Originally Posted by Chimera
As I've said in other posts, I hate the assumption that my partner's sweeties have to be my BFFs, etc. I do think meeting them is important and it's something my partner and I make sure happens, but it can't be forced.
Try to understand Mary's position for a sec rather than making her a pantomime villain. You have no idea what Beth has been saying to her about anything. Maybe before you worked things out Beth trash-talked you. Maybe Mary is nervous because she's the "secondary" in this relationship and feels anxious. Is she a lesbian? Maybe she feels like Beth is just playing and is going to leave her in the end. Maybe she feels pressured and isn't ready. Maybe she doesn't fully trust Beth to have her back as well as yours if there are issues between the two of you. Maybe Beth sees this demand as a way of you exerting control and "vetting" her relationships and has told Mary that.
Who knows? It doesn't seem clear and might not even be that important.
My advice would be to just let it go for awhile. Think hard about whether it is something in any way related to a control issue on your part. Focus on spending time with Beth, building trust with her in your now poly relationship. Then, bring it up with her and explain it as something that is important to you, and that if she loves Mary, then you think Mary is someone you'd like to get to at least meet.
I would love to be able to see Mary's position, but I really hate to suppose, which is why a meeting would clear a lot of things up. Not even a meeting about 'business' or whatnot, just seeing who she is, what she likes. I don't want to be her BFF, I just want to be friendly.
I think all of this has been dealt with. Beth and I are very open about needs and wants from each other. Beth also assures me that she speaks of me in a high regard with Mary, and I believe her. Beth and I have had a wonderful relationship, and no doubt we love each other. For example, Beth identifies as a Lesbian, but I'm not necessarily 'a man', so she finds me very attractive and we have an excellent sex life, but because she needs to be with women. If our relationship were to go away, she told me she would swear off men. But next Tuesday, we're going in to get her an IUD. If she didn't want to have sex with me, or hated me, secretly, I doubt that would be happening.
Another thing about the secondary relationship is that Beth and I are moving to San Francisco in December. Mary knows this, and they've been under the assumption that it's going to last until then. Very hard move to make, and yet Beth is packing her things already. She's already shipped a few boxes to my parent's.
This all to say that I have no doubt about Beth's love for me, I trust her implicitly when she tells me things about the relationship. I've had a hard time opening up and sharing my feelings with her, but once I did I found that we were both growing stronger, working through things. As I said, poly is the best thing to happen to our relationship.
My main concern regarding Beth's behaviour comes because I'm aware she's wrapped up in a lot of NRE. I know she'll be honest with me, but if Mary deems a situation too tense or feels one way or another, I don't think she has the willpower to be assertive. I don't even think they've had a serious talk about Beth's needs regarding Mary. I'd hope that one of Beth's needs in general is that we stay together and things go as smoothly as possible. I just don't think she truly understand the correlation between metamors' feelings could make or break the whole thing.
The problem is that I've already talked to Beth about how I'm feeling about it. I have been all sorts of communicative on the subject. My main quandary is that I feel like I'm doing all the emotional work, Beth is helping me, and Mary doesn't seem to think my feelings matter to her situation. But really, I don't know. Which is why a meeting or a chat would go miles to clearing up everything.
Another thing to note is that Mary is not at all versed in poly relationships. She's been with people who have another partner, but it was mostly sexual relationships and nothing more. Which annoys me to no end, because I don't think Beth is doing all in her power to make her understand the situation.
You're right though, I have to check myself constantly about falling into the 'controller' role. That would be the antithesis of what I strive for in this whole matter.
Thanks for the help, this is helping a lot, thank you everybody.