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-   -   Change from a triad to a vee? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2254)

Karelia 03-02-2010 06:44 PM

Change from a triad to a vee?
Has anyone been in a relationship that started off as a true triad, but changed to a vee?

My husband and I have been in a relationship with another woman for a year... but a lot has happened, and he is no longer in love with her. He loves her, but not in a romantic sense. He is probably going to break up with her, but he plans to tell her that this doesn't mean her relationship with me has to end.

I don't know for sure if she'll even want a vee, but I suspect she will. Honestly, I question whether or not she's still in love with him, too. However, she'd probably never admit that because she thinks that if one of us wants out, she loses both of us (this was the way we'd always imagined it would be).

Having never been in a vee, I have no idea what this will be like. I know that it will mean choices in terms of who to spend time with, and the like. Obviously, I can't know without trying. I am still deeply in love with her, despite the issues we've had over the past four or five months. Since I still love her, if she's willing to consider the vee, I want to try. I just have no idea how challenging it will be. She doesn't live with us anymore, so clearly that helps.

However, she knows my husband is my top priority (which is as it should be, in my opinion). He also knows this, and I think he's comfortable with the idea of a vee only because of our history with her and because he knows that if he ultimately were to find out he can't handle that sort of relationship, it would be over for me and her. He knows she's not a threat to our marriage.

I am NOT truly poly. She was someone we met in unexpected, intense circumstances, and it just happened that we all fell in love. I have to imagine this sort of love is fairly rare, especially when it involves two people who are married and would've laughed at the idea of a poly relationship before it fell into their laps. I love her, and I love him... I want her. I need him. He's oxygen... she's the ocean. I love the ocean and would be very, very sad to never see one again, but if I couldn't, I'd certainly survive it. Oxygen, however, is necessary.

So, I just wonder if anyone has any experience going from a triad to a vee...

NeonKaos 03-02-2010 07:35 PM

I have no experience going from a triad to a V, but from what I have read about your situation I think this is a very viable option for you and I say green lights all around.

Go for the vee.

Karelia 03-02-2010 08:19 PM

Thanks, YGirl. I have to give it a try... I love her too much not to, despite her flaws.

CielDuMatin 03-02-2010 10:12 PM

If that kind of change is what is going to work best for you three, and from what you have written it sound like it might, then why not? I would suggest that the three of you talk it through calmly and see what the new configuration will look like in terms of quality time and the like.

Are the three of you living together and would that continue, if so? Do you share financial obligations and how would that change?

So much of this depends on your specific circumstances.

As for you not being "truly poly", I looked up the definition in the online tomes and I don't think that you are violating any of the long list of requirements for being truly poly.... ok that was me being sarcastic - if you love more than one (whether it's about a specific "more than one" or a general capability) I think that by most people's definitions of the word you are "true poly" - but I wouldn't sweat it - there's no "poly accreditation" that you need. ;)

fauxsisticated 03-04-2010 01:47 AM

Karelia, dunno if this will help, but I'm currently in a vee. I started off dating my fiancÚ, and have recently begun dating another woman I have been friends with for a while. (I guess it's not technically a true vee because I don't rule out he possibility that I might date others, and my fiancÚ and girlfriend are also both free to do the same. None of us is seeing anyone else yet.) It does present some challenges... My fiancÚ was initially hoping we could have a true triad, but my girlfriend is a lesbian and doesn't really have interest in dating men, even though my fiancÚ is only male in form. He's very feminine, and his femininity is one of the aspects of his personality I love most of all. Still, it was a no-go for my girlfriend, and she learned this after we had a "test the waters" threesome. We've since had another threesome, but my fiancÚ and girlfriend didn't interact much.

