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Old 02-22-2012, 05:12 PM
LusciousLemon LusciousLemon is offline
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A little bit of background would probably serve well. My partner is a male to female transsexual (not necessarily relevant here but just part of what makes us us) so I've supported her through a lot. We had both agreed we were poly before she ever started her transition or even told me she was transsexual. We have only had one outside relationship, shared, that went badly quickly and she had one outside fling that was bad from the start. She started hormones about a year ago and there is a roughly 3 year (to my understanding) transition period that can sometimes send transsexuals back into a near adolescent mind set so I'm sure that has affected our current situation.

Just over a month ago we had some friends move into our house. They were severely down on their luck living in a different state, lost a job and were unable to find a new one. We had an extra room we weren't using and the need of daytime child care so they moved in with us bringing their two children along. My partner and I had joked before they moved in how awesome it would be if we ended up all in a poly relationship. They knew we were poly before they moved in but she had told me that they were both jealous people and they really didn't think they'd ever go poly because of it. This was the last poly was discussed with me by either them or my partner.

I work from home during the day and am upstairs away from the group most of the day. My partner and B (the male half of their marriage) work evenings though B just got his job a week ago. So S (my partner), L, and B are all together during the day all day. Granted they are caring for 5 children 4 of whom are under the age of 3 but they have the hours of roughly 9am to 5pm together. I finish work at 5pm and head downstairs. My 2 younger children mob me immediately and typically L is making dinner during this period for about an hour. Soon after Dinner L usually has to take her 2 children to bed and it takes a while to get them to sleep. Often by the time L's children are asleep I am putting my children to sleep so we really do not have much interaction time. B is sometimes in the room with L on his days off and sometimes not, but often if he is not he spends his time on his PC during this evening period.

This has all contributed to S getting to know L and B a lot better than I have (we only knew each other online through Facebook and a forum before) and the three of them have apparently developed more feelings for each other. S came to me yesterday and expressed that B had discussed with her the fact that L and B were now in a position where they felt they could see themselves being poly with S and I and wanted to give it a shot. I told S that I needed some time to process this information and all 3 of them left grocery shopping (S and B both had the evening off). The evening progressed roughly as normal with me coming down from work to dinner preparation and being mobbed by my two young children. I focused on them, we had a bit of an argument over something dumb between S and I because we both had migraines and did not fee well, and I had to take my children to bed. No further discussion was made about B and L's poly proposal. I went downstairs after getting my children to bed and was there for roughly an hour and a half with us all sitting in our own spaces watching a movie, no tension or anything. I went to bed about midnight.

My youngest son woke up at 5am and I had to take him down to the main areas of the house to handle him since he is sick. I went down to find S sitting on the couch and B sleeping on the couch, which was no big deal I figured that B had passed out watching the movie they were watching. I was a bit upset that S was up so late but we have a bit of an agreement that if her late nights don't bother me directly (her complaining about being tired, sleeping in, etc) I allow most of them without complaint.

Anyway, after B left the couch and went to bed S informed me that the 3 of them "fooled around" (I later found out that it was for 2 hours with random breaks between as L had to get up to handle her own children's night complaints). I am hurt, S did not take the time to seriously discuss the situation with me. I am told that the 3 of them all somehow feel like I am an equal part in this relationship, though I only heard it from S and L and B have never said one word to me about it. S, L, and B have been "joking" for weeks now about orgies and what not but I honestly believed it was just joking based on previous conversations I had had. I feel totally blind sighted by the whole situation, S feels terrible for her part in it all and not taking the time to be sure I understood what was going on.

They went so far as to do oral last night and while I don't have a problem with this in theory and I know that L and B are "clean" I feel like I've been put in a really rough position. I don't feel I have that relationship with either L or B. According to S they sort of come as a package deal because of their jealousy issues, okay cool. The issue I have is that I was not consulted in any of this, assumptions were made by all parties that I was involved and okay with everything. And yet somehow things happened while I was in bed, not a part of it, no sign of anything to come while I was awake downstairs with them earlier in the evening. S keeps telling me that all 3 of them feel that I'm an equal part of all of this, yet I don't feel a part of it at all.

I do not have an issue with S, L, and B having a sexual relationship. I wish it could have gone more slowly because now I feel like since they've already had oral that like, there isn't any slow to have since oral really is S's "all the way" until she has her gender reassignment surgery. There's nothing left to take slowly. I also feel like if I ask that things back off that I'm putting them in a position of feeling like L and B did something wrong, which they did not. I feel like I'm "along for the ride" in L and B's mind because of the way their own couple dynamic works. As in, since they have attraction to and a relationship with S the assumption is that I am a part of that. I am not okay with that in any way, I feel if a relationship develops with L and B and I than it should be on its own terms, alongside S's relationship sure, but not a "tag along".

