Agreements & Couples' Privilege?

WestCoastRedhead

Active member
Hello all!

As I am still learning about all the nuances in poly, like agreements, rules, boundaries, couples' privilege, etc, I am hoping to get your thoughts on something:

Is an agreement (say, on communication/phone calls) made between a couple (not married, not living together, but having a long, established open relationship) made months before a new partner starts dating one of the two people in couple - would this be considered "couples' privilege"?

Specifically, my partner, Pisces, made an agreement in autumn of 2022 with his other partner, Blue, that he would be willing to give her a phone call every "two to three days", even when with me. Now, oddly, I have only just found out about this this past weekend, which surprised me - why he didn't tell me this before is kinda bizarre. I didn't know about this, was not part of that negotiation/decision, was not able to give informed consent if told that that is how things were to be, did not (yet) get to ask for a re-negotiation as this agreement impacts me, my time with Pisces and my relationship with him. Now that I know about it, I'm trying to consider next steps, especially given that Pisces and I will be going away to Costa Rica next spring, for 2-3 weeks, and the idea of him calling her every 2-3 days during our time away is not okay with me. He hasn't said that he will do this. I have said that the three of us need to negotiate what will work in terms of his communication with her while we are away on our 'focussed couple' vacation time, and I suspect that will come in January or February.

So, back to my original idea - when are agreements considered couples privilege, and if you have had this sort of agreement between a couple before you came into your partner's life, what, if anything did you do/say about it? Were they willing to re-negotiate with you if that agreement had impacted you and your time with your partner?

Thanks :)
 
This is why I find these hot topics in poly circles are sort of irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Nobody is ever consistent with it. Either that, or the concept of things like couple's privilege and hierarchy has such stigma around it, that people simply cannot view it rationally and so are inconsistent with its application.

You see, poly people say you absolutely MUST communicate your needs (like contact every 2 or 3 days) so your partner can tell you if they are willing to meet that need. This conversation, so the poly police say, must occur INDEPENDENTLY from other relationships and partners.

But those same poly police say that making such arrangements that essentially impact on and even limit other relationships are red flags for other people.

But really, how could any of us be happy in relationships if there isn't some semblance of our needs being met by the other person?

Even in the most abstract, anarchist, fashion. We all have needs of friends, partners, family, and that's what entitles them to that label. It's not uncommon to say "we share parents/we are siblings, but we are not family". And we all know what that means: the person hasn't fulfilled the role of a family member, regardless of what DNA might say.

So when we try and inhibit someone's ability to express their needs to a partner, and negotiate a way for those needs to be consistently met, what are we really saying about polyamory and polyamorous people? There's a whole other feminist side to this, too. It's essentially saying that a wife with a newly polyamorous husband can't make agreements that ensure he keeps to his responsibilities at home because it somehow oppresses his new girlfriend unless she gets a say. Poor wife.

Most people speak to the people they call partners quite often. At least every other day by the time they get to partner level. I agree I'm speaking about mainstream monogamous relationships because they exist most often. However, I don't think that is wildly different in polyamorous relationships. I don't think poly people need to speak to their "partners" less frequently than monogamous people on average.

For this reason, I don't think the "I speak to my partner every 3 days" needs to be said upfront in the same way "we don't allow sleepovers" probably does. So I do think there is a line where some things like agreements that limit your availability do need to be shared pretty soon into a new relationship, but I don't think a phone call every few days is over that line.

A lot of what you read written about polyamory comes from people who are essentially advocating for "secondaries". You'll notice that a lot of it is written by women. Sometimes long term partnered women, but those women are often speaking from the perspective of a "secondary", too. So a lot of their views on ethics and what's fair is written from the place of a girlfriend trying to get more of their needs met by a partnered boyfriend. It's not balanced. It's not realistic. It's like a lesson on how to share candy equally among kids.

But really, even if this agreement about calls is couple's privilege, what would you expect to do about it? So you tell him that it is, and then what? He drops the agreement because he agreed not to be hierarchical? I don't think that's likely. So what then? You dump him and he's a bad guy for making an agreement with a partner around contact? I'm sure you'd get some support from online poly communities (Ahem reddit). Maybe the way they conduct their relationship just isn't compatible with you. And that's okay. You can walk away. But it doesn't make their agreement wrong in any sense.
 
It is entirely normal to speak to a long-term partner on the phone every two to three days, especially when you don't live together so you don't have daily default time together.

