the situation is there but from what they have both told me, it's very difficult to obtain counseling in the UK. He started with a program but there's no funding for it so it's on hold until they can get the funding they need.

Why does he need to track your phone? Is there a kink component to this relationship? If so... Is it healthy kink? Is this a healthy dyamic in general?
Yes, this is how I met him. As far as I can tell, it's been very healthy for me. There has been a bit of frustration in regard to him following through but given how little experience I have, I have to just kind of chalk that up to life and the distance.


You plan to live with him and his future wife? When he thinks his way of doing poly is the only right way? And he does not think poly works out long term? What is his plan then? To have kids with you and eventually dump you?
So let me rephrase this- it sounds to me like in his mind, him and I and his fiance (who I'm also dating, so we're really a throuple) are going to live together and have a family and... Eventually, close our relationship to anyone outside of it. It sounds to me like that's his mindset/ideal situation.
Why invest so much here? And make such big changes in your life for him?What is so great here for you?
When we're not fighting, we get along splendidly. And while I haven't spent a ton of time in person with him, we never fight when we're together. Aside from this, our values are the same or very similar, he gets along great with my family and supports me and is consistent and always there when I need him. I honestly can't say I've ever fit with someone as well as I fit with him- except when it comes to this.
You have Blue who is local to you. Why isn't Blue your primary? Or maybe you want to be your own primary?
As far as I know, Blue literally can not be my primary. Compared to my relationship with Red, it's fairly detached. He works a lot and prioritizes his dad and sister, and while I admire that, there's simply no room for me in that aspect. Additionally, I've had the discussion in the past with Red about him becoming a "secondary?" partner and that's not something he wants. He essentially flat out refused.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Okay, well then, my question is, did Red not realize that it was 4:00 a.m., and that you were probably asleep at that time? and did he not realize that 9:00 a.m. was a reasonable time for you to awaken?
 

HeyItsKiki93

New member
Okay, well then, my question is, did Red not realize that it was 4:00 a.m., and that you were probably asleep at that time? and did he not realize that 9:00 a.m. was a reasonable time for you to awaken?
It's hard to say. If I had to guess I would say that all that was really on his mind was that he was worried for me because he hadn't heard from me for 12+ hours and he likely wasn't thinking about time zones or time frames.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
There has been a bit of frustration in regard to him following through but given how little experience I have, I have to just kind of chalk that up to life and the distance.

Is Red your only kink partner?

Will you be able to see others for kink/BDSM? Have other poly partners? Maintain Blue as an LDR secondary when you move? Or is the expectation that eventually when you move to be with them... You will only see Red and Orange (the fiancee you also date) and that's it?

When we're not fighting, we get along splendidly. And while I haven't spent a ton of time in person with him, we never fight when we're together.

Sometimes LDR means a protracted NRE phase. It easy to be on "best manners" when it's a short visit. Which is why if you ever move to be closer I suggest you maintain your own apartment for a while first. See what true colors up close are going to be.

And... you fought on this issue for 3 years. How long does it take to resolve something? Cuz if it just circles back around over and over? Maybe you just don't get on then.

Aside from this, our values are the same or very similar, he gets along great with my family and supports me and is consistent and always there when I need him.

I think you may have needed him to be understanding and supportive about making the wise choice to stay over at Blue's to avoid drinking and driving. And instead of centering your well being, he centered his jealousy.

It's hard to say. If I had to guess I would say that all that was really on his mind was that he was worried for me because he hadn't heard from me for 12+ hours and he likely wasn't thinking about time zones or time frames.

He tracks your phone and can see you are at Blue's place and not lying in a ditch somewhere. What's the worry?

I really don't have anything else to add. You will have to figure out if Red is healthy enough to keep going with or if he's just asking you too many unreasonable things and acting out too many times. Or keeping you on a digital leash with the phone.

I get he has trauma to work through. But you don't have to be the emotional punching bag or enabling poor behaviors.

You might want to check with Orange. Because if Red's made it so fusspot Orange can't date other people and gave up just to "keep the peace with Red" you might want to run for the hills.

Galagirl
 
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HeyItsKiki93

New member
Is Red your only kink partner?

Will you be able to see others for kink/BDSM? Have other poly partners? Maintain Blue as an LDR secondary when you move? Or is the expectation that eventually when you move to be with them... You will only see Red and Orange (the fiancee you also date) and that's it?
He's the only one in this regard. I have a kink based relationship with Blue too but the power exchange is reversed there.
Red doesn't want me to have any other BDSM partners, not in the long term sense that would fill a similar position to his. And as far as the move goes, the plan is for them to come here.
And... you fought on this issue for 3 years. How long does it take to resolve something? Cuz if it just circles back around over and over? Maybe you just don't get on then
This is a really fair point.
He tracks your phone and can see you are at Blue's place and not lying in a ditch somewhere. What's the worry?
The problem here is that he doesn't know exactly where Blue's place is. That was the first time I'd ever stayed there because Blue typically comes out to my place, so it wasn't familiar to him.

You might want to check with Orange. Because if Red's made it so fusspot Orange can't date other people and gave up just to "keep the peace with Red" you might want to run for the hills.
This is my next order of business.
I want to thank you again, you've given me a whole lot to consider here.
 
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