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  #1  
Old 03-08-2013, 06:31 PM
Babyday Babyday is offline
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Default New Boyfriend Unsure.. Please offer Guidance

I posted sometime last week about my triad relationship and needed some more help or just someone to talk to that wasn't directly involved in my life and decisions, so any help would be appreciated.

I have a boyfriend of 5 years (Ray) and another of 7 months (Jason). Jason isn't sure if he wants to continue a relationship with Ray anymore and to be honest I'm not exactly sure if I want to continue either but I love them both very much. When I think about the future I know want marriage and children and I'm not sure how to get that from a triad relationship because someone is going to be left out and hurt which is why I'm not sure if I should continue or end it now. I've expressed these thoughts to both of them and they agree on some level and both want the person they marry to be me, but I feel I want it to be with Jason, and I'm not sure if it's NRE or if it's something more.

Jason is asking me to make a decision on what I would do if he would end his relationship with Ray, and I feel in the middle and torn because I don't know how to answer his question or what I would do. I'm angry and upset that he would ask me because I feel it's selfish but he says he just needs to know. He's mentioned that he feels, no matter what happens and how much I love him, he'll always be the loser if things end. What do I do, what do I say?

Has anyone been through this before?
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:01 PM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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Do you need a glass of wine? It sounds like it. I had to go read you prior to post to properly respond. First things first, breathe and calm down.

You're in a triad with J and R. R and J don't trust each other completely, and J wants to transition from romantic partners to metamour. Right now, R is unaware of J's plans to break off the relationship. He's conveyed it to you, but he's leaving 1/3 of the triad out and in the cold. That 1/3 is the most important piece because he's under the impression that he's in a relationship with you both. Once he ends it with R, it will go from triad to a V, where you would be the hinge, or the common love interest. I hope I have that all together.

R - Boyfriend of 5 years. You're not sure that you're in love with him.
J - Boyfriend of 7 months. Marriage is looking like a possibility. NRE? Maybe, or he could be the man you marry.

You see marriage and children in your future. OK. That's possible. With your situation now? Iffy. You stated in the original post that R and J only agreed to this triad to make you happy. Their relationship started wrong. They should have just been friends/metamours. That could have been alleviated and hearts wouldn't have been broken if they knew they had no sincere romantic interest in each other.

What does R want that you can't give him? You stated that what he wants isn't something you can give him, and that if your relationship ends with him he'd feel like a "loser." Why does he feel that way? Losing you to another man? Losing you as a whole? Clarification please.

Here are the issues at hand:

You are with R and J. You know you love them both, but you can't say that you're IN love with R. Are you in love with J, and can you see yourself being married to him and having children with him? Is marriage something that J wants with you? Is marriage something that R wants, too, and you know that you can't give him that? You could have a triad and be married. That's what my situation was. We've transitioned back to a V, and I'm the hinge again.

R and J don't trust each other or even love each other from the sounds of it, so their relationship needs to end. They need to talk and handle that. I would stay out of it. I know you probably want to protect R's feelings, but J needs to be a man and step up and be honest and stop playing with R's feelings and heart. As soon as he realized it wasn't going to work, he should have been talking to him and stop wasting time prolonging the inevitable.

You need to figure out what it is that you want and what type of dynamic. You want to get married. You want to have children. Awesome. Do you plan on continuing to be poly after marriage? Do you have hopes for another triad, or would you prefer a V? Are you hoping that you can marry J and possibly maintain R as a boyfriend while giving him the option to seek someone else like a wife and have a family of his own? Granted everybody has to be up to speed and aware of what's going on.

Is your relationship with R worth saving and putting forth the effort to rekindle that flame, or can you say for sure that it's just not worth continuing and you'd rather set him free?

I can respond to this a few different ways, but I need more information.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2013, 07:51 PM
learninginTN learninginTN is offline
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You may want to give it another six or twelve months. 7 months is still within the red zone for NRE, and it may be affecting your outlook. You can always revisit these questions then.

You are confusing me a little. You say you think you would choose Jason if forced to choose a father for your baby, but say that Jason feels he would be the "loser" if it came down to a choice like that?
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2013, 06:01 PM
Babyday Babyday is offline
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Thanks so much for your thoughts on my situation, I really appreciate the time it took for you both to provide insight! I hope I can fill in some of the missing pieces.

