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-   -   A New Love and NRE (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=851)

dearprudence 09-25-2009 09:00 PM

A New Love and NRE
I am finding myself feeling not so comfortable with my husband's new love, and I'm trying to keep my mouth shut about it until I understand my emotions a bit better. This is all very new to us. It's only been a year this month. This is his first relationship since then that he is using the word "love," and eager to go for it.

Let me preface this by saying that I recently ended a 3-month relationship with another man. During that relationship, my husband (C) was supportive, open to talking when I wanted to, and not at all intrusive. I cannot say I am as successful with my own behavior.

C and his friend have been seeing each other for about four months. At first, coming out of my own relationship which C treated with respect, and also feeling that we had arrived at a very good place in our polyamory journey, I was feeling generous, supportive, and eager for him. Since then, this young woman (M) has been struggling with sharing him. She has told me that she had a rule for herself to not get involved with a married man, and that she never wanted to be polyamorous. She has had quite a few conversations with C about what he will do on Valentine's Day, that she can't introduce him to her family, what he would do if she and I both had funerals to go to on the same day, things like that. There is a pattern developing - when she and he are together, she is happy. Then about 48 hours after they are apart, she starts emailing and phoning him with her insecurities. So my generosity and support is feeling strained.

She and I have spent some time together just hanging out, and I feel it's time for either the three of us or maybe just she and I to have a conversation about the things she is struggling with. I need this because I don't know her that well yet, and now these struggles are the only thing I see. So I find myself worrying that she will soon direct jealousy and envy at me, and will start making demands. I know I am doing the same thing she is - worrying about what hasn't happened yet. And I feel I need to open up to her and let her open up to me rather than let C assume the role in the middle trying to make both of us feel better.

Ugh! This sounds ridiculous writing it out like this. Of course I need to talk with her.

It's difficult for me to see C in the throes of new relationship energy and all that that implies. I think 4 months is too soon to say you love someone, but I have to let him have his own relationships and make his own decisions. Any advice on how to do that exactly? I don't think these things are red flags yet, necessarily, but it is a bit too dramatic for my liking. Anybody have some tools for sitting back and trusting him to experience what he deems desirable?

Fidelia 09-25-2009 09:43 PM

It sounds like you and C are on solid ground. You're right: of course you need to talk to her. And to him, about your concerns and how the three of you can address these issues sooner rather than later.

I'm concerned about M, though. Why is she breaking her own personal rules about being involved with a married man? If she doesn't want to be polyamorous, why is she continuing in this poly relationship? It sounds lke she's saying one thing and doing another, which is a big waving red flag.

Good luck to you all.

dearprudence 09-25-2009 10:26 PM

I agree with your concerns. She is much younger than C and myself, and I have to keep that in perspective. I am a huge proponent of defining one's own boundaries and holding to them. I do not think breaking them for the "right" person is ever a good idea or healthy. But... say someone wants to open themselves up and explore all the different things that are out there? Honestly, I can't be a mentor when I am so new to these explorations myself. So, if C wants to do that, I can say okay, I'm here for you, but I can only participate in so much. I do appreciate the fact that she expresses her emotions. I'm just wary of where they will lead. But again, that's not about me, and I truly believe that until something actually crosses MY boundaries, I can stop myself from judging.

I'm thinking about this way too much. Point blank - how do I disengage? A conversation, that's how. Right?

Fidelia 09-25-2009 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by dearprudence (Post 7702)
Point blank - how do I disengage? A conversation, that's how. Right?

Yep.That's right. Get it out there. Give it some air and light. Have a good look at it, and the three of you together come up with a plan.

redpepper 09-28-2009 08:09 PM

There just needs to be more time and more talk. Bottom line though, if you don't get along, then you don't get along. You'll have to set boundaries and guidelines on how to deal with that.

For instance, if it is too disruptive her calling, emailing and texting all the time perhaps you need to set some guidelines about how often she does that, or your partner answers those.

When we started out we had vitto power over each others lovers if they became too disruptive and it cut into our family time. Also if we didn't like the others lover. Of course vitto power was not just handed out willy nilly. It was after long talks and a lot of bull shit first.

I only used it once. Actually I threatened it and my husband ended the relationship. It turned out to be a good thing because he was in love and this woman was into open relationships, not polyamorous ones and he would of gotten his heart hurt more if he had stayed.

Anyway, you can do whatever works for you, but ya, spending time together all of you is the best way to start, and of course communicating open and honestly.

greenearthal 09-28-2009 09:52 PM

It can be very difficult for people who have never been exposed to the polyamory paradigm to really get it. From what you've described she still has a pretty monogamous worldview and I can see why you might be concerned that she could someday escalate from "I'm trying to wrestle with my insecurities and understand how I really fit into this relationship" to "I think I can bring you back into my monogamy paradigm so that the world makes sense again".

If the opportunities present themselves to do a lot of honest communication with her I would definitely try that, but more importantly I hope you will keep the communication channels with him as wide open as possible.

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