September 9, 2011
Forgive Me, Girlfriend, For I Have Sinned
They were people I came to admire and even revere. While we all had a mutual attraction for each other, our friendship was pretty platonic aside from one sexual experience Wife and I shared that was facilitated and attended by Husband but in which he did not directly participate.
I moved out of state and we lost touch. When I moved back a year later, we reconnected and reestablished our old friendship. We discovered that in the interim, we had all decided to explore poly. (That is to say, it was a decision they made as a couple and I made by myself in the year that had passed).
After many long discussions between the three of us about expectations and such- together and separately - we agreed to enter into a romantic relationship. My relationship with Husband was D/s and my relationship with Wife was mostly vanilla, each with their own set of agreements.
So all was fine and dandy for about two months. And then...
I realized Husband was a very selfish and manipulative man. He took advantage of my trust and my submission by asking me to compromise my integrity and my relationship with Wife several times during our time together. The most egregious example:
Early in the relationship, sex often involved the 3 of us together. Then, Wife came to us and said: while she didn't mind Husband and I having sex, she was having a hard time witnessing and taking part in it. So she proposed that I suspend my sexual relationship with both of them as she recovered and readjusted emotionally. Though, I was still free to have sex with others during that time (my relationships with them were never expected to be sexually exclusive).
We continued to bond and grow close in that time.
However, during this "abstinence" period, more than once Husband put me in very uncomfortable situations by pressuring me to have sex. When I would remind him of OUR obligation to Wife, he would respond, aggressively and annoyed, "But what about what I want? Shouldn't you please me too?" Once, he became so aggressive he stripped off my clothes and pinned me down. He lay naked on top of me, fondling me as I begged him to stop touching me and to think of his Wife. (This was not play. I was genuinely distressed.) After about an hour of this, he finally let me go.
Afterwards, I told him how violated and disgusted I felt towards him for putting me in that position and disappointed and disgusted with myself for being too much of a coward to stop him. (What I didn't tell him was how he had triggered memories from past experiences.)
After he showed what I believed was genuine remorse (and I forgave him to an extent), he begged me not to tell Wife. And I didn't tell her because I really believed the incident was just a lapse in his judgement and I didn't want to hurt her or be the cause of discourse in their marriage. (I was so in love and so confused.)
From that point on, I began to withdraw from our relationship. Our D/s was almost non existent from that day forward and I began to dread spending time with him. I just never saw him in the same way again. (I still enjoyed Wife's company, although I felt guilty by keeping this from her.)
About 6 months after the incident (and his continued selfish and manipulative ways), I ended the relationship with him. I told him why I couldn't deal with his personality, rehashing several events as examples. I also explained this to Wife without telling her about the more despicable incidents. She and I agreed to continue dating and for short periods of time, I tolerated being around Husband.
She and I have been dating for about a year now since my relationship with Husband ended. I figured with time, I would be able to get over my past with Husband. Instead, I'm noticing that I am becoming more and more hostile towards him. Partially because I feel she deserves better (but I know that's not my place to decide that for her), but mostly because I have not yet healed.
I feel myself withdrawing from my relationship with Wife. Not because I don't still care for her. I think she is a beautiful person inside and out. But I feel the guilt of continuing to keep this from her eating away at me because I still don't want to interfere with her marriage and the man she loves and I feel my bitterness for him snowballing. It takes all of my energy just to be civil with him anymore.
I have been beating my head against the wall for several weeks now trying to determine what I should do about my situation. I feel like I know my options but they're out of focus. My vision is clouded by my emotions of fear... or guilt... or something... I can't determine what is the best route to take. I can't see my options clearly. I have so many conflicting emotions behind it that I feel helpless.
(Note: If you want to view the FetLife threads that I started on the topic, you can find them here: Practical Polyamory ; Practicing Polyamory. There have been some very interesting comments shared if you care to have a look.)
Update Sept 2011: Your Silence Will Not Protect You
Update Sept 2011: Confess, That Ye May Be Healed
Update Nov 2011: Blerg.
Update May 2012: Risk and Reward