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Old 11-26-2011, 07:32 AM
Storm Storm is offline
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Hi,

My partner and I (both women) are very new to polyamory. I have suspected that I have been poly-amorous for many years and after a situation that happened 10 months ago finally understood this is what I am. Let me explain the situation, though it's rather ugly and will take a couple paragraphs I'm sure.

My partner and I, whom I will call Rain, have been together for just over 4 years now in a mono relationship. Ten months ago we became sexually involved with our best friend who I'll refer to as V. Before we became sexually involved we already felt great affection for her but never thought anything would happen as we were under the impression she was straight. She has a partner, a male, whom she had been with for around 7 years, though she would often talk to us of how she wasn't happy with him and was bi-curious. After some heavy drinking one night we all kissed but nothing else happened. Rain and I discussed if we wanted anything else to happen and what that would mean. Originally we just assumed it would be a sexual thing and gave no though to being Poly, etc. We laid down boundaries that if something were to happen we would only have sex when all three of us were involved.

Well, to cut a long story short V and I ended up having sex once when Rain was sleeping in the other room. This was after we had all just had a very long night of it and V woke me up and we continued... once Rain found out weeks later she was livid and it nearly destroyed our relationship. By this time our friendship with V was already ruined because she fell in love with me, but not with Rain and Rain couldn't accept her just loving me and not her. Also V couldn't handle the entire situation because she only wanted to be with me but I wanted to be with them both. It was messy, it was ugly and I never want anything like it to happen again.

Since then I have explained to Rain that I am poly, though I told her if need be I can live my life without having that, that I can living it just with her. After a few months we talked about it again and she said she thinks she may be poly as well as we both did love V. Lately we have talked about possibly exploring this as we both met a woman we are attracted to. Nothing will happen with this particular woman but it made her in particular realize some things about herself.

I explained to Rain that if we were to enter into a triad at some stage down the road we could not have such stifling boundaries as we did previously with V and she agrees. Though Rain still wishes to find someone who will love us both equally as we would love them. And of course this would be ideal, but I don't know if it's realistic. Is it possible to find a third person to love us both as much as we would love them? Or is it going to end up that they will inevitably love one of us more? Because if that is the case I'm not sure Rain could handle that.

Any thoughts appreciated and I will continue to read previous threads on triads.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:08 AM
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I explained to Rain that if we were to enter into a triad at some stage down the road we could not have such stifling boundaries as we did previously with V and she agrees. Though Rain still wishes to find someone who will love us both equally as we would love them. And of course this would be ideal, but I don't know if it's realistic. Is it possible to find a third person to love us both as much as we would love them? Or is it going to end up that they will inevitably love one of us more? Because if that is the case I'm not sure Rain could handle that.

Any thoughts appreciated and I will continue to read previous threads on triads.
Finding someone who is interested in pursuing something with both of you is really hard to find. It might be helpful to look separately and find common friends that are poly and see what happens. The prospects of making friends and finding loves on your own are higher. Besides, poly friends often become family as poly relationships are bonding by their very nature. Like minded poly people often have very strong connections and commitment to their poly community. At least in my experience.

Often couples decide to find someone to share out of fear that they will lose each other and if they "do this together" then they won't. Actually the opposite is true. It decreases freedom to walk together in this journey and increases clinginess and co-dependency. Usually the very thing that is to be avoided.

Yes, read read read... tags such as "triad" "unicorn" "vee" "lessons" "foundations" all helpful.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for your response. I thought you might say that from everything I'd been reading. We would both love to find someone else to love us both but I think we will need to talk about the fact that may not happen and likely won't and see where we want to go from there.

I'm currently reading an essay "More Than Two" that I found here and it's very insightful and well written. I need to get Rain to read it as well as read threads here if this is something we really want to pursue.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:29 PM
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Feeling like you were cheated on is perfectly apt if you had rules and they were broken. What is "cheating" if not breaking the rules? Poly relationships just come with different rules than mono ones. Sometimes there are practically no rules at all beyond safe sex, sometimes things are much more rigid. Many people find that they need rules at first to feel safe, but that the more flexible they're able to become the smoother things seem to go.

I would very strongly advise against feeling like you need someone to love you equally (though it seems like you're already moving in the direction off letting that go). It's a common dream, and not a realistic one. It does happen to some people sometimes but it's very rare and if you hold that expectation/rule you'll just put a lot of pressure on everyone and run into a lot of heartbreak.

People are just too individual and love is just too serendipitous for it to be sane to expect it develop with Partner A just because it develops with Partner B. A "vee" is the name we give a relationship where one person is dating two people who are not dating each other. See my sig line for an example of a particularly close vee -- my gf Gia is the "hinge" and Eric and I are the "wings" -- though technically, since I'm dating Davis it's an "N" now if we draw him his own separate line... but let's not get too complicated. Start dating separately, and expect to get a vee or an N, and if a triad happens you can be pleasantly surprised.

Friendship is not too much to hope for, and many poly people do consider friendship between metamours to be a crucial part of what keeps everything running smoothly. Sometimes it all clicks right away, and sometimes these friendships take a little while to form because jealousy or nervousness get in the way but eventually become very, very strong. But again, you can only expect so much -- if you don't end up being bosom buddies with your partner's partner, this doesn't mean that anyone has done anything wrong, these things can just be hard to control/predict. A strong basis of respect is non-negotiable on the other hand.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:32 PM
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I probably could have saved myself some time by pointing you to the post I just made on this thread: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17782
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:14 PM
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Hi Annabel! Thanks for your input. The cheating issue is one we have often fought about. I admit I cheated in some way but don't feel I cheated as in I went out looking for someone to cheat on her with and did it behind her back. While V and I were having sex Rain could have come in, I wasn't trying to hide it, but it did end up that way so yes, it is cheating. And I've admitted that, hell admitting my mistake is probably the biggest reason we were able to work through it all and remain together, and I think stronger in our relationship. But I do understand what I did was wrong and I would never do it again. I don't need to learn the hard way more than once!

