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  #11  
Old 02-27-2012, 10:03 AM
zylya zylya is offline
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Does her "primary" actually know about this secondary relationship? Just because a) she's debated which "one" to choose, b) she is against you meeting him and hasn't provided a reason why not which leads to c) you backwards rationalise this by saying he must be mono and can't accept her.

Just a couple of potential red flags - obviously if you have more info, let us know.
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:58 PM
yami08 yami08 is offline
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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
Well back when I was married to my previous husband, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) fell deeply in love with me but did not tell me because he did not think it was appropriate to do because of the perceived limitations he saw on what our relationship could be. He did not say anything to me until I told him I loved him. Have you told your girlfriend you loved her?

The only problem that would have existed would have been if he started saying he wanted to be my "primary" or to leave my husband for him. I would not have a problem with him bringing up a conversation about being as important to me as my husband/being a co-primary. I think the only down side to him or any other person in your position admitting his feelings would really be
1. to find out that it's not possible because only one primary is allowed in their current relationship structure, then you deal.
2. to find out that it's not possible because the person isn't interested in you enough to want you in their life to that depth, and then the imbalance between your feelings and their feelings could possibly lead to the end of the relationship, but it has the ability to lead to much more doesn't it?

Anyway, I would be sad if a partner I had was not upfront about their feelings. Faking that you aren't madly in love with her doesn't seem to be good for you, which therefore isn't good for your relationship, therefore it isn't good for her. Sigh, then again, I haven't risked and lost for a long long time, so it's probably easy for me to give brave advice.
Yes I have told her that I've fallen in love with her. She has also expressed the same feelings. We have not really had the conversation of being co-primaries. It is a conversation I am working up towards, while I try and determine what I want from her. I have realized however that I do want more of her time and attention.

I really should start taking my own advice. I had said in casual conversation that it seems ridiculous to not do or say something for fear of the outcome. Thank you, I think I'm starting to realize that this discussion has to happen regardless of the outcome.
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2012, 01:07 PM
yami08 yami08 is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I don't think one has to smother to love someone. I love plenty of people who don't even know it, let alone smother them. Its a mind set. The idea being to decide that loving her is to fulfill your need, not to create something in her life with her that is shown from the outside only. Its all inward stuff I am talking about. I hope that makes sense as its hard to explain....
I understand. I definitely have emotional needs that require fulfilling and for the most part, I believe she is aware. I definitely do not smother her. I only mention this because she has the tendency to pull back her emotions at times when she feels we are getting too close or that I have expressed too much. She seems to be doing this to ensure there is balance for her feelings between myself and her bf. These are not assumptions, she has admitted that this is why she has pulled back so I feel at times I need to be careful of how much I express to her.

It is against my nature to hold back in this way. I have never had to do this in any other relationship, but I also feel that there are times when you have to be strategic about how you handle certain relationship dynamics, especially during the NRE stage. My goal would be to build her perception of my value in this relationship, rather than her thinking I'm a dope who's fallen head over heals for her (which is exactly what has happened).

Last edited by yami08; 02-27-2012 at 01:25 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2012, 01:19 PM
yami08 yami08 is offline
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Originally Posted by zylya View Post
Does her "primary" actually know about this secondary relationship? Just because a) she's debated which "one" to choose, b) she is against you meeting him and hasn't provided a reason why not which leads to c) you backwards rationalise this by saying he must be mono and can't accept her.

Just a couple of potential red flags - obviously if you have more info, let us know.
I believe and trust her when she tells me he does. Though I have never met him or even spoken to him, she has mentioned on many occasions that they have had conversations about me. Early on in the first few months of our relationship, I believe our growing feelings for each other caused a rift in their relationship, resulting in a time out with her bf. She had admitted to him that her feelings for me were deeper than she has expected them to ever be. Of course I am assuming at this point, but I believe their arrangement is more of a DADT policy. She had mentioned previously that she doesn't always inform him when we meet for a date, and there was one time where she did, he got a bit snippy. These things have led me to my assumptions about their relationship dynamic. I am curious to know more...so this is another conversation I must have with her.

I have not asked her directly to meet her bf, though there was one incident where I jokingly thought out loud about what it would be like to meet him...she said she didn't know if she would let that happen. This was of course, before we had expressed our love for each other.

Just re-capping this all in my head starts to make me believe that it either will take a long time and lots of patience on my end for this to work...or that I'm wasting my time and energy where I'll just be hurt in the end. The latter being one of my worst fears...

