Rule has been broken... What to do?

There are a lot of words and excuses here, and a bit too much self-sacrifice. It is very important in polyamory (or any open relationship) to be quite specific about boundaries and negotiations.

The first problem is, he thought he had your consent to have a real gf. To fall in love, to bond, to date. Not just to have anonymous sex with.

The second problem is he thought it was OK to have bareback sex with a brand new gf, as part of being "open" with her. This is very naive.

The next problem is, he hid the bareback sex from you, knowing it put your sexual health at risk. He'd already risked his own sexual health, and the other woman had risked hers too, and that of her husband.

The next problem is, he started trying to date a woman who was cheating on her husband. That was not ethical on either of their parts.

The next problem is, you are putting his feelings ahead of your own. You have a right to feel hurt, scared, upset, depressed, anxious or anything else by this severe misunderstanding and betrayal.

Finally, what adult thinks they can only catch a STD from a "hooker" and not any other sexually active person out there? What the heck?
He knew what I meant when I said to get a girlfriend, it was very specific in getting someone when I’m not around. And quite frankly I find a woman who literally lied about everything she said and willing to bareback a stranger after 2 hours not girlfriend material. I would not allow that and he knows that. It comes down to she was and is money hungry woman and took him for granted. Her text a week later proves it. He did put his health and my health at risk, and his test proves that. It started out as she was asking people in the casino for money and he ended up giving it to her and communicating with her for 2 hours before deciding and making a conscious decision to have sex with her without a condom and trusting a complete stranger with his health. Hopefully his test will prove me wrong but it’s not looking good at the moment. I found more information on that woman in 5 minutes with just knowing her first name then he did in the 2 weeks of communicating with her. He didn’t know she had a significant other because she lied about that. I don’t blame him for her cheating on her man, that was her decision to do so, she had just enough time following him to the house to decide she wasn’t going to do that, she chose against it. She has to live with that decision, not me.
I do put his needs and feelings before mine because I do love him that much. I know that I need to put myself and my needs and feelings before his. It’s a long road ahead of us and I’m praying that he can see that we both need to work on ourselves before ever thinking about him finding a fuck buddy again.
He’s never contracted an std and was extremely naive or stupid believing strangers don’t lie about shit like that.
I’m glad she’s completely out of the picture now. I’ve got to learn to think positive when negative feelings start rising. I’ve got to understand and believe him when he says he didn’t consciously hurt or betray me. It’s a long road but I’m willing to work past this knowing people do make mistakes. It’s obvious he was thinking with his wrong head for those 2 weeks.
 
Umm...

While I agree with DingedHeart that mis-interpreting the safer sex rule to apply only to sex workers is not really plausible...but -

If you told him to find a girlfriend, then why would he NOT think an ACTUAL GIRLFRIEND?!?! (not necessarily bringing her to your shared house but definitely opening up to her completely). Like the FWB or sex worker would be fine with you because it was "just sex" - so why would you use the word girlfriend instead of something more exact - NSA FWB, ONS, Fuck-buddy, play partner, living sex-toy, or whatever?

I will read on...

JaneQ
I agree It was a poor choice of wording on my part but the discussions we had while discussing the “girlfriend” was obvious that I meant someone who he could sleep with while I’m away, not leaving me during a face to face conversation to text her and when asked about it, lying. He knew in his heart it was wrong and I’m glad he sees that now. Opening up to her, isn’t a problem. Because everything he said was true. It’s the lying, hiding and the actual act of thinking a stranger who lied and he saw the red flags, he admitted that. But he put it aside because he was thinking with his dick. Thank God he listened to me when I brought up all the lying she did, thank goodness he was willing to see that and admit he saw the red flags instead of pushing those thoughts aside even longer. Hopefully this will bring us closer and make us stronger. I’ve got to get over my negative thoughts and realize that it’s done. I’ve just got to move on myself and learn from this.
 

Bariah

Member
Finally, what adult thinks they can only catch a STD from a "hooker" and not any other sexually active person out there? What the heck?
And, to boot, the resistance toward having an open test in legitimately concerning circumstances leads me to believe he that he had some notion of the fact he could test positive.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
He knew what I meant when I said to get a girlfriend, it was very specific in getting someone when I’m not around. And quite frankly I find a woman who literally lied about everything she said and willing to bareback a stranger after 2 hours not girlfriend material. I would not allow that and he knows that. It comes down to she was and is money hungry woman and took him for granted. Her text a week later proves it. He did put his health and my health at risk, and his test proves that. It started out as she was asking people in the casino for money and he ended up giving it to her and communicating with her for 2 hours before deciding and making a conscious decision to have sex with her without a condom and trusting a complete stranger with his health. Hopefully his test will prove me wrong but it’s not looking good at the moment. I found more information on that woman in 5 minutes with just knowing her first name then he did in the 2 weeks of communicating with her. He didn’t know she had a significant other because she lied about that. I don’t blame him for her cheating on her man, that was her decision to do so, she had just enough time following him to the house to decide she wasn’t going to do that, she chose against it. She has to live with that decision, not me.

