Advice needed on mending a broken triad
In March of this year, my boyfriend A and I asked our best friend M to join our relationship. We were together until August, when A decided that he was not able to handle being with us any longer.
For the past two months M and I have continued our relationship. It's been very difficult for us, it was not a clean break and I missed A constantly. While M and I were happy and in love, I still loved A and wished that he would come back.
This week A has contacted me. He thinks he may have feelings for me again. I feel awful because I miss him terribly and want to be with him, but I am happy with M and he no longer wants to be in a triad. He wants us to be monogamous, for me to be happy with just him.
I love them both so much. I'm happy with M, but I still want A, and I have no idea what to do. Any advice would be really appreciated.
You're happy with M, and A expects you to turn that on and off like a lightswitch. He left you, and now wants you to drop everything for him because he "may" have feelings for you again? Oh, gee, how lucky you are that he now "may" have feelings! What a schmuck.
I get that you miss A, but having a fond remembrance of what it used to be doesn't mean there is a basis for going back. It will never be the same. And your fond memories of how it was and who he was will fade in time. Plus you would be breaking M's heart.
I vote for sticking with the sure thing - your happiness with M. That is real in the here and now. Why throw it away? His ultimatum is unacceptable.
Pretty much agree with Nycindie - it'd be one thing if A was open to you being poly, but if they're asking you to ditch somebody you love?
Don't get me wrong, if you want to be monogamous and want an either/or choice, maybe there are more factors to weigh, but going back to A doesn't sound like a win situation. Then you'd be stuck being just as heartbroken over M, and probably have growing resentment at A for asking it of you, and self hatred towards yourself for giving in and being willing to break M's heart.
Ah, I didn't state that clearly enough. M is the one that wants to be monogamous with me, A is open to trying polyamory again.
I do agree with what you guys have said, though. I don't love A more than M, I just miss what I had with him. Going back to A would mean at least another two months of misery for having lost M, and I'm not willing to do that.
How can I show M that polyamory is worth another shot? He's afraid of me not being "his" any more. I want to express to him how I feel like I can "belong" to more than one person.
Okay, wait a sec, let's get clear on the players and the plot.
You are female and were in a relationship with your boyfriend, A. Then you both started a relationship with M, who it seems is also male, correct?
Were A and M involved with each other, as in a triad, or was it actually a vee where they each were only involved with you, while you were involved with both?So, you and A and M were together for about five months when A breaks it off with both of you. You and M continued seeing each other and now M wants to be monogamous with you. But A has come back on the scene and says he is willing to try polyamory again because he "may" have feelings for you.
You love M and don't want to lose him, but want him to know you still do not want to be monogamous. You have good memories and still miss A, so you think you want to give it a shot.
HOWEVER, what's to say A won't bail again? What made him high-tail it the first time? How long were you bf and gf before you started seeing M? What sorts of discussions took place when he left, with either one of them? Was M. given the idea that now you were "his" and did you two ever discuss being mono? I guess what needs to happen is more conversation to get clear on what you and M want, and to find out how committed A will be, but I think it would behoove you to make sure that you are doing what YOU want and not just trying to people-please out of fear of losing anyone.
Genders are all correct. It may help to mention that the three of us are very young, they are college freshman and I am a year behind them. A and I were each other's first relationship and M had only been in one before.
A and M had been close friends for years before, and while they were interested in each other, they were much slower coming together than M and I were, and never seemed as romantic. It was closer in execution to a vee, but technically we were all involved with each other.
Yes, although I think that I could have handled being monogamous with M if it were anyone but A.
A and I dated for 10 months before we even learned what polayamory was, and we felt like it would suit us, especially with how close we already were with M. M joined us around our 11 month anniversary.
A's decision to leave was, to me, a huge surprise. I hadn't noticed anything terribly wrong in our relationship, which was also pretty much the cause. I gave A and M different levels of attention, favoring M. A tried to tell me without saying "Hey, give me more attention!", that sort of directness not being in his nature, but getting hints is not in mine and I didn't see how much he needed our dynamics to change. His first attempt to break up resulted in a "break", where M and I were to treat him as just a friend. I was under the impression that if I fixed some arbitrary list of things wrong, that he would return, but after two weeks he decided he didn't have any romantic feelings for us at all and the break up became "official".
A and I talked very little after then. We tried to be "just friends" for about a week and I couldn't handle it.
M stepped up and tried to be my everything. We didn't think A would change his mind (as much as I wished he would) so we tried to comfort each other with words of exclusivity. That M and I would learn to be happy with just each other and without A. It worked for M but never really seemed to work for me.
I know I need to talk to A much more than the little bit we've done. He's not even sure of his feelings, and here I am stressed that I'm going to have to make some horrible decision between them when I might not even be given (or have to make) that choice.
Thank you so very much, just explaining things to you is helping me sort through what I'm feeling and what's really going on.
But I wonder how much A really is willing to be in it, either. It doesn't make much sense to choose between them if he doesn't have a good, solid proposal of whatever kind of relationship he is offering you. If he's all vague and non-committal, tell him to come back and talk to you when he truly knows what he wants -- because it's not right to throw you into a tailspin over something uncertain!
I see lots of talking in your near future if you want things to work out!
I think you're right, right about all of that.
I will try to talk to M and help him understand how I feel.
I will make A understand that he needs to have some idea of what he wants before he can ask what I want.
Thank you so much, nycindie. You've really helped me figure things out.
After I talk to them, if I need more help I will come back and post again.
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