I just don't know where to go from here. How do I ask that my own hesitations be addressed without causing household issues? How do I ask that L, S, and B take things slowly to prevent causing household issues? And how do I manage to express to L and B that I simply do not feel we have had the chance to develop a relationship of our own?

Sorry this is so long, I'm sort of rambling and sort of still processing, and very very lost.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:29 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Do you and S have agreements around talking to each other before becoming sexual with other people?

I don't think it's smart to get involved with people who are living with you without a lot of slowness and talking, especially with all the kids there who will be affected by fallout. ME in your place would insist that things stop until a lot of communication has happened. Obviously in your place I would be very upset with S if you had agreements, even if not. Fooling around with people outside of the house would be a problem for me without a heads up ahead of time. Fooling around with roommates without a heads up, that'd be a dead stop.

I'd be talking with the other two people about what had happened, how I felt about it, and ask them about their feelings. If L and B aren't able to speak clearly about all this (instead of the jokes about orgies and all), I'd be concerned they weren't mature enough to be attempting this while we were living together, and tell them I wasn't comfortable.

Now you may have very different feelings, other posters will have very different takes on this and they may be more useful for your particular relationshp, but that is just what I'd do in your situation. If S wont understand how rushing in isn't wise, and wont stop while you guys work out what is going on for each of you, well that sadly is another can of worms that you have there, so hopefully it wont come to that.

edit: I would also not feel trusting in this situation, as if they consider that you are an equal part of the relationship, why wouldn't S come upstairs and let you know what was going on, and ask you if you minded, or wanted to come be involved? Really, I would feel that it was sneaky whether they meant to be or not. It is behavior I would expect of people in their early twenties, not sure how old all of you are, but I would be disappointed. Are any of these things going on now similar to why your outside relationship and S's one outside fling had problems?
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 02-22-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LusciousLemon View Post
I also feel like if I ask that things back off that I'm putting them in a position of feeling like L and B did something wrong, which they did not

I just don't know where to go from here. How do I ask that my own hesitations be addressed without causing household issues? How do I ask that L, S, and B take things slowly to prevent causing household issues? And how do I manage to express to L and B that I simply do not feel we have had the chance to develop a relationship of our own?
Poly doesn't work very well if you feel you can't be honest. You can say "I don't want you to feel that you did anything wrong, you did not. I would like to slow down, because I feel very surprised by things happening without us all talking about it first, and I feel left out of the loop. My experiences in the past have made me feel like entering new relationships should be taken a bit cautiously, especially since we are living together and there are 5 kids to think of. I would really like to be able to develop more of a relationship with you, L and B, before sex becomes a part of our relationship."

Really, that can be all awkward, but THAT is what you need to say, and you have to say it as clear as you said it here. If they are upset because you have feelings or needs or wants, they aren't a good fit for a relationship are they?
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:26 PM
LusciousLemon LusciousLemon is offline
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S and I spent most of my work day talking. She feels horrible and words from her own mouth "I feel like I cheated. It's not poly if I don't okay it with you first so let's call it what it is." She basically said at this point the ball is in my court with anything further or calling a dead stop. I'm just glad she really gets the seriousness of this to me. Ironically, as I told her, I don't have an issue with the relationship, I have an issue with the theory behind her approach and if it had been anyone else she'd have received the dead stop from me and then some. I also expressed to her that it should never happen this way again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
Poly doesn't work very well if you feel you can't be honest. You can say "I don't want you to feel that you did anything wrong, you did not. I would like to slow down, because I feel very surprised by things happening without us all talking about it first, and I feel left out of the loop. My experiences in the past have made me feel like entering new relationships should be taken a bit cautiously, especially since we are living together and there are 5 kids to think of. I would really like to be able to develop more of a relationship with you, L and B, before sex becomes a part of our relationship."

Really, that can be all awkward, but THAT is what you need to say, and you have to say it as clear as you said it here. If they are upset because you have feelings or needs or wants, they aren't a good fit for a relationship are they?
L and B and I have a relationship of the utmost trust. There is no way I would hand my children off to them all day otherwise (I am the ultimate attachment parent and am super picky about who watches my children, the grandparents aren't even given that duty as they have proven they can't follow my wishes). But we simply do not have a relationship of companionship, and I cannot move from where I am with them straight into a sexual relationship.

So I guess that is where I am most torn. I feel like if I am going to back off and allow the relationship between L, B, and S to develop exclusive of any relationship between myself, L, and B that it is not really my place to step in (beyond what we term the "veto power" of the existing relationship) and dictate relationship guidelines. I know enough about Poly to know that despite having 2 couples who get along well and are both interested in poly it is not realistic to expect an automatic quad situation, thus I am perfectly happy to let S's relationship with them exist entirely outside any I may have with them and if they merge later then great. I do suppose, though, that I am well within my "rights" to request further time to process regardless of which relationship we are discussing as both obviously affect me directly. ::sigh:: I suppose I also have to delve into the issue of time management with S before she gets caught up too far in NRE ... we have limited time available together as is and she has automatic time with L and B due to all 3 of them watching the children together while I work.

