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Old 07-05-2011, 11:27 AM
Confused101 Confused101 is offline
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Default In need of advice

Hi everyone so... I've scanned through the forums and haven't found a situation close to my own. I'd like to describe the relationship I'm in and then perhaps ask if anyone could suggest some advice.

I recently (a few months back) got back together with the love of my life. We had separated a few years ago and had since moved to different countries. Getting back together was the best thing that could have happened for me. I love her deeply. We are currently involved in a long distance relationship. We see each other every other weekend and are going from strength to strength.

We got back together rather suddenly a few months back and we both indicated that we had "unfinished business" in our respective lives. She told me without much detail that she was seeing a girl from time to time and she said that she would like to continue this if I was comfortable. I agreed, thinking that I would enjoy the freedom also, especially with the distance involved.

So, this brings us to last week. While I was over visiting, she sat me down and said she needed to tell me something. She revealed that the girl in question was her best friend and that it was more than simply a physical affair but there were very strong feelings involved. Not only this but her friends boyfriend was also involved as a secondary.

I am naive when it comes to this kind of thing and it took me some time to process. I love her very much and want her to be happy so I accepted all that she told me and tried to be as supportive as I could.

(I have been reading around the polyamory blogs et.c. so forgive me if i misuse any terms.) She has said that she is committed to me as her primary and that what she has with her friend (and bf) is a very loving secondary relationship. She told me that everyone agreed that mine and her relationship was the most important thing and that if I felt uncomfortable at any time she would be monogamous with me. We both agreed to leave the conversation as open as it could possibly be. She also said that she didn't want to know any details if I decided to get involved with anyone.

I returned home shortly after. We are in constant contact so I knew when she was seeing the other couple. I experienced acute jealousy. It was particularly unpleasant when she stayed the night with them. It felt worryingly similar to how I felt when my first girlfriend publicly cheated on me. I waited until the next day and we spoke at length. She said she had no idea I would feel like this. I was skeptical.

I tried to deal with the negative feelings by reading up on these sorts of situations, examining closely the trigger and root of the jealousy. There were times when I was selfish and perhaps was only after reassurance. The problem is this. She is getting extremely stressed and panicky whenever I bring it up. She is in a high pressure job and it seems whenever we start talking about this her work grinds to a halt which in turn causes more stress. I fully admit that I may have been inconsiderate when choosing the timing of these conversations et.c. but now I feel like I can't bring it up without hurting her.

I apologise for the rambling message, this is the first time I've "put pen to paper".

The problem has been, when I read through forums and blogs about how to exist in a polyamorous relationship, it seems my situation isn't covered. My situation as I see it is this; we are not a couple who decide to be polyamorous, it 's that I unknowingly joined a pre-existing one as a primary but wasn't aware of this until I was deeply in love.

The most important thing for me is the relationship I have with the love of my life. Her happiness is very important to me. Not least because, if she's happy we're happy.

When I've explored the idea of monogamy she's gotten very upset so I would like to come to terms with the status quo.

Please help I'm really confused. Thank you in advance. Peace and Love to you all x
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:39 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Hello and welcome!

So from reading about your situation, it seems you have more or less been cheated on. Which is never a nice feeling. There is no such thing as 'unsuspecting primaries'. She simply chose not to reveal her relationship status to you at the time when the two of you got together.

You say you love her and want her to be happy. Does accepting the situation also make you feel loved and happy?

If she describes her relationship with the couple as very loving, I think it very unlikely that she will be able to keep to her promise of dropping everything when you say the M word. The fact that even the mention distresses her speaks for itself. So that boat has unfortunately sailed and you need to decide if you are okay with that.

As to her job; well, tough shit. She knowingly entered this situation and when the proverbial shit hit the fan, she wasn't ready for it. Well, it's time for her to grow up and deal with dragging you and her OSOs into this.

Is there no way she or you can take a break from whatever it is you are doing during the week and get together to talk things through face-to-face?

And another thought: When you mention you liked the idea of having your freedom too, was it the fact that there was another person/man involved or that their connection was loving and long-term that made you balk?
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Last edited by BlackUnicorn; 07-05-2011 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:34 PM
Confused101 Confused101 is offline
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Thank you for your reply. It feels so good to have someone else to share this all with. I've been very much inside my own head lately.

So, you may have hit on something when you mentioned how things changed when I found out there was another male involved. I can quite easily see that this may have caused some if not most of the jealousy.

I don't feel like i've been cheated on though. I agree she withheld the extent of the relationship she was in but I was aware that there was at least another person involved.

I find it very difficult to talk to her about this because I feel like any decision I make affects the other couple too and I'm uncomfortable with that responsibility. I have met them both in the past and they are wonderful people.

I guess what I need to figure out is how to make this work. As you said, it's unlikely that she would be able to revert back to a "just good friends" scenario with her OSO's and I wouldn't even consider ending things with her.

