Intro and possibly seeking advice...
holy cow... where do i begin? ok... 1st off i am 36, divorced since 2005 (so i guess that doesn't really matter), currently in a relationship with a woman (we'll call "S") and another male (we'll call "C") now.
a little background...
i have known this woman since i was 16. we dated in high school and then split. after high school i got married and had 2 kids (now 16 and 14). there is a really long back story there, but not really relevant so i'll spare you all the details. about a year and a half after my divorce we became in each others lives again and pretty much became a couple. we were together for a couple years and split up. during that time together we "played" with other women (she is bi and i like to play). no intercourse was ever had with anyone else during the time we had been together. long story short in this scenario, i started dating one of the women (we'll call "B") that we played with, a few weeks after S and I split. B and I dated for a few months and that was pretty much the end of that. we determined while we were connected in a way that we can only describe as "on a different level", it was not the right time in either of our lives for us to be together. fast forward 9 months or so, and i started dating S again... this time around (are you keeping up??? LOL) everything really is great. we have our moments where we want to strangle each other, but a "forever" love is just there and not a question.
fast forward to the last couple years. we were introduced to C thru some mutual friends. C has become my best friend, my confidant, and one of the best men i have ever known in my life. i consider him an equal in every way, shape, or form. for the last 2+yrs (or so) he has become a huge part of my family and pretty much stays with us each weekend. we all do everything together. so, suffice to say is an integral part of our lives. in this amount of time S and C have fallen in love mentally and emotionally (but nothing physical had happened up to this point).
lot of fast forwards, but here's another one... :D
about 8 months ago, B made it back into our lives. B and S were and again are very much also in love, but had a lot of mending and repairing to be done. one big thing was S thought that i broke up with her to date B. 100% NOT the case, and now 99% of S believes that. then about 4 months ago (in a joke) S told B that she should just date C, so we could all just have fun and be in a relationship. at this time we thought we were different, and just saw it as an ideal situation for us all to get what we really wanted. we had no idea that there was a term for what we were. it was just an obvious solution to everything. i already love S and B, S already loved me, C, and B, and B already loved me and S... so the only thing that was lacking was for B and C to possibly develop into something. they had a physical attraction, and started on a mental one. during this time B is/was going thru a lot in her life. she was 100% in at the beginning and we attempted things. we had some initial rough spots where misunderstandings happened and S and C actually had sex. this threw me off as i was not at the level of acceptance yet. since then B is hardly around and has essentially told us while she still wants this, but she needs to focus on herself and get her life in order.
so it pretty much has just been the 3 of us (me, S, and C). for some reason (i can only assume this is due to my "monogamous" mindset) i am having a really hard time with the "sex" between them. i get everything at a logical level (ie. it's not an attempt to get anything that is lacking between S and i, it's the only element that was missing in their already built relationship, this wasn't some sort of plan for them to get together and have sex, etc. etc. etc.)... but at the emotional level, i get a pit in my gut feeling when i know that she is leaving to go be with him. which then leads fights and arguments before she leaves and after she comes back. S and i have great communication... BUT... it's always AFTER the fact. we fuss and fight, and then go to our corners, come back, apologize, and then actually talk and discuss things like rational people. this seems to be our method of communication for any and every thing. needless to say, C can't stand the way we communicate at all, but loves us regardless. LOL
in the past week or so, i have been trying to get to the root of what causes me to think the way i do. so this past week (when they came back), i reached my breaking point and lost it on them... pretty much attacking them both. my patience for the way i feel is wearing thin. not my patience for them or what's going on... just the way i feel about it. C took it upon himself to say that at this point in time, he is going to "pause" anything physical with S until i am more comfortable with what is going on.
we spent the entire day yesterday discussing and coming to an agreement between all of us on where we are and what is expected. i need to make sure this is just a physical thing, so i asked if them spending time together alone could still happen. they agreed that would help determine if it's just her always giving the appearance that she is leaving that is the problem or if it really is a physical thing. at this point i have no real idea what my "problem" really is, so we're at a "let's rule things out one at a time" stance. we have agreed to have checkpoints along the way to see where we are at and if things need to be adjusted in any way or at least get a "i'm ok, let's continue" affirmation.
the main thing is that none of us are in any hurry in any way. we all agree this is that "forever" type of love and time is not a factor. and for the 1st time, i actually felt that i had some kind of say in what happens within the 3 of us and don't have to wait until the shit hits the fan to say i'm uncomfortable in some way.
i know that was a lot to take in... so thank you for reading and for any insight or advice you may have to offer to us. we would really love to find some local poly folks to chat with, but have been unsuccessful in finding a "real" poly type group that is not just another "swinger group" in a poly disguise.
