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Old 06-21-2010, 10:32 PM
Irena Irena is offline
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Default impossible (short-term) living situation, and the headaches it brings

Hey all... it's been a long time since I posted here, but I just need somewhere safe to vent about my current challenging situation. Maybe somebody has some words of wisdom or encouragement for me.

In brief: Ian and I have been together for five months. It's my first poly relationship, though he's been poly for years. It's been going really well and overall I'm happy.

Enter Athena. Athena is this beautiful, brilliant woman he met almost a year ago (well before he met me) and fell for instantly. They've had an off and on friendship; there's an intense mutual attraction, but she's afraid to get involved with him (both because she's unsure about whether she could handle polyamory and because she's got some fears and hangups around sexuality.) I've known about her as long as I've been with Ian, and always hoped she and I could meet sometime so that maybe I could reassure some of her worries (I've been where she is, emotionally. She's also a number of years younger than both of us.)

About two weeks ago, she abruptly had to leave the house she'd been living in. She already had plans to move in with a friend at the beginning of July, but she was stuck with three weeks of nowhere to go. So she's been staying at Ian's place temporarily. While he's delighted to have her, it puts a lot of strain on all three of us, for different reasons. And yesterday I was just about done.

Mostly, I just miss having him to myself on a regular basis. There have only been a couple of times since she moved in that he and I could be alone together, and even then we've spent a large part of our time talking over the relationship dynamic between the two of them (which is very up-and-down and dramatic.) I didn't mind this for a while -- one of the things I enjoy about polyamory is being up close and personal with love affairs that don't directly involve me -- but I'm beginning to feel starved for some quality "me" time.

Then, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her. I'd like her to come around and decide to officially date him, but she's so full of anxieties and insecurities that I'm constantly afraid of saying something that will push her away. I like her a lot, but I'm becoming exhausted with having to be so careful.

I knew these three weeks were going to be tough, and that it was probably a terrible idea, but she really didn't have any other options. So now I'm just struggling to get through the next nine days or so until she can move into her own place. I'm going to talk with Ian tonight about how I've been feeling, and that will help, but I'm still expecting it'll be tough going for the rest of her stay. Any insightful or uplifting words y'all can throw my way would be most welcome.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:41 AM
rabbit rabbit is offline
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Can he come over to your place for a while, or can the two of you have a day out at the park or something? Even just taking a drive might be good.

Have you and Athena spent any time alone together? Right now might not be the best time, but if you two can eventually bond on your own terms, and form your own friendship, it may help as well.

I have nothing more profound than that, but wishing you a swift 9 days!
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:13 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irena View Post
Mostly, I just miss having him to myself on a regular basis. There have only been a couple of times since she moved in that he and I could be alone together, and even then we've spent a large part of our time talking over the relationship dynamic between the two of them (which is very up-and-down and dramatic.) I didn't mind this for a while -- one of the things I enjoy about polyamory is being up close and personal with love affairs that don't directly involve me -- but I'm beginning to feel starved for some quality "me" time.

Then, I feel like I'm walking on eggshells around her. I'd like her to come around and decide to officially date him, but she's so full of anxieties and insecurities that I'm constantly afraid of saying something that will push her away. I like her a lot, but I'm becoming exhausted with having to be so careful.
Have you told Ian how you're feeling? Request some one-on-one time to tell him what your needs and boundaries are? It sounds like you're doing great at dealing with the challenges of being in a poly relationship, and this situation has just pushed you to the edge. Three weeks is a long time for any visit! My mom has been visiting for a little over a week and I'm already pulling out my hair, and that's when I love her to death!

Having someone constantly in your space, having to go out just to get some time to yourself, it's rough.

Try also to consider how she's feeling, put out of her home, having to live with someone else when she just wants her own space. And thrown into the middle of a relationship that's still young enough to be finding its footing without the extra challenge of a live-in.

It sounds really stressful taking on so much responsibility for how his and her relationship works out. When you say "come around", it sounds like them being together is inevitable. But they may not work out, and it may have nothing to do with you. If she's just not cut out for poly, then nothing you or your boyfriend do will change that. Try not to feel responsible for that, it's not your burden!
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:47 PM
Irena Irena is offline
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Thanks, both of you. Ian and I did talk last night, and it helped a lot. I requested having a couple of long dates with just him in the near future, so we're going to plan those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
It sounds really stressful taking on so much responsibility for how his and her relationship works out. When you say "come around", it sounds like them being together is inevitable. But they may not work out, and it may have nothing to do with you. If she's just not cut out for poly, then nothing you or your boyfriend do will change that. Try not to feel responsible for that, it's not your burden!
You're dead right, and in the course of talking it came out that one of the big things that set me off is how much responsibility I've been taking. It's hard for me to give it up; I'm always the helper, the counselor, the one who has it together and helps everybody else be happy and healthy... that's just the role I comfortably take in relationships. Stepping back and saying, "Right now I need you to take care of me" is really scary. But we both know that's what I need to do for a little while. I had to get reassurance for him that he's not going to resent or blame me if my acknowledging my needs scares her off.
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