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  #1  
Old 05-09-2014, 12:31 AM
nosayingbagpipe nosayingbagpipe is offline
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Default 2 long term couples creating a quad, help!

The basics-

Myself (W) and my long-term partner (J) have been together in a mono way for about 7 years, about 1.5yrs ago we decided to go open and now love it and will never go back.

The couple we have begun seeing are essentially in the same boat, long term mostly mono, went poly, love it and now see the two of us. (M&A)

So what we have is a hetero quad, I date my partner (J) and the guy from their setup (M) and my partner dates me (W) and the female from their set up (A). We all greatly adore one another and A and I are quite close friends now while J and M are slowly working to get a good friendship going.

We have quickly discovered that we are now dating our mirror personalities. Myself and M are shockingly similar, bit wild, bit loud, throw in some ADHD and a really high sex drive and you basically have us down.

The other two, J and A, are our more grounded, introverted counterparts who are more than happy watching a sunset together but also are enjoying their new budding sex life with each other.

The Problems-

M and I are falling for each other, madly. It's been very wild and very quick for the two of us and we are continuously struggling to stay at a pace that our counterparts are Ok with but both realize the importance of this. On top of just falling in love with each other we have an explosively good sex life, not just new relationship good, but 'holyshitihavefoundthegoldenegg' sort of good.

Both myself and M have been struggling with keeping the passion with our primary partners for some time now. We both love our primaries (J and A) with a very deep and very respectful sort of love, but the sex life is fading for the both of us and the passion has become a real struggle to maintain. Neither of us are willing to risk losing our primaries regardless of frustrations that may bring and activly want to find a way to reignite that passion.

J and myself both acknowledge the fading passion, we discuss how we could improve but I'm afraid now that I'm quickly learning just how different our personal sexualities are. He's got very insecure as of late now that he's aware of just how well its going between M and I. I try to be as understanding as possible but recently it seems that he's unconsciously doing everything he can to prevent me from continuing my intimate relationship with M.

(such as saying hes not comfortable with us getting a hotel room together, or possibly setting up a bed in the spare room in our house etc. or any other various ways we've sought to get some genuine privacy)

I've asked J to help me possibly find a way to have regular privacy that he's comfortable with and it always ends in arguing, I'm told I should be happy with what I've been 'allowed' to do so far. I feel like a bratty kid.

It has also become apparent that A is almost as uncomfortable with everything as J is. She and M have very similar sex and relationship problems as J and I do which has become a very common topic of discussion between each of us since we've started this.

J and A are slowing becoming very close with each other but they both seem to suffer quite a lot from the sudden intensity between M and I, while we are encouraging and more or less happy with how they are going along and if nothing at all are happy for them to go further.

M and I are very keen for access to regular privacy and the ability to really explore our relationship together in every way and not just sexually. (we've never even had the chance to sleep in the same bed yet, it's been 4 months now.) However the issues between us and our primaries seem to form the main issue around our inability to genuinely explore with each other. We are starting to get a bit desperate and each of us know ourselves quite well and feel that we may begin to actually resent our primaries if we have to continue going along at this forced pace, or we might do something stupid that we'll regret.

ugh...help? Advice? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2014, 05:01 AM
CosmoMcKinley CosmoMcKinley is offline
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Seems to me that you're having basically the same problems that a single introvert and single extrovert would have, especially at the start of a relationship. Extroverts are usually always going to be waiting for the introvert to "catch up" in a lot of social situations, as I'm sure you remember from the early days of your relationship with J.

You've taken two introvert/extrovert couples and created two new dynamics, two new couples essentially. Now you have a pair of extroverts who have outpaced the pair of introverts, and it's creating a strain on the original relationships.

There's no quick fix, there's just time. You say that J and A are growing closer, just remember that they probably won't do so at the same pace that you and M are, nor will they adapt to the whole new relationship configuration at the speed you have.

