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  #1  
Old 10-12-2017, 08:49 PM
ThreesACrowd ThreesACrowd is offline
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Question I get most of her NRE & feel bad for meta

Issue: I feel like I'm in an awkward position when my gf gives me most of her time and affection because I live with her and my meta, so I can feel the awkward tension in the air.

In a V with our gf as the hinge. The three of us are really close; I have an interesting relationship with my meta, more than friend but not dating. Regardless, sometimes more obviously than other times, my gf tends to ask to lay in my arms, ask me out on dates, and only have sex with me (to be fair, they weren't having much sex before I came along) more than she does him. We all live in a smallish apartment so it's pretty easy to notice the discrepancies. Not to mention, I know for a fact my meta feels tht this is happening and struggles with insecurity and concern that their relationship is getting "old" (in a bad way). He has compared how she looks, behaves with, and interacts with me and that comparison also leads him to feel down and negative. I'm very empathetic, so I feel his pain and I'm very sensitive to it. But being the receiving end of what he NEEDS from our gf is what makes me feel like I'm in an awkward position.

How do I treat this? I don't feel right asking my gf to give me space when it's not that I actually need space. Plus these are the Meta's feelings at play, not mine. It's their relationship issue not mine. But in the moment when she's cuddled up with me, and not him, and I peer over and see him looking sadly, I feel sad too. Yesterday was his birthday, and when we were chilling, she decided to snuggle up with me. We all share a huge floor bed, yet somehow when we cuddle, she's mostly on me. I tried to stop myself, but eventually asked her casually when the meta left the room whether she wanted to cuddle with him instead. She said she already was (her feet were entangled with his). . I shouldn't have said anything, I know.

I am intimate with my meta, so cuddling and what not with him is a norm these days. If he's looking lonely, I'll reach across and touch him or have my arm around him in some fashion (and he's mentioned how good this makes him feel), but I also don't think it's my responsibility or a healthy thing for me to try and cuddle with him or touch him whenever I feel his gf is neglecting him. I have a bad habit of taking on other folks' emotions as my own.

So totally forgetting my Meta's problem and feeling, what can I do when I'm confronted with this awkward situation? Do I just get over my sympathies and enjoy the attention I'm getting? Or is being concerned and genuinely sad to see any negativity in their relationship not a bad thing as long...XYZ? Am I thinking about this too much? If it helps, they've been together almost 4yrs and she and I only 6 months, so likely there's some NRE issues going on (I'm pretty sure I'm no longer under the NRE spell).

Last edited by ThreesACrowd; 10-12-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2017, 01:42 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi ThreesACrowd,

I think it's reasonable to be concerned about your meta. Technically it is an issue between him and your hinge/girlfriend, but as you said you live in a smallish apartment so it is hard not to notice when all is not well. It probably is an NRE issue. When poorly handled, NRE can tempt one to shower the newer partner and neglect the original partner. Sometimes the showering and neglect can happen with the person (your girlfriend in this case) not even noticing that she is doing that.

You could pull your girlfriend aside sometime and say something like, "I am concerned that meta seems to be getting less affection and attention than me. I know we are in the early stages so it's natural for us to be in a honeymoon mode so to speak. I just don't want to be the cause of your relationship with him slowing down." You could say that, but that's the most I would say, and I wouldn't say it again. Once you've spoken your mind, it is time to let him and her figure things out.

You could even pull your meta aside sometime and let him know that you see what is happening and that you feel bad for him. That you wonder if there's anything you can do to help. But there probably isn't much you can do to help. It's really up to your girlfriend to modify her behavior; you can't make her do that and neither can he. He probably wouldn't make her even if he could. He wants her to spontaneously love him and that's what's not happening.

For the most part, I would say don't get involved in their issues. Speak your mind and then let it be. I hope your girlfriend will become more conscientious.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:17 AM
ThreesACrowd ThreesACrowd is offline
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Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. I may mention that to my gf once, and not again. My meta already knows I sympathize with him. Meta and I have then weekend to ourselves, and hopefully when our gf is back she will shower us both with love and affection
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:27 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I'm sorry you are in the midst of this. Sounds very uncomfortable.

May I ask why you are living with them after only 6 months of dating your gf? Usually it's a bad idea to move in together during NRE, when hormones are raging and making us do stupid things.

And when a V or triad lives together, it's a better idea to have at least 2 bedrooms, ideally 3, so each person has their own space for me time.

Maybe your gf isn't really poly? Could she be using you as a stepping stone to split with her OSO? It sounds like their sex life was mostly dead, and she's not affectionate with him even non-sexually now. Do you think you might just be a victim of her "cheating in plain sight?"

