instant drama - just add one person?
Well, I've been answering a lot of threads lately and thought it's been at least a few weeks since I shared my own special (waffly) blend of Sparklepop drama...
My GF and I date separately and are happy with that, but love the idea of sharing a partner. She generally clicks with men and I generally click with women, but there's enough crossover to enjoy some sort of threeway relationship. A week ago, a woman (Sun) contacted us. GF first, then me a few hours later. When the three of us got together for a chat, it was great, but unfortunately, Sun seemed much more into me. Apparently, GF and Sun had stopped emailing after the first day or two. Yet, Sun continued to email me all week. I saw trouble brewing... and then, it completely erupted.
GF argued that... I kept talking about Sun for "me, I, my" rather than for "us, we, you"... she felt rejected by Sun and deeply hurt.. I'm a hypocrite, as she's shared lovers with me.. every women she's ever liked, I've 'stolen' from her... I'm too flirtatious, too aggressive, should have slowed it down with Sun to give GF more of a chance... because Sun emailed her first, she initially thought "finally, a woman who's interested in ME!" ... and now she feels foolish, hurt, embarrassed... as well as hurt by me. Two more days of the same argument, after Sun contacted me again, and apparently I've dealt with this whole situation insensitively. There are some background issues that I feel are relevant, if you want to read them.
(1). I dated three women consecutively, at the start of my relationship with GF. They had all been involved, in various forms, with GF before I dated them. I believed I had GF's blessing and active encouragement. I broke up with each of them because they caused colossal drama with GF. She thought they were all manipulative and toxic. I will agree that they weren't the best choices. She now says that I basically stole all of them from her without a second thought.
To make things more complicated, Sun was actually 'sent' to us (particularly me, apparently) by one of these exes... which GF sees as a manipulation tactic.
(2). GF seems to have deep trust and rejection issues, particularly with women, due to shitty parents and being abused by a female as a child. She's had therapy, has been stable on anti-depressants for 3 years and is a real fighter.. confident, fiesty and strong, generally. Except when it comes to criticism and rejection. She only came out as poly 5 months ago to her parents and they've reacted very badly. This week has been emotional for her, due to the Sun rejection and some weekend family confrontations.
So, I'm stuck for a few reasons.... My GF is my priority - her mental health and happiness is of paramount importance to me. I'm thinking this isn't a good time for me to continue with Sun. I'm worried that the ex that sent Sun is trying to cause trouble. I'm worried that GF cannot handle the rejection. I'm finding it hard to see whether my GF has serious women-issues and is blowing things out of proportion... or whether I am acting badly.
But... there's a nag in the back of my head telling me that I've ended three relationships due to my GF's issues with them. I should point out that GF has been great about my most recent two lovers. But... I had a very intense connection with those first three women. I haven't found that with these last two girlfriends. I also haven't found the D/s element I need. Sun seemed to drop into our lives at the right time... for me at least... she's submissive, intelligent... I can see a truly great connection there. But, If I go there, I just know there'll be trouble. If I don't go there, I may resent it... and GF will insist that I will resent it.
At this point, I've suggested that either we both leave it alone, or that GF makes the effort to get to know Sun before she writes it off as her being rejected. She refuses and says that she doesn't want to cause herself the pain. Any ideas on what I should do here, from an outside perspective? Please be as blunt as you like if you think I'm being an ass.
Me: (30f) open poly
GF: (40f) My long-term, long-distance partner
Hubby (37m): GF's husband
Garcon (26m): GF's submissive/third partner
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
Last edited by sparklepop; 07-29-2012 at 06:52 PM.
To summarize what I think I read:
Your gf is your priority, so you generally back away from your other love interests when she wants you too. That has sometimes been painful for you. Your gf doesn't like to talk about her pain and fears very much, she just likes to react to them by complaining to you about what you're doing with the other people you're interested in. Your stuck in this "I want her, so I can't do these things with others" type of situation.
Your gf is your priority. Get closer to her by putting more effort into talking about her fears of abandonment, etc. Don't do it as part of asking permission to do something with someone else. Do when the conversation is about just the two of you, because you want to. Have the kind of conversations, over time, that help both of you understand her fears much more than both of you do now. Over time, see what she does with this kind of support from you. Does she run with it and start to relax and enjoy the relationship the two of you have even more? If so, that new enjoyment might just carry with it more permission for you to do with others more of what you want to.
....or does she resist your efforts to by refusing to talk, etc. If so, you have learned something you didn't know before - that she doesn't want to resolve her fears. That means the conditions she places on your freedom to be with others is here to stay as long as she is your gf. That will make it easier for you to decide FOR YOURSELF if you want to stay with her or not.
Last edited by snowmelt; 07-29-2012 at 09:51 PM.
Seems to me that your gf spends lots of time making her issues your issues--and you let her. It appears the most manipulation is coming from your gf. Is that something you're comfortable with on a long-term basis?
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.
I would tell gf that you are going to do this & then
I'd tell Sun-that you are going to be busy and unable to keep in touch for the next two weeks to deal with some family drama.
Then, I would focus some much deserved extra love and attention on gf (in light of the family bs over her coming out). NO DISCUSSION about SUN or any other drama or needs on your end-just focus on giving her the love and support needed to manage the shock and pain of her parents response. Remind her that this too will pass-and you're doing it together.
At the end of that two weeks, the gf should be a bit more calm and mellowed having gotten some needed extra tlc from you. Also, it will give you some time to contemplate where things stand for you in regards to Sun.
THEN I would sit down with the gf and discuss exactly what it is that she needs to be comfortable with you dating other women and explain to her exactly what it is you are looking for (not using names of the current women or the past).