We talked some more last night about the possibility of a Vee... not sure how we both feel about that at this stage. I think we would really need to talk about and sort out issues of jealously and self-doubt. We know a triad is something we would much prefer. Even if the secondary (if I am using the term correctly) cared for one of us more than the other. Ideally we would like to be friends with the third first and if it led to something more between all of us then great. I honestly don't know how Rain would feel though if I met someone else and went out with them with no involvement on her part at all. I'm not sure how I would feel about Rain doing that. If it were a woman we already both knew I could maybe deal with it after some heavy discussion, but I'm not sure. To me that just sounds like an open relationship and that's not what we want.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:13 PM
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I live in a vee that is very loving and devoted as a triad when it comes to living together, raising our son together, and everyday life. Just because two are dating doesn't mean the third need be left out. Metamour relationships are very important and can make or break a dynamic. In fact, I would say they are JUST as important as the romantic relationship. Developing the boundaries around metamour relationships is as important as developing the boundaries around the romantic relationship. That doesn't mean a great friendship necessarily. It can mean an agreement to tolerate each other and be respectful, but all that needs to be sorted out. Its up to the individuals involved. With metamours it is sometimes more complicated as they don't choose each other.
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Last edited by redpepper; 11-27-2011 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:38 PM
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Hmm, thinking about this some more. I think cheating probably *is* too strong of a word, since this was someone you were already intimate with by mutual, open agreement. Instead it would be more fair to say that what happened was rules/boundary/agreement breaking. If it had been with someone your partner hadn't known about or had expressly forbidden sexual contact with, then it would have been cheating, whether you were mono or poly, and whether it had been deliberately hidden or not. Just some philosophic/linguistic musing on my part...

Anyways, the thing about triads, to my mind, is that they always have the possibility of becoming vees. Like, let's say you two hook up with a chick named Sarah. Sarah loves you both and you both love Sarah, and all is well in triad land. But then two years down the road, Storm and Sarah fall out of love, while Rain and Sarah stay love. Do Rain and Sarah have to break up because a triad was ok but a vee was not? What if they're too in love to countenance breaking up? To my mind, it's dangerous to start a triad when a vee is emotionally unacceptable, because life is just too unpredictable.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:22 AM
Storm Storm is offline
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I live in a vee that is very loving and devoted as a triad when it comes to living together, raising our son together, and everyday life. Just because two are dating doesn't mean the third need be left out. Metamour relationships are very important and can make or break a dynamic. In fact, I would say they are JUST as important as the romantic relationship. Developing the boundaries around metamour relationships is as important as developing the boundaries around the romantic relationship. That doesn't mean a great friendship necessarily. It can mean an agreement to tolerate each other and be respectful, but all that needs to be sorted out. Its up to the individuals involved. With metamours it is sometimes more complicated as they don't choose each other.
Thanks for your input redpepper... I'm not sure either of us could stand living with someone if we didn't feel they were our friend and we only tolerated them.

We have talked a bit more as well and neither of us is ready for the other person to go out dating on their own. I don't know that we ever would be because neither of us wants an open relationship in that sense. We would be open to the idea of a vee if we met another couple and we all developed feelings for each other. The feelings needn't be equal, that is unrealistic, I understand that, but at least friendship. Maybe what we want is impossible and if it never happens then it never happens but I'm 30 and she's 28 so we still have a good deal of our lives for the right woman to come along
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:32 AM
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Hmm, thinking about this some more. I think cheating probably *is* too strong of a word, since this was someone you were already intimate with by mutual, open agreement. Instead it would be more fair to say that what happened was rules/boundary/agreement breaking. If it had been with someone your partner hadn't known about or had expressly forbidden sexual contact with, then it would have been cheating, whether you were mono or poly, and whether it had been deliberately hidden or not. Just some philosophic/linguistic musing on my part...
I agree with this. I definitely broke the boundary we had talked about. And just because I would have been fine with her joining us doesn't make it ok at all. But I think, and I'm sure Rain will correct me if I'm wrong, by Rain's definition, since I broke the boundary, I cheated. I think the problem is the labelling. When she tells people she tells them I cheated and that's what pisses me off more than anything because I feel it is giving the wrong impression of the entire situation if all she tells them is I slept with someone without her knowledge or consent. There is sooooooo much more to it than that. So I asked her from now on if she's going to tell people what happened then she needs to tell them the entire story or not say anything at all. It also upsets me when she calls me a 'cheater' because again, I don't feel all the negative connotations that go with that word fit what happened. It's a very sore issue though and when I try to explain my view point she thinks I'm just trying to excuse the behaviour or justify it, which I'm not trying to do. I freely admit to anyone that I broke the boundary and fucked up.

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Anyways, the thing about triads, to my mind, is that they always have the possibility of becoming vees. Like, let's say you two hook up with a chick named Sarah. Sarah loves you both and you both love Sarah, and all is well in triad land. But then two years down the road, Storm and Sarah fall out of love, while Rain and Sarah stay love. Do Rain and Sarah have to break up because a triad was ok but a vee was not? What if they're too in love to countenance breaking up? To my mind, it's dangerous to start a triad when a vee is emotionally unacceptable, because life is just too unpredictable.
That's a damn good point and something I did bring up with Rain. I explained it even in terms of a triad in that I said what if we meet someone, spend a lot of time with them and you fall in love with them but I don't? Is it fair of me to then break the love you two have for each other because I don't feel it? Or vice versa. So yeah, I can see how a vee could come about.
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