Keeping outside relationships from your lover -- whether an intimate friendship or a sexual connection -- is never healthy. It invites speculation which in turn results in acts of desperation, pain and eventually the demise of the relationship. There's freedom in truth.
I've mentioned in the past how my ex-partner of 12 years and I, for the most part, got along so well. I've found what was critical to keeping this relationship long-term wasn't so much in our passionate love-making or in some grand, intimate, celestial connection. No, the strength of our relationship was in our ability to keep the lines of communication open. Even when we knew the truth would hurt, we found it was always better to tell than to hide. And with that the open communication would be met with forgiveness and compromise. For along time, this was woven into the fabric of our relationship.
Once the communication started to falter. The forgiveness and the willingness to compromise, on my behalf, was gone. There was too much pain, too many acts of desperation: Me driving around aimlessly all hours of the night in tears trying to find him -- literally clicking the panic button in parking lots trying to find the other car. This was the beginning of the end. When I couldn't bear the pain any longer, I stopped forgiving and forgetting.
Look I'm not trying to make myself out to be some martyr. I'm certainly not. I did things that needed forgiveness too. Like the time I went on a shopping spree and bought myself a brand new Maxima, a PDA and a trip to Florida without his consent. (Hey, I controlled the finances.)
Obviously if you're not right for someone, you're not right and it's never going to work. Perhaps we kept something going too long that wasn't right in the first place; otherwise he wouldn't have gone outside for intimate companionship. But you now what, despite everything we kept it going and worked hard (some of us harder than others) on working things out. And with that there was a genuine trust and love that to this day has allowed us to stay in contact.
It was always those times when I found out about things going on behind my back (over the years I developed a keen sense of intuition) that caused our problems.
Being cheated on and lied to was a tough thing to bear. I never realized how much it effected me to later on. To this day the old tapes in my head still play and I wind up back on the therapist's couch. In gay relationships monogamy is often hard to come by (read my old post on gay monogamy) but I've found that truth fosters forgiveness which ultimately results in a strong connection for the long term.