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-   -   Help and advice appreciated (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9734)

jg75 05-10-2011 05:05 AM

Help and advice appreciated
 
-New to forums, please let me know if I've posted in the wrong place-

My wife and I are in an open marriage. We have spent hours talking it over for the past few years and established our boundaries explicitly. One boundary we established and both agreed to was that in the event that either of us fell in love with another person we would stop the relationship with the other person. Neither of us are willing to accept the other having serious romantic relationships outside of each other. We have had semi-serious tri relationships together, which we agreed was ok. Currently she has become seriously involved with a woman that is a long time friend of mine. It was originally just an exploration of sex with a woman, as the relationship I mentioned before greatly lacked the sexual element for us both. I am not sure how to adjust to a sudden desire on her part for our previous boundary agreement to be revised greatly. I have been through 7 weeks of hellish NRE and the original agreement has been ignored and now she wants to date her and continue the relationship. I'm trying to be caring and fair to them both in lieu of the feelings that have developed, but I feel slightly un-cared for because we had all of our boundaries spelled out before anything ever happened. If I could be so bold as to ask for advice/techniques/mantras really anything to help me adjust in a way that is healthy for myself and of course them?

redpepper 05-10-2011 05:23 AM

Did you try doing a search for NRE? It is in the tags in the search engine.

My friend wrote tonight in another place I talk about poly about accepting ones partner as human. They are just living and loving as best they can and doing their best to accommodate and do right but us. Its hard to remember that though and to trust them.

It sounds like you are no longer in an open relationship as she has fallen in love. Well, it happens. It happens a lot. Sex can do that. It brings people together and creates strong bonds. I believe more often than this time in culture allows us to believe.

The good news is that NRE runs out eventually, the bad news is that you will likely have to live with your partners "teenager" mentality. No offense to teens... but hopefully that makes sense.

It sounds like you are communicating, giving them their space, changing old boundaries that no longer work and have morphed into something new. That is really all you can do.

Make sure that you are clear what will help you feel safe and secure and loved to your boundaries... time management can do a lot in that department along with making sure that there is respect around them contacting each other while you are having your time together.

Spending time all three of you might help also. Not sexually, but to get to know what the dynamic is with the three of you and to discuss boundaries together.

There are some really good threads for those starting out if you do a tag search for "lessons" and "foundations" too.

jg75 05-10-2011 05:37 AM

Thanks redpepper. Yes I did a search and read a lot about the NRE here, I originally did a google search on NRE as advised by a friend and both were helpful. I think the hardest part of this is the fact that our original agreement was not discussed until 2 months into it. We are still in an open relationship. Currently I have withdrawn from spending time with the three of us because I am ignored and often feel like a third wheel, I'm sure that has to do with NRE. Time management is tough right now because around every corner they want more time together. I do so care for them both, both are my best friends and one is my wife. But where do I draw the line of what is acceptable as I am supposed to be the primary?

redpepper 05-10-2011 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg75 (Post 80790)
I think the hardest part of this is the fact that our original agreement was not discussed until 2 months into it. We are still in an open relationship. Currently I have withdrawn from spending time with the three of us because I am ignored and often feel like a third wheel, I'm sure that has to do with NRE. Time management is tough right now because around every corner they want more time together. I do so care for them both, both are my best friends and one is my wife. But where do I draw the line of what is acceptable as I am supposed to be the primary?

Well, no time like now to put your foot down.... here are some boundaries. I wish to not be ignored when we are all together, I wish to spend equal to more time with my wife than her new partner until I feel confident in this situation. So it didn't get talked about until now, well, they are learning and so are you... get on it now.

There is a thought that a new poly dynamic go at the pace of the one that is struggling the most... or is slowly trying to make sense of what is happening and trying to become less confused. Ask for this consideration.

I think that renegotiating the open thing might be a good idea... it could set you all up to make assumptions that are not true. You don't have to use the terms so much as get on board with understanding where you are all coming from. What goals do they have and you have? What do they and you see happening right now? What do they think about your involvement in their budding romance? What do you think? How can you be supportive to them? Ask them this? Ask them for your turn to tell them how they can support you? have an answer that makes sense and is specific. Not one that leaves them guessing....

When I talk to my partners I tell them exactly what I want to hear and what I want them to do... There is no guessing, assuming and presuming. Everyone knows straight up what is expected and what has been requested. If the request is not agreed to be followed then its time to negotiate until there is something that can be followed For instance; four hours on Tuesday night might be too long for you, two would be ideal. They might come back with three and you might be okay with that with the idea that in a month from now you would be willing to discuss four. This is how we negotiate in our tribe anyway.

I usually make my presence very known if I feel like I am being left out. I take it into my own hands as my own project to become known... I don't take it personally and don't expect anyone to notice. Usually people listen if I respect them and conjure up empathy by making myself vulnerable enough to tell them how I feel and what is going on for me without expecting them to have noticed my plight ahead of time.... With this in mind people in NRE are stupid. It's like they are drunk. You have to spell it out like they are toddlers... seriously. I say this with tongue in cheek, but it has been my experience ;)

jg75 05-10-2011 07:40 AM

Again thank you. To be clear I have brought up the issue of our agreements frequently from the first few days to now. I was met with hostility (verbal not physical) and defensiveness everytime. Our time has been sucked up with me putting my foot down and I've been told that "our" time has been unpleasant becuase of that. In my opinion what is the point of an agreement if when you're in the situation that the agreement applies to it gets thrown out and met with adversity? I will take your advice on making my presence known and letting there be no guessing assuming and presuming.

redpepper 05-10-2011 02:26 PM

I'm wondering if its a communication thing then. How are you communicating here? Are you coming across as angry, judgmental, sarcastic? Or are you coming across as having compersion (full of happiness that she has found someone to love) but concern that your connection might get lost. Approaches can make all the difference as much as what you say.


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