S and I spent most of my work day talking. She feels horrible
and words from her own mouth "I feel like I cheated. It's not poly if I don't okay it with you first so let's call it what it is." She basically said at this point the ball is in my court with anything further or calling a dead stop. I'm just glad she really gets the seriousness of this to me. Ironically, as I told her, I don't have an issue with the relationship, I have an issue with the theory behind her approach and if it had been anyone else
she'd have received the dead stop from me and then some. I also expressed to her that it should never
happen this way again.
Originally Posted by Anneintherain
Poly doesn't work very well if you feel you can't be honest. You can say "I don't want you to feel that you did anything wrong, you did not. I would like to slow down, because I feel very surprised by things happening without us all talking about it first, and I feel left out of the loop. My experiences in the past have made me feel like entering new relationships should be taken a bit cautiously, especially since we are living together and there are 5 kids to think of. I would really like to be able to develop more of a relationship with you, L and B, before sex becomes a part of our relationship."
Really, that can be all awkward, but THAT is what you need to say, and you have to say it as clear as you said it here. If they are upset because you have feelings or needs or wants, they aren't a good fit for a relationship are they?
L and B and I have a relationship of the utmost trust. There is no way I would hand my children off to them all day otherwise (I am the ultimate attachment parent and am super picky about who watches my children, the grandparents aren't even given that duty as they have proven they can't follow my wishes). But we simply do not have a relationship of companionship, and I cannot move from where I am with them straight into a sexual relationship.
So I guess that is where I am most torn. I feel like if I am going to back off and allow the relationship between L, B, and S to develop exclusive of any relationship between myself, L, and B that it is not really my place to step in (beyond what we term the "veto power" of the existing relationship) and dictate relationship guidelines. I know enough about Poly to know that despite having 2 couples who get along well and are both interested in poly it is not realistic to expect an automatic quad situation, thus I am perfectly happy to let S's relationship with them exist entirely outside any I may have with them and if they merge later then great. I do suppose, though, that I am well within my "rights" to request further time to process regardless of which relationship we are discussing as both obviously affect me directly. ::sigh:: I suppose I also have to delve into the issue of time management with S before she gets caught up too far in NRE ... we have limited time available together as is and she has automatic time with L and B due to all 3 of them watching the children together while I work.
Honestly, the main reason I do not place any blame in the situation at all on L and B is that they know nothing of poly. To my knowledge they only know what I mentioned to L in brief discussions, certainly not enough to create the deep questions like exactly which arrangements should be made ahead of time and what should be left to "chance". L and B are also very spontaneous people and the dynamic between myself and S is usually
one of a near mind-meld of ideas. We talk through anything and everything so I can see that L and B may have made the assumption that S had talked through this with me when she was willing, in that the blame is necessarily on her though I know she is genuinely regretful of her choices (to be fair she was at best tipsy, at worst drunk but I will not allow that to be a valid excuse).