things going great but....
ive talked on here before but not for months. in my triad relstionship, ffm, i am the new comer, weve developed our relationship over the past nearly 2 years and its amazing alot of the time. weve all 3 dealt with some big issues, they just kept coming and the relationship kept evolving and despite alot of things i decided i was in this for the long hall. today is my partners 17th anniversary and i looked after there kids while they went out for lunch and watched them be close all day and although thats want i want them to do, be happy and in love im struggling. my boyfriend reminds me to focus on the positive but these are the things im struggling with....
i dont like being a secret to most people
i dont like not being able to touch, kiss, cuddle my partners in front of our kids and others
I read through your older threads to remind myself of your situation.
It seems to me that the key thing to think about is compatibility and what you *need* and *want* from a relationship. What you can compromise on and what you absolutely can't.
Feeling like a secret - what would you like, if it were down to you? If you had your ideal situation, or if you were starting a new poly relationship and setting some of the guidelines and boundaries?
Loneliness and attention - are you getting what you need on that front? Can they physically give any more, or are you getting all you are going to get in your situation?
Kids - if you were starting a new relationship, would you be happy being more open in front of your children? Is this a massive incompatibility and conflict with the opinions of your partners?
Here's how it is for me -
Feeling Like A Secret:
I'm very open and don't care if my family members, friends, co-workers or strangers on the street know that I'm poly.
My GF has reached a stage where she is out to immediate family, friends and strangers on the street.
Her hubby is not open about poly to anyone.
Our happy compromise is this:
We are open in the street / to strangers.
We are open to GF's immediate family, even though they don't approve.
I'd like to be open to GF's extended family, due to feeling like a 'secret' at family events, like weddings, etc, which I'd love to share.
However, I can happily compromise on this, because we are open to others.
Hubby would prefer if nobody knew at all. However, he compromises on this because he is able to be closeted to his family and co-workers.
Loneliness and Attention
I like my GF to sleep in my bed 2-3 times per week.
She likes this, though sometimes really just likes her own bed.
Hubby has got used to this and seems ok with it now.
Originally, hubby hated GF being out of his bed.
Originally, I was upset that she didn't split her time equally.
We've compromised because twice a week is what she wants to offer, it fulfills my needs and it doesn't rattle Hubby too much.
Here, we are completely compatible, because we all believe that it is natural and healthy to allow children to see different relationship models for themselves. We understand that not everybody believes in this. I could definitely not be in a poly relationship where this was hidden from the children, because I do not believe poly is wrong - therefore, I do not believe it should be hidden.
Their daughter / my step-daughter is only 4 years old and I've been around since she was 2. So, we are lucky in that respect. We are openly affectionate in front of her. We don't tell her "Sparklepop is Mommy's girlfriend". We just let her see that we love each other, without forcing her to accept my role in the family. She quite often calls me Mommy, and we neither encourage or discourage this.
We have all agree that if she grows up and becomes unhappy, uncomfortable or upset, in any way, with our situation, we will do what is best for her and I would most likely move out.
What do you want?
You are effectively a 'secret' in front of everyone. Strangers, family, friends, co-workers and kids. Is that right? Is that ok with you? Really, genuinely, is it something you can continue doing?
You have felt lonely in your triad, you have felt that you do not get enough 'bed together' time, that you are an outsider, an extra, not as important as they are to each other? Have you reached a point where you no longer feel like this? Being equal in the heart doesn't necessarily mean having equal time spent together, or equal time sleeping in the same bed. It can be about many different things. But, most importantly, it's the *feeling* of being equal, being fulfilled, being satisfied.
And kids? Are your partners' views in line with yours? Are they the complete opposite? Can your relationship model be compatible in the long-term?
Have you ever considered slipping out into a more secondary role with the two of them, whilst perhaps focusing your primary love towards someone (or multiple people) who feels the same way that you do about poly?
I truly can't imagine. That secrecy was what killed me in having an affair. The lying that makes secrecy possible is what drove me to poly.
I am the hinge in a V. My husband didnt want poly but has become much more accepting over the last three years.
I absolutely can't imagine lying to my children. Not ever. Nor would I ask them to lie for me. Lying is such a painful insidious thing. It gets inside and tears a person up.
I wonder, after two years why the three of you can't renegotiate at least in reference to your children and a few close friends.
I have heard many an explanation for the "need" of secrecy. But, to be honest, I respect myself, my boyfriend, my husband and my kids way too much to play that game. Its too destructive.
Can you lay out exactly what they're afraid will happen if they're open about being poly? And are those potential consequences worse, to them, than breaking your heart?
Empathy for you
I just wanted to reach out to you as the newcomer, as a newcomer is about to join me and my husband, and its very early stages. Our first meetup alltogether will happen this week, excited and nervous. We too have children and our children observe us being affectionate with all our friends and family, so its nothing new to them. We have had a brief tryad in the past and our children did not seem concerned at all when she slept over, and we were affectionate, but not sexually explicit in front of them.
I can totally understand how you would feel, and hope you feel you can discuss this with your partners, and find ways of compromise to work around this issue, i.e, being open around the people you know are more accepting. I know I would struggle being open in front of my family, but I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Having a talk with the children may also be good, depending on their ages. Mine are too young I think to have a formal discussion, but when they are older I hope they will come to understand and respect our choices.
I wish you all the best, and can only encourage honesty in this situation, and seeking those places to go where you will all feel comfortable together.
Another way to look at it (though I generally hate the condescending image of the third as the "child" of the couple they get involved with... ew... bear with me):
What would they do if they had a child out of wedlock? Raise her with the family, pretend she's just a foster child? Love her privately but keep a distance publicly? Let her appear to the rest of the world as an orphan? Go so far as to not even let her siblings know the truth? All in the name of respectability? Could they claim to love their child, yet treat in such a way, all the while telling her to look at the bright side: at least she has parents, even if no one else knows it, at least she has a loving home, even if it's full of lies? Is that love or self-interest? Could they expect such a child to come out undamaged? To not feel, on some level, no matter how often she is told privately that she is loved, that her existence is a shameful one?
Is this that different?
That said, I have no kids, and plan to remain child free. I have no relatives who would say anything about how I live my life, and fewer still who's opinion I value on the issue. My friends know who I am and how I live, and my co-workers get no say in my life after 5pm.
I know that sounds a little bit harsh, but in a way I see it as a way to protect those I love. I can be quite a formidable person to deal with, and anyone who knows me well knows this about me. By inviting any negativity to myself I can deflect it away from those I would see spared of it. When you truly love someone their happiness and security are as important as your own.
Or I don't have a clue what I am talking about, your call.
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