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After six years, I learned that my partner had been sleeping with someone else for the majority of our relationship. He says it was purely sexual and only once every four or five months. Neither party had feelings for the other.
At the start of our relationship, we had discussed the possibility of him wanting to sleep with someone else. The agreement was that he would tell me first.
Obviously, my trust is now shattered, especially since he had this arrangement for so long without telling me. We have been having a lot of deep talks since the truth came out, and he has signed up for therapy. He has been adamant that seeing my reaction to the truth changed his perspective. He realized he could have lost everything he loves for something that meant nothing, and I believe him when he says it's over.
I'm still in love with him. Do you think, if we continue to communicate and put our relationship first, it will work out? Or should I just give up?
In the Dark (female, 28)
Dear In the Dark,
Are you upset that he had sex with someone else or that he wasn't honest about it? If he had told you before anything had happened with the other person, would you have been OK with it? I mean, really OK?
I think that these "We can have sex with other people as long as we tell each other first" arrangements seem like a good idea in theory. But in practice, they're often nothing but trouble. A monogamous relationship is hard enough. An open one, although it may work for some, requires a whole heap more honesty and trust than most people can manage.
If you really love each other, and the six years have been mainly good, of course I think you should try to work it out. However, if he feels that he may want to pursue extracurricular activities in the future, but that's not right for you, it might be time to move on.
Good luck and God bless,