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-   -   Not sure what to do... (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39412)

krysjah 01-28-2013 04:54 PM

Not sure what to do...
 
I'm married, and we are in a quad with another couple.

For a little history, read Feelings involved...

For TLDR, basically, DH and I swap with this other couple. I am in love with my OSO, and he has feelings for me, just not "love" feelings yet, because he wants to have all of the puzzle pieces together when it comes to our primaries first before he can let himself "fall" for me.

In the other thread I was asking about how to go about things when my OSO and I have feelings for each other, and the woman has feelings for DH, but he has no romantic feelings towards her. That is still the case, and I've stayed out of it as much as I can because it's their relationship and I have nothing to do with it.

But my OSO and I are watching her feelings getting hurt, because she cares about my DH so much, and he just doesn't feel anything for her more than friendship.

OSO and I are confused because DH says that he really enjoys her company, and spending time with her and talking to her and having sex with her, but there are no feelings more than friendship. To us, all of those things sound like there should be no reason for him not to have feelings for her... so we really don't know what to think.

I asked DH about it this morning to try and get an idea of where his head is at, and he agreed with the question, and the only answer he could give me was that he doesn't really get the "butterflies" around her.

I wouldn't be concerned about any of this and would let DH handle his own business, but it kills me to see a friend hurting, and to know that DH is a source of the pain kills me even more. Also, OSO has said (as mentioned above) that he just can't let himself explore his feelings for me unless he has all the pieces of the puzzle. I feel that's not very fair to me, but I do see why he could feel this way. He doesn't want to do anything to hurt his fiance anymore...also, he's afraid that if he does explore feelings for me and falls, DH will decide to pull out altogether, and even though both of them have told OSO and I that if they separate, then it won't affect us, we're not blind... we know that it will. And that scares the shit out of me more than anything else, because I've fallen.... hard. :(

Is there anything that I *can* do? Are there any probing questions that I can ask DH in hopes to help him figure his head out?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

gardenerandwife 01-28-2013 05:44 PM

We are also in as quad and feelings run very deep in all directions but that didn't happen overnight. We all started slowly and over time, our comfort zones grew and personal boundaries relaxed. Knowing that all parties want more than just an average relationship has to exist to start with. Ask your husband if this is what he actually wants and where he sees his part of all of that going. He may not feel the same attraction to the other lady and chemistry may not hit the spot for him or he may just fear it more than the rest of you in the quad do currently. The pace at which emotions can grow safely is at the pace of the slowest one of the group and he may feel some pressure from the rest to catch up. Being careful not to push him is important or he may shut down and withdraw, leaving the rest of you in a bad place to be emotionally. Having and maintaining a real quad is not easy and requires really communicating about how you feel, what you feel, and where you see the possibilities taking the group together. Best of luck and maybe try letting the guys talk about it. Sometimes , if the relationship is close in that dimension too, guys are a little more open to that type of discussion and more honest with other guys. Don't let your feelings for the other guy cloud your objectivity. Even if the connection may be really hot, it must have some balance to maintain over the long haul. Best wishes!
Dave

Anneintherain 01-28-2013 09:54 PM

It sounds to me like your DH's head is on straight. He likes her, he enjoys sex with her and her company but doesn't have any romantic interest in her. It seems odd that you think there is some reason that he should fall for her just because of this. From what you say, it sounds like he is the one person who is very clear on what he wants.

Let's say all your & family tell you "should" fall in love with a close friend because you're so compatible and obviously would be a great match, that doesn't make you fall in love with them does it? Just because sex is a part of the relationship doesn't alter that premise.

DH is not the source of her pain, her decision to keep being involved with somebody when she wants more than he does is her choice. I'm not sure how big of a problem it is for her - is she miserable most of the time? Regularly withdrawn because she's just hoping for a romantic word for him to brighten her day? Just said a time or two "wow i really wish he had romantic feelings for me too" and didn't bring it up again, but you guys are assuming that she's nonstop suffering? Have DH and Fiance actually had a discussion about the fact that she has feelings for him that he doesn't share? If not...probably a really smart idea so they can perhaps reach an understanding that works for both of them.

Obviously otherwise, one sensible choice would be for them to stop sleeping together. Now. You and OSO can explore your feelings for each other after a period of adjustment where you can see if it will cause problems more problems for his fiance than the pain it is worth. Fiance can find somebody to date who is more open to having a romance if that is what she is really preferring.

GalaGirl 01-29-2013 01:44 AM

Quote:

Is there anything that I *can* do?
Quote:

It kills me to see a friend hurting.
You could tell her you see that she hurts. And could ask her if there is anything that you could do for her that is appropriate for the situation to help alleviate some of her burden. Walk the dog? Make a casserole? Take her to a movie and air her out?

