'The sex is great, but I don't want to live in a forced throuple'09/01/2022
It’s time once again for our weekly Sex Column, our regular series where experts advise struggling daters on navigating the sticky world of romance.
Last week, we met a man who was obsessed with wearing women’s underwear and wasn’t sure how to open up about this to future partners.
This week we’re dealing with someone who has found themselves in a throuple with their boyfriend and the woman he was cheating on her with. Is this ever going to work?
Let’s see if this is a problem our experts can solve…
Back in January, I found out my boyfriend of five years was cheating. We’re in our late twenties and supposed to be getting married next year, so you can imagine how devastated I was.
He promised to end the relationship, but as the weeks passed I noticed he was still disappearing to meetings, or supposedly playing football with friends; all excuses he used in the past, though he denied he was seeing her.
Then four months ago he dropped the bombshell. He said he couldn’t choose between us and that I would love her as much as him, if only I met her. He said he wants us to live as a ‘throuple’.
He said we would all get on great, that there would be way more love and support in the relationship, that we would have more sexual diversity and that when we have children, childcare would be so much easier. Basically, in his world there are only positives and nothing could go wrong.
Because of all the things he said, I reluctantly agreed to meet her. She’s actually lovely and was very kind and welcoming to me. She thinks the idea of the three of us together is great and stressed to me that it wouldn’t be an open relationship – it would just be us.
I can’t deny it, sex between the three of us is wild and amazing. But something still doesn’t feel right about making this three-way commitment they both want.
What the experts say:
The first thing that screams out from your email is that this is something being imposed on you, rather than something you want for yourself.
Of course your boyfriend is trying to make the idea of a throuple sound wonderful; it would give him everything he wants, without having to give up his other girlfriend.
How grown adults live their lives is up to them, as long as everyone is in agreement. But it sounds as though you are going along with this because you can’t bear the thought of ending your relationship, and you feel this is the only way of hanging on to your man.
Living like this is not just about great sex. It’s almost inevitable that there will be an uneven show of attention and love, and the jealousy that flows from this can make you feel wretched.
Fantastic sex aside, if your boyfriend is determined not to end his relationship with this girl, there may even be a question mark over how much he loves you. Does he really want this three-way relationship, or does he not have the heart to end things with you?
It sounds like couples therapy would benefit you; both of you need to open up about your true feelings and go from there.
You need to be sure of what you really want, and not be bounced into something just to please your boyfriend. There are other men out there who won’t want to share you, which sounds more like the kind of relationship you really want and deserve.
Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor
James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)
Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist
Got a sex and dating dilemma?
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