Originally Posted by redpepper
I can imagine though that you would have to think about those you are with though no? You would have to be an equal third in the relationship? Isn't that similar? or were you more of a secondary third? or even a tersiary unicorn?
I thought this question might come up, and I'm glad you asked. Of course I had to think about the people I was with. They were relationships after all.
I tell my story elsewhere, but I was in two triads where I had been "hunted" that is specifically singled out for courtship and inclusion by partners in an already existing marriage. In this case the stage is set in certain ways: The married couple had already discussed the inclusion of another partner, they mutually decided I would be a worthy person, and they worked hard to make sure I felt welcome and wanted. This is some pretty powerful stuff! An incredible amount of validation comes out of being approached like that.
I was very happy in both triads, and my status was very fluid from secondary to primary and back again as time went on and our needs changed. There were times I lived at the house and participated in the relationships as a primary partner in terms of responsibility, care, and money, and there were other times when I was merely a large part of their lives, secondary in nature but still hugely and intimately connected.
I was very committed to the first triad, but I was shut out completely when they found out they were pregnant. It was heartbreaking for me, because I lost my lovers, my best friends, my refuge, everything that defined me. I went my own way and picked up the pieces alone. I eventually reconnected with them after the baby was born, but I couldn't trust they wouldn't abandon me again and we grew further and further apart.
Years later, the second triad was... so beautiful that I can't even put words to it right now. I was very fragile and broken when these two took me in, and they helped me find my strength again. While they left the invitation open for a long-term primary position in our relationship, at the time I was unable to pull my own weight and I was unwilling to let them pull it for me until I could. In hindsight I realize that they would have been there for me through whatever I needed, but I just wasn't mature enough at the time to see it. I will always regret leaving because I have never felt more accepted, more loved, period.
Love really does get amplified when it is shared with multiple people, and someday I hope to get there again. I come very close to that feeling in the small circle of my husband and I, but I am positive that means that I have found the right foundation to build a very loving extended family of my own.
Good grief, I'm sounding maudlin. Time for bed!