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  #1  
Old 06-16-2018, 07:49 PM
TerriblePeril TerriblePeril is offline
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Unhappy Triad secondary problems

I have been in a very happy relationship with a married couple for a few months now, and we all love each other quite a bit. I have express my wanting to have alone time with just my boyfriend, and my girlfriend has said itís ok many times, but afterwards tells me how much it hurts her, which makes me feel extremely guilty. Itís causing me to have problems having sex with my boyfriend because I start feeling guilty right away which is messing with my psyche. And now Iím beginning to resent her because sheís basically completely in control of when I can and cannot have sex, which Iím very much not ok with. Iím beginning to shut down when she brings up the subject, which is always within 24 hours of me having my alone with my bf (which is usually only after she has told me I can have my alone time with him). Iím beginning to not have any attraction to her, and am constantly living in fear that she is going to say ďno more this is overĒ, then I will lose both of them, but most importantly my boyfriend who I am madly in love with. I donít feel like I have a lot of options on what to do, or how to communicate my problems to them or anyone. Theyíre married and have each other for support, but I donít feel like I have support from anyone at all, and itís lonely and frustrating. Am I wrong to feel so frustrated and controlled? Am I not being empathetic enough to my gf? Are there any other thirds here who have experienced this and can give me any tome of support and advice?
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2018, 08:49 PM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
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This is probably THE biggest problem when dating a couple. In a true triad there are three couples, not just one.

Does she get alone time with him? Then why not you? If she can't handle it then poly is probably not for her.

Do you get alone time with her?

Hopefully you aren't just being used as a marital aid. I would sit them both down and express your concerns. After that conversation you can decide if they are capable of giving you what you need in the relationships.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2018, 12:27 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hello TerriblePeril,

It sounds like you are in a power dynamic where they have (especially she has) all the power. I assume they've made you a secondary partner because they're the ones who are married? The marriage is sacred and must be protected at all costs? Whatever their reasons, the results are dysfunctional. You are feeling frustrated and controlled. (And guilty.) It seems to me that they should make you an equal/primary partner, and allow you all of the same privileges that they have with each other. Of course, they're the ones who would be making that decision, you can't make it for them. You can sit down with them and talk about it. Tell them you want to be made a fully equal/primary partner. Then I guess decide whether you want to stay with them based on how they respond.

That's a sucky position for you to be stuck in, I'm sorry. I know you care about these people, even though you are frustrated with the situation. I hope Polyamory.com is somewhat helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:02 AM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerriblePeril View Post
I have been in a very happy relationship with a married couple for a few months now, and we all love each other quite a bit.

I have express my wanting to have alone time with just my boyfriend, and my girlfriend has said itís ok many times, but afterwards tells me how much it hurts her, which makes me feel extremely guilty.

And now Iím beginning to resent her because sheís basically completely in control of when I can and cannot have sex

Iím beginning to not have any attraction to her, and am constantly living in fear that she is going to say ďno more this is overĒ, then I will lose both of them, but most importantly my boyfriend who I am madly in love with.

Am I not being empathetic enough to my gf?

Are there any other thirds here who have experienced this and can give me any tome of support and advice?
We see this situation a lot with triads, especially the kind that involve someone joining an established couple and trying to date both of them. It's extremely difficult, if not completely unrealistic, to expect that the feelings and dynamics between all three dyads involved will always be exactly equal.

In fact, I wouldn't even consider a relationship a true "triad" where there is talk of "secondary" partners, or labelling of the non-married person as their "third". This smacks of couple privilege and the dreaded "unicorn" syndrome.

If the married couple/established couple get to call all the shots - or the wife in this case tries to control every interaction between you and "her" husband - how is this loving or fair to you? It seems pretty clear to me that she feels threatened by any time you spend with her husband by yourselves... which probably stems from a fear that:

a.) he may leave her for you one day (insecurity)
b.) he prefer your company/think you're better in bed/more attractive (jealousy)
c.) she is being left out, ignored, when you're not all together (envy)

If the husband (your boyfriend) doesn't stick up for your/his right to participate in a romantic dyad of your own, and doesn't desire/suggest/insist on being able to have alone time with you, himself, then he's not being a very supportive partner to you.