My advice would be to give J and A that time. Don't push hard, or maybe at all, for anything that's not on the table at the moment. Sure, you may want things like an overnight with your new lover right now, but waiting for that is a small price to pay for a greater chance at longevity and success for both the new relationships and the old.
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2014, 12:20 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Will A still support your relationship with M even if her relationship with J fizzles?

I wouldn't assume that is a given. It sure wasn't in the two quads I attempted. That's why I won't do a quad anymore.
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2014, 02:37 PM
vanquish vanquish is offline
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Ok. A lot to cover here. If I come off blunt, it's not disrespect. It's tough love.

First, there's a difference between open and poly. Open relationships are basically swinging relationships. Polyamorous relationships involve actual feelings. Not trying to be a jargon stickler, but the difference between adjusting to sex with others and full, emotional relationships is huge. With just sex, the issues primarily center around sexual jealousy, frequency and gender identities/sexual orientation. With polyamory, issues include all those issues PLUS hierarchy issues (where does the new person fit), neglect, and abandonment issues.

One and a half years open doesn't seem like a long time to me, personally, but your mileage may vary. Jumping into a double V (Which is what I think you're in actually. A quad makes it sound like all partners are involved emotionally and sexually with all other partners. At least to me. You get to call it what ever you want )...is a huge undertaking when you've only been open/poly for such a short period.

Second, I'm getting a tinge of attempting to fix your existing relationships with new ones.

Quote:
Both myself and M have been struggling with keeping the passion with our primary partners for some time now.
So you know you've identified a recurring passion problem, but you choose this period to try a new, stressful relationship type? Your choice, but this seems ill timed to me. I know you can't decide when you fall in love. I know relationships happen when they happen. But it will be vastly easier to work on the old problems if you're not adding a new relationship.

Third, I definitely agree that one partner dictating ultimatums and rules to the other with no input or undue pressure to give in is unfair and far from ideal. Remember, you may have been together for 7 years, but he only has the power you give him. It's ultimately your choice to live your life how you want to. That doesn't mean that he can't react with consequences, but again, you're not chained into any set of rules that don't work for you.

Communication, of course, is the key. Here are two links that might be good points for dicussion:

http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/p.../jealousy.html
http://www.kathylabriola.com/article...u-in-poly-hell

The first, about jealousy, can help you root out the fears he may have and help you both address those fears so that your new relationship is no longer a threat.

The second, helps identify some of the most common pitfalls in poly relationships. Fear of these things happening or identifying that he feels some of them are already happening can also help you begin to root out why he's not comfortable for you being physical with M. If J is introverted and non-confrontational, perhaps present him with the links so he can digest them on his own, then both of you discuss afterwards. Or read them together and be very open to hearing what begins to resonate with him. It might not all be a bed of roses.

Last, there are multiple ways to have the talks. Each original couple work on things together only at first. Or all four of you sit down and hear everyone out. Or talk with your female counterpart and get her take on things first. Personally, I find that the fewer people involved in a negotiation, the less likely for there to be drama.

Ultimately every day you decide to remain in your relationship with J, you're saying that the benefits of that relationship out weigh the cons. You may decide that being poly is so important and essential to who you are now, that even your relationship with J is less important. I'd caution you not to jump ship to the new, shiny relationship without thinking long and hard. Only you can decide if waiting to get sexy is so painful that you can't wait to work things out with your first partner.
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2014, 02:37 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Having a quad like that work is tough. Just because I'm attracted to Guy A, doesn't mean my partner is attracted to Guy A's girlfriend. Nor does it mean she is attracted to my partner.

