Sorry, Dan, you're wrong and LW's BF is right. This is a clear case of communication failure. If you're in an intimate relationship - actually, under any circumstances, but ESPECIALLY if you're in an intimate relationship - it's your responsibility to say what you mean and mean what you say. It's not your SO's responsibility to divine the quote-unquote "true meaning" behind a phrase like "I don't want to know [about any outside sexual encounters you may have]". Personally I don't think this relationship is necessarily doomed, but they both - especially LW - had better learn to be better communicators.
The LW said he didn't want to know and that's all the permission anyone needs since asking means telling and breaking the I don't want to know rule.
I think this is a clear case where couples counseling could save this relationship, Dan, you should have insisted on sending themselves there ASAP.
This is both a case of miscommunication and pushing things right to the line. "I don't want to hear about it" could be another way of saying "you're open to bang but come home for dinner", if you want to interpret it that way.
But let's be honest, BF is banging men all over town. They need to mutually agree that they're either Open as a barn door or not. Personally, if the relationship is good I advocate Open. I have a "buddy" who's in an VERY Open relationship and I both know and have been out drinking with his partner on several occasions. It's weird for me, but it works for them.
I think there's blame to go around here. We don't have actual ages, but since they have been in a relationship for 8 years, and LW is a decade older than his partner, let just say they are at least 38 and 28 roughly. I think that makes the 38 year old grown up enough to have the open/closed/monogamous/nonmono conversation. And if what he wants is closed/mono then he should be able to ask for that, and be prepared for his partners response. And the younger guy is now certainly old enough to guess that the DADT he recieved wasn't a blanket open relationship offer. So I think they are both a bit guilty.
LW is guilty of not having the conversation about defining what is ok/not ok in the relationship. He says “If a sexual encounter happens with someone else, I don’t want to know”. The way that is phrased is kind of typical DADT stuff, not blanket permission but also not really putting your foot down about monogamy, more accepting that at some point something will happen. He says, "he needed his independence", and is all butt hurt that the younger guy took advantage of his independence and didn't take the lead on the conversation that LW wanted to have! Please...don't be such a passive testicle. Being a grown up means having uncomfortable conversations and dealing with the fallout.
Partner is guilty of assuming the most self serving definition of the status of the relationship, one that allows him to have a sexual encounter with someone else and not have to report it. Pretty disingenuous and self serving, but if we time travel back to the begining of this relationship he must have been pretty young.
So it doesn't seem the relationship is doomed to me, but they both need to start acting like grown ups and not just coasting along taking the easy way out. This is really why DADT relationships don't work. If you define your relationship as open but then also say "I don't want to know" you are just masking your own insecurity, and forcing everyone to go sneaking around, which is kind of at odds with the relationship being open.
It could be that even if they had communicated about opening the relationship that one or both partners could still feel hurt once they knew it happened. The business of feelings is messy no matter what precautions are taken. It sounds like they hashed it out some before the LW wrote to Dan. I'd say make some rules and try to keep talking and try to work through feeling hurt. If other parts of the relationship aren't floundering as well, they can probably work it out and have a nice life together.
@3: Why? Unless both parties come to terms with open relationships, therapists are waste of time and money.
When ASIB said that if something happened outside of their relationship he didn't want to know, he definitely opened the relationship right then and there. Otherwise, his words should have been that if the BF ever cheated on him, it would end the relationship. Since this has worked reasonably well for eight years, I think it could continue to work, although they will have to communicate better now.
Part of a DADT relationship can be that at least one party not only not want to know any details, or even that the other is actually playing around, but it also might be about avoiding even talking about what the rules are. ASIB tacitly asked to be allowed to live in his delusion of monogamy.
As far as Officially Laying Blame I disagree with Dan, I can't see the boyfriend did anything ethically wrong given what he was told. (On top of saying "don't tell" some times, LW then defined(?) an open relationship as "don't tell" so he did pretty well imply this was an open relationship, no?)