You are focusing WAY too much blame on the woman here, and not enough on your husband. The woman is a stranger--you never have to deal with her again.

Your husband acted like a moron, frankly. Open marriages and rule-breaking are one thing, but even if he were single, would he decide to not use a condom with a stranger he had just met??? Because he possibly felt she was going to be his girlfriend??? Even if he were single, would he decide in 2 weeks that someone is a girlfriend that he can fly to his home for a long visit?

Was he this dumb when he was single, or is this somehow caused by the overexcitement and naivete of a newly opened marriage? But it sounds like you've been open for a while and have some experience with it???

Does he have a history of choosing to have sex with sex workers ("hookers")? Has he previously had experiences with women who turn out to be scammers? I just don't get what's going on with him. He is either VERY naive or VERY dumb or VERY self-centered.

I do think a contributing factor here is that you use vague, euphemistic and crude language when discussing your rules and expectations around the open marriage. "Wrap your shit up" and "Don't bring that shit home," etc. Not a healthy or mature or specific way to discuss non-monogamy.

That kind of language certainly doesn't create the idea that the women your husband will date are fully fledged people with lives and feelings of their own. If you tried discussing his other partners as if they were people, you can perhaps discuss how he can screen potential partners for ethical behavior and how to seek out actually normal, healthy people who are comfortable with open relationships.

But I am very troubled that he slept barrier-free with a stranger and then went home and had barrier-free sex with you (insisting upon it and lying about it, no less). Please focus on that aspect of your husband's behavior, and not on how trashy the other woman was.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I imagine you are going through first stages of grief like shock/denial. Maybe even some bargaining. I don't know.

SHORT VERSION

I hope you feel better for airing out some here. I'm struggling to take it in, and I'm not even in it. You are in it.

So don't be in a rush to gloss it over. SLOW DOWN. Internet people might be able to help with 1 or 2 things, but you have a whole spaghetti tangle going on there. Please do try to see a counselor to help you sort out.

LONG VERSION

He knew what I meant when I said to get a girlfriend, it was very specific in getting someone when I’m not around. And quite frankly I find a woman who literally lied about everything she said and willing to bareback a stranger after 2 hours not girlfriend material. I would not allow that and he knows that.

Could you please be willing to clarify? What do you mean "allow?" Like you parent him and have to tell him what to do? You tell him what is allowed and what is not allowed?

Or like you would walk away if he started taking up with weirdo people? Like a personal boundary? Like... "I will not allow myself to be involved in hinky things."

He's the type to go all in feet first into any situation

And if that approach goes wrong... isn't it on him to learn from experience and then modify his behavior?

We travel at different times during parts of the years and I know his level of sexual need and didn’t want him to be lonely while I am away. While I’m away I’m not seeing anyone else but am ok with masturbating or not. I can survive without sex during our time apart but I know it’s harder for him.

You don't see other people?

Did you agree to open marriage like some kind of preemptive strike? "I don't trust him not to cheat. So I'm going to be ok with casual sex while traveling so long as he uses condoms and doesn't bring people home."

And now you struggle. Because even though super simple open agreements, he STILL cheated on them?

I've read the messages between them, I've seen it all. And as much pain as I'm in my heart can't help but hurt for him and his heart. Opening up to her, isn’t a problem. Because everything he said was true. It’s the lying, hiding and the actual act of thinking a stranger who lied and he saw the red flags, he admitted that. But he put it aside because he was thinking with his dick.

Casino Chick is no angel. But making her out to be the Big Baddie who mesmerized him somehow with her spell...

When he admits he knew he was taking up with wacky and was just thinking with his dick? He saw the red flags and chose to ignore them? That's not anything "heart" to me.

Why do you have to rescue him from everything?
  • Rescue him from blue balls? Feeling lonely?
  • Rescue him from feeling bad if he chooses to hook up bareback with weirdo sounding people?
  • Rescue him from his behavior choices having natural consequences? He chose to cheat. Now he sees you cry and be upset that he cheated on his agreements. (But then YOU feel bad he has to see that?)
I get being worried where his actions might affect you and child. But where exactly do you draw the line and expect him to do some of his own work? Take personal responsibility for his behavior choices?

Rather than you doing all the work or being responsible for everything?

Thank God he listened to me when I brought up all the lying she did, thank goodness he was willing to see that and admit he saw the red flags instead of pushing those thoughts aside even longer. Hopefully this will bring us closer and make us stronger.

You have to do his thinking for him too?

Why do you have to work so hard for him to take personal responsibility for his actions rather than him just owning it himself?

If you do most of the work in this relationship, how's that "making us stronger?"