Anyhow, I can imagine there would be some awkwardness at first, and I've thought it would be easier in my own situation if my fiancÚ and girlfriend could also date each other, but I'd imagine that would present its own complications, too. Every relationship is complicated, but I think it would be helpful to clearly outline your expectations and see if it's something the three of you can live with. Reassure your husband you aren't going to conspire against him and leave him, and tell your girlfriend you have no interest in ending your relationship just because your husband's feelings have changed. There's probably a fine way to make this all work, don't fret just because it's not the same as it's always been!

Good luck to you three!

jkelly 05-15-2010 01:33 AM

It's been done.

Originally Posted by Karelia (Post 23268)
Has anyone been in a relationship that started off as a true triad, but changed to a vee?

Yes, I've been through this. Nobody was poly-fi, though, so I'm not sure that my experience is really equivalent enough to be reassuring that it can work (which it did, in our case).

Getting dumped is really unpleasant, and I imagine that your gf would like a lot of reassurance. Given that your husband has veto power, it might be hard for you to give that. I think that's the challenge for you; how to support someone through feeling rejected while admitting that there's some chance that you're going to do the same thing to them due to something totally outside of her control. So think about what the most kind, loving and yet honest thing you can say is and go with that.

It sounds like you know what you want, your husband is okay with it, so it really should be worth at least giving it a try.

rpcrazy 05-25-2010 05:07 PM

this may be a troll post but, how exactly can you date someone for a whole YEAR and NOT be at least cool with hangin' out with them frequently :/ I mean, just because he's not "in love"(which it seems it was just an NRE string of events) doesn't mean you have to "break up" and she has to leave and never see you :/ Not to mention, I think it's unfair to say that he has veto power since you BOTH were dating her, so now you BOTH have feelings for her, including you. I don't know...I just don't get the problem here. I mean if I were him, I would just express my feelings of change towards my romantic relationship with her and that's that. I mean dude, you're saying you love her! That would be a big deal to me, if you were my wife/g/f sigh...

"can't we all just get along?" - don king

Karelia 05-25-2010 06:16 PM


Originally Posted by rpcrazy (Post 30706)
this may be a troll post but, how exactly can you date someone for a whole YEAR and NOT be at least cool with hangin' out with them frequently :/ I mean, just because he's not "in love"(which it seems it was just an NRE string of events) doesn't mean you have to "break up" and she has to leave and never see you :/ Not to mention, I think it's unfair to say that he has veto power since you BOTH were dating her, so now you BOTH have feelings for her, including you. I don't know...I just don't get the problem here. I mean if I were him, I would just express my feelings of change towards my romantic relationship with her and that's that. I mean dude, you're saying you love her! That would be a big deal to me, if you were my wife/g/f sigh...

"can't we all just get along?" - don king

I'm not sure if you're accusing MY post of being a troll post, or if you're saying that you're behaving like one.

My husband loved her. She lied. Repeatedly. He still loved her, but was no longer IN love with her. It happens, especially when you realize the person you love doesn't truly exist, which is what happened for us.

I've never understood how so many exes stay friends, frankly. With the exception of circumstances that involve children, and then being at least friendly is in everyone's best interest. I have never successfully remained friends with an ex. Usually, this is pretty simple. If I broke up with you, or you with me, there was probably a damn good reason for it... and often that reason makes friendship pretty hard.

I'm not really sure what you were reading, to be honest. A) she was no longer living here by the time he ended things with her for good, and b) he was fine with my trying to be in a vee with her, so what you said doesn't really seem to apply to my post even slightly.

I get really tired of people throwing around the term NRE. We were with her for a year. It wasn't NRE. It was the reality of living with a compulsive liar with borderline personality disorder that created our problems. We desperately wanted to work with her, to help her. She didn't want to help herself, which made any efforts of ours futile and frustrating.

He is my husband. My marriage is my top priority. It was always the case, and she knew that - and in fact, she told us repeatedly that is how it should be and she didn't want to interfere with that. Are you saying that if you had a relationship and your wife asked you to end it because it was emotionally too challenging for her, you wouldn't? He would've ended it for me, and I would've ended it for him. Our marriage comes first and foremost. If it doesn't, why be married anymore?

