New Boyfriend Unsure.. Please offer Guidance
I posted sometime last week about my triad relationship and needed some more help or just someone to talk to that wasn't directly involved in my life and decisions, so any help would be appreciated.
I have a boyfriend of 5 years (Ray) and another of 7 months (Jason). Jason isn't sure if he wants to continue a relationship with Ray anymore and to be honest I'm not exactly sure if I want to continue either but I love them both very much. When I think about the future I know want marriage and children and I'm not sure how to get that from a triad relationship because someone is going to be left out and hurt which is why I'm not sure if I should continue or end it now. I've expressed these thoughts to both of them and they agree on some level and both want the person they marry to be me, but I feel I want it to be with Jason, and I'm not sure if it's NRE or if it's something more.
Jason is asking me to make a decision on what I would do if he would end his relationship with Ray, and I feel in the middle and torn because I don't know how to answer his question or what I would do. I'm angry and upset that he would ask me because I feel it's selfish but he says he just needs to know. He's mentioned that he feels, no matter what happens and how much I love him, he'll always be the loser if things end. What do I do, what do I say?
Has anyone been through this before?:(
Do you need a glass of wine? It sounds like it. I had to go read you prior to post to properly respond. First things first, breathe and calm down.
You're in a triad with J and R. R and J don't trust each other completely, and J wants to transition from romantic partners to metamour. Right now, R is unaware of J's plans to break off the relationship. He's conveyed it to you, but he's leaving 1/3 of the triad out and in the cold. That 1/3 is the most important piece because he's under the impression that he's in a relationship with you both. Once he ends it with R, it will go from triad to a V, where you would be the hinge, or the common love interest. I hope I have that all together.
R - Boyfriend of 5 years. You're not sure that you're in love with him.
J - Boyfriend of 7 months. Marriage is looking like a possibility. NRE? Maybe, or he could be the man you marry.
You see marriage and children in your future. OK. That's possible. With your situation now? Iffy. You stated in the original post that R and J only agreed to this triad to make you happy. Their relationship started wrong. They should have just been friends/metamours. That could have been alleviated and hearts wouldn't have been broken if they knew they had no sincere romantic interest in each other.
What does R want that you can't give him? You stated that what he wants isn't something you can give him, and that if your relationship ends with him he'd feel like a "loser." Why does he feel that way? Losing you to another man? Losing you as a whole? Clarification please.
Here are the issues at hand:
You are with R and J. You know you love them both, but you can't say that you're IN love with R. Are you in love with J, and can you see yourself being married to him and having children with him? Is marriage something that J wants with you? Is marriage something that R wants, too, and you know that you can't give him that? You could have a triad and be married. That's what my situation was. We've transitioned back to a V, and I'm the hinge again.
R and J don't trust each other or even love each other from the sounds of it, so their relationship needs to end. They need to talk and handle that. I would stay out of it. I know you probably want to protect R's feelings, but J needs to be a man and step up and be honest and stop playing with R's feelings and heart. As soon as he realized it wasn't going to work, he should have been talking to him and stop wasting time prolonging the inevitable.
You need to figure out what it is that you want and what type of dynamic. You want to get married. You want to have children. Awesome. Do you plan on continuing to be poly after marriage? Do you have hopes for another triad, or would you prefer a V? Are you hoping that you can marry J and possibly maintain R as a boyfriend while giving him the option to seek someone else like a wife and have a family of his own? Granted everybody has to be up to speed and aware of what's going on.
Is your relationship with R worth saving and putting forth the effort to rekindle that flame, or can you say for sure that it's just not worth continuing and you'd rather set him free?
I can respond to this a few different ways, but I need more information. :)
You may want to give it another six or twelve months. 7 months is still within the red zone for NRE, and it may be affecting your outlook. You can always revisit these questions then.
You are confusing me a little. You say you think you would choose Jason if forced to choose a father for your baby, but say that Jason feels he would be the "loser" if it came down to a choice like that?
