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-   -   Negotiations.. (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3575)

Bibliophile 08-26-2010 04:22 PM

Negotiations..
 
I'm not sure if this should go here or in the general discussion area. Mods, no worries if you need to move it. :)

Well, as I said in my introductory post, I've lately started an involvement with a couple. Over the last few weeks, we've been spending more and more time together, but we've only been intimate a couple of times at this point.

In the past, the poly relationships I've been in were pretty simple to work with, just Vees (one was more like an N at one point). I knew, my lovers knew, their lovers knew. We would have a discussion about it, but it was pretty straightforward and so long as we all knew what was going on and were safe about things, no one had any issues.

This, however, is a bit different and I'm not sure how to go about it. I feel emotionally connected to both of them, and they've expressed the same for me. However, even though we've had a few in-depth conversations about boundaries and whatnot, we seem to be only partially on the same page about things. I'll think that we are, and then later someone will say something that shows me I was mistaken.

What it boils down to at this point, judging from our last conversation, is that while A (her) is fine with me being there when they are together, she's not if it is just me and D (him). Nor is she ok with it just being me and her. In her eyes, that would constitute cheating.

From what I've been able to gather, it was her that wanted a "third" brought in. Her previous relationship involved one as well. They've even gone so far as to broach cohabitation in a few years, provided things continue as well as they have been so far. D asked her if that meant, at that point, it would be cheating for him and her to sleep together without me, and she didn't know what to say.

For my part, I enjoy our time together and I don't want to give that up; I've found a closeness in this that I've been lacking. However, I don't really like the idea that from here on out, my sex life is threesomes or nothing. It would be like being told you can only eat pork lo mein. Sure, I like it, but that doesn't mean I don't want lasagne sometimes.

I don't know; at this point I'm trying not to dwell on it and just see how things develop, but there's a part of me that is second-guessing everything I do. I mean, ok, so sex is out, but what about kissing? Cuddling? And yet, I feel as if I ask that, it would be seen as nit-picking her boundaries, so I'm hesitant to do that. She just doesn't want to lose D. I understand. But does she realize that I'm not the enemy here, and that if I let myself get any more emotionally involved, I stand to lose just as much as she does if this implodes?

Ok, I'm through venting. Thanks for reading, I'm off to work. If you have any words of wisdom, I'd love to hear them.

sage 08-26-2010 07:33 PM

Hi,
Until now I've been pretty much a mono on here, trying not to be a a "moaning mono". Now we are exploring adding a third to make a triad. Although I have never done anything like this before, unlike your girlfriend, I'm sure her and I have similar concerns.

My partner and this woman, Ruby, are totally excited about the possibilities. She's lovely, I couldn't ask for anyone better, but I'm doing this to please my partner and because I feel like I would rather have a triad than him having V relationships.

WHile I find it fine in the present my mind does tend to get a bit freaked on the long term-picture:- will my life look normal? will I get claustrophobic? Will I lose "us"

Communication is going to be the key. I would try and get your couple onto this forum or maybe another one so that you both have places to vent, and you all get other perspectives so that you can gain some empathy for each other. I think this is really important before your emotional investment gets too high.

We are very aware that we are dealing with someone who wants to give and receive love just as we do and she has the right to expect that. If your couple can't relate to that and to your needs for things like one on one time (which I can see would be really important), then you need to reassess your participation.

OK, to summarize (sorry I'm thinking as I type). This will be scary for her and so you need to take things slowly but you do need to set out your needs and expectations. She will have emotional processing to do but she will eventually have to accept your need to build emotional and physical intimacy with each of them individually as well as jointly, if she wants a successful long term relationship.

X-User1335 08-26-2010 07:59 PM

I don't think that's very fair of her.

I guess it's good that she outlines what she will be okay with now, instead of waiting and telling you later on, so kudos to her for that.

I have even written on here that the first time our GF and my Husband have "alone" time I know I'll be jealous, but I do want it for them. I want her to feel the love from him that I feel.

I think it's a little out there for her to think that you can have a relationship with them both without ever having a relationship with each of them seperate from the other.

My GF and I have a love so much different than the love I have for my husband. And I know his love for her is a love seperate than the love he has for me.

I would highly suggest you send her to the site here!! Tell her to IM me anytime, as her and I are stortave in the same boat. We can chat back and forth and find a reasonable answer, if she'd be open to that.

I hope it works out great for you honey!

jkelly 08-26-2010 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bibliophile (Post 41810)
However, I don't really like the idea that from here on out, my sex life is threesomes or nothing.

That's entirely reasonable. I don't think you should agree to that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jennjuice (Post 41862)
I think it's a little out there for her to think that you can have a relationship with them both without ever having a relationship with each of them seperate from the other.

Yeah. Unless there's something really specific about sex here, and you're enthusiastic about having only the very specific sex A is okay with, and nothing else about relating to D is going to create similar rules, this is indeed "out there".

Maybe if you give A some gentle feedback about this, and ask her to put herself in your shoes for a while and think about whether or not this sounds like it would work, she'll choose to risk having some unpleasant worries from time to time in exchange for a more functional triad for everyone.

redpepper 08-27-2010 07:43 AM

The thing with negotiating boundaries is that they are meant to be negotiated often and be living. I don't think its healthy not too, other wise people compromise and rules are set.

Fluidity and giving the process of negotiation life means that her request for threesome sex is just that, a request. One that is time specific. If doesn't mean forever in this way, maybe just for a while because she needs to catch up emotionally. The thing would be to make sure you are clear that you can compromise for a time but eventually you need to negotiate your boundaries in terms of opening that up to time alone. In this way you can give, knowing there will be change and she can breath easy knowing that you are giving her time to just be all three.

Bibliophile 08-27-2010 03:09 PM

Thank you, everyone, for the replies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sage
This will be scary for her and so you need to take things slowly but you do need to set out your needs and expectations. She will have emotional processing to do but she will eventually have to accept your need to build emotional and physical intimacy with each of them individually as well as jointly, if she wants a successful long term relationship.

That's what I'm trying to do, to give her time to process everything. I think when she feels a little more solid with things and knows that I'm not going to try and either take her from D or take D from her, she'll relax a bit.

She and I had a really good conversation on the phone last night, not talking about all this but just about life in general. I'm hoping that the more she and I talk, the more comfortable she'll be, and so less inclined to put a wall between us having time alone.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jennjuice
My GF and I have a love so much different than the love I have for my husband. And I know his love for her is a love seperate than the love he has for me.

Exactly. I don't feel about her exactly the same way that I do about him, but then I haven't felt exactly the same way about any of my partners in the past. Plus which, I know their relationship is primary, and I don't have a problem with that; the fact that they are so in love was part of their appeal, if anything. They've given me an opportunity to share in it, and I want to, but I don't expect them to feel quite the same way about me as they do about each other.

Jkelly, I may try that (asking her to put herself in my shoes and think about whether that would work for everyone). Much like D asking A if them sleeping together without me would constitute cheating, I think it might give her something to mull over. I just need to keep in mind, though, that while D and I both have very analytical thought processes, she processes things a bit differently. For me (and apparently for him), if you lay out a logical argument, I'll think about the details and generally come to a conclusion very quickly. She takes a more circular route and needs more time to do so.

RP, that's very close to the conclusion I came to during our boundary discussion the other day. I wound up saying something along the lines of relationships tend to evolve anyway, and so what we decide today doesn't mean that we'll always want things that way. She had this fleeting expression, very hard to read (fright? shock?), and so the subject changed to more neutral subjects right afterwards.

I think for now, I'm just going to ride the lovely NRE wave, and wait and see how things go. I don't want to rush her.


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