Last edited by yami08; 02-27-2012 at 01:27 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2012, 08:45 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Yep, those damn conversations have to happen!

I find it unusual that you have not met her other partner yet though at a year. If there isn't the excuse of being long distance, really I think meeting him would be a requirement for me before even knowing if a co-primary relationship with her is a viable option. I know it may be more awkward because SO much time has gone by, but it is probably time. If she is too nervous to facilitate it, maybe start an email conversation with him and meet him on your own. I am sure you know by now if you and he have any common hobbies. Meet for a beer, a board or sports game, whatever, and just get to know each other a bit.


edit: I would never date somebody who would not "let" me meet their other partners. Have you met their mutual friends? Any family? If he does not want to meet that is one thing. Nevertheless I don't see that it would be very workable to have co-primaries that did not enjoy each others company or at least tolerate spending mutual time together sometimes. I am sure others here who actually HAVE co-primaries have more useful advice on that though.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 02-27-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:12 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by yami08 View Post
Of course I am assuming at this point, but I believe their arrangement is more of a DADT policy. She had mentioned previously that she doesn't always inform him when we meet for a date, and there was one time where she did, he got a bit snippy. These things have led me to my assumptions about their relationship dynamic. I am curious to know more...so this is another conversation I must have with her.
Yes indeed! All these assumptions and guesses would drive me nuts. You can't make informed choices if you don't know what kind of situation you're in.

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Originally Posted by yami08 View Post
I have not asked her directly to meet her bf, though there was one incident where I jokingly thought out loud about what it would be like to meet him...she said she didn't know if she would let that happen. This was of course, before we had expressed our love for each other.
Why "of course?" Maybe I'm misconstruing your meaning here, but do you think that because you've now expressed love for each other, you shouldn't be talking about her OSO? Or do you mean that now that you've reached deeper feelings for each other that maybe it's time for it to happen?

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Originally Posted by yami08 View Post
Just re-capping this all in my head starts to make me believe that it either will take a long time and lots of patience on my end for this to work...or that I'm wasting my time and energy where I'll just be hurt in the end. The latter being one of my worst fears...
I don't think any relationship where you learn about yourself and develop new skills for communicating and relating can ever be a waste of time and energy, even if your heart gets broken. I really think you need to talk more. All your posts give me the impression of someone walking on eggshells, not communicating as much as you could, and getting a little lost in fantasies because of it. Do you feel like being her secondary means you are not "entitled" to talk about or ask for what you want?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I find it unusual that you have not met her other partner yet though at a year. If there isn't the excuse of being long distance, really I think meeting him would be a requirement for me before even knowing if a co-primary relationship with her is a viable option... If she is too nervous to facilitate it, maybe start an email conversation with him and meet him on your own.

...I don't see that it would be very workable to have co-primaries that did not enjoy each others company or at least tolerate spending mutual time together sometimes.
It's possible that she doesn't really see this as a polyamorous situation, with the typical recommendations that one would get from other poly peeps to have metamours meet, etc., but more like she's simply an independent woman in two relationships and likes to keep them separate. She may also just feel that her SO would be uncomfortable and is protecting him. I don't think it's totally unworkable for two metamours not to know each other, but it certainly could make things a lot easier in a situation where they are co-primaries.
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2012, 11:08 PM
yami08 yami08 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
Yep, those damn conversations have to happen!

I find it unusual that you have not met her other partner yet though at a year. If there isn't the excuse of being long distance, really I think meeting him would be a requirement for me before even knowing if a co-primary relationship with her is a viable option. I know it may be more awkward because SO much time has gone by, but it is probably time. If she is too nervous to facilitate it, maybe start an email conversation with him and meet him on your own. I am sure you know by now if you and he have any common hobbies. Meet for a beer, a board or sports game, whatever, and just get to know each other a bit.


edit: I would never date somebody who would not "let" me meet their other partners. Have you met their mutual friends? Any family? If he does not want to meet that is one thing. Nevertheless I don't see that it would be very workable to have co-primaries that did not enjoy each others company or at least tolerate spending mutual time together sometimes. I am sure others here who actually HAVE co-primaries have more useful advice on that though.
As I have mentioned before, I have not asked directly to meet her primary, though I do feel that I would like to meet him and feel him out. From what she tells me, he is a very understanding and mature person so again I'm assuming that the issue is not with her bf, but with herself not wanting to mix up the two separate relationships.