Hi there! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. It's great that you are working so hard to make your relationship happy. I found this article extremely helpful to me in identifying and dealing with jealousy: http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/p.../jealousy.html I hope you find it helpful as well. Good luck and much happiness!
Welcome to our forum.
I don't have a lot of advice for you sadly, other than to "refer you to some other sources." It sounds to me like the three of you are doing the best you can, figuring things out as you go (which is what we all must do), and like you and S *do* know what rational communication looks like, you just find that your emotions get the best of you at first. Said emotions may do gradually less of that over time, just with patience and practice.
Re: jealousy ... haha SouthernGal, I'm so gonna one-up ya on this one. Bet you're jealous! :)
Let us discuss the greeneye monster shall we?
How to slay the greeneyed beastie.
Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity, Etc.
How do you achieve compersion?
The Theory of Jealousy Management
The Practice of Jealousy Management
Jealousy and the Poly Family
Brené Brown: the Power of Vulnerability
Yes, and there's your bonus list of all-about-jealousy links. (When I'm good, I'm good. As they say on Little Nicky, "Good luck with your nipple rubbing!" and, "Oh I don't need luck. I'm good ..."
Right. And as for links on how to navigate your poly life and relationships in general? Well I've got some tasty bites for that too:
Golden Nuggets board
Book and Website Recommendations
"Opening Up" by Tristan Taormino (book and website with cool resources)
Franklin Veaux's poly pages
And of course there's lots more good material out there (both on this site and on other sites), but the above four links should give you a good place to start.
Poly relationships tend to be stormy in the early years, so don't panic if you run into some heavy weather now and then. Just keep reading and learning and posting and ... oh! That reminds me: Check out all kinds of threads and boards right here on Polyamory.com; see what calls to you; share your thoughts and ask us any questions you desire. That, too, will help give you ideas of how to get your own poly sea legs.
Which sea legs will be quite unique amongst all other poly sea legs. Every person is unique; every relationship is unique. So what works for someone else may or may not be what works for you. You'll still have to do lots of that trial-and-error stuff, even after all the academic research you can do.
Hope your stay on Polyamory.com will prove beneficial!
Not jealous at all! lol These are good links. I posted one that really spoke to me, but it was only one and there is so much good info out there. Good luck, DigiMan!
idk whether i need to stay in this post for a while or i can travel elsewhere to post, so better safe than sorry, i'll post here...
i hate the fact that i am a "glass is half empty" person as to half full. idk exactly what to do about this. in this particular context, i seem to be more concerned about the time we spend apart vs being happy with what time we actually DO have together. since my OP, i have been talking to a mutual friend of ours that we have "played" with in the past (we'll call her N (one of S's best friends)) and had a conversation about what it is we're doing and would she ever considering dating me. she was "shocked" to say the least, but after a conversation with both S and i, she was excited at the idea. N has told me she already feels like we have a relationship and loves me already too, so this is not a far stretch (for her) to "date" me. now here is my dilemma as it relates to what i just mentioned.
i broke down a typical week going forward. N only has off on wed and thurs, so that is really the only "alone" time that we could really have together. S and i go to see my daughters everything thurs evening to take them to dinner and spend time with them. so that kinda only leaves wed's as a day/night that i could spend with N. C comes over on friday evenings and stays til sunday evening. S and C have decided that S will most likely spend tues evening together. so basically that means the only "alone" time that S and i will have is monday and thursday (after seeing my daughters). i don't like the fact that If i wanted to do anything sexual with S, i am forced into 2 days in a given week. at this point i feel wrong for doing anything with S during the wknd while C is here. i am not sure why i feel this way, but i think that is a personal thing as i would not particularly care for S and C doing something during that time. so i am stuck. why do i seem to be more concerned that we will only have those 2 days IF we wanted to do something? WHAT IF one or both of us, doesn't WANT to do something during those days? we just don't have sex that week? i am not sure i'm ok with this. and for those that might say "just get some before work one day", i am not a "quickie" type of person, and we are 2 very sexual people, so most times it's at least 2hrs at a minimum. which is something that hasn't been a problem in the past. at this point, i'm probably just rambling, so i'll stop. can anyone help me get to the root of what my REAL issue is here?
