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-   -   My secondary is starting a primary relationship... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29269)

livingston 09-22-2012 10:39 PM

My secondary is starting a primary relationship...
I have been with my girlfriend 'grid' for 6 years. we live together, are trying to have a baby together, and are committed to being life partners. I have been seeing my girlfriend 'loop' for 2 years, some of which was spent normalizing polyamory/monogamish/whatever we are into our lives (i.e. there was much work involved). we are all close friends and see each other often. I have one overnight with loop per week at this point, but I see her a lot during the week otherwise.

I have worked very hard to protect what I have with loop and grow it to be its own thing in the shadow of my established relationship with grid. it pains me to use terms like "primary" and "secondary", and I have been trying to move from it. loop is very important to me and I have made sacrifices to make us work. all my choices, of course.

this august, grid and I went out of the country for a job I had for a month. I had initially invited loop as well, but she wasn't comfortable coming on an out of country trip with all three of us just yet. before I left, loop started seeing a new person (stine), they had gone out twice and ze seemed really wonderful and I was excited to meet ze and integrate ze into our little family/community.

a month later, right when I got back, loop asked me to take a break from seeing me for our regular dates for a while because stine was expressing difficult feelings about the situation. loop also had a looming work deadline and wanted to spend her time completing the work and not stressing out over stine and me. I felt completely crappy about this, because I felt that loop had not been clear with stine, and had obviously not drawn any boundaries protecting our relationship. it's hard, because loop hasn't dated anyone seriously (except me) in 4 years, and honestly, good, hot queers are hard to find (stine seems to be good and hot). she doesn't like too many folks, and seems to be compeltely smitten with stine. I want her to figure it out.

initially, I thought our break would be a week. now we are two weeks in, and she told me that she wants the break from our sexual activities/dates to continue until her work assignment is complete (2 more weeks) and she has energy to deal with her relationships. however, she is still seeing stine. in fact, she has spent the last two nights with stine and is on her way to another city to see ze now.

I am kind of freaking out. loop seems really overwhelmed, and keeps telling me that she wants badly to make it work with stine, and wants ze to feel like ze can invest in her. she trusts me, says she's never asked anything of me, and that she needs this. that our relationship is stronger and can take the strain, but that stine and her's is not so strong.

my girlfriend grid thinks I should be chill about it. but she also says things like "maybe loop values stine more than you". to which I am thinking WHAT??

so I am torn. sometimes I feel like loop is trying to make this work in the best way she can, and then other times I think that she is really dicking me over. in the last two days I have had some major freakouts and sent some nasty messages to loop (lord knows I'm not seeing her right now, she's been with stine for 3 days).

how can I be more zen about this? how do you know where to draw the line? what is the compromise? I feel really hurt.

livingston 09-22-2012 11:08 PM

I wanted to clarify those timelines... I rounded up in one and down in the other.

grid and I have been together 5.5yrs, loop and I about 2.5yrs.

GalaGirl 09-23-2012 02:02 AM

So would you feel better knowing WHEN you guys have a date?

Rather than endless putting me off-ness?


livingston 09-23-2012 02:05 AM

yes, I think that would feel a lot better.

Anneintherain 09-23-2012 03:50 AM

Yes, I'd say ask to schedule the next date now, so you know when it will be. I wouldn't send any nasty messages - trying to drive her away or something?

Be the partner you'd want somebody to be for you, give space where its needed (as no matter how badly she is doing it at your expense, that's what she's saying she needs), and keep yourself busy. Tell Loop you are looking forward to seeing her, but you'll try not to bother her for these next two weeks, though you're available for her if she changes her mind.

What you really want to know is "How is what is going on with you and Stine right now going to affect you and me" If you find yourself stressing about it a lot over the next week, maybe you ask Loop that now, and ask for her to be prepared to answer that when you see her, or before you meet so you can enjoy catching up.

livingston 09-23-2012 04:00 AM

how do I get over the expense to me part? does this seem really unfair to you? I am looking for a reality check. I feel like I'm being treated really unfairly...

Anneintherain 09-23-2012 08:34 AM

Well that's my reality check - unless shes done something like this before, if she doesn't do something like this again - it wont do anything POSITIVE for you to get upset with it.

