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-   -   Any successful closed triads I could chat with? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9173)

PolyNewbie 04-25-2011 02:43 PM

Any successful closed triads I could chat with?
 
I'm the male part of what looks like it's becoming a long-term committed full/closed/equilateral/whatever MFF triad. I'm not sure about the terminology, but the idea is that what we're trying to do here is the moral equivalent of three-way marriage, with all of us on an equal footing. Not a vee, is what I'm saying. No primaries or secondaries. One of the women is my wife, to whom I've been married for over 20 years. We met the other woman about a year ago.

As things stand right now, we all want to do this. However, we all find that we don't have that good a feel for what "this" actually is. None of us has done anything even vaguely poly-ish before, or thought about it very much. If I were thinking about divorcing my wife and being with another woman, I'd have some sort of understanding of what our life together would be like; not the specifics, because she'd be a different person, but I have a general sort of understanding of how male/female marriages work. But the triad thing . . . well, we know we all find each other easy to be with, and we're all very compatible in bed, and we all love each other, but we just wonder if there are details about living together in a committed triad relationship that are obvious to people who do it but which aren't apparent to us, and which we'll someday wish someone had mentioned to us early on.

Last night, I said something to my wife about "I wish there were a support group for people doing what we're doing," and it occurred to me that maybe I could find the equivalent on this site. So I'm asking: is there anyone who's involved in a closed triad involving a long-term married couple and someone else, or who has been in the past, who could enlighten me (and us, by extension, though the other two aren't polyamory.com members) about how to make them succeed? Because I really want this one to succeed.

BlackUnicorn 04-25-2011 02:58 PM

Don't qualify - we're not closed
 
...but triady nevertheless. Is there a specific question you have in mind?

I'm the 'other woman' :D of a MFF triad/tree.

PolyNewbie 04-25-2011 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 78323)
Is there a specific question you have in mind?

Not really. I don't feel like I even know enough to have specific questions. I just want to hear from people who have succeeded at doing what we're trying to do about the obstacles they faced and overcame -- or, I suppose, from people who failed at it about what the fatal problems were.

I guess one specific question is about how to resolve conflicts in a relationship where there can be a majority. That's certainly never an issue when there are only two people, but I can certainly see where it might be if there are three. I can see where there would be two natural pairs that might tend to take each other's side: my wife and me because we've got the relationship history, and my wife and the other woman because they're both girls. It's certainly an advantageous position for my wife. How do triads resolve conflicts so that everybody feels like their needs are being met?

But really, I'd just like to know someone, or some-several, who's been through the process I'm about to go through and who can offer advice. Nothing really specific right now. This is all very big and new and I suspect that there are things I don't know that people who have done it for a while do.

Magdlyn 04-25-2011 04:09 PM

Have you had conflicts where 2 pitted themselves against one already?

Do you all live together?

Are there children in the mix, or planned for?

BTW, some would call your triad poly-fidelitous, or poly-fi for short.

There's a guy here in a poly-fi triad with 2 other men that seems to be working out great.... I need to look him up and remember his sn.

Magdlyn 04-25-2011 04:11 PM

RfromRMC is his name. You could PM him and ask him to check out your thread.

BlackUnicorn 04-25-2011 04:12 PM

Hah, you forget at least one other possible alliance - the one between who is most in the throes of NRE at the moment, which could be either you and the new girl or your wife and the new girl. All in all, things are looking up for your wife :D.

Coming into an established relationship requires healthy respect from the New Girl (or guy). One important thing is to remember that 'If you didn't hear it from them, you didn't hear it from anyone'. People, especially people in NRE, have a tendency to hear what they want to hear. So don't rely on information that has been relayed to your through an intermediary. Although three-way communication can be a wonderful asset in a relationship, especially if somebody involved is a bit shy and has a hard time being upfront about their feelings, it can create a whole host of problems.

Be wary of discussing relationship problems through an intermediary. So, if your wife has issues with New Girl, she should be talking to New Girl about them, not you. If asked, you can act as a facilitator to their conversation, but don't micromanage their relationship and never ever take sides!

Get to know your communication styles. Many people find stuff like the Meyer-Briggs personality inventory or the Five Languages of Love helpful in establishing how they communicate in relationships. Different styles are not better or worse than any other, they are just different. There are bad ways to communicate, too - create awareness for when you or somebody else is trying to manipulate others to want the same things they do instead of communicating about what they need.

Talk about things like who gets to sleep where and how many nights per week. Even silly things, like how much one-on-one sex and in which pairings each member expects to have, as opposed to threesome sex, if threesomes are even going to happen.

Make time for individual dates. Have independent shared hobbies and interests with both. Not every time you talk over Skype or e-mail or text needs to be addressed to everyone.

If in doubt, go Dutch (I mean affection-wise, not financially, although that needs to be talked about too! :)). Don't freak out if some connections seem to happen faster and more intense than others - be prepared. Don't fall into playing the 'she got to cuddle you 20 mins and I only 15 last night' games - instead, think of how you could be more giving and how you could support their relationship. If you feel left out, talk about with something like 'I feel left out, I need more cuddling and reassurance' not like 'You are ignoring me, you are not meeting my needs'.

That's for starters, I think. Will add more later if something else comes to my mind.

