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-   -   How do you manage dyads in your (closed) tryad? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14076)

zephyr 09-01-2011 12:14 AM

How do you manage dyads in your (closed) tryad?
We're a closed MFF tryad. When our wife moved in about 8 months ago, we were spending our intimate time primarily as a tryad -- the few dyad attempts bombed badly. I've continued to stress my own need to have dyad time with my/our (which is right and when?) husband. She works from home and we can usually get some time in during the week, so it's been less of an issue for me to get dyad time with her. But she's fought the idea of dyad time with him -- even when it was said that it would be the same amount of time for me and for her.

We've finally been trying this out on a weekly basis. Our initial struggles were in how to come back together as a tryad, once the dyad time was up. I've also struggled with how she is (behaves) on my nights, which led me to stress out more during my dyad time about how she would react. (My sharing that information was not received well.) In the last couple weeks, she's been taking issue with the fact that dyad time is relegated to the bedroom (it doesn't have to be just intimate time), while at the same time feeling that if she doesn't take this time with him to be intimate, it could be a week before she can be with him again. (This speaks to how the tryad is suffering a little, intimately speaking.)

We've been through some real tough points in our intimate life. I'm the slowest one of the three of us, despite me being "a normal female", and that brings insecurities to the table for me. She and I both have insecurities which seem to feed on each other. My biggest insecurity, which can be triggered by difficulties in our intimacy level, is that she's only here to be with him. (I've always had trouble making female friends, let alone anything more intense or deeper.) She frequently feels she's interloping on a marriage or that she wasn't good enough to get her own husband. Sometimes the very insecurities she has and how she phrases them (focused on him) make me feel like he's her primary focus.

Last week was the first time she's taken dyad time on the first night and I took it on the second night. After her night, she spoke a lot about how she finally "got" what I was on about, in wanting dyad time with him. And how that was the first time she was with her husband. I felt a spike of fear (insecurity: see, she just wants him) at that statement, but focused hard on being glad she was finally feeling legitimate.

Sunday we had some tryad time which didn't go well -- I had an issue which is a little too personal to detail here, but it sorta stopped our play time. She spoke in the moment of how "it's okay. Don't feel bad" and so on. Yesterday, after I had an out-patient procedure, she said she'd like the three of us to play. We proceeded and had another problem. Again, coming from me (this one just my body dealing with the remnants of anesthesia, combined with some huge insecurities no one has really wanted to talk about -- husband has made it clear that hearing about our insecurities makes tryad time "too stressful", so there's a wall building between me and him and I feel like he doesn't even know it's there.)

She told me later in the evening that she didn't want dyad time this week because she needed both her partners. I said that we could make some time for the two of us to be together before her dyad time, if she wanted (we've done this before). She responded with, "I need both my partners." We didn't say anything further.

Today, things have been stilted as we prepared for an appointment for her. The tension boiled over and we had words. I frequently feel she is given plenty of room to express herself -- both her insecurities and how she perceives things through them -- while I am not allowed to see (or express what I "saw") through the lenses of my own insecurities. I'm somehow supposed to be "better" than she is expected to be.

She said she was feeling rejected after both Sunday and last night, which in my mind erases her words in the moment on Sunday. How can I trust she really means it, if she's going to go back on it later? As for last night, I would have liked an opportunity to try again later in the evening. But she assumed (something she's jumped on me many times for doing) she was just being selfish and didn't feel she could re-initiate.

I've struggled with feeling like I was the only one of the three of us to have a libido. So, it's nice to have her asking for us (three or just she and me) to take time. She hasn't talked to me further about Sunday's problem (more mental than physical, I think...) and she doesn't want to hear about where I had trouble yesterday. Sometimes it's like the words, "Oh, I can see how that would feel/look/sound" are foreign to her. But she wants me to listen and listen and listen about how Sunday and last night and the dyad times are all making her feel.

She said two separate things and when I tried to tell her how that added up to me, she practically screamed at me "That's your monsters yelling!". Yet, she's been very verbal recently about how she's tired of me (and our husband) saying, "Sweetie, that's just your insecurities talking." (Which I've done calmly and quietly and encouragingly -- and not dissmissively, which she says I am.)

She didn't want to listen to me, she just wanted to talk at me and I was supposed to take it, both barrels. She aims for the jugular and then expects me to lie there quietly while she pours salt on the wound. Her parting words today were, "I'll be back in time for MY dyad time with MY husband." And then she slammed the door. I'm struggling with her new brandishment of a sentiment I feel like I'm no longer allowed to make. I do not feel allowed to call him "my" husband anymore. But here she is shoving this label she's finally ready to claim down my throat. I feel incredibly threatened -- like my biggest insecurity has come true.