But it doesn't sound well executed. Was the boyfriend having low-risk sex with his randoms? Doesn't sound like he was getting tested regularly. Since they never communicated expectations of safety practices I hope the boyfriend was made conservative assumptions.
I'm biased against "don't ask, don't tell" to begin with, but if you do it I really think you'd be smart to have some general framework conversations. If that's too hard, don't do open.
The framing "rejecting my requests for sex while waiting for his test result" smells like resentment on at least one side, possibly both. Better talk about that.
I do agree with Dan that the boyfriend can and should give a straight apology that doesn't end in "but". You can apologize without being blameworthy.
Even if "I don't want to know" is implicit permission to do the stuff the letter writer doesn't want to know about, messing around with someone else in the kitchen that letter writer and the douche bag presumably share seems to be pretty much a violation the explicit "I don't want to know"
Did the LW say even a few words about why this relationship should continue? It’s only worth working through the hard parts of there’s something worth hanging onto for the long term. Otherwise just part ways.
“If a sexual encounter happens with someone else, I don’t want to know,” could easily mean that any discussion of the matter would itself be a violation. So, that leaves the boyfriend to his best judgement of what he should do, and his judgement seems to be a little too informed by dickful thinking. Bad communication can easily be the death of any relationship, and the more people involved, the more communication that needs to happen. So if this relationship is gonna make it for the long haul, someone needs to bite the bullet and start communicating.
"If a sexual encounter happens with someone else, I don't want to know" is tacit understanding that monogamy is hard, that someone will screw up and to be careful to cover tracks. It isn't an express open relationship but it isn't anywhere near "you better not cheat or we are through."
Mrs. Horton and I have the same agreement and have discussed this repeatedly. It is an express acknowledgment that temptation is real, mistakes happen but if you are being respectful, you aren't banging the neighbor or the co-worker, and especially not in the kitchen because you will likely be caught.
So I disagree with Dan here: how was the boyfriend supposed to ask for permission when asking would do exactly what the LW asked him not to do. His mistake was the details, not the act.
Hey Tim Horton! Good to see you.
I agree with you @15 about the meaning of the phrase.
It seems to me that this relationship is eminently salvageable, if both parties want to save and strengthen it, but it would require some real, in-depth conversations, some apologies (on the philandering guy's side), some forgiveness (on the lw's), and probably, a good couples counselor.
I'm going to agree with Dan here. It's really flippant to take the odd comment of "I wouldn't want to know" and extrapolate that any thing is okay as long as LW never finds out. I think the chances are slim that LW's boyfriend honestly thought that he had a complete free pass. I'm not buying that. Maybe he believed it just enough to avoid feeling guilty.
It would have been really easy to say something like, "Are we in an open relationship, as long as we don't share details?"
“If a sexual encounter happens with someone else, I don’t want to know.”
I don't think people who want a monogamous relationship speak in this way, and do so repeatedly without ever reinforcing the idea of monogamy. I would assume that my partner is fine with an open the relationship, but just wants no details, so I am more inclined to see this as bad communication.
I disagree with @15/Tim Horton, as I think people who want monogamy, but appreciate that faithfulness over decades is difficult to achieve in practice actually say, "I understanding that monogamy is hard, if you screw up, be careful to cover your tracks," which is a different idea than ASIB conveyed.
I vote for communication failure if it was said more than once.
Yeah, communication failure mainly on his side. He said more than once that if BF were to have sex with someone else, he didn't want to know. BF's interpretation was reasonable. Particularly in the gay community where strict monogamy is not the presumed default. It's not at all surprising that this repeated assertion was interpreted as permission to fuck around but be discreet. ASIB is naive if he thinks he can say this, repeatedly, and a horny young person won't have an opportunity and decide to take it because his partner has said he wouldn't mind. So, accept that yeah, you did pave the way for this; it was your own wishful thinking, not a commitment on your partner's fault, that made you think he'd hear this and stay faithful anyway; and have a real conversation about what is and is not permissible and what you do and do not want to know. And give the guy credit for keeping you safe while awaiting test results -- how is "rejecting your requests for sex" while awaiting the results a bad thing?? I didn't understand that part at all!
