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Old 06-19-2012, 04:38 PM
hellokitty hellokitty is offline
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Default 2 primary relationships, new engagement

Hi again,

Feel free to read my other posts if you'd like more of a back story. Long story short, I've been with my boyfriend for 5 and a half years, started dating my girlfriend a year and a half ago. This is my first serious girlfriend and first serious poly relationship. I fell for my girl so hard and so fast, and we haven't looked back.

Things w my bf have been up and down, just through the stresses of life and my new feelings in being with someone else. I've gone through a lot of uncertainty in the past couple years but recently have felt much more connected to him again. I'm so happy to have him in my life and could never imagine being without him. I love him dearly, respect him and he's my best friend. I love holding him, being around him and talking - he inspires me. We have so much fun together and have a very deep bond. Things have not been quite right physically/sexually for the past 2 yrs - I've had a hard time feeling the passion with him in that sense - but I am opening up again and we are working on getting back there. Things got a bit shaky with us recently because of his jealousy, need to be #1 in my life and fear of losing me. I told him everything I've been saying here ^ and trying to spend more time together and show him I'm still and always will be his partner. He has always been very supportive of my relationship with my gf but tells me it makes him feel lonely sometimes.

I just feel my relationship with my gf vs with my bf is so different. They both bring such different things to my life. He is my rock, he inspires me and knows me better than anyone. He's so smart and always knows what to say. We have a ton in common but at the same time are different in a lot of ways. My gf & I have been living day in and day out full of passion in every way. Yes we had hardcore NRE in the beginning but I feel that reached it's peak months ago and we have been steadily enjoying our relationship together.

My gf is closer to my age than him, so we are at a very similar point in life. We both absolutely adore traveling and are constantly taking little trips together. Our passions are similar so we're constantly exciting each other and having the time of our lives. She gets me so worked up in every way! She makes me feel things I've never felt before. So obviously I am bisexual but have always been more interested in girls - and I just feel I am right where I've always needed to be with her. I've always longed for a relationship just like this - a passionate, energetic, exciting, happy, CUTE relationship with a girl who's not only my best friend but my lover. I love taking care of her and being there for each other. She makes me so happy and I couldn't see my life without her either.

Last month we decided my gf would move in with me after her lease was up (I was living alone) because she was over here all the time any way. Things have been great! We are so compatible living together and it has really been working. However, when I told my bf she would be moving in with me it really hurt him. He told me he felt I was leaving him behind. I never meant to hurt him - it's just so hard to balance what makes me happy and what makes each of them happy - with being fair to everyone. He wanted to be the first person I lived with, and wants to live with me some day (and maybe not her.) I think I'd enjoy living with him, but we wouldn't be quite as compatible as room mates as her and I are. And honestly this is just how things are working out. If you want to do something you do it, and he never showed that much interest in actually making us living together happen. So here we are.

Now the whole point in this entire post.. As I stated, the passion between gf & I is unreal! I'm madly in love with her and she makes me feel so alive. A few months ago we were at a concert seeing our favorite band, looking into each others eyes, dancing and having the time of our lives. She looked so absolutely beautiful and I knew I wanted her in my life forever. I couldn't hold back anymore and asked her the question that had been on my mind for some time, I told her I wanted her to be my wife. She was ecstatic and said she wanted that as well - we were thrilled!

The next day however, I couldn't figure out how to tell my bf this news her & I were so excited to share. Inconvenient timing, that same week some very rough family issues happened to arise for my bf and he was not in a good place mentally. I decided now was not the time to discuss my happiness when he was so stressed. Things kept getting more intense for his family over the next few weeks and he was full in head on dealing with those things. I kept waiting for the right moment but it never came. My gf has been patiently waiting and I know I look like the biggest jerk alive but she is in pain feeling I am leading her along.

Telling him about the move in felt like kind of a test run and with how bad that went now I am more scared than ever to tell him about the engagement. Am I a terrible person? Like I said before, it's so hard balancing the happiness of 3 people (myself included) and knowing when to let love and relationships run their course and what is crossing boundaries. I have tried all this time to take things one day at a time and this is where I am now. A friend of mine observing the situation criticized me for this, for trying to make everyone happy all at once, she said it's just not possible sometimes. I don't know if this is completely true but it did ease up some of the guilt I put on myself if I can't make things perfect for everyone.

