Thursday, April 14, 2016

so lost

I have received this email from Janet. She feels so very lost. Can you help her find her way forward?

I've been trying to talk to friends and Samaritans about what I did, but it's just not helping.

I've been trying to talk to my boyfriend ( of about 6 years) that I want to explore polyamory. It's been tricky but we were getting somewhere, slowly but surely. I've also developed an intense attraction to a man who is currently in another country, I think it's part of what prompted me to talk more about polyamory. I've had these feelings for years long before I even met my boyfriend but tried to ignore them.

I caved I was on a night out for the first time in a long and I got a little drunk and kissed two of my female friends. While this happened I was sending very flirtatious messages to the other man. A few days later even though my boyfriend forgave me for kissing my friends I couldn't help it, for weeks it had been building up and I had text sex with the other man... Text sex hasn't done much for me in years but this did! It really did and in the middle of things I called him Master.

My boyfriend found out, even though I deleted the conversations. He's been very depressed ever since. I've tried explaining to him that I don't love him any less, that there is nothing he's not doing for me. I can't bring myself to say "He appeals to a side of me you just cant understand." 
We've agreed to go to counseling and he's finally calming down so I can try and tell him how I feel. Although I'm not sure what good it will do because he's admitted he would never have be willing to let me explore my sexuality at all with another man, only a woman. But how, how the hell do I explain why I'm upset he wont let me talk to him anymore? I love my boyfriend but I feel like I'm in pain without Master.

I feel so guilty for what I've done and I want to mend my relationship, but there are times I can't be around my boyfriend. I feel trapped and restrained. I know this is an awful, awful thing to say... But I resent him for it.

I also have no idea how to tell him that when I slept with him after the text sex but before he found out that it wasn't out of guilt. I felt alive! But when he touches me now there are times I just can't...

Any and all help appreciated.

My reply was:

You do sound as if you are finding a resolution to your current dilemmas very hard. You love your boyfriend but you know there are other aspects to your personality that you are not developing and expressing. You are unfulfilled and you can see a future that is not going to work for you. It is making you feel guilty, trapped and resentful. These are very difficult decisions. In the end they are decisions that only you can make. However even finding the words to write about the issues can sometimes help get them straight in your own mind. I hope that the very act of writing has been helpful. 

The key issue is that you have desires and needs that your boyfriend cannot or does not wish to meet. You need a polyamorous relationship yet he feels very threatened by that. I am sure many men would feel the same when a beautiful girlfriend expressed a need to have sex with other men. To be able to reassure him you will need to try to understand what his feelings and fears are. He may be very confused and frightened of losing you. The fact that you have gone to relationship therapy together to try to resolve it shows a commitment and willingness to understand the other on the part of both of you which is very positive.

I hope you do find a way of resolving these issues but it may be very difficult. I know a number of women who are in marriages and long term relationships where they have submissive needs that are not being met by their husband. Some of them put up with the situation. Others develop a secret life. Whichever they chose they are all unhappy in varying degrees. You will find some questions from women in this situation on Uncle Agony I think. So my worry is that if you do not resolve this situation with your boyfriend now and try to be faithful to him then in the longer term you too may experience this long term unhappiness.

There seem to be two issues. One is the polyamory and the other seems to be a bdsm aspect. You have called your new man "Master" so I am assuming that you are also exploring submissive or bdsm experiences with him. There are two aspects here that have a desire for and have not yet had the opportunity to explore and experience fully. It may only be that through a fuller exploration you will discover what your true needs are. The problem then is trying to find someone to fulfill them. That could be your boyfriend if he is prepared to go on this journey with you. At the moment though he seems frightened by it and frightened of losing you. Though if he is not prepared to go at least half way then he may lose you anyway.

First of all the polyamory issue. I wonder if you are looking for polyamorous relationships or polysexual ones? There is a big difference. I discussed this on the A Kind Dom blog here:

Are you truly looking for a relationship of several people with a close emotional bond or are you looking for a wider variety of sexual encounters? The latter might be closer to "swinging". Is it partly that you would like to explore further your burgeoning bisexuality? Your boyfriend seems happier about you having relationships with other women. Might that be a place to start? If you found a broadminded female friend perhaps your boyfriend might be interested in joining your relationship. If the polyamory or polysexuality started in this way then perhaps your boyfriend might become happier about you also meeting with men if he was reassured about the context and a lack of threat to your own relationship. We men are very fragile creatures emotionally despite our hard outer shell! He may need lots of reassurance.

There have been a number of other discussions on A Kind Dom about plolyamory some of which link to articles. You may find them useful reading. They are here:

Then what about your desire for a "Master".Does your relationship with your boyfriend have a D/s aspect? Is a search for this partly why you want relationships with another man? How strong are your submissive feelings (if any). Is it rather that you have an eagerness for more kinky or experimental sex? Can your boyfriend meet any of these needs or is part of the need for it to be with someone else? Is there any "cuckolding" aspect of this where you gain power over your boyfriend through having sex with others?

There is no judgement intended in any of the above. I am asking questions in the hope that in thinking through the answers it might give you a clearer view of exactly what you want and the extent to which your boyfriend can be encouraged to be part of this. If it works well it could enhance your relationship into something so much more. However I am sure you are aware that the other possibility is that it could herald the end of your relationship.

You have some very hard if not almost impossible decisions.

Good luck with them.
Can you help reader? Is there a way that Janet can work through this with her boyfriend or does she need a new start to explore her desires and develop her personality?