*not a commitment on your partner's part.
Coolie @6, excellent comment.
Gaydor @7, good point as well. Even in fully open, fully disclosed poly relationships, jealousy and hurt feelings do happen. Human beings are fragile, particularly when Love is involved.
Vab @9: "ASIB tacitly asked to be allowed to live in his delusion of monogamy." Perfectly said.
Beaver @11, yes. Although he did nothing wrong, he could acknowledge that his actions hurt ASIB's feelings and apologise for that. Costs him nothing and would go a long way towards repairing the relationship. ASIB does need to forgive him and you can't forgive someone who isn't sorry.
This "rejecting my requests for sex" issue keeps bugging me. I mean, it only takes a week or so to get test results. Is Mr ASIB doing so in a passive aggressive way that indicates he's punishing ASIB for asking him to get a test? Or is he just being reasonable in wanting to manage risk? Why is ASIB insisting on sex with someone whose status he does not currently know? Is he offering to use condoms? I guess only they know, but any theories here?
@22 BDF - my read is that the BF did not reveal that he had the tests at the time, but that ASIB's requests for sex were rejected, and he has now realised why.
As to the actual problem - the answer here depends on whether you value being right or being happy. Basically, you maintain that you BF's cheating was wrong, and that the only sanction severe enough is to end the relationship. Or you can forgive him, have a clear discussion about your relationship goals (you should also thank him for so effectively honouring your request not to know all this time). And then your relationship can pretty much return normal, with the added bonus that if any hottie throws himself at you, you can also indulge without guilt.
What a sad tale, and this confusion has gone on for eight years. This is one loose intimacy.
Hey Tim. Interesting developments in your story..
Having been always safe myself, I have no theory about the rejection of requests for sex while awaiting test results.
It was at least very conVEEENient (said in Mr Carvey's Church Lady voice) and perhaps quite Rumpolean-style careful of BF not to seek a clarification. It feels like the line someone would take with a parental figure or someone else with similar authority.
But LW seems to have done much the same thing from a different angle, coasting on the favourable assumption that BF would initiate a tricky conversation, and without any known handle on which to hang it.
It makes me think of the argument between Arnold and Alan in Torch Song Trilogy, roughly:
"We agreed we could see other people and I did. Why did you agree if you didn't want me to?"
"Because I wanted you to feel that you could!"
"No, you wanted me to feel that you could."
As for Mr Savage, I can see how he got [You could accept (or could've accepted) being in an open relationship.] but not how that extended to [So while you might want to be in an open relationship with someone,].
Methinks many SLOG commenters and Dan are being too quick to suggest it's over on this one. They've lived together 8 years. That's emotionally like being married, minus some of the legal-financial bits.
So, worth "working on" for a sustained duration before deciding about breaking up. Any decade-long LTR is likely to have some major bumps.
@15 TimHorton+1, yup, they have very different definitions of open / DADT. While I say it's worth working on, there sure is gonna be a lot of work to do! I think Dan undersold this, it takes a long time to see if differing-definitions of open can be reconciled, and they clearly have different definitions. But worth trying. @7 and @21 offer places to start this work.
Where to draw the line? Well, wherever the hell you want to draw it! Define your boundary clearly and stick to it! Say (for example) 'indiscretions (like the camera stunt), cocksucking, casual encounters--but no relationships! No repeated fuckbuddies!'. Say that, if you can live with it--and be explicit! And stick to it! If you say 'absolute monogamy'--which isn't in fact something you require--you risk your eight-year relationship.
You, the LW, ASIB, have a lot of power here. Your bf has been with you for eight years. He hasn't fallen in love with anyone else. Hasn't left you. Seal a more formal commitment by being explicit about what you both want.
