My next step is to REALLY think about if a TRIAD is what I can mentally, emotionally handle and if I am truly mature enough to be in a TRIAD situation.
Aw. You guys sound nice. Don't give up because something is causing you heart garden trouble. In the tending of the heart garden, you have to put in some time to clear weeds, compost what needs composting and make space for new things to grow.
You don't just GET a magical clean new garden bed out of the air to plant happy triad plants in. You actually have to get a little dirty sometimes.
Work with your polypeeps. Take deep beaths. Break down the elephant. You can do it if all are willing. You can LEARN to be able.
WARNING --- LONG ANSWER.
Most of you sound like you are struggling with this:
- You are responsible for knowing and stating your wants, needs, and limits.
You are trying to get it out there. But you could get better on time limits for "check back in" -- are you guys going to have a weekly pow wow or monthly or what? Esp with her moving in? Get more firm on your wants, needs, and limits and not so wishywashy. That helps nobody -- even you. It's ok not to know FOR SURE. Just to check in to reconnect on the trio tier and see where everyone's temperature is at.
Even if nothing changes yet on the boundaries! You all get to see who is moving closer to the line and can expect a line adjustment in near future. Temperature checks. It's not permanent limbo and if someone is dragging their feet avoiding doing personal growth work -- they can be held accountable then. At the checkpoints.
Right before this happened, we all 3 had discussed her moving in at which I felt we would obviously need to re-adjust and review the boundaries set. I had already given her a key to our house two days prior.
And did you set a time date for this with them? Or just assume? Never assume.
2. No lies, no secrets- in my attempt to have open communication, the agreement was to have no lies, no secrets in communication. I shared all the conversations I had with each other with the other, and we had group texts.- I now realize I wasn't really clear or realistic about this.
Yep -- not clear and not realistic. Because each duo needs a bit of privacy. It doesn't have to mean the other partner is left out. But it's nice to be able to share a joke just between you and BF. Or a cuddly moment with the GF. Nothing out of bounds of the polyship at large, but just for yourselves in the dynamic duo. Everyone needs duo time.
Because they were denied sexual expression on their duo tier? Without a check in time limit for them to hold out to? It went haywire. They did not SPIT IT OUT that the boundary needed revisiting for their OWN needs. (their bad) And YOU seem to be the driving time keeper in the rship -- who assumes things (your bad) and this trio doesn't set a real time on the calendar for review in trio. (trio bad) So nobody wanted to own the elephant. Nobody was checking. And look! It made a big poo in the living room.
If they are making you be this job because of shirky and you do not want it? SAY SO. And they step it up! Articulate! Speak UP! If you took this job and aren't doing it? The time keeper, family meeting reminder person? ADMIT IT.
Better if you all just AGREED on a family meeting time and frequency and just slap it on the calendar and DO IT. Every 3rd Friday. GO! That is the expectation in this polyship!
3. Time limit/ their boundaries- there was not hard time limit set, because of what my gf told me in regards to also not wanting this right now, I thought it would be something we would re-assess once she moved in. I was told their boundaries were:
GF- no intimacy with him without me present
Again, assumed. Not stated clearly. Could have been --
"Ok, gf. I hear you. You say it's not wanted right now. So how about next checkpoint on that is when you move in then? And if that appointment changes for you and needs to be earlier-- you let me know? Treat me well here. I don't like being blindsided with yucky. That duo tier will need expression eventually. I take it better when you hard truth it. We can sort it out then. Even if I feel some weird, I can work with it better knowing and than have to get over yucky. I prefer weird!"
You need apology from the GF.
SHE was not clear with her wants, needs, and limits even when you would periodically check in, you did not get your right to clear communication from her. She was not realistic in understanding the polymath of a triad that there would come a time on the GF + BF tier where they'd want time apart and alone as duo. You were not clear on that either.
Own it. Both of you. Apologize to each other on that one.
YOU also apologize to her for not being clear yourself and making more space for her to air out her wants, needs, limits WHILE setting down your expectation for how you want to be treated.
She was afraid of how you would react -- because you did not clarify how you want to be treated and how you expect yourself to behave in the situation should it arise. Then she could feel braver about speaking up because she could hold you accountable to your own stated behavior expectation.
You need apology from the BF
-- because HE didn't bother to think about it, he had no boundaries. OR he was super honest that he was going to play without boundaries? So he gets points for honest, but minus points for behaving like a foot loose single rather than a triad man who shows considerations for partners. Which is it?
Either way? He also was not clear in stating wants, needs, and limits. Leaving you AND the GF without right to clear communication about where he is at or how you can expect to be treated and considered.
She might be feeling kinda ugh about HIM not shouldering some responsibility here. It takes two to tango -- she didn't have sex alone. He may have to apologize to her too.
He doesn't seem to understand polymath tiers in your triad either?
Nobody recognized that the
- Gf + BF tier would need expression in it's own tier (that nobody wanted it YET doesn't mean it won't be wanted EVER. Everyone be realistic in a triad.)
which led to shaky on the
which led to shaky on the
Any tier in the polymath going haywire can cascade on some of the others. Learn to ID your tiers in your config. Tend each little rship inside the larger polyship better and with gentle care. The trio could apologize to the trio.
The overlapping reason from both of them is that they both didn't tell me what was happening because they didn't want to hurt me emotionally and didn't know how I would react.
How do we FIX this then? Are you going to have a rights and relationship framework of some kind to hold people accountable
to their responsibilities in relationship? And guarantee them some rights? what are the expectations in this polyship? On PAPER?
In my universe
, they'd be on strike one. It is a lie of omission, but since the triad is new and I'd expect some growing pain dings... if contrite and remorseful and I see them struggling and TRYING? I could move it to 3 strikes you are out rather than 1 and give it another go.
With the reminder it's on strike 1. So play ball, already.
I told both of them my feelings are more hurt because our goal was to be okay with everyone being intimate whenever, separate or together but I just simply needed time to get there and feel they should have told me beforehand they wanted to re-review the boundaries.
And YOU could have set a time limit and made the announcement yourself that it was time to review the boundaries in trio. Just to check in. Even if nothing changed yet. Don't forget to own your part of the elephant. You need to apologize to them for that weakness. Just as they need to apologize to you for not coming to you first.
You were happy to let it fly forever undealt with so as not to have to face fears and do any work on the "You <--> You" tier leaving them hanging on the "Gf + BF" duo because you were a bit avoidy ostrich on the "you to (gf + bf) tier from FEAR.
Communication is a TWO WAY street.
Air out and unravel what needs to be unraveled so you can knit it back up again in a better way. Honestly, calmly, everyone taking a piece of the elephant. Because you care about each other and in service to the larger polyship.
fear played a big factor in why the rules were in place. because everything was so new, I had a fear that I would wind up being alone, and lose both of them. My soft limits and indecisiveness just made what I didn't want to feel, become more likely to happen because of me not being realistic.
Bravo! Kudos to you for owning that part of the OTHER elephant! That's growth on the You <---> You tier!
Next time, own that elephant and break it down -- this fear of being left alone. Why not just have the convo with your partners? "People -- if we were to break up, could I get a guarantee we'd try to still be friends? That makes my fear of ending up alone a smaller, more bearable elephant. Can we talk on that one?"
I am optimistic that you guys can get back into right relationship with each other if your partners are willing to try as hard as you are trying here.
Just BREATHE. One baby step at a time, but keep moving it forward.