Thursday, November 15, 2007


"I couldn't have my happiness made out of a wrong - a wrong to someone else"
Edith Wharton,The Age of Innocence


I'm not entirely sure how this works, but...

Lover tells me that he has always felt guilty about cheating on his wife. Fair enough.

He has decided that if he can be faithful to Cute Girl, it will somehow expiate that sin. Second chances and all that.

So...cheating on wife with Mandy, Mandy = tarnished garbage that contaminates him.

Cheating on Mandy with Cute Girl, Cute girl = virgin who will redeem him.

Um, yeah...that's a totally fresh start!

Meanwhile, Cute Girl (who knows about me, we talked) is disturbed that Lover felt what to her looked like no shame for cheating on said wife. Hello, pot?

My last conversation with her indicated that we would stay friends. I'm a little bemused - friends don't usually take up with each other's ex-lovers immediately (in fact, I can't imagine Power Girl or Beautiful Girl ever even dating an ex-lover of mine, let alone one with a relationship this deep and serious, nor would I with their past boyfriends), so I'm curious what her standard of friendship is.

So, Gentle Readers. How much do I owe her civility and kindness on the grounds that when she first fell for Lover she didn't know? They decided to continue their relationship a week after I told Lover we were through, and less than 48 hours after I told her what had been going on from my perspective. Is this merely fortunes of war, may the best woman, etc?

Is this OK behavior from a friend?


Anonymous said...

Psst. I know where you could get some polonium real cheap.


Randysrandy said...

Well I know this doesn't answer your question, but I must say this now - Lover may have been a great lover, but he is a poor excuse for a Man.

As for Cute Girl, I can only wonder what it is that YOU want from HER? (Forget what she may have given you in the past.) If you know that, then you might be able to get a clearer idea of what you "owe" her.

Anonymous said...

she is the victim in this situation as much as you are, if we are playing the victim game. the only one who had any responsibility to you was lover, and his betrayal of the never-date-a- colleague-of your-recent-ex rule was a no-no of the highest order. cute girl, however, had already become emotionally engaged prior to finding out, and i have no doubt that she wouldn't have gone there if she'd known. she does not deserve your anger, righteous though it be. she has upheld herself well, especially given the circumstances. lover on the other hand...


elbowxontheline said...

It's an interesting moral question. If she wasn't a good enough friends with you to know about Lover in the first place, then it really isn't her responsibility to break things off with him. However, this doesn't mean that you have to be nice to her and/or can't tell her how you feel about it. I agree with the above poster that this is Lover's responsibility, and he certainly hasn't been responsible.

dennisJ said...

Oh puleeze. Pot to this thing on?

me said...

Am I missing something here? Are you a monogamous sort of person? Do you expect that your husband and Lover must be faithful to you when you are not only polyamorous, but a prostitute? I don't have anything against being polyamorous or even prostitution, but I really don't understand how Lover is responsible to be sexually or even emotionally faithful when you certainly are not.

Low said...

Keep you friends close and your enemies closer... I'm sure that was what was going on in Cute's mind. She is full of shame and guilt and needs to keep you on the friendship level to avoid feeling what she's brought upon herself.

Mandy said...

As usual, Beautiful Girl has perspective :) I don't want anything from Cute Girl - I want her to vanish from my life and never return. Sadly, this isn't going to happen.

In the end this is probably karmic - if they'll cheat with you, they'll cheat on you. And this is probably a very similar pain to that of ex-Lover's ex-wife, when she found out he had had a lover.

The monogamy/polyamory/prostitution thing - good point. For me, there are still issues of fidelity. If you don't save sex, what do you save? For example, I do not eat sushi with men other than my husband - that's special to us, and it would be cheating. When he had a girlfriend who turned into cheating, it was that they went for sushi that hurt me more than the sex. Likewise, I don't see movies with other people - it would suck to have him want to go to a movie and say, oh, I already saw that with someone else.

So every relationship has its own bounds of fidelity. I'm not mad that ex-Lover took up with someone else. I'm mad that he violated a promise we made to each other, which was, "tell me when you're done." And I'm mad that after four years of a deep, intense relationship, he moved on to someone else before the ashes were cold - I thought we were more to each other than that, and I would have hoped that we were connected enough for him to be able to hold off on grabbing the next shiny toy for, say, a week or two. Or at least to keep it a little bit quiet for a week or two before rubbing it in my face via Myspace and Facebook.

