Help for a (sort of) newbie in polyamory
I'm in kind of a trouble, and don't know where to find help in my country (Finland) and don't really know anyone that I might be able to talk with, I tried talking to my mother (I thought she might understand) but actually it made the situation worse. So I decided to try this forum.
So, I'm 24 years old, bisexual woman. I am single in the traditional sense of the world, but lately it feels like that there is just a big mess in my life. I've had a crush on my best friend since I was 13 (she's of age with me) and she was the first one I ever had sex with when we were 16. I think I was in love then, as much as a teen can.
We were sort of friends with benefits for about one year, and I never once had the courage to talk her about my feelings, because I even myself wasn't sure if I really was bisexual or not. Then life happened and we both started dating with other people (men).
For the next years, we were "just friends". She told her boyfriend about our history, and he said that if we ever wanted, he would be ok with me and her having sex. My now-ex-boyfriend was always more traditional, and I even didn't dare to share that I was bisexual.
We broke up about a year ago, one part of it was the fact that I realized that I still had feelings for my best friend and knew that he wouldn't ever understand bisexuality let alone polyamory. (There were other reasons too, but I don't think they are important for the problems we have now.)
Maybe I was a bit quick to jump into new things after the relationship ended, but the fact is that me and the friend started having sex again only a few days after the break-up, when she came to help me with moving and things. (We live about 4 hours apart nowadays, which sort of is a part of the problem too.) Of course we talked with her boyfriend first, to confirm that he really was good with the idea. He gave us the green light, and was actually very supportive for me too during all the practical stuff I needed during my moving.
So, then during the spring and summer me and this girl really started talking about how we felt towards each other. And it turned out that the crush I'd had almost 10 years back had been mutual as well as the yearning I had felt during the time that we were just best friends. I was so overwhelmed when in August we both said for the 1st time ever the I love yous. I couldn't believe how happy I was, because somehow everything I ever did with her, was somehow better, funnier and more awesome than anything else I did with anyone else, whether as friends or lovers, no matter.
This is where the trouble came in. In the summer we also had threesome with the friend and her partner. I thought we had a good face-to-face talk before it, establishing the rules. I have no love feelings towards the man and neither he does for me, but I regard him as a good friend and that's what he said he felt for me too. We did this a couple of times and afterwards I had a good feeling about it all and they both said that they enjoyed too.
BUT soon afterwards the second time, that would be about 3 weeks ago, my friend called me on skype, explaining that her partner didn't want me and her having emotional relationship. I also talked with him, to get what he meant too. He said that he was very fine with me and her being best friends that have sex from time to time but he didn't want us being lovers. (And he doesn't have any objections for continuing the 3somes.)
This weekend I saw her again, for the first time after that talk. As we live so much apart due to her work and my university, we've normally been seeing each other for once a month for the last 7 or so years, so that's normal. After the talk on skype, we decided it would be best that we discussed later on, face to face about how we felt about this new situation. And now then she said that she loves me too (and obviously her partner too) and that she feels guilty of feeling so, after he had decided about the new boundaries that were good for him.
And I really don't know where to go from here.
I don't want to hurt her partner either, he's a very nice person and obviously important for her. Selfish or not, I also couldn't bring myself to deny sleeping with her when she visited me, given the fact that it's not actually the sex that he can't approve but the feelings I and she have.
As far as I can see there are three options for the situation:
1) We'll no longer be in contact in any way.
2) We'll remain as friends, and I start looking for other people to satisfy my relationship needs.
3) We'll continue to be "friends with benefits" trying to deny that we have romantic feelings.
No 1. is the worst case scenario for me, I really cannot stand the idea of losing her over anything, so I'll do anything to prevent that from happening.
No 2. is something I maybe could deal with. I think I could probably start being just best friends with her (not to say that friendship is in anyway inferior to love). But I feel also that I probably couldn't be wholeheartedly with anyone else while I'm head over heels with her unless they were polyamoric too. And somehow I just fear that I won't have such luck.
That brings to me to no 3. At the same time I feel that a very big part of me will always have some sort of romantical feelings for this girl. I mean, I've had them for almost half of my life and not even the fact that I was seeing some one disapproving it didn't end my feelings, so I can't think of anything that would. And I think it would be harmful in the longrun for all of us if we do this sort of thing.
I mean, I cannot not think of myself being 40, and still depending on the monthly meetings with this woman for being my only relationship. If we really had a proper V -relationship where her man would agree with the emotional part too and we lived closer together, I think I could be happy. But not with the 4 hours and emotional barrier between us - it might work for a few years to come but not for my whole life.
So, what do you all think? Any advice how to start dealing with these issues? Any questions that I should be asking from myself or either of the other two persons involved? How not to feel like total idiot mooning over something that could never happen? Anything else?
Thanks in advance for your help.
First of all I'm incredibly happy that you and your friend both have feelings for each other. I know what it's like to have desires like that and being unable to express them for a long time, so it's awesome that the both of you get to explore that part of your relationship.
My advice? Talk with your friend. I know you don't want to hurt her boyfriend - but in my mind you need to really see where she stands on this development. The both of you have cared for each other for a long time and you both finally came out to each other. In my eyes that's a HUGE thing. Feelings and emotions aren't like actions and sex - Her boyfriend can't request that you two stop loving each other... and to say that you two can be sexual active together, but to refrain from being emotionally involved is a bit naive I think.
So talk to her, determine how she feels. If she wants to support her boyfriend's desires then you need to cope with that and the two of you can come up with ways for you to do that best - maybe that means the two of you stop having sex? I don't know but you should both figure it out.