I desperately need advice and some outside perspective. I am so caught up in the middle of everything, in all the emotion from every side - it's hard to know what the right move to make is. Can you make two primary relationships work? Am I wrong to be happy about building a life with my gf? How do I help my boyfriend believe this advancement with her doesn't mean taking a step back from him? How do I enjoy sharing my love for my girl with others without making my bf jealous? Do I need to take a step back from everything???
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:27 PM
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Phy Phy is offline
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Welcome.

Tough situation, indeed. From my point of view it is possible to make two relationships work, to give them similar importance and standing in your life. I believe that I managed to do so.

But your situation is (like everyone else's) unique and not really comparable to mine in regard some points. The biggest thing you need to realize and you need to understand is that you are making a huge choice there. Your boyfriend will never be able to reach this point officially. You are making an official vow, an official commitment there, and this kind of commitment is unique in our culture. You are choosing her over him there. You can't sugar-coat that. It will hurt him.

Having said this much, you can only follow your heart there. It is a serious decision and if you feel like this is the right action to take, if you feel her to be this important for you and to be more fitting to be this person for and in your life, then go with it. You can't postpone your life because someone else might want it to be otherwise and of a different kind than you yourself wish for it to be. Your life can only be perfect for you, you can't live a perfect life someone else is envisioning you to live (without being sad and unsatisfied, at least that's what I believe). And on an additional note: Things aren't perfect Try to do everything the best you can and be satisfied with the result is all we can do.

Don't let your boyfriend live with some illusion of what he thinks your relationship to be. You are right to not stress him additionally (I just had a similar situation with my family, I decided to wait as well, but that wasn't something affecting them directly.) But I would advice you to sort this out as soon as possible. You will gain nothing by waiting too long. If this family business is postponing your talk endlessly, just find a decent moment to tell him nevertheless the complications in his family life.

The only thing you can do is being real. Don't hide yourself from your partner. If he decides that he can't take who you are and how you have changed or whom you evolved into, it's his choice to make. As you can only decide if you are happy with your partners, grant them the same right and offer them the whole truth about yourself.

Wishing you luck and some peace of mind.
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2012, 06:42 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
Last month we decided my gf would move in with me after her lease was up (I was living alone) because she was over here all the time any way.
So you are living with her and not with him, ok. Does he have a wish to move in with you too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
However, when I told my bf she would be moving in with me it really hurt him.
Wait, so the "we" above was your girlfriend and you - your boyfriend wasn't involved in the decision-making process, and you presented it to him as a done deal? Yes, I could imagine that he would feel incredibly hurt by that - I would too.

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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
If you want to do something you do it
With respect, no. That is how children and immature adults behave - mature adults will look at possible consequences of actions, including who could possibly be hurt by it, and consult others before leaping in with both feet.

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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
I couldn't hold back anymore and asked her the question that had been on my mind for some time, I told her I wanted her to be my wife. She was ecstatic and said she wanted that as well - we were thrilled!
So once again you made a life-altering decision without even talking to your boyfriend about it. Your intention is to "inform him" that you are doing it. If he has a problem with it (which, given the previous incident, he most definitely will) then all this is going to do is hurt someone, either him, or her, when you have to back out on your offer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
The next day however, I couldn't figure out how to tell my bf this news her & I were so excited to share.
You mean to present him with your fait accomplis - I'm changing our life, like it or lump it.

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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
I kept waiting for the right moment but it never came.
And this is why a responsible person discusses important stuff BEFORE they do anything about it.

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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
My gf has been patiently waiting and I know I look like the biggest jerk alive but she is in pain feeling I am leading her along.
And the longer you wait, the more pissed off your bf is going to be when he asks the question "And when, exactly did you propose to her?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
Telling him about the move in felt like kind of a test run and with how bad that went now I am more scared than ever to tell him about the engagement.
Yes, that should have been a lesson to you that maybe such huge decisions should be discussed first with those you supposedly care a lot about....

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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
Am I a terrible person?
I don't know whether you are terrible or not, but if I was your boyfriend and you did this to me, not once, but twice, that would be the end of our relationship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
Like I said before, it's so hard balancing the happiness of 3 people (myself included) and knowing when to let love and relationships run their course and what is crossing boundaries.
The first incident should have given you a pretty big hint, to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
Can you make two primary relationships work?
Yes, if you treat them both with respect, which you are quite plainly not doing.

Your choices have got you into a big mess, here. Please PLEASE learn, and don't do it a third time.

