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-   -   how important is it that everyone be friends? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1071)

purpledreamer 10-29-2009 12:29 PM

how important is it that everyone be friends?
i was wondering if anyone had any advice on how necessary it is to have a friendship with your loves other loves, or just to be friendly. I've been dating someone for at short while, and i had an initial understanding that their primary relationship was an happy poly one. I hoped to develop a friendship with his g/f, & began to initially, however it seems now that she is actually mono & not really at peace with their whole situation or relationship and this has lead to a whole heap of dramas. (which seem to flow into my headspace) & this sparks all sorts of guilt for me also as i feel that my relationship is hurting her. I feel torn because i have lots of love & compassion for her and almost feel a nurturing instinct toward her, but i also care very much for the person i am seeing-and he means far too much to me that i want to continue seeing him regardless of his g/f's issues. Is this heartless of me? Should i try to be friends with his g/f or just give her space? Any advice around this appreciated. Thanks.

MonoVCPHG 10-29-2009 02:34 PM

IMO...this truly depends on where you plan on taking the relationship or the expected depth of connection. If the nature of your relationship is one where you sustain essentially separate lives, or perhaps a more casual involvement, then it probably isn't necessary. If you are looking for more integration or want to share in more of the time of your partner then you'll probably need to at least be friendly.

Depth will be the key I believe. The idea of having a deep relationship without getting to know huge parts of your partner's life seems almost unobtainable to me. The unseen impact and influence of another person they love is a huge aspect of their lives. It will affect your life as well. I would much rather be comfortable with that aspect then live a life where you essentially pretend it does not exist.

If you are looking for a more "surface" relationship then I don't see the need to get overly involved with other aspects of their life.

My own relationship includes love and a deep level of caring/respect for both of Redpepper's other relationships. It wouldn't be healthy for me if it did not and would have a negative affect on all of us, just like if one of them were negative towards me. It inevitably would not be sustainable and seeing as we have long term goals in mind that would not work for us.

Hope this helps and I think you have a great attitude in wanting to embrace his other relationship :)

ladyjools 10-29-2009 11:34 PM

i think that it is important if you want something long term,
montianboy did have a girlfriend for neary a year that refused to see me, we talked a couple of times via email but she was not ok with meeting me and at first this really bothered me but then i realised that he cared about her and i loved and trusted him enough to let him continue with that relationship and consider my needs too, regardless of the fact that i found it hurtful that she refused to meet me,

if the relationship was to get any more serious, they fell in love and she wanted to be a bigger part of his life i don't think it would work and in the end they split up becuase she was playing games,

perhaps friendship is not the most important thing, but to be able to talk understand and work through problems, respect each other is the most important thing,

have you thought about writing her a letter, explaining how you feel?


redpepper 10-30-2009 05:52 AM

for me when my husband dates someone it is mandatory that I at least know the person and appreciate them. I would want to be able to have them over for supper, call on them with my concerns when I have them and invite them to places to socialize with me and my husband.

I don't know what you definition of friend is but mind is akin to my love relationships and has similar depth or potential to be deep... I don't think that is necessary, but I think it is at least healthy to be able to be comfortable around each other.

It's also mandatory that my partners are the same with my husband... there has to be a good fit all around otherwise it seems to just fizzle out for us due to lack of depth and therefore eventual boredom.

purpledreamer 11-01-2009 12:15 PM

thanks guys
thanks for the advice guys. Jools- i did actually write her a letter, however didn't get any feedback so not too sure how it was recieved. A few things for me to have a good long think about from your comments. I agree about friendliness being a bare minimum. I am still struggling a bit with old modes of thinking telling me i am doing something wrong by dating 'someone else's boyfriend' which i think has thrown a few spanners in the works for me feeling guilty and as tho i'm 'bad'. I'm not sure if its just my projection but i also feel like this is how she sees me which makes it difficult for me to relate without feeling guilty or remorseful almost for 'causing trouble' in her relationship. I then flip to feeling defensive of myself because on another level i know i've done nothing wrong. I'm sure this battle of the conscience is normal as ppl start out in poly relationships for the first time.. Anyways, Thanks again all.

dearprudence 11-01-2009 04:57 PM

My ideal is that if my husband cares for someone, I want to care for that person, too, and vice versa. I want to socialize, have dinner together, enjoy each other's company. What I've recently learned is that this doesn't always happen right away. And me being welcoming and generous at the beginning of my husband's other relationship may not make her issues go away, or at least subside. We moved too fast to that dynamic, and it didn't work. Now we have to back up and start over, and I'm not open to hanging out with her or her sleeping over until she deals with her stuff.

