How Open Relationship Is Threatening To Make My Life Miserable

Dear Angie,

I first heard about open relationship when my aunt and her friends were discussing it years ago. I remember they also called it ‘friends with benefits’ and “no strings attached” relationship which may either have a happy or unhappy ending but almost every time, it leads to heartbreak from what I gathered.

If anyone had told me I would get involved in an open relationship at a point in my life, that person would have become my enemy. Today, I want to tell my story of how an open relationship is threatening to ruin my life.

My name is Udeme. I was having a serious affair with Vicky, the woman I called ‘my world’. Unfortunately, she broke my heart the day she told me, she didn’t love me as she only used me to pass time while waiting for her true love. And he is back from the States and they are getting married soon. She apologized for wasting my time. I was devastated. It was like a dream after more than a year of dating. Although I was shattered, I had to forget about her.

Two months later, as I was driving home, a young lady was walking right in the middle of the road lost in thought. I horned for about a minute before she got herself and immediately ran to the side of the road. I sensed that something was wrong with her so I parked and walked up to her.

“Young lady, what’s the matter?” I questioned. When she turned to look at me, her face was looking awful because tears had smeared her make-up. With a tearful voice, she said, “I want to die. How can he break up with me after five years? Where do I start from?” she sobbed uncontrollably.  I took her to my car and consoled her. She told me her name was Ruth. When she had calmed down, I asked her where she was headed and, surprisingly, she lived two streets away from mine. I took her home and promised to check on her the next day, but I couldn’t.

Two days later, I went over to her place. When we got talking, she also realized that my girlfriend had recently dumped me. Ruth and I started spending time together even though we told each other we were not ready for a serious relationship. Since we were both not ready to commit, I came up with the idea of getting involved in an “Open relationship/friends with benefits” and she agreed. So, we started with some crappy rules like no sex, no emotional attachment, date whoever you want when you’re ready and so on. When we first started, we spent hours talking about different issues and watching movies at my place. And sometimes, she helped in cooking and cleaning up too. Even when I had female friends around, she related well with them. As time went on, we both broke some of the crappy rules we had set. For me, the major rule I broke was that my emotions began to get involved as I fell in love with her.

I was uncertain about whether to tell her about my feelings or not. However, I summoned courage and told her how I felt about her. “Ruth, what would you say if we make this relationship a love one? The truth is that I have falling helplessly in love with you. I have found a friend and wife in you,” I said.

She laughed vigorously for about a minute and said, “You in love with me? Udeme, you’re on your own because I don’t love you and I am not ready to love right now. The fact that we have fun together once in a while does not mean I’m emotionally attached to you.”

Before she left, she warned me never to call or visit her again. And that was the last time we saw. It was painful but I moved on with my life.

Five months later, I met and fell in love with Boma. We had fixed our wedding date and from the blues, Ruth showed up at my doorstep two weeks ago. She expressed how much she loves and missed me. She added that she was ready for a love relationship so that we can get married and start a family together.

“Ruth, I’m sorry but it is too late. I am getting married in about five weeks,” I said.

She told me I was a big joker. “I’m giving you three days to think about it. I will be back,” she warned.

Three days later, she came to my office and asked what my answer was. “I’m getting married. You walked out of my life and I have found someone else. Please look elsewhere for your husband,” I pleaded.

She stressed that it’s either we continue our relationship and eventually get married or I wait for her to find Mr. Right, else she would ‘scatter my wedding’ and make my life miserable.

I have pleaded with her to understand and move on with her life but she said the choice is mine. How do I explain this to Boma? Will I put my wedding on hold just to please Ruth? I don’t know what to do. I am in a fix.