I made a post a short while ago about the V relationship I've been in for a bit over a year now. That post focused on one aspect of the difficulties.
Since then, I've been taking the advice given here and from friends and my therapist - being honest with my feelings, not bending over backwards to make them happy, and standing up for myself. Some things became much clearer once I wasn't spending so much of my energy on either of them.
We all started this with good intentions. I had my own version of NRE with her and I got ahead of myself too - we all felt that this was going to be a happy poly family. When I started realizing I wasn't happy, I tried many things to make it right again - we all want happy endings, right? After several months of trying to fix it on our own, in December we tried a group therapist.
The communication has improved - somewhat. It's not consistent. When I decided to follow advice and just treat her like an acquaintance - nice and polite - my husband thought that things were improving! He's treating me like the third, and her as his wife. He has no boundaries at all with her, and has entirely forgotten about the rules we started out with.
My own therapist is concerned about my husband and his girlfriend's co-dependency. I know that from my last post, it probably sounds like I'm the dependent one, but I really strive to stay independent and able. In the meantime, she has stopped working, and dropped out of school. We've been supporting her entirely, much of which was without asking me first. He really goes out of his way to jump at whatever she's upset about, and she doesn't make it easy. She's used to people having to press and pry at her to figure out what's wrong and then fix it for her.
Other people, our mutual friends, see this. They find her abrasive, sometimes crass, rude and generally distant. My husband just says she has ADD, possibly Asperger's, and we need to help her.
There is a difference between helping someone and being their parent. It's like he wants to be her superhero, and she wants him to be her daddy.
An example: Yesterday we were going to go out to breakfast with some friends. She wasn't being clear on whether she wanted to go or not, being evasive about making a choice. My husband finally got it out of her that she wasn't that hungry, that everything seemed like too much food. The friend who chose the restaurant had the menu up on his laptop, so my husband brought it to her and started going through the menu with her - "What about this? You could do such and such.. that wouldn't be too bad would it?" - like you would with a six year old. She was making faces at the suggestions. Then she said she really wanted to be on her laptop online so would prefer to just stay, and he went so far as to call the restaurant to see if they had any wifi in the area she could use.
I agree that we should help those we care about, or even just friends, but it's emotionally blackmailing for him to expect me to try and fix her while I'm dealing with all my own concerns. It's her own job to fix herself.
I've tried for months to make this work. I've tried everything that I am able and willing to do. It's not working.
Finally, I told him last night that she needed to move out, that I could not live with her. They can date, but as a secondary relationship based on the rules we had agreed to from the start. He was understandably upset about it. Instead of talking in private with me, his primary, he decided he had to make it a public thing with her there. It was inappropriate, but it made clear how little difference he saw between his relationship with me, and his with her. No boundaries whatsoever.
I did my best to stand my ground, not make it emotional or abstract, and not to reason with him. That's been tried and done. It's clear cut - it takes two Yes's to vote someone into the house, but only one No to send them out. I've been unhappy for a long time, and it's heart breaking that he didn't see it, or was denying it so he could have his cake and eat it too. It's been damaging our relationship, and we've supposed to be the core, the priority.
I had an appt with my therapist today so I could talk about it. It's HARD to do this. I'm not "giving up" - it's taking far more strength and honesty to stand up for myself like this than it ever was to just go along with it to please him.
I have to realize that he will probably never agree with me on this or be okay with it, and bear that burden.
I sent him an email today just saying that I knew this was hard for him and that he needed some time, and that we would sit down, the two of us, by the end of the week in order to start talking about how we were going to cope with and move on from this. Then we'd make an appt with the group therapist for just the two of us so we can begin healing and fixing our relationship. My therapist had said that's how I should attend to it from now on - the issue of her moving out is a done deal, now the conversation is about how we've going to move on from it.
We are still speaking and saying I love you, but he is understandably distant and down.
His girlfriend and I are just staying out of each other's way right now, and I'm sure she's hoping this will just blow over, but soon enough she'll have her official eviction notice. We'll still be paying off some of her cards for a bit to take off what we put on it, and we'll probably also pay for a few months of her medical insurance while she's getting a job.
Anyone else gone through this sort of thing, breaking up with a third that's living with you?