THEN decide what you are going to do about the Sun situation.
IF there really is a connection and she really is sincerely interested-there's absolutely NO reason she can't manage a 2 week pause so that you can be sure your gf is ok after her parents bs.
Being in lesbian relationships and in poly dynamics-we are all more than capable of understanding how devastating that is.
To add that to having depression issues, whilst she may not BE a suicide risk-the risks rise with such parental lack of acceptance and we all know-that the first thing we need to do when that shit happens is buckle down to support the person who came out in such a painful circumstance.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
My boyfriend still sees her. I don't think it is my place to tell him anything that happened between her and I. Those are MY issues. I don't have any right to come in and tell him he can't see anyone. Do I like that he sees her knowing how manipulative she is and she has said she wants me and his wife out of his life? No, not at all. Do I know she has told him she doesn't want him to see me? yes I do (not from him). But I trust his feeling for me. But if I tried to get him to stop seeing her because of this would that make me any better than her? I need to deal with my own issues not manipulate my boyfriend into doing what i want him to do with them.
Break it out. Everyone OWN YOUR OWN BAG.
In my universe? All players have this.
I'll get ya started but YOU work it up yourself if you like my approach. We're all different, I can only tell you how it works for me in my world.
STEP ONE: SPIT IT OUT. Wants, Needs, limits on table.
(to avoid personal growth tier of GF to GF?
(to avoid having to deal with your having a GF?)
(to share a partner? To get to be first? WHAT?)
(To date Sun without drama? Is it possible?)
(To have GF hold her OWN BAG better?)
(to date you?)
STEP TWO: LITMUS TESTING ACROSS CHAIN LINK TIERS. WHAT IS STRONG? WHAT IS WEAK?
Break out the polymath relationships in this particular trio
Check the tiers. Where are the Jedi? Where are the Muppets? Who needs to hold a bag to transform muppet tiers to Jedi level? (Cuz we like to WATCH Muppets. Nobody wants to BE muppets. play like a Jedi, NOT like a Muppet. Otherwise why you on this poly station at ALL?)
you to yourself as part of a polyship of 3 -- You are no longer footloose single when in polyship. You are responsible to your polyship pees in various ways.
you to GF
you to Sun
You to (GF + Sun)
You + GF + Sun as a trio, working as a team
GF to GF as part of polyship
GF to you
GF to Sun
GF to (You + Sun)
GF + You + Sun
Sun to Sun as part of polyship
Sun to you
Sun to GF
Sun to (You + GF)
GF + You + Sun
WHEN we break up we hope it is... in death do us part? Something else?
When the FUSION of the trio is over.... how to we want to be together if it break out like
You - GF - Sun (nobody together any more parting as friends)
You - GF - Sun (nobody together any more parting as enemies)
(You + GF) - Sun (how it started, but not because you are changed for the experience. Friends or enemies?)
You - (GF + Sun) (twist you have to think ahead for. Friends or Enemies?)
(You + GF + Sun) + Mystery Person (twist of -- the old trio formation dies because there's a new crew member on the polyship!?
For the polyship to fly well, most of those tiers need to be at least "Jedi in training" if not already "Jedi" to me. 20 layers that I count. You make 70% if 14 tiers seem at least Jedi in Training. It's a calculated risk because perhaps one of the players is NOT being totally honest. But I'd be alright with a risk of 6 tiers needing working out if they are mostly on the ghost tier. Some things cannot be predicted. If the broken 6 are all in the GF bucket -- whoa. Do not fly! If it's like broken 2 each -- then that's no so bad. But get a litmus handle on what you might have here.
Any one tier can make the rest a nightmare if it is a Muppet Player.
It's not gonna fly if GF is doing avoidy shirky on the personal growth tier of (GF to GF)
It's not gonna fly if Sun is doing avoidy shirky on the tier of Sun to (GF + YOU) and respecting that needs strengthening so GF can have enough support to overcome GF+GF tier confidence probs. Her pecking at it will only slow progression.
You can fill in the rest. That's the basic framework. If it were me assessing it?
If my tiers are looking 70% C average Jedi in training or better? I'd consider giving the polyship a flight run. But that's me. If it's looking like tiers are looking like CRAP -- 69% is a "D" in school. Passing but just barely. I don't need D for Drama, man.
I want polyship that's (C)ool, (B)etter or (A)wesome.
I do NOT need (D)rama or (F)ucked up.
And that requires honesty in assessment at the beginning. Everyone holding their own baggage. Everyone keep their promises made to the polyship before signing up for this new mission. There's rights and responsibilities here to play with me or don't freakin' play ball here. I'm willing to tack on your bits to the initial flight contract but you better speak up NOW.
KNOW and STATE your wants, needs, and limits.
So I'd suggest a realistic polyship assessment and see what shape this could be at. Otherwise? Do not play with Sun. Do not launch a new polyship, just have the fun experience of opening up to the maybe and deciding with INTENT to let it wait/be/not go there. All you are out is an interesting evening(s) with some food and interseting conversation.
You might learn something about yourself. About your GF. About Sun. And maybe that's enough to be the thing and the whole of the thing without the polyship actually leaving ground?
If you see weakness in the potential polyship of 3? Do not fly. DO the WORK though...
Get your Polyship of 2 with just YOU AND GF on better footing first. Your foundation framework strengthened. Also your conflict resolution styles down. There will be conflict. Life is life. And conflict isn't horrible. It's just opportunity for greater understanding and growth. If you let be Jedi.
Let it be Muppets? Here comes the fish being thrown about, chickens feathers ruffled, pandemonium Ms Piggy karate chops and more. Fun to WATCH. Not fun to LIVE.
Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-30-2012 at 10:52 PM.