You are thinking about this entirely wrong. Or maybe Pisces is framing it to you in the wrong way?

Speaking frequently on the phone is not a "relationship agreement," it's just how two people in a relationship behave when they love each other and have a lot to say to each other. They like talking to each other. They like the sound of each other's voices. They miss each other when they are apart.

If you saw Pisces one night a week and Blue demanded a phone call from him on that night and he agreed, that would be pretty ridiculous--it would majorly cut into your time with him and interrupt your date. But if your logistics are structured such that Pisces spends 4-7 days with you at a time (I think you said?) fairly regularly, I would find that a long time to go without talking to my long-term partner (whether I were Pisces or Blue in this case).

How long are the phone calls? Do they actually interrupt your time together? Can they be scheduled while you are busy with something else? I can see the calls being disruptive to your intimacy if they occur near bedtime or are hours-long, but if they're chatting for like 45 minutes every 3 days that doesn't seem like a big deal.

Would it bother you if Pisces made similarly frequent calls to a parent, a child, a friend, etc? I call my mom and my aunt every 2 or 3 days when I'm away. Probably not over a 3-day weekend, but for longer than that, yeah, I'd check in with them and chat. When I'm visiting Eli for a week at a time, I do take time out to call my mom a few times. Since a week-long visit involves time for work, chores, downtime alone, etc, it is no big deal to schedule it. Eli would not be bothered if I had to make similar calls to another partner during that week. And Eli calls other partners of his own during his week with me.

When Eli and I are apart (which is more often than we are together), we talk on the phone daily except if he's on another date/with another partner or we are otherwise busy. We have rarely gone 3 days without speaking in 12 years, except when one of us is on a trip (camping, international, etc.). However, Eli's visits with other partners are usually short.

If Eli spends a whole weekend with another partner, he and I don't talk on the phone (as we both would feel that would interrupt his time with the other partner). One time a long-distance partner (from across the country) came to stay with him for a full week and I specifically didn't want to call him during that week so that his time with her wasn't interrupted because they rarely got to see each other. However, if their week-long visits were a regular occurrence, he and I would both want to structure some phone calls to each other into that time, as a whole week feels like quite a long time not to speak to each other.

The situation which makes me feel like I identify with Blue in your posts is that Eli got serious with a new partner (Zia) very quickly 6 months ago...and she just seems to be kind of mad that I exist. I think she was expecting that because Eli and I don't live together, we weren't that deeply connected. I believe in non-hierarchical poly and practice it to the best of my ability, and have been very conscious of NOT wanting to exert any default/incidental hierarchy on Zia. But she's mad about basically everything we normally do in our relationship, even though I shifted quite a lot of things to accommodate her, including reducing our daily phone calls.

Spoiler: Zia and Eli seem to have broken up as of a few days ago.

I guess you could ask yourself WHY it bothers you so much that Blue and Pisces talk on the phone frequently. Does Pisces actually frame the phone calls as a demand Blue makes that he gives in to, or is that how you interpret it?

If you are trying to limit/control the phone calls Pisces makes to his other partner, isn't that you exerting hierarchy over them?

Is there a way they can stay in touch with phone calls during your long visits together that would seem reasonable to you? One phone call every 3 days does not seem unreasonable to me.
 
Is an agreement (say, on communication/phone calls) made between a couple (not married, not living together, but having a long, established open relationship) made months before a new partner starts dating one of the two people in couple - would this be considered "couples' privilege"?

No, couple's privilege is when a couple agrees on how much communication/phone calls/whatever can be had with *other partners*.

I agree with the member who said that if you crave validation for this, Reddit will provide that.
 
FWIW, I think this.

Longer article on couple privilege.

Agreement -- when two or more people agree to uphold something they all agreed on together.

Rules -- when someone or someones decide things for others, and the others are expected to go along with it.

Sometimes that's fine. At my house, it is MY HOUSE, so you just have to take shoes off at the door because I don't want people tracking The City all over my floors. At my friend's house, the rules are about shutting the bathroom door, even if empty, so the cat doesn't play in there. Their TP is in the drawer, not on the TP holder on the wall, for the same reason.

Don't like these rules? Don't come over. But our friend group finds it fair enough, because there's an agreement to "follow the ways of the house" when we gather in personal homes. We accept that the "house rules" are different at different people's houses.

