Feeling very confused and sad
So me and my husband have had a gf for 2 months. We are all starting to fall in love with each other. talking about moving in together and everything. till last night our world came crashing down. last night she told us that she doesnt think she can do this. this totally came out of no where. talking some more she told us that she is having a hard time that she and him cant have intiamte "alone" time and me and he dont have alone time. she thinks i dont trust her to have alone time with him. its not that i dont trust them. i let them go out on a date every week and im ok with that. as far as having sex without me. its not that im not ok with it im just not comfortable yet. me and him have been together for 12 yrs and married 10 yrs. im just working up to letting them be alone together. is that wrong of me to feel that way? im feeling extremly guilty, and sad. i dont want to loose her i love her very much. and my husband does too. i told him that he can have sex with her without me. i dont know if im 100% ready but for the sake of our relationship im going to be ok with it. she feels that its not fair that i get to have sex with him without her. and i get it shes right. so now im here hurt that she just broke if off before talking it over with us, scared and sad we are going to loose her. what do i do? was i wrong? :'(
I have a well documented problem with this configuration so I have to curb down my prejudice a bit, I have some negative experiences and I know some of the common pitfalls. So take from that what you will and I hope my advice is sound.
It could be possible that she feels that no matter what you will never really be equilateral and she feels controlled by you.
Personally if someone told me that I cannot have sex with my partner I would be quite vexed, well that is how she is feeling and frankly I would be disinclined to have sex with the person who controlled my sexuality that way (please note, I know that others have a completely different take on it, especially those who do hierarchy, but you describe yourself as a triad, we think of a triad as three people with equal rights as partners, otherwise you are just a threesome really, or a couple with a girlfriend if that is how you look at it, fine, that is ok, but call it what it is and make sure that your girlfriend realises where she fits in the scheme of things and allow her the freedom to leave and pursue other relationships that may give her what she wants, don't try to control her sexuality though and her ability to find and connect to a person who may be able to be numero uno to her, just as you insist on being numero uno to your husband anything less is not right.)
Are you feeling guilty because you are keeping control? Or are you feeling guilty because you may have jeopardised your relationship? I think it might help to figure out the root of this guilt and then you may be better placed to knowing how better to move forward.
Well clearly you are not 'ok with it' you just mean you are not going to make a fuss beforehand, but does that mean you will be able to keep your cool during or after? It is worth being honest, but you also have to accept that your reactions are borne of insecurity (been there, done that...) and work on that primarily, rather than rely on controlling the behaviour of others. Frankly if your needs are being met (and it is clear that sexually you are getting what you want) than anything else is simply jealousy. Now personally I am always a lot more comfortable with 'out of sight, out of mind' I don't want to sit next to people, any people, no matter how much I may love them, having sex in front of me, now it does not bother some, I understand that, but it bothers me, so I would rather be out of the house, or they be out of the house, so, if you are really certain that this is the way you wish to play things, for goodness sake, tell them to spend the night at her house or even better, take yourself out and have a lovely time out without them, whether that is to see a movie or out to dinner, a girls night out with a friend drinking cocktails and flirting with half nekkid waiters, whatever floats your boat.
Do not sit in the living room crying into your ice cream whilst they get it on in a bedroom, that is a recipe for instant relationship death!!!
I hope this helps,
Triads are complex and hard. There will be more bumps in the road like this. Things that are harder than expected for her, for you, for him. It can be hard to predict, and there may well be deal breakers down the road. Being in constant, close proximity will make everything 50x harder. I would strongly suggest waiting until the relationship is at least at the 1 year mark before considering everyone living together.
That said, did you do something wrong? Yes and no, that's a very subjective question. I don't think it's objectively "wrong" to say "threesomes only" but I do think it'd inaccurate to have that rule in effect and consider what you're doing to be a real, serious relationship of the depth to be ready to consider blending your lives. I'm a huge fan of threesomes, but I believe that one-on-one time is crucial for building real intimacy.
Some reading that may help:
Best of luck!
Opening an existing relationship up in the ways that you are speaking about is difficult. For everyone involved. Many people on this forum demonize couples attempting to build triads; there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and after awhile those observing from outside can see patterns, and feel like they know what will come next. In some ways they do, but what they don't know is how it feels to open a marriage up; the feelings that result from that can be some of the worst feelings ever. Call it insecurity, jealousy, whatever you like - the reality is that you are suffering, and in the middle of feelings that you were not anticipating having.