Honestly, the main reason I do not place any blame in the situation at all on L and B is that they know nothing of poly. To my knowledge they only know what I mentioned to L in brief discussions, certainly not enough to create the deep questions like exactly which arrangements should be made ahead of time and what should be left to "chance". L and B are also very spontaneous people and the dynamic between myself and S is usually one of a near mind-meld of ideas. We talk through anything and everything so I can see that L and B may have made the assumption that S had talked through this with me when she was willing, in that the blame is necessarily on her though I know she is genuinely regretful of her choices (to be fair she was at best tipsy, at worst drunk but I will not allow that to be a valid excuse).
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:57 PM
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I am glad that you and S are more on the same page now. I do suggest that however the relationships with L and B develop - that you all sit down now.

If they know nothing about poly it seems like a good idea that they figure out fast what it means (to you, and what it might mean to them). In this case it's probably wise if you and S sitting down with them and say "If anything is going to happen, we need to talk about time management and boundaries (PDAs in front of kids, keeping sexual activity in the bedrooms and not on the couch where a kid or you could wander across it unexpected at 5 am, specific safe sex agreements that you and S have, as well as what L and B's safe sex agreements are, levels of disclosure if L or B take other partners and vice versa, how you and S define poly and how it fits into your lives, etc). If they can't do this, then I would express discomfort at moving ahead (well I would say we can't move ahead until you guys know the answers to these questions, but that's just me -ESPECIALLY safe sex agreements though, I am continually surprised how many new to poly people haven't even thought about it beyond "oh I guess we use condoms if there's PIV").

For me at least, something so complex as you have going on there, I just wouldn't be comfortable if any of the 4 of you can't sit down and objectively, maturely, openly and honestly talk about that stuff BEFORE getting any further into a sexual or romantic relationship. Even if S forms a sexual relationship with them and you don't, or don't until later, this situation affects you enough with them in the same house that I think a higher level of communication is called for than if they lived somewhere else.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:10 PM
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Sorry, I haven't read what has come before, so if this is a repeat excuse me.

I would be very firm on what change I would need to feel respected if I were you; right now. If you subscribe to the point of view that poly dynamics should "go at the pace of the one struggling the most," then this would be you and I would work hard to let them know how they can make it right by you.

This did not start well but in theory it could work for the three of them to be together. I don't hold much hope of that happening under one roof the way it is however. If I were in your position it would be time for them to find other accommodation. One of them has work now, I would give them a couple of months and then help them move. In the mean time, for me, I would ask for no more sexy time until boundaries are discussed, time is organised so they can be together and you can have date time with your partner. I don't see, in a house with four adults, why you can't go and have date nights once a week. All of you that is. Its so important to stay connected and I don't see any gap in your life for connection time and catching up time with your partner. Or them as partners. I don't see any time where this budding romance could of been discussed in private away from your home.

Once they are settled in a new home maybe then your partner can go and have nights with them and over time. If you are all on board and have sorted out this breech of mistrust, then maybe you could all move in together.

I don't know if this would work. There is no way of knowing. I do know that trust is a huge thing in poly, as is open honest communication and consideration (empathy). They had none for you. I would be getting on how they can make it right by you again.
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Last edited by redpepper; 02-22-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:36 PM
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I concur with what annie and RP have said.

It's a shame that S did this unthinkingly and while under the influence, especially as you said you and she had one poly thing that ended badly and then she had another relationship that was bad from the start. Seems to be a pattern... ugh.

Life is complicated enough with all those rugrats you all have got! Fucking roommates is very dicey... Fucking couples is also complicated as hell. Triple complications!

I do wish you and S well. You've been kind to take in some internet friends. It's a shame they didn't think to make sure you were OK with them having sex with your partner.

S's gender transition doesn't seem to be all that pertinent here, but I just wanted to let you know, my partner is also MtF trans. We've been together 3 years and she'd started fully transitioning just a few months before we met, so I know what you mean about a 2nd adolescence. It's hard work for her, and for you.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:52 PM
LusciousLemon LusciousLemon is offline
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I just wanted to update this. After staying up until 5am Wednesday evening just talking to S all night and trying to process everything and get to a decent place with this I took both Thursday and Friday off work for personal days. We managed over my very very long weekend to have multiple conversations with all parties. We all sat down Friday morning and talked as a group and then have been having discussions with various combinations of people as well. I'm thinking that we are at least on stable footing again and I have high hopes of things turning out well if everyone can remain open and honest.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:51 PM
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That's great to hear! I figure if people can have those difficult and awkward conversations, they can pretty much do anything they set their mind to
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