Other people making "rules" for others is sometimes problematic, like they're wanting to be a "Queen Bee" or "King Bee."

Personal boundaries are rules or agreements you have created FOR YOURSELF to do or obey. They define what you will and will not put up with. Other people don't have to like them, obey or respect them, or enforce them. YOU do. You can set them around your body, belongings, time, energy, etc.

Here, if Pisces has this phone call agreement with Blue, you could stay out of it, especially if they are rocky or maybe breaking up or whatever it is. That was my impression from you recent post.


If you and Pisces are going away on vacation for 3 weeks, you will be doing some things together and hopefully having some free time on your own to shower, nap, read, whatever. You could create some "alone free time" in the schedule.

He can touch base with relatives and other partners during his free time, if he wants. And you can do your things during your free time, also. Call any of your people, rest, read, check email, whatever.

I don't find it unreasonable, managed that way. It ISN'T impacting your time together because it's during scheduled personal free time. And you'll get to skip dealing with Blue, because it's all on Pisces.

Now, oddly, I have only just found out about this this past weekend, which surprised me. Why he didn't tell me this before is kinda bizarre.

Is this your first big long trip away together? That might be why you are learning of this habit they do now. Before, on dates or shorter overnights he'd do it before and after.

Why does it bother you that he wants to keep in touch with other partners while away on a long trip?

If he has bad phone manners and answers every call, text, or boop during a date, ask him to deal with it later, on his own time. And then, on vacation, make sure he has "alone on his own time" to deal with his things without bugging you.


I have said that the three of us need to negotiate what will work in terms of his communication with her while we are away on our 'focussed couple' vacation time, and I suspect that will come in January or February.

Why do you THREE have to renegotiate this? You can negotiate with Pisces when your "vacation free time alone" will be, so you each are free to deal with your other obligations, and so it doesn't intrude on (Pisces + you) couple time. It could be daily from 3-5 PM, or on, say, Tues and Sat.

if you have had this sort of agreement between a couple before you came into your partner's life, what, if anything did you do/say about it? Were they willing to re-negotiate with you if that agreement had impacted you and your time with your partner?

I think it's on Pisces to work out it with you and with Blue, SEPARATELY. You don't have to be involved in anything on their side of the V. Ultimately, it's Pisces' time to spend. Pisces can deal with handling his time management.

Galagirl
 
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No, couple's privilege is when a couple agrees on how much communication/phone calls/whatever can be had with *other partners*.

I agree with the member who said that if you crave validation for this, Reddit will provide that.
I'm not craving validation, I'm trying to understand things better. I am still learning and can get confused on how things are done, what's "usual", etc.
 
For me, I ask myself what’s reasonable and what I would want. For me, every 3 days would be reasonable, but the phone call shouldn’t be hours-long. 30 minutes maybe, and I’d be okay with a text check-in once daily.

Having multiple relationships is something to manage, as a hinge and as an arm. As an arm we have to sacrifice some of what we want, because we love our hinge and don’t want to put undue pressure on them. Two people putting pressure on a hinge can tear the relationships apart. You need to be thoughtful about the battles you choose and ask if you can be flexible with a reasonable request.

If I'm remembering correctly, you had issues connecting with him while they were traveling. You got several texts per day, and once he got Wi-Fi situated, then video calls every few days, until you no longer felt fulfilled and decided to go silent for the duration.

He was stealing time when he could. Would that be how he would get time with her during your trip? If so, you already know it’s not quality time. Would you want to prevent her from having that same negative experience you had? 😉 I’m being tongue in cheek here, but you know when traveling he will be distracted with you and what you two are doing, just as he was when they traveled together.

Speaking from experience, it’s hard to actually make time when traveling. I had no time to update friends on social media, call or text anyone. I had to just apologize to partners and manage fallout when I returned. Traveling is hard enough on a hinge. Try not to make it too hard on him. Chances are, she won’t get what she wants and will pressure him. If you add more pressure by wanting to limit him to less contact than every 3 days, he will feel it from both of you and have a horrible time.

Try not to think of it as HER taking YOUR time. Think of it instead of HIM spending a fraction of HIS time on her and a majority of HIS time with you. Try to support HIM, because you supporting him will make him happy. After all, he has a relationship with her, and I bet he wants to talk with her during the trip, just like he wanted to talk with you.

In my experience, the partnership that gets in the way of the other relationships is the one that ends.

