A little help please...

DestinyWaits

New member
You know, it was hard for me to think of a title for this because well, I have no idea what to call this thread, all I know is that I was wondering if anyone else has ever had this experience and if so how did you handle it.....


With our last partner, a woman my husband and I loved very dearly, we were always trying to put things on an equal level with everyone. What I mean by this is that we wanted her to feel that she was an equal part of our relationship, ie, getting her opinion on decisions, inclusion is day to day activities and so on. All this was made more difficult by the fact that she wanted to live on her own to put on the outter appearance of being "normal" for her seriously religious mother but at the same time wanted to be an avid part of our relationship. We took all steps that we could think of to take to let her know she was an equal with us, or more importantly with me, as a sister wife should be but she was insistant that she was and would remain the "third" person. We wanted her to be an equal but she couldn't get past the fact that we had been a married couple for years before she came along. I think this is part of the reason our relationship didn't last which is very upsetting because she was the one we thought would be with us forever and the one we loved dearly.

Do any of you know what can be done to help make someone understand that though we are married we do have enough love to include them and love them as an equal? Can this be done? :confused:
 

vandalin

New member
It sounds to me as though she wanted to be with you guys, but not as a "married triad". It also sounds like she may have felt she was intruding on you and your husbands relationship. Perhaps she wasn't ready to be an "equal". She seems to have wanted to keep her life separate. She obviously has an outside influence or at least an outside pressure to still be or pretend to be someone she is not (mother).

I'm not sure if my input can be of any help, since it might seem like I'm just repeating what you said, but sometimes a change of syntax can put a new perspective on a problem. Time and communication are about the only thing I can suggest. Ask her what she wants for the relationship, what her ideal would be, what part she sees herslf in.
 

Quath

New member
It is hard to overcome the social conditioning we are taught as we grow up. So all you can do is to try to work to get people to re-evaluate the things they were taught growing up and see if they can accept new ideas like triads.

You could also try the classic approach of trying to get someone to read some Heinlein books. :)
 

DestinyWaits

New member
In all honesty I understand what you both have said and thankfully my husband knew who Heinlin (sp) was because I didn't and so now I will have to read some of those books myself...as if my library wasn't big enough already!!! hehe! I do plan on talking to her again about it all and seeing if maybe since we have been apart for a few months if maybe we can see where we went wrong and try to work together to fix the problems. Thanks to you both.
 

foxflame88

New member
I don't have any advice, but wanted to offer encouragement. Good luck!
 

Mark1npt

New member
Destiny.....Quath and Vandalin present good views on this subject. Another I may offer is that, things may not always be what they appear to be. I hate to question everyone's motive, but perhaps she was not the person you and your husband thought she was or were in love with? Maybe the living alone was a convenient excuse to not totally immerse herself in the lifestyle? Maybe she was still finding herself, questioning herself and her ingrained upbringing and not ready to commit to the life forever. People get cold feet all the time and we've all been in relationships where 1 person valued the relationship more deeply than the other. People walk all the time, for various reasons. Keep trying, you two may yet find the right person to share the rest of your lives with.
 

DestinyWaits

New member
Mark I believe you are right on this one, the two of us have thought the same thing since she kept refusing to move in with us even though it had been almost a year. I know her family are important to her but need she have said "Mom, Dad, I'm moving in with this couple because we are all in a relationship" or could she have just said something like "mom, dad, I'm moving in with these friends of mine to help out since I'm a single mother of 2 and they are great with the kids" these are things we have wondered and I hope you are right, we do want this and hope that somewhere out there there is the other piece of us that we are searching for.
 

Nadine

New member
no advice, obviously.. but I'm hoping you guys can all come to a decision and I hope it's a good one
 

Mark1npt

New member
Destiny....I think maybe the kicker was she had two kids....she probably didn't or couldn't come to grips with how to deal with this sitaution and her kids. I know it's made it immensely easier for us three with all our kids grown and headed off to college. It just removes a huge hurdle.
 

XYZ123

New member
Destiny....I think maybe the kicker was she had two kids....she probably didn't or couldn't come to grips with how to deal with this sitaution and her kids. I know it's made it immensely easier for us three with all our kids grown and headed off to college. It just removes a huge hurdle.