I was with her for a year. I've been with him for over eleven years. He's been loyal, faithful, trustworthy and an absolute emotional rock for me.

She lied to me repeatedly, withdrew emotionally whenever she was stressed out (which was nearly always) and sometimes let her jealousy (not relationship related) make her say nasty things to me. She didn't own her mistakes and she has serious mental health issues she must address if she ever wants to be happy.

Why on earth would I ever pick her - when she's hurt me repeatedly - over him?

In the end, she and I tried a vee, but after a few days, she wanted out as much as I did. She didn't have the guts to say it until I pushed her on it, but then she admitted she saw no real future for the two of us.

After that, I uncovered even more lies and now I do not speak to her at all. It was hard to be friends with someone I was still in love with, but I tried... until I found out she'd lied about even more things than I originally knew, and at that point I didn't want even a friendship. Why would I be friends with someone who has repeatedly broken my heart? Not to mention, I'd never be able to trust her again, and while I have every reason to feel that way, it's not fair to be friends with her knowing I'd doubt her every word. If you can't forget it and let it go, you have no choice but to move on. It was one too many lies, and I was just done.

rpcrazy 05-25-2010 07:05 PM

troll post is just a singular post, not the thread you started, but just a single post that is usually purely an opinion and not too relevant to the OP or thread :)

I misread some things you posted, as well as miscontrued you're intent for the post. I had feelings of righteous at the thought that you were worrying about your hubby cutting off something coldly and abruptly with you when you both spent so much time with her. Even in the event where she wronged him and not you, if you reallyed "loved" her, it would be something for debate, not veto. But...it's all my opinion. hence, the troll post.

I apologize if I offended you. I'm feeling a little emotional today, i shouldn't have just randomly shouted out stuff. Anyway, hope everything works out! Sux, you had to fall for a liar

Karelia 05-25-2010 08:10 PM

Replies go to my email, so though it seems you've since edited your post, I did read this bit:

An NRE string, is a table or chart of events that is based off of the NRE at the top(or bottom if it's a tree). Don't underestimate the importance of it. IMO, NRE is a really broad term for a complicated bio-social event that has roots in our very evolutionary development. So to be blunt, as you said yourself, He/you THOUGHT she was someone, when she turned out to be different because the idea you made up of who she actually was wasn't real, and was probably formed through the NRE stage...just sayin' :/ again, imo, your use of the word "love" is way to...conventional.

I don't even know what that means. My use of the word love is "to [sic] conventional?" I gather you thought better of this statement, but it was too late because I'd read it.

If my use of the word love is too conventional because my marriage comes first, oh, well. I love my husband in ways that words couldn't possibly do justice. We thought she was someone she wasn't because she LIED - and very convincingly. Not to only us, but also to herself. You can't blame NRE for that. Particularly because once I recognized the mental health issues she had I STILL loved her. I wasn't ready to throw her out, or walk away. I didn't think, oh, damn, she's not the perfect, idealized person I thought she was. I didn't think that because I never saw her that way. I knew she was flawed. I knew she had some issues. I just did not know the scope of them, and that's partly because she doesn't know it herself.

When she first lied and was caught, neither of us magically "fell out" of love with her. We did not abandon her or walk away because she wasn't perfect. We were, however, deeply upset by it because we don't lie to each other. No matter how hard the truth is, we face it. She runs from it. She creates her own truth, and this was a behavior that became a very serious issue in our relationship. Without trust, you have nothing. That's true whether you're in love with one person or four.

I won't deny having experienced NRE. We've all experienced it. I don't really see why it needs to be labeled and dissected, and it exists in mono relationships, too. The beginning of almost all romantic relationships - and sometimes even platonic ones - has that glow of something new and wonderful.