If this is the case (not saying it IS), your boyfriend may believe he IS supporting his wife by not being too forceful in this area... which in turn makes it seem like you are the one coming between them, AND reinforces the notion of couple privilege (he puts her feelings first).

To play devil's advocate on behalf of the wife, however...

There are a number of statements you've made in your OP (in bold type) that lead me to believe that things aren't exactly on an equal footing insofar as YOUR feelings for this couple you're dating.

1.) you say you love them both "quite a bit", but only describe your feelings for boyfriend as being "madly in love".

2.) you only talk about wanting "alone time"/sex with boyfriend... but don't say if you ever ask for/want/have time alone with just your girlfriend, in order to share sex and intimacy.

3.) you describe the wife as feeling jealous, hurt and trying to control the time you spend alone with boyfriend, but don't say how your boyfriend feels about you and his wife dating or being together sexually, without him (if that ever happens).

In other words, your main romantic and sexual focus appears to be on your boyfriend in this scenario. Since you're supposed to be dating BOTH of them (and they you = triad) this dynamic seems somewhat skewed in favour of boyfriend/husband.

If that is the case, it'd be pretty natural for wife/girlfriend to pick up on the fact that you care more for your boyfriend than you do for her... which in turn is probably the source of much of her insecurity. You don't actually say in your OP if you're "in love" with your girlfriend, or she with you. Are you? What is THAT relationship like, when husband/bf is out of the picture? Can you work on making it more solid?

If not... and you really DO have much stronger feelings for your boyfriend than his wife/gf... it may be kinder all round to end the relationship with her, and transition this "triad" to something more akin to a "Vee". (You don't say if you all live together.)
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Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
Lola: early 20s, daughter
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:29 AM
playfulgirl playfulgirl is offline
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I'm in a vee relationship that has flirted with being a triad. However, this shape just ended up not fitting us. From reading your post, it seems to have some similarities.

Lady and Real and I met and were quickly infatuated. However, after a few months, lady and I had passed the NRE point and simply don't have much in common. We do have an affection somewhere on the spectrum of friends to occasional FWB now.

Here are ways we dealt with transitioning to a vee/supporting various emotional needs. Take what you will as it would be helpful to you.

1. Lady and I made sure to spend time with each other one on one. Even though no deeper romantic relationship developed, we gained a sense of trust with each other.

2. We both had a larger support network of friends and/or lovers. This meant that we had more things to focus on than the metamour and shared partner. We also had validation etc. From those relationships.

3. We set up a schedule of partner time at first. For example, real spent certain times with me not to be interrupted barring actual emergencies like a car accident or child who just broken an arm. This meant Lady could plan ahead and busy herself during those times.

4. We set up a "check in time". Every few weeks and talked about feelings or issues with all three of us then.

Honestly 5 years in we rarely do anything other than #1 anymore and we are a comfortable vee. Lady and I see each other every few weeks individually. The trust with each other we built this way was helpful to us.

There are many ways of relating. It is ok to change shapes. Advocate for what you need and want. Do not accept having g terms for your relationship dictated to you. That way leads to misery and heartbreak. Also, you GF is responsible for dealing with her own feelings. You are not required to feel bad because of her issues. You can choose to be sympathetic as you wish, but better boundaries might be needed if guilt is coloring your other relationships.
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Me: in a vee with Real and Lady, have one fwb - Fox
Real: hinge in a vee with me and lady
Lady: married to Real, swinger, dating casually
Fox: friend and fwb on occasion.
R: Lady's ex
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2018, 10:42 AM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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Some great, very practical advice there, playfulgirl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by playfulgirl View Post
I'm in a vee relationship that has flirted with being a triad. However, this shape just ended up not fitting us. From reading your post, it seems to have some similarities.

Lady and Real and I met and were quickly infatuated. However, after a few months, lady and I had passed the NRE point and simply don't have much in common. We do have an affection somewhere on the spectrum of friends to occasional FWB now.
My partners and I also tried to do the triad thing... it didn't take.

Our "V" has actually transitioned in and out of a few different relationship shapes over the course of 3+ years, until we found what best suited all concerned.

Boho and Jester's dynamic is now very similar to yours and Lady's - i.e. close, trusting friends who love each other, but are not "in" a relationship with each other per se.
__________________
Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
Lola: early 20s, daughter
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