You should not feel guilty about having uncomfortable feelings. They are a part of your experience, and they are an indicator to you that something is out of balance. The responsibility in this situation never belongs to just one person (ie - you.) or even two (ie - you and her). The reality of these feelings belongs to three people, and almost a dozen "relationships" (you and your own self, you and him, you and him and her, her and him, her and you, her and herself, him and himself, etc. etc. etc.) The thing with 'triads' is that they are exceedingly difficult to maintain - the initial flush of good feelings is so intoxicating, the sex is so hot, and it seems as though there is limitless potential. There are almost always snags, and those snags get complicated really, really quickly.
So, tell me this. Why do YOU have to be uncomfortable so that SHE can be comfortable? Many people will argue that you are being controlling, or feel ownership over your husband. I find that kind of language alienating, non-inclusive and judgemental. Any successful relationship is built on a series of events including respect, communication and compromise. All people are different, and have different needs, and while it can seem like you have run into what appears to be a very black and white situation (ie - she wants to sleep with your husband without you, you are uncomfortable with this idea, so you should deal with your feelings and allow her to have what she wants), it is NOT a black and white situation at all.
You and he have a longstanding relationship and commitment to each other. You love him, trust him and share a life with him. The addition of this woman has brought something magical to your life, and I imagine that he is loving it as much as you are. Y'all are having some very serious talks for two months in, but NRE (new relationship energy) will do that to you - it makes you high, and you only see the potential good. Moving in together is not practical. I can tell you that with 100% certainty, and telling people what to do on here is not really my bent.... so you can hear that with a few exclamation points.
Opening up that relationship to a third is something that you enjoy, and are comfortable with. That's hot. That's cool. That's fun and inclusive. But now they want to have a "dyad" (two people) within the triad. She has not asked to have a dyad with you, she has asked to have a dyad with him. This means that he and she get to be delighted, and you get to be upset. That puts you in a place where you're left holding all of the uncomfortable feelings while the two of them get even MORE high on NRE. Your discomfort is NOT just your responsibility - it also belongs to the two of them. Not in a co-dependent "You make me feel THIS" kind of way, but in the sense that all three of you are involved with each other, and the care and well being of all members needs to matter to everyone involved - respect, caring, gentleness and consciousness anyone? C'mon, it's good stuff!
And so, how to move forward? You're being given an ultimatum by a woman who you have only known for two months - let me sleep with your husband on my own, or I will break up with both of you. That seems pretty insensitive and rushed to me; where is her compassion and consideration for YOU? If you are feeling uncomfortable with the idea, why is she pushing so hard for it to happen right away, at her pacing? These are questions that people who think that you see her as "a toy" are NOT going to ask, and that seems strange to me.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's her responsibility either. I'm saying that a successful relationship would involve all of you taking good care of each other's feelings. Maybe you should ALL stop having sex for a couple of weeks, and just talk with each other about how to manage insecurity, jealousy and upset, both yours and hers - she sounds jealous of your connection, and wants that for herself. Fair enough. Why doesn't she want that with you as well? To foster an independent sexual connection with you? Why only your husband? Or how about some conversations about what kinds of sexual things you would feel more comfortable with to start?
For me, this appears to be a great time for questions. For the potential removal of sexual contact to de-escalate intensity and allow everyone to cool off and do some cerebral thinking minus the intensity of physicality. For a re-evaluation of what you *might* be comfortable with to allow her some autonomy with your husband. It's a LOT to handle on your end, and don't let ANYONE imply that you don't have a right to your own experience or that you are less than perfect just as you are - there is no shame in emotions, good or bad; they are an experience, and yours is as valid and important as anyone else's in this relationship structure. Your feelings are valid, normal, understandable, and uncomfortable as an ass full of cacti-spike. If your partners care about you, and respect your feelings they will move at a pace slow enough to help you feel comfortable as well. Ultimatums, break-ups, high drama shit like that to force you into situations that are not comfortable for you speak of a disrespect and rushing that can only end badly for everyone.
It takes time, patience, negotiations, understanding, communication, compromise, pacing, integrity, honesty, the right combination of selfishness and selflessness and humility to open a relationship. Being rushed, pushed, forced, disrespected, shamed, left out or alienated will only hurt you and your marriage. Lovers will come and go, but if you two truly want to build something longer term with another lover in your life, you'll need to help each other move at a pace and intensity that is comfortable for both of you as well as all three of you - no one person's needs come before anyone else's. Desire, NRE, sexual lust, ideals and selfishness play HEAVY in triads, so take a step back and re-evaluate, spend some serious one-on-one time with your husband and be sure that you are on the same page, and have some talks with her on your own about your need for her to be respectful of your feelings, marriage and life while you struggle with some beastly emotions. If I were your girlfriend I would NOT rush you, I would listen to you, I would NOT push you to do things that you were not ready to. If I needed a one-on-one connection so badly before you were ready I would find one outside of the relationship - I wouldn't be trying to fuck your husband while you suffered. No way.