Thanks so much for your thoughts on my situation, I really appreciate the time it took for you both to provide insight! I hope I can fill in some of the missing pieces.
@LearningTN- Jason feels he would be the looser if they made me choose between them both for a single relationship. We all agree that this isn't something we want forever and they have both expressed to me a V relationship is out of the question if they decided it couldn't work between them.
@FullofLove- Wine has been great through this!
Ray and Jason have spent some time together recently which I think is helping the situation and Jason has expressed to Ray that he isn't sure this is what he wants and has expressed that he loves Ray but he feels a stronger connection or love for me than him. (I'm not sure if it would help to make things easier to understand, but we're all males)
I can see myself marrying Jason, and I used to be able to see that with Ray, but things have changed and I don't have that clear image anymore at this point. I'm not sure if Jason wants the same thing, but when I told him that I could see myself marrying him he told me it made him very happy. Ray said he was going to propose to me before but never did, and a part of me is relieved he didn't because I felt I would have said no. He's recently said he can't really see himself marrying me either anymore, but could see himself marrying Jason, so I'm not sure if it's because we're in a triad and focusing on our new boyfriend Jason, or if things have just changed so much between us that marriage isn't a possibility for us anymore.
I never really saw myself as poly and in my past relationships the thought of having threesomes or sharing my partner scared me. During my relationship with Ray things shifted, and he expressed interest for threesomes because I wasn't able to meet his needs sexually, so we had a few during our relationship and then met Jason. I didn't want a relationship with Jason and certainly didn't want to have sex with him when we started hanging out, I wanted friendship. Well things happened, we had sex, and now we're boyfriends and in love. I don't think I'd want another triad and I like the thought of a V, which thanks for explaining that so perfectly, but both have said if we aren't all together then I'd have to choose. I really hate the idea of choosing and it makes me sick that it could be a possibility eventually.
I'm not sure if my relationship with Ray should end or if it's worth the fight. I sometimes feel that if we were really meant to be together, just us, we wouldn't have looked outside of our relationship for something else or someone else. I don't regret it though because it brought Jason in our lives and he makes me happy.
Just some extra thoughts but please if I can provide any additional information just ask.
Thanks again :)
Let me repeat what I think I understand here written in terms of wants, needs, and limits. Maybe seeing your info broken out that way could help you in your sorting our yourself? Edit as needed. I could be reading this wrong.
POLYSHIP LIMITS FOR THE TRIAD
There will be no V if the triad breaks up.
NEW WANTS EMERGING ON THE (JASON + ME) TIER:
MY PERSONAL WANTS
MY NEEDS (You do not state your needs clearly to me so I am guessing)
MY PERSONAL LIMITS
WHAT I HAVE DONE SO FAR
MORE INFO ABOUT PERSONAL LIMITS CAME UP AFTER TALK
The things that DO line up are me and Jason together, maybe working toward marriage.
NEEDS BIGGER THAN ME -- THE NEEDS OF MY RELATIONSHIP
Jason has a need to know. To meet his own need, he has asked me to consider what my consequent actions could be if he takes action of his own and breaks up with Ray. He is asking me... If Jason breaks up with Ray, how would this impact our relationship -- between me and Jason?
To me it sounds like the polyship has evolved to a place where the bottom line could be this.
Behavior: Jason wants to break up with Ray. Result? No more triad.
Polyship limit? Jason and Ray do not want to participate in a V.
You are at a life choice that is not "win or lose" but "which one sucks the least?"
You are responsible for your own behavior. YOU get to choose your behavior next. You could be assertive in making your choice.
Your options are:
A) You choose to do nothing. You break up with nobody.
You honor your want to not to have to choose anything for yourself.
Suckage Risk: Not knowing what Jason will do.
B) You choose to break up with Ray.
c) You choose to break up with Jason.
d) You choose to break up with BOTH
e) Some choice I cannot think of but you could insert here.
Could think on these available options and choose well for yourself.
Thanks GalaGirl for the very detailed reply. I apologize for now replying back sooner but it's been a very busy week and things sort of came to a head yesterday.
