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Old 11-27-2010, 08:46 PM
koifish koifish is offline
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Default The Needy Partner: Illness and Polyamory

Hello all,
I became involved in a triad a few months ago and I find myself deeply or vaguely unhappy much of the time, but not all of the time. Sometimes it is very nice.

My fiance and I had long talked about how nice it would be for us to find a girlfriend. I am bi, he is straight. So, by some miracle, we meet a woman who would actually really like to date a couple. She is very nice, very kind, very interesting, and we both find her very cute. And she thinks we're cute too, so it sounds good all around. :-)

However, I have an illness that leaves me feeling pretty crummy a lot of the time. Though I fake it to the best of my ability, I never really feel normal. My fiance and I, before our girlfriend came along, had our own rhythms and patterns of doing things, a lot of which were based on my ups and downs. My lovely, dear, fiance would settle in with me and watch movies and shows and rub my back and cuddle on the nights (and there are too many) when I don't feel able to do anything else.

Enter the new girlfriend. Through no one's fault, from the beginning she has stayed at our house most nights during the week. She sleeps in the bed with my fiancee, while I sleep in a different room because I am a very light sleeper. I will go to bed earlier than them often because I don't have the energy to stay up as late. I wake up the next morning to find them very tired from fooling around/ having sex until late. I'll see scratch marks I didn't make on my fiance. I actually really don't like to hear that they've been having sex without me. I know this pricks up all of your poly ears out there as something I should work on not feeling. Maybe. It's so much worse when I don't feel good. I feel so left out. So left out.

When it was just my fiance and I, I was by definition on the inside. I'm not jealous of her. I'm just left out. Sad. Maybe jealous of the situation rather than the people.

When I'm sick, I am not having sex with them and they are having sex with each other. A lot of time my fiance would have formerly spent kinda shootin' the shit and comforting me he spends with our new girlfriend in the next room.

Being sick, my sex drive is sort of inconsistent. I feel inadequate sometimes. Like I'm on the outside of my fiance and my sex life, rather than on the inside, in part because our girlfriend is inclined towards sex more often than me. I feel left out of sexual intimacies and also left out of other intimacies like sleeping closely and waking up together.

I feel like what used to be mine is not anymore. I feel overwhelmed a lot. I keep waiting for me to feel as close to our girlfriend as my fiance does. I feel like that might even things out. She is very lovely in so many ways. I would like things to be working well between all of us. I don't think my fiance would leave me for her. He said it would break his heart to have to break things off with her. I don't want to hurt her at all. I really like her. But I am often unhappy, sometimes miserable.

Words of wisdom?

Last edited by koifish; 11-27-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:05 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Sounds to me like you need to set boundaries about how often she stays over. Perhaps if he were only with her on designated days, for which you would be prepared, it would be more manageable and you could better handle them being intimate without you. It sounds like she comes over whenever she wants. You need his attention, too, and his involvement with her should not be at your expense. Some honest talking should help, and you both should look at what it is that he and she are doing, as well as what it is that you need to work on internally, that has you feeling left out. I think you need to speak up, first to him, and then with both of them.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:37 PM
koifish koifish is offline
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I've told him before that I can't handle us having that much time together, but I think he doesn't want to upset her or make her feel unwelcome by arranging for her to be with us fewer days in the week.

But I'll talk to him again. That is one of the major issues.

What is the deal in most triads? My fiance and I ostensibly went into this as a couple. That's not how it's functioning right now. When she is here, I feel like they are the couple. Which is very jarring. I want to be nice and not spoil anyone's fun. In this situation, when does my discomfort or what I want as far as their behavior trump what they want to do?
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:00 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Hi Koifish,

Sorry to hear about your health issues. Let's all hope you get that behind you - ASAP !

In trying to offer up some support I guess I could only say....or fall back on, some of the old clichés.
Like....."it's a team effort'.
and....
"Communication is key"

Your illness puts you in a hard position and the trick is to let everyone know how you feel without playing the "needy" card. I think you get that. But there's not a thing wrong with just explaining that because of the situation you are feeling left out sometimes. Part of that remains YOUR responsibility, but team play also gives some of that responsibility to them. Until you get better, you can't ask or expect everything to flow the way it would ideally. More incentive to get better ASAP - right ?

One thing that you might toss out there and try is being part of their sex play sometimes without being physically involved. It really can bring everyone closer if you just sit back and watch and share in the energy being exchanged. That can also help you build skills for dealing with envy, which is what you seem to be struggling with. Different than "jealousy - by far. Think of it like going bowling with them when you were too weak to play yourself. Just be with them and share their own excitement & happiness. It works.

I'm sure down deep they feel uncomfortable with the way things are too but don't know how to express it. And let's face it - horny is horny. Often over-rides everything else - like it or not.