However, maybe her feelings for you are more important than the desires of the boyfriend. I don't mean to make it sound like a competition or anything - but when two people have conflicting desires, especially extreme ones - someone has to "win". So currently, The boyfriend doesn't want the two of you to date seriously, however... you DO want to date her seriously...
Logically, the only step is to see where she stands. If she wants to date you seriously, the the two of you need to figure out how to approach that with the boyfriend. He'll either be compromising or he won't be. In this situation, at least one of you is going to have to deal with loss of some sort. So communicate and figure out who wants what, versus who can HANDLE what.
If there was a deeper level of honesty between your friend and her boyfriend, then he might have been aware of this possibility when he ok'd a sexual relationship between the two of you. If he knew the history between the two of you to the point of the emotional level - he should have known to deal with the fact that you two might be serious.
Hope it works out.
It takes all involved being adults
for things to go well, and for things to end without subjecting yourselves to unnecessary pain and suffering.
Either we aren't getting a clear true picture of the situation, or else her boyfriend has some serious misunderstandings about people, emotions, and what it takes for people to live a fulfilling life.
I personally don't see "best friends" who do not engage in sex as any different from "lovers" who refrain from engaging in sex. And it sounds like there is something he cannot bring himself to admit and until all of you feel comfortable discussing everything openly and honestly whatever that issue may be, it will never get addressed.
Some people never reach emotional maturity, but there is a difference between not ever maturing emotionally, and deciding that living in denial is much more convenient.
I suspect he is actually aware how wrong it is to suggest that you and her might try keeping the relationship the same but not to be emotionally involved (or whatever he actually meant by saying he didn't want you two to be "lovers")
something is off, and only he can tell you, maybe he means he can't handle being the boyfriend of a person who is openly bisexual and has a girlfriend, however it doesn't sound as simple as that due to the timing of him having a problem.
Because it sounds like he only had issues after he was involved with both of you together sexually. Perhaps a little too much for his ego to handle
In any event, if he honestly thinks you can be best friends who have occasional sex with no emotional loving going on there, he is an idiot. Attempting to do so will only cause pain and misery, and the fact of the matter is that there are people for whom that becomes their comfort zone even if they do not realize it. That is sad but people do it and that is their choice no matter how foolish it seems
I would not recommend putting up with that
If you both agree that you don't feel like torturing yourselves is healthy behavior then you need to stop doing it.
Regardless of how you feel you need to come to a decision and if your decisions don't agree you should respect that. Hopefully you will come to an agreement, make the decision but then she needs to be responsible for her decisions and should explain to her boyfriend that if he doesn't understand what he is asking for is not possible and he either needs to cut that shit out or leave. What he is suggesting is that you two willingly accept misery that he can easily remedy by being an adult. It's not fair because he could choose to address his issues and solve the problem, but of course it would be easier if he didn't have to deal with it and you two suffered the consequence of it
I have been stupid enough to do that in the past (deal with the negative consequence of someone else choosing not to be an adult) and I will never do that again. Not only is it emotional suicide but for anyone to even allow others to take that on rather than they dealing with their own shortcomings does not in any way fit the definition of Loving a person. It's not respectful, and it's harmful, it's completely unnecessary and which is a very good sign it is an emotion that is not anywhere near the emotions that constitute Love
I agree with the others that the bf is being unrealistic in his expectation that you two somehow magically learn to "un-love" one another. How does one do that? While I can prevent myself from acting on the love - and maybe that is what he wants - I have never been able to simply stop loving someone. Poof!
However, I hope that he does not believe that because you two may choose not to act on your love that he believes it is gone. He would be fooling himself. Maybe he has asked this to insure that he primary, and would see your gf's acceptance of his terms as acknowledgement of his supreme position.
My suggestion would be to try to figure out what he thinks he gains by limiting his gf's relationship with you. Does he even know?
As to the rest, it's a tempest in a teapot.
What are your goals in life--apart from having sex with this woman? Apart from sex and relationships in general? Do you have an education, a job, a career? Do you work for any charities or help underprivileged children or pack food at Feed My Starving Children? Do you look at the people who cross your path each day and think how you can leave someone else's life a little brighter? Do you have any hobbies or interests? What do you believe is the purpose of life? At the end of your days, what do you want to look back on? What will make you feel you have lived well?
Start thinking about these things, and you may find that the answers to this problem solve themselves.
thanks for answers
Thank you so much for all the answers! It somehow makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one that has been thinking and struggling and that there are people who want to give sincere help and not judge us!
But at least I've always been quite touchy with all my friends, so that doesn't seem to make difference either. I mean that I might hold hands with my little sister for example while we talk so I can't get the big point there.
If it is is something that could be articulated and resolved -- great. Resolve it. If this is his only objection...
Then whether you understand that or not -- you could ask if that is a soft limit (could change in time) or a hard limit. (will never change) Decide if that's a price of admission you are willing to pay.
If you wonder this...
If it is something else he cannot explain, then the ethical thing seems to be to break it off with her and be honest with both. Maybe something like...
If all the hands don't go up, this polyship "V" with her as the hinge isn't a runner unless something changes.
There really isn't anything YOU can do here that I can see other than step away for a while to let them figure out his side and her side.
I do not suggest you keep sharing sex with her and threesomes with him because "it's better than being alone with nothing" because that would not be self respecting behavior. Over time that starts to pinch and becomes a breeding ground for resentments. :(
Tread carefully here.
You have to accept that she is putting his needs first, this means that if either of you cannot maintain the boundaries, you'll be out. They've decided what will work for them, you need to decide if the remaining options work for you. Can you be friends and stick to the set boundaries?
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