Does she have a right to her desires and feelings? Absolutely. But two months into a relationship with a long-standing-married-couple? Let's not rush things, eh? Let's be respectful of the fact that this is difficult for you, new, intense, and challenging. Let's move slowly so that EVERYONE can have a good time, and not be petulant and selfish.
Just my thoughts from a different side. Nobody but YOU knows what is right for you, but I will say with utter certainty that speeding things up will only create more problems. Hugs, hugs, and more hugs. Don't let anyone alienate you with strong opinions, find your own voice, and your own pacing.
I think the huge difference between how a single woman sees this situation and how a married woman sees it, is pretty indicative as to why triads are not very popular amongst single bisexual women, why triads rarely work and why lots of experienced Poly's think they are a bad, bad idea in general.
The closest to it I have ever seen are threads in which every single person has been a unicorn hunter and none have actually been involved in a triad.
Yes, it is a bunch of people's opinions, but in the face of no positive examples otherwise I feel my statement does not need any academic validation. If you want to start an academic study to disprove my hypothesis feel free.
*note by triads I am specifically referring to a Unicorn situation where there is an original (usually married) couple looking for one single woman to love and be their exclusive partner. If this is not describing you, I am not talking about you.
Judgement, Anger and Bigotry
I find that perspectives that speak from a place of judgement, anger and bigotry against any one particular "group" of people are often shrouded in misunderstanding. Opening a marriage is a particularly interesting experience for all involved; there is no one perspective that takes precedent over another in an equal, respectful relationship, and this includes the perspective of "single, bi-sexual women." Everyone has a voice, a perspective and something to offer each other that can help all involved to grow, evolve and learn about themselves, and the complexities of others.
I find that there seems to be a widening group of people who automatically feel as though the needs of single, bi-sexual women who are involved with couples take precedent over the existing relationship of a couple. That it shouldn't be called into question that the behaviour of someone who has been involved with a couple for TWO MONTHS be held on equal footing as a relationship that has been established for TWELVE YEARS. If these terms were proposed in a different sector of humanity in, say, a labour union at a factory, there would be picket lines and riots. (To be clear, I am not saying that relationships and employment rights are the same, I'm just saying that there is a structure that makes sense to the human mind/condition in our present society that a parallel can be drawn from).
Insta-Equality makes little to no sense to me; there is no hard and fast rule that states that these new individuals have everyone's best interests at heart, or know what they're doing relationship wise as far as treating everyone with respect and grace/humility/consciousness/care. Many established relationships and marriages break up, or fall into grave peril when triads are attempted from the resulting snarls, but I see little sympathy, compassion or understanding given to the couple involved. Everyone is an individual, and has work to do in any relationship - triads are not excluded from this reality, and couples are not inherently flawed when trying to open their relationships.
Opening oneself up to love means opening oneself up to hurt. This is not the exclusive right of single bi-sexual women. This is the human condition.
I'm growing increasingly tired of the bigotry and flawed prejudice against married couples opening their relationships for the first time. I have watched single-ish people flounder in poly, hurting people left, right and centre, spreading STIs, creating drama and being incredibly selfish - ALL human beings need to be held accountable for their behaviour, not just married people. Being pushy, self interested and petulant about not having an independent relationship with her husband seems out of line to me. Does she have a right to desire this? Yes! But have some respect, humility and kindness in one's heart about a longstanding relationship as well! Be compassionate to the woman that you are co-involved with. Why force? Why badger and threaten?
I have not slept with people AT ALL for long stretches of time in the beginning of relationships, and this didn't stop me from having meaningful intimacy with them. I have taken breaks from sexuality when things have become complicated, and re-evaluated where I was coming from. I have watched other people use that time to do the same, or conversely, watched people behave in ways that smacked of a lack of integrity and compassion. Single bi-sexual women are human beings too, last time I checked, and slowing things down to a pace that is comfortable seems like the best way to respect EVERYONE involved in this particular situation. No one is persecuted within the context of relationships (provided that there is not abuse, which is always unacceptable in my opinion); we are all consenting adults capable of speaking up for ourselves and respecting our partners' needs.
I see you hurt. I am sorry. :(
Could let it stay broken up. When you take a step back from it all? Maybe it's just an experience to have learned?
A person you dated for 2 mos is ready for change. You are not. Not sure what your DH is ready for. But "a yes, a no, and a ?" does not = "all players ready for a change." The polyship as a whole is not ready for that change so it can happen in harmony.