I didn't have the courage to make my own decision and be in control of what was going to happen. After spending the weekend with Ray and visiting my family he decided he no longer wanted a triad and wanted a single partner, and that partner was me. I sort of freaked out and said I couldn't give Jason up and that I wouldn't. I didn't know what to do so we had a group discussion which was good because everyone started saying how they really felt. It was great and open and honest. After the talk I felt a huge relief, I decided to no longer be with Ray and to continue on a slower track with Jason.
My heart is breaking though because I'm loosing Ray. He's been my support system emotionally and financially for the past 5 years and I'm not sure how to handle things are go from here. We've been talking and he's willing to work on us and help me and feels I owe it to him and our relationship to try but I feel my heart wouldn't be in it and I wouldn't be able to give him what he needs and vise versa. Do you think I should try or is my decision ok?
Ray doesn't want me to see Jason and said he would be ok if I left him and wanted to work on myself and heal myself and find happiness, which is what I plan to do in a sense but I don't want to put Jason in hold, or should I? How can I take things slow and scale back with Jason and go from sex partners, to boyfriends, back to a tamed down version?
I really do appreciate all your guidance and you were right on the money with how things would happen. Now I'm playing catch up because I'm lost and my works has been turned upside down. I feel so guilty for blindsiding Ray with this but at the same time he wanted us to do that to Jason.
Have you ever been here before or know of someone who has and ideas or tips to help?
We live in the same home and shared a life like a married couple. Our families love each-other and everything is shared. What do I do now?
Thanks in advance and forgive me for typing from my phone. :) I'll send more information later if needed and thanks for being a wonderful community!
Glad it helped some to break it into bullet list. Sounds like there were updates to the situation though. Is this where it is at? (Again, I could guess wrong... so correct where necessary. You know your reality best over there.)
Before jumping the gun, I could CONFIRM with Ray and Jason that YES -- there will be no V thing here with me as hinge. this is NOT the problem of "how do we learn to go from triad to healthy V shape?" but the problem of "How do we go from triad to one couple left and a good ex-friend person?"
MY CURRENT NEEDS (ALSO DEALING WITH MYSELF)
DEALING WITH RAY
I also need help maintaining my boundaries in the other direction. HE will be processing his own journey through the stages of grief. He might be "bargaining stage" when he tells me things like this and I could be aware of that:
DEALING WITH JASON
TRIAD LANDING NEEDS
DEALING WITH RELATIVES
Then once firm on the goals/plan I could start checking off the tasks to accomplish the goals:
Call our people and tell them that we have broken up, check rentals, etc.
Ask them for things they could do -- make meals, help pack, lend general support as we try to be good exes and friends.
DO NOT GET SUCKED BACK IN with Ray if you feel happiest long term NOT being in relationship any more. Even if it takes short term break up suckage feelings to process -- be true to your heart and to yourself.
DO NOT MOVE IN WITH JASON. Even if later you end up sleep over lots? Maintain your own place and independence at least for a year to get your bearings. If something goes wrong with Jason later down (while I hope it does not) the last thing you need is another "break up + move all my stuff elsewhere" experience so close together.
You are responsible for your own best healths.
Those would be my suggestions. Edit at will.
When I met my husband, it wasn't "I can see marrying you one day." It was "I can't possibly imagine my life without you in it."
To me, that's the only criterion for marriage suitability. Everything else is "I guess you'll do, at least for now."
Both of them want to be with you and both of them say they'll only be with you if you're only with them. But it's one thing to talk hypotheticals, and another to put your money where your mouth is. What would happen if you just told them both, "I'm not going to choose between you and it's not loving behaviour to force that on me." Let them choose by walking away if they aren't comfortable with a vee. Do you really want to be with someone who is forcing you to give up a love in your life? That applies to both of them.
It's pretty hard to scale things back when you live with someone, so that's a place to start. But rather than thinking in terms of limitations on your relationship with Jason, you can think in terms of needs in your life and how to work on yourself. There's no general answer there. Working with a therapist might help with specifics.
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