@LearningTN- Jason feels he would be the looser if they made me choose between them both for a single relationship. We all agree that this isn't something we want forever and they have both expressed to me a V relationship is out of the question if they decided it couldn't work between them.

@FullofLove- Wine has been great through this!

Ray and Jason have spent some time together recently which I think is helping the situation and Jason has expressed to Ray that he isn't sure this is what he wants and has expressed that he loves Ray but he feels a stronger connection or love for me than him. (I'm not sure if it would help to make things easier to understand, but we're all males)

I can see myself marrying Jason, and I used to be able to see that with Ray, but things have changed and I don't have that clear image anymore at this point. I'm not sure if Jason wants the same thing, but when I told him that I could see myself marrying him he told me it made him very happy. Ray said he was going to propose to me before but never did, and a part of me is relieved he didn't because I felt I would have said no. He's recently said he can't really see himself marrying me either anymore, but could see himself marrying Jason, so I'm not sure if it's because we're in a triad and focusing on our new boyfriend Jason, or if things have just changed so much between us that marriage isn't a possibility for us anymore.

I never really saw myself as poly and in my past relationships the thought of having threesomes or sharing my partner scared me. During my relationship with Ray things shifted, and he expressed interest for threesomes because I wasn't able to meet his needs sexually, so we had a few during our relationship and then met Jason. I didn't want a relationship with Jason and certainly didn't want to have sex with him when we started hanging out, I wanted friendship. Well things happened, we had sex, and now we're boyfriends and in love. I don't think I'd want another triad and I like the thought of a V, which thanks for explaining that so perfectly, but both have said if we aren't all together then I'd have to choose. I really hate the idea of choosing and it makes me sick that it could be a possibility eventually.

I'm not sure if my relationship with Ray should end or if it's worth the fight. I sometimes feel that if we were really meant to be together, just us, we wouldn't have looked outside of our relationship for something else or someone else. I don't regret it though because it brought Jason in our lives and he makes me happy.

Just some extra thoughts but please if I can provide any additional information just ask.

Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2013, 07:34 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Let me repeat what I think I understand here written in terms of wants, needs, and limits. Maybe seeing your info broken out that way could help you in your sorting our yourself? Edit as needed. I could be reading this wrong.


BACKGROUND:
  • We are all males.
  • We are all in a triad relationship where we are all each others lovers.
  • I have a boyfriend of 5 years (Ray).
  • I have a boyfriend of 7 months (Jason).

POLYSHIP LIMITS FOR THE TRIAD

There will be no V if the triad breaks up.
  • While, I like the thought of a V with me as the hinge?
  • Ray will not participate in a V
  • Jason will not particpate in a V
  • Both have said if we aren't all together then I'd have to choose. It is a limit.

NEW WANTS EMERGING ON THE (JASON + ME) TIER:
  • Jason isn't sure if he wants to continue a lover relationship with Ray anymore.
  • I'm not exactly sure if I want to continue to be with Ray either.

MY PERSONAL WANTS
  • I want marriage and children in my future.
  • (Implied want of yours, I could be wrong here) I love them both. Whatever happens, I want it to unfold gently but firmly because I respect them have loved them both.

MY NEEDS (You do not state your needs clearly to me so I am guessing)
  • (implied) I need to be free of worry
  • (implied) I need to be in a relationship configuration where I can thrive and be happy.
  • (implied) I need to feel safe emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am meeting this need so far by talking to my partners.

MY PERSONAL LIMITS
  • I'm not sure how to get that (marriage and kids) from a triad relationship because I feel someone is going to be left out and hurt if we try to have that in this triad. So I do not want to even go there. (implied Personal Limitation)
  • If this triad folds, I do not want another triad.

WHAT I HAVE DONE SO FAR
  • I have told both how I feel.

MORE INFO ABOUT PERSONAL LIMITS CAME UP AFTER TALK
  • At this point in time, Jason wants to marry me. Jason wants to break up with Ray.
  • At this point in time, Ray wants to marry Jason.
  • At this point in time, I want to marry Jason (but worry it is NRE talking)
  • At this point in time, I do not want to marry Ray. (I used to, but now I do not.)