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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Yes indeed! All these assumptions and guesses would drive me nuts. You can't make informed choices if you don't know what kind of situation you're in.

Why "of course?" Maybe I'm misconstruing your meaning here, but do you think that because you've now expressed love for each other, you shouldn't be talking about her OSO? Or do you mean that now that you've reached deeper feelings for each other that maybe it's time for it to happen?
The latter. We tried to remain as casual as possible at the beginning, but since we have expressed a deeper emotional connection, we've been having deeper conversations. I do believe this has to happen now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I don't think any relationship where you learn about yourself and develop new skills for communicating and relating can ever be a waste of time and energy, even if your heart gets broken. I really think you need to talk more. All your posts give me the impression of someone walking on eggshells, not communicating as much as you could, and getting a little lost in fantasies because of it. Do you feel like being her secondary means you are not "entitled" to talk about or ask for what you want?
You have really hit the nail on the head. I do feel like I'm walking on eggshells sometimes, especially when it comes to conversations about her and I, or her and her primary. She has casually named me the "Second bf"...and I brush it off as a her not being too serious about it. This definitely has to change...I won't let her refer to me as secondary any longer. It bothered me from the beginning, but I brushed it off.

I definitely need to be more assertive in asking for what I want. I have never been that way with her, always being very go with the flow, or very casual and accepting when she cancels plans or makes me feel like a secondary person. It is my own fault...


Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It's possible that she doesn't really see this as a polyamorous situation, with the typical recommendations that one would get from other poly peeps to have metamours meet, etc., but more like she's simply an independent woman in two relationships and likes to keep them separate. She may also just feel that her SO would be uncomfortable and is protecting him. I don't think it's totally unworkable for two metamours not to know each other, but it certainly could make things a lot easier in a situation where they are co-primaries.
I believe you may be right. I have not met any of her best friends, no family members. She has mentioned that only a handful of her close friends know about me, including her primary. She definitely likes to keep things very separate.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2012, 12:42 AM
Pretzels Pretzels is offline
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I might be stating the obvious here, but you need to know what things are deal-breakers in your book. If you never meet the other person, if you never meet her friends, if you never meet her family...what can you live with and what will eat away at your soul?

Also, be very clear and firm in what you need to be present in a relationship with her. Tell her you want to meet her other (if you do), or her parents (if you do), etc. The way she responds to that may tell you all you need to know about whether there's a looming expiration date on your relationship.

Be patient but not a pushover. Perhaps there will be a level of settling down from heightened emotions and feelings and sensations into a secure situation. Maybe the SO just needs some time to make sure she isn't off on some flight of fancy with you.

And the worst piece of advice of it all? Know when to say when and, if it has to be said, say it gracefully. I sort of wish I had rather than holding on to the "if things were different." Things only get different if she wants them to.
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Pretzels View Post
Tell her you want to meet her other (if you do), or her parents (if you do), etc. The way she responds to that may tell you all you need to know about whether there's a looming expiration date on your relationship.
I don't think it is necessarily true that a relationship cannot be successful if one is not integrated into all areas of a lover's life. She may view her relationship with the OP as an oasis/refuge/escape from the rest of her life, or is simply the type of person who compartmentalizes different friends and relationships and keeps them manageable that way. Some people don't want everyone they know to all meld together in their lives, they like them separate. Certainly, how satisfying this can be for the OP will depend on how involved he wants to be in the rest of her life.

Yami08, do you clearly know what you want? Has she met your friends and family? Would you be open to having another relationship yourself? You stated earlier that you were dating others when you started seeing her, and went out to "have a blast" with your friends, but since feelings of love came up, you don't do that anymore, have less confidence, as you've have been very focused on her. I think you've made her the center of your world, and you would benefit from dating others again.
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  #20  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:35 AM
Pretzels Pretzels is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Certainly, how satisfying this can be for the OP will depend on how involved he wants to be in the rest of her life.

....I think you've made her the center of your world, and you would benefit from dating others again.
I only mentioned that because I got the sense that's the level of inclusion he might be after in her life, although he doesn't come out and say it upon re-reading everything. I could be way off base on that, though.

I like the second suggestion if only because it's a bit of perspective and it might prevent the OP from worrying this relationship into a very bad, bad place. Also, you might pick a friend you can trust to be understanding but discrete (if that's a concern for you) and use them as a sounding board. When you're caught up in a situation, someone who can help pull the emergency brake on some potentially damaging decisions is a godsend.
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