Thanks for reading this...
Hi to everyone on the site!
When I started reading threads occassionally on this site 3 weeks ago, I actually didn't plan to write anything about myself apart from reading other people's posts, but till this moment, I think dumping out what is in my mind might help me to think straight, as my state of mind is currently in a mess.
The poly thing is in fact fairly new to me. A very close friend of mine introduced this concept to me after he told me I triggered him initially (yes, he is on this site too and one of his posts written about me was beautiful). The poly concept wasn't difficult for me to understand and accept, as I am the third person into a primary well established marriage between this friend and his wife. (The reason why I personally don't like the term "the secondary" is because it simply reminds me of being no2 and makes me feel much less empowered.)
I have been knowing this friend for 2 years since we worked together. The relationship didn't really start until he changed his job and moved away. Now, 2 years later, after I moved out of the country with a new job, I realise how far and strong this relationship has been growing, which is not what we both expected at the very beginning. I think in fact the distance between him and me makes us missing each other even more. Can you imagine talking to someone for 2-3 hrs nearly every day without running out topics? We are exactly like that and it does feel wonderful.
As people keep saying the reality is cruel, it is unfortunately. His wife is a lovely and great woman. He is a lucky one to have her and the whole loveable family. The truth is that I am not selfish enough to let myself take him away from his wife and I gave my words to his wife and him too. I know I did a right thing but I sometimes feel so hurt by remembering I am always the no2 (the reality is hard, I learn). He fingured the best way to carry on is to have an open relationship for three of us. However, his darling wife is a traditionally wired woman and has not got her head around this poly thing. Because I don't really know where her head and her heart are at the moment, I am not sure if I should go ahead without feeling guilty or simply stop. The last thing I want to do is that I have to cut this friend completely out of my life. However, I don't want to upset or hurt his wife either.
I am fully aware he loves his wife truly, deeply and madly. I respect his feeling towards his wife. However, in the last a few days, I noticed I had to queue to talk to him as he was busy talking to his wife. Once I had to wait for 1 hr before I could talk to him and he was tried when we were chatting. My head tells me that I should understand they are the primary couple and basically what they do is the priority, but I feel intensely jealous of his lawful wife and also deeply hurt inside. And the jealousy caused me so much turbulence and uncertainty and I start feeling small and lost in this relationship... I don't ever want to be the one who wears the trousers, but I do want to at least keep my dignity intact without having to "beg" for his time and attention. I become quiet recently. He noticed it and asked me why. I wanted to tell him why but I could not say it. How could I ask for anything like that? Even if I did, would there be any differences? I don't think so as I am not the priority I know. Even if the outcome of this polyamourous relationship is to help him and his wife fall in love all over again, I am convinced I would be pleased as at least I did not mess up their life.
I don't know if anyone out there has a similar experience... I would like to listen to what other people might say about this... Many thanks in advance.
I do understand you so well, justAlover, because I had been in quite a similar situation for years. And even after my boyfriend's wife opened up the relationship and explicitly included me into their family I still had a lot of difficulties not to see their relationship as more important than mine for a long time. But what helped me a lot was that it was his wife's decision that I could be with him and I think that's what you'd need it to be as well: his wife's approval coming from herself, so that it doesn't feel to you like she's been talked into it. Now, of course, I cannot guarantee you that it works out in the same way as it did for me (specifically because I never intended it to) but I think the most important (and at the moment the only) thing you can do if you do not want to break up is being patient and honest to both of them. And that also means that you must tell him about how you feel. If you are so important to him (and I deduced that you are), he will take that as serious as if his wife was talking to him about her feelings. Of course, there're times when the wife is more important, but there're also times when friends need more attention and dealing with that is his job, not primarily yours, though you need to take into account that he might be occupied dealing with other matters when you want him to be there for you (but so does his wife or anybody else), but remember that there will be the time when your concerns are most important. It is hard to handle two relationships, but if that is his decision he has to deal with it the same way you do.