I don’t consider it couples privilege, just an agreement between them. You two could have similar agreements when apart. If you think it’s too much, see if another schedule can be agreed upon.
 
For me, I ask myself what’s reasonable and what would I want? For me, every 3 days would be reasonable but the phone call shouldn’t be hours long. 30 minutes maybe, and I’d be okay with a text check in once daily.
Yes, if he is with me about 4-7 days, a call, or maybe two, about 30 minutes would be fine.

I guess why this has shifted for me, and why I'm feeling more picky/protective now this fall, is that two large circumstances have changed things.

First, Pisces moved from being far away from both of us, his partners, to being about 30 minutes away from Blue, and somewhat closer to me, with only one ferry instead of two. So now, she has (theoretically) access to him about 20 days (2/3rds) in a given months, via phone call, text and in person, and I usually have about 9-12 days a month, in person (and other pockets via daily messaging and a couple of video calls a week). I guess now that she has easier and more frequent access to him, and mine hasn't changed much, I am a bit more protective of my days in person with him. When he was further away, she and I had about the same access and amounts of time with him - 4-7 days each, and each would get one or two calls with him when he was with the other. This felt mostly equal and it worked just fine. Now she is more likely to have shorter (24 hours to four days) time pocket with him, where I don't need to have a call with him, as I can have it before and after her in person time with him. But she is still asking for calls while he is with me. I get that it seems kinda petty of me, but why does she need to have a call with him during my 10 days a month when she has access to him the rest of the month? I know I need to make peace with that, so am just dealing with sitting in the discomfort of the inequity of it now...

And second, Blue has become even more fragile and insecure, because of the various things going on with her marriage, with Pisces, with another "almost" partner, and so has been much more volatile, much less friendly to me (has repeatedly been threatened by me "stealing him away"), and yes, their relationship has recently been on the rocks. All of this to say that she has been, as stated by Pisces, more needy.

These changes have not been great, and it's put stress and upset on all three of us, sadly. I get that it's a rough patch, and I'm hoping we can work through it.
Having multiple relationships is something to manage, as a hinge and as an arm. As an arm we have to sacrifice some of what we want because we love our hinge and don’t want to put undue pressure on them. Two people putting pressure on him can tear the relationships apart. You need to be thoughtful on the battles you choose and ask if you can be flexible with a reasonable request.

If im remembering correctly, you had issues connecting with him while they were traveling. you got several texts per day and once he got Wi-Fi situated then video calls every few days until you no longer felt fulfilled and decided to go silent for the duration. Him stealing time when he could. Would that be how he would get time with her during your trip? If so, you already know it’s not quality time….would you want to prevent her from having that same negative experience you had? 😉 I’m being tongue in cheek here, but you know when traveling he will be distracted with you and what you two are doing Just as he was when they traveled together.

Speaking from experience, it’s hard to actually make time when traveling. I had no time to update friends on social media, call or text anyone. I had to just apologize to partners and manage fallout when I returned. Traveling is hard enough on a hinge….try not to make it too hard on him. Chances are, she won’t get what she wants and will pressure him. If you add more pressure by wanting to limit him to less contact than every 3 days, he will feel it from both of you and have a horrible time.
Yes, I still don't know how it's going to play out for our vacation time. I'm just so happy to finally be travelling away from North America when I haven't left it since 1997, and this feels like such an amazing opportunity, I really want things to be amazing, and not to have to worry about him constantly having to call/deal with her while we are having our time together. I am hoping the three of us can sort out some sort of schedule ahead of time that will mostly be satisfactory for all

Try not to think of it as HER taking YOUR time. Think of it instead of HIM spending a fraction of HIS time on her and a majority of HIS time with you. Try to support HIM because you supporting him will make him happy. After all, he has a relationship with her and I bet he wants to talk with her during the trip just like he wanted to talk with you.
You are right - it *is* better to think of this as him spending a fraction of his time on her and the majority of his time with me - yes, I think that is a healthier way to see this.
in my experience, the partner that gets in the way of other relationships is the one that ends.

I don’t consider it couples privilege. Just an agreement between them. You two could have similar agreements when apart. If you think it’s too much, see if another schedule can be agreed upon.
 
why does she need to have a call with him during my 10 days a month when she has access to him the rest of the month?
Because he's a person, not a car that you share. So even in those ten days, they still miss each other and want consistent contact.
I am hoping the three of us can sort out some sort of schedule ahead of time that will mostly be satisfactory for all
You really shouldn't try and negotiate contact between them that you're okay with. The idea that you have to be okay with it for it to go forward is problematic.
 
