Dear Dr. Love,I have been divorced for about three and a half years. Six months ago I met a man who works in the same building where I work. (He works for a different company) I was immediately physically attracted to him and he to me, so we made a lunch date. He seemed honest from the beginning and told me he had a female roommate who was divorced and needed a place to live. He also told me that she was a good friend but not a significant other. (My brother also lives with a woman who is just a friend to help share expenses, so I had no second thoughts about this)After about three dates, we became very sexual. He also possesses some great qualities (communicates very well, is affectionate and caring, and has a good sense of humor) I left a marriage because of alcoholism and emotional abuse, so I am extremely open to living life differently than I did before. I want to have fun, experiment with life, and be sexually comfortable. To make a long story short, the three of us have become ‘bonded’ socially and sexually. They are both great people that I enjoy. He still tells me he is in love with me and emotionally attached to me and how important I am to him. The trouble is that I now am having too many times where I am left unfulfilled sexually (I am ALWAYS sexually VERY happy when I am alone with him) and emotionally I no longer fee l’centered on’ or like the ‘SIGNIFICANT other’.I feel like I am vieing for his attention. I have told him, and we have discussed that I feel like a very monogomous mate, but he has said that his friendship with this other woman is too important for her to not be included in this relationship. Am I adjusting to a new lifestyle and having some mental hang-ups, and should I ‘hang in’ or does it sound to you like it’s time for me to move on? Am I just being used for the excitememt of a menagetrois? Thanks for your advice,Signed, New Lifestyle
Your situation is quite clear. You say that you want a monogamous relationship, and wish to feel centered on, but your lover has told you point blank that he will not give up this other woman who is too important to him. Now, you are in the process of twisting yourself into a pretzel. Trying to talk yourself out of your needs and feelings. Trying to convince yourself that you simply must adapt to this new lifestyle. Listen to the number you are running on yourself. . . trying to deny your basic need to be special and someone’s number one girl.The question for you is this: How come you don’t know that you are entitled to be special and someone’s one and only girl? How come you think you need to share or take crumbs? The fact that you find yourself in this type of relationship and the fact that you actually think you should be talking yourself into taking seconds says a great deal about the nature of the problem. I think you need to figure out where you learned to talk yourself into crumbs. Did your mother do this in her marriage with your father? Did you feel second-classed or brushed aside at home?It is important for you to figure this question out, because, unless you do, you will find yourself taking crumbs in every relationship you’re in. . . or trying to force your lover to pay more attention to you instead of the another person (or hobby, or work).So, my advice to you is: do some soul-searching and figure out why you think crumbs is something you should consider settling for? And, keep reminding yourself: you are entitled to have it all and be a man’s number one. . . no sharing.