Triad partial breakup
I posted a while ago about sort of falling into a relationship with a woman (Juliette) who was looking for something casual and fun and while my ideal would be something more serious (a triad with Guy and myself and another), I realized I really did like her and it could be fun.
We started dating, and then she was helping out at an event Guy was a vendor at and I was performing at, and we three started spending more and more time together. She was in a couple other casual relationships at the time also, which was no problem for us, and Guy especially really tried to be careful about not stepping on her other boyfriend's toes if we were all attending an event, etc. Then she started breaking it off with her various other partners, and spending all weekend every weekend with us. She and Guy went on dates, she and I went on dates, and we all went some places together, and started getting really close really fast. Through this whole thing, we all tried to be really clear and really respectful of each others' feelings, and or need for space, and communicate and make sure each relationship had one-on-one time. She and Guy actually seemed to hit it off even better than Juliette and I had; they like the same kind of music, movies, etc, they have similar sex drives (way higher than mine), and similar senses of humor.
Guy and I have 4 kids in single digit ages, and as anyone who has been around kids knows, that can get stressful. She loved the kids, and they love her, were happy when she visited, asked for her to come more often, etc, which started to worry me because they were getting attached faster than I had originally planned (I didn't want to introduce them until much later; but they ended up meeting her a couple times and when some of the events we went to were so late ending that she stayed the night, it just sort of happened). So we all talked about it a lot, and how even if things didn't work out, that we would all stay friends, because it was worth being friends, and so someone the kids really liked wouldn't just disappear, so that calmed me down a lot in regards to them. But it was getting more and more stressful for her being at our place on the weekends, just because she wasn't used to being around rambunctious kids, and had intended to remain child-free herself. So one day when I was driving her home I asked about it, and she admitted it wasn't working very well for her, so I suggested we all back up a little, and go back to dating, (Guy and her, her and me) so that we could spend focused time and attention on each other, rather than the diffuse sort of time while dealing with the rest of life on the weekends.
That, I think, would have worked. But then she and her dad got into a fight about her seeing us (she is living with her parents while going to school, so that's always been a stresser - her parents have both met both of us individually, and we've, I hope, made it clear that we care about her and in no way want to take advantage of her or hurt her, but they still don't approve) so she said she wants to break it off until she had a little more autonomy, particularly her own car so she's not relying on rides from us or her parents.
That also might have worked, I think - Guy and I understood her predicament, and supported her in making whatever decision she needed to to take care of herself (and fighting with parents when you're still living with them - yeah. Huge stresser when you're trying to concentrate on school and work. Besides - it was only temporary; even if it had to wait until she was out of school, that's no too horribly long.) Though I was really sad, sadder than I expected I'd be (and we'd started saying "I love you").
Then she said she couldn't handle not seeing us, and made two dates, one to meet Guy at a bar Saturday evening and one to meet me at the mall Sunday evening. The time of my date was dependent on when the kids got back from camp. We were surprised, but happy to see her, a little cautious at the sudden change. Saturday she texted Guy and said "regrettably, something came up" and called it off. He wanted to know what happened, concerned; she eventually said she just wasn't ready to see him. He was already in a bad mood from work, and unfortunately yelled at her about not trusting him enough to tell him the truth. Honestly, he would have been fine if she'd just said she wasn't ready to see him, and he felt lied to that she didn't just tell him that. After a while, he realized he'd been an idiot, and tried to call her back. When she didn't answer, he kept trying, because now he felt really stupid, that he'd messed up something good and really really wanted to apologize.
She texted that she still wanted to meet with me Sunday (but that she was "done" with Guy - he was also upset that she hadn't just told him so, rather than avoiding), but the kids' camp bus came back several hours later than expected, and she called it off. We talked on the phone - she said she felt like Guy was acting like a stalker and she couldn't handle the drama, but wanted to still see me. He and I'd talked about it; he loves her - I was actually shocked (not necessarily in a bad way, just that it was unexpected) to read, in one of his notes for himself, that he loves her as much as he loves me, that he needs her in his life as much as he needs me. Because he loves us both, he wants us happy, and is willing to put aside his pain at messing up the relationship with her to support us in having a relationship with each other even if it doesn't have anything to do with him.
So my question is, how is the best way to handle this? It would have been easier if it had always just been Juliette and myself - a V rather than triad. I'm finding myself a little torn; I love Juliette, and want what's best for her, even if I haven't known her that long. I love Guy, and want what's best for him. Neither of us want her to do something she's uncomfortable with, so I'm not going to condition my relationship with her on her having a relationship with Guy, but I do want to support him and help him heal without pushing my continuing relationship in his face. (Though he keeps telling me he (will be) fine, and he's got a new outlet - he's started to write beautiful poetry.)
Has anyone been in this situation before?