I don't know if I can do this anymore.
A small introduction: Iím new at poly, and kind of stumbled upon it by accident. Iím a lesbian, in a relationship with a married woman, and good friends with my metamour. About six months ago, I reconnected with my friend (my metamour). He had just moved back after having a job out of state. He also got married during that time to my (now) partner. They are both bisexual, and we all decided to fool around sexually, just for fun. One thing turned into another, and about three weeks in, his wife told me she had feelings for me... an emotional connection. The feeling was absolutely, 100% mutual. Over the past six months, weíve all had our fair share of open and honest discussions. At first, he (my meta) was insecure about it, but now they are both comfortable with the situation, and have grafted me into their lives. Iím very grateful for that.
I look at the situation, and it sounds so lovely in theory. I know so many people would do anything for such a wonderful dynamic. But I donít know if I can do this anymore. The reason? I am falling in love with her. Deeply. Iíve never felt this way about any of my former partners, and I donít know what the hell to do with my emotions. (This much, she knows, and she is completely supportive. She tells me I have no reason to fear any of the emotions that Iím feeling.) Now, for the part she doesnít fully know: I had zero problem with insecurity or jealousy for the first few months. But as my affection for her grows, I find myself throwing pity-parties... and I do NOT like being that kind of person. Itís not really because she has him, exactly. Itís that she has everything with him that I want with her. They have built a life, albeit one they are willing to make me a part of. But Iíve begun to fantasize about coming home to her and spending the rest of my life with her. God, she is everything Iíve ever wanted in another woman... and I feel like the universe is playing some cosmic joke on me, because Iíll never really be able to be with her like I want to be with her. Whatís more, is they are actively trying to have a baby. I just recently found this out, and it didnít feel good for me. (Yes, this makes me feel like a horrible person.) First off, Iíve never wanted kids. Secondly, all I can think about is how he can make a baby for her, and build a family, and have an intimacy that I can never be a part of. Also, I wasnít aware that they had decided to start trying again. Part of me feels like itís none of my business, but then part of me feels like she should have talked to me about it.
Now the kicker: To complicate things, they may be moving out of state again, and theyíve invited me to come with them if it happens. Iíve decided that I probably wonít be moving with them if they go. But if they stay, I have to decide whether or not I can handle this type of relationship. If I stay with her, I have some serious self-reflecting to do. If I break it off, I will be heartbroken. I donít know what to do. I feel completely lovesick... so much so that it hurts me physically. Iím tired of feeling like Iíve been punched in the gut. I feel like itís time to either go big or go home... and I donít know which is best.
I feel ignorant and inadequate because of my feelings. Iím angry at myself because I knew exactly what I was getting myself into when she and I decided to start dating. I love her, and I really enjoy being around him as well. I just didnít predict these complicated emotions. I feel guilty because sometimes, if I really search my heart, I want to be hers, exclusively... and thatís the one thing that cannot happen here. I know itís wrong for me to feel that way, yet I canít stop it. Of course, I would leave if I became a threat to their marriage in any way. After all, I signed up for poly. I didnít sign up to be a home-wrecker.
Iím hoping for some words of wisdom here. Have any of you experienced the same things? Do I just sound like one of those people who isnít cut out for the poly lifestyle? Because I want to make it work... I really do. I want to let go, stop worrying, and just have fun with it. I just donít know if my heart will let me.
I hope I can articulate this properly, so that it helps you....
I was added to a couple, and deliriously happy - until the wife changed her mind 180 degrees after promoting. The difference between my situation and yours was that my partner was the male, although I loved my metamour too. I was heartbroken when it ended.
Now the thing of it is, I never wanted the couple to divorce because I realized I had fallen in love with a man who was married with children. That dynamic was a major part of his identity, and if that were to change he would be a different person. I didn't want to lose that person, even though we could no longer be lovers
Fast forward: I was gone from their house a year when they separated (and are now divorcing). (Just for clarification - he did not leave his wife for me - they had other issues.) Although, he instigated the separation, he was devastated. He'd lost his sense of self, he was emotionally asea, he was not the same person I'd fallen for.
