Used to be his primary, now secondary. Experiences?
Background: my boyfriend C and I have been together vor 18 months. For almost all of that time he has been single (he was dating someone when we met, but she broke up with him after 1 month). We had a very intense relationship from the start, where we would see each other as often as the distance between us would permit, and were in daily communication - everything from long emails to wishing each other good night almost every day. I have 2 other partners, but I was, essentially, his primary - the one he shared everything with.
He has recently started dating someone and it's getting more serious. We have had our issues around this (see my latest blog posts for more info on this) but things seem to have calmed down, and it's becoming pretty clear to me that she is rapidly taking a very important place in his life and his heart. I'm ok with it, and in fact have felt in the past that he leaned on me for support a bit too much. I am happy for him that he has found someone and thogh that someone a new social circle (he has been lonely).
but, BUT... I am struggling with the changing position. I find myself not knowing what my place in his life is now. They spend a lot of time together, and my dates with him have to be carefully scheduled. Even though this is the situation that is much more balanced (after all I have other partners, and am not always available) I find myself struggling with this.
I wonder if it's plain old insecurity issues ('he must like her more than me')?
I also suspect I've gotten too used to being his one and only. Anyway, I was wondering if others have experienced this - a change in position from primary to secondary partner, and how did you deal with it?
(p.s. it doesn't help that I would like to meet her, but she doesn't want to meet me. I'm hoping this will change - I might a little too impatient here).
Cleo - forties straight female
Ren - husband of 20 years
Bo - BF of 1+ year
Lou & Jane - Ren's girlfriends
Lin - Bo's other GF
Hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but get over yourself. You didn't want to give him enough to be his one and only, he found someone who wanted to be his primary, and who, frankly, he wants as his.
Yeah, he probably will grow to love her more intensely than you. Yes, he probably enjoys her company more. But, then again, you have others you prefer spending time with, as well.
But that doesn't alter your and his relationship. Sure, you might want to clarify your position for the sake of all involved. But your and his relationship should be strong independently Take it for what it is, for what you've created, and be happy. For you, for him, for her. Eventually, she'll want to meet you, don't push it, let it happen naturally...if she doesn't, that will likely be a problem for him and her to work out (if she can't stand him having a relationship with another woman, poly isn't the lifestyle for her, anyway).
The world opens up... when you do.
"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia
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I used to be in a primary relationship with my gf, Vanilla. Now she has found another primary during the time we weren't dating. I feel very unsure about my place in her life, especially since us dating again is so new.
I think her not wanting to meet you is a minor red flag, but I don't have any advice on how to warm her up to the idea.
Me: bi female in my twenties
I don't believe that polyamory is about being fair and equal. I believe it's about what is "cCAP' - comfortable, Compatible, Agree, Practical. I think it's completely normal that you would have the feelings you are having - you're trying to adjust to something new. So what if you've got other partners? It doesn't make you a robot.
So, for example, your current experience might have been:
comfortable - you have other partners, you're his main girl, you like it
Compatible - you thought you both wanted that situation
Agree - ?? it sounds like it "just kind of happened that way"
Practical - it fit well with your life, because you have other partners
For him, the reality might have been:
comfortable - probably lonely at times
Compatible - he may have thought it was a given that he could get a primary
Agree - ?? grey area
Practical - he was probably left with a lot of empty spaces
Your new situation.
Of course it isn't fair to say "you can't have a primary!" But, you're not saying that. You want him to be happy. But you also want to be able to deal with your feelings on the matter. And you're entitled to have them.
So, the first point of call would be a talk. Not just a talk about how you're feeling, how he's feeling, etc... but a new arrangement, a new agreement. You don't need him to commit to you - you need to him to let you know what to *expect*. Even him saying "I have no idea what I want - I could want to marry her down the line; I might not"... even that is an expectation for you to consider. You can then ask yourself if you can deal with that uncertainty.
"Are you wanting a primary? How would you categorise our relationship?"
"Are your feelings for this girl altering your feelings for me?"
"Will I have to let you go if you eventually cohabit or get married?"
"How much time do you want to spend with *me*? (ignore other relationship)"
So, consider the following points together:
- you won't be comfortable just yet: you'll be insecure
- will he accept this and help you?
- will you work on it too?
- what triggers your insecurity? hearing about them? Ask him not to share. Not hearing about them? Ask him to share. Seeing them on Facebook, etc? Remove him from your list until you're more stable.
- would he like you to meet new girl at some point?
- what do you *both* want?
- is he in any way resentful, trying to "teach you a lesson", trying to show you what it's like when *he* isn't available?
- if so, can you acknowledge that and veer him away from it?
- are you happy for him to think of you as a secondary, with some adjustment time?
- is he happy being your secondary?
- whatever you come up with, don't leave the conversation until you are both clear on what you need, want, feel and expect. Leave with a clear picture of life ahead.
- agree that he will be open to primary partners?
- commit to certain amount of contact/time together?
- how will you two still have time together?
- how much time?
- how will new girl impact your relationship?
Don't forget that he's still going through NRE with his new girlfriend and he's experiencing adjusting his life to find room for a new person. It's completely understandable that you are feeling the sting of this. Talking to him should help, I hope!
me: open poly (31, female)
GF: (41, female) my long-distance, long-term partner
Earth: (35, female) newly dating
Hubby: (38, male) GF's husband
Garcon: (28, male) GF's boyfriend/submissive
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha