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  #1  
Old 06-01-2013, 02:56 PM
cinnamoroll cinnamoroll is offline
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Default Unequal Triad & Lack of Communication. Help?

Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums and also to polyamory. I'm currently involved in what is purported to be a triad. I am in involved with a man and woman who were together before me for 5 years. Initially the girl wanted me to be a secondary to both of them. As her feelings grew and her boyfriend became more attached to me he said that they decided they wanted us to be a triad, completely equal in every way. The problem I have is although she has said she agrees with this, her words and actions do not line up. She still largely talks of them as a unit, and me as the outsider. She still seems to think and has even told me that if things were to go bad, they would default to just her and him (the last configuration without problems). He has assured me that this is not the case. If things were to go bad, whoever the problem was is the one who would be booted, and if it were simply she and I couldn't get along then he would date us both separately. When she and I are alone, she is amazing. I can really tell she loves me. She even jokes about leaving him for me. I adore her and she adores me. But when we are all three together it is tense. I feel like she is watching me like a hawk around him, even though we are supposed to be equals. She knows I love her, and I love him as well. She knows he loves her and he loves me as well. Yet if she walks out of the room and then back, she has to know what we were talking about when she was gone. I have tried to talk to her about her feelings before. She and I don't speak the same language, metaphorically. Often we have to use him to translate what she means by what she says, and what I mean by what I say. This has basically put him in the middle as the negotiator. A role that is really stressful for him. She also, as "the one who was there first", is entitled to request time alone with him, to ensure their relationship stays strong. However, if I were to do this it would not be appropriate in her mind at all. He would have no problem with it. I apologize for the length, and being rambly. I'm not sure what my specific questions are, I am just looking for insight. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What do you think? What do you suggest?
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:39 PM
Midnight31 Midnight31 is offline
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That sounds very like the situation I was in, I could have written most of that. In the end...I left. I couldn't handle being treated like a secondary when everyone had said and agreed we would be equal (or keep actively working towards that goal at least). It's one thing to be a secondary, but another to be told you're not and still treated like it. It was really hard, but I think it was best in my case. (I had a million other reasons too though.)

Your best bet may be talking to her about it alone since that seems to be when you are the most connected, maybe she will listen and respond better then. And I wouldn't be afraid to tell her that you think it might not work out if things don't change. Not in a throwing a tantrum, ultimatem way, but just that you're not happy and don't want to lose them. She shouldn't want to lose you either. For me, I was always afraid to say anything because I did feel like if I complained then I would get the boot. But turned out that was not the case and I had more power than I thought. I hope it can work out for you.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:10 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinnamoroll View Post
As her feelings grew and her boyfriend became more attached to me he said that they decided they wanted us to be a triad, completely equal in every way. The problem I have is although she has said she agrees with this, her words and actions do not line up.
Just to be clear - the triad was his idea? She went along with it? That might explain the whole situation since maybe she only agreed to the idea reluctantly and based on a fear of losing him otherwise.

Sounds like you need to sit down and find out if she really does want a triad and, if yes, exactly what she means by that. Then you can see if your definitions match.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:09 PM
Hetaera Hetaera is offline
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It sounds like someone is not being honest with his/herself at the very least. That's one thing that being poly has told me, it demands total honesty with oneself & the others involved. You cannot do things to please the other person to try keeping them happy or interested. I'm generally a very honest person but I have become far more honest with myself & therefore with others. Honesty with & compassion towards oneself is paramount in getting through life in general & living in a poly relationship.

Remember that you are a human being with feelings & your rights as an individual & in this triad are just as important as everyone else's. I think it's time for a sit down & for everyone to get brutally honest with themselves & each other. Good luck!

I'm going to meet my lover's wife tonight at their home. A little nervous but excited.
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:03 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Hi cinnomoroll, welcome to the board.

I see this is your first post and you probably haven't had a chance to read other threads because your situation seems so compelling. But if you spend a week or so reading around, you'll see your issue with your partners is EXTREMELY common with people new to polyamory!

How long have you been with your partners? Generally the early months of a relationhip are all hearts and flowers, and then once that period of sexy, exciting,"new relationship energy" (NRE) is past, social and communication issues come up.

You're a brave or foolish woman to date a couple, and they are brave and/or foolish as well. The funny thing about a couple "adding a third", a hot bi babe, aka unicorn, to their relationship is, it can seem like the perfect poly configuration... in theory! 2 bi women get to have sex. Straight guy gets to watch, or glory be! be the meat in a 2 chick sandwich! That's the most common guy fantasy out there.