I know that seems ridiculous, in light of her saying she needed both her partners -- but I feel she needs me on her terms and only her terms. When it became clear that my biggest struggle with their dyad time was the disconnect I felt with her, she made an effort to make time for us before their dyad time. But last week, I felt like she undid it all when she said something that made it sound like, "I just do this and she's fine. And then I can have my dyad time worry-free." It made it feel like the time she takes with me is just a checkmark on her list, not time she wants to take with me. I called her on it and she just back-pedaled, "That's not what I was saying. That's just your insecurities talking." (At the same time, I'm frustrated that I don't have a "quick fix" for her insecurities, so I can have a worry-free dyad time.)

I'm struggling with how her talk about "getting" the importance of dyad time fits in with this new revelation that she feels the two nights a week of dyad time are taking away from the tryad. She makes a lot of excuses for our husband -- which I do not feel the dyad time is causing -- and it feels like she's dumping responsibility for us to come together as a tryad on me. She's complaining about how the week nights are almost impossible for tryad time, but we spend a lot of time in the evenings either watching something on the tv or playing a game or swimming in our pool -- we could choose to skip one of those and be intimate instead? Her response to that is that "those activities aren't as energetic. He'd be too tired for play time." She's assuming again. And we've specifically chosen week-nights for the dyad time so as not to take away from weekend tryad time.

When I said I felt she was making me responsible for initiating tryad intimacy, she didn't want to hear what I was saying. Instead she shut me down and said, "You're not listening to me" and other things which basically make me feel I should shut up and let her spell it out the way she wants it and don't dare argue with her.... And I hate that feeling. It makes me crazy-mad and then I get upset and I can't think straight.

Sometimes, I wish I had a voice recorder for our fights. I have fibro and sometimes the fog is bad enough that I can't quite recall what was said, just how it made me feel. (And sometimes it's not the fog, it's just how long she rants before I'm given a chance to speak.) She's so adamant she's right all the time and unwilling to bend in the least... and I feel like I have to bend because I might be remembering it wrong -- but I at least remember how I felt. That should count for something. And I frequently feel it doesn't.

I'm all jumbled up. I'm normally a little more clear in my writing. I've been searching for a forum to talk on, but just can't seem to find a place for support in a closed tryad. Hopefully, there's some people here who "get" some of what I'm talking about and can share what they've been through and how they've handled it.

Very much alone,


peabean 09-01-2011 03:38 AM

There are many things going on in your post, and as it is late I don't have time to respond to all of them, but I will try to hit the major points.

I think your issues are larger than time management between dyad time and tryad time. It sounds like there is a communication gap going on in all of this. I wonder what he is thinking? It seems the two of you are squabbling over his time, and the time between the two of you is not appreciated as quality intimate time.

In my closed tryad it seems we have so very little time together that we don't put up solitary/dyad/tryad time barriers. With a small child, long commutes and three stressful jobs we work hard to just enjoy the time we get together. We would love to all be together all the time, so in a way we are always 'aiming' for tryad time. That said, if two people are together then they try to enjoy it. Like in your situation, my girlfriend and I get more time together than either of us gets with our husband, but that doesn't mean we assign his time to each of us.

Truthfully, I just don't have the energy for that. We work better when we let time be fluid. I think the lack of sex may be a large issue for the three of you too. We try to have sex often, and we regularly sacrifice things like tv for sex. Sex is a healthy relationship glue, in my opinion, and a lack of sex can magnify problems.

I guess I don't quite see if she is really interested in sex with you? She seems to be using confrontation and ranting to avoid sex during her dyad time with you and avoiding tryad time (where presumably she would be having sex with you too) in general. Its not clear to me if she having sex with your husband during their time. Her calling your feelings 'insecurities' is also a distraction. Of course you should be pissed if she is 'checking off a box' by being with you. Isn't she supposed to be in love with you? When you love someone you don't think of spending time with them as a necessary evil.

I think it would be helpful for you to sit down with both of them and communicate your feelings. Maybe have one of those 'talking sticks' so that she can't monopolize the conversation and everyone gets their say.

NeonKaos 09-01-2011 01:10 PM

Peabean, i'm curious why you refer to the male in your triad as "husband" and the female as "girlfriend". Why don't you call her "wife". You also refer to him as "our" and to her as "your". I notice little things like this and like to examine them.

peabean 09-01-2011 02:17 PM

I actually waffled when writing that too! I refer to my husband as such because he is my husband. Our girlfriend does not wish to be married. She has stated many times that she isn't interested in marriage and never planned to marry (even before meeting us). Despite her saying this I do actually think of her (in my head at least) as my wife. I don't say that out loud because I don't want to push her or upset her. In the same way, I think of him as our husband. He has also referred to us as his 'wives', but I'm not sure if he's said that in front of her.

I think her opposition to marriage stems from the fact that she knows she doesn't have the legal right to marry the people she loves. Prior to dating us she dated mostly women, so she wouldn't have married them either, at least not in most states.

I find pronouns inadequate to describe the dynamics of my triad. It always comes off like I am leaving someone out.

NeonKaos 09-01-2011 05:58 PM

Thank you for answering without assuming i was being judgmental at you.

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