Responsibility of Thirds......
We have talked a lot about how mistreated thirds can be; especially when dealing with a pre-existing couple...
I'd like to hear thoughts on what the thirds RESPONSIBILITIES are to their own relationship.
This assuming a V, not a triad though some details may fit both.
The topic on my mind is as follows:
A couple exists. Each person in it (in my opinion) is responsible to be there for the other during times of great stress and or great celebration.
Enter a bf or gf to ONE of those people. Presuming this is NOT a secondary relationship but that the bf/gf is a second PRIMARY to one of the parties that makes up the original couple;
do they have a responsibility to be there for their SO during times of great stress or great celebration,
do they only have a responsibility to be there when the OSO is unavailable?
Color me perplexed.......
I wonder about your use of "responsibility"... I never thought of it that way. For me, I am in a situation you described (or was - ha) and I think if I love or care for someone, supporting them in stressful times comes naturally and because I want to, not because I'm obliged in any way...
But excuse me if I reading too much into the word....
If the stress and drama comes from the other relationship, I think it's incumbent on me to be present, and supportive, but to basically let them sort it out. If it's a problem in my own relationship I would expect the same. If it's just something else, then the remaining two can support simultaneously, can't they? :)
If they are both primaries, then it seems to me that neither of them would be filling in the other's gaps, whether commiserating or celebrating :)
Because YES in my mind they should be simultaneously there for the one they love and it shouldn't be about filling one or the others "gaps".
But how does one explain that?
(fyi-this is not in any way about "my oso did blah or blah please be here for me". It's about outside medical crisis issues and the emotional issues that arise on account of them).
Thank you for responding.
And yes-I too am in this situation, I am the hinge. My life has been a medical nightmare these last few months and at every corner My husband has been at my side even to the point of having to take time off of work (he does not get sick leave or vacation time etc, work=pay, not at work=no pay). But my bf, who lives with us, seems to feel that unless my husband isn't there, it's not important for him to be there.
Honestly-it leaves me feeling like our relationships is cheapened....by his lack of concern.
Personally I feel I have the same responsibility to Redpepper as Polynerdist and would be there to support her the same way. That being said, I would still be respectful of bis right to care for her by himself if he wanted. I would take care of their child for instance and help that way. I wouldn't use his presence as an excuse to go riding my bike however. Giving primary partners of a v space is very important. This may seem as neglect by the hinge but it is probably a display of respect between the two ends of the v.
To answer the general question, I think there is a resposibility in every relationship regardless of how the relationship is designated. I think the number 1 responsibility is communication. But this applies to everyone.
As to your specific situation...maybe he isn't less concerned, maybe he doesn't want to interfere in those moments you may be having with your husband? Maybe your husband is better equiped to deal with these specific problems and your bf isn't? Not everyone is emotionally or physically equipped for every emotional problem that comes up. You may find your bf will step up in another situation better than your husband.
Kind of the beauty of polyamory actually, we have a real opportunity to have people that can compliment each other. For example, our ex gf is very well equipped to help my wife with her health and physical health (thats a whole other story, lets just say, in this regard, my wife and I have difficulty in communicating haha) while I am better equipped to help her in dealing with .... (insert here) ...
So sorry to hear about your health woes :(
I don't know if it helps any, but I have sometimes gotten myself really worked up because I had this "if he does this, it means he loves me, if he doesn't it means he doesn't" idea. I mean, could it just be that your bf is stepping back because he thinks that's what's required of him?
I have always been the kind of person that wants lots of affection and attention when I'm sick/down, but my bf and a few other people who are close to me are really bugged by it and want a sort of respectful distance when they're having issues.
Maybe just let him know that even if you're getting care from someone else it's still important for you to get his support too, if you haven't already of course...
Being sick has a way of making shit harder :(
I know he does love me. What I think is that our ideas of level of commitment differ. Seriously.
I've very specifically told him that it really hurt my feelings that he wasn't there for my first major surgery and wanted him there for the second.
I explained that it was very important to me that even if Maca was available that he be there with me too.
I even explained the difference in what each of them does for me emotionally etc etc.
It's not that he doesn't know.
In fact we had a LONG hard talk about the 8-12 weeks of healing time that were coming after this last surgery and he was all about agreeing that both of them could and would commit to being at my side (besides working, they work opposite shifts) until I was healed.