It would also help if they understood that you would really cherish some intimate but NOT sexual time with them. Just hanging out, cuddling, watching a movie. Thinks you CAN be part of that aren't so taxing.

You guys can all have a great, warm relationship as long as you just try to be considerate of each other and talk openly about how you are feeling.

Go for it - and hope you feel better soon !

GS
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:14 PM
koifish koifish is offline
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Thanks for the reply, GroundedSpirit.

I am not very old, but I've actually been sick for about 20 years. I am undergoing a new treatment right now, but nothing is for certain. So...getting better soon and changing the dynamic that way may or may not be in the cards.

I have lain next to them while they are having sex before. It can be fun and sort of more attuned to my current capacities than being totally involved.

I guess I feel so snowed under right now by her being here for several days in a row and by my not feeling too hot, and also by just feeling hurt about the sex going on in the next room, that I don't feel like participating at all.

I feel all too often when we cuddle up that at some point it's going to turn to sexy stuff, and I'm going to feel on the outside again.

Aye..I'm feeling sorry for myself ;-)

I really do need a good block of time with just me and the boy.

Last edited by koifish; 11-27-2010 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:22 PM
koifish koifish is offline
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p.s. I seriously wondered whether it was a smart idea to enter into a relationship with this woman, when it began. A triad had always been this little dream we had. For me it took place in this mythical future when I was healthy. But this woman seemed to fit with us so nicely. And I knew that it was what the boy wanted. And I'm crazy about the boy. And he thought it would be good for us. So we tried it and now we're in fairly deep. And for me it's yikes.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:36 AM
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Its sounds to me like your fiance needs to make some time for you, and there is nothing wrong with asking him to do so.

Maybe he doesn't want to hurt the girlfriend's feelings, but yours are just as important. Make your needs known as calmly and kindly as possible.
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Old 11-28-2010, 05:09 AM
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I also think you need some quality time for just you and her.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:36 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koifish View Post
Thanks for the reply, GroundedSpirit.

I am not very old, but I've actually been sick for about 20 years. I am undergoing a new treatment right now, but nothing is for certain. So...getting better soon and changing the dynamic that way may or may not be in the cards.
Damn koifish, I'm sorry to hear that. They say we all have our own burdens to carry and it seems this is yours. Your spirit seems pretty good - all things considered - so I'd keep focused on seeing that that doesn't change. We all wish for the world to be other than it is, but it won't be. What we DO have control over is our attitude and outlook. Probably sounds cliché I know....
But our attitude has sooooo much to do with healing and our quality of life in general.
What would make YOU happy - within your capacity ?
How can THEY help you achieve this - as a pair and as individuals ?




Quote:
Originally Posted by koifish View Post
.........I guess I feel so snowed under right now by her being here for several days in a row and by my not feeling too hot, and also by just feeling hurt about the sex going on in the next room, that I don't feel like participating at all.
I think a little common courtesy could go a long way here. Whenever you have a "guest" - no matter how close you are, you feel some obligation to entertain, or at least take part in interactions. I think someone <hint> needs to remind her that you are low on energy and probably a bit short on patience because of it. How about we give you a break here. Or even better, focus some energy on you that would brighten your day a bit. Even if it's just a day in bed being waited on
That being said, it means YOU can't become a burden by expecting this too much - too often either.




Quote:
Originally Posted by koifish View Post
I feel all too often when we cuddle up that at some point it's going to turn to sexy stuff, and I'm going to feel on the outside again.
I think this is just a simple thing that needs to be verbalized. Cuddle time, unless you indicate otherwise, needs to be understood to be exactly that. It's a time balancing thing no different than we all have to do regarding other things. Block it out and understand what it's purpose is and why it's important. Really...........easy stuff.



Quote:
Originally Posted by koifish View Post
I really do need a good block of time with just me and the boy.
As someone else noted, I think it would be great if you could block out time for ALL the relationships (see Ari's diagram A+B+C). You'll have different things in common there and it could add some variety to life and take your mind off your health concerns. That's healing in itself.

I guess what this boils down to is an emphasis that poly relationships are NOT ALL about sex ! Any more than life is all about sex. But because sex is such a primary drive in most people, it steps up and tries to take center stage all the time. Kick it to the curb ! Keep it in it's proper, healthy place and give equal billing to all the other aspects of life. Before you know it things will be better and you won't really understand how you got there. Until much later

Keep smiling. Keep loving.

GS
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2010, 08:03 PM
Livingmybestlife Livingmybestlife is offline
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I am the person in our relationship with the chronic illness. It is difficult place to be in. I have other outlets then my partner. For me, I have feelings of fear that I am not enough and am going to be left behind for the healthly person.

I have spoken about this and gotten reassurance in this regard.

I think the key here is communication. Communicate your fears and feelings to your fiance and to your new partner.

I feel a great amount of empathy for you,

Hugs,

Leigh
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