Thank you so much again, this has been very cathartic
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:52 PM
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Carma Carma is offline
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Sounds like you are trying to be open-minded and open-hearted. That is really good to hear. It sounds like she is really lucky to have "re"found you! And I find it encouraging that you have met her OSO's and say they are wonderful people. I think you can make this work, since there seems to be genuine love there. Good luck, and welcome!
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:01 PM
Confused101 Confused101 is offline
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You guys are awesome I love it here.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:11 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Have you thought of asking her to hold off on the physical aspect of her relationship with them for a month or something while you two have time and space to work through everything? There are pros and cons to this, but it might take some of the pressure off of both of you - you will be able to talk to her without the triggers of jealousy because she just spent the night with them, she won't have to feel defensive because she knows you are tense about it.

This can give you the chance to see if she means what she says, that you are more important, if this is something that is gnawing at you.

One concern I have though is - if you see somebody else, why does she get a don't ask don't tell policy, where you get to know who she is dating, and when she is out with them? I see that this could cause problems, especially if you do and start caring about somebody else as much as she cares about her friends. Might want to have more conversation about this at some point.

I think you're doing an awesome job of being open and supportive considering how this played out - she is very lucky. Cut yourself some slack, maybe schedule times to have conversations so they aren't going to be at horribly bad times for either of you. Keep asking for support and advice here.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused101 View Post
So, you may have hit on something when you mentioned how things changed when I found out there was another male involved. I can quite easily see that this may have caused some if not most of the jealousy.
This is such a common reaction, believe me! I think a lot of it is based on the thinking of 'Okay, my gf is bisexual, so another woman will give her something that I am never able to, and I can see how she might be more fulfilled with both. But another dude?!? Now what does he got that I don't?'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused101 View Post
I don't feel like i've been cheated on though. I agree she withheld the extent of the relationship she was in but I was aware that there was at least another person involved.
My assessment was based on there being another super extra bonus surprise partner in the mix, but I am glad to read you don't feel like you have been deceived or tricked into this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused101 View Post
I find it very difficult to talk to her about this because I feel like any decision I make affects the other couple too and I'm uncomfortable with that responsibility. I have met them both in the past and they are wonderful people.
One thing that is good to internalize now is that you can only affect the relationships you are actually involved in, and even in them, the person most likely to change through your actions is you. Her partners are her responsibility. You can only make decisions for yourself. How do you fear it will affect them negatively, since you pretty much said the two of you are not going to break up and monogamy is not in the cards either?
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:30 AM
ClosetPoly ClosetPoly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
This is such a common reaction, believe me! I think a lot of it is based on the thinking of 'Okay, my gf is bisexual, so another woman will give her something that I am never able to, and I can see how she might be more fulfilled with both. But another dude?!? Now what does he got that I don't?'

That's a very good point, and the only thing I can add is my own experience. My partner started a relationship with a close friend of us just a few weeks ago. They haven't had sex yet, but they have been intimate, and that neanderthalic ghost is swinging his club at me. The one thing that really helps me in this was to TALK to my partner about him. She is *very* clear on him being fundamentally different, personalitywise, than me. It's important to remember that this also defines how he is sexually.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:50 AM
Confused101 Confused101 is offline
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Thanks again for all the advice and experience guys. It's so helpful.

We have talked a few more times about the situation since last I was here. I realised that my approach may have been causing problems. As a result we are communicating a lot better.

So, I have a question. I had a really bad bout of jealousy/depression last weekend when I knew she was going out with them. We spoke about it and realised that it was the not knowing that caused a lot of it. I was left to create my own scenarios as to what was going on. When she told me what had actually happened i felt a lot better and now think that knowing in advance might have avoided some of the negative feelings I experienced.

Q: Is it ok to apply this reasoning in general. Does know more about your partners other relationships help with jealousy?
And, more importantly, where should one draw the line between sharing and prying?

She has gotten uncomfortable when I've tried to open up the conversation in that way. She claims that she doesn't want to betray the trust with her OSO's and thinks that I am invading there privacy.

hmmmmm, what do you think?
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:04 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused101 View Post
Q: Is it ok to apply this reasoning in general. Does know more about your partners other relationships help with jealousy?
Well, many find it helpful to know that their metamours are not mythical superheroes who always do everything right, communicate expertly and are raucous between the sheets all the time. Or just to notice that their metamours are different from them. Or that the things their SO does with their OSOs are very normal and kinda boring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused101 View Post
She has gotten uncomfortable when I've tried to open up the conversation in that way. She claims that she doesn't want to betray the trust with her OSO's and thinks that I am invading there privacy.
Would it help if you were able to talk more with your metamours via e-mail or PM for example? That way they could choose how much information about themselves they feel comfortable divulging.

Since your gf prefers a DADT policy with your possible future amours, she might herself be more comfortable with not sharing any details. But that is obviously not working for you.
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