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  #1  
Old 06-21-2011, 03:58 AM
Raven Raven is offline
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Question Moving In, "Friends with a History"

Hi all

This isn't exactly a poly situation, but I'm thinking it should go here - it seems to me to deal with a lot of the same issues that come up on a lot of other "new to poly" threads.

Background: you can read the old threads here http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3831 and here http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4285. If you don't want to read all that: myself and my husband Mal were friends with a couple Beth and Caleb. Caleb had been abusive to Beth in the past, he was kind of a general jerk, she was going to leave him, she wanted to be with us in a triad (we were happy with that idea), she changed her mind about leaving Caleb, we tried to all be friends again for a couple of weeks and it didn't work. We stopped talking to each other.

Since I last posted in my blog: I'd been missing Beth like crazy. Never really stopped missing her, although there were good days and bad days. About a month ago Mal and I contacted them, let Beth know we were still wanting to be friends again if it was something that would work for her. They said yes, and we started hanging out again.

Then, within a week or so, they started essentially staying at our place. They have two young kids, and Beth (she's the only one that works) had lost her job and had a gap of a month before she found another one. So they were overdue on their electricity bill, the electricity is out, and had other issues with food share etc so they had very little food. (These issues should resolve in a couple weeks as Beth gets more paychecks.) And, we have all generally been enjoying each other's company.

Caleb is... trying. In that I think he is genuinely trying to be a better husband and dad for Beth and the kids. He still fails sometimes. He has traits (general impulsiveness, a sense of entitlement, etc) that I don't think will ever change. He's also on some new medications that Beth thinks are helping. I am still afraid that at some point, he is going to either physically hurt Beth or the kids, or do something to seriously fuck up (i.e. look up child pornography like he did when he was 17 and got a felony, or just something more mundane like cheat on Beth). However, that sort of event doesn't seem imminent.

The question: Beth and Caleb share a place with a roommate. Their roommate is wanting to move out, and they need to find either another place (not sure how well they can find a livable place without a roommate) or another roommate. We all talked tonight about the possibility of moving in with them. Mal and I have a lease that is up the end of July, and we need to either sign the next year's lease or give notice that we are moving out by the end of this month (June).

We are really torn. On the one hand, if we moved in with them, it could turn out great. We have honestly really enjoyed having them stay at our place the last 2-3 weeks. I don't want them to leave yet. There has been some tension - i.e. Caleb and Beth have an argument that Mal and I stay out of - but nothing that would be awful. It would also be financially a really great decision for us. We're struggling with the bills we have right now (if Mal doesn't find a full-time job in the next couple of months, we may need to ask his parents for assistance), and it would be a lot cheaper for us if we were instead sharing their place.

On the other hand, it has the potential for catastrophic failure. Neither of us are going to sleep with Beth - for Mal, that ship has sailed, and for me, I am certain that I would rather just be really good friends without any sexual tension. But Caleb still has an exceedingly mono mindset, he was convinced in the past that we were "trying to steal Beth from him," and there is very much the possibility that we would have conflict just over things like the time spent together. We have talked about ways to deal with this (for instance, Mal and I could babysit for them one night a week so they can actually have date time - something they don't have right now).

The other big issue is that Mal is afraid of the risk of me being physically hurt by Caleb. I personally think the risk is very small, especially if we bug out and spend a few days at another friend's place if things get tense. (Our friend V moved out a couple months ago, and I'm confident we could stay with her in a pinch.) Caleb, to my knowledge, has physically assaulted Beth twice, both times in a major conflict. Mal does have PTSD, and he has experienced a lot of violence in his life, which could make him paranoid. On the other hand, I've experienced almost no physical violence in my life, which may make me underestimate the risk. Because of the bias issues, I'm not sure myself how big a risk there is of physical violence, so I'm not sure how to give an accurate assessment over an online forum. But I can't deny that it is a risk, even if it's a one in a million chance, and Mal doesn't think he could forgive himself if I was seriously hurt after he agreed to this.

What do you guys think? Are we insane for considering this? Are there things we could do to make this less risky? Are there any options people could suggest that we haven't mentioned here that don't include moving in together? If we all had the money, I'd love to try a duplex set up where they lived on one side of the house and we lived in the other, but unfortunately we're both pretty poor. There are a lot of things we've already thought of and talked about that we would do if we decided to move in with them, but I don't want to list them all - I'd rather hear what you all advise.

Thanks,
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Keira Raven, married to husband Mal, interested in a woman for a triad or vee

(Previously known as Dakota Raven, husband previously known as Adam)
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2011, 10:55 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Based on your description (didn't have time to read the previous threads), I'd say moving in with them is an exceedingly bad idea. The possibility of you having to stay with friends if things get tense in YOUR OWN HOUSE because of another couple sounds ridiculous.

Also, Caleb is an unpredictable, dangerous man. Do you want to expose yourself, your relationship, and two young children that also will be your responsibility if you live with them, to someone like that? Do you think you can protect the kids or Beth from him?

Based on everything I've read about other people's experiences, abusive relationships don't magically heal and become non-abusive. Do you really want to live with that kind of tension and fear in your house? Say he attacks Beth; what do you do? Stay out of it? Intervene and risk getting hurt yourself? Call the cops? Is that a prospect you are willing to deal with on a daily basis?

You can support Beth and her kids without moving in with them. The baby-sitting plan is totally feasible. Arrange time for you and Beth, too - a weekly coffee date or something, let the guys babysit for a few hours.

All the concerns you listed are very valid. Jealousy and paranoia are most common triggers for violent behavior. It is unlikely he will change. Stay healthy, stay independent. What if things get unbearable? Are you willing to face homelessness because of Caleb?
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2011, 11:07 AM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
You can support Beth and her kids without moving in with them.
I think you should make this your new mantra.

I remember you from before. Your situation was messy then, and it's messy now. No good will come of moving two people with an unstable relationship dynamic in, adding to this fact that money is an issue for all of you.
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2011, 01:17 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven View Post
Hi all

Are we insane for considering this?
Yes.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2011, 01:55 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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The expression "Good-bye frying-pan; hello fire!" comes to mind.

and you say there are children involved?

Add a vat of boiling hydrofluoric acid to that fire.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 06-21-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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