Sunshine's Angel & Journey into Poly
A brief update on where things are and who we are.
Me - "Angel" bisexual female, almost 40 who is married to "S" who is a 43 yo straight male and "Sunshine" our 40 yo bisexual gf.
There is a looooong list of complications with this relationship that have a lot to do with where we are today in our relationship and where we're going to go.
Sunshine is a married female, who also has a long time gf. They have been slowly falling apart as a solid couple due to work and distance. Sunshine and her husband were having difficulties, and S (my husband) happens to be a good listener and a "tell it how it is" person. He and Sunshine began talking just as friends over a year ago (we've both known her, her husband and her gf for many many years) and he was a good support person for her. During this time, their relationship grew more into an emotional one and feelings developed on both sides.
S and I had tried poly before. Made a few mistakes, but were not ready to give up totally.
Sunshine has been a female that I have been attracted to for many years, but because she had a long time gf and they were in a committed relationship, I just remained as friends to both (I also am a good friend to her gf).
Are you confused yet? LOL
So Sunshine and S began to build a gf/bf relationship and Sunshine and I began to grow our friendship. She was at the point that her marriage was done and the discussion with us turned towards a possible triad-style relationship. I was ok with this, as was S. My husband did not want her to end her marriage, but rather work on repairing it. He stepped into the backlight for a few months and kept his time with her to a minimum and their talks were more based on helping her and her marriage (he's got a heart of gold and hates to see people unhappy).
Sunshine has decided to remain in her marriage and work things out. We were and are both happy for her/them. They are a great couple and have lots of love for each other. Just a few 'priorities' that need adjusting.
Now where are we?
Sunshine and I went out on a date last week and S joined us along with a dozen of our other close friends - some know about the three of us, some don't. We have not put it out in the open as of yet for some of the complicated reasons and her husband.
S had indicated that he would give us our space. I didn't think he'd be too far from her and I - and I was correct.
I got upset at the end of the evening when I had had enough of watching him making 'googly faces' at her and taking her attention. I will admit, I did handle it wrongly. I should have waited until he and I were home and then discussed it with him, but I tend to not do that (yeah, I've done it in the past - one of my things I'm working on) and well, makes for a tense drive home.
When we did discuss it and I told him that I did not feel it was "our date" but rather "his date", he told me that I was seeing what I wanted to see.
Sunshine sent an email the next day indicating that we needed to talk as she had some thoughts and concerns from the night prior. She commented that she felt like a piece of meat.
I began to think...
I was under the impression that "this" relationship between the three of us, was just that - a relationship with the three of us, a triad.
I asked S today how "this" relationship was in his eyes....was it a "you and her", a "her and I" and a "you and I" type relationship? His reply was that's what it's looking like. That was not what i expected.
I am not a good communicator by any means. I always fumble up my words, so for me I do my best talking 'online' where I can type it out and re-read it and make it make proper sense and not be 'mean' or rude. This is something i've been trying to work on a lot more since Sunshine and I began our journey into a relationship.
They talk everyday. Either he calls her on his morning break or they email back and forth. As a triad, in my opinion, when I ask him how his day was, I would like to think his conversations with her would be included in that. I have stopped asking him about his conversations with her, but rather let him tell me about them instead. I don't get anything from him :( When I push the issue, I get statements like "What do you want me to tell you word for word what we've talked about?! It was nothing important. If it was important or relevant I would tell you."
I have explained to him that during the beginning of this relationship, I may want to know the "ins and outs of a maggots a$$hole", but promised that as time passed, this will dimish. I did have jealousy issues with our previous attempt. Actually ended up with a nervous breakdown and went for the help I needed. I am no longer jealous (I don't think so), but still have the suspicions with everyone and anyone. Due to my abusive (parental) past and such, my self-confidence is not entirely perfect. This is something I now recognize and daily work at. So I didn't think my request was unfair.
I understand the NRE to a certain degree, but don't understand how it doesn't pour over into our relationship.
I have read this forum randomly, and did not see any other stories that resembled ours...
Any advice, tips, suggestions you care to offer - I'm all ears!!
I have asked S to read this forum as I think it would benefit him to see how triads work for others and see that what I am thinking and feeling and such is not all me and this is part of it all - he browsed once.
I don't know what to do next :(
Thanks for listening.
I also don't see why S. needs to report back to you about his conversations with Sunshine. You know they talk every day, why must you be filled on on the content? I think you def need to lighten up.
The line that Nyc quoted stuck out to me too. That's exactly how it has to be, due to human nature. Your third deserves to date individual people, not an established relationship. If a triad develops naturally, awesome. But having it as the goal right at the start puts a lot of pressure on everyone. Triads seem to develop serendipitously... after all, how common is it going to be that you find love with one person, let alone two, let alone two members of the same couple, let alone with both of them reciprocating?
And even if you do get that, there's often this pressure for everything to be "equal". But feelings and relationships don't work that way, they want to grow at their own pace, in their own way, on their own time. I can see why Angel was feeling uncomfortable if she was feeling the weight of that expectation, and *especially* if her new bf was smiling at her ("googly eyes"?) and she was picking up on the fact that her choices were to ignore him or contribute to the storm brewing between the two of you. How deeply awkward!
