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  #1  
Old 07-19-2020, 09:43 AM
RileyB RileyB is offline
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Default Complicated ďpolyĒ relationship, in need of guidance

Hi! Iíve been in a poly relationship for nearly 8months now but Iím new to the online community, so please forgive and educate me if Iím naive of some things or terms.

My relationship started pretty rocky. My boyfriend ( B ) had me convinced he was in an open relationship with his wife ( W ). I found out at the same time as W that this wasnít true. We eventually worked it out and I ended up dating both of them.

The problem? Itís not a true poly relationship. I tell all my friends it is, but really itís on Wís terms. I was fine with that in the beginning bc she was the wife who was cheated on and it felt fair to allow her to set boundaries (no separate sex, no separate dates, he canít come over my house when sheís not there, etc). But itís been nearly a year now and she keeps telling us she doesnít feel ready for that. She isnít even comfortable with me telling B I love him. However, they still have sex without me when Iím not there, they still say they love each other right in front of me. To put it bluntly, that makes me feel like shit. I deserve to be loved and to love freely.

Iím really trying to make this relationship work, but itís getting really hard. I still sleep alone every night, if I want to have sex it HAS to be with both of them or else I donít get it, kisses and hugs are limited to a quick peck goodnight or goodbye, and we donít go on dates (separately or together). Iíve gotten so stressed that I donít even want to have sex anymore because Iím always worried that a fight will ensue or someone got jealous of something someone did. I told B and W that and they told me relationships donít work without sex (I beg to differ, but thatís how they feel).

Advice please? Am I crazy to think Iím practically a mistress? Weíve had talks to try to fix things, but should I say enough is enough? Itís not that Iím unhappy with the people, Iím unhappy with the way the relationship is structured.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2020, 11:39 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Everyone else will insist on proper nicknames so if it isn't unwelcome, can we call them Ben and Wendy?

I think all 3 people need to be aware of the choices they made here and controversially, from my perspective, Ben is the only one doing that.

Firstly, Ben lied to you and after you found out, you chose to still pursue a relationship with him. Albeit on more ethical grounds. The consequences of that are that your metamour not only has all the typical qualms of a poly beginner, they also have reason to fear for their relationship.

Her consent for this was compromised by coercion due to fear for her relationship, humiliation, all those negative emotions that come from being cheated on. Some people manage to make this work anyway but IME, that's very few couples. More people go onto have healthy poly relationships with other people after infidelity rather than with the people involved with the cheating.

To me, this isn't something you wouldnt have considered at least at some level. Yet you proceeded anyway. She is under no real obligation to shift her boundaries or rules with her partner to suit you or him.

However, Wendy is naive if she thinks she has a high likelihood of repairing her relationship with Ben if she keeps this up. It is somewhat obvious that he isn't prepared to just sacrifice you to repair the relationship.

That being said, he is prepared to limit or change what he has with you to keep his relationship with Wendy. It seems like he is prepared to sacrifice what he has with you if you cannot be happy with that. He agrees to make her boundaries rules for your relationship with him. He does that.

To me, his actions show that he is being accountable for his choices for the most part. And you, well, you feel like you're owed more if this is a poly relationship. The truth is that what you're in is a polyamorous relationship. It might not be healthy, it might not be fulfilling, but it is, by definition, polyamorous. Just like a man could be the most abusive husband ever known to mankind but if he is only sexually and romantically intimate with his wife, their relationship, however unhealthy, is monogamous.

You just need to work out if this is right for you. It doesn't sound like it is.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2020, 12:57 PM
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Evie Evie is online now
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She's clinging very tightly to their couple's privilege, and he's letting her. So are you to some extent. The behaviour all round is understandable, but it's not healthy poly. You clearly know this. And it looks like it's unlikely to change. So it's probably time for you to start dating outside the current relationship so you have a chance to meet someone you can share nights and 1-1 sex with. I'm truly sorry for your situation, I'm sure you expected it to be different by now.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2020, 07:10 PM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
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If you've had enough, then enough is enough. You are not wrong here. The name for what you are is "unicorn". How you came about being a unicorn is a little different than usual, but you are a unicorn nonetheless. This is a fairly typical dream of couples, but can be a nightmare for the unicorn. The couples want a hot bi babe to have fun sex with, then stick her up on a shelf when they aren't using her.

In this case, W is in control. If everyone (meaning you and B) goes along with this, there is no incentive for W to change. She is comfortable where she is at. You are sticking around, so B isn't going to make waves. Only you can change things for yourself. If you are not happy, and they aren't ready for the type of relationship you want, it is probably time to move on.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2020, 08:17 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello RileyB,

You are stuck in a classic unicorn triad scenario, where you have very few rights, and the married couple practices all the privileges. They get to have one-on-one sex, but you only get to have threesome sex. They sleep together, but you sleep alone. You are not even allowed to go on dates with your boyfriend. The wife is taking the fact that he cheated on her, and converting that into her having all the power in the relationship. She gets to make the rules, and you and your boyfriend humbly adhere to them. You're not even allowed to tell him you love him. You are definitely "the mistress" in this game of roles.

I am going to assume that you are mostly venting (in your first post here), and that B and W both have wonderful attributes that make you want to stay with them. You probably love them, very, very, very much. Would you be willing to share what is positive in your relationship with them? Then we will have a more complete perspective on the situation. From what you're saying, you're actually happy with B and W, it's just the relationship structure that has you frustrated. You have a perfect relationship with them, except for that one little thing. Am I correct in assuming that?

