I am a lesbian. I am married and in a non-romantic relationship with my wife as we raise our kids. We are friends, that is all. I started dating another woman and could not give her enough because of my obligations. She was sad all the time. I agreed to try this poly thing so she could have another person in her life to make her happy. I know I am married but I am a romantic and sexual monogamist. I have spent the last few months crying every time my lover is with the other woman. My partner says she cannot break up with the other woman although she would like to give us another try being 100 % monogamous. Is it right for her to leave the other woman for me or will she resent me for it? I want her back but I can’t suffer anymore. Do you think that there is a way for her to leave the other woman and feel good about herself ethically? Please help me, I feel like my life is crashing.
First off, OUCH. I’m sorry you’re hurting.
However when we talk about ethics, I’m wondering how it is that you’re okay wanting monogamy from someone when you yourself are not really offering it. I understand that you’re saying you have a marriage of convenience, but it’s still a marriage – shared home, shared lives, what have you. You’re certainly co-parenting. Those obligations were definitely interfering with what your girlfriend wanted in a partner.
As far as whether or not it is “right” for your girlfriend to leave her partner and only be with you? Only she can say. Only she can say whether or not she’ll resent that in the long term.
I hope you’ll forgive me for saying so, but it seems you’re a bit focused on getting other people to behave in ways you’d like for your comfort. Are you really okay with that? You asked about fixing your girlfriend, but what about fixing you? I wince as I say that, because you are expressing a lot of pain in this letter and adding to it seems a bit heartless.
Here’s the reality: Your girlfriend is going to have to settle in her own mind what she’s okay with or not and what feels ethical to her or not. You have zero control over that one.
I think the pain you’re in is also because you might be having a hard time settling your priorities to yourself. You’ve got the non-romantic marriage and kids, but it sounds to me like what you want is romantic monogamy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting that. It’s just that everything has its price.
What do you want most, deep down and for real? After you settle that for yourself, your way will be clearer. I hope that you do find your way, cause feeling in such a quandary can be quite painful.