Maybe you could move out until she and her OSO have worked out their issues. You can't "make" either of them work on their struggling relationship. You can only control yourself. Maybe making some space for them would help more than just some suggestions and understanding looks.
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:48 PM
ThreesACrowd ThreesACrowd is offline
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Thanks for your reply!

I agree with your observations for the most part. Moving in with my gf at all, nevermind only after 6 months, is generally something I would have NEVER done. In this situation, I was staying about half the week with my bf and the other half with her. Eventually I just moved out of my place and moved in with my bf (we'd been together 4+yrs). However, that relationship with my bf ended very shortly after moving my things in. It was not an amicable break up, so I had to move my things almost immediately. Not having a place to live, and having received their offer to move in, I chose to do so. I'd lived with them for a month straight prior, so I at least had some knowledge about how this living arrangement might be. It's been over a month now that I've lived with them and it's been pretty great. I've never wanted to live with partners, and repeatedly told my ex I didn't want to move in wth him unless I'd be living with him AND a meta (or mutual partner). In this case, I would not be comfortable living with my gf alone. Because of my meta, I don't feel uncomfortable. (Weird, I know.) there's also practical reasons as to why I'm continuing to live with them: it's 10mn from my school, right by a station (I no longer have a car), and I could never afford to live in the area without this arrangement.

I also agree with your statement about multiple rooms. It's a one bedroom we're all in and there's still 8 months left on the lease. Interestingly, nobody even uses the bedroom anymore. They all sleep in the living room bed area with me. Obviously we don't have our own spaces, but it hasn't been a problem. Im also trying to make more friends and reconnect with people because it's uncomfortable for me to be only spending my time with my partner and meta. But if it ever becomes a problem (living one bedroom), I believe we have the option to move apartments while still under the lease, I would just have to pay more. When we do move, I for sure as hell want my own bedroom and bathroom!

I was talking to my meta last night about some things, and honestly I think it's more an of issue of...our gf is overwhelmed and lazy. She doesn't do things because she doesn't feel like it, and the laziness and selfishness seems to be outweighing everything else. She does do things, just on her own time. It's very apparent to me that she loves him; I highly doubt she's intending on splitting from him. He's like a rock in her life. I strongly believe however that she has taken him for granted. ALSO he for years has enabled some negative behaviors, there's some codependency going on, and does too much for her. I find myself also doing the same...enabling her laziness and selfishness, doing things for her hat she should do for herself (like cleaning up after herself). We decided (meta and I) that we can't keep enabling such behavior. We're now just trying to figure out a way to approach this and have productive results. It's up to her to change, but it's up to us to stop permitting the behavior.

Any tips on that?
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:27 PM
anamikanon anamikanon is offline
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This sounds to me that you are not comfortable yourself, living with them, receiving a disproportionate share of affection and clearly seeing it hurt another. While the relationship between your gf and meta is between them, you feeling awkward in that situation is your problem and I suggest dealing with it very clearly unless you want to be headed for drama in the future - from any of the three of you. You, if things get too awkward. Him, if he gets too jealous, and gf, if she's dumping him for you in a rather cruel "in your face" way.

Regardless of future drama or not, RIGHT NOW, you're feeling awkward in the situation you are in, and you can discuss this straight up with your gf, explaining that while you are very much into her, it does not excite you to be intimate with her in full sight of someone who is being hurt by neglect. This is not what you signed up for - to be an unwitting participant in hurting someone you like.

You can't tell her how to be with meta, but you can definitely draw lines about what you will and will not participate in. For example, the two of you could find space that is more private where meta doesn't need to witness you being close, while you sense him being hurt.

Also, to put it bluntly, the "foot" thing, denying affection on his birthday, etc make me wonder if she's interested in him at all. It isn't physical contact that is closeness, it is attention. She is either a terrible hinge in NRE, or worse, playing games that have little to do with poly if she's using you to make rather cruel points with your meta.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:42 PM
anamikanon anamikanon is offline
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Might be interesting to see what happens if you want "space". Either they go back to their bedroom on occasion, or you use it. Clearly you're overwhelmed from your sole social contact coming from them. This is twofold. One is the amount of constant contact with them and the other is the lack of alternatives. You should probably work on both. It is not so useful to see yourself as a helpless participant in her behavior.

Several things you say sort of add to a picture where you are more entangled with them than you bargained on. While this is pleasurable it is sort of more intense than your need for it.

While you and meta are trying to figure out how not to enable her, it might be useful to see what you DO or don't do - as in focus on yourself and your feelings in the moment. If seeing meta with a hurt look makes you uncomfortable, you aren't a child who is kidnapped. You can always get up and go sit next to him or elsewhere instead and stop participating in her dysfunctional practices. No one is forcing you to cuddle her while feeling bad about meta. Can you own up to participating in behavior that you know hurts someone you like, because... NRE? That would be a good place to start. The only person we can really change is ourselves. Everything else is just attempts to influence.

