Wedding Woes

Am I paranoid or is my partner borrowing trouble?

Dear Prudence,

I’m a gay man in a relationship with my wonderful boyfriend, “Jay”, who is bisexual. We’ve been dating three years and talked about marriage. My problem, however, is either legitimate concern or my own insecurity, and I need advice figuring out which and what to do. Mine and Jay’s dating histories could not be more different. I had one boyfriend before him, my high school sweetheart whom I broke up with aged 19. Our sex life was very “vanilla,” which suits me. I met Jay and became friends when we were 24, by which time he had over a dozen ex partners and a lot of wild experiences—think sex parties, threesomes, BDSM scene etc. He was poly, but opted to become monogamous when he started dating me as he knew from our longstanding friendship that I would only be comfy with that. I spent a long time worrying I was too boring for him but thought I had finally gotten over that fear.

Now two of his exes—a married couple for whom he was their third—have moved to our city. He stayed on great terms with them, which I didn’t mind when “great terms” involved occasional friendly Facebook messages. Now, he is excited to have the chance to regularly meet up with “Nick” and “Sarah” for coffee as friends, and introduced us. Prudie, I hate them. They still have an open marriage, and Sarah seems very flirty with Jay, though he laughs it off as her mannerisms. I know a lot about his relationship with them from how he talked when we were just friends, and I feel sick with jealousy and the fear that he is going to remember how exciting things were with these two and get bored with me. He has always seemed happy with our pretty vanilla sex life, but there are things he did with them that I know I can’t offer him and that I know he found incredibly fun. It’s all I can think about whenever I have to see these people. Would I be out of line to ask him to scale back the friendship with his exes, or am I being insecure? He doesn’t know I feel this way as I have tried hard to be nice to Nick and Sarah, though I have dodged his attempts to invite them into our home. What should I do?

— Return of the Ex(es)

Re: Am I paranoid or is my partner borrowing trouble?

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You need to talk to him!

    Only he can tell you if he really is satisfied with how things are.   And you're going to have to trust the person that you're in a relationship with in order to make that work. 
    VarunaTTSTARMOON44
  • He’s not borrowing trouble by having friends, and you’re not paranoid- but you are jealous and insecure in your relationship and that is something you can work on. He tells you he’s happy, you need to believe him. 

    If you can’t shake this you need to talk to him- but you also need to trust what he says- if he reaffirms he’s happy with your relationship and sex life you need to trust him. And work on your own insecurities around your pasts. 
    VarunaTTSTARMOON44short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • I think you need to have an calm, honest, respectful talk with Jay about a.) whether he is really happy with your "vanilla" relationship and b.) his feelings toward and relationship with Nick and Sarah now. Let him know that you are concerned that what you two have isn't enough for him in light of his past, and yes, that you are feeling worried and jealous about his continued friendship with this couple. It's hard for me to advise further without knowing what Jay will say, but do keep in mind that just because someone found something "incredibly fun" at one time in their life doesn't mean that they still want or need it now. 

    As for Nick and Sarah, I'm not a big fan of telling a significant other who they can or can't be friends with, but I think it's okay to let him know that you don't really want to go on any more coffee dates with them. His friends don't always have to be your friends too. But it might also be a good idea to establish some open communication about his time with them and to let Jay know that you'd appreciate if he created some distance with this couple if they show signs of wanting to revive their previous relationship.
    image
    short+sassy
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I have so many feels about this letter, it's hard for me to not be super confrontational about it.

    But basically I would say LW has some serious communication issues, insecurity issues, and is coming across to me super judgmental about his partner's sexual orientation and sexual history.  I mean, yay that the "vanilla" suits you...where does this letter state how his partner feels about it?  Monogamy doesn't have to be "vanilla".
    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • CasadenaCasadena member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I agree that LW seems insecure.  However, i'd have a huge problem with H being super friendly with an ex-girlfriend.  LIke getting coffee and inviting her to our house close, regardless of the type of sex they used to have. 

    IMO it's one thing to be on good terms with an ex and be genuinely friendly in situations like reunions or a mutual friends wedding for example.  But a close personal individual friendships are odd to me.  

    Are any of you guys that close to an ex?  Maybe I'm in the wrong, idk, but it would definitely bother me. 
    mrsconn23ei34
  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think it’s beyond ok to say “I’m feeling like Sandy is flirting with you, which feels disrespectful to me and our relationship. And you’re engaging back, which also doesn’t feel great. What’s going on here?”
    Totally agree.  You absolutely can talk about when you think someone may have crossed a line with your partner. 
    STARMOON44downtondivacharlotte989875
  • Casadena said:
    I agree that LW seems insecure.  However, i'd have a huge problem with H being super friendly with an ex-girlfriend.  LIke getting coffee and inviting her to our house close, regardless of the type of sex they used to have. 

    IMO it's one thing to be on good terms with an ex and be genuinely friendly in situations like reunions or a mutual friends wedding for example.  But a close personal individual friendships are odd to me.  

    Are any of you guys that close to an ex?  Maybe I'm in the wrong, idk, but it would definitely bother me. 
    I am definitely a Dead to Me type when it comes to previous (serious) partners. Not out of any spite or anger, I have just closed the door to that relationship. There is only one ex I would be curious enough to get coffee with if they were to reach out. That said, I think there are a lot of variables that come into play. DH's ex right before me contacts him every year or two in a Hey, how ya doing way? sorta way. I find it totally inappropriate and we fight about it almost every time but if a different old girl friend was to do the same thing, I probably wouldn't have an issue with it.
  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Casadena said:
    I agree that LW seems insecure.  However, i'd have a huge problem with H being super friendly with an ex-girlfriend.  LIke getting coffee and inviting her to our house close, regardless of the type of sex they used to have. 

    IMO it's one thing to be on good terms with an ex and be genuinely friendly in situations like reunions or a mutual friends wedding for example.  But a close personal individual friendships are odd to me.  

    Are any of you guys that close to an ex?  Maybe I'm in the wrong, idk, but it would definitely bother me. 
    I am definitely a Dead to Me type when it comes to previous (serious) partners. Not out of any spite or anger, I have just closed the door to that relationship. There is only one ex I would be curious enough to get coffee with if they were to reach out. That said, I think there are a lot of variables that come into play. DH's ex right before me contacts him every year or two in a Hey, how ya doing way? sorta way. I find it totally inappropriate and we fight about it almost every time but if a different old girl friend was to do the same thing, I probably wouldn't have an issue with it.
    I am not interested in meeting up with most exes for nostalgia or to carry on a friendship, but I work with my last serious BF before DH.  We almost got engaged.  I dumped him basically because he was several years older than me and boring af and I had oats to sow (I was only 21).  He went on to date another co-worker before marrying a third one.  I see him at work events maybe once a year and we say hi, exchange pleasantries, ask about each other's family. 

    I would have dinner with my ex from HS if we were to find ourselves with the opportunity and he was interested.  He's also married.  I knew his family and have wondered about them over the years.  His parents were much older and his brother had a lot of health issues.

    I have one other ex I wonder about, but that door is fine being and staying closed.  Everyone else is pretty much faded memory. 

  • ei34ei34 member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm not in touch with any ex's either (not even on social media.  (Thank you varuna for shedding light on differences in the queer community.)  LW does sound insecure and I'm always surprised when I see letters from people who've been with someone for years and marriage has come up and there's some big problem that better communication would fix.
    VarunaTT
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