I'm afraid your "real" issue would be hard to pin down. Your post illustrated how your life is filled with crisscrossing schedules and complications now-a-days. In immediate terms your dilemma is how/when to fulfill your desires for lovemaking with S. Taking a step back, a wider dilemma comes into view; that is, how do you time/handle/satisfy a whole lot of romantically-entwined relationships at once?
It is, in essence, the cross that every polyamorist must bear. Just having two romantic partners can be a coordination nightmare at times. And for every additional romantic partner beyond that (regardless of who's connected to whom), the situation gets geometrically more challenging. Part of the dilemma, alas, is deciding how large and complex of an intimate network you can realistically manage to be a part of. If there gets to be too many people for you to juggle, you have to consider subtracting a partner or two, or even removing yourself from the network if no one else wants to do so.
On the other hand, if your heart is set on keeping all the people in the network that you have (or even on adding more people), then you'll probably have to resign yourself to some scenarios that aren't very ideal for you. At times that may very well mean putting sex off when you greatly desire it, as well as "forcing yourself into the mood" when it doesn't strike you spontaneously because, well, Monday and Thursday is all you really comfortably have for that sort of thing with S.
If you stay the course and ride the waves, you'll probably discover tips and tricks along the way that will help take off the edges. And you'll find that you'll get more used to things that feel awkward now. Eventually and with Lady Luck's blessing, your intimate network will find its "sweet spot" where things seem to be running smoothly and everyone's wants and needs are astonishingly met to everyone's reasonable satisfaction.
You were probably hoping for more specific feedback, but the problem there is that all people are so very unique that it's basically impossible to determine the solution to one network's problem/s, especially when the equation's as loaded with variables as this one is. Being closer to the situation than any other Polyamory.com member, you're left with the unenviable task of tinkering with the problem and finding the solution that's right for you.
Me, personally, I just got used to having sex less often, to scheduling it, and even to "enjoying" a reduced libido. Which is okay because: the sex the lady and I have is still great (even if it takes us a few suspenseful minutes to warm up). And even if we only have it once a week (sometimes even skipping a week to work around some unusual circumstance), we still feel satisfied with what we've got. I suppose it helped that our "NRE wore away" to a large extent.
But y'see, that's *our* solution. That's what works for us. It's not necessarily gonna be what works for you.
You may be due for a sit-down with (at least) S and C to discuss the situation. Hopefully y'all are having regular sit-downs anyway; newly-forming poly set-ups especially tend to need that. But I'm sensing some tension between you and C that, if ironed out, might yield some more lovemaking opportunities for you and S (and perhaps C and S as well).
As for being a glass-half-empty guy, might I suggest just adopting a more-optimistic view of yourself in the mirror? After all, if no one examined the problems at hand, then the problems would never get analyzed and solved. I suppose some problems will go away by themselves after a spell, but many problems will wait on our conscious intervention and therefore require us to be conscious of, and pay attention to, them. In a word: *someone* ought to be minding the empty part of the glass.
If you were all happy-go-lucky about everything and said, "Oh well, never mind, all will be well," then you probably wouldn't even be here (on this forum) looking for answers. So while adopting some optimism would probably do you some good healthwise (and sanitywise), don't be too quick to go overboard in that endeavor. Reality is a mixed bag (a glass that's half full as well as half empty), so you need to appreciate, be aware of, and contemplate both the good and the bad.
Other than that, the best I can probably do for you is just continue reading your posts, draw new insights/information from them, and post any new ideas I can come up with for you as a result.
So perhaps, keep the conversations going, is my more short-winded advice?
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