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Old 03-10-2014, 08:50 PM
Auggie7 Auggie7 is offline
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Default Trouble keeping balance

First of all I wish to say that overall things are not bad. I believe they could be better but they could also be a great deal worse. In saying that, I as still having a problem with one thing. How to keep balance with effort.

After 15 months of being in a Triangle with my wife of 26 years and my girlfriend, I have noticed that working on one relationship often has negative consequences with the other. In other words, if I see a problem growing with my wife and I work on fixing that problem, it seems to have a negative effect on my relationship with my girlfriend. This is often also true when I am working on an issue with my girlfriend.

I don't feel that they are intentionally making things difficult for me but I struggle with this. I have tried working this from every angle but I have found no solution to this "phenomenon."

They are both aware that I feel this way and neither of them has denied that this is an issue. They often shift from being lovers themselves to being metamours. It is easier for me when they are close but when they are not, I am often worn ragged trying to give both of them the attention they both deserve. I am very happy and deeply in love with both of them but I am also exhausted. They both want, and deserve, time with me alone and I also enjoy the time with both as well but time is limited.

Maybe I am worrying too much about this but at times I am very distressed. I find myself wanting to be in two different places and I have to choose who to make happy and who to disappoint. It is not simply a task of keeping track of hours. The demands of life often cause one to need support but when they both need me at the same time, how do I split myself? I hope some of you experienced groups can give me some advice. This may seem like a small problem compared to others but is real to me.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2014, 09:22 PM
gorgeouskitten gorgeouskitten is offline
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I guess...what are the issues caused when you work with one? Does the other get jealous? feel slighted by lack of time, attention? Are you ignoring her or canceling plans? more info would help.

Also, has everyone agreed to be equals, and have no hierarchy? My spouse and boyfriend are pretty much equals, and I am currently both if their main partner. While I divide a lot between them, my spouse sees me more, sleeps with me more, etc because we live together. I try to make a good balance of spending as much time as I can with Nudge, but I am married to J. so he does get some say in that. Im very lucky I nthat I see Nudge a good 3-4 times a week and with some overnights (we'd like more). I give them both attention easily, because I love doing it. I text, talk, have them both I nthe same place (platonic, they aren't bi). It helps they are friends. But yes, its exhausting. Sometimes you have to have one person be a "Secondary", OR everyone needs to agree on the time/attention split.
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2014, 05:41 AM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auggie7 View Post
First of all I wish to say that overall things are not bad. I believe they could be better but they could also be a great deal worse. In saying that, I as still having a problem with one thing. How to keep balance with effort.

After 15 months of being in a Triangle with my wife of 26 years and my girlfriend, I have noticed that working on one relationship often has negative consequences with the other. In other words, if I see a problem growing with my wife and I work on fixing that problem, it seems to have a negative effect on my relationship with my girlfriend. This is often also true when I am working on an issue with my girlfriend.

I don't feel that they are intentionally making things difficult for me but I struggle with this. I have tried working this from every angle but I have found no solution to this "phenomenon."

They are both aware that I feel this way and neither of them has denied that this is an issue. They often shift from being lovers themselves to being metamours. It is easier for me when they are close but when they are not, I am often worn ragged trying to give both of them the attention they both deserve. I am very happy and deeply in love with both of them but I am also exhausted. They both want, and deserve, time with me alone and I also enjoy the time with both as well but time is limited.

Maybe I am worrying too much about this but at times I am very distressed. I find myself wanting to be in two different places and I have to choose who to make happy and who to disappoint. It is not simply a task of keeping track of hours. The demands of life often cause one to need support but when they both need me at the same time, how do I split myself? I hope some of you experienced groups can give me some advice. This may seem like a small problem compared to others but is real to me.
This is why it's easier for polyfolk to date other polyfolk. Maybe you need to find a poly girlfriend? You could encourage your wife and girlfriend to find other partners, but that won't work well if they really are monogamous and only want to love and be with one person. Or get better at relationship management.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:43 AM
Eclipse Eclipse is offline
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I think that you are already coming from a good starting point. Having two partners that know of, respect and communicate with each other is SUCH a stress reducer all by itself. There are a lot of people on this board that manage two relationships where the other two members of their vee are indifferent to each other or worse. I have to give kudos to those who can pull this off, because THAT would be the most hellish thing I can think of.

