My boyfriend freaked out because I had a threesome

It happened before we were together, but he can't handle it and he's being a real jerk.

Topics: Since You Asked,

Dear Cary,

When I started dating my current boyfriend, it was as if everything fell into place. It finally felt like what I thought a relationship should feel like. I was incredibly happy, but also afraid that my boyfriend would find out something about my past that would change how he felt about me. He seemed uncomfortable with the number of people I had slept with, but it wasn’t a huge issue.

One night, after talking about a friend of ours who met his girlfriend in a threesome, he asked me if I had ever been in one. It didn’t occur to me to lie, particularly about something I consider so minor, so I answered honestly and told him yes.

After that, everything changed. The night I told him I’d had a threesome, he cried and said he felt sick. He became so angry with me that he began to pick at me, and it seems like everything I do is wrong. Overnight, I went from being in a relationship that made me even more confident and happy with myself to being in a relationship that brings me down and constantly reminds me of my shortcomings.

It’s been six months since he found out. I asked him to get therapy, and he saw two people. He said none of their suggestions helped (one suggested that he laugh it off and make it into a joke), and they seemed to run out of ideas. Now it’s like he’s given up. We hardly ever have sex anymore, because when we have sex, he thinks about my past. He says that he sees sex as sacred, and even though he’s not religious, he has all of these rules on what is right and what is wrong. I’m not asking for his approval of my past actions, just understanding and forgiveness. I’ve tried explaining my past and why I did the things that I did, and I’ve tried to make him understand how much he means to me and how much I value sex with him, but nothing seems to make any difference. I’d made a couples therapy appointment for us, but he “has something to do then” and says he wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about this stuff to a therapist in front of me.

I can’t keep feeling so ashamed of a past I had come to terms with, but I also can’t bring myself to give up on someone that I love so much. Before the threesome fiasco, we’d been talking about marriage and our future, and now I wonder how he could have meant any of that. If he loved me so much, how could his love and respect for me be so conditional? Is there anything he can do to get over this, or am I going to have to forget about how good things used to be and move on? It’s Christmastime, and here I am trying to figure out where to live and who gets the cats and how on earth I can handle all of this hurt.



Regretting Telling

Dear Regretting,

This guy is nuts. What’s wrong with having a threesome?

No, don’t marry him. Get away from him. He sounds crazy. Not to be too judgmental, but really.

OK, so let’s say it triggered something in him, some deep-seated fear or whatever. Fine. So the loving thing to do would be to admit to you that he’s acting crazy and irrational and commit to work on it and forgive you for what you did as if you even needed forgiving but most of all since he’s the one who needs forgiving he should ask for your forgiveness for being such a jerk about something that happened before you were together, and if you suggest to him that you’re going to go to couples therapy to work with it then FOR GOD’S SAKE HE SHOULD AGREE TO GO. Not say he has something to do that day. That’s lame. He’s being a jerk about this.

And what’s with the therapists? Don’t they have any sense at all? If he went to one just once, what is with that? You don’t go to a therapist just once. They can’t make any money like that. You have to go again and again and again, unearthing more and more problems. Otherwise how is a therapist going to make a living? And how are you going to make any progress? You can’t make any progress in one session. You have to go long enough to get something done, and to get the therapist a boat. Because how is the therapist going to help you if he doesn’t have a boat? Sheesh.

No, OK, that was uncalled for. What I mean is that therapy is not something that you do just once. It’s an ongoing process. You get into it and you do it until something gets better.

I don’t know how you deal with the hurt of this ending, but obviously you cannot be with someone the rest of your life who can’t deal with something from your past like that.

OK, so maybe it was dumb to tell him. But you found out something. You found out he’s nuts.

So would he be so kind as to move out and let you keep the place? And leave you one cat? That would be nice of him.

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