At the end of March Carla told me that my not marrying her was the greatest tragedy in her life and two weeks later, while I was visiting my grandmother in another state, she called me up to say that she was breaking up with me and moving in with her other boyfriend and would no longer be talking to me. She said she had been planning it for six months. The real kicker was that she was not moving in with her boyfriend just yet because he was still in an apartment that didn’t allow pets and she had a pet bunny, so she was moving back into her dad’s house for a month despite the fact that she no longer had a bedroom there and had to sleep on the couch. We talked for hours and at one point she asked if I would have eventually married her and I told her I would have, so when I flew home I drove to her dad’s house and proposed to her. She told me no but it really seemed to affect her, so I kept trying to convince her to come back to me, and, although she didn’t, she did continue to come over to my house and sleep with me, in effect “cheating” on the other boyfriend. She even told me she would try to get him to eventually let her see me again. She also slept with someone from her work and told me about it — surprisingly, I thought, since I could have told her other boyfriend about it.
During the month Carla lived with her dad, I tried to woo her back by taking her places and also trying a new kink fantasy out that we both absolutely loved and which really re-energized our sex life. We talked a lot about what kind of wedding we would have together — to her delight — but every time it came to her coming back to me she would say it was too late. She told me she still regretted that we didn’t get married, and I asked her how she could say that now that she wanted to marry someone else and she said that she didn’t think of it like that.
She was uncertain if she would keep sleeping with me after she moved in with him, but she eventually did. She even texted me that he was being too clingy and the sex was not as intimate, and she was being all “Would you really take me back after all I’ve done to you?” But she then got used to the clinginess and grew to love cooking and sharing recipes with him. I asked about her convincing him to let her see me again and she said she didn’t think that was going to happen. Then they got engaged and she texted me that she wanted to move on. Two weeks later we were sleeping together again. I was trying to convince her to marry me instead, so I hoped to turn her on with the idea of sleeping with her in her wedding dress. Instead, she gave me the consolation prize of letting me sleep with her in her wedding dress when it arrives, which should be today.
If Carla had not been asking me to marry her a month before she left me, and not lamenting two weeks later that our not getting married is the most tragic event in her life, I think I could move on. Instead, it’s been four and a half months of complete hell because I still can’t stop thinking about her every minute of the day. I can’t help but think that if her boyfriend found out about me, he would break up with her and she would come back to me. I was very tempted to email him that she cheated on him with the guy from her work, and now I am dreaming about bribing one of their neighbors to mention to him that he saw me. But I’m scared it will misfire and that he will forgive her (as he’s done once before after she promised not to sleep with anyone else besides me), and then she would break it off with me completely.
Ideally, I would have liked to have all three of us get together and just talk about setting up a way to share our time, but with her strange need to marry one of us, it’s forced me into a competitive situation where my only option of having any kind of normal relationship with her means betraying her secrets to him in order to make him want to break up with her. I don’t really respect the guy, who I feel has tried to play her feelings against me in the past, but I can’t help but think (with less than pure underlying intentions, I know) he should know the woman he’s marrying is a cheater and had wanted to marry another man just four months earlier. — Her First Choice
No, you should not betray Carla’s secrets to her fiancé. Not only is it not your place to butt into their relationship, but also doing so will not get you the results you say you want (which is Carla committing to you). In fact, what will likely happen if you tell Carla’s fiancé that she’s a “a cheater and had wanted to marry another man just four months earlier,” is that Carla will hate you for it and not want anything to do with you. If you really love her — and that’s a big if since you aren’t behaving like you do — you’ll let her go and let her live the life she says she wants.
You and Carla don’t want the same things. You may both be open to and interested in nontraditional or non-monogamous relationships, but Carla wants marriage and that kind of institution does not appeal to you. She has found someone who also wants marriage — with her! — someone she says she loves. The details of their relationship are none of your business, including whether she’s deluding herself into believing this other guy is a good match for her or how he’d react if he knew she was sleeping with other men. It’s none of your business. That you had a relationship with her or even that she recently said that not marrying you was a great tragedy does not lend you some kind of perpetual authority in her life. It doesn’t grant you a say in whom she does marry or what kind of marriage she has. None of it – truly, none of it – is any of your business.
I’m sorry that losing Carla has been hell for you and that you can’t stop thinking about her and that you’re sad or whatever. Getting dumped is never fun. It’s hell for a lot of people, and slowly things get better and they move on. You will, too. Out there is someone who will share your values and your vision of an ideal partnership. You and Carla do not share the same vision of an ideal partnership and that’s, ultimately, a big reason why your relationship didn’t last. It’s a very common story even if the details of your story are a little more non-traditional.
Having been loved by someone – even being loved in the present tense – does not entitle you to anything from that person. Your relationship with Carla is over. Even if sex occasionally happens, she has made it clear that she does not want a relationship with you – that she wants to have a marriage with this other man. I’m urging you to tap into whatever goodness exists inside of you and whatever love you do feel for Carla and leave her alone. Even if you believe she’s making a mistake, it’s hers to make and learn from. No good will come from you trying to break up her engagement and keep her for yourself. That decision isn’t yours to make, and the decisions that were yours were made mistakenly believing you knew better than Carla what she wanted.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.