I’ve got to get over my negative thoughts and realize that it’s done.

I could be wrong. But you seem to be trying real hard to fast forward into "It's all better now" land.

The single episode with Casino Chick is done.

But the ripple effects are still playing out.

I’ve just got to move on myself and learn from this.

So... what are you learning?

Will you start using condoms with husband from this point forward if you are not trying to conceive? Since you both could have casual sex with others when traveling? To help mitigate transfer risks to each other? Let go of being fluid bonded?

Will you let go of trying to do his stuff for him? Expect him to do more of his own stuff himself?

Separate banking so even if he goes bananas, you aren't stuck paying for his weird?

Change your expectations on emotional management? Where you manage your feelings, and he manages his, and you stop trying to fix his feelings for him? Stop trying to make the whole world cushy so he never feels yucky? Stop hiding your own feelings so they don't bother him too much?

Are you going to define your personal limit? Because maybe you are willing to move past cheating on agreements once. But not twice? Will you become more willing and able to say "Even though I love you more than I love me? I'm putting my foot down. I will not put up with _____ behaviors. If that happens? Dealbreaker. I'm out. I have to do my own self respect."

What would that be in the blank space? What ARE the dealbreakers for you?

Because right now I'm hearing
  • My DH treated me with disrespect.
  • He cheated on his agreements.
  • He insisted on having sex bareback with me, knowing he'd been with Casino Chick bareback and did not inform me. He took away my ability to give fully informed consent.
  • Didn't tell me about it til the next day, when he already exposed me to whatever.
  • Fought me on going to take initial STD panels.
    • Now we have to wait for more tests.
    • He will need to retest at end of June for igG antibodies.
  • Took Casino Chick to where we got married and had our wedding pix taken.
  • When he came home, he was texting her and lied to me about it when I asked what is going on.
    • He was planning to fly Casino Chick here when I would be gone traveling for a week.
      • Planning to break the "not at home" agreement.
      • And planning on using our shared money in joint to fly her out rather than his own money from his personal checking.
  • When I caught him out? He ended it with her by apologizing to her for getting her involved in this situation and stated I was tripping over the lack of a condom being used. So he never flew her down, but he was gonna.
  • Says he saw the red flags but chose to ignore it. But only after I dragged the admission out of him.
  • He states he’s moved on from this and so should I . Actually told me I should have been over this in 2-3 weeks.
  • He says I should not have victim mindset over this because he says it's unattractive.
Like... where does your limit of tolerance STOP?

If you decide to work on healing from cheating and forgive this one time? Ok. But what will CHANGE?

I do put his needs and feelings before mine because I do love him that much. I know that I need to put myself and my needs and feelings before his. It’s a long road ahead of us and I’m praying that he can see that we both need to work on ourselves before ever thinking about him finding a fuck buddy again.

Did he agree to pause on the casual sex while traveling til this gets sorted? What happens if he cheats on that agreement? What is the consequence you will do? Walk away?

Or will it be a repeat of this? Like he does whatever poor behaviors, you will make some complain-y noise, but ultimately you will stay no matter how bad it was. Because you love him so much, more than you care about you. So he doesn't really have to change anything.

I'm not trying to be mean to you or add to your burden by saying this. :(

It isn't fun to sit with "Someone I love a lot did less than loving, poor behaviors towards me. Now what?"

I hope you choose to SLOW DOWN. Don't be in such a hurry to "get past this and think positive thoughts" just because it feels uncomfortable to sit with this.

I hope you really reflect on what needs to change for you to be willing to continue here in a healthy way.

Please don't gloss it over.

Please do think about a counselor. You have a lot of spaghetti tangle going on.

He may or may not do his fair share of the work. But you could start to do yours.

Galagirl
 
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And, to boot, the resistance toward having an open test in legitimately concerning circumstances leads me to believe he that he had some notion of the fact he could test positive.
I think he is scared of testing positive because this indiscretion might have bitten him in the ass. Hell, I'm scared for him to retest because of the possibility that it comes back positive. Scared that this mistake on his part could ultimately change the dynamic of our relationship.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I think he is scared of testing positive because this indiscretion might have bitten him in the ass. Hell, I'm scared for him to retest because of the possibility that it comes back positive.
Positive? He gets meds.
Scared that this mistake on his part could ultimately change the dynamic of our relationship.
It sounds like your dynamic already changed because he had unsafe sex and didn't tell you even when he fucked you. So, at least he could take the consequences like an adult. He's not your child.
 

AcreoCrimsonstar

New member
Gonna be honest,.... leave him.

EDIT: What I mean to say is, I would leave the other person if this happened to me. The sheer dishonesty and manipulation are grounds for divorce and as someone who has dealt with manipulation in the past, I can tell you, I believe you'll be better off without someone who's gonna be childish and act that way towards you and not respect you. Nuff said.
 
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