The things that DO line up are me and Jason together, maybe working toward marriage.


NEEDS BIGGER THAN ME -- THE NEEDS OF MY RELATIONSHIP


Jason has a need to know. To meet his own need, he has asked me to consider what my consequent actions could be if he takes action of his own and breaks up with Ray. He is asking me... If Jason breaks up with Ray, how would this impact our relationship -- between me and Jason?
  • I don't know how to answer his question or what I would do at this point in time.
  • I'm angry and upset that he would ask me to consider what my response could be in advance.
  • I feel it's selfish of him to ask me to be responsive and consider our immediate future together after a possible action of his because _____?
  • In this tier of relationship, I prefer that Jason just do his things without consulting me and then I make my choices after him. (Is this your preference? If so, could tell him so.)

BOTTOM LINE

To me it sounds like the polyship has evolved to a place where the bottom line could be this.

Behavior: Jason wants to break up with Ray. Result? No more triad.

Polyship limit? Jason and Ray do not want to participate in a V.

You are at a life choice that is not "win or lose" but "which one sucks the least?"

You are responsible for your own behavior. YOU get to choose your behavior next. You could be assertive in making your choice.

Your options are:

A) You choose to do nothing. You break up with nobody.
You honor your want to not to have to choose anything for yourself.
Suckage Risk: Not knowing what Jason will do.
  • Jason might stay in something he does not really want to be in (triad with Ray) so he can be with you. (You really want someone you love to compromise themselves like that? Sounds like the road to growing resentments. )
  • Jason will continue on his path and break up with your too so he can honor the polyship limit of not being in a V.

B) You choose to break up with Ray.
  • You honor your own feelings of "lukewarm on Ray now."
  • You honor your feelings of "want to marry Jason" and move the relationship with Jason toward that goal.
  • You can honor you personal limit of "not being a triad" while meeting your want of "marriage and kids not in a triad." (Maybe with Jason, maybe not. You are giving yourself the chance of finding out.)
Suckage Risk: Dealing with sadness and grief of breaking up with Ray. (While painful, this is a guy you are now lukewarm on. So is this about Ray or about your feeling yucky?)

c) You choose to break up with Jason.
  • You can honor the polyship limit of not being in a V and having chosen.
  • You get to be with lukewarm Ray.
  • You don't seem to really want to do this one,... so I am coloring it grey.
  • Suckage Risk: You do not work toward your own happy. You let the man you want to marry go. You stay with a man you are lukewarm on.

d) You choose to break up with BOTH
  • You can honor the polyship limit of not being in a V and having chosen.
  • You do not have to be with lukewarm Ray.
  • You do not get to be with Jason, who you wish to marry
  • You don't seem to really want to do this one,... so I am coloring it grey.
  • Suckage Risk: You do not work toward your own happy. You let the man you want to marry go.


e) Some choice I cannot think of but you could insert here.

Could think on these available options and choose well for yourself.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-11-2013 at 08:00 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2013, 05:40 PM
Babyday Babyday is offline
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Thanks GalaGirl for the very detailed reply. I apologize for now replying back sooner but it's been a very busy week and things sort of came to a head yesterday.

I didn't have the courage to make my own decision and be in control of what was going to happen. After spending the weekend with Ray and visiting my family he decided he no longer wanted a triad and wanted a single partner, and that partner was me. I sort of freaked out and said I couldn't give Jason up and that I wouldn't. I didn't know what to do so we had a group discussion which was good because everyone started saying how they really felt. It was great and open and honest. After the talk I felt a huge relief, I decided to no longer be with Ray and to continue on a slower track with Jason.

My heart is breaking though because I'm loosing Ray. He's been my support system emotionally and financially for the past 5 years and I'm not sure how to handle things are go from here. We've been talking and he's willing to work on us and help me and feels I owe it to him and our relationship to try but I feel my heart wouldn't be in it and I wouldn't be able to give him what he needs and vise versa. Do you think I should try or is my decision ok?

Ray doesn't want me to see Jason and said he would be ok if I left him and wanted to work on myself and heal myself and find happiness, which is what I plan to do in a sense but I don't want to put Jason in hold, or should I? How can I take things slow and scale back with Jason and go from sex partners, to boyfriends, back to a tamed down version?

