Hi Java, I’ve been with my man 9 years and am deeply in love with him, however, I’m also in love with another woman. I’ve loved her since before I met him – but only recognised recently that it was sexual (I’ve always believed I was straight).
I told my partner and he went nuts. We talked and talked, and I thought we’d worked through some issues, but now he’s saying I have to “choose” and is trying to break up with me (again).
I feel that he really loves me, and I really love him – is there anything I can do to help him? I would be so jealous and scared if he told me he loved another woman; I feel very guilty.
Help him? I’m a trifle confused what help you think he needs. What this sounds like is that your man wants to be monogamous.
It also sounds like what you want is to be able to have relationships while he can’t. While I’m not guilt’s biggest fan, the fact you’re feeling guilty might mean that examining yourself and your motives would be a really productive thing to do.
The reality is that right now you are facing some choices. Here’s some questions you can ask yourself:
What is it I really want in my romantic relationship(s)?
This is probably the most crucial question to ask. Love? Most people do want love. But what does that mean to you? What makes you feel loved and cared about? Are you getting that in your relationship(s)? If not, can you ask for it? You mention being in love with this woman. How does she feel about it? Have you mentioned it to her? You didn’t say, but I’m hoping that what you did was bring the subject up to your partner first. Certainly that’s the ethical thing to do. How do you feel about the freakout? Is freaking out something you want in a partner?1
How do I feel about the repeated threats to break up?
There are at least two possible motivations for your partner to say you have to choose between being with him and being with someone else. One is pretty straightforward. He’s monogamous and only wants a monogamous relationship. He’s only happy in that sort of relationship. If you don’t want to be monogamous, then no, you’re really not the right partner for him, and yes, it would be better for you guys to go your separate ways.
The other motivation I can think of off the top of my head isn’t quite so nice. He knows that a threat to break up with you will make you toe the line and do what he wants. If it turns out that’s what he’s trying to do, is this what you want in a relationship?
It does look like both of you need to have a good, long think about what you want out of life and relationships. I’m also throwing something out there that might be useful to you. This is a reach from a 100 word letter, but I do wonder if the both of you are having some security issues – not only about your relationships, but just in yourselves. I can’t recommend How to Become a Secure Person enough. It’s good stuff. If I’m off base, you know this stuff already. If I’m not, it can do nothing but help, no matter what choices y’all decide to make.
1 While everyone has a right to express their emotions, I’ll point out that saying, “I feel hurt, confused and not very valued” would be expressing one’s emotions without the freak out.