It's ok to need extra info and reassurance from S right now, but he would be violating Angel's trust of he told you every word she said... I know that my gf Gia shares some things from our conversations with her husband Eric, but if I felt I had no privacy with her ever, how could we develop intimacy?
There are some GREAT resources at this site that pertain directly to your situation. Check out especially the essay on dating a couple and the essays on dealing with jealousy. www.morethantwo.com
This can all be ok, but you have to let go of what you expected and embrace what's actually there instead. If that means that you and Angel are friends right now instead of gf's, or that you are gf's but you need to date without S around, that's ok. Just be real, and let him be real, and let her be real. Uncertainty is scary but it's way more authentic than a scripted scenario.
BTW, I think it's a really good sign that Sunshine was able to say to you guys that she felt like she was being treated like a piece of meat. So often, we see "thirds" come here and talk about how they just suck it up and take all kinds of stuff from couples that made them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, they usually only start asking questions when it's at the breaking point.
Sounds like Sunshine has the ability to clearly see when weird shit is going down. Thank goodness you met someone who has a sense of self and is unafraid to express herself when things don't feel right! Now that is a blessing, if you are able to get past whatever embarrassment, jealousy, or indignation you may feel about the situation, because she can be someone in your life who enables you to look at stuff that needs to be looked at.
Just realized I was calling Sunshine "Angel" in my post above. Apologies!
Thank you for your thoughts and comments.
I appreciate the honesty. I have a bit of trust issues and S knows this and had agreed to share with me.
Now, I must clarify - I do not expect him to share every single word or detail with me of his conversations with Sunshine, but I think it would be nice and respectful of him to share with me that they did talk today (depending on how busy he is at work, they may not talk every single day), and just a brief conversation on what they talked about today.
I feel left out when I hear nothing. I feel that there's something to hide - yes I realize this stems from my own insecurities, but it was a request S had made to me with our earlier poly relationship and at that time we both agreed to share with each other in the beginning so that neither is feeling left out or that there is anything being hidden.
I trust S with my life, don't get me wrong. He has always been honest with me and never given me reason to doubt him (although I have given him reasons earlier on in our marriage) ... but I am/have been feeling like an 'obligation' to him recently. I realize it's most likely due to the NRE that him & Sunshine are sharing, which is why I have not made mention of it to him.
This week Sunshine's in-laws are visiting from out of town, so my communication with her is very minimal - I can't speak for S's communication with her.
Going to read some info at "more than two" - thank you :)
Hmm, yeah, if you guys were old hands at this it would be one thing, but since you're new to it and struggling, a higher level of understanding from your partner doesn't seem unreasonable at all. Plus you're not asking for much, just a basic mention of contact. Plus, he already agreed to it! I wonder why he's balking at it now. Opening up isn't always easy, and helping you be more comfortable now will benefit everyone in the long run.
He does try to help me be more comfortable, as he knows this isn't easy on me. But I guess what I feel is important isn't the same as what he feels is important.
We had a brief chat this morning regarding it and how I'm feeling. Him and Sunshine are meeting today for coffee and what not - and I am ok with that. I encourage them to spend as much time with each other as they can get - I just would like to be kept informed...again, not every single detail, but a brief synapsis I guess you could call it.
Sunshine is also my first real girlfriend and I don't know how to be one!! I have shared this with her and explained to her how I feel. She understands and has stated she will work with me. She is not new to poly, as her and her other gf have been in this relationship for many years, it's more me.
I am still reading as much as I can, both here on the forum and the links given.
Just having a down time with it I guess. Time to start looking at it as three separate relationships and learn to understand that they will all grow at their own speeds and just because she does "this" with him, doesn't necessarily mean she wants "this" done with me or by me the same way.
Just when you thought you were ready and knew all you needed to know and had all your feelings and concerns discussed .... a few more come crawling out of the closet.
Thank you for your support guys! I will try to update regularily as this "letting it all out" does make the mind more at ease.
Look up information on how men communicate, it could be helpful. My husband might remember talking to someone during the day, but if I ask him for details 90% of the time the answer I get is "I don't remember". Unless it was seriously significant, like scheduling something or a major event, odds are, he won't remember enough to give you a synopsis. He might not even remember that he talked to this person 3 times during the day unless you ask and he has to think about it. If you want to know, ASK, but don't be offended if he can't recall the details of the conversation.
I suggest dealing with it on two fronts. First, thinking about why these feelings might pop up. Old insecurities, self-esteem stuff, etc. These are the things you will need to work on FOR YOURSELF... in life, not only in relationships. Sometimes I'm so grateful for the fact that my insecurities were brought out so much because it was only when it became so painful that I absolutely HAD to deal with them, and I'm much more content and healthy because of it.
And secondly... TALK TO HIM! :) Seriously... there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that you see how much energy they have between them and you are feeling a little insecure and obligatory. Then tell him what he can do to reassure you, send you some love, make you feel special-- whatever that is for you.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling that feeling, I'll just walk up to the hubs and say "need hug". And he'll give me a minute-long squeeze that makes me feel all loved up again.
Biggest lesson I've learned in the past year-- figure out what your needs REALLY are, and don't be afraid to ask for them, or make them happen. Waiting for them to happen on their own because they "should", feeling badly because people aren't giving you what you need when you don't TELL them... that didn't work out so well. :)
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