So, we confronted her with all of this last week. I am scared that she doesn't have any clue whatsoever what love is... she's been drawn to very badly damaged people her entire life. She has two failed marriages under her belt. One was with a man who beat her, the other was with a man who she met in a treatment program for drugs... and he eventually returned to drugs after they'd been together over a decade, and that ended their marriage.
She was abused as a child. She has had a lot of very, very bad things happen to her. What I don't think she's ever experienced before, though, was real love. And there are times when I think the responsibilities that come with actual love overwhelm her... she's used to being able to fix things, either with money or with sex. We don't work that way. We don't want her for her income, no matter how much we financially depend on it. We don't want her only for sex, no matter how much we love having sex with her.
Anyway... I am struggling. It was starting to look like this might all end very soon. But we talked to her, and she's trying. Problem is, I am worried she's trying to force herself to fit into something that doesn't actually work for her. I don't want to be the cause of her unhappiness, and what we learned in reading her posts about her previous relationships, is that when she is feeling unhappy, she withdraws - just as she's been doing with us. So, it's hard to not see a pattern in her previous attempts at a triad and her current attempt with us.
She's wanted this type of relationship... where she had one man and one woman and all were involved and in love, since she was about 14. I am worried that she's trying to make it work because it is a fantasy she's carried with her more than half her life.
Well, I have only been able to handle the sexual aspect of our individual relationships with her because I believed that all of us loved each other. Now that I am not sure about her true emotions, I am not comfortable having sex with her alone, nor with him and her having sex alone. My husband understands this reasoning and supports it, actually, at least for the present time. So, right now, sex with her is reserved for when all of us are together. She's not overjoyed by this, but understands... or claims to, at least.
Anyway... with her gone most nights, he and I have had a lot of time alone. Add her recent withdrawal to that, and what he and I realized is that our relationship does not depend on her even slightly. We are just fine alone - which is how it should be, even if we want her with us. We're married and have almost eleven years of history between us. She is with us for only eight months.
Now I find myself so scared she's going to realize that she only truly loves him. It happened in her last two triads, where she really only loved one person, but tried to force fit the other half of the couple. I worry that she wants something that doesn't actually work for her.
Let me just clarify - I do not, for a second, believe her to be intentionally deceptive. If I did, she'd be out of here. I believe she wants to love us, I believe she realizes that if this relationship doesn't work, none will... because while we're not without our flaws, he and I one of the strongest marriages of anyone we know. She has said often that we are the best thing that ever happened to her. We feel that way about each other, and considering her past relationships, we are undoubtedly the best thing she's ever been part of by a country mile.
But I am finding myself so uncertain. I never identified as poly. Not even close. This was about her, the person she was... and I'm not entirely sure now that I can trust that impression of her. I am worried that this is going to end and that it is simply a question of how soon. I find myself enjoying the time when she's working and my husband and I are alone because there's less tension. She's definitely trying to connect more... but I almost feel like she's doing it in such a way that's it's not natural. Like she's so scared of losing her dream that she's desperately trying to overcompensate for her withdrawal in the past couple of months... it feels forced and inauthentic.
My emotions where she's concerned are hot and cold. I can't figure out my own head, and it scares me. I have a lot going on outside of the triad, and I'm sure that's not helping. I've told myself that I need to be patient and give all of it more time and see what happens... but if I have walls up, it's not going to make it any easier for her to connect with me. And part of me wonders if I'm not so afraid of getting hurt that I am intentionally disconnected... is the "no alone sex" thing really about not being sure she loves us? Or is it partly that, but also that it helps keep me somewhat emotionally withdrawn from her? I don't know. I know it's at least partly the former... but is it also somewhat the latter? I suspect it might be.
Soo... I'm just utterly confused. I don't know how to move forward without being haunted by the knowledge that she's said things about other people that are identical to the things she says to me and him. I know I have to let it go. She can't undo her past. I know I have to give her the room to grow and become a whole person. I am not sure she can do that within the confines of a relationship, and I've told her that much. The question is, can I allow myself to risk the pain of this ending and give her the chance to prove to herself - and to us - that we can and do make her happy, and she truly does love us?
Okay, I could go on, but I'm done. As much as I've said, that's still the broad strokes of all of the emotional turmoil I am feeling right now... but if anyone is still reading at this point, I'll be impressed. LOL.