You asked for advice. Well, tell your girlfriend that you were caught up in the moment, and hadn't discussed it with your boyfriend and that you really need to stop it all while the three of you work things out. Then you need to be 100% honest with your bf about what happened, and show him that you have reconsidered. Then the three of you need to get together and discuss your relationship configuration, where you rare and where you each want to go.

(Sorry if someone posted while I was typing this - I got interrupted a couple of time)
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:08 PM
hellokitty hellokitty is offline
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Thanks for the responses. I know I fucked up. I feel I am living two separate lives sometimes. I feel so overwhelmed and lost because no matter what I do things are going to change and feelings are going to be hurt. I wish this was easier!!! But it's not and I know it won't be. I need to learn to communicate better. HOW do I just open up and talk about things that are so incredibly hard to say!?? I don't know what makes sense anymore.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:21 PM
Adam Adam is offline
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Originally Posted by hellokitty View Post
I need to learn to communicate better. HOW do I just open up and talk about things that are so incredibly hard to say!?? I don't know what makes sense anymore.
Firstly, stop thinking about what you're going to say or how the other person will react. If it must be said or is important, say it. This is what being open is. A disclaimer before the floodgates open is acceptable in most cases, but understand that if someone can't handle what you have inside you, then they can't handle you. If something is hard to say, that's usually because it's one of those important things that should be said.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:35 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Did you ever have the difficult conversation surrounding this thread? If so what was his reaction ?

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14077


Did you ever pick up the book RP suggested... Radical Honesty?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:36 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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OK, the biggest thing is not that you are struggling to communicate, it's that you are ACTING before you communicate.

Many people have trouble communicating sensitive stuff with their partners. But they know enough not to act first, think later, which is what you are coming across as doing.

You want things to be easier. Fair enough. DO you think that your decisions and actions that you have taken before you discussed them with your boyfriend have made your life easier or more complicated and harder to sort out?

As I said before, please learn from this.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:05 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I suggest you take a good look at the situation, and more specifically your relationship with him.
He's been with you for a long time. You start a new relationship, and this other person gets to move in with you. This other person is who you propose to. And on top of that you say you prefer females, if he knows that he must be feeling extremely neglected and replaced.

You need to give him more importance and support. You talk about two primary partners, but the way your posts read, he's become a secondary partner now. Not even taking part in big decisions, only getting told after the fact.
I think you need to tell him, and simultaneously apologise for treating him like that, promise you won't do it again, and keep that promise. And from then on, make sure you treat both of them equally, as important to you, rather than involving her in the big decision and telling him after the fact.

The longer the wait, the worse it's going to be. And it will probably be a long talk, because I believe you'll have to talk about the whole relationship. Don't walk into it thinking you were justified and that he's going to overreact. Walk into it knowing you didn't give him the respect he deserved, and that he has a right to be upset, and that if you want it to work you will need to rebuild trust with him, and that means giving him more time and attention, and making your relationship with him a priority over your relationship with your girlfriend/fiancÚ - for the time being. There is more work to do with him and therefore you should be working on that relationship more, or it will keep degrading until it's broken for good.

Also talk to your girlfriend about it all, make sure she understands you love her but you fucked up. Hell, have a big talk with all three of you together. You're a family now, it's not you and him on one side and you on her on the other, it's the three of you, even if they're not involved they're still part of each other's lives and will be at least for as long as the relationships last.

Now, my other question is, what about him moving in? Is that something you discussed? Is it something you're not interested in? What about getting married? Is it something he didn't want to begin with, or something he'll be hurt that he lost to her? Is having a ceremony with him an option down the line, even though it would have no legal ground?

Right now, it looks like your relationship with her is eclipsing the one with him. They don't have to have the same rate, or follow the same steps. But you need to make sure not to neglect him for her.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:32 AM
hellokitty hellokitty is offline
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Hi,

It's been a long few weeks, again. (Long year, really.) I ended up explaining to him what had happened. I apologized for leaving him out of such a big decision, I'd gotten caught up. He deserves more respect and attention than I've been giving him. I don't know why I keep pushing him away but I don't want to lose him. I need him by my side.

I told him these things do come up for a reason however, because she and him are both extremely important people in my life that I couldn't see myself without. And now I see how this could be seen as choosing one or the other, but I can't see things that way. I can't compare them, it's not a competition in my mind, even though they may feel it is. I love them both, for who they are. I don't want one to be more like the other or wish they were just one person. I appreciate them both as individuals and wouldn't want it any other way.

