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-   -   How separate are your relationships? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12844)

aliceloveshatter 07-31-2011 03:07 PM

How separate are your relationships?
I really hope there isn't another thread like this, but I can't think what it'd be tagged as and I couldn't see anything that's asking what I am.
My question is, how separately do you regard your relationships? How does one relationshp affect the another?
Because I feel (especially as part of what's supposed to be a triad) that all our relationships are shared, that since what happens between two partners will affect the third, that we should share arrangements and such fairly publicly within our family. I like to discuss any problems, arguments or misunderstandings with all of my partners, if not always all at one time.
Even if it doesn't directly feature one of them, I feel they should know because the outcome will affect the relationship as a whole. And I can't really see it any other way.

But Mr.V disagrees; he feels that our relationships can't be anything but separate, he sees me and him, then Ms.V and him, then Ms.V and me.
And I find that this attitude is leading to a lot of misunderstandings, and bad feelings between the three of us, most notably when making arrangements to meet Ms.V he often neglects to tell me, or to tell her that I'll be present, and that's caused a little spike of jealousy between us. Not much, and we've talked it over, but I'm digressing.

I just wanted to know how other people see their commitments; are you commited to each individual, regardless of the effect on the other? Or at risk of overlooking that individuality by being focused on the bigger picture a little too much? Is either one better?
Or is there a happy balance that you've found?


just3 07-31-2011 05:31 PM

I think since each persons relationship is different in ideals your going to get a different answer. Look up the post titled Your ideal relationship to see each persons views.
Mine is.. eventually all living together in a V situation. Now I have hubs(s) and a guy Im dating now but dunno how things will work later on down the road. When that ideal relationship happens.. well it will be together and separate. The ultimate part is together. The life shared. Some of the sex. Theres part that is separate.. I want the connection with both. Which means more one on one time. with each. Sexual and otherwise. I think theres a balance. When both your partners are involved with one another it is more a group connection as well as a separate connection with each of you..
If your partner was a partner with someone outside that you never see or know then yes thats sep. From the looks of yours its a together and a separate. So technically.. the right answer is both of you are right :D

AutumnalTone 07-31-2011 06:45 PM

I'm with Mr V--the relationships are separate.

I talk to my wife about issues I'm wrestling with because she's one of the people I talk to about those things. That's not to say that I provide all of the details about any given issue with somebody else or that I discuss everything with her--I share as I see fit. The finer points of my relationships with other people aren't her business when it comes down to it, because those are between me and the other person.

That said, I have to wonder why Mr V isn't providing information that would be useful to you. I schedule stuff and put much of it on a calendar my wife can see so she can see if I'm available on that day for something she might want to do. I also mention things as a matter of course--"I'm going to x wth Elfie on Thursday" just because I generally share the neat things I have planned with her.

Logistical info is something to be shared so everybody can schedule and know what's going on. I don't regard that as sharing relationships, however.

peabean 07-31-2011 06:55 PM

When you say triad do you mean a full triangle, with emotional and sexual relationship between all partners? Or do you mean a V?

The jealousy you are describing makes me think V.

In my experience, our triad functions such that we don't need to tell the others that such person will be there, because as each of us loves the other two, we are always happy to see that person.

For instance, if my husband plans to meet up with our girlfriend and invites me along, then she is always happy to see me too. This is the same for all of us.

We definitely view our relationship as shared between the three of us. This is not to say that we don't have individual relationships between each couple, just that those relationships are a subset of the larger triad relationship.

I find this mentality actually leads to each of us feeling more secure, to the point where we will actively 'give' time to a coupling. This way we each get alone time while also feeling like we are doing something nice for the other two. I know it sounds cheesy, but it works for us.

So, I think there is a happy balance we've found. Our commitment to the relationship tends to guide us in trying to make each person happy. If we were each committed to being half of two couples, then I don't think it would work as well for us. A triad bond is very unusual we find it needs to take the front seat in our emotional line up for the relationship to stay solid.

aliceloveshatter 07-31-2011 07:29 PM

Peabean, we set out to be a triad, and although myself and Ms.V have a few confidence issues, we're working at that, and we do love each other.
I do obviously realise that we're all individuals and so we have different relationships, but it seems to me that sometimes there's a reluctance to think about the effect of one "couple"'s actions will have on the third partner.
I'm really glad your relationship has that balance, gives me confidence :)
Autumnal, that's exactly Mr.V's point of view!

nycindie 07-31-2011 07:34 PM

You're right - there have been a ton of threads about various related aspects of your question. Use advanced search, not just tag search, and you can usually find interesting stuff. But here are a few for you (some I already posted in other threads):

To Share or Not to Share?

Communication vs. Sharing too much

Shared responsibility in a poly family

In a V, are relationships entirely independent, or not?

How much do you share with other people outside of the relationship?

Metamours: to meet or not to meet?

Communication on date nights?

Showing affection in front of other partners

Open Communication vs. Trust

Do you like knowing what your partner likes about their other partner?

He said, She said

A question of ettiquite

NeonKaos 07-31-2011 07:35 PM


Originally Posted by aliceloveshatter (Post 94796)
I do obviously realise that we're all individuals and so we have different relationships, but it seems to me that sometimes there's a reluctance to think about the effect of one "couple"'s actions will have on the third partner.

It requires a tremendous amount of empathy and self-awareness to successfully do what you are trying to do. All three of you should be working on your communication skills pro-actively. You shouldn't wait until there is a crisis. It sounds like you've been flying by the seats of your pants, all three of you, and trusting that things will sort themselves. Since you can see where that is going, perhaps it's time for the three of you to take control and get yourselves on the same page. Why not invite your partners to join and/or take a look at this site, or some of the sites we have linked to in Resources.

aliceloveshatter 08-01-2011 09:37 AM

That's exactly how I feel, Neon. I've been doing all the "research" as it were, joining this forum, looking for a community, some people for advice, trying to get everyone on a level before it all started, but they're both full of NRE and wanting to be more spontaneous, and if I'm honest, I'm pretty rubbish at being spontaneous. So maybe if I could let go a little bit and take a chance sometimes, there wouldn't be as much of a conflict...
But I do think they've both realised that we've gotta take a more pro-active attitude to the whole setup, for everyone's benefit!
And Nycindie, I looked at lot of those posts but didn't feel they were all relevant, but there's a couple that you showed me that I wish I'd seen before I posted. D'oh.

peabean 08-01-2011 12:33 PM

It truly does take an enormous amount of empathy to pull off a triad. Of course people are going to be full of NRE. I guess one thing that helped us was that our girlfriend was more into women than men before joining us. This meant that I didn't start out feeling like I was somehow 'letting her sleep with my husband', because the relationship she and I had together was very natural. I think the place where many triads fail is the relationship between the same-sex partners. If that relationship is not strong you just end up in a tug of war over the heterosexual relationship.

Remember, there is NRE in each relationship, including the three bond. I suggest sitting down and discussing where each of you sees the relationship going. It sounds weird and awkward to do such a thing but it helps. Kind of like how you have to sit down and discuss condoms/birth control. Both my partners are more introverted than I am, so it was always up to me to start these conversations. Like it or not, that is one of my roles.

Being pro-active definitely helps. I'm not sure what you mean by 'spontaneous' but in our world communicating and making sure people are on the same page actually make spontaneity easier in the long run.

NeonKaos 08-01-2011 12:50 PM

It really is better to put a systematic approach to crisis-management in place, and to do that while there is not a crisis happening. Then, when things do get emotionally hectic, you can pull out the tools you need and say "remember when we talked about what if this ever happens".

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