Do we have a relationship? Yes. But we are having to rebuild it from the ground up, he is still not healed from the trauma, and is not going to be quite the same person that he was.
So what I am trying to say, is that your fantasy of being together with just your lady love is just that: a fantasy. It does not exist in this dimension.
You're right, I'd have given anything to be where you are - and even now I wish it could have been three. I am not sure why deep love means exclusivity for you. While it is true her husband can give her things you cannot; you give her things he cannot.
Well I find it interesting that you consider her a perfect match and you want her to yourself to build some kind of life with yet the two of you conflict on a pretty serious issue - She clearly seems to want kids. You don't.
That said, like the above person - Why do your deep feelings translate to exclusivity for you? Just make your feelings known. Make your intent, desires, and all your aspirations for your relationship known.
If the feelings are returned and mutually supported then you should have nothing to fear. They're already inviting you to move with them, so you seem to be an important part of their (her) life. If your feelings are returned... I'm not really sure what more you'd want.
But really, if the woman truly wants a child, that's something you're going to have to come to terms with regardless of the scenario.
Six months isn't a whole lot of time for things to settle. It's pretty common for emotions to fly rampant for that amount of time.
But Jcon makes a really important point about kids. Forget all the other issues for a minute. They're having kids, you don't want kids. Presumably that means you don't want to live in a household full of kids. So based on that alone, moving in with them ("go big") is pretty much off the table.
It sounds like you really need to sit down and discuss the jealousy and "the life you'll never have" with her, and how you feel about all that. She needs to know everything you've told us. She believes you don't need to fear your emotions. Presumably her reassurance is coming from a different perspective, out of context with what you're telling us. But from the sounds of it, I think she'll be supportive of you through your struggle.
As you've said, you're not trying to change their marriage or take anything away from them, you're just mourning a life you'll never get. As long as you make that clear, and let her know that you just need to figure out where you fit in so that your heart isn't broken, I think you can work it out.
Thank you for your reply. It's helpful to hear from someone in a similar situation. I'm so sorry for your heartache. I hope things continue to get better for you.
I'm certainly not one to avoid talking about my feels. In fact, they both know that will probably happen at least 1-2 times per month... I just like to have "emotional check-ins". But I hesitate to talk about things that simply cannot (and should not) be changed. To consider leaving simply because she wants a kid feels cold-hearted to me. It's her body. It's her decision. But on the other hand, that desire is so far removed from what I want that her yearning to have a baby almost feels personal, even though I know it's not, (and yes, it's ridiculous to even think that).
Also, I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what to say to her. Why bring up things that can't (and shouldn't) be changed? It would be cathartic for me, but would it be constructive? She can't change the fact that she's got a life with him and that she wants to have a baby. I'm just not sure how to address that without sounding like a selfish douche.
You could be ok with you feeling whatever it is you feel during transition. Emotion is just internal weather. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it is sunny. Feel whatever it is and let it run its course.
Could stop judging it as "bad" or "wrong" to be feeling it. Just let it blow on through. Your feelings are one of your senses that gives you information about the world you interact with.
You seem to be mourning a loss -- this idea of that you wanted, and that lies in CHANGING your mind about "exclusive."
At the same time, you do not seem to feel secure in the new relationship yet. You seem to be in a shaky transitional time. You have left the things you know, and haven't arrived at the new thing solidly... you are in the flying leap. It feels unsettling there "up in the air."
You could google "emotional change" --- look at pictures of various models of the roller coaster. It will get better over time, you are just on the roller coaster -- sounds like at the "self doubt" place. It takes time for the "new normal" to stop feeling weird. You could figure out what typical feelings come next and note your own progress through them.
You could ask for support in this from your partners.