If you're concerned that she wants to break up, have you asked her if she wants to break up? I mean you could spend every minute til you see her being upset and angry, but that wont do any good.

It sounds like you need some sort of immediate closure one way or another? I don't know
"Hey Loop, I'm really freaking out and worried about what this means, I don't know if you want to break up and I don't want to wait till you have time to talk in person to find out what's going on. Can we set up a brief time to meet for coffee or to IM so we can touch base about this?"

Or fill in the blank with whatever it is you want. But if you just want to be upset instead of understanding, that she is conflicted about what to do about dating you and Stine, or she's on the verge of a nervous breakdown with her work, maybe she has negative feelings about how you went off on a trip and she didn't get to go, maybe she thinks your relationship is strong so you can handle a month of no dates.

Lets say she does just need a bit of time, and you go bonkers in the next two weeks so she decides she shouldn't date you anymore because you acted like that. Grid knows you better, and if she says to chill...I'm guessing she has a good point? Don't get me wrong, I would not be OK with a partner doing that without a good explanation, but since you already sent her nasty messages, I can see why she is asking for space.

dingedheart 09-23-2012 09:16 AM

You're reluctant to use to words primary and secondary but what about her ?

Once a week dates how would she describe your relationship prior to you leaving and during your absence? Compound the fact you are planning a family and the time required in that she might see a natural shift in time and attention coming and see you as a secondary. She might be trying to protect her primary relationship. Is that unfair ?

Perhaps look at it as you left for a month ....now she's asking for a month. That's fair.

nycindie 09-23-2012 04:17 PM

Expense to you??!!! Oy!! Does she exist only to serve your needs and forget her own? Sorry, but I cannot help but be blunt right now.

What is absolutely glaring to me in your rant is that your focus is all on you. You are only whining about what you're not getting. I don't see any loving kindness directed at Loop, nor wishes for her to be happy, and hoping that it works out for her and Stine. Do you love and care about her, and want her to be happy and free, or do you want to own her and get all the goodies? Doesn't she deserve to pursue happiness, satisfaction, and fulfillment wherever her life leads her to find it? If you really love her, you should be willing to let her go in order to be happy, not stamping your foot and having a tantrum that she isn't giving you what you want. "But she's my secondary, we did so much work, waaaah, waaaah!" She has been honest with you. Why are you so selfish and self-pitying? Loop does not deserve that, does she? Are you just avoiding fears surrounding becoming a parent? You need some self-discipline to remember it's not all about you. Time to wake up and be a grown-up, methinks. After all, you're embarking on parenthood. Tsk, tsk.

Send real love her way, not nasty messages.

livingston 09-23-2012 04:48 PM

hey now, I was all warm loves and understanding and wanting her to have exactly what she wants when she first approached me about this. yes, you need to get your work done, if we see each other as we did before you started dating stine one month ago, stine will get upset, and it will freak you out such that you can't focus on work and it will be very hard. ok, have the space to get the work done.

2 weeks into the break, she and stine were having lots of time together, and in the last week spent 3 days together (no work done). so, that's when I got upset.

I wished she would have drawn some lines around our relationship with stine and said essentially, 'this is my life, I am seeing this person, here's exactly what it looks like, I have everything else for you.' instead, I feel like stine got upset, and she put our time together up on the table as negotiable...

I had requested to meet stine, and help make ze feel comfortable and to know that I really am invested in loop having a wonderful primary (which I am, but now I feel like it's a threat). but stine didn't want to meet me one on one. and then I was asked to meet ze in a large group setting, after which ze and loop went home together. I specifically asked not to do this, but because of circumstances, I pretty much had to. it was after that (the next day), when I started to feel really shitty.

and, my nasty messages aren't mean, they're just stressful to loop...

I hear what you all are saying and thank you. my honest feeling is that I want loop and stine to work out; stine sounds like a wonderful person. but I feel very threatened by their relationship now, and I don't feel like loop is protecting ours, as I have over the years many many times. I think part of me is trying to figure out when enough is enough and when I should just exit the situation. I doubt that time is happening just yet.

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