I am a 28-year-old homoflexible woman. My girlfriend/partner of eight years (who I co-own a house with) has dumped me after falling for her fuck buddy. I am such a wreck. We decided to open up our relationship about six months ago. It was a mutual decision because we were actually in a good place and both felt secure enough to do that. She has a higher sex drive than me and I wanted her to feel fulfilled so I encouraged her to find someone she could have sex with in addition to me. Well, she found this girl about 2.5 months ago and now has decided that she doesn't want to be with me anymore. Throughout those two months, she was really inconsiderate whenever she spent time with this girl: not telling me when she would be home, coming home hours after she said she would, spending the night with her even when I asked that she take a break from spending the night. I guess I should've seen it coming. But it still hurts so much.

I know that the end of the relationship doesn't mean that the relationship failed, but it feels like the last eight years were wasted because of how she has treated me recently. I feel so hurt by her that looking back at the good times we did have, they seem tainted. The main thing I need help on is how to move forward. We bought a house together so I have to see her all the time. It's really difficult to do that. She gets to have someone but I'm left pretty isolated (she was needy and I slowly gave up my friends over the years without realizing it). So I don't really have anyone to talk to and I have to see her every day. What should I do? I'm completely lost and I haven't eaten or gotten out of bed in three days. Life just doesn't seem like it's going to get better at this point, even though logically I know it will. Any advice you have for me moving forward would be so appreciated.

(And I hate to have an example of an open relationship not working because I still believe in them. I know that this failed not because of the fact we were open, but because of how inconsiderate my girlfriend was.)

Deeply Totally Mother Fucking Awful

Sell the fucking house—even if you lose money, which you probably won't (the market is nuts right now), sell that fucking house.

Zooming out for a second, DTMFA...

I urge people to exit relationships without bitterness or regret, DTMFA, whenever possible. People have it in their heads that Things Must End Ugly—that if there aren't hard feelings and recriminations and drama then there were no strong feelings there in the first place—but amicable partings are doable in situations where all involved have conducted themselves mostly honorably, strived to treat each other with respect, and made a good-faith effort to avoid inflicting gratuitous pain. It's harder to do—it's harder to part amicably—when someone has behaved badly, shabbily, inconsiderately, etc., and inflicted shitloads of pain on their way out. Such would seem to the case here. Even if your ex knew she wanted out, DTMFA, she behaved badly on her way out—she was inconsiderate and inflicted gratuitous pain. But I don't have to tell you that, right?

A little more outward zooming...

A secondary relationship overtaking the primary relationship is a fear in a lot of open and poly relationships. It's feels crappy to spend six months "working on your fears and jealousy issues" only to see your fears confirmed. (Point of order: monogamous commitments don't immunize people from jealousy and people in monogamous relationships leave their partners for other people every damn day.) I don't know if this will come as a comfort to you or not, DTMFA, but your ex may have been seduced by the honeymoon phase of hew new relationship, something the poly crowd calls "new relationship energy" or NRE. Poly people who don't see NRE for what it is—who don't see it and can't see past it—wind up flitting from one new partner/love-of-their-life to another. That sure sounds like what happened here, DTMFA, and if that's what happened... your ex's new 2.5 month relationship isn't likely to last. Regardless, DTMFA, it's time for you to move on.

It's perfectly acceptable for you to be jealous and angry and even briefly bedridden in the wake of a traumatic breakup. Go ahead and feel the shit out of your feelings. Give yourself some time each day to stay in bed and/or rage a little bit—but set a time limit. When your daily rage/stay-in-bed time is up, make yourself get out of bed and leave the house to do something constructive. (Like, oh, meeting with a real estate agent about listing your house?) Exercise can give you a routine that helps you get back on your feet, DTMFA, and be sure to eat something over the course of the day. Eventually, slowly, you'll get out of this funk, but it'll take time. Maybe a lot of time.

As for the friendships you allowed to whither over the last eight years, my recent-ish advice to GAYMAN applies...

Reach out to friends you lost touch with over the last five years, apologize for letting these relationships go, and ask if they'd like to reconnect. Not all will, GAYMAN—some might be too angry to reconnect right now (you may hear from them later), some might not have any available friendship bandwidth right now (ditto). Focus on friends who want to reconnect, and don't be bitter about friends who don't.

You're right to still believe in open relationships, DTMFA, as open relationships are a thing that exists and there are plenty of examples of successful open relationships. (Examples of successful ones include both those that are ongoing and those that ended amicably.) And as you get some distance from this relationship—physical distance (SELL THAT HOUSE) and chronological distance—you'll have a better perspective on the eight years you spent with your ex. It may hard to see anything of value in the immediate wake of this breakup, DTMFA, but as the pain subsides you'll be able to recall the good times and personal growth. The day may even come day when you're able to appreciate the good in your ex.

You may never be friends, DTMFA, but that doesn't mean you have to be enemies.

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