'I have nowhere to direct my feelings of anger and sadness...'. Yes, you do. Call BS on your bf--angrily call BS--when says, lamely, 'but I thought you were doing the same'. Of course he doesn't think this. Come out with Dan's killer line about his seeking forgiveness rather than permission. Challenge him to be open within parameters you've defined. If his straying is letting off steam, not getting a kick from screwing with you, your relationship is perhaps fine. But be open, honest and generous with him, and see if it gets him to a place where he genuinely apologises.
@9. vab. I think the cat's out of the basket now and dadt will have to be fairly intensively defined.
@20. Bi. Wouldn' t ASIB's bf know whether he, ASIB, wanted a monogamous relationship or not? It would seem that he, the bf, has been careful not to go beyond 'cheating but not cheating' sex.
Harriet @28: "Of course he doesn't think this." Please show your workings.
Harriet @29: "It would seem that he, the bf, has been careful not to go beyond 'cheating but not cheating' sex." Again, please show your workings. ASIB said his boyfriend admitted to "short sexual encounters." How is that 'cheating but not cheating'? He seems to have been careful to not get caught, at least until the kitchen incident.
"Wouldn't ASIB's bf know whether he, ASIB, wanted a monogamous relationship or not?" Not if ASIB repeatedly said he would not want to know if a partner had slept with someone else. Like Sublime @18 says, monogamous people don't say things like that. His words implied that he wanted a DADT relationship, and most people who want DADT relationships want them so that they can have freedom to occasionally shag others. ASIB's words indicated don't ask, don't tell, so Mr ASIB didn't ask and didn't tell, and the sort of projection we all do here led him to conclude ASIB wasn't completely faithful either. Occam's razor is at play here -- nothing in this letter seems implausible, aside from the issue of who's insisting on pre-test-results celibacy, which I'd expect to be the cheatee rather than the cheater.
With those on here who say that the "Don't tell" thing is for slip ups, not for planned encounters. The boyfriend knew that it was at best ambiguous and lived in that grey zone for a reason.
That said, none of this seems unsalvageable. The LW doesn't mind being in an open relationship and they can now have a real talk about what that means (which is important, some people see open as "when I'm on vacation" and some people see it as "when I'm out drinking every Tuesday" or there could be lines that are drawn: "Oral is fine, anything else is not"). He probably needs an apology but it doesn't need to be a "Sorry I cheated/lied" apology. Seems like more of a "Sorry I was insensitive and didn't communicate" apology. And those apologies are what relationships are built on, if he can't get that, there's something else going on.
Larry @31: Yes, that's a good point. "If you accidentally screwed up and cheated and felt horrible about it, I'd want you to not do it again, but I wouldn't want to be told" is an equally reasonable interpretation of ASIB's words. The boyfriend definitely interpreted them in a way that was self-serving. And Harriet has a point that, knowing this guy for eight years, the boyfriend should have been a bit more cognisant of his own partner's attitude toward casual sex outside the relationship. On the other hand, ASIB said he wouldn't have minded an open relationship, if his boyfriend would have only done the thing ASIB said he didn't want him to do -- talk about it! Miscommunication plus assumption equals hurt feelings, but it does seem like these two can sort it out and move forward with more honesty on both sides.
This is the problem with DADT agreements, by default they require lying by omission to your partner. There's no one to really blame here - though the BF did show an amazing lack of discretion he also appears to be genuinely sorry. It's up to you if this is something that can be worked through.
Before you go about setting the boundaries in your relationship, spend some time getting a concrete handle about what you need, what you want, and what you can tolerate. It's ok to feel hurt and betrayed. You said you didn't want to know and he acted in a way you could easily find out about. But if you decide to move forward together then you also need to decide to forgive him.
I don’t think the LW should beat himself up for having his current feelings. But I do think his boyfriend’s interpretation of LW’s repeated statements of DADT was reasonable in context. However, shooting some other guy’s dick in the kitchen when your partner is in the house and doesn’t know seems a bit risky and disrespectful even of the reasonably misunderstood boundaries LW was projecting. I think, Lomé others, that communication and counseling can save this relationship, but staking our some middle ground requiring sacrifices by both parties seems essential.