JameeDee 04-25-2011 04:24 PM

Hi Polynewbie,

I am the married wife in a situation similar to yours. My husband and I are in the process of integrating our new girlfriend into our lives. We've only been in this poly-fi relationship since the beginning of March...so it's really new to us also.

This is our first go at this kind of a relationship, and she (Pinky223) hasn't been down this road before either.

We just keep communication lines open. Trust me, we have had issues to overcome in our short time together, and there will be more in the future, to be sure.

I've got a thread going on the board. You should read it. Maybe we can help each other. :)

I would suggest you try to get your ladies to check out this forum also. It has been incredibly helpful to me. Not only with advice, but just knowing I (we) are not the only ones doing this, makes me feel better. :)

Best of luck! I try to remember we are all doing this in the name of love. :D

PolyNewbie 04-25-2011 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magdlyn (Post 78354)
Have you had conflicts where 2 pitted themselves against one already?

Do you all live together?

Are there children in the mix, or planned for?

BTW, some would call your triad poly-fidelitous, or poly-fi for short.

Two-against-one conflicts: no, not really. I know New Girl (for lack of a better term) feels like she's likely to be in the minority all the time, but it's just theoretical so far. No real conflicts at all at this point.

Live together: not yet. Planning on it. There will have to be some serious remodeling involved, or a new house, because the one we live in right now doesn't have enough room to give NG her own personal space, and we all realize how important that is. But that's where we're going.

Children: no. None. No plans. Not gonna happen. She has a dog and we have cats, which actually does present some interesting territorial issues, but I'll ask about those on a pet forum.

Terminology: right, I know there are a lot of terms, and thanks for pointing out that one. Does "poly-fi" cover the concept of fidelity only within the group? It's a little too close to the Marines motto for me to be totally comfortable with it, but I do see how it applies.

PolyNewbie 04-25-2011 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 78356)
Hah, you forget at least one other possible alliance - the one between who is most in the throes of NRE at the moment, which could be either you and the new girl or your wife and the new girl.

Boy, it'd be hard to say who that would be, at this point. We've all got it pretty bad.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 78356)
One important thing is to remember that 'If you didn't hear it from them, you didn't hear it from anyone'. People, especially people in NRE, have a tendency to hear what they want to hear. So don't rely on information that has been relayed to your through an intermediary. Although three-way communication can be a wonderful asset in a relationship, especially if somebody involved is a bit shy and has a hard time being upfront about their feelings, it can create a whole host of problems.

Be wary of discussing relationship problems through an intermediary. So, if your wife has issues with New Girl, she should be talking to New Girl about them, not you. If asked, you can act as a facilitator to their conversation, but don't micromanage their relationship and never ever take sides!

That's good advice, it really is. I'm very much aware of the point, but maybe I don't take it to heart as much as I should. One complicating factor is that the New Girl and I, for reasons mostly related to our jobs, are very wired-in 21st-century communicators, which is to say we're totally on top of our email and text messages and so forth. My wife is your classic late-adopter type; she has a cell phone and reads email, you know, some, but it's not a priority for her. The result is that there's a communication channel between me and NG that my wife doesn't use, and as a result she sometimes gets left in the dust, communication-wise. This is not good, and while it's tempting (VERY tempting) to blame her for choosing to be a techno-peasant, it's really up to us cyber-whiz types to make sure she's included. So thanks for inspiring me to think consciously about that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn (Post 78356)
If in doubt, go Dutch (I mean affection-wise, not financially, although that needs to be talked about too! :)). Don't freak out if some connections seem to happen faster and more intense than others - be prepared. Don't fall into playing the 'she got to cuddle you 20 mins and I only 15 last night' games - instead, think of how you could be more giving and how you could support their relationship. If you feel left out, talk about with something like 'I feel left out, I need more cuddling and reassurance' not like 'You are ignoring me, you are not meeting my needs'.

We're pretty clear on the point that there are three individual two-person relationships here. NG insisted on that right from the beginning, for one thing. My wife and I are both developing one-on-one relationships with her, and that's been going very well. No jealousy at all so far, no feeling left out. If it comes up, it's good to have been warned that it's something others have had to deal with, but it hasn't so far.

Thanks for the thoughts!

BlackUnicorn 04-25-2011 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyNewbie (Post 78362)
I know New Girl (for lack of a better term) feels like she's likely to be in the minority all the time...

There will have to be some serious remodeling involved, or a new house, because the one we live in right now doesn't have enough room to give NG her own personal space, and we all realize how important that is...

My ideal living situation would include two separate apartments, one four bedroom and one three bedroom, where I would have the smaller one that would include, besides my bedroom, kitchen and the living space, a guest room for whoever. I need that (and also to own/pay for my apartment myself) to feel secure - no matter what happens in this relationship, I won't be homeless. I wonder if some similar arrangement could help assuage NG's fears of being in the minority - in her space, she would rule supreme.

Quote:

Originally Posted by PolyNewbie (Post 78362)
Terminology: right, I know there are a lot of terms, and thanks for pointing out that one. Does "poly-fi" cover the concept of fidelity only within the group? It's a little too close to the Marines motto for me to be totally comfortable with it, but I do see how it applies.

Fidelity only within the group? Poly-fi means you limit your sexual and emotional connections to include only the three of you.

I was actually thinking of having 'Semper fi' on my ring from Sweetheart, but that would just too seriously crack me up every time I pondered on that :D.


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