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tamlvscarl 02-04-2013 08:18 PM

Can this work?!?
I've been a lurker on this site for quite a while...probably a little over a year to be exact. I've been married to my husband for 17 years & we have 2 children living at home with us. Our oldest son (my son; my husband's stepson) is already moved out of the house. We've had many threesomes (MFF) and struggled with jealousy and mixed emotions on my part. Three years ago he started dating a woman on the side. We had many ups & downs, lies, roads with more potholes & speed bumps than I can really even get into without this intro going on forever. Fast fw'd to last year we decided to try to make it work the three of us. It seemed to be going well for a couple months but still a lot of fighting, jealousy and arguments over time with him and so many other obstacles. We decided to call it quits (her & I) at the end of last year. He continued his relationship with her. My main struggles are sharing my 'wife' status with someone else. We divide our time with him almost evenly but she doesn't interact with our family and friends. We have recently started talking again (her and I) but we seem to be going in circles. There is still a constant battle over time with him, who does what, goes where, etc. I feel like I genuinely want to be part of a triad & don't know if it's not working because she simply isn't the right person (we are very different & seem to have to try really hard to get along) or because of their long history without me being involved. OPINIONS, ADVICE desperately needed pls!!

Razorbacktat 02-04-2013 08:47 PM

I may not be the best at anawering this but can only say from own experiance that the triad does not really work unless all three have a clear understanding and agreement about what each other want ansd expect.

Also in our experiance there must be a desire for the three of you to spend as much time together as possible, otherwise someone is always going to be left out. The fact that you and he have a family together is admirable but you must let go of the feeling of control, if you can accept that she has as much say as you and he does in deciding the things you are alluding to above then it may work. As for us we just all go together to events, people may wonder why but we dont care anymore.

Finally if you do not have ayearing in your heart to be with her she may not be the right one for you. Have you two gone out, off for a weekend together? There must be equal love and sexual energy all around or it is not a workable triad. Maybe you need to find another for yourself.

Helo 02-04-2013 09:06 PM

A long and bumpy road strewn with potholes is not mended by traveling on it further.

kdt26417 02-05-2013 04:24 AM

Hi tamlvscarl,
Welcome to our forum.

You have several relationships that need time and tending to among the adults in this triad:
  • each of the three of you individually -- "you time"
  • you and husband
  • you and girlfriend
  • husband and girlfriend
  • all three of you together -- "group time"
If any of those areas are getting neglected, then there will be fractures in the relationships and hard feelings. Please sit-down (all three of you) and figure out how you can spend quality time for each dyad.

One other thing would be to write up lists of your wants and needs. Then, have a sit-down where you share those lists with each other, and try to work as a team to get everyone's needs met as much as possible.

Sometimes things get easier over time. You will probably need a lot of patience to even attempt to save this. Also, try to learn to be a better listener, even if husband and girlfriend don't follow your good example. You need a better understanding of what's driving their behavior.

I wish you well, and hope Polyamory.com can help.
Kevin T.

NovemberRain 02-05-2013 06:05 AM


Originally Posted by tamlvscarl (Post 182713)
We decided to call it quits (her & I) at the end of last year. He continued his relationship with her.

Sorry, Kevin, and Razorbacktat, I think you may have missed this bit. She is no longer in a triad, but she is an arm of vee, sounds like.

Other than that, I would heartily second Kevin's advice. Sounds like trying to negotiate together for a written solution seems very wise.

Any chance you could see a poly friendly counselor? Seems like they are available online, if you are remote.

tamlvscarl 02-05-2013 02:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies and feedback. Yes, as of now, I am just an arm of a 'vee'. Sorry if I'm not using the wording correctly it's still so new to me... Last time around we opened the relationship up, sat down and had a discussion the 3 of us and decided on a schedule & what to expect. We mostly divided his time between the two of us, her and I spent some time together but not as much and we also spent time doing things the three of us. It started to go sour so I ended it with her because I felt I needed to focus on my relationship with just him (we were fighting a lot). This time around we decided to become friends, her and I first and work on our relationship before we bring him into it again. We're still encountering problems. We went on a 'first date' with the agreement that we wouldn't discuss him since we were trying to work on just us first. Through most of the date she discussed him...he this, he that...it makes me and made me uncomfortable. We had talked about this last year because in a lot of ways I don't want to hear about him and her. It's hard to share the person you love and I am trying to come to terms with it but I just don't want all the little details. I guess I broke the rules as well because I went to him about all of this when he asked how the date went. I told her as well afterwards how I felt.
In all honesty I think I am trying so hard because I know it is extremely difficult to find someone who wants to be part of this so I feel like she is the only option.

kdt26417 02-05-2013 09:18 PM

Re: vee (instead of triad) ... there are cases where the two "arms of the vee" don't get along much and try not to see each other much except in passing. I know of at least one such vee, and I know it can work.