Based on your description so far, you are the secondary partner in this relationship. They are the primary partners, and you are the secondary. This implies a certain amount of rights; that they have the most rights, and you have the least rights. But even secondaries have some rights. You might want to read the following article: a Secondary's Bill of Rights. To summarize, you have the right to be treated fairly. Right now, the wife in this situation is imposing unfair rules on you.

You probably have a lot in common with B and W, they are probably a good match for you. And there are probably other reasons why breaking up with them would be excessively complicated. But can they at least agree to the proposition of you dating outside this triad? There are probably couples out there that would be much better about meeting your needs, I mean the relationship structure would be much better. You should be free to search for such a couple. Would B and W be willing to grant you that freedom? Ask them.

I hope this thread is helping so far,
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2020, 02:55 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
The problem? It’s not a true poly relationship. I tell all my friends it is, but really it’s on W’s terms. I was fine with that in the beginning bc she was the wife who was cheated on and it felt fair to allow her to set boundaries (no separate sex, no separate dates, he can’t come over my house when she’s not there, etc).
Um... didn't you get dinged by B's lies too? Sounds like B snowed BOTH of you. Telling you it was Open when it wasn't. And then telling W who knows what.

I'm surprised you were willing to stick around after that. Maybe next time don't stick around.

But in THIS situation... how come W gets a voice because she got dinged? And you got dinged too but you don't get a voice?

Quote:
But it’s been nearly a year now and she keeps telling us she doesn’t feel ready for that. She isn’t even comfortable with me telling B I love him.
So... when she IS going to be ready?

Cuz right now she's not in the (you + B) relationship, but she gets to say how it goes inside there. B lets her. So do you.

Why do you and B allow that?

Quote:
However, they still have sex without me when I’m not there, they still say they love each other right in front of me.
So they get to have the (B + W) without you interfering with how that goes.

Quote:
To put it bluntly, that makes me feel like shit. I deserve to be loved and to love freely.
You do. So why are you sticking with partners who don't make space for that for you?

You could tell them you have already given it a year. And you want to renegotiate agreements now. That's been enough time.

If they are NOT willing renegotiate? And this arragement is basically all they can offer you? And this offer makes you feel crap? You could accept that you have outgrown this situation and simply move on. So you have less crap in your life.

Keep it waaaay simpler on you.

Quote:
I’m really trying to make this relationship work, but it’s getting really hard.
Even if you give your 100% effort? That's only 1/3 of what it takes to run a 3 people thing.

If the other two aren't pitching in their fair share to "make it work?" Then it is YOU carrying the load for all. That is not fair and that is also the path to burning out.

Quote:
I still sleep alone every night, if I want to have sex it HAS to be with both of them or else I don’t get it, kisses and hugs are limited to a quick peck goodnight or goodbye, and we don’t go on dates (separately or together).
I get there's problems in this triangle. But group sex is not a requirement in poly things.

Did you agree to be Closed to just them? Not get to date other people?

Quote:
I’ve gotten so stressed that I don’t even want to have sex anymore because I’m always worried that a fight will ensue or someone got jealous of something someone did. I told B and W that and they told me relationships don’t work without sex (I beg to differ, but that’s how they feel).
So it sounds like you are finding after a year together that

a) it was a cheating start where maybe not everything is healed really. There's some lack of trust things going on.
b) it's kinda of a skewed relationship offer here that benefits the couple more than you
c) participating here like this really stresses you out.

Like maybe you do more work being the referee or keeping the peace than what you get back out of all this. (I am guessing. I could be wrong.)

Quote:
Advice please? Am I crazy to think I’m practically a mistress? We’ve had talks to try to fix things, but should I say enough is enough? It’s not that I’m unhappy with the people, I’m unhappy with the way the relationship is structured.
You don't like this structure. Previous talks went nowhere in fixing it. You are super stressed. That's enough to call it quits to me. You gave it a fair shake for a year already.

But you are you. YOU decide you limit of tolerance and what you will and will not put up with. How much more do you feel like doing this when you don't see progress in the other people's behaviors? Are you at your limit? Past your limit?

If they are not willing to change any of the structure? I'm guessing you don't want to keep ON participating in a thing that stresses you out so much. Right?

I think your consent to participate in things belongs to YOU. So it's ok to withdraw consent and bow out if you are done. Say "Thanks, but this doesn't feel good to me any more" and just walk away.

It's ok for you to decide to take care of yourself and reduce your stress load.

If you want to keep doing poly, you can date other people who might be more compatible and don't have all this extra baggage.

When is enough enough? When YOU decide it is. You sound like you are already there to me, TBH. You are fed up with it all.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-20-2020 at 03:11 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2020, 01:42 PM
Inaniel Inaniel is offline
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How have you put up with this situation? You have not had anything but threesome sex for a whole year?

B is a liar, and W will have a very long journey ahead of her assuming she is open to it at all. You are likely a trigger for negative emotions in W because her husband cheated on her with you. It can take many years for some people to heal from betrayal trauma...

You can do better for yourself than this...
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  #8  
Old 07-20-2020, 01:55 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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How come you are questioning your sanity ("Am I crazy?") just for being tired of being treated as a second class citizen? You're being used for sex. Get out.
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2020, 10:59 AM
Tinwen Tinwen is offline
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I won't say "get out" immediatelly though it may be reasonable, nor do I want to judge your partner. But please do advocate for yourself. You can even act out if that's what's needed to get your point accross. Either this gets to be a full poly relationship with one on one time, expressions of love, respect, entanglement (i.e. him helping out financially and with your household if he spends night in there), and aiming towards a sustainable arrangement (i.e. where you can have kids with him, or a family with someone else), or you should get out fast.
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