He has a point. I'm on the other end. I'm married with a young child and another on the way. While my husband and I did have one V poly relationship, with me at the center, it was incredibly hard for me to enter into it and to balance that out with being a mother and having a family that would never understand. P was the person we thought was right for us, but P was also a very special person whom we had been friends with for years and long before our son was born. Even now I don't know if I can ever go forward in another poly relationship and not feel I'm somehow "messing up" the lives of my children. It's upbringing and society in part. But it's also my difficulty in letting go of my whole white picket fence dream life I grew up wanting.
Whatever happens, I wish you all the best. Maybe she'll come to terms and maybe she won't. Either way, I hope you all find what you are looking for.
 

punkinbutt69

New member
In Love and Lost

I have been in this relationship for almost two years. I love him very much. But his wife and I dont get along very well. I try to make friends with her but she doesnt seem to want to be friends. I'm feeling very confused and torn because I love him so very much and can't imagine my life with out him. I often feel second best and that his love for me isnt what it should be. I spend alot of time crying and feel I have absolutely no one to talk to. I joined this forum to see what everyone else feels, and see if anyone might have any advice for me I will appreciate any comments I get.
 

redpepper

New member
perhaps this whole poly thing isn't for her? In that case you've got a problem on your hands. You all do! That is tough, I can't imagine how that must make you feel to feel as if you are second fiddle.... I don't know if I would bother with it, but then I don't settle with anything! Life is too short to be feeling anything but the best you can and to do that, I expect the best and give my best every time.

I hope someone can shed more light than I with their own personal stories...

good luck dear... *hugs*
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
I'm going to offer a different perspective here. I apologize ahead of time if I ruffle some feathers, because I obviously don't know the nuances or the true picture of what's happening in this relationship. But so far, most of the replies I've seen have been coming from the perspective of couples and not not from the perspective of thirds. And what I've seen has ruffled my feathers quite a bit.

Here are some examples of what I read that indeed ruffled my feathers:

It also sounds like she may have felt she was intruding on you and your husbands relationship. Perhaps she wasn't ready to be an "equal".

It is hard to overcome the social conditioning we are taught as we grow up. So all you can do is to try to work to get people to re-evaluate the things they were taught growing up and see if they can accept new ideas like triads.

I hate to question everyone's motive, but perhaps she was not the person you and your husband thought she was or were in love with? Maybe the living alone was a convenient excuse to not totally immerse herself in the lifestyle? Maybe she was still finding herself, questioning herself and her ingrained upbringing and not ready to commit to the life forever.

Mark I believe you are right on this one, the two of us have thought the same thing since she kept refusing to move in with us even though it had been almost a year.

Destiny....I think maybe the kicker was she had two kids....she probably didn't or couldn't come to grips with how to deal with this sitaution and her kids.

perhaps this whole poly thing isn't for her?


All of these seem to suggest that if the third is not fitting into the version of what the couple wants, it must be because she (or her approach or her ability to cope) is somehow flawed or coming from the wrong place or whatever.

All relationships (mono, poly, friendships, partnerships, family etc.) run by a pretty similar formula. People have needs that are or are not met in these relationships.

Did it ever occur to anyone that perhaps this third's needs are different than the couple's and that's ok?

I'm currently dating a couple and am grateful for the enrichment and love we share, but I've been very clear about the fact that I'm not interested in moving in and being their "third" despite how equal they want me to be. This is because I have needs they can't meet. I know that I were to move in and join a couple as a triad, I would have to give up a heck of a lot more than they would. I want to build a life in partnership, start a family, etc. I would not get that opportunity with a couple as they have already done that. In addition, if I were to move in with a couple and marry into it, there will have been all sorts of decisions about the life we lead together that were already made long before I was ever in the picture, and I would never get to be a part of such things, no matter how hard the couple tries to make me "equal". Well, that's simply not what I want. Thankfully the couple I'm dating has been understanding of where I am and so we are able to let our relationship grow into what's right for the relationship, not into what's right for their preconceived notions of making a polyfi triad.

This doesn't mean that I'm not ready for poly or can't cope or that poly isn't for me or that I haven't gotten over the conformist social conditioning or anything else like that. . It simply means that I have different needs.

Honestly, it's this sense of entitlement that couples often approach relationships with that makes unicorns so rare.
 