However, when the arms of the vee *can* have a friendly relationship with each other, I think it's of great benefit to the vee as a whole. My own vee (MFM) has me and the other guy as friends. Not best friends ever, but friends enough to be comfortable with each other. We spend some time together, just us guys, and I think it helps us to stay with the "We're on the same team" mentality.

So, in most cases, I do recommend that the platonic relationship in the vee get its own private time. Whatever those two people enjoy doing together. Add to that the fact that the vee in this thread could conceivably become a triad again later on, and you have my reasons for suggesting the wife and the girlfriend spend some time together. If they just can't do that without driving each other nuts, then I'll modify my opinion.


"In all honesty I think I am trying so hard because I know it is extremely difficult to find someone who wants to be part of this so I feel like she is the only option."
That's kind of a sad thought.

BoringGuy 02-05-2013 10:01 PM


Originally Posted by kdt26417 (Post 182901)
That's kind of a sad thought.

Ya, I wouldn't want to be with someone who's so desperate they're forced to settle for me.

tamlvscarl 02-06-2013 02:24 AM

We have a lot of anger, resentment & bitterness towards one another which makes it that much harder to be friendly with each other. Our relationship started on the bad foot from the beginning. I didn't go into too much detail when I first started posting because I was trying to get some feedback from where we stand right now with a very brief synopsis of the past but maybe I have to give more info to get more feedback and you can all understand where I am coming from. My husband started an affair with her almost 3 years ago while I was pregnant with our son. She was married at the time but just 'roomates' with her husband according to her. I didn't know about her & my husband til a year later. She left her husband with the hopes of my husband leaving me. He slowly gave her more info and she bought into being part of a triad too because it was clear he was never going to leave me. I liked the idea and many aspects of being part of a triad so I was easily convinced (we have had threesomes with girlfriends in the past but they were never emotionally connected to either one of us). So with that we started talking last year, it started going sour, I said I needed a break. Fast fw'd to a couple months ago I decided I would try again & we began talking & went on a 'first date' (all the details how that went are above). I guess maybe I am just an arm of the vee and there isn't hope of us becoming more... I feel I shouldn't have to try so hard for it to work so early in the beginning so maybe it is a sign it isn't and never will work with the three of us. And we were both lied to, her thinking it was going to be just him and her from the beginning; and me being cheated on (which I blame them both for) when I was at my most vulnerable (pregnant).

kdt26417 02-06-2013 03:50 AM

Well, that does shed a new light on the subject. You will have figure out what you can do in the way of forgiveness -- of which I believe there are two parts:
  • letting go of any ill will,
  • restoration of trust.
The first part, the letting go of ill will, is actually advisable just for the well-being of the forgiver. Even if the forgiven party does nothing to "deserve" the forgiveness.

However, restoration of trust is a more complex part of forgiveness, and requires a process of repentence on the part of the offending party. The party who was hurt should outline some kind of reasonable course of action the offending party can follow to regain trust. Then, the offending party must follow that course of action. Generally it will consist of three parts:
  • apologizing,
  • restitution,
  • providing evidence that the offensive action won't recur.
The girlfriend in this case was both cheating with your husband, and hoping/intending to shatter your marriage. So she has a considerable debt to pay before regaining your trust. As for her expectations and how she was hurt in the situation, I think that is something for your husband to make up to her. It's not your debt. Your husband should also take steps to regain your trust.

The good news is that, I think at least, relationships (and poly relationships in particular) tend to be harder in the beginning. The reason why it's good news is that perhaps it means you can look forward to things getting easier in the future.

It sounds like you and girlfriend could still use some time together, but only on the condition that husband will not be brought up in the conversation. You can decide later if hubby can become an okay topic, but for now I would try to have a girl's night out where you don't have to think about him.

Hope this helps,
Kevin T.

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