On the other hand, your meta could probably do with learning to ask for affection when he needs it and force the gf to either own responsibility for that relationship or own up to refusing it, instead of simply doing whatever she wishes and ignoring cost to others while also claiming to care.

Both of you are adults, not helpless infants that can't do anything if someone snuggles you against your wish or neglects you. You are half the relationship - and responsible for the state of the relationship right along with her.
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Last edited by anamikanon; 10-13-2017 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:30 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The discomfort seems to come from witnessing his expression when she cuddles you disproportionately. Also from you being kinda stifled in this "bubble." You are uncomfortable to only spend time with those two.

So... In the short term? Get out more. Start using the bedroom so he doesn't have to see/you don't have to see PDA in the living room. And quit doing stuff for GF.

While planning to move out to your own space in the more medium/long term. So he doesn't have to see/you don't have to see PDA in the living room. And you aren't doing stuff for the GF. And you can spend time apart from them, on your own or with other friends.

Quote:
honestly I think it's more an of issue of...our gf is overwhelmed and lazy. She doesn't do things because she doesn't feel like it, and the laziness and selfishness seems to be outweighing everything else. She does do things, just on her own time. It's very apparent to me that she loves him; I highly doubt she's intending on splitting from him. He's like a rock in her life. I strongly believe however that she has taken him for granted. ALSO he for years has enabled some negative behaviors, there's some codependency going on, and does too much for her. I find myself also doing the same...enabling her laziness and selfishness, doing things for her hat she should do for herself (like cleaning up after herself). We decided (meta and I) that we can't keep enabling such behavior. We're now just trying to figure out a way to approach this and have productive results. It's up to her to change, but it's up to us to stop permitting the behavior.
If both of you are enabling poor behavior? And you know it/see it? You have to STOP. I'm glad you see that.

Perhaps ALL of you living in separate homes could help bring about a healthier dynamic than this one.

Then everyone has their own space. He doesn't have to see PDA. You don't have to see his sadness or feel tempted to take his stuff on board for yourself. And GF has to maintain her own flat and stop being so darn lazy about cleaning up after herself. And if she keeps on being lazy? Neither you nor he have to live in her mess.

It takes time to move, so in the meanwhile if she leaves things undone, and you need to get to something, pile her stuff in her "junk" laundry basket. Her jacket thrown on the coffee table and you cannot get to the TV remote? Don't pick it up and hang it in the closet for her. Throw it in her basket. She can hang it up herself. Dirty dishes, books, socks, whatever? Into the junk basket. Just dump it in there. Then it is not in OTHER people's way. If it piles up? Her problem. She's the one leaving junk around.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-14-2017 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:33 PM
dragonette dragonette is offline
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I like GalaGirl's suggestion of having a box, laundry basket or whatever for GF's mess.

More generally, your description of GF as being lazy and selfish sounds awfully familiar. I'm skeptical that it will change, but you can try spelling out specific ways in which you'd like her to try, and then hold her accountable if she doesn't do what you've suggested. But you've got to be willing to leave if she doesn't do what you ask. If you make excuses for her behavior and let it slide to avoid making a fuss, as I did with my former BF, you'll probably find yourself feeling just as neglected once the NRE wears off.

And you don't have to cuddle whenever she wants. You could say "let's have some private cuddling time after the movie is over" and move away.

Getting out of the house regularly -- even if it's to see friends or take a class -- also sounds like a good idea. Agree that one night of the week will be their date night, and you'll make yourself scarce during that time. If others will cooperate, maybe each dyad could have a night (even though you and the meta aren't romantic, you might enjoy having some time off from the GF).

Good luck!

--dragonette
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:43 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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This all sounds pretty uncomfortable. You say it's going great, but then your description doesn't sound great.

It sounds like you are using them so you can pay less on rent and be near the train station.

It sounds like your gf follows you to your living room bed, and then forlorn bf/meta follows along like a lonely puppy, only to be upset by seeing you two cuddle all night. Does he also observe you 2 having sex?

Can't bf ask her to sleep with him in their room if he wants cuddles and sex? Why this tagging along to your bed?

And yes, it is "weird" that you won't live with a partner unless your "meta" is also in the house. What is up with that? Do you have what you want now? Is it less "weird" than living one on one with a partner? What is good about seeing his pain? Why do you seek this out?

If you feel gf is selfish and not doing her part of housework, and rudely neglecting her bf's needs, and you also realise you're spending too much time with them and neglecting friends, combined with the above, I'd say this living situation isn't all that great.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

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