Be leery of any "put me in the middle stuff" but other than that -- choosing to be compassionate toward a suffering soul is not a bad thing.

Quote:

(Knowing) that DH is a source of the pain kills me even more. Are there any probing questions that I can ask DH in hopes to help him figure his head out?
His head sounds fine. He is clear about where his emotions are at. He's just on another square than her in love theory. It is what it is there in the heart space. You cannot control his feelings.

But in the BEHAVIOR space? You could point out that while you understand he feels different, is he aware that his continuing his behavior (being her casual sex lover when she wants more than that) is causing her suffering? And you suffering?

Is he planning on stopping his behavior so he does not continue to add to her burden? And doesn't add ugh to you watching your DH behave kinda sex usery toward your friend? Because if he KNOWS she is into him like that and he is NOT into her, this is not longer two people agreeing to come together for a casual sex share.

She is responsible for herself -- she could say NO. She could stop sex too. But if she's in lala land with her crush she may choose less than healthy things for herself.

He is responsible for himself. He could say NO to cut it off and be a gentleman. Kind but firm. "No, I like you, I see you want more here. But I cannot share casual sex with you when it really isn't casual any more for you. It would be using you like a thing and not treating you like a valued person. Toying with your affections -- That is not right. You are a good friend to me, I want to be a good friend BACK."

You cannot control his behavior. But you CAN give him feedback on how YOU are feeling with it all and check that he is indeed, AWARE.

If this is friendship and casual sex for him, why not dial it down to just friendship and drop the casual sex? You could ask him that.

Quote:

OSO has said that he just can't let himself explore his feelings for me unless he has all the pieces of the puzzle. I feel that's not very fair to me, but I do see why he could feel this way.
I don't know what that MEANS "pieces of the puzzle" but... that is his personal limitations. Until he decides otherwise, it is what it is. *shrug*

Quote:

OSO is afraid that if he does explore feelings for me and falls, DH will decide to pull out altogether, and even though both of them (DH and Fiance) have told OSO and I that if they separate, then it won't affect us, we're not blind... we know that it will. And that scares the shit out of me more than anything else, because I've fallen.... hard.
That's TWO things.

1) OSO fears
You could talk to him about his fears and whether or not he is willing to work on them at this time.

2) DH and Fiance believability.
You could choose to believe them. Or not. It is up to you.

You and OSO (assuming he is willing, and he doesn't sound like it right now because of fears)... You and OSO could ask them in quad about that -- "We would like to deepen on the (OSO + me) layer.

Both of you (DH and Fiancee) have told us before that even if you separate, it would not affect us in the sense that we could not be romantically involved (me and OSO.) Does this still hold water? Are you prepared for this? Is this the best time?

Because we'd like to move forward on our tier while still supporting each of you in appropriate ways and things develop on the (DH + Fiancee) thing wherever it is that it may lead. Even through a break up and settle into a friendship. We'd be willing to hold off 3 mos, but you both need to be aware that feelings are growing here."
Maybe something like that.

Talk. Sort yourselves out. People are not mind readers.

Don't offer to do things you don't really want to do (like hold off 3 mos) but if holding off so the TIMING of when you and OSO deepen more is in a calmer zone, perhaps that is worthwhile to consider.

A place and time for everything, and everything in the right time and place. So... you could talk to your polyship people to get an assessment on the things, the times, the places on the table here.

Get the lay of the land... What's going on in all the polymath tiers and how can this polyship navigate through some potential turbulence safely while allowing space for things to change, grow, and flex. Life is nothing but "journey."

HTH!
Galagirl

krysjah 01-29-2013 06:30 AM

Thank you so much for your responses. They make complete sense to me. DH and fiance had their conversation tonight, and he told her that he was still interested in continuing with her, but only if it wasn't hurting her to be around him, have sex, spend time, etc and have no feelings. Her response was that she didn't have a problem with him not having feelings as long as he didn't have a problem with her having feelings. Seems like a good place for now. I agree that he's got his head on straight.

Now, it's come to my attention that OSO also does not have feelings for me... like at all apparently. This came as a shock to me considering he was developing feelings for me, and told me so... and then apparently things happened to make his feelings decrease, but I didn't realize that they did so much. And the fact that he's a really affectionate person had me thinking that he had feelings for me that he just didn't know how to say.

I'm a little hurt right now. We've been discussing things, and I'm glad that DH and fiance worked things out, but I'm hurt by OSO, and I really don't know where to go from here.

I'm frustrated that this entire time, I've had no question about my feelings, and I feel like mine are being stomped on a little... unintentionally I would imagine.


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