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Old 02-11-2014, 01:04 PM
LoveBunny LoveBunny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 473

I sympathize. I had a similar relationship in my early twenties, a MFF started organically but evolved into them as a couple and me as the "third." I tried to date others, to find my own "primary," but the truth was, I was not emotionally available to those others outside our threesome. I eventually left the relationship, and they got married.

There is no model in our society for how to do what you're doing, not even a proper name for what you are to them, and that can make it all seem impossible. Back when I was in my triad, early 1990's, we didn't even know what polyamory was, didn't have any resources or message boards, we were just winging it, and we were very young, and we made a mess of it. In later years, I went the monogamous route, got married, and that didn't turn out to be what the whole fantasy implies either....and now I'm here trying to make a semi-open marriage work...

I'd say try to take a good hard look at what IS apart from the whole fantasy of what you're "supposed" to have, then decide if what IS is good enough, or if in your heart you'll always want something more.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:37 PM
AUcpl43 AUcpl43 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Auburn, AL
Posts: 2
Default spot on

Orangesmartie is insightful to consider "re-wrapping" that package. And bookbug is spot-on about not being willing to give up the best thing you've ever had just to fit into societal norms. We all struggle with this from time to time, as it's just not possible for most of us to be out to everyone we know. You're not alone.

I'm on the opposite side of the triangle - the wife in an 18 year marriage that opened up later. Five years ago we met a woman who was in your role. While we invited her into our lives, she was programmed by society to think she had to have that white picket fence dream. We've since moved on to others in different configurations, but still keep a door open for when she walks back in, as she inevitably does from time to time.

If you do close your triad, that is considered polyfidelitious, meaning closed to other partners. However, I do agree that just as your triad "happened," sometimes love finds you when and where you least expect it. If it's meant to be, it will hit you over the head, even if you're not keeping your eyes open for it.

Best wishes for navigating this love with no field guide. Talk, trust, and talk some more.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:44 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 127

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get married. But your triad partners are not available for marriage, so you will need to find someone else for that. The beauty of polyamory is, you can. You can date single people who are available for marriage even if your triad partners don't want to date others themselves.

Anyone new you date does not need to be a part of your triad too, although it is possible that your triad partners may want to meet them and attempt to form a friendly connection with them.

There are a fair number of single poly people on OKCupid, or you could try going to poly meetups and events.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:00 PM
Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Crazytown USA
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Maybe you and he can legally married and she can have a commitment ceremony? Nothing says she has to be the legal wife
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:59 PM
GreenAcres GreenAcres is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 571

I totally sympathize. And, while some do manage to work around it with "repackaging," or by dating others outside their triad, it can be difficult (for one thing, while love is not an infinite resource, time is). The reality is that, in a triad, if two of the partners are married, there are some practical issues that are difficult (and, depending where you live, almost impossible) to get around because of our societal model of marriage. It can leave the "third" in a fairly vulnerable position, even with everyone having the best intentions.

That isn't to say it can't work, of course. Just that there is a lot to consider, and you are not wrong for feeling like social conventions can make a difference. There are a lot of built-in protections in marriage (at least here in the US and in most European countries) that are a large part of why many people get married, that aren't generally available to a third party in a relationship (and, depending on the state in the US, very little can be done about some of that, even with a slew of contracts, etc., if two of the three are married).

It's worth weighing, for practical and emotional and time reasons, what is right for you, given your long-term desires. You could decide to date others in hopes of finding a marriageable partner, you could decide to request that you be one of the two partners in the marriage (if you're in the right place, you could marry her, even), you could decide you are okay with the idea that you will not have the societal protections but the other two will, you could discuss with them the idea that none of you marry and instead look at other options for financial and practical issues.

There are no right answers, except what is right for you, and for them, and for your relationship. But, you are not wrong at all for considering what societal norms may mean, or feeling potentially vulnerable and hurt at the idea of not having them.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:50 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SoNH
Posts: 1,343

Not the same situation here, since I'm in a Vee and not a Triad, but would they be amenable to having another type of commitment ceremony that isn't a formal/legal marriage?