Because he's a person, not a car that you share. So even in those ten days, they still miss each other and want consistent contact.

You really shouldn't try and negotiate contact between them that you're okay with. The idea that you have to be okay with it for it to go forward is problematic.
Well actually, as it’s my vacation, yes, I do have to be okay with it. And yes, as I do want to help her get what she needs during that time if possible, all three of us *will* be figuring this out together. So thank you for your thoughts, but we are going to deal with this, and I’ll keep everyone posted on how it goes.
 
Well actually, as it’s my vacation, yes, I do have to be okay with it. And yes, as I do want to help her get what she needs during that time if possible, all three of us *will* be figuring this out together. So thank you for your thoughts, but we are going to deal with this, and I’ll keep everyone posted on how it goes.
No you really don't. There's no way you have to be okay with it for them to have the contact they want. The people who are most aligned in their desires will get what they want. The person trying to restrict what the other 2 want will be left seeming like the bad guy.

What will you do if they refuse to listen? Take his phone?

The only way you can do anything is by making him leave your vacation residence or leaving yourself if he doesn't do as he's told with his phone.

I'm saying this with love, but this relationship is giving you some delusional beliefs about both relationships and polyamory. I'd ask myself if I want to be that person.
 
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What???
I’m not up to date on your situation.
But it’s really not too much to ask from a partner and loved one to get in touch every other day.
Is it that you don’t consent polyamory at all?
 
What???
I’m not up to date on your situation.
tl;dr OP has been posting about her metamour's (perceived) unreasonable behavior and demands/requests/rules/etc. upon their common partner, and people are generally being sympathetic toward the metamour and common partner.
 
First, Pisces moved from being far away from both of us, his partners, to being about 30 minutes away from Blue, and somewhat closer to me, with only one ferry instead of two. So now, she has (theoretically) access to him about 20 days (2/3rds) in a given months, via phone call, text and in person, and I usually have about 9-12 days a month, in person (and other pockets via daily messaging and a couple of video calls a week). I guess now that she has easier and more frequent access to him, and mine hasn't changed much, I am a bit more protective of my days in person with him. When he was further away, she and I had about the same access and amounts of time with him - 4-7 days each, and each would get one or two calls with him when he was with the other. This felt mostly equal and it worked just fine. Now she is more likely to have shorter (24 hours to four days) time pocket with him, where I don't need to have a call with him, as I can have it before and after her in person time with him. But she is still asking for calls while he is with me. I get that it seems kinda petty of me, but why does she need to have a call with him during my 10 days a month when she has access to him the rest of the month? I know I need to make peace with that, so am just dealing with sitting in the discomfort of the inequity of it now...

And second, Blue has become even more fragile and insecure, because of the various things going on with her marriage, with Pisces, with another "almost" partner, and so has been much more volatile, much less friendly to me (has repeatedly been threatened by me "stealing him away"), and yes, their relationship has recently been on the rocks. All of this to say that she has been, as stated by Pisces, more needy.
I say this with kindness.

It appears that both you and Blue are insecure, in your own ways. And both of you want more, in your own ways. You have been able to come to a place where, if things feel equal (time, attention, connection), then you can accept how things are.

This puts the hinge in a horrible position of managing equality, when it’s impossible for relationships to be equal. He is trying to “manage” your feelings and her feelings, which isn’t his job. His job is to determine what he will give each of you. Your job is to express what you need or want and then accept what he decides. You are free to leave if you aren’t getting what you need from the relationship, or work on managing your feelings about it.

You can choose to love the relationship you have and cherish time together, or you can choose to be resentful of what you aren’t getting. One choice will lead to a very happy relationship and the other, continued heartache and eventual end.

I understand that changing your thoughts is incredibly hard and takes a ton of work, so I’m not saying this flippantly. But if you can manage it, your life and relationships can look vastly different.

it took me months of listening to the podcast UnF*ck Your Brain to start making changes in my life, but they are so worth it! I would recommend everyone learn those tools, but they are especially helpful when negotiating poly.
 
I don't know if this helps any. I mean this kindly, ok?