Could pay attention not so much the feelings along the process down at the tree level . Could see if you can step back sometimes to get the forest level view and realize you are IN a process.
Could examine the way you are THINKING about the process.
In one Life Choice -- moving to another state? You were invited to come along. You felt a part of the process maybe.
Maybe you do not feel included in this other Life Choice -- them having a baby. You haven't been consulted or your role defined -- would you be a coparent type figure in the family unit? What's your role in the pregnancy? Maybe you don't want to be a parent EVER. Maybe not at this time but could arrive there if given time/space to process. This could be a compatability issues -- a dealbreaker? Only you know what you are willing/able to do. But it won't get sorted if you hold back. Could talk it out.
You are in the curious in between time -- transitioning from GF to family member. So are they -- they are trying to include you but haven't arrived at you being at the table for major life decisions. They make a decision and then let you know what it was -- I don't think it's from a place of mean from the sound of it. Just that they have to weather change too and change old habits.
Even how you write -- "I was grafted on" and "hesitate to talk about things that simply cannot (and should not) be changed." Why not? Why couldn't the timing of TTC be changed or talked about? You aren't saying no don't have a baby ever. I think you might be saying -- "Wait! Where do I fit in first?! I need to feel secure in this relationship!"
You could talk your poly partners about all this -- this new family unit you all have co-created and the expectations/roles moving forward and how you want to be treated when planning out major life choices like adding another family members or moving to another state.
Because if your goal is this ---
They cannot be mind readers. They cannot change their behaviors to accommodate you if they don't even know what your wants, needs, and limits are.
They don't sound horrible -- in fact, they sound willing to be supportive.
Right now in your posts you are focusing on feeling yucky. Could focus on behavior done/not done -- by each one of you.
Because in your thinking behavior if what you think about is you feeling yucky and nothing else? No plan for moving it forward?
You are helping to keep it in the stuck. Be willing to be vulnerable and open to your poly partners. Could change it and start communicating more.
See if that increased communication serves you better.
It's good that you realize it's you
and that you are doing it to yourself.
So personally, I would try to identify where the guilt comes from because most people only feel guilty in relationships when they have done something wrong or kept pertinent information from the people they are friends with. Just off the top of my head I can't think of anything people do to themselves that they feel guilty about except for eating cake when they told themselves they should be dieting.
So long as you are openly and honestly discussing your feelings with them, and understand the difference between cowperson and poly lover, and if you can't be poly lover than cowperson isn't an option and you know how to be a caring friend, you have nothing to feel guilty about.
What you do have to be careful about, is being honest about whether or not you would be willing to be with her if she broke up with her boyfriend, because if that is the case, it takes a person who is has become so adept at practicing honesty it is like second nature. Because you will find yourself behaving in ways that you know aren't conducive to healthy relationships (esp healthy poly relationships) and the person who does not understand that honesty is a practice won't recognize what they are doing, and so they will justify their actions which is more or less a conscious decision to be an asshole home wrecker.
But I did not get that impression of you, so please don't take my harsh tones personally, you come across as being very genuine and it sounds like you are trying to do the right thing.
Something that most people don't realize is that there are many fine lines that drawer distinctions between different types of "poly people" and all the different ways to practice polyamory.
The problem you are having is not really that uncommon, it is just that most poly communities would automatically tear into you for being a mono and justify their actions under a banner of poly heroism. But the truth is most people, if not all, have an easier time sharing their more casual lovers than they do their more seriously involved lovers.
Not to make the assertion that polyamory includes casual relationships, but just to avoid the primary/secondary type talk that always begins the bickering that ruins every thread.
