Moving toward equanimity in a triad - What is your experience?
I am just curious to hear if anyone has had similar experiences to me. You can read this whole long story or just skip to the last paragraph....
I am currently in a relationship with two wonderful people who prior to meeting me were a swinger couple for four years. Within the first few months of meeting I fell in love with both of them, and lucky for me, they both fell in love with me as well! I introduced poly to them. Tom, the male in the relationship, was familiar and slightly experienced with concepts of freelove and multiple partner relationships. Sarah, on the other hand, was not. While she fell deeply in love with me, she still has reservations, fears, insecurities when it comes to the topic of being in a equal relationship together.
She worries primarily about losing Tom, not being enough for him, or that he will enjoy his time with me more than with her if we have freedom to express ourselves without limits. Basically, she is worried about being left out. So right now there are restrictions on Tom and I as to what we can do when Sarah is at work. She is not comfortable with us being intimate in any way really, aside from kissing maybe. She has unrealistic expectations sometimes about wanting to know the details about every conversation we have, and get's hurt and defensive if she learns that we have discussed something without her knowledge. Rather than recognizing that it is difficult and frustrating to have to essentially report out to her every day, she believes that we intentionally withhold information from her. She also does not want Tom and I to go out, meet friends together when she is not there. Tom and I both feel no need to limit Sara despite the fact that she feels the need to impose boundaries. She has ultimate freedom and control in this relationship. I'm happy that at least one person in this relationship can be without limits, though at times I find it frustrating that I have to hold back, and be monitored in this relationship.
On an intellectual level Sara recognizes that the relationship is unfair at the moment. She is genuinely trying to be comfortable with the idea of having a relationship that is not dictated by her fears and insecurities. There has been some great upward movement in this regard thus far. For instance, Tom and I no longer have to ask permission to meet up when she is at work, or to catch a bite to eat. We simply have to make sure that she is aware. The other day she told Tom to give me a kiss for her while she was at work. She is really making an effort. She also seems to be processing the dynamic of the relationship on both an intellectual and emotional level. The other day she told me that she thinks she might be ready for this to be an equal relationship sooner than she originally thought, though when I probed her, she could not come up with any rough time frame.
So I guess my question is, has anyone been in a situation where a lover was able to overcome insecurities, fears, jealousies, to enjoy the free exchange of love that poly can offer. Or am I just being naive? If I can't eventually be an equal participant in this relationship then it just won't last. This worries me because I love them deeply, and I truly feel that the relationship between the three of us will be a positive and transformational experience for us all (it already has been). I am viewing this as a transitional stage. That is what I tell myself in order to rationalize being in a dynamic that I feel marginalizes me.
What's been your experience? Has anyone had an equilateral triadic relationship work between three people, two of which were committed to one another first?
Thanks for your stories and feedback!