YOUR VOTE0 0
cheating?/open relationship/emotional help
Background I go home early on club night (Saturday 8th February 2014) leaving Sarah with my friends assuming all will be fine. She doesn’t come back to the next day. Next Tuesday she decides to go out when she hears that James is going out. She doesn’t come back till around 4, when following my fb message asking on her location, she comes and tells me she was with James, they did nothing, but she has a crush on him and wants an open relationship.
Open relationship I initially didn’t like the idea of an open relationship however after thinking deeply about it I can see benefits for us both as long as ground rules are set. I wanted to set the ground rule, no mutual friends, but I could see Sarah was uncomfortable with this as she wanted to continue things with James. I found this hurtful but agreed with her, not wanting to say no and have her sneak behind me and do it anything and also I loved Sarah and put her needs before mine.
Cheating I then, through a combination of my suspicions and various other things, found out through Sarah’s fb messages that on the Saturday Sarah had been flirting with James and they went back to his and did things, not sure how far ‘things’ mean. This hurt, but what hurt more was the fact that Sarah had consciously decided to go out next Tuesday and do it again, the first time may have been a momentary lapse and I could easily forgive for that but the second time is a conscious decision. She again went back to his and again they did things. It was after this she asked me for the open relationship.
Confronting I told Sarah I had read her messages and knew about her and James, this was the day after I had agreed to the open relationship. She said she didn’t tell as she didn’t want to hurt me. I forgave Sarah. I felt terrible for invading her privacy and wished that I could have trusted her not to do it. The next day I wanted to know where things would go from here, she still wanted the open relationship, I was still ok with that aspect. However she still wanted to continue with James, I told her that it felt like a continuation of the betrayal, but Sarah said she thought it was just me being jealous about the open relationship thing. She said she would break it off with James if I wanted, however I knew that this would lead to resentment and anyway I didn’t want to have to tell her to do it [see the question on love below]. She didn’t seem to understand how I feel about her and James, in the end I couldn’t cope with the emotions or with making Sarah sad, I gave in.
Present situation I feel angry, I feel sad, I can’t concentrate on work and am worried that I won’t be able to cope with my workload, I can’t sleep, and I don’t want to hurt Sarah. Sarah doesn’t seem to be having any of these emotions she seems perfectly fine with continuing with James and is either blissfully unaware of my feelings and distress or she just thinks I’ll get over it, or even worse she is just thinking of herself and being entirely selfish. I don’t know what to do: •Break up with her I don’t want to hurt her, I do really love her, but I can’t continue feeling this way •Allow it to happen This would be perfect for Sarah as it’s what she wants, also I won’t have to worry about her keeping things from me. However I cannot forgive Sarah for the betrayal if in my mind it is still ongoing. In this case I will not be able to continue to love Sarah, I will have to detach myself emotionally to allow it just to happen and I still dread that my work and general emotional stability will be affected. Also in the long-run Sarah will notice my detachment and also become distant with me and we’ll end up breaking up anyway. •Ask her to break it off with James and continue our relationship Preferable option, however if Sarah has done it once and successfully hidden it from me, can I trust her? And will things ever be the same again? Also again she’ll resent me and it will most likely lead to either her cheating on me or us breaking up.
Questions •Does Sarah actually Love me? In my view love is about giving and taking and making compromises, ever since I realised that I loved Sarah I have tried to be entirely selfless towards her. I just don’t feel that it’s been reciprocated. Sarah is by habit abit selfish, but I accept that and love her for it. For example if the situation with James had been reversed and I had been the one caught sneaking around I wouldn’t have needed Sarah to ask me to break it off with James because I would have known it hurt her and I loved her and didn’t want to hurt her feelings any more. But in reality she said she would break it of if I wanted, even though it’s plainly obvious that it hurts me deeply. •Why did she make the conscious decision to do it again? On the Tuesday she knew exactly what would happen if she went out, she knew exactly what the consequences were. But she must have just ignored how I would have felt and solely concentrated on what she wanted. •Why did she ask for the open relationship? Sarah said she wanted it because she had and crush on James, but they hadn’t done anything. As it turns out this is a lie, and therefore it could be that she just brought up the idea of an open relationship as a way of easing her guilt and also allowing her to continue seeing James. •Why am I the one feeling terrible? I can’t think about anything else, I’ve spend the past hour writing this because I can’t think of anything else, I feel terrible. However it only appears to be me feeling this, Sarah seems perfectly happy and only seems worried when she sees through my poor disguise of hiding my emotions. •What does Sarah actually want? Perhaps the trickiest question, but I think surprisingly easy to answer. She wants it all. She wants the fun of sleeping with James, she wants me to be fine with it and she also wants me to continue being selfless towards her. But would she put my wants and needs in front of hers? Love?