However, then you have feelings. Insecurities. Jealousy. Low self esteem. Fear of being replaced. If kids are involved, it gets worse. If the new partner moves in with the couple, things get more tricky. Then, what about coming out to friends, family, co-workers?

Each triad will make choices that work for them, but often they break up and all 3 go on to date separately, not try to combine a single woman with an established couple.

We sometimes hear, here, from triads who HAVE worked out their issues, but more often, we hear of breakups, broken hearts, picking up the pieces, and "I'm never doing that again."
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2013, 04:15 PM
polywindsor polywindsor is offline
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Default Welcome and Hi:)

I would like to say that it is possible to work this out through straight forward communication and being 1000% honest. I am in a triad relationship exactly as yours is and am super duper happy and love being with both my partners. Equality is very important and the key to making this work. Your partner may not intentionally be trying to make you feel this way, I am sure she isn't doing it to be mean, so its best to keep that in the back of your mind when you are talking to her/them. When ever I am talking about feelings I use a lot of I statements (ie: I feel this way when you do this)I also reiterate that I know she isn't intentionally making me feel this way, so then she is more receptive to compromise and working things through

hope these couple of easy things help you as they have helped me to talk with my partners and therefor get my needs met.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:23 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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Default Trust, patience, communication, time.

Triads are just as tricky as any other relationship, but have more emotional variables to be considered and looked after. Established relationships elicit feelings inside of people that can be difficult to let go when attempting to open a relationship into any configuration, and in my experience, the only way to face them is to build and foster trust, patience, good communication and a pacing that is comfortable for everyone. It sounds like a lot of expectations have been placed on all of you to behave and feel a certain way, and that the reality of the situation isn't matching up with all of your ideals. Ideally there should be no shame around struggling, but often there is, and that can amplify the challenge of open communication and finding a feeling of safety and trust.

My half baked advice would be: Don't look to any one person as holding responsibility in this situation. Look to all of you for what needs to shift for everyone to feel comfortable, happy and non-threatened. Real change and relationships take time; it's not going to happen just because you all have the intention for it to happen - intention isn't the same as manifestation.

You want time alone with him. You would like some autonomy and privacy in your relationship with him (and her, I would imagine?) That is reasonable. That is something that you need. But it's making her uncomfortable, and while it's frustrating for you, your compassion, understanding, love and reassurance will do lots more than expectation, impatience or using a middle man to push past communication that is happening outside of her comfort zone.

There is no guarantee that you all are compatible for a triad. There is no guarantee that they are ready for the maturity and intense emotional work that may be necessary to open their relationship in an 'equal' way. For me, if someone seems to be feeling insecure/powerless/threatened, asking them what they need is one of the best things you can do.

I'm not saying that your needs aren't valid, or reasonable, or come second - that's not what you want, and not what everyone has gone into this with the intention of manifesting.... however.... I can say that it seems as though not everyone is on the same page, and finding a way forward that moves at a pace that will include and support everyone's comfort is the most important thing for everyone involved to be happy.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:23 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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What's the expectation for the triad? That we are "working towards equal triad" and expect some bumps to grow there? Or we expect to "instantly be there" already? Do all the players have the SAME expectation?

Could reading about jealousy and more jealousy poly hell issues help?

What does he do as the communication link that you and she cannot learn to do to overcome communication problems? Can you elaborate?

Have you all sat down as a trio to talk about breaking up and how it would be? Because you get 2 different plans here. What would be dealbreakers?

Quote:
She still seems to think and has even told me that if things were to go bad, they would default to just her and him (the last configuration without problems). He has assured me that this is not the case. If things were to go bad, whoever the problem was is the one who would be booted, and if it were simply she and I couldn't get along then he would date us both separately.
Have you asked her straight up -- "how can I reassure you? For the next X months, how do we share time here?" You might be willing to defer to her slightly for a short time in giving her extra time at the start if you know in X weeks you will be shifting things again and "working toward" equal... you might not be willing. Where is your willingness? What are YOUR needs?

Quote:
She also, as "the one who was there first", is entitled to request time alone with him, to ensure their relationship stays strong. However, if I were to do this it would not be appropriate in her mind at all.
That's possibly because her mind is still in "primary-secondary" model and not in "co-primary" open relationship model.

Are you willing to ignore her talking like a "unit" for a while? Because it takes time to change. Or are you getting the vibe that she's just going along with it (triad idea) and really prefers a primary-secondary model? You are allowed to ask whatever it is you want/need from your polyship. Whether or not your poly partners meet the request is another thing -- but try to find out what you merely ASKING is provoking in her -- fear? Jealousy? What?

What do YOU prefer for yourself in polyship?

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-02-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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