P and I are handfasted, as are P and M1. He and I repeat the ceremony each year, and he and M1 do the same. Although we choose to do ours privately, a handfasting ceremony can be just as public as a wedding, should you choose to go that route, and it can actually be tailored for the three of you.

(Obligatory "Check with your lawyer" here, since some states find commitment ceremonies akin to an informal "wedding" and can bag you with anti-polygamy laws... however some states can do the same when a third party cohabitates with a married couple. Something to think about and look into)

Outside of the social difficulties, though, there are other things to consider (and these are things that have made me determine that if P and M1 were to ever get married, I would reevaluate my own relationship with him - it'd be a game-changer).

Legally, if one couple gets married out of the three of you, an imbalance has just been introduced into the dynamic. Regardless of intent now, it would be extremely difficult for me to give M1 that much power over my relationship with P. As an example, we have discussed coming up with Durable Power of Attorney contracts and the like (we haven't actually done it yet), but if P ever married M1 and then ended up in the hospital, and M1 and I had a falling out, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the hospital would refuse me entry, regardless of what paperwork got signed. As the wife, she would have privilege and legal right that I would not have, and that would be an unacceptable imbalance for me.

Note that I'm only speaking for myself here. Others on this board are married and have other partners, and this works well for them, but I'm too damned stubborn and independent to not have this grate on me if I were to try to do the same. (And no, if P were to ask ME to marry him, I'd ask him if he were on crack and refuse, since I wouldn't want to tip the scales in either direction)

The best advice I have for you is to do some soul-searching and figure out what your big worries are if they were to get married, and address those. If you can accept and work with that, then good! If you all compromise and decide a marriage isn't necessary, but a handfasting would be great, then good! If you come to a head and realize you have conflicting goals? Then it's painful, but it's still good. Better to know these things now than ten years down the road. Talk, talk, talk, then talk some more... And see where you go from there. And don't forget to take a break from the heavy stuff and ENJOY your relationship...

Oh, and letting your family dictate when/if you'll get married just leads to them dictating when/if you'll have kids. Stop this madness out of the gate! (My own mother was adamant that my kids needed a dog, to the point where she introduced the targeted dog to the kids one Christmas with the hopes they'd want to take him home... really? REALLY?!)
Dramatis personae:
Me: 47/F, Divorced with 2 kids, 2 cats, fish, a tarantula, and a 1930s house with many projects.
Chops: 48/M, Partner of 6 years.
Spinner: 52/M, Friend I went on a couple dates with. Divorced, Mono, "just friends".
Xena: 47/F, Chops' partner of 6 years
Curls: 50/F, Chops' partner of 1 year

Supporting Characters:
Choplet: Chops' son
DanceGirl: My oldest daughter
Pokégirl: My youngest daughter
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:59 AM
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Oldpolyman Oldpolyman is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Usually on the East Coast
Posts: 53

As we aged, we found ourselves caring less and less what blood family, neighbors, and society think. Sure some people got bent out of shape and refused to talk to us, but the way I figure they were never really our friends anyway. Most ppl were and are caring, besides the more often we come out the easier it gets.
I try to love my wives this way, unconditionally! Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her. Eph. 5:25
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:54 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Location: Canada
Posts: 2,448

Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
I didnt know it was illegal to have a "hand-fasting" ceremony while legally married to someone else. First time I heard that!
It depends on the jurisdiction of course, but nearly all the states and provinces in N.America have bans on multiple marriages, and for this purpose define marriage as either living together in a conjugal-like relationship (i.e. living together while having sex and sharing bills and being in a romantic relationship), or having a wedding-like ceremony. As hand-fasting, along with Mormon church ceremonies etc, is a wedding-like ceremony, it's technically forbidden.

Then of course, there's "what's illegal" and then there's "what's technically illegal but no one really cares." Unless you live somewhere crazy, it's unlikely to attract enough attention to get you in trouble. However, if you're a secret mob boss and they're looking for something to get you with, you could face a $10,000 fine and/or time in prison.
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:08 AM
accidentaltriad accidentaltriad is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Central CT
Posts: 8

Thank you all so much for your insights. I have read all of your responses and they've given me many ways to rethink my situation in positive terms and break the mold, so to speak. I am really thankful to have found this community! Many thanks to you all.
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family, marriage, mff, triad

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