Kori in the Middle, or, my life as a homewrecker.
Like I mentioned in my intro, I'm not new to poly. I've been involved in poly relationships twice before now, but the circumstances this time around are much different.
I've never been involved with both halves of a primary relationship before. I've also never had more than one local partner at a time. Now that I'm dating a couple who live, almost literally, right down the street, a lot of things are coming up that I haven't had to deal with before.
Alex is new to polyamory, and he's still learning the ropes, I think. I have a deeper connection with him, and actually refer to him as my boyfriend now. Jenny has vast experience with poly, and she and I are very much in the "courting" stage of our relationship. Alex is a very social and affectionate character, and he's the type to move quickly in a relationship. He wants to share everything with his partners. Jenny moves slower, is a bit more solitary, and is much more guarded. She deeply desires personal time, and one-on-one time.
So far, Alex and Jenny have been getting along just fine. They're deeply dedicated to one another, they share a home, and they seem to be working out together wonderfully.
Enter Kori. As for me, I can move fast or slow, depending on how comfortable I feel with someone. I seek exactly from Alex and Jenny what each of them has to offer. I enjoy my time with each thoroughly, though in completely different ways. I try to give each of them what they need most.
Which would work, ideally, but unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world.
My heart aches because apparently, having me around has brought to the surface a number of issues that had been brewing in their relationship. Allegedly, they rarely fought before they knew me, but since we met, Alex and Jenny have been having numerous arguments, many of them having to do with me in some way.
I try not to rock the boat, but apparently by just being here, I'm causing trouble. Both of them assure me that it's not my fault, that I didn't do anything. I can't help but feel like I've somehow tainted something good.
I find it easy to empathize with each of them, and I try my hardest to understand each point of view, but the three of us can't seem to meet on any level. Jenny and I are still just courting, whereas I now have a full-blown relationship with Alex. Jenny feels like Alex gets more face time with me. Alex feels left out when Jenny and I want to spend time alone. Jenny wants to have a deep one-on-one connection with me, independent of my connection to Alex, or hers. Alex seems to want us to be a true triad and spend all our time together, as a group.
As for me, I want both. I want to have three relationships: one with Alex, one with Jenny, and one with the unit of Alex and Jenny. I want to know them separately, and together. It's hard to get to that point, though, since all this newly-bred resentment is tainting it. I'm frustrated, because I don't want to be the reason for any of this. All I wanted was to love two very special people... and to be lucky enough to be loved by them in return.
Instead, it's becoming one big clusterfuck... and not the good kind.
I don't really have a question. I just feel stuck, and I want to get this off of my chest. Anyone else been in this kind of a situation before? How the heck do I get through it?
I feel for you Kori,I'm in a rather complex dynamic myself and its taking alot of talking to get through. When I met my primary he had just come out of a relationship with a mono woman and a month into things we found out she was pregnant. She decided to keep the baby and in the same breath did everything she could to try and get him back. Even though he is content with me,she is not happy that he has moved on 'with me'. there are times when I do feel like 'piggy in the middle' but the problems they had were there before I even came on the scene.
It may simply be that adding you to the dynamic of their relationship has brought out some underlying issues that may not have been apparent to you or even to them. You are really just the 'trigger' that led to this happening and like my situation,it may not have mattered who the third person was,it was more the 'situation' ..unfortunately because we are sensitive to other people's feelings we both feel guilty that this is somehow 'our fault' when in reality it may have happened anyway.
I'm quite new to poly and I'm in a vee which will never be a triad. So our situations are very different.
But the couple I'm involved with have been poly for many years and have had a number of different kinds of relationships outside their marriage. They have remained stable and made it work. I think part of their success is the structure they have developed.
They don't have a rule-sheet or anything, but they keep things clear. As it's evolved right now, on date nights she sees me and he sees his girlfriend. Dates nights are usually Saturdays, although there's a certain amount of flexibility. Usually one date-couple has access to their house, and the other couple goes somewhere else. Etc.
The point is, it's clear what the boundaries are and who gets time when.
Anyway, you've been around poly couples and you know about this kind of stuff already. It sounds to me like if Alex agreed that you and Jenny would have a certain amount of couple-time he would not feel as left out (he would have agreed to the need, after all); and if there was an agreed-on triad day when you all did things together that would create a place-time to satisfy a need as well.
You know the drill.
Maybe instead of a possible homewrecker maybe you turn into the architect!
Hi Kori - and thanks for sharing this !
You mind us taking you 3 on as a "project" and seeing if we can't help make this work - or at least fail because of compatibility (yet to be determined) problems rather than procedural <chuckle>
We have a couple threads going now and tons in the past discussing primary/secondary relationship beginnings. Your situation sparked me to start yet another !
Can we just start with a couple basics ?
1> Living this is NEW to everyone-despite all the theory in the books. Have some patience, compassion, and a bit of a thicker skin maybe for the mistakes that ARE going to happen.
2> You seem to have good clarity of what you "hope" will develop from your perspective. Be flexible. Assume nothing.
As you either know or will discover - poly will bring everything previously bubbling under the surface out. It's ok - it needs to happen !
Do you know yet what theirs is ??? Find out :)
And encourage everyone to be flexible. Even if what we originally envisioned doesn't unfold exactly as we hoped - it's equally possible that something even better (for everyone) may. Believe that too :)
We can do this ! But there IS work involved.
So, Alex is officially out of town, which is great because it'll give him time to see his long-distance girlfriend, and it'll give Jenny two weeks with the house to herself.
The night before Alex left, I called and asked if I could cook dinner for the both of them (because I knew they would be really busy getting him ready for his trip) and insisting that I wouldn't stay the night. Alex said this sounded great, and he would call Jenny to run it by her. A half hour later he calls me back, and I can tell from his voice that he's upset. I can't come over, he tells me, because he and Jenny had already made plans. I got the sense that he spent that time on the phone fighting with her about how he wanted me to come over.
I felt bad because 1) I was going to miss out on seeing my man for one last time before he leaves for god-knows-how-long, and 2) because I know that just by asking to see my boyfriend, I caused a fight.
Now I want to spend time with Jenny while she and I have time to be together one-on-one, but I'm tentative about doing it because of all this fighting that has been happening, and because I feel like I'll be intruding on her personal time, which is very important to her. I'm having a hard time getting a feel for her because it seems like she's really holding back from me. It also seems like Alex might be overdramatizing things.
I don't know what to do, if I should push to spend time with Jenny because she says she wants to get to know me, or let her be since she has this rare opportunity to have some time alone.
All I know is that what's going on behind those closed doors is keeping me from fully enjoying the relationships I have with Alex and Jenny. I know that there is always this stage in the cycle, and I guess what I want to know is, how long does that stage last? What can I do to help? I'm coming up against a huge fight-or-flight issue right now, and the stress is overwhelming. Help!
I'm probably reading too much into a specific phrasing, but no matter how much I like someone, I don't want to spend "all" my time together, so I can easily see how all three of you together as a group all the time would be too much for Jenny.
If Jenny is slow at developing relationships, it could just be that this whole thing is moving very fast for her. But since you're fine with taking it slow with her, and it's really only your relationship with Alex that is going fast, then there should be no problem taking both relationships at different rates. To that effect, I would talk to Alex about slowing down the three-musketeers plan until Jenny's more comfortable with it.
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