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Old 07-01-2011, 08:44 AM
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swankychicky swankychicky is offline
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Question Poly and getting engaged-Secondary issues, questions

Hi All! My question is this: I have been in my first polyamorous relationship, as the secondary, for about 1 years. I am madly in love, and when we met, one of the first things he said was "I am in love with my girlfriend, but we date other people"...so I knew what I was getting when I started dating him, and it worked perfectly...until recently, for me.

At the time his primary girlfriend was dating a secondary as well, but the secondary broke up with her about 8 months ago. When I first met "B" he made it sound like marriage wasn't even something they were thinking about. After his other girlfriend's secondary relationship ended, she decided she wanted to start talking to B about getting married. I only realized it bothered me when the talk became serious. I know you are all used to questions about jealousy in poly relationships, but this just feels so different from any jealousy I felt before. Please don't think that I wish it were me getting married to B, I don't. I am not a marriage kind of girl. But I have never felt like a "secondary" before, and now I do. He proposed to her a couple of weeks ago, and I am finding it hard to be happy for them. I can't seem to move past thinking about it, and he knows how I feel. We have a fantastic time together about once a week, and the thought of ending it makes me very sad. The truth is, it makes him less attractive to me in some ways, and I can't figure out why. He's less alluring. And it doesn't help that she is being way nicer to me, it feels...patronizing. Like now she is secure and I am no longer a threat. (Not that I ever was, I never wanted to be! But that's how it feels.) And it sucks, because they know I am having a hard time with it, they are starting to hide things from me. We all share a calendar for planning time, and they put "4pm - busy"...which I know is the day they are having their engagement party. What the hell is wrong with me, and why can't I have compersion for them? I think I might have to end it because I feel like I am losing my self respect.

I can't find any articles about marriage and poly and the secondary point of view, and I was wondering if you all have any advice on how to deal or how to express to B how this feels and that it's all normal for me to feel like this. How can I turn off the bitter part in my head when I hear them be all cutesy and call each other fiance? I guess I have a hard time wondering why poly people get married, it seems counterintuitive. Help, I'm floundering!
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:48 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swankychicky View Post
We have a fantastic time together about once a week, and the thought of ending it makes me very sad.
So does that mean that they will be monogamously married? Or why else does it have to end?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swankychicky View Post
And it sucks, because they know I am having a hard time with it, they are starting to hide things from me. We all share a calendar for planning time, and they put "4pm - busy"...which I know is the day they are having their engagement party.
Have you confronted them about sneaking around? And why are you not invited to the party?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swankychicky View Post
I was wondering if you all have any advice on how to deal or how to express to B how this feels and that it's all normal for me to feel like this. How can I turn off the bitter part in my head when I hear them be all cutesy and call each other fiance? I guess I have a hard time wondering why poly people get married, it seems counterintuitive.
Have you asked them why they are suddenly getting married? Might explain a lot of things. You are not alone in being the secondary who has to face their partner getting married to someone they clearly consider their primary. As I read it, you don't have any other relationships going on ATM?

As a poly person, I can only speak for myself, but I would consider getting married with someone as a sign that we are now each other's primary partners (provided it would be possible to marry them), but many people don't use the primary/secondary description at all and may get married out of really practical reasons. It would help to know what's the motivation behind here.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:21 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is online now
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I can absolutely understand the feeling of being now a different status, a third wheel while they're being all official. It might feel to you like he's not treating the two of you as equals.

But you say you're not a marriage kind of girl. Surely your boyfriend knows that? Isn't it possible that specifically because you wouldn't want to marry him anyways, he feels it's not harming you or taking an opportunity from you? You can't marry him anymore, but you had no interest in doing so.

It's true that being married means they'll have a different status according to law. But you won't have a lesser one. All the advantages you're not getting, you already didn't have. Do you feel like it would be more fair if he was marrying you both? But you don't want to get married, right? Is it the fact that he "chose" her that hurts? But it's not a choice if she wants it and you don't.

I think it's important to talk with them about everything. Tell them you appreciate how they're trying to hide things like with the calendar, but you want to stay honest between the three of you, as you already feel left out right now an secrets you're not a part of would make things worse.
Then if feeling left out is your problem, ask how you can feel more like part of it. Be a first maid. Are you openly poly? If so, that could be part of the vows and you could be mentioned. Would you want to also wear a ring for symbolic reasons despite the lack of ceremony? Do you want a nonofficial ceremony such as handfasting?

Maybe talking about all of that will have you understand what is making you feel this way. It does make a lot of sense, they're making their bond stronger and yours is staying the same, so it seems weaker in comparison. Then work at strengthening the bond between you and him, and also between you and her. Tell her you appreciate how nice she's being, but sometimes you feel that it's because you're not a threat anymore and that makes you negligible, and so being nice hurts a bit when you think about the reasons for it.
Maybe talking about that with her will have her explain how she feels better, or understand you better.
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Old 07-02-2011, 05:49 AM
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Wow, I can't believe how much reading your replies has helped me! In answer to some of your questions:
They will not be monogamously married, and they both told me that. They say that nothing will change, but I think what Tonberry said about feeling lesser makes a lot of sense. I hadn't been able to put my finger on it, but that is exactly what I feel. Their bond is stronger now and in turn makes mine feel weaker. It feels good to be able to put it into words!

I have not confronted them about hiding events, only because they know I have a hard time talking about it, and I think they were doing it to try to protect me. But you are right, I need to tell them to be open with everything otherwise it's worse. And another reason I won't be invited to the party is she is kind of territorial, I wasn't invited to her b-day because she wants B to be just hers for the night, which I understand. It's her day.

I don't have any other relationships going on at the moment, and that definitely has something to do with it. In all honesty, this is my first poly relationship, but I think I tend more towards monogamy. I don't feel the need to go out and date others, but I think I need to.

They decided to get married after her secondary broke up with her. It had never been mentioned before that. And I think that's another thing that makes it hard for me, he originally didn't like the idea, and I feel like he was talked into it. He admitted that he wasn't on board at first until she explained her reasons. She and I do like each other but are very different, so it's hard to understand each other sometimes.

Thank you both so much for your replies, it did help me figure some things out that I need to discuss with him. I don't think he really understands why this is so hard for me, but now I can let him know that I think it's because I feel like their bond is so much stronger and mine is lessened. I think that will help him get it. You guys rock!
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:53 PM
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It sounds like they are being kind and respectful, but are in NRE over getting married. That isn't easy I imagine for you.

Hold on, the ride is just beginning, weddings are consuming and lead to a lot of selfishness.... in a good way. It is about them. One way of not feeling lessor in this is to go and start planning and doing your own stuff. They are going to be busy for quite awhile. Why not do some things you have put on hold, or find other things of interest. That way you can take yourself out of their NRE and into the relationship you have with yourself.

When you get together with him you can request that the wedding talk be evened out with your talk of all the stuff you are doing in order to create balance. I suspect that when you are self involved, you will be able to achieve compersion and they will be more open to telling you what's going on for them.

Really this is kind of like him starting another relationship that he would be swooning over, just that he is re-kindling the one he already has in terms of marriage plans.
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