Is there no small part of you that is trying to force their relationship in order to make things easier for you? You don't have to worry about them really loving each other, or leaving you, etc. If I were you, I'd have a gentle talk saying, Hey, look, we just want everyone to be happy. Maybe that means you (A and J) look to find a romantic relationship outside the quad?
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2014, 03:01 PM
london london is offline
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Your existing relationship has issues so of course your existing partner is going to be reluctant to condone you developing relationships with other people. Your priority doesn't seem to be fixing your existing relationship, it seems to be ensuring that your new relationship can continue to thrive. That's fine if you feel your pre existing relationship isn't going to work and you'd rather put your energy into more positive interactions, but you have to end it. Not just let it sit there and rot whilst you plan your next sexual adventure with Mr Stud.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2014, 04:37 AM
nosayingbagpipe nosayingbagpipe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletzinnia View Post
Will A still support your relationship with M even if her relationship with J fizzles?
I really hope so. Although I think their relationship is going along fine if it did end shes got a very good head on her shoulders and I don't think she'd want to do that to M or myself, as hard as it might be for her.

Last edited by nosayingbagpipe; 05-10-2014 at 05:24 AM.
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2014, 04:44 AM
nosayingbagpipe nosayingbagpipe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post
If I were you, I'd have a gentle talk saying, Hey, look, we just want everyone to be happy. Maybe that means you (A and J) look to find a romantic relationship outside the quad?
A and J met through my budding interest in M. They hit it off from the start which we were all pleased with but everyone was certainly quite wary of the quad thing beginning to happen especially since we're all fairly new to this.

In no way would I want J to feel pressured into making their relationship work. In fact there is in increased level of autonomy/privacy going on between the two new couples so that we don't interfere too heavily in the growth of each.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2014, 04:53 AM
nosayingbagpipe nosayingbagpipe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanquish View Post
One and a half years open doesn't seem like a long time to me, personally, but your mileage may vary.
Its not, but then again almost all of poly is fairly new for us, by no means did we look for what we have but thats a bit of the beauty of it.
Quote:
Second, I'm getting a tinge of attempting to fix your existing relationships with new ones.
J and I have discussed this in depth. Our passion has its ebbs and flows and when we discussed allowing poly in our life it came as no surprise as I had always acknowledged my interest throughout our relationship. We're just settled enough now in our city to let it happen.

Quote:
It's ultimately your choice to live your life how you want to. That doesn't mean that he can't react with consequences, but again, you're not chained into any set of rules that don't work for you.
Agreed, and I think at some point I may just have to make a decision for myself he may not like.

Quote:
Last, there are multiple ways to have the talks. Each original couple work on things together only at first. Or all four of you sit down and hear everyone out. Or talk with your female counterpart and get her take on things first.
We regularly have catch-ups among the four of us to discuss the situation. A I think may downplay some of her concerns with me but them I'll get a more specific secondhand opinion from M after they talk later. Really I don't blame her though, shes only known me for about 4 months. Maybe with time the levels of truths we can expose each other to will help us get each other a bit better.

Quote:
I'd caution you not to jump ship to the new, shiny relationship without thinking long and hard. Only you can decide if waiting to get sexy is so painful that you can't wait to work things out with your first partner.
I'm not afraid of leaving J for something new and shiny, I'm afraid that if I ultimately had to leave M or anyone new to rescue what I have with J that I'd develop resentment.

Last edited by nosayingbagpipe; 05-10-2014 at 05:25 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2014, 05:09 AM
nosayingbagpipe nosayingbagpipe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Your existing relationship has issues so of course your existing partner is going to be reluctant to condone you developing relationships with other people. Your priority doesn't seem to be fixing your existing relationship, it seems to be ensuring that your new relationship can continue to thrive.
J is as committed to poly as I am. He fully supports and understands my interest in developing additional relationships. The existing issues in our relationship are issues that have risen and fallen multiple times throughout our life together, currently the lack of passion is there again however we are familiar with its presence.

What I find interesting is that I feel perhaps I'm more committed to trying to resolve my primary relationship than J is. He's reluctant for example to attend counseling with me to try and find out whats really causing the loss of passion, he also thinks that just giving it time (which is how we've dealt with it every time so far) will resolve it.

Last edited by nosayingbagpipe; 05-10-2014 at 05:23 AM.
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