You've heard the adage "work smarter, not harder"? I think it applies here... Fostering their relationship makes every aspect of yours easier. I'm curious about most of the same things gorgeouskitten is... but keep in mind that any time that you can set aside to spend with both of them together is not only building your relationship with them, but also theirs with each other. This is coming from someone in a triad that they only time we don't do things as a triad is when someone is working, going to school or otherwise preoccupied. We just like the dynamic of the three of us together.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:29 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I am often worn ragged trying to give both of them the attention they both deserve.
Are you neglecting your own need for rest?

Quote:
They both want, and deserve, time with me alone and I also enjoy the time with both as well but time is limited.
Yup. Limit of the Universe -- there is only but so much time.

Quote:
I find myself wanting to be in two different places and I have to choose who to make happy and who to disappoint.
You could meet your own needs first -- and to me it sounds like you could use some rest!

You cannot gift yourself and your time to others if you are running ragged. Please take care of you. All of you could take of selves first, then the other people. Much like a plane emergency -- put your own oxygen mask on first, then see to others. This isn't being "selfish" -- this is a necessity so people can keep going and not keel over.

You also could let them do their own emotional management. Rather than evaluate whether they feel happy or sad, you could evaluate your behavior. Did you do behavior to try to meet each of their needs or not? Yes or no? If so, could call it good enough.

Because you can control your behaviors. You cannot control other people's feelings of joy or sadness in response to your behaviors. That part is on them. Is how they express their emotions to you bothering you?

Quote:
The demands of life often cause one to need support but when they both need me at the same time, how do I split myself?
Could you give an example? It's hard to advise not knowing what the situation was/is. In general it would be case-by-case basis to me.

Hang in there!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-11-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2014, 01:33 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipse View Post
any time that you can set aside to spend with both of them together is not only building your relationship with them, but also theirs with each other. This is coming from someone in a triad that they only time we don't do things as a triad is when someone is working, going to school or otherwise preoccupied. We just like the dynamic of the three of us together.
Just be aware, OP, that when they're NOT feeling that close, this may not help too much, as they may want/need some one-on-one time with you.

I'm not in a triad and, while I like my metamour, I'm not particularly close with her - there is a limit as to how much "together time" I can take before I feel like I need to pull back with my partner and recoup. But I'm on the other end of the spectrum from Eclipse - I'm mono, and I don't prefer the "big family" model of poly. Everyone's mileage varies here, and I feel for you with how difficult the balance must be, especially shifting between the close and not-so-close times.

What the three of us in this vee try to do, however, is stick to the schedule except for true blue emergencies (or reschedules due to other events). As much as I hate being alone with a foot of snow and only me and a shovel, that isn't an emergency. The house on fire? Emergency. We've only had one emergency raise its head, when Chops had my mom's car up on the jack, fixing its brakes, and Xena called to report water pouring in from the light fixture on their ceiling. He did what he could to get mom's car working, then went back to move furniture around with Xena. You do what you can when you absolutely need to, and Xena and I both try to be realistic with what needs are versus what our wants are. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when I really want him there (mold in the cellar, wood stove won't get going, a foot of snow on the ground with just me and my shovel, etc.), but I *can* do this stuff, physically (or I swear at the wood stove and decide to use oil for the night), and we just deal with the emotions afterward. (Distance between the two homes causes part of the problem as well, as he isn't traveling 1.5 hours in a snowstorm - I wouldn't ask him to, at any rate)

How close, physically, are you three? Is distance/living arrangement causing part of the problem, and is there a potential solution there?
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Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 10), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2014, 04:10 AM
Auggie7 Auggie7 is offline
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Thank you for the replies. I have been a little busier than normal but I will try to post tomorrow and give more information.
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