How to deal with moving in/marriage/babies...and metamour?
My boyfriend of two years and I recently had a discussion regarding the future, and we would both like to head in to the living together/marriage/babies relationship zone, which is great. Our relationship with each other is awesome, as is my relationship with his son. (He is a single dad, and wanting to be sure about everything for his son's sake is the main reason why we aren't already living together at this point.)
My issue is my metamour, "Sue". I don't think this new situation will make her happy at all. Yes, I know, her feelings are not my responsibility- that was a huge stress relief to have figured out in this relationship, as she tends towards passive aggressive (and aggressive) behaviors that lead to major meltdowns. At this point, my feelings that her behavior is toxic to me and my relationship have been pretty much handled by my limiting time spent with her (not in a dramatic "I can't be around her way", just in a "I will be kind and pleasant when situations require us to be around each other, but I'm not spending unnecessary time with her") and by having our shared partner, "Joe", accept accountability for any of her negative behaviors being turned on me- once she realized that being nasty at me was not acceptable to him anymore, she started lashing out at him instead. If he wants to be with her and tolerate her personality issues, that is up to him- but her negative behaviors not interfering in our relationship are a requirement for me sticking around, and Joe knows it.
She has repeatedly said that if we were to "shack up", she would "die miserable and alone". She does identify as poly, although she has not dated anybody else since being with Joe. He is the ONLY relationship she has ever had and she is in her early 30s. I know Joe feels responsibility towards her particularly because of that, and because of her social awkwardness and introversion. She literally has no other friends but him. (I tried- but she was so nasty to me that I stopped.) I don't really understand why she feels that us moving in together would alter their relationship, particularly to that point. They currently see each other 1, maybe 2 nights a week, depending on circumstances. I actually recently worked out our schedule in a way that gives them more time together. I have already brought up with Joe that in our apt hunting, we should consider having our own bedrooms, so there is space and privacy for when they are together. (I don't love the idea of her being in my home on a regular basis, but it would also be Joe's home, and I'm capable of being in my own space or finding my own things to do outside of the home.) However, I don't really think it's a matter of anything I do- I think her own issues will cause some lashing out no matter what- and of course, Joe is going to be sitting there second guessing his choice of moving forward with me because of how negative her behavior will become. I don't even want to imagine her reaction to marriage and babies...
Has anybody been in a similar situation and can offer advice? Even without the negative behavior stuff, some practical moving in together while leaving space for poly advice is good too.
I'd ensure they have space together under the new circumstances, like you said. You can't allow her to dictate your future. If Joe is game and your game, the only thing you can do is make room for her and if she chooses to make that awful for everyone, Joe will eventually break it off.
I agree with london...
You are doing things the right way.
It is up to Joe to decide whether or not he puts up with her behavior.
It's a milestone in your relationship to be considering building toward marriage/kids. Congrats!
Take it easy though and don't plan to make all these changes all back to to back. Each one separately is change enough! Give time and space for each step along the path. You can look up those kinds of life changes on the stress scale. Don't be piling stress up on yourself if you can spread it out some.
Could focus on living together for now with an eye to near future.
At this time I see two ways to approach living together:
I think "try before you buy" is one way to go -- could not create more entanglements or commitments like (marriage) and (children) until you see how Sue's behavior plays out and how Joe's character holds up just with (living together). Could try on a small commitment of sharing a lease first before taking on bigger ones like raising a child. If you have to baby step to sharing a lease, could baby step it.
If his character is such that you wonder if he's going to be second guessing living with you? Do you also wonder if he is going to second guess marriage to you, children with you? :(
Take time to sort all that out with him. Then take some more time living together to SEE FOR YOURSELF how good he is at keeping promises and maintaining healthy boundaries with Sue when the pressure cranks up.
Have you though this far out? You marry him, you have babies and she wigs and you break up and divorce him because of your boundary. How cool are you with your child going off with Joe and Sue witnessing their dynamic you do not like or approve of? Because he shares custody? Is that a total deal breaker for you? Or something to put in the prenup/post nup re: child custody agreements?
And what's your involvement with his son gonna be?
Talk about these kinds of things with Joe so he's clear on your boundaries and you are clear on his. Make sure you are both on the same page.
And the usual stuff applies here too -- sharing chores, money, religion, children's education, extended familiy, etc. Maybe you guys want to take marriage classes at your county extension office, place of worship, or online.
Talk that stuff over. I am a fan of loooong Engagements. Could engage, and do the prep work and all the big talks. If after doing the work you come to find you are NOT actually compatible for bigger commitments? That's was an excellent Engagement! Doesn't lead to a wedding, but a good Engagement doesn't have to. A good Engagement is about serious preparation and serious consideration.
I disagree. If she already dislikes you, she is going to make you miserable if you were to life together and have a baby. Work on this relationship first. It doesn't sound like she is comfy with poly at all. Or you. Which is not really "her problem" , it is the three of you's problem :cool:
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