Not sure how to make this work anymore...
I have been reading a lot today and I have decided to post to talk about the issues that are happening in my relationship.
The BF (I'll call him S) and I have been together for about a year and a half, we live together. His GF (M) and he were together for about 6 years before he and I met but had broken up and were living apart from each other when he and I started dating. They also have a 4 year old daughter together.
He and I have been living together for just over a year. When he and I first got together, the relationship between M & S was pretty much non-existent, other than the daughter that they share.
She started to come to our house (that S and I share) with their D and would hang out while he and his daughter played. At first it was super uncomfortable for me as she didn't seem to like me and so I would stay out of her way, sit in my bedroom or go out. It pretty much sucked but I want S to have a relationship with his daughter so I did it. Then he started asking me what I thought about him and her having sex together. He and I had previously discussed having an open/poly relationship, I am poly and so am comfortable with him having other people in his life so long as they respect his relationship with me and mine with him. I didn't believe that M did and so I told him that if they slept together it would be cheating.
Finally he did convince me that she actually wanted to have a relationship with both of us and for a while it was really working. The three of us were enjoying each other and we were taking care of their daughter. That lasted a few months. Now however, nothing is going well. I started to feel very left out of the lovemaking (it was generally either all three of us in bed or him and her and more rarely me and him). Even when it was three of us it felt to me like I was just there to keep the bed warm. This could be just my insecurities coming out but they were very real feelings and I tried to communicate them to the pair of them. I tried to tell them that I was feeling that I was left out and that I didnít want to be. Eventually I actually was being left out. They would wait till I had gone out or gone to sleep to have sex. I was having sex with him one on one on very, very rare occasions.
I didnít know what to do or how to behave, I felt very threatened and that my relationship was falling apart. I donít really know what to do now. He and I still live together; he sleeps in the same bed as me one or two nights a week but usually falls asleep in front of a movie. He doesnít seem to understand/care that I am hurt by this. When she comes over they usually will sleep in a different room and have sex. If I happen to wake up (they can make a lot of noise) it upsets me because he refuses to have sex with me. He then comes to comfort me and she gets upset at him. He says he is sorry that I am upset by what they are doing but doesnít really seem all that sincere. I have been acting out of frustration and feel like I have no control. At this point, I canít move out of our house and he most definitely wonít. She is in no place to move in with him and doesnít want to.
I am just really sad and frustrated and I donít know how to talk to him any more. I cry myself to sleep every night. It seems like every time I try to talk to him I turn into this shrewish woman that I donít even recognize, which drives us even further apart. He promises to sleep in the same bed as me at night and when I wake up and find him in front of a movie and ask him to come to bed he just gets annoyed with me. I donít know what to do anymore. I do love him and I want things to work out but I really donít see anything good coming from our relationship at this point.
I wish I could make him see that I want to work and make our lives go forward together but I just donít know what to do anymore.
Thanks for reading, I know this isnít strictly a poly issue but you guys always have such great advice for folks that I thought I would try this.
My first response to this is that it's time to go into crisis control. The relationship is broken and it needs fixing.
Clearly S is not responding to your requests for more time, less sleeping alone and is, perhaps worst, breaking promises.
"He promises to sleep in the same bed as me at night and when I wake up and find him in front of a movie and ask him to come to bed he just gets annoyed with me." This right here is a Bad thing and looks like a good case-in-point for when you talk to him.
Out of interest, was S poly before this started? From what you've said, I feel he wasn't. Or at least, not very good at it. One thing I find can help is try to apply the issue into a "mono context". Swap out M for "the lads" (and sex for drinking) as the end result is more-or-less identical. He is excluding you for time with others.
If I was in a similar position (and I must admit I learnt this from techniques amaranth has used on me) I'd sit S down and say to him that this needs to change. Explain, clearly, what you want to be different. Then - and this is the most important - set him a deadline to fix things. 3 weeks works nicely as that gives him chance to change and then hit the tricky bit of staying changed and not rolling back to his current habits afterwards.
I also notice you're getting resistance from M. "He then comes to comfort me and she gets upset at him". Two big problems here:
The obvious one is that she shouldn't be getting upset at him looking after you. However, this is a small issue compared to the following.
He should not need to comfort you for having sex with his partner. If this is distressing you to the point of need comforting, he should not be doing it. They can go to hers, do it when you're out, have the decency to be quiet. There are plenty of options that won't/don't distress you. The two of them need to sort this out, but hopefully fixing things in other areas (namely, sleeping with you when he promises, rekindling your romance) should help this matter.
I wish you the best of luck and hope those two are as sincere about making this work as you are.