Last edited:

redpepper

New member
I have been in this relationship for almost two years. I love him very much. But his wife and I dont get along very well. I try to make friends with her but she doesnt seem to want to be friends. I'm feeling very confused and torn because I love him so very much and can't imagine my life with out him. I often feel second best and that his love for me isnt what it should be. I spend alot of time crying and feel I have absolutely no one to talk to. I joined this forum to see what everyone else feels, and see if anyone might have any advice for me I will appreciate any comments I get.

I was responding to this post, not the original one... .. I agree with what you are saying however and see your point.
 

DestinyWaits

New member
Ceoli, I see your point and no feathers were ruffled. I do understand what you say and could have understood something like that and honored her feelings had she ever said any of the things you said but alas she did not. What she wanted was more and more one on one time with each of us and less time with us as a whole. When we first started the relationship we told her what it was we were looking for (the equal triad and a life partner) and she told us that was what she wanted too but as time went on her whole attitude on the relationship changed and instead of a family she wanted someone to spend the nights with her and she wanted to dictate which one it was, if either of us declined, for whatever reason, she would get upset and say we didn't care for her. When we approached her with the moving in idea at first it was "when my lease runs out on my house" then it went to "I'm going to reup my lease because I don't want to have to explain to my mom our relationship" then it went to "I've decided to stay here because you've been together 16 yrs and I could never fit in as a family" even after all we did to make her feel like an intricate part of our lives.
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
Ceoli, I see your point and no feathers were ruffled. I do understand what you say and could have understood something like that and honored her feelings had she ever said any of the things you said but alas she did not. What she wanted was more and more one on one time with each of us and less time with us as a whole. When we first started the relationship we told her what it was we were looking for (the equal triad and a life partner) and she told us that was what she wanted too but as time went on her whole attitude on the relationship changed and instead of a family she wanted someone to spend the nights with her and she wanted to dictate which one it was, if either of us declined, for whatever reason, she would get upset and say we didn't care for her. When we approached her with the moving in idea at first it was "when my lease runs out on my house" then it went to "I'm going to reup my lease because I don't want to have to explain to my mom our relationship" then it went to "I've decided to stay here because you've been together 16 yrs and I could never fit in as a family" even after all we did to make her feel like an intricate part of our lives.


While she probably could have handled it differently, it still sounds like she simply has different needs than you do. It is often hard for a third to learn the skills of standing up for themselves and learning to give voice to their needs when in a relationship with an established couple. As I said before, for the third, it can often feel like they have a lot more to lose in a relationship than the couple (whether this perception is true or not). And when people don't know how to give voice to their needs and share them, it can often start showing up in other negative ways.

Also there are times when a third may genuinely think being in a triad as an equal life partner is what they want until they learn the realities of the dynamics of being a third with a couple. No matter how hard a couple tries to make it easier for the third to integrate, there are factors that cannot be changed in such a relationship. Some people may think they're ok with those factors in theory but find that the reality of coping with such things is more emotional pain than it's worth. For others, those factors don't seem to matter at all and they can happily integrate into a couple. Again, it's just a matter of different needs. Not one person being more poly or more real than another (that last sentence isn't really directed at you but sort of addressing the general attitude I've seen throughout these boards).

It sounds like she didn't know how to voice her needs but finally did when she said that she feels like she can never fit in as a family. This is a perfectly valid feeling that should be honored. There's nothing you can do to make her feel more valued or special if you and her have differing needs. Happily, the couple I've been dating decided that they were happy to be with me in whatever way I was available to them, and this took the pressure off of me to try to fit into what they wanted. Especially since it's hard to form equal connections with two people at equal rates. There are times when I see one of them rather than both of them because we are growing and fostering our individual connections as well as the triad dynamic. We continue to have a lovely relationship because of that.

A while back, a friend of mine posted something called the HBB flowchart. Parts of it may or may not apply to your particular situation as a couple, but I can say that most of it applies to us single bisexual women when we are faced with the possibility of joining a couple as a third. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek and scathing towards couples who are looking for a third, but it's still worth a read because it is something many single bi women are faced with.

http://tacit.livejournal.com/295369.html

Best of luck in getting your needs met.
 
Last edited:

XYZ123

New member
Ceoli- I just laughed so hard juice actually came out my nose. I have to show that link to some poly friends of mine. Thanks!
 
Top