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Old 06-12-2010, 03:05 PM
saudade saudade is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 139
Default My two cents...

Hello, and welcome! You should know up front that I'm very poly-oriented personally, and that's going to tinge my responses a bit. I'll go through your concerns one by one...

Quote:
I have worries about always coming second to such a strong personality.
That she has a 'strong personality' is definitely part of why he loves her. That yours is (I'm guessing) much quieter in contrast is likely to be part of why he loves you, at least from where I'm standing looking in. Even if he seems as boisterous or energetic or whatever as she is, the idea of you being there for a quiet moment with him is probably far more comforting than you realize.

Quote:
I have worries about the fact that he loves her more then me, and always will, because they have a longer and shared history.
He might love her 'more' now, though him living with you and putting her on hold doesn't give that theory much weight. Before you give even that concern too much weight, if I were in your shoes I'd ask him how he quantifies love. Are 'more' and 'less' part of his vocabulary? A common poly idea is that love is abundant, that we live in a world where there is plenty of love and competition for scarce resources shouldn't enter the picture.

All that said, I have two loves that could be called 'primary'. I've been romantically involved with one for three years now, and we're getting married in a few months. The other I've been dating a year and a half,. I suspect that a lot of people watching me with one of them and then the other would insist that I love my boyfriend more than my fiance, although I never think in those terms. Our love just happens to be more touchy-feely and expressive. Doesn't mean I actually love one more or less, but time certainly hasn't been a factor in that...

Quote:
I am legitimately worried that at some point she will have a falling out with one of us and the chaos it will cause, especially since there is a desire for myself to become emotionally invested in the entire family, which although I feel a desire to, am afraid of being hurt so being very cautious. She is a truly amazing person and I like her a lot, but the bits of her history I know, has proven that she is not one to be wronged, and sometimes you do not realize you have wronged her until too late.
Breakups are hard, no matter how many or few people are directly involved. The web of relationships is always bigger, and always ripples under the strain of it. The best anyone can do is to talk openly about it, especially as far as the practical stuff goes (living arrangements, still seeing friends made through her, whatever). If she's done specific things to spurned lovers in the past, and you want to be clear that that stuff won't fly with you, or how you need her to communicate before it gets to that point, or whatever, just be politely blunt and do it.

Quote:
I also feel guilty about coming between them at the moment, selfish about wanting to have him for myself to establish a strong primary relationship, before testing the sharing waters. And I feel a twangy of confused Jealousy, Envy, and Guilt when I see him or her ache for eachother across the room.
Which although, they both are trying not to pressure me while still moving their agenda forward, though I am not suppose to know that because I think they are both underestimating me a bit, after only really knowing me for a few months. I feel pressured to just give in to the overwhelming tide of eventuality.
It might behoove you to read some of the mess that is this forum debating about primary/secondary labels in poly relationships, given that you seem really attached to the idea of being primary to him. Not every poly relationship is structured that way, and many of the ones that are do so descriptively rather than prescriptively ('our relationship fits the primary definition, so that's how we'll label it'; as opposed to 'this relationship has to be primary, and here's how'), so doing some reading on poly structures might help you work through your thoughts.

JKelly has a point: you should really think through whether you want to have a poly or mono relationship, and then let them know that... It's okay to ask a billion questions first, but it's not fair to them to leave them hanging on whether or not the possibility is there.

If you're considering poly, a great activity (suggested in The Ethical Slut) is to imagine a whole bunch of aspects of their prospective relationship: them kissing at all, them kissing in front of you, sex at her house, sex at your house, anything you can think of. Put down as many as you can think of, each one on its own index card, and then sort them by how scary they seem. Talk with him (and her, if you can) about your list, and see if you can tease out together why each thing is or isn't worrisome. It'll help you figure out appropriate boundaries (no texting on dates with me, no sex in this place, whatever)... One tip on that: banning particular sexual behaviors has, in my experience, been a very bad idea, and is likely to be even more problematic when they've already had a relationship.

Here's an awesome article on working through jealousy while letting your love explore the very thing that's freaking you out:

http://www.xeromag.com/fvpolyrefrigerator.html

Good luck! Thanks for being brave enough to share, and I hope you'll keep posting. We're here for you.

In cahoots,
~S
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