It sounds like you got bullied (no matter how subtley) into doing something that you were uncomfortable with. The persuasion probably went on and on until you finally gave in and let it happen - and it ended up making you uncomfortable and your needs ended up not being met.
Is he willing to do what it takes or has he given up?
A situation like this is complex, and I don't think that any advice on a forum is going to be able to truly get to the bottom of it, because there are a lot of interpersonal dynamics going on, and we only see one side of the story (yours) and don't have an opportunity to ask him how he feels, etc.
My recommendation would be that you (and both of you, eventually) get professional help with a counselor who can get into the depth that you need to get yourself to a point where you can work together and resolve it, and then both of you.
Your profile says you are from Vancouver, BC - I know we have several members here from the city - they may well be able to recommend some poly-friendly counselors that will work on your relationship, rather than trying to "fix you" from being poly. It might be that poly isn't right for one or all of you, but you need to work through a lot of issues before I think you can make that call.
I really do wish you luck and strength in this - these are tough situations.
Awwww gawd Asset !
This is awful !
And from part of your post it seemed you guys (all 3) were doing great for awhile !
So, I wonder what changed - REALLY ?
We only have what you offered and there's probably some stuff we don't know that would be enlightening. But from what you've said, consider this as one possibility...
It seems that maybe when trouble started was when you opened up about your feelings of being left out. That seems it may have set up a competitive environment for starters. But you were absolutely right to do it !
Now...add to this a 'possibility' that this evoked some guilt with him. If he's really a decent person it would almost have to. Remember - you're all new at dealing with a complex thing here.
And some people don't have good skills for dealing with guilt. So his reactions toward you MAY be driven partially by that. Be that as it may - it's not the way it should be going down. You guys ABSOLUTELY have got to get talking but, in a non-confrontational, non-aggressive way ! That's another skill to learn :)
So as hard as it is (and it IS hard), I'd try to get some emotional disconnection from the current state everyone is in. Try to take a deep breath and take the pressure off everyone.
These things go in phases and you can work through them. That doesn't mean you'll be a happy little triad in the end. It doesn't mean you won't ! But what you are going through is not at all uncommon and many others have been there too and come out the other side wonderfully. A lot will depend on the true connections between the 3 of you and how good you get at the NVC thing (non-violent communication).
I'm sure some others will weigh in here to help you. There's some very insightful folk hanging around here who have lived this experience too.
By all means keep us posted. We hope for something good to come out of all this effort you will (and have been) putting in. Because it's all worth it in the end if you can get there :)
It is hard to know what to recommend without knowing what S is thinking. My guess is there is probably a communication issue or some deeper issues that have not fully surfaced.
Does he have issues with feeling like he is being controlled? Does he think he is spending enough time with you? How does he explan the lack of sex with you?
I think if you went to a poly friendly counselor, it would benefit the relationship. My instinct is that if M were out of the picture, you would still be having issues.
I wish you well.
Have you considered asking to go back to just you and S in a relationship? I mean if it isn't working out...
Or is that no longer an option?
thanks for your insights, I have a lot to think about. I am going to be starting counseling next week and hopefully that will help to address my issues. After that i will tackle S on going back to couples counseling with me.
It is not an option of going back to just S and I sadly. I don't think that M and i will ever have a good relationship again, there is a lot of hurt there but who knows. But S is determined to keep his relationship with M and that may break he and I up.:eek:
life is still not going well for me. I have come to the conclusion that no matter how much i love this man, it's not going to work out. We now have to figure out where to go from here.
Sorry for the gory details that follow but I have to get this off my chest.
The final nail in the coffin was yesterday morning. S invited me to come to bed with he and M. I did, and they proceeded to have sex with each other with me lying in the bed, they had no intention of including me. I got upset and left the bed crying and went into my room. I came back because i wanted to see if S would change his mind (I know, stupid, right) and so he once again invited me to the bed. I asked him to not invite me in if he was intending to have sex with her and not want me to join in. He agreed that this was a reasonable request and said that he agreed to this. Five minutes later they were going at it again and when I tried to engage him he told me that basically he wasn't interested. I got very upset, and reacted badly, by pushing him off of her and holding him down. I was so angry that he would treat me this way, I really wasn't thinking straight. I feel terrible for the way that i reacted and I feel guilty.
He has consistently refused to speak to me about our situation (before yesterday morning) and i am done trying. Last night he was talking to me and telling me about his day as if nothing happened at all. I really don't think that he gets it. Or maybe it's me that doesn't...
Last night, in response to me saying that I felt like both of them blamed me for everything that went wrong in the relationship, he agreed that he regretted some of the things that he had done and that he shared some of the blame.
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