Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Unintentional triad (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64829)

Dana 11-25-2013 02:12 AM

Unintentional triad
 
I'm in a poly marriage. Some time ago, I met an unmarried poly couple quite by accident. A relationship with the man developed and quite soon afterward, a relationship developed with the woman too. These two relationships were not connected and emerged quite on their own. I've been in a triad before - with disastrous results.

<insert all cliche'd expectations of so-called unicorns>

Anyway...the issue is this: Because of everybody's minute-to-minute knowledge of everybody else, comparisons of time etc. are being made and there are jealousies emerging. The chief issue is that the woman is feeling jealousy (of her partner when he spends time with me) and is without meaning to, impacting my time with the man because she gets into a "mood" whenever we have a prolonged date. I told them before things really got off the ground that I did not want to get in a relationship with them both if it risked their relationship. Prior to my involvement, I'm told that they had almost no disagreements in a near decade-long relationship. In the last few months, I think they have had three or four, all having to do with me.

I just don't know what to do.:confused:

PolyinPractice 11-25-2013 03:47 AM

It's not about you
 
Whatever she may say, the problems between him and her are not about you. She may find you an easy scapegoat....you may be the subject of their first few fights....but eventually you'll find you come up less and less....or maybe you don't.

Either way, what's really bothering her is something else. I promise you.

The best thing you can do, most likely, is be supportive-- of both of them!-- but at the same time, make it clear that you are not going to get involved in their issues. No need to be antagonistic...just firm. Don't take anything she says personally (or he says? you make it sound like she's the one who has taken issue with you).

Let them work their relationship out, while finding a way to maintain your own sanity and your own relationships with either or both of them :)

Dirtclustit 11-25-2013 12:07 PM

when people start to lash out
 
and act out of character, or make big scenes and blow outs due to jealousy, those tantrums are more just the symptoms. She is obviously not upset about whatever "issue" she blows out of proportion, however she definitely has a hard time speaking about her jealousy.

Because you recognize this -- if you approach can approach the friend gently enough -- in however the right manner is that will get this friend to hear the truth that you are her friend, that you do care, and that it is OK to talk about what is bothering her.

Sometimes it doesn't matter what you say or do, the friend will refuses to listen and continue to believe she is getting as upset as she does because the clothes were still a little damp when you took them out of the dryer.

But sometimes people will understand and there is hugs, good tears, and apologies. Other than that it's all the standards that I am sure you have heard before, honesty, openess, communication, respect, etc... but practicing honesty really goes a long way because believe or nor, close friends can tell when you are lying. People really are that intuitive, they just don't know it

idealist 11-26-2013 03:56 AM

I don't mean to be negative, but you may find that you are going to have disastrous results again. As a female that enjoys and pursues relationships with couples, I can tell you that when the couple is having drama- it is going to affect you and if the couple is dysfunctional, the relationship probably won't last. Unless, of course, you find yourself drawn to the drama and dysfunction.....and in that case it can last a long time.

Dirtclustit 11-26-2013 05:10 AM

and anybody who tells you
 
that they nary a disagreement in nearly a decade -- before you appeared -- and then tries to blow smoke up your ass with the bullshit story that it's you, here's the scoop on that:

* *almost* no agreements, either they have extremely selective memory, or else they think you volunteered to be the scapegoat, remind them that wasn't in the fine print.

* nothing wrong with triads, but denial kills all relationships, hang in there Dana, be honest with yourself and other and your vision will always be clear enough to guide you in the right direction. People unable to do get extremely envious, and if you let them, they will come up with some bullshit story as to why that's your fault too.

Dana 11-28-2013 09:55 PM

Update
 
Thanks everyone. So, here's a bit of an update: I did talk to both of them. They both stated that this is a "them" problem and I'm not the issue. My introduction into the mix has created the need for some additional pieces of communication between them - particularly having to do with time. She was feeling somewhat dismissed and acted out.

I still have an underlying issue. Chiefly, that although they both state that they don't "do hierarchical poly", in reality, that's more or less what they have. I still feel as though I need to get approval from her to spend time with him. This may be more perception than reality on my part, but I'm feeling somewhat like a widget at the moment.

GalaGirl 11-29-2013 04:21 AM

Have you asked (since you are the newer person) if the jealousy is not about sharing HIM, but sharing YOU?

That he gets more time with the newer person than she does?

Quote:

My introduction into the mix has created the need for some additional pieces of communication between them - particularly having to do with time. She was feeling somewhat dismissed and acted out.
What does she need for better communication or time management? From him? From you? Did she articulate what her needs are? Or only express her emotions at this time?

Quote:

I still have an underlying issue. Chiefly, that although they both state that they don't "do hierarchical poly", in reality, that's more or less what they have. I still feel as though I need to get approval from her to spend time with him.
Did you ask what behavior is expected of you? "Do you expect me to get approval from (her) to spend time with (him)?"

Then once you know what is expected you could
  • agree to do it
  • NOT agree to do it and that's it
  • NOT agree to do it "that way", but offer to do something "this way" to see if the need is met with another method

Galagirl

Dana 12-01-2013 02:35 AM

I think her feelings are some of both. Part of the issue is that we only see each other for a few hours a week. I also think though that she is having some very normal feelings associated with finding one's place in the context of your partner's new relationship.

This burst was primarily emotional, but she talked it through a few days later. I didn't get to say much in the conversation. She was embarrassed and scared and just sort of blurted out her feelings - but not in a way that was unhealthy. She seems to have a good handle on what she's feeling.

She says there is no need for approval per se. What's happened though is that she misunderstood the distribution of time. Part of that is that she does not attend to time in her own life. It does not have the same importance that it does for other people in the sense that she doesn't seem to have an overview of how a given week or day will play out.

I think for now things are okay. I think I'm also feeling a little bit like a "unicorn" myself. The joke has been made...but there are some facets to that role that I can't shake and want to.

Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate it!


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:14 AM.