I would believe the bf's story more if he was occasionally having discreet encounters on business trips or something. But when he's doing stuff like blocking their shared kitchen door and taking dick pics of his friend and then acting weird toward LW for a week, it strains credulity. That's the opposite of discretion.
Everyone I know in open relationships, even those that are DADT, talked about boundaries. No mutual friends, etc. It would have been so easy for bf to say "are you serious about opening things up? If so, what are the ground rules other than not talking about it?"
I think the issue around sex refusal and testing is obvious and understandable. THEY are in a relationship and the consequences of the BF’s dalliances is affecting their intimacy. It stops being something on the periphery and brings it front and center. It says that these affairs are more important than the relationship. It is quite literally, “you aren’t having sex with me because you are sleeping around”. Even in a clear open relationship I don’t think this is ok. Of course I’m not saying BF should have sex with the LW if he is fearful of an STI, It means the BF needs to make safety a priority to prevent the issue arising in the first place. Every time this happens, it is basically shoving the affairs into the face of the LW as DADT means shit if it is obvious that the BF has gotten or suspects an STI. Bottom line, when the BF’s behavior starts impacting the intimacy of the relationship with the LW, it is a problem that the LW has every right to be upset about.
BF is at fault. Not because he was out getting some--I agree that LW opened that door, but because he broke the "I don't wanna know" rule. Naked time with a friend barricaded in the kitchen of your own house while LW is home that prompts a discussion where you reveal all your past trysts is NOT following the "I don't wanna know" rule. Seems like BF wanted to get caught, or stopped respecting the original agreement (no matter how poorly discussed that agreement was).
My impression is that the LW (who seems like quite the little drama queen) forced his BF to get those tests done because he didn't believe the BF had played safe with others, so the BF is doing the logical thing by not having sex until the results are in. Except that the self-victimizing LW has to turn that into something else he has to suffer through instead of the consequence of his decision, which it is (just as his repeated statements that he wouldn't want to know about outside sex implied that they effectively had an open relationship, and now he has the sadz because he found out that it actually is open).
When I read the letter, I thought: wasn't he expecting the same as Arnold when Alan has sex with Arnold's ex in the second part of Torch Song Trilogy? (Finally, Venn and I share a cultural reference!) The LW has given his BF the freedom to fuck around, but he secretly hopes the BF won't use that freedom because he loves him. Welcome to the real world, LW. The BF's only crime is not being a mind-reader.
I'm struck by the phrase "what I knew was a party night for my boyfriend." That leads me to think ASIB knew his bf had adventures, fueled by drugs, alcohol, music, etc. I find it hard to believe ASIB really thought nothing sexual ever happened on those party nights.
He's still entitled to have feelings, now that it's out in the open. ASIB says "I still feel like a hurt little boy; I feel like I have no place to direct my anger or my sadness."
In Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski says: "Emotions are physiological cascades that want to complete their cycles, and they will complete their cycles when you allow them to; they want to be travelers, not residents." I think ASIB needs to find a way (maybe with a therapist, life coach, or good friend) to process his anger and sadness all the way through and let them go.
All that said, I agree with Queue517 @37 that the BF finally wanted to get caught which is why he got caught. Now they can each feel their feelings, express their feelings, and figure out if they want to move forward together with a more open acknowledgment of what's going on, or if they want to break up.
@38 You clearly didn't read the letter. It was only after he was caught that BF explained that times with no sex were when BF was getting tested. That was on the BF, not the LW.
Its not being a drama queen to feel upset about a bad lapse in communication. I think the LW is being super chill about this, accepting some infidelity because it was a bit ambiguous and because they are okay with an open relationship in the end.
Larry @ 40 - Did you read the letter?
It says "The messing around with others has resulted in him taking STI tests and then rejecting my requests for sex while waiting for his test result"
There is nothing in that sentence that contradicts what I said.