I really do appreciate all your guidance and you were right on the money with how things would happen. Now I'm playing catch up because I'm lost and my works has been turned upside down. I feel so guilty for blindsiding Ray with this but at the same time he wanted us to do that to Jason.

Have you ever been here before or know of someone who has and ideas or tips to help?

We live in the same home and shared a life like a married couple. Our families love each-other and everything is shared. What do I do now?

Thanks in advance and forgive me for typing from my phone. I'll send more information later if needed and thanks for being a wonderful community!
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2013, 06:11 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Glad it helped some to break it into bullet list. Sounds like there were updates to the situation though. Is this where it is at? (Again, I could guess wrong... so correct where necessary. You know your reality best over there.)
  • Ray decided he was done in triad and asked me to be with only him.
  • I told him I was not willing to be only with him. I wanted to be in relationship with Jason still.
  • We all talked, it was a relief to air out.
  • But the bottom line? Given the triad limits of "all in triad, there's no V happening" from before? That leaves us at
    • (me + jason) still in romantic relationship.
    • ray is broken up with us as a romantic partner.


Before jumping the gun, I could CONFIRM with Ray and Jason that YES -- there will be no V thing here with me as hinge. this is NOT the problem of "how do we learn to go from triad to healthy V shape?" but the problem of "How do we go from triad to one couple left and a good ex-friend person?"

MY CURRENT NEEDS (ALSO DEALING WITH MYSELF)
  • I need help coping with the loss of romantic relationship with Ray. I do not have to lose Ray in my life, but the romantic relationship has come to a close with him. Even if welcome by me, it is a loss to process.
  • I need help in coping with the loss of Ray's financial support.
  • I need help in coping with the loss of Ray's emotional support. Even if we end up as good friends, in this "transition time" it gets too weird to be asking him to comfort me as I process the stages of grief for the loss of the romance I shared once with him. It's too close for comfort.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH
  • I could talk to partners (done/doing)
  • I could talk to friends/family
  • I could talk online
  • I could secure a counselor for extra support

MENTAL HEALTH
  • I could avoid taking on stressy extra things (ex: choosing to also be dog sitting for a pal right now)
  • I could take actions so SOME things are being done (ex: look at flat rentals)

PHYSICAL HEALTH
  • I could take a bubble bath, book a massage, take a walk, etc.
  • Eat, sleep right.

SPIRITUAL HEALTH
  • I could do my spiritual practice things that I do

DEALING WITH RAY

I also need help maintaining my boundaries in the other direction. HE will be processing his own journey through the stages of grief. He might be "bargaining stage" when he tells me things like this and I could be aware of that:

Quote:
We've been talking and he's willing to work on us and help me and feels I owe it to him and our relationship to try
Quote:
Ray doesn't want me to see Jason and said he would be ok if I left him and wanted to work on myself and heal myself and find happiness,
(You actually don't owe it to him or the relationship to try... if it comes against your own willingness. You owe it to yourself to be true to yourself and asking you to go against your heart's willingness is what? Not you loving you, and not him loving you. Maybe finding your happiness IS with Jason -- Ray does not get to dictate that. Ray's hurting so could be generous and forgive it but don't lose sight of that for yourself -- that he could be in "bargaining stage" and struggling to find a way to digest the change and talking emotional stuff and not making sense. )
  • I want to be firm but kind to him in his process.
  • I do not want to get back together. I could hold the limit. Gently remind him it is done, the limit is there.
  • I just want both of us process the break up in healthy ways and be ok together as exes and friends.
  • I could talk to Ray about HOW we want to process this break up together in a healthy way and monitor each of us going through the stages of grief.

DEALING WITH JASON
  • I want to slow things down with Jason to give me the space I need to process through my grief and deal with Ray's grief coming at me in the other direction in appopriate ways.
  • I could ask Jason for some time -- a month of limiting it to email contact and face time on weekends for lunch or something. But go easy on the other days this first month post break up because I still live with my / our ex and that's weird enough.
  • I could make sure to set me up in a flat of my own for at least a year post break up.
  • I could make sure I am appropriately supportive of Jason moving through his stages of grief also. Ray is ALSO his ex.