I know polyamory is focused on love, and I don't want to do the concept of LOVE a disservice and I don't want to paint you as being monogamous because many poly people subscribe to "the one" = "monogamous/cowperson" as I firmly believe that you can love and be in a relationship with many, but there are also those whom you feel so connected to that you want to share your life completely with, so in order to be polytically correct (which actually makes me sick to my stomach) I will say there is such a feeling as "the ones"
And from your words you know exactly what I mean by "the ones" or what monogamous people call "the one" and to be honest I see people who need to divide love into monogamy and poly as equally confused, so in full disclosure lets just say I am far more disgusted with the mentality of poly ID'd people as they are far more wrongfully discriminating than mono ID'd.
But anyway "the ones" which are sometimes referred to by life of a certain sect, as the figure eleven https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2JwBT_sX74, and it just means that overwhelming love can be for more than one other person, but still can and does feel like a curse before it can be recognized as a blessing.
Before I get off topic, I should point out what others have, and realize that her desire for children may not be compatible with you desire to not have children -- and I do not mean biologically -- as two women can get sperm from any idiot male. Families with Women as parents have children all the time.
Do you realize that if he husband wasn't in the picture, this overwhelming love for your lover could easily have you agreeing to be parents together?
Because you are attempting to practice poly you are presented with the opportunity to experience that overwhelming love without having to compromise your desire in life to not have children. Many people under the influence of overwhelming love end up compromising too much of their dreams in what they wanted out of life and find themselves ten years or twenty years down the road with their Love having gone sour, extremely bitter and hateful towards each other, often never realizing that is was compromising an aspect of their life they didn't know was not something they couldn't compromise on and remain happy.
You need to be very careful with this overwhelming Love because if it were a plant it would require lots and lots of nutrients to grow, but the fertilizer it requires is one specifically formulated for overwhelming love and you will kill it if you just get miracle grow (or any other more plausible sounding brand that doesn't say on the label "Formulated for overwhelming Love")
It's always good to know the direction you want to go in your life, and children are one of the major directions it's possible to orient your travel by walking (at least until you can fly) and whether or not you desire children is a difference like North and South in regards to the Four Quarters of Direction available
So perhaps you should realize that for this experience, practicing poly will enable both you and her to not compromise parts of your this life it wouldn't be wise to bend on, as it would sour your love.
If you only thought you didn't want children, all I can tell you is you sound like the type of person who understands, so as long as you all practice what you know must be practiced to have a healthy relationship, you will get over this painful part and it will be worth it.
But I know that doesn't bring any comfort when you already feel punched in the stomach. But if he is a respectable man, there are very minor things he can do that will alleviate some of the pain, but he will need to be aware of it. Which can be done so long as you all trust each other AND are trustworthy
I don't envy you, but you've found one of the ones, and it doesn't sound like all is lost, and part of the process of having All found, starts with the pain you've described, if you are with the right people, stay the course, you will be glad you held fast, as when you reach your real limits relief will come quick.
In all the successful poly relationships I know, one key feature is telling other people how you're feeling, owning those feelings, and reminding them that you're not asking for change, you're just giving a status report. When people understand how you feel, they can be sensitive about those topics.
For example, people die. When you lose a loved one, it's common to want to talk about the pain and sorrow that you're feeling. No one would dream of responding to that with "Yeah, well, they're dead. You can't change that, so why are you talking to me about it? What am I supposed to do?"
Also, by failing to talk about it, you leave the door open for events to repeat. For example, you would have preferred that she'd told you sooner that they were trying to have a baby. If you don't tell her that, she has no way of knowing that in the future, if she has news like that, she should tell you.
In my situation, my guy was so drained and traumatized, he had nothing to give. And even though I was not the one who traumatized him, he has voiced concerns about allowing himself to be that vulnerable again. So I would strongly encourage you to create new fantasies about your life as three - if you ultimately decide that is what you want.
Has it occurred to you that perhaps they are trying for a baby because having you in their lives makes them feel happy and secure enough to do so? Granted, I understand that as things haven't been spelled out and cemented about the life you will all create together, nor did they consult you in regard to a baby, such an announcement would be a shock. However, you might very well have been one of the factors that made them want to pursue it.
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