I think the whole letter is an example of someone - the LW - deflecting responsibility. "The messing around" didn't result in the BF taking STI tests: a decision was taken by either, or both, of these people. The specifics of that decision process are not mentioned here, so my take is as valid as anyone else's.
And "rejecting requests for sex" while waiting for test results is the wise move, so the LW is not a victim, he's being protected from unintended consequences; it baffles me that he should even request sex if either of them think the BF might have an STI.
Finally, the LW doesn't say if the testing/refusal happened before or if it's just this time. He's actually quite clever at writing in an ambiguous way, which is why I think he's a drama queen: although he does admit that he "paved a way" for his BF to do this, the rest is pure "woe is me".
To all who keep saying.. but the BF should have asked for clarification, I can only ask WHY. I saw NOTHING unclear in the LW's words. It's what he said. Period. Full stop. If that's not what he meant, than the onus as on HIM to say what he meant.. not on the BF to say "really"? Did you REALLY mean that? Especially not when it's said repeatedly over 8 years. All that happened here was the rug was pulled out from under LW's self delusion by a specific action that seemingly had nothing to do with fidelity per se. ( Now, that said, taking dic pics of one's bud in the kitchen without discussing or asking permission WAS likely rude or thoughtless. But don't conflate the issues or use that as an excuse to blame the BF. Was he sucking the dude's cock too?--a fidelity issue--and hence "telling" and in violation of the stated guidelines as well as being rude- or just taking pics of it? which has nada to do with fidelity per se more than watching porn. If LW is now throwing a guilt trip at BF, it's the BF who more likely has the right to feel offended and deceived and not vice versa.
LW, what is the problem here. If you hadn’t wanted an open/ DADT relationship, the time to speak up was eight years ago. You say you are ok with it, and you’ve indicated to your bf over the yrs not to speak up if a ‘mistake’ happen...getting a cock out and inserting it in someone else is one big mistake.... so which is it LW. You ok with being open or not?
That your bf was taking cock photos in your kitchen, forcing you to open the door, that’s concerning. What’s the economic situation here, is it equal sharing of expenses. Or is he, being a decade younger, a little indulged so he stays around? Because that kitchen behaviour was rude and childish.
Time to clear the decks LW, and talk straight with each other. This is your life you are wasting.
Would you be better off with him or without him?
Oh sorry, didn’t see you there. My mistake.
@26 Seems like sunk costs fallacy to me.
I think in any long term relationship strong (probably flexible) opinions fly around over time about money, sex, work, cleaning, travel. Areas that effects our individual choices, deep feelings and freedom, and the work we do together as a couple: “If you spend that much money on a coat I don’t want to know” “If I find out you been doing drugs I will...” “I hate spending time doing...” But I think most of the time these “flying” opinions land in a deeper negotiation. I don’t read this letter as that LW on several occasions gave a blessing, just opinions in different context, a game night with friends etc. I think shame calls for easy explanations and justifications. “You said that thousand of times” a phrase I remember shouting at my mom as a teenager when she pointed out my wrong doings that was not agreed upon.
@30. Bi. I agree with you in principle that Occam's Razor should apply. In this case, the 'Occam' question is 'is the bf telling the whole truth or just part of the truth?'. Because the question arises, it would be a mistake, I think, just to accept his simplest, most unadorned explanation of what went on (he took the lw's suggestions of dadt at face value). Because e.g. of:
I didn’t mean, "Oh hey, you can continue have sex with other guys all you want just don’t tell me about it." It turns out he assumes I was doing the same sorts of things all along and that my “don’t ask don’t tell” comments reflected my behavior.
The bf's implicit response seems to be that he supposed (or allowed himself to suppose) the lw was effectively open in his behavior. And on this basis so was he--it might be presumed--other than that he hasn't yet been upfront about it, because he knows it violated a tacit agreement. He seems to be dripfeeding his older partner an account of his infidelities (on solo travels, at a gay sauna at the start of the relationship). This is what Dan and I think all or almost all of the gay male commentators have seen.
