One break up in a triad
First time I'm posting in here, sorry it's with a problem. I am currently in a triad and all 3 of us live together in a one bedroom apartment. Me and one of my partners (we'll call them AA) have been having problems for some time. I have a good relationship with the other one (we'll call them BB), and my two partners (AA and BB) have a good relationship with each other. Today AA and I came dangerously close to breaking up. AA suggested that we try some couples therapy before calling it quits. Since I already see a therapist who knows about (and is supportive of) my polyamorous relationship, this should not be a problem. I know my therapist already does couples counseling for other couple. So, I just emailed my therapist, but in case my relationship with AA is not salvageable, I wanted to get some advice on here.
Have any of you been in a triad where you've all lived together and there was just a partial break up? I don't want to feel responsible for the break up of AA and BB as they have a healthy relationship. Likewise, I am unwilling to give up my relationship BB. AA has already expressed that she would be uncomfortable continuing living with the 3 of us together if she and I were to break up. However, neither AA nor myself is in a financial situation to move out immediately. One of us would have to do so eventually for her own comfort and I have lived here with BB longer. (It's technically BB's apartment.) This does not make me feel entitled to keep on living here while she moves out, but her immediate response was "I'm going to move out if we break up," implying she feels she is the obvious choice to go, not me. This in and of itself seems like it could cause problems for one of our relationships with BB, as BB is used to living with both of us.
Basically, I'm just really concerned about the state of my relationship. Is it inevitable that either my relationship with BB or AA's relationship with BB becomes less stable? I still care deeply about AA, and honestly don't want to hurt her any more than a break up between the two of us would. It seems unfair that if AA and I break up, one of us would have to, at least in part, sacrifice our relationship with BB. Furthermore, has anyone had to move out of an apartment once shared by a triad? What was the process like?
Also, sorry if that seemed convoluted. I'm obviously quite stressed right now.
take care of you
I would do what is right for you. I know you do not want to cause any issues between your two lovers who still want to be involved. If you do break up with your gf, I would absolutely recommend that one of you move out. How would sleeping arrangements work in a one bedroom apartment otherwise?
Nothing is ever inevitable. It will undoubtably take a lot of talking and negotiating, but there's no reason everything else can't be salvaged. It sounds like you're ending on relatively good terms.
If AA moves out, that's her choice. Three people in a one bedroom, it's no wonder there are issues. Her moving out, alone, could be something that helps your relationship. You say she's still there because of financial reasons, which leads me to wonder if it was financial reasons that got her living there in the first place. That rarely works out well as a permanent solution.
I'm really sorry that you are in this difficult position.
I think it is definitely possible for you both to keep your relationship with BB if you and AA break up.
But that depends on how badly the break up goes, if it happens, and how likely the two of you are to stay friends. If you two are at war, that will obviously put BB in a very difficult position.
I would suggest that all three of you have a sit-down talk. It's going to be unromantic; but you need to put back-up plans in place. Sometimes the practical "what ifs" can be just as stressful as the actual relationship breakdown.
I definitely understand financial restrictions.
The three of you could sit down now and agree on things like:
- if you and AA broke up, would BB actually want to live with either of you?
- if not, could you all rent rooms somewhere else?
- if BB wants to live with one of you, who would she like to live with?
- if BB can't choose; could you literally toss a coin? or decide between you and AA?
- if you're committed long term and both really want to live with her, and her with you, could you even consider the idea that BB lives with you for a year, then AA for a year? if renting?
- if you or AA move out, what do you need to start doing now? can you save for a rent deposit? how long would it realistically take?
- is living together in a bigger place an option?
- could either you or AA afford to move out very soon, even if you're in counselling, to take the strain off?
I would also suggest that you both keep BB out of it as much as possible. It's obviously not fair for BB to have to pick sides and perhaps you can all communicate that together.
It sounds like you feel considerate towards AA and that is nice to see.
I do think that couples counselling is always worth a shot... but ultimately, there's no point staying in a relationship that doesn't work, just for financial reasons.
In terms of there being an awkwardness if you do break up and one of you has to wait to move out... I would say it's very similar to a mono relationship break up. You just have to try to be polite, get on with your own business and move out as soon as possible.
In your triad situation, it would be pretty essential that you each kept your relationship with BB considerate... i.e. literal things like each of you going out once or twice a week to give the other two time alone; BB having an outside-the-house date with each of you; not having sex when the other is around, if possible, and not being draped all over each other in front of the other partner.
Either way... if it is possible.. I would suggest that all three of you start saving up so that a move can be made if necessary... it might actually take some of the stress out of the situation.
I hope that you can work through you decisions in the way that causes the happiest situation for you. Good luck.
Some might say it is inevitable. It seems that most triads turn into vees. Maintaining a triad isn't easy and it's more common than not for things to ebb and flow much differently for each pairing. I think it is probably best, and would benefit everyone most, to focus on making each pair work as well as possible, rather than trying to hold the triad together as a whole at the expense of one of the dyads, if you know what I mean.
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