...His response, was to basically tell me I couldn't have her be more - or even just as - important as him in my life. I understand he was heated and it sounds a little extreme and possessive. I can understand how he would feel territorial because he doesn't have me all to himself like he used to. He wants to hold onto me and not let me loose again. The thing is, the things he says he needs from me, I don't think I can give him. He wants to be the most important person in my life. Number one. No questions asked. He wants to know that at the end of the day if something happened and I had to choose I would come home to him and leave her behind.

Love just doesn't work like that.

He feels betrayed; how could I have possibly fallen so deep for someone other than him. I asked him before my second date with her "How far can I take this?" He told me to make this relationship whatever I needed it to be. Obviously he didn't expect this, none of us did. But it happened, and I can't pretend it didn't.

I've been trying to put more effort into being there for him, spending time together and telling him how much I appreciate him. It's really hard though, because we still have huge road blocks in the way.. on my end. I don't know how things have gotten so majorly fucked up but it just feels unending. I feel like these bumps in the road are just one after the other and we have to ride it out until everything is out in the open. I've been slowly but surely trying to come to an understanding with my feelings. dingedheart asked if I ever had the conversation with him I talked about in an earlier post (made almost a year ago) regarding my sexuality and my feelings towards him physically/romantically... Yes, I did. Not long after I posted about it here.

I told him I was struggling and feeling confused and I felt SO GUILTY but I was feeling so uncomfortable being with him physically.. because I'm not sure I am interested in men at this point in my life. I told him I love him and think he is gorgeous and he's not doing anything wrong.. I just didn't want to pretend anymore. He was obviously hurt but told me, it's okay, we can work on it, I'm willing to work on it right? I didn't know how to respond. Inside I thought, how do you work on something like that? How could these feelings possibly change? But I love him so much and trust him I figured he must be right. He said it's so important to a relationship to be able to share that kind of intimacy so we needed to work on it - we could take it slow. He said, we can even just kiss, don't you feel anything when you kiss me? God I just wish I felt what he felt so these guilty feelings would go away.

I finally got in to see a poly friendly therapist, been trying to get an appointment for so long. I explained myself and she made me feel more understood than I've felt in a long time. It was an unbelievable relief. She validated that he is much more to me than just a friend could ever be, but I don't feel for him sexually and romantically any more like I used to. And that it is okay. She said it's confusing because society doesn't have a name for that kind of relationship but he can still be an extremely important person in my life with who I share a deep bond, even be my soulmate, but that we don't have to share a bed. I felt such relief just imagining having that weight of guilt lifted off of me - the pressure to have sex and be physical... How much closer I could be to him if I wasn't pretending and avoiding it anymore.

But it makes me question 2 things. Would he ever go for that??? It would break his heart. He already expresses his insecurities to me often, wondering if I'm still attracted to him, asking me to show him I still want him in that way. He tells me he needs that to feel secure in our relationship. If I tell him I can't give him that, will he leave? He says he doesn't want anyone else. And that it sucks because he's not getting what he needs from me but no one else will want a guy who has a girlfriend... So much pressure!!!!

The 2nd thing is... What if it's not just sexual? I sometimes wonder, we have been on the edge but why am I not doing more to save our romantic relationship? I don't have the passion behind it to really do what is necessary. It feels so awful to think that this could end, yet I'm not heading over to his house every single night, I'm not planning dates for us, I'm not writing him love letters and flirting. Can I still be in love with him and not have the desire to do those types of things? Or am I lying to myself? He doesn't understand why I don't want to spend every night and day with him. Or why I don't want to live with just him. I don't know if I'd even want to live with him. A lot of it is because of the pressure to be together physically/sexually I'm sure.. but what else is behind it? I have so much thinking to do and am really surprised if anyone is even still reading this I just... am processing.. It has taken me so long to even have one moment of clarity. I feel like I've been in such a fog and I need a breath of fresh air so badly.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:07 AM
BohemianMLHR81 BohemianMLHR81 is offline
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I know I am most likely going to get some heat over this but I have to say it. Simple fact is that you are NOT in love with this man. You have not been for a long time. You are comfortable with him because he is your rock. To keep dragging it on so that you have your emotional support person remain in your life is not fair to him. In addition you are in love with your gf. Keeping all of this unresolved is not fair to her either. Sorry if I come off as harsh but I am a very blunt type of person. I do not sugar coat anything. IMPO the only person who's feelings that you have placed priority on is your own. You admitted several times that a sexual relationship with this man is over. So let him go! He needs to be free to find someone to love him as much as you love your gf. If you can not give this man your passion, LET HIM GO!
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