What timbrowne @4 says isn't inconceivable to me: that the younger bf has been 'banging guys all over town'. ASIB should grasp the nettle and find out--allowing himself his anger but offering his lover the reassurance that the relationship won't end because of something that happened in the past. What went on? And what will ASIB now allow? Strange on solo trips and monthly saunas e.g.? Spell it out....
There is one non-Occam consideration you may just rule out of court but which I'd be lying if I didn't admit I factored in--the ten-years-younger bf is a 'professional photographer' i.e. possibly someone financially dependent on the lw. (It may be like 'professional opera singer'). The party's at ASIB's flat, no? It crossed my mind that this was one motive for not coming clean about how often he's gone behind the lw's back.
@30. Bi. I think his insisting on the pre-test celibacy an indication of feeling guilty.
@38. Ricardo. At least some of the lw's declarations that he wouldn't want to know--about any of his bf's lapses--seem situational or unplanned, not things he is saying in a programmatic or self-dramatising way. Like the question in the smutty game that takes him unawares, and to which he now thinks he gave the wrong answer.
I get the impression he thinks his bf is a catch and doesn't want to lose him. And perhaps it's gone through his head that he could lose him two ways: permitting him to explore and 'denying him his independence'.
@44. Lava. Yes. Well said all round. As far as I can see, we're the only people direct enough to ask 'who's paying?'. (Well, you're direct; I'm comprehensive ;) ).
ImRight @36: I would agree with you 100% if it were ASIB saying, "You cheated on me, no sex until you get a test and the results come back negative." That makes perfect sense. But it's ASIB who is saying, "You cheated on me and you might have an STI, but I still want you to have sex, and how dare you say no?" If BF is refusing because he knows he's been unsafe and thinks there is a real chance he has an STI, he needs to be clear with ASIB about that. And possibly offer sex with condoms. But the STI horse is most probably already out of the barn with these two. So is BF saying, "No. You asked me to get a test, now you have to wait, so there," or what? It seems weird that ASIB may suspect an STI but be the one insisting that he risk exposing himself.
Ricardo @38: Thanks, good theory! If the drama queen crown fits, wear it.
Yeah, Larry @40, you didn't read Ricardo's post. ASIB is being a drama queen by asking for an STI test, illogically asking for sex, then acting like his BF is wronging him a second time by saying no while awaiting the results.
"I think the LW is being super chill about this, accepting some infidelity because it was a bit ambiguous and because they are okay with an open relationship in the end." -- Uh, you didn't read the letter either, because he's absolutely not doing that. He is being -advised- to do that. Big difference.
Cocky @43: There's no evidence that there were any STI tests or corresponding sex rejections prior to just now.
Harriet @50: Again, the question isn't why why BF is insisting on the celibacy, but why ASIB, the wronged party, is rejecting this sensible approach. "Because he wants to be the victim, again" makes more sense than any other theory to me.
Cocky @43: Re-reading the PS, it is possible that you've read it right -- that over the past eight years, there have been multiple times when BF has rejected ASIB's requests for sex, and it's only now that he's admitted the reason for the rejections was that he was awaiting test results. That reading also makes sense. "In the past you deprived me of sex because you were out having unsafe sex with others, then getting tested, all without my knowledge." If so, that was shitty of BF. There are times when DADT must be overridden, and "I've engaged in something risky that I don't want to expose you to" is one of those times. If BF was having unsafe sex with others, I would change my answer to DTMFA.
BiDanFan @55 -- no sex is absolutely safe. I don't agree with the distinction you're drawing where engaging in what you consider "unsafe sex" makes the BF an MF to be dumped already.
No one is entitled to sex. The BF gets to refuse sex due to (secretly) waiting for test results, just as he gets to refuse sex if he had a headache or a lot of work stress. The LW knew how much sex they were having together and could end the relationship if he didn't find the frequency satisfactory.
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