And concerning his wife I don't know what exacly is your relationship to her. Are you just acquaintances, like you meet each other now and then just because you're a friend of her husband? Or are you friends? To tell my story: My boyfriend never kept me from his wife and so she did not only know I was really important to him, but also did we have a chance to become really close friends. Sooner or later we would find ourselves joking around making him pretend to be annoyed (though he'd in fact be pleased that we get along with each other so well). It has always been a beautiful and special friendship to me, because it also allowed me to be close to the man I love and I always felt welcomed. And so did I grow on her and because I was a good friend of her she wanted me to be happy and of course she knew how much her husband and I loved each other (but we were never ever cheating on her in any way, I am not able to do that to her), so this extraordinarily remarkable woman decided to make us both happy. But that took a long time (about five years) - I've had other boyfriends in the meantime, but I never gave up on him, though I never imagined things could work out like that. My future plans consisted of us being very close friends and that thought made me happy, though I also had my troubles learning this "compersion" as it is called among polyamorous people. I never expected it to work out even more beautifully, but it did.
There's always hope. Just don't give up on him... and her! Give them all the love you can - without giving up on yourself, of course - and be happy about every piece of love that is returned. But don't become to set on this to work out like it did for me for instance. Instead be open for anything. That's all the advice I dare to give.
P.S. I think it's actually great you've come that far to be able to love someone though he can't return that love in the same way!
P.P.S. As you probably realised English is not my native language and I tend to have troubles expressing things like that in English. I hope, despite of that, you understand what I try to tell you. If you're not sure, go ahead and ask me :)
Hi Jennifer and thanks for sharing !
Being the new person into any existing relationship always can have it's trials. I think the important thing is to just acknowledge this up front and not let it be a distraction. And yes - it's FINE to just mention this to the existing team as a reminder of the difficult position a 3rd is in at first. Not in a whiney, demanding way - just an informational reminder.
If you think about it - it's no different than a new 3rd partner in an existing business. There's a pre-existing history, established routines and responsibilities. In a family there's sometimes children issues, financial issues, time constraints, a whole host of things already present.
Your role at first is to study it, learn about what's going on, what challenges there already are etc. Then see where you can fit it, be an enhancement. It's all about building something better for everyone.
But none of that happens overnight ! And it doesn't happen just because "we want it to". It's going to take some time, some effort, some experimentation, some tweaking. Don't take little conflicts and mis-steps personally. It's a learning experience for most everyone ! Make it a project to learn TOGETHER - and try to laugh at as many of the mis-steps as possible.
Eventually, as time progresses and everyone learns more about each other and the circumstances, it starts to gel, and the new 'history' gets constructed as a unit. Try to keep focused on that rather than trying to rewrite old history.
Hope that helps............
Hi May, thanks for sharing your opinions and your own story. I am so glad to hear things worked out so beautifully for you. For me, the journey just started. I understand the process takes time and patience. The positive thing in my story is that the three of us are all decent and great people. I hope and I am confident that things would gradually move ahead, althought it seems confusing and distressing at the moment. I did say to this friend's wife that I would like to hear what she thinks and feels when she is ready. I sometimes do wonder if I am being horrible and cruel to put her through such a huge emotional turnmoil. However, I am not ready to let him go yet! Let's hope my own story as well as everyone else's would all turn into a wonderful and rewarding journey of love!
Thanks for the great advice. I agree with what you said. I will take this experience as an opportunity to learn about love. I actually didn't know how to love someone in a right way in the past and I also personally have a difficulty of telling those who mean so much to me that I love them. At the moment, I am still not used to those three little words, but I will learn how to say it well to the people I love.
Okay, I take on your suggestions, May, but at the moment I feel very tired - primarily emtionally. Trust is an interesting word. I tried to stand in his wife's shoes and asked myself - if I were in her position, how would I do? Could I trust this woman and her words? How much could I happily share my husband's affections with her without feeling threatened and insecure?
You probably can tell that I am currently stuck - emtionally I really, really don't want to simply walk away from him, but at the meanwhile I am feeling being judged and questioned without knowing what are the most appropriate actions/decisions I should take... It is such a horrible situation to be in...
Is it always that hard to love someone?
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