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Old 10-24-2012, 07:35 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 28

Thank you GalaGirl for your reply! I'll try to answer you questions, though I imagine some are answered with the second half of the story I was able to post above.

Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
So you see there is a problem on the "Sarah and Mike tier" of this... emerging baby polyship trying to take flight (?). (Sorry... I am not clear on what it is. That is part of all this problem!)
Well, when we started it was clear that we were two couples only engaging in physical things together. We definitely were not starting a polyamorous relationship, and I did not want to start one. I guess it's what they call swingers? (I'm really not an expert on all the definitions) Just physical stuff between couples that are friends.

Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Does JOHN see that there is a problem on that "Sarah and Mike" tier? If so, and you both claim to love these people (as friends/lovers/romantic partners)... could you give them the space/time needed to sort themselves out? Could you guys step up to say something like...

"Look -- we see a problem in this tier. Until that is resolved and you guys are solid in your own relationship tier of "Sarah and Mike" -- this polyship cannot fly straight. Mike is unwilling to state his wants/needs for things to stop. But clearly Mike is unhappy. So let's stop. Give space/time required so things can fly right. And if it isn't meant to be, it isn't me]ant to be. But let's not throw Mike under the bus. It is not kind. Mike -- what kind of support/help do you need right now? How can we be good friends to you and support you in appropriate ways?"
Sarah has offered to end it. Mike said no over and over again. Now Mike is saying he does want it to end, but Sarah is saying no. John has offered to end it to me, but when he offered it he was weeping, and I said - let's wait till we go to our first therapy session next Wednesday before we make any major decisions. But the first therapy session is, by nature, filled with bringing the therapist up to speed on the whole situation, and she wasn't able to give us much advice yet. We might need another therapist anyway - all she really said was "what do you feel about it", and we know how we feel already. John will be devastated if he loses Sarah. And if Sarah stays in the picture, there are all the stresses of figuring out how that works, in addition to the strain that it puts on Sarah and Mike's marriage. But on the other hand, it is entirely possible that if Sarah and John's relationship ends, she will never forgive Mike for his hand in making this whole situation what it was.

I don't think all your players agreed to the same kind of open relationship model. Are you all on the same page for what it is you have here?
Well, we definitely did not agree to an open relationship. We're not open to anyone else, for one thing. And for another thing, when this started it was only about physical acts - no relationships other than friends. John does not feel a need for a third person, in general. He does not self-identify as polyamorous. And if the relationship with Sarah ended, we would be plainly monogamous people again.

It's like everyone went in assuming it was whatever it was (in the mind of the person thinking it). But Mike seems to want it to be like swinging -- play partners and friends. The rest sound like they want polyamory? But maybe you seem to want a primary-secondary model?
No one went into this thinking that Sarah and John would fall in love. And in my mind, no one is to blame for that. I think the model was closest to swingers. We cared deeply about them as our friends, but we were just having physical fun together. And we were suposed to go at the speed of the slowest person, always giving eachother honest and open feedback about how we were feeling. I'm the only one who has followed that model, I'm afraid.

At this point, John and Sarah want a form of polyamory - and they say they'll be okay whatever I can be okay with, but they know they won't be satisfied by it. It's kind of square ped round hole in a way. I am monogamous. I read the description of polyamorous relationships on different poly community websites, and I definitely DO NOT WANT. God bless the people who can live with that model, and I'm sure it has it's own unique benefits, but it's definitely not for me.

The best I can think to offer them is - that it's okay that they are in love, and they can't control how they feel, but that with the breeches in trust our marriage has suffered we're not as stable as we had been. So I can't now see a future where John and Sarah can have a full sexual relationship. They can sext, talk all they want, and even make dates as long as they hide from the public eye so that we're never out of the closet. But that's as much as I can give. And I imagine it could be hard to live with those kinds of limitations, and that they would lead to resentment of me.

So that's why I feel so hopeless. Every path we can take leads to pain. Either John and Sarah break up and their hearts break and they resent me, or they stay together and both their marriages continue to suffer to varying degrees and they resent me for imposing limitations. In either case, Mike may never be okay again. He has lied to Sarah repeatedly and ruined any trust she had in him, and he doesn't trust her either, and seemed to think he could only keep her faithful by manipulation. My marriage with John will suffer in either case as well.

Last edited by Lydia1; 10-24-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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