TRIAD LANDING NEEDS
  • I could remember each player in the process is unique, and will process different than me. Less/more time, different was of expression, etc.
  • I could remember the triad polyship time has landed/is over Each crew member has the right to walk away safely into new times.
  • In my own sensitive time, I could try extra hard not to take anything personally as the people around me deal with their grief process.

DEALING WITH RELATIVES

Quote:
We live in the same home and shared a life like a married couple. Our families love each-other and everything is shared. What do I do now?
I could confirm the outcome goals with Ray are these kinds of things:
  • Part ways in a good way.
  • Set up your own flat, bank accounts, etc.
  • Be APPROPRIATELY supporting each other in the stages of grief process.
  • Share the news with the extended family and ask for their patience and support in this time.

Then once firm on the goals/plan I could start checking off the tasks to accomplish the goals:

Call our people and tell them that we have broken up, check rentals, etc.
Ask them for things they could do -- make meals, help pack, lend general support as we try to be good exes and friends.

POSSIBLE RISKS

DO NOT GET SUCKED BACK IN with Ray if you feel happiest long term NOT being in relationship any more. Even if it takes short term break up suckage feelings to process -- be true to your heart and to yourself.

DO NOT MOVE IN WITH JASON. Even if later you end up sleep over lots? Maintain your own place and independence at least for a year to get your bearings. If something goes wrong with Jason later down (while I hope it does not) the last thing you need is another "break up + move all my stuff elsewhere" experience so close together.

You are responsible for your own best healths.

Those would be my suggestions. Edit at will.

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-20-2013 at 02:39 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2013, 06:06 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babyday View Post
I can see myself marrying Jason, and I used to be able to see that with Ray, but things have changed and I don't have that clear image anymore at this point.
I had a couple boyfriends in my life whom "I could see marrying one day." Needless to say, it didn't work out that way.

When I met my husband, it wasn't "I can see marrying you one day." It was "I can't possibly imagine my life without you in it."

To me, that's the only criterion for marriage suitability. Everything else is "I guess you'll do, at least for now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Babyday View Post
My heart is breaking though because I'm loosing Ray. He's been my support system emotionally and financially for the past 5 years and I'm not sure how to handle things are go from here. We've been talking and he's willing to work on us and help me and feels I owe it to him and our relationship to try but I feel my heart wouldn't be in it and I wouldn't be able to give him what he needs and vise versa. Do you think I should try or is my decision ok?
Are there specific problems that can be worked on? Or is it just a general "falling out of love" that sometimes happens? There's not a lot you can do to "work on" that.

Quote:
Ray doesn't want me to see Jason and said he would be ok if I left him and wanted to work on myself and heal myself and find happiness, which is what I plan to do in a sense
In a nutshell, it's not up to Ray. It's your life. If you part ways from Ray, he doesn't get a vote in whether or not you date Jason.

Both of them want to be with you and both of them say they'll only be with you if you're only with them. But it's one thing to talk hypotheticals, and another to put your money where your mouth is. What would happen if you just told them both, "I'm not going to choose between you and it's not loving behaviour to force that on me." Let them choose by walking away if they aren't comfortable with a vee. Do you really want to be with someone who is forcing you to give up a love in your life? That applies to both of them.

Quote:
but I don't want to put Jason in hold, or should I? How can I take things slow and scale back with Jason and go from sex partners, to boyfriends, back to a tamed down version?
At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for you. We can't make the decision for you. Jason or Ray, or neither? There's no clear answer. You need to do what feels right. They're grown-ups, they can take care of their own feelings. You take care of yours.

It's pretty hard to scale things back when you live with someone, so that's a place to start. But rather than thinking in terms of limitations on your relationship with Jason, you can think in terms of needs in your life and how to work on yourself. There's no general answer there. Working with a therapist might help with specifics.

Quote:
I feel so guilty for blindsiding Ray with this but at the same time he wanted us to do that to Jason.
I don't see it as blindsiding. He participated in the ultimatum, why should he be so surprised if he lost out in it? That's always a risk when you give someone an ultimatum.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2013, 01:06 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Re:
Quote:
"What would happen if you just told them both, 'I'm not going to choose between you and it's not loving behaviour to force that on me.' Let them choose by walking away if they aren't comfortable with a vee. Do you really want to be with someone who is forcing you to give up a love in your life? That applies to both of them."
I second that.
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