How do I get my girlfriend to accept past infidelity, even if I struggle with being honest? | I'm Poly and So Can You
I’ll tell you, lovers and friends, it’s been a hell of a week! I skipped last week’s poly posting reluctantly, as I was off on a take-no-prisoners stripper pilgrimage to Portland (OR). I had the pleasure of working at both Devil’s Point and Casa Diablo, and I succeeded in pushing my body to its limits, dancing over 30 hours in just five days. Suffice to say I desperately need to restock my epsom salts, arnica gel, and Aleve supply. Despite the immense physical toll, I met scores of new friends and made countless new connections, enjoyed the amazing weather, and replenished my bank account to boot. I look forward to MANY more trips in the future!
Sidenote: I’ll tell you, juggling sex work with any other kind of commitment is a true challenge, and I have a TON of respect for my fellow hos out there that balance it with a “vanilla” or “muggle” job, raising a family, etc. Due to the unpredictable nature of the work, if I get offered a domme client, a porn shoot, a club shift, or some other creative gig, I do everything in my power to adjust my schedule to accommodate the extra income. This sometimes means that my other endeavors get weighed and then forced to the wayside - like “I Am Poly...” - and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your continued support, patience, and flexibility. Y’all are the bee's knees.
Now, onto this week’s question!
I have been involved in monogamist relationships for as long as I can remember. I was unfaithful to my fiance (which ended), as well as my next major gf, and even my current. I was dishonest about this in all prior relationships but have been honest about it with the most recent as it occurred in the first month or so. My question is that we have tried threesomes and so on, and had a very open and honest relationship at the start, but now it seems jealousy and insecurity has come into the picture and I feel I can't be myself anymore. Any attempts to try and talk this out with her are met with defensiveness. How do I get her to see that it's just part of who I am and that She is still at the top of the hierarchy of relationship (I'm still good friends with many past girls I've been with and this bothers her a lot). Thanks!
The best advice I have for you, Monogamist, is to cease dating immediately. Full stop. End things with your current girlfriend with compassion, intention, and transparency, telling her that you’re having serious concerns about your ability to act ethically in the relationship moving forward. While you care for her immensely, you’re certain that the right thing to do is transition into a friendship until you can do some major work on figuring out WHAT you want, HOW to attract and pursue what you want, how CAPABLE you are of adhering to what you want (as well as how capable you are of compromising with a partner), and then how to SUSTAIN an honest, healthy primary relationship that benefits both parties. That is both what you deserve, as well as what the women who come into your life deserve.
Because you’re not only a “monogamist”, but a serial one. It sounds like you hop from committed LTR (long term relationship) to committed LTR with barely a breath in between. A fear of being alone is the most obvious explanation, and also a very relatable and human one that you need not shame yourself for. That being said, you definitely should feel discomfort, disappointment, and regret for how you handled your past relationships. I’m not quite sure why you haven’t ever attempted to initiate a relationship that was mutually non-monogamous from the get-go. My best guess is that while you find yourself needing attention, stimulation, and affection from others outside your primary partner, you can’t wrap your head around the idea of that same partner ALSO seeing others. That, my friend, is a problem, and it’s a problem that does not justify infidelities.
I suggest seeking out a local therapist that specializes in non-monogamous relationship counseling for individualized sessions; Psychology Today’s “Find a Therapist” tool is actually quite user-friendly and effective. I would also suggest searching - via Google and/or Fetlife.com - for local open relationship support/discussion groups in your area. Finally, I’d recommend checking out your local CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous) chapters. The meetings are free, confidential, and open to all. You can read more about the program and assess whether or not the meetings might be useful for you via their “newcomers” page HERE. Best of luck!