If she wants her needs to come before the need of the larger polyship to function in harmony? Is this a team player or not? Maybe not. Is this a player you really want to be playing with long haul? Maybe not. Maybe she doesn't want to play with you because she wants a faster speed in her polyship? Fair enough.
Don't share polyshipping together then. Stop dating.
Every tier in the polyship needs to grow and develop in their own time. That is fine. But honestly?
2 months in? Wanting to move in together? Threesomes already? Where's the HURRY? It seems awfully fast to me. I would not be having threesomes at 2 months in. I wouldn't be having one-on-one somes. But I am not you. I am not her.
Everyone's speed for sharing sex is different. Some people are ready to share sex faster than others. It is a basic compatibility thing. That is what dating time is FOR -- to figure out if you are all compatible.
First conflict and she wants to bail? Sounds kinda flimsy flier. Don't need that in a relationships -- mono or poly. Flimsy fliers are not dependable. How's this help to build trust? The very issue to hand here? Some things are earned over time and trust is one of them. It is not a rock that you "just have" in your pocket or "do not have" in your pocket. Trust is grown over time -- developed like exercise for a muscle.
I find it interesting she just wants you to give your trust. She not asking for opportunity for her to show she can EARN your trust. Demonstrate her trustworthiness.
I see that you are upset and disappointed that she made a decision for herself without giving the polyship a chance to meet her needs. I see that you are disappointed that she broke up with you both. It is not unreasonable to feel those things.
If all these overlapping needs of all players cannot be met by the polyship? Cannot be met then. Limits of the polyship. This 'ship don't fly. It is nobody's fault here. It is what it is.
Could do your self care needs post break up. Let it be.
Life is long. Don't have to have it all up front. Dating is the search to find compatible ones. Not all dating partners are destined to be a long haul runner because they just are not long haul compatible. It is what it is.
When you are ready to date again, and think/hope to grow it to a triad space... could carry forward what you learn in this dating experience. Maybe you decide to slow it down, perhaps. Let your next relationship unfold how it will and enjoy the unfolding journey. If the triad magic is still there, it's gonna still be there in 3, 6, 9, 12 mos.... but maybe you decide to talk before hand about HOW you want to be treated if the dating time comes to find the magic is NOT there. Maybe next time you are in polyship you state in advance HOW you want to be broken up with if the person feels the need to terminate the relationship. You could make your preferences known.
Don't have to be all "kid in the candy store" grabbing it all and wanting to have it all up front right out of the starting gate. Keep it realistic -- a triad is essentially 3 V's trying to happen at once! It's not impossible, but it requires good people skills. Explore your new partners "skills-ability" before getting in too deep with them. Guard against NRE drunkeness moving it faster than is healthy for all players. It might fly. It might not. Prepare for BOTH scenarios. Talk to your poly people about what they expect and how the want to be treated. You let them know you you want to be treated.
And sometimes the limitation the polyship bumps into is in that bucket. People may have the desire to try, but once actually trying it out come to find the attraction is not there for a triad configuration or the people skills are not all there, or the expectations are not realistic and reasonable. Maybe more dating experiences and you find YOURSELF changing in your wants and needs.
Maybe you want to try again to triad and go for the 3 v's at once thing. Maybe you want to let go of that want. You and spouse date separately and deal in building 2 v's at once rather than 3 v's at once with the same person. Or maybe one of you takes a dating break while the other still dates. Build 1 V at a time.
How you guys want it to play out so the marriage can digest Opening better is on you guys as you learn about yourselves and your own personal limitations.
Take heart. It is hard to feel loveable when you feel unloved... but just because THIS dating partner is not a runner doesn't meant you are a horrible person. You are just a hurting person right now.
That's alright. In time, the hurt will stop.
Hang in there.
This. GalaGirl, I salute you. Well put. This is the essence of what my long-winded post was - I wanted to address the bigotry against married people opening up as well, but the heart of it is that pacing, comfort and respect is EVERYTHING in relationships.
Let's remove the third, and think about it without the wife involved. "If you don't sleep with me, I will break up with you." That is what has been put on the table. Already pretty yucky. Add a wife with insecurities and horrible feelings into the mix, and it gets uglier. "If you don't let me sleep with you/your husband, I will break up with BOTH of you. My feelings and needs are more important than anyone else's." Yikes. Yikes indeed.
Single bisexual women are not knights in shining armour, nor damsels in distress. They are their own people with their own strenghts and weaknesses and should be looked at as such. Not everyone is relationship material. Petulant, pushy, disrespectful, ultimatum-giving folk are NOT for me, single, married or otherwise.
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