Rules are Made to be Broken?

Help me internet land, I’m in a place of cycling between incredible anger and sadness and insecurity. Last night Keith broke our one rule: no sex. It’s a rule I asked for, not because I have anything against sex, but because I have incredible insecurity around the whole sex thing because Keith denied me from having sex in the first two years of our relationship.

He was a virgin, I was not. We got married when he was 29, and the two years prior was filled with me attempting to have sex and being denied…repeatedly. Repeatedly. Under the guise of morality, as he had been raised in a Christian home, and was heading toward the ministry.

And so, when we opened up, I said…no sex…yet. I had almost lifted the sex ban with a woman who was so upfront and honest and kind with him from the get go that after their second date I said, “I feel comfortable if the next time you hang out with Kayla you have sex. She seems like the kind of girl who will stick around.”

So last night he heads over to Renee’s house, a woman he met on Tindr, and one that I’ve actually been chatting with over on OkCupid myself. It has been seemingly this really great start…he likes her, I like her, she seems to like both of us independently. Conversation and all flows well. when she invited him over to her place after the Sounders game I totally encouraged it. She had asked him if it was okay if he come over if nothing happens, which is what he was cool with.

And then they end up having sex.

She didn’t know. She didn’t know that I had that boundary. She didn’t know that he had been a virgin before we were married. Because Keith fucked up and didn’t tell her. He said he hadn’t even thought she’d want to meet him, let alone date him, and one thing led to another. I said that might work if you were a frat boy drunk at a party, but the fact that for 29 years you had a strong boundary even with the woman you were engaged with and then one night you just randomly decide to have sex?

I feel incredibly hurt. And insecure. Because now that ‘one thing’ that I had wanted to approve or share, the one thing I felt like was special between the two of us, isn’t there anymore. And it didn’t happen in a context I would like. It feels like he cheated.

So we’ve been crying. And talking. And yelling (me) and listening (him, and me). Texting her, and feeling validated, and supported, and all around soothed of my terrible insecurities.

But…how do I go forward? I’m basically asking…how do I prevent getting hurt, and I know that’s not possible.

I love this post by SoloPoly about deciding goals for yourself in open relationships. I know what my goals are, but it’s getting Keith to articulate what his goals are, ya know? Or maybe that’s not how it works. I don’t want to be the one to put a rule on to him, I want us to mutually decide what we’re goaling for, and then live into that with integrity.

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8 thoughts on “Rules are Made to be Broken?

  1. In no way am I an expert in situations like this, but my gut instinct is this: If you have a set of agreements, then you damn well stick to them. For example, my wife knows I’m bisexual, but does not condone any sexual activity outside of our marriage…period, so to her it would be irrelevant if I were bedding down with a guy or a gal, it’s a boundary she doesn’t want me to cross.

    So, in your situation, you’ve made clear what boundaries you have, and he violated them. He has some major kissing up to do.

    1. Thank you for this. Feels validating.

      What’s hard is it’s like…not so much about the sex, with her, as it is my long held insecurity because I tried so hard to brainwash myself into believing that that sex on our wedding was actually more special than I really believed it was. If that makes sense? And the hurtful part is also that he set his own boundary at one time and is changing that, without really letting me know. It’s like…if he had said, “I really like her, my goals have changed” I think I would have been totally on board. It’s the honesty piece rather than the just having sex piece. But it’s so hard to tease it out

      1. There was a time when I used to think that sex had to have some sort of magical quality to it, or it meant the relationship was not good. I’ve since realized that isn;t always the case for people. Sometimes it is simply a fun act for people. I am the kind that I see sex as fun, whereas my wife sees it as something to be cherished. Simply a different perspective.

        And yes, honesty is a major part of it.

      2. I just talked with him and he really hit the nail on the head when he said “not only did i violate our boundary we had agreed on, i violated my internal boundary that I held strong for 35 years.’ it’s that part that really felt true to me. It’s like you think you know someone and then…not so much. Made me feel like…well shit, what else can I not trust?

        I am not one to throw sex about willy nilly, but I definitely think it can be fun and doesn’t have to have the BOND that the church taught me as a kid.

        I really appreciate your support here. Especially since I’ve been blogging quiet for so long 🙂

  2. Ugh, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this and going through it. It must be upsetting for both him and you to know that he broke a boundary like this. Do not try to rush your pain or hurt in this moment. Keep talking and talking and helping him understand. It sounds like he got caught up in the moment for some reason. Sometimes in the moment can be so alluring and exciting that you rationalize things that should never been rationalized. Understand that he is human and this is not about you as much as this is about him and his moment of weakness. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t feel betrayed, I can completely understand how you are feeling. To have him to diligently hold himself and you to this standard for the sake of religion and then to so haphazardly throw that to the wind can be very shocking. The one thing I think of (having had a very religious position before) is that perhaps he got to the point where he needed permission to let go. He had rules for a monogamous relationship. He had guidelines for what not to do. There are few rules in a non monogamous relationship that society sets for you. So in a sense, he was shedding his previous societal mores and interacting with a new template. That doesn’t mean that him breaking your boundary was acceptable, but it can give you understanding as to why this situation was different for him.

    1. Thank you SO much for this comment. A few weeks out and we’re doing good so far. A lot of really good conversations. A low key three-way date with Renee at our house (plus our munchkins), and things have been feeling better. Though not perfect by any means. But definitely in a better place.

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