I have been with my husband for eleven and a half years. Over the past four years we've faced major medical issues (including infertility), the death of his father, the loss of our girlfriend and the death of our beloved dog. But when he tells me he loves me, I still feel that glow I did in 1999. When he holds my hand, I still get all mushy inside.

He has seen me at my absolute lowest. We've been through a lot together, and yet it changes nothing where love is concerned. If anything, it brings us closer.

But those early feelings of "new love?" They're never totally gone, and I think it is tragic for anyone that wants to be over that, or who sees it as a negative. The question isn't is NRE bad... the question is can you maintain the best parts of those early feelings over the course of many years. I can and have, as has he. If that's too conventional for you, oh, well. Fortunately for you, we are not in a relationship.

As for "veto powers," the two of them agreed early on that *I* had that. They put me in the reins. Wasn't my choice and wasn't something I asked for, but they felt I needed it. When issues arose, we talked about them. I promised them that if I ever felt I couldn't handle a given situation, they'd know as soon as I did - and I lived up to that promise.

When he realized that he was no longer in love with her, it wasn't just something that happened overnight. She was also not in love with him. He was hurt and betrayed, and she did nothing to try to pull him back. She never tried to reassure him. It was obvious he was acting differently towards her, but she never even attempted a discussion about it. He finally realized that what they had shared had gone away. Maybe for you that means he never really loved her, and she never really loved him. Who knows? He believes he did love her, and so do I. I believe she wanted to love him, thought she loved him and then realized that they were two very different people in how they see the world - and worse, didn't like his perspective. That's not an easy thing to overcome. If it had been just the two of them, I suspect they'd never have gotten that far... but when you added me to the picture, I was a buffer of sorts.

I loved her deeply, and in some ways I will never stop. But I can't have a person with her issues in my life when she refuses to work on them. It became too toxic and too painful. She'd hurt me because she's careless and self-absorbed. It made me want to hurt back. The difference is, I am not careless and I saw my own negative behavior... I didn't always manage to stop it in time, especially as the hurt became more and more frequent, and I didn't like that I was lashing out and hurting her in return. So, I broke off all connections to her.

I worry about her. I know she is behaving in ways that are negative, attention seeking behaviors for her, and it concerns me. But she is 41... and it's up to her to see the problems and to want to fix them. Instead, she is turning blame on us by saying we didn't truly accept her for who she is. We weren't really given the chance, because she becomes whomever she thinks she needs to be depending on the people she is around. We accepted the person she presented to us... and it was only after the breakup that we learned she wasn't at all that person. The lies were just one part of that, and they wound up being a "deal breaker" because we had no trust. To be fair to everyone, breaking up was the only option.

Friendship, as I said, would've been nice... but the moment I stopped talking to her, she reverted to all the old behaviors she swore she didn't want to have, and began the self-abuse she gave up - according to her - not for us, but for herself. Hence the not being able to accept the "real" her because we weren't ever shown the "real" her. I'm not even sure there IS a "real" her at this point.

It's tragic and sad... but if you can still love someone who has lied to you, and if you are willing to help that person work through their issues, you've long past the so-called negative bits of NRE.

I've found it frustrating at times that people who identify themselves as poly seem to blame every failed relationship on NRE... and there's also a bit of a superiority complex. I was always mono, and am now again mono, so I must see love in a way that is too conventional. I'm not saying that is necessarily how you meant it, but I've had flack on this board and others at times, and sometimes I feel a bit like some poly people look down their noses at me, and think that because they've loved more people at one time, they must be better at it than I am.

Well, given that I've had the same man in my life for over eleven years, and that we not only survived our foray into poly, but came out stronger as individuals and as a couple, I'd say I'm pretty damn good at love. I love him more every day... and I know he feels the same way about me.

You are not at all to blame for much of my rant. Like you, I'm feeling somewhat sensitive (for me it's this poly superiority crap I am talking about - and I'm not saying you demonstrated any of that... mostly because I'm not really even sure what you were trying to say in either of your posts).

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