Originally Posted by galagirl
Then whoever is not willing, leave the baby polyship/marriages. Plain and simple. Going about avoiding asking the most basic question makes no sense.
That means if you want monogamy? And John is not willing to deliver? You guys have to break up and hopefully dial it down to friends if you still want to be in each other's lives. Neither of you will not get what you want here by staying in a marriage that won't fly any more because you both want different things. No point in going around in circles.
If Mike wants that on his end with Sarah and she does not share that want because she wants to be with John? They have to end it. No point in going around in circles.
When the basic question of "Who is up for polyamory?" is asked? Is it just John and Sarah? Alright. Just John and Sarah then. For it to be ethical, they have to split up marriages OR split up the polyship with each other. Which is it going to be?
If they are lollygagging making that decision? YOU have to endure what crazy for how long? Indefinitely? Nope.
YOU are free to choose your behavior too. You can choose to leave or stay. You are in charge of your own behavior. Cannot control anyone else's.
In this case the sandwich is my exclusivity, and the fact is that I will either have a level of exclusivity that I'm comfortable with or I will end the marriage. It's really not that complicated.
That is exactly what I'm trying to put across here.
If you feel monogamous is the way to go for you... and this is a HARD LIMIT for you? That will never change?
There is NOTHING wrong with wanting that for yourself! Stick with it.
Be brave. Do what needs doing. That means stop enabling them to cheat on Mike. Stop enabling them to fall deeper in love without sorting things out with your first on the trust problem!
Why bother to offer the thing about they can spend time, sexting, etc? That creates a situation where the in love people feel frustrated that they do not have full freedom on their relationship tier to let it develop as it will. Sooner or later they will want to have sex as an expression of love. Sooner or later they will want time to spend all by themselves.
Initially I thought you were considering trying a mono-poly thing with John.
- Where YOU are monoamorous and monogamous to him.
- But he is polyamorous to you and Sarah. He is in polyship with both of you.
I thought that because you were also talking about this:
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.
Now it sounds like no... you are dead set on monogamy?
That's what I mean about mixed signals. You are not being as clear as you could be with what you want.
So do you have anything that will help deal with our main problem - the resentment? Something that can help prevent the relationships we have from continuing to be damaged by that resentment?
Yes. Sit down with them and get the verify.
- John -- are you dead set on polyamory with Sarah? If so, I have to break up. I want monogamy. John -- can we be good exes and friends?
- Sarah -- what's the mean for our friendship?
The only other way is if you change your mind about wanting monogamy BACK from John. If you are ok giving HIM monogamy while you 3 are in a "V" configuration? Then you have to go there willingly
and willing to put aside all micromanagement/mixed messaging/and let them develop their side of the "V" on their own speed. You have to be willing to trust again and give them opportunity to earn it back. A start could be asking them "Ok, will try this. But for at least the first 3 mos, I need you to go EASY on me here and ramp up SLOW. There's been enough drama! I'm willing to give a try if you are willing to go slow for 3 mos and help rebuild trusts here."
They have to be willing to TRUTH to you. Something like what happened in this polyship with communication/trust issues.
Everyone has to step up their communication skills so things get aired out, cleared up, and resentments LET GO OF.
You would not want Sarah telling you and John what to do and when to do it on your side of the equation, right?
Hence the article for managing jealousy -- can you, him AND her be on the same page with possible jealousy management issues? It doesn't mean that YOU are the one having issues -- Mike sure is! But that ugh is felt across the board of all people in the polymath.
I don't know what can be done for Mike. But maybe John and Sarah have jealousy ugh to air out. That sheet is a useful talking tool if you plan to talk in trio then about what kinds of things have to happen? What kinds of education is needed? What kinds of agreements must there be (for the short term adjustment from a poor start) and then the long term polyshipping to avoid jealousy traps?
It's all such a tragic mess.
I feel for you, but hon, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. BREATHE. Take it slow.
And the basic question is still gonna be -- are you are in or out? Are you even up for all this at this point?
If Not? Cut to the chase and break it up. You can end resentment and suffering for at least YOU.
Hang in there. It sounds rough over there.