To me? You could work on yourself and stop being so invested in Blue or (Blue + Pisces.) Exercise stronger personal boundaries.

But she is still asking for calls while he is with me. I get that it seems kinda petty of me, but why does she need to have a call with him during my 10 days a month when she has access to him the rest of the month? I know I need to make peace with that, so am just dealing with sitting in the discomfort of the inequity of it now...

How do you KNOW she's asking for calls when he is with you? Pisces oversharing stuff?

Are people not allowed to be different from each other? Have different needs? Does everything have to be the exact same?

I need my glasses. You getting exact same glasses, while "fair" maybe? They would do you no good. Might even hurt your eyes to use them because it is my prescription. If you need glasses? How about you get the kind YOU need? YOUR prescription? I have mine, you have yours, and it's ok if they are different?

Why do you continue to be upset at Blue wanting to call during a date rather than dealing with Pisces ANSWERING the device while on a date with you? Rather than Pisces putting it on mute and leaving it til the date is over? Pisces can manage his time better and STOP telling you so much about Blue.

On longer vacation dates, you and Pisces "build in" free time so each of you can attend to your other obligations like checking in with other people. Then it is not disturbing your "couple time."

Detach more.

And second, Blue has become even more fragile and insecure, because of the various things going on with her marriage, with Pisces, with another "almost" partner, and so has been much more volatile, much less friendly to me (has repeatedly been threatened by me "stealing him away"), and yes, their relationship has recently been on the rocks. All of this to say that she has been, as stated by Pisces, more needy.

I thought you had already blocked and disconnected all your socials so Blue couldn't bug you any more? Blocked your number? Did that happen?

Blue's emotional state is up to Blue to manage. Why is Pisces oversharing about that? Why do you have to know or care if Blue is feeling X or Y today?

I could be wrong but this just seems to go around in circles. And probably will until you you put your foot down and decide you want to do separate, parallel poly and ask Pisces to stop oversharing information from the other side of the V. Full stop.

You don't have to be rude, but you also don't have to be THIS involved with whatever is going on with the other side of the V. If for some reason Blue is riding an emotional roller coaster...did you sign up to get the "roller coaster report" from Pisces?

These changes have not been great, and it's put stress and upset on all three of us, sadly. I get that it's a rough patch, and I'm hoping we can work through it.

I think you could manage your OWN stress by detaching from anything (Blue + Pisces). Let that side of the V deal with itself and if Pisces needs a sounding board or helper managing his relationship on that side of the V? He could get a counselor.

I really don't think it's going to get better for YOU until you start exercising better personal boundaries with PISCES.

Is it that you want a KTP model here? You can't force KTP.

Galagirl
 
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I guess now that she has easier and more frequent access to him, and mine hasn't changed much
This isn’t a zero sum game. I mean, on some levels I suppose it might be if the only two people Blue ever spent time with were you and Pisces. But (and I really do say this gently) did Blue _want_ your relationship to change when he moved? It seems that you expected that, but… just because he escalates a bit with one person doesn’t mean he has to do it with everyone.

(As a for instance, my Artist has another partner who he continues to see once a week or so, even after he and I moved to a twice a week regular schedule. The two relationships are separate and work on their own needs and time scales. I admit that if he had wanted more time with the other partner and not with me it would have stung, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be right/fair.)

I’m curious - if Blue was on a lengthy business trip, how much contact would you expect him to have with you, and/or with Pisces?
 
I say this with kindness

it appears that both you and Blue are insecure, in your own ways. And both of you want more, in your own ways. You have been able to come to a place where if things feel equal (time, attention, connection) then you can accept how things are.

This puts hinge in a horrible position of managing equality where it’s impossible for relationships to be equal. He is trying to “manage” your feelings and her feelings which isn’t his job. His job is to determine what he will give each of you. Your job is to express what you need or want and then accept what he decides. You are free to leave if you aren’t getting what you need from the relationship, or work on managing your feelings about it.

you can choose to love the relationship you have and cherish time together or you can choose to be resentful of what you aren’t getting. One choice will lead to a very happy relationship and the other, continued heartache and eventual end.

I understand that changing your thoughts is incredibly hard and takes a ton of work so I’m not saying it flippantly. But if you can manage it, your life and relationships can look vastly different.

it took me months of listening to the podcast UnF*ck Your Brain to start making changes in my life but they are so worth it! I would recommend everyone learn those tools but they are especially helpful when negotiating poly.
I did look up that podcast you mentioned - thank you! I will start listening/tackling that very soon. I think you are correct in your assessment, so thank you for your thoughts :)
 
I don't know if this helps any. I mean this kindly, ok?

