Tankgirl......sorry for not putting my 2 cents in earlier, but have been away on vacation and not near a computer........welcome to the forum.....and try to get L & S to join in too.....I am a relatively new member myself, my wife has just joined as has our 3rd.....they are doing plenty of reading, I am doing all the commenting (I'm the big blogger in the home).....I'm sure that will change as they become more comfortable with the forum and start opening up themselves......now back to you, L & S......
You said something critical earlier about how L had "lost a previous partner to a man".....there has to be some serious baggage for her on that topic and clearly it could be a big reason for her feeling that, "uh, oh here we go again" sensation. Clearly she doesn't want to have to live thru that situation happening again, with you. I can sense her panic at the thought of having to live it again.....panic and fear make us react, in not so nice or measured ways.
Secondarily, she may have issues with control in this threesome, and needs to control who (in the public arena)knows about it. I can relate there. My wife and I have lived in the same small community for 26 years and literally know thousands of our town folk. As we moved into the poly lifestyle, one of the things that most worried her, was that someone would see me and our
3rd sharing some PDA......part of her worry was about shame, I think, and having people calling her to let her know that they saw her husband out about town with another woman on his arm...yikes! She was afraid they'd giggle under their breath or perhaps offer their sympathy which would in turn be very embarrassing for her. Not fun. So I can see in your predicament, with school, departments at work, etc that she might have a whole range of feelings she's going thru.
As everyone else here has said, talking is the only way to solve any of this.....and of course developing a little "thick skin" as to what anyone else in town thinks of your threesome never hurts, either. The poly lifestyle has indeed been an education and a fantastic growing process for me, personally. It sounds like you have a really good three going too. I'm sure you all will be able to iron out your issues over the next few months.....keep at it. Keep loving!