He Said… She Said

by Ryan Steinbach and Ellie Ankeny

My girlfriend and I have been dating for a couple of years. I went over to her apartment and found her messing around with another woman. Shocked as I was, she asked me to join in, and I did. Now I feel like I’ve encouraged her to be promiscuous because I was thinking with my other head. I want to be supportive of her exploring her sexuality, but I feel betrayed. Should I trust her?

-Betrayed

What happens when fantasy becomes reality? As you so candidly put it, your situation is a battle of the heads. Mentally you feel betrayed and surprised by your girlfriend’s behavior. But the stereotypical dude in you is loving every minute of it. Two girls at the same time, yes! Every guy’s fantasy, right?

Your situation boils down to your comfort level. If you are eager to explore this new development, then by all means, bust out the video camera and go crazy. However, if you feel uncomfortable sharing yourself and your girlfriend with another woman, allow yourself that emotion as well. Just because society says you should feel a certain way doesn’t mean you have to fall into line. After all, life is not a Penthouse letter.

The fact remains that she did cheat on you. Does it really matter whether it was with a man or woman? Relationships are built on faith and trust, and she broke that bond.

I suggest talking to her to gain a better understanding of what she is going through. Sometimes it is better to know the truth, no matter how painful, than the torture of creating your own reality. Tell her what you are feeling but also listen to her inner struggle. Since you have invested a great deal of time and energy into your relationship, try to reach an understanding that pleases both partners.

At some point the both of you will have to face her sexuality. If she’s bisexual, then there shouldn’t be a huge change in your relationship unless you’re ready for the next step. If she’s straight and this was just a college experiment, then you need to forgive the past and move on. However, if she’s gay, I suggest throwing in the towel. There aren’t enough estrogen pills in the world to change you into what she’s looking for.

Ryan Steinbach

Extracurricular activity in any committed relationship is cheating – no matter the gender of the other person. If your girlfriend is attracted to someone else and acts on these feelings, it is cheating. You have the right to be upset about her actions.

However, if you are going to take that position, you do need to admit some fault as well. Let’s face it. By joining in the threesome, you inadvertently communicated to her that you approved. Hindsight is always 20/20. In retrospect, you probably shouldn’t have joined in if you were uncomfortable with what she was doing.

If you think you’re confused, imagine what she is feeling. College years are a time of sexual exploration and experimentation. This exploration can leave you even more confused about your true identity. But don’t worry; I’ve got a simple game plan for both of you.

As I’ve stressed before, communication is key. You need to discuss the occurrence with her. Ask if she wants to continue the relationship with you, even if it means being strictly monogamous from now on out.

Once you get her answers, it’s time for a little soul searching of your own. What sort of relationship do you want? Are you okay with her having multiple partners, even if you don’t know about them? Is this something you want to continue into a more serious relationship such as marriage? What does it say about your relationship if she felt she was unable to tell you about this or merely chose not to tell you?

Next, communicate to her the answers you come up with. Although you may still be angry, exercise some tolerance. As someone once told me, “In every failed relationship, even where an infidelity has occurred, both people are to blame.” Think about those words. Did you truly “not see this coming”? Perhaps you both don’t know each other as well as you thought or are not as happy in your long-term relationship as you had hoped.

Ellie Ankeny