Am I irrationally jealous? Probably. But while I have not been physically faithful to anyone, I am emotionally faithful to my husband, and I was emotionally faithful and physically faithful (within *our* rules) to Lover. My husband knows I sleep with other people, and he's decided he can pay that price. Lover knew I was a whore, and we talked about it extensively before I started. He knew I was sleeping with other people, and we talked about that, too - in fact, it got him off, to a point where I started to be uncomfortable using other people in that way. We decided on some specific activities that were off limits with other people. I asked his permission before having sex with other people, and we discussed certain acts that were ok or not ok. He welcomed a certain amount of emotional pain from jealousy, and we talked about that together, before, during and after.

So yeah, not all fidelity is monogamy. And it is possible to be "faithful" to a standard other than monogamy. "Chastity is having the body in the soul's keeping," says Robertson Davies, and while my body was with someone else, my mind and heart were very much in my own keeping, to be shared only with the two men who had that bond.

I'm guilty here, too - our relationship was fading, and I didn't know what to do to make it better. It may well have been supposed to die. But I'm deeply hurt that my ex is dating my friend, and that four years wasn't worth waiting - or even hiding - for a few weeks to spare my feelings. On the other hand, honesty is more painful but perhaps more respectful. It's a hard line to find, and both sides hurt like hell.

Anonymous said...

my two cents -- and keep in mind I only know what is written here:

1) Lover is being a dick with the odd "I'm going to redeem" myself with cute girl b/cause I feel bad about my wife.

(I think that's him trying to get in a morally superior position for some reason. Or, perhaps more realistic, a rhetorically superior position, vis-a-via you. You know the exact dynamics better then me - but that's my read.)

2) I don't quite understand the waiting the couple of weeks issue - because I think I don't understand exactly what happened at that time. But if you think he betrayed you in some sort of emotional manner, well, that's important.

3) Cute girl.

I don't know how close a friend she was or not. If she didn't know about your relationship with Lover prior to her involvement then she obviously wasn't working with enough information to make a decision that would not hurt you.

If she was emotionally & physically attached to Lover prior to finding out his relationship with you-- well, then, I'd say she's not the person to be upset with.

(Once the attachment happens, it's quite a lot to ask her to detach. And I think it would be almost impossible to detach unless she decided Lover was a dick at that point. Furthermore, even if they did stay apart for a few weeks -- isn't the emotional/ romantic connection more upsetting then the sex? That connection would have remained intact.)

Anyways, this is all Lover's fault for not cluing her in prior to the attachment.)

4) I've been rooting for you to not call him!

And your writing is lovely.

Just my two cents,

Sierra said...

Why is it that men can not stick to agreements or rules that are set at the beginning of a relationship?

Like you, I had a rule set up with the one I call former attachment A. All I asked was that he tell me that he wanted out, or that he found something else to screw around with, or you know, that the sun had changed color and he wanted to end it.

Apparently his balls hadn’t dropped enough for him to man up because he didn’t tell me a thing, though he tried to lay the blame on me when I caught him out.


Your friend… If it was me in your position I wouldn’t have a thing to do with her, even if she didn’t know about the relationship you had with him. I wouldn’t want to be put in a spot where I had to hear about their relationship and be reminded of what once I had, or as some women tend to do, have it rubbed in my face every time she’d talked to me about how good things are going between them.

Anonymous said...

< I am emotionally faithful to my husband >

Wasn't Lover someone your husband specifically forbade you to be involved with, in part because he knew it wouldn't be just a physical affair with Lover?

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented before, but feel compelled to today. Writing is great because you can put all of your feelings out there. I particularly love your descriptions of fantasies, or orgasmic moments - written with such depth of feeling, it's tangible for readers. At this point, with Lover, feel what you feel - anger, betrayed, maybe murderous. But it seems like you're trying to find out which feelings are "right" or "wrong" or "justified". As others have commented, it's tricky, isn't it? Who is right? Are you truly the one who is? You are the recipient of your feelings, that's where it's at. Be aware of them. Hold them. Honor them. Languish even. If Cute Girl loves to talk to you about her relationship, be a Woman. Tell her it's painful to hear. If Lover tries to contact you about, let's face it, pretty much anything, tell him it's painful right now. And cut it off. Sure, the domination thing was sexy when you were together, but victimization sure ain't no turn on!

See some good sappy movies that make you cry!


Autumn said...

Everyone has already said anything I wanted to say on the matter in some form of another, so I will offer a leafy hug. :)


<3 Autumn

Tom Paine said...

As always, your story illustrates how polyamory is complex, and why it isn't going to work for most people. I am sad to say that, but I'm perhaps the most pessimistic polyamorist on the planet....