@purpledreamer, I think you need to give her the space she needs. If you wrote her a letter and she didn't reply, that's the most you can do for right now. It's very difficult when you are not able to communicate the way you want to. But you have to respect the limits someone may have at the moment. I wish you the best. Be patient :)

nikkiana 11-02-2009 03:13 AM

There are really two questions here, one "How important is it that everyone be friends?" and two, "What are you supposed to do when you're starting to date someone who's already in another relationship, and that relationship starts to begin to have problems in reaction to the involvement with yourself?"

To the first, I tend to agree with what MonoVCPHG said... it depends on your expected depth of relationship. The more integrated you want your life to be with a partner's, the more important it becomes to be friends or at least friendly enough to be able to have a discussion with that person's metamours. If you're intending on keeping the relationship more casual, it's less necessary, but often helps.

However, close friendships don't always develop out of thin air either... sometimes it takes time to develop trust. Sending a letter to her was a good way to extend an olive branch to her I think. She may not respond now because she isn't ready, but because you made that effort in the beginning, it's possible she'll remember that and be comfortable enough to go to you in the future if there's something that concerns her. I think you've done the best you can in this situation.

To the second, this is one of the grey areas, I have often felt. When people are new to polyamory, it has seemed like (at least to me) that people's philosophy toward poly was often more advanced than their communication or personal reflection skills, and while both partners were philosophically on board to open up their relationship, they didn't necessarily do their homework and prepare for how they were going to handle it when it actually happened. Not that going over hypothetical situations is going to necessarily cover everything that could possibly happen, but it's good practice for figuring out how to communicate when unexpected things do happen. That being the case, I think often times people who were philosophically open to being open end up fumbling their way at first and make crutial communication mistakes which lead to drama and problems.... that's not to say that newbies are bad to be involved with and avoid them at all costs because they don't know what they're doing, but you ought to be aware of what's going on so you can make an informed decision on whether it's best to stay or go.

Tahirabs 11-02-2009 03:41 PM

just personaly, I could never date someone who I my husband could see as being part of our family. I am new to this and I know I've only had the one girlfriend, but if my husband did not want her as part of our family, long term, I wouln't be dating her. That is just how I feel, but I agree with anyone it is more about what you and everyone involved want. If you are open and honest and talk about what you all want you will figure out what the relationship "titles/roles" are suppose to be. Lastly I wanted to add that if the third party involved isn't willing to even talk (e-mail, phone, anything) than the honest/openness will never come and I don't think the whole thing will work at all.

Hope you works it out.

lulu 11-04-2009 12:34 AM

similar situation
I'm in a new relationship where my boyfriend is also dating his X-wife. It's a fairly equal "Vee" agreement. I've felt uncomfortable in situations where we all attend the same event and "hang out". In addition, at the end of the night there is always the conflict. They are both ok with us all sleeping in the same room, and being abstinent (or being sexual). But I am uncomfortable. So then, I'll choose to leave and go home. But that is uncomfortable for me as well because I feel left out. It seems I can't find a comfortable scenario, so I've chosen to not hang out with both of them at the same time as long as it can be avoided. I'm fine with knowing that he's seeing her, but it is difficult for me to have a close relationship with her and seeing their affection. She is very uncomfortable that I don't want to spend time with the two of them together and says she feels left out. She thinks I need to be able to do this if I want the relationship to work. Do I? I don't really see why I need to force myself into that situation. Basically, when I find out we're all going to be at the same place at the same time, I sometimes choose to not go. Or sometimes I might choose to go and deal with my jealousy and discomfort. What do you think is the appropriate course of action in this situation?

MonoVCPHG 11-04-2009 12:58 AM


Originally Posted by lulu (Post 11112)
What do you think is the appropriate course of action in this situation?

Have a threesome...seriously, that'll take the edge away from seeing any affection between them and vice versa. I've never had an issue with seeing Redpepper and her husband being affectionate but I always felt a little awkward when she would show me affection in front of him. This was totally my issue I think.

Throw in a threesome and little kisses and hugs or just all sitting on the couch doesn't seem like such a big deal at all.....seriously, it was freeing and took us all to a more bonded place. The closer you all become the more you will be amazed at how natural this can be.

Threesomes aside, push yourself in this area if you want something bigger from this relationship.

Just to clarify, it was affection centered around Redpepper.....I'm not bi...not that there is anything wrong with that ;)

Peace and Love

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