To me? You could work on yourself and stop being so invested in Blue or (Blue + Pisces.) Exercise stronger personal boundaries.
I'm still trying to figure out what personal boundaries to create around this that don't sound like ultimatums. Some personal boundaries have been easy to set, like, "I won't date a smoker", but anything I think of now come across as "take it or leave it" ultimatums. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
How do you KNOW she's asking for calls when he is with you? Pisces oversharing stuff?
Yes, he lets me know if she is asking for a call.
Are people not allowed to be different from each other? Have different needs? Does everything have to be the exact same?

I need my glasses. You getting exact same glasses, while "fair" maybe? They would do you no good. Might even hurt your eyes to use them because it is my prescription. If you need glasses? How about you get the kind YOU need? YOUR prescription? I have mine, you have yours, and it's ok if they are different?
You are right. I think I need to just accept that side of things. Let Pisces deal with it.
Why do you continue to be upset at Blue wanting to call during a date rather than dealing with Pisces ANSWERING the device while on a date with you? Rather than Pisces putting it on mute and leaving it til the date is over? Pisces can manage his time better and STOP telling you so much about Blue.
Again, you are right, I shouldn't be upset with her for wanting a call. I have been angry with him *answering*, over and over, as it happened during one visit, as you say. This tends to be over a stretch of 4-7 days, so a call or two would be reasonable.
And yes, I agree that it would be better for him to stop telling me so much. It's not really helping at this point.
On longer vacation dates, you and Pisces "build in" free time so each of you can attend to your other obligations like checking in with other people. Then it is not disturbing your "couple time."
Agreed.
Detach more.



I thought you had already blocked and disconnected all your socials so Blue couldn't bug you any more? Blocked your number? Did that happen?
No, she hasn't contacted me in any way since the day after they got back from Europe, around Oct 20th.

Blue's emotional state is up to Blue to manage. Why is Pisces oversharing about that? Why do you have to know or care if Blue is feeling X or Y today?
I think he might be, and no, I want to know.
I could be wrong but this just seems to go around in circles. And probably will until you you put your foot down and decide you want to do separate, parallel poly and ask Pisces to stop oversharing information from the other side of the V. Full stop.
I wanted more parallel poly, well, was used to it, but was open to more "garden party", as they both are thinking might work. But maybe not yet.
You don't have to be rude, but you also don't have to be THIS involved with whatever is going on with the other side of the V. If for some reason Blue is riding an emotional roller coaster...did you sign up to get the "roller coaster report" from Pisces?
Fair point. I don't want to be this involved.
I think you could manage your OWN stress by detaching from anything (Blue + Pisces). Let that side of the V deal with itself and if Pisces needs a sounding board or helper managing his relationship on that side of the V? He could get a counselor.
I'm encouraging him to find other sounding boards and/or a counsellor.
I really don't think it's going to get better for YOU until you start exercising better personal boundaries with PISCES.
Again, what does that look like? I'm honestly feeling so confused as to what to create that way.
Is it that you want a KTP model here? You can't force KTP.

Galagirl
I think *they* wanted more of a KTP model, and I was willing to try it if it made sense.
 
This isn’t a zero sum game. I mean, on some levels I suppose it might be if the only two people Blue ever spent time with were you and Pisces. But (and I really do say this gently) did Blue _want_ your relationship to change when he moved? It seems that you expected that, but… just because he escalates a bit with one person doesn’t mean he has to do it with everyone.

(As a for instance, my Artist has another partner who he continues to see once a week or so, even after he and I moved to a twice a week regular schedule. The two relationships are separate and work on their own needs and time scales. I admit that if he had wanted more time with the other partner and not with me it would have stung, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be right/fair.)

I’m curious - if Blue was on a lengthy business trip, how much contact would you expect him to have with you, and/or with Pisces?
Fair point, thank you. As for a lengthy trip, I would ask for a few calls, and maybe a bit of texting, but that's it. What she would want from him would be between them. I wouldn't care.
 
For what it’s worth I agree with you on preferred amount of contact BUT it’s taken me a long time to be secure enough for that to be the case (and also I just don’t actually like talking on the phone).
 
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