but feel like I need to either choose one or the other, or leave both of them. This is difficult to do because I already feel so alone.
BREATHE. You do not have to end it. If you all want to be together, you can do the work to get back into right relationship.
Accept you have yucky feelings right now. That is not unreasonable to have. Give yourself a time out to cool off, and everyone get back into better temper before examining how this came to pass. When ready, meet calmly to break the elephant in the room
down into manageable parts. It could take several conflict resolution sessions if anyone experiences emotional flooding. That's ok. Elephants are big. They take time to break all the way down.
I think you had some unclear soft limits without a "check back in" time frame there. Questions added are mine. Because they are not clear to ME.
-him and her could not have sex behind my back (what's that mean to you -- "behind" your back? You have to give permission for them to interact if not in a 3some? They are not allowed duo sex on their own without you at all?)
-no lies, no secrets, we all 3 needed to be included (in what? conversation? Or sex? Or all information on all the duo tiers? Is nothing TMI? Or private?)
-I was not comfortable with him performing oral sex on her (why? STD screen? With or without a dental dam? Fluid bonding issue? Do YOU perform oral sex on her?)
These boundaries were set because I needed time to become more comfortable with sharing both a gf and a bf. (how long is that? What are their boundaries? )
And WHEN were these soft limits going to be reviewed in trio to see if they were ready to be adjusted? Would the limbo go on forever? Just wait til when you said so? They have no feelings or wants or needs of their own?
The honorable thing to do would have been to turn to you and go "Hey, it's been like X weeks/months. Can we talk and revisit the conversation at least? Because our feelings are changing here and we want to go places and are finding these old boundaries a bit restrictive now. "
I don't think you were realistic about the polymath
in a triad relationship.
- you to you as part of a triad (vs you to you as a footloose single)
- BF to BF
- GF to GF
- You <--> GF (this is a 2 parter -- do you go to her well with things? Does she come to you well with things?)
- You <--> BF
- BF <--> GF <--- why does that tier threaten your emotional safety?
- You to (GF + BF) <--- weak in reporting to you. Why? Is it them not speaking up? Or you being unapproachable? Do they worry for their emotional safety around you and that's why they clam up?
- GF to (You + BF)
- BF to (You + GF)
The whole shebang
- You + GF + BF working as a trio <-- is sex only supposed to happen in threesomes?
- Ghost layer: Should this triad end, how would you like to part? As friends?
There's other relationship tiers that may want expression on their own tier.
You and BF alone for instance. You and GF alone. And yes, BF and GF alone if this is a TRIAD
situation. Or were you actually wanting a "V" with "special occasion benefits" instead so you could have your birthday threesome but not them together at any other time?
Any weak spot there in communication of clear wants, needs, and limits causes a tension in the chain. It's like sitting on a water bed and someone flings themselves on there the whole crew is set to bobbling about uneasy.
They sound sorry, and that they were struggling to come to you to talk it out. Both before they went there and after. (Why is that? Is that elephant part on them to SPIT IT OUT or on you to CHECK IN AND NOT OSTRICH or both? Or something else?)
You could choose to REACT to the heat of emotion. And get all ragey crazy at them. (which feels good to dump, but moves nothing else forward really.)
Or you could choose to ACT WITH INTENTION. Admit to feeling UGH at the situation. And then focus on what in the situation could have lessened the UGH factor. Better communication -- who owns what here in the break down of communication? Better boundary setting so it is more real/doable/keepable? Like how? With a check in time frame?
Where do we want to go now? What are we going to do about it?
So that YOU can regain emotional safety and trust?
And so THEY can develop their leg of the triangle without boundaries that cannot be kept realistically.
Ask them -- had I given a time limit like "let's check back in 3 mos", could you have held out? Or would you have brought it up to me before then that it needs revisit sooner? Or would you have gone behind my back still? How can I expect to be treated from this point forward?
It is painful, and I am sorry you hurt. But if you want to be together, acknowledge this is growing pains and you guys have to sort yourselves out in how to best function in your triad so you are all in right relationship to each other.
People cannot be mind readers. There's rights and responsibilities
in a relationship to BE in right relationship with each other. Do you have such a framework? What about conflict resolution?