He see's that the healing is going well, he doesn't seem to see that there is a LOT of emotional struggle for me right now due to the major limitations I still have. I AM healing well-but I still can't sleep laying less than 45 degree angle, which means I'm sleeping in the livingroom in a chair-alone. I can't bathe or shower (I did get to go to the hairdressers yesterday to get my hair washed). I can't lift anything over 5lbs. So I can't pick up my daughter, I can't be left alone with her, she's 2 and needs help getting on/off the potty, getting food, if she's throwing a fit she has to be picked up and put in time out because she flings herself flat on the floor. I can't dress her, etc.
I can't lift any of the pots/pans to make a meal. I can't go for a walk (can't push the stroller).I can't drive.
I can't "push, pull or reach for anything that requires my elbows to leave my side", I can't put my hands/arms above my head or below my waist. I can't bend over forward ( I can lean back but only to a 45 degree angle).
Anyway-those limitations are daunting enough, but the impact is that I have NO privacy. I feel isolated and lonely while simultaneously unable to "get away".
At any rate, it all erupted AGAIN because he's DECIDED that he's going to go spend the weekend with his friends in another town. He spent the first weekend after my surgery with them as well.
In hte big scheme, it doesn't change a lot. I won't dump him, we have a 17 year relationship.
But it does impact our relationship. Because I simply can't find a sense of importance in his life when he is so...... blase (not sure how to spell that sorry) about me.
Now-on the other side of things, Maca hasn't left my side but for work. He's been on top of reminding me daily how beautiful I am (even if I'm dirty as hell), how much he appreciates me (even though I can't do shit right now and all the work falls on him, my sister and GG). He's sat and held my hand as I fell asleep and he's taken a washcloth, washed the parts of my body that aren't in bandages and then shaved my armpits and legs as best as he could. Just overall trying to be helpful.
I don't know. I haven't really brought it up to GG this time. I feel like it's sort of pointless.
OBVIOUSLY there is a LOT more to the story-if you saw my other posts recently you'd probably wonder if I have 4-5 lives I'm trying to live over here!
Seriously though-I get exactly what you are saying. But when Maca is asking me if there is a reason why GG is "avoiding" me and "avoiding" being there for me, I don't think it's all in my head or a matter of "giving us space as primaries". You know?
I'm so.... well I don't even know the word!
I'm not "frustrated", I guess I'm depressed.
That's probably the best one word description and not ALL of that is GG. Not at all. A lot is just the "wait" of getting through this shit. I know it takes time, that doesn't alleviate the wait time you know?
I look outside and it's BEAUTIFUL. I wish I could grab the bike and go. Seriously-let all of them sit around here with the kids! Just go up the highway and fell the wind against my chest, (doesn't really hit the face with a full helmet).
But that kind of goes against the "no push, no pull no blah blah blah" rules.
To my way of thinking he should be here, particularly since I told him I needed him here (and why) and he agreed to be here.
At the same time I know that it's pointless to insist, it will only start a war, so somehow I have to find a way to come to terms with the difference in our level of expectation in the relationship.
This isn't only pertinent to this example. To ME gg and Maca are equally primary in my life. Even using Mono's much quoted example of which relationship would have the most financial impact, kids etc etc, they both are equal. They are each the biological father of one of my children and each have devoted themselve to raising all 4 kids. Technically GG has been here since my oldest was 2 and Maca only since she was 6. But that's still YEARS AND YEARS.
Both equally contribute financially to the family and both have lived in our home together pretty much the whole time as well.
So anyway-it's becoming evident to me (and Maca) that the role GG is CHOOSING to take is strictly secondary. It hurts. I've already decided that if that's all he wants-that's what it needs to be and changes have started being put in place, but it's not easy to accept.
And it does GREATLY impact my sense of... intimacy with him. My desire for him is currently at an all time low. Like-dead. You would think my hormones just fell out.
My sense of comfort in confiding my feelings, my fears, my "secrets" like we always have, isn't there either. I find myself unwilling to "risk" it. I feel unsure and unstable in our relationship and likewise feel unsafe divulging my deeper truths to him.
I feel a "great divide" growing between us-and I see that as a bad thing. He seems to be only vaguely aware of it if at all. I feel like I lost my best friend and I can't say I don't know why-I do know why. I just can't believe it.
Why is because in spite of YEARS of proclaiming his undying love for me, and a million different ways of saying he wished we could be together;
when the opportunity for that to be, he stood still.
He hasn't become LESS than he was before. But because I thought we both wanted him to be more-I moved forward and well.... he didn't.
THAT hurts enough that its undermining my trust in him.
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