LDR: Partner gets a new serious partner

Phosphorus

New member
My husband and I have been married for 5 years, and this is our 3rd year of being Poly. I've been in a long distance relationship with, let's call him Sam, for about 16 months. For most of that time Sam was frequently dating but had no other partners. About 5 months back Sam met someone, who stays really close to him and they've gotten quite serious. This has lead to me being able to talk to Sam less and less as he spends more and more time with his new partner. They are now considering moving in together and this absolutely terrifies me. As happy as I am that Sam has found someone to physically spend time with and do things with in ways that I just can't physically be there to do, I very much feel like my relationship with Sam is going downhill and will eventually just become a friendship. I have spoken to Sam about my fears, and the changes in our relationship, and he has admitted that these changes have been as a result of his new partner, but there is no effort from his side to change things, and his focus is 100% on growing his new relationship and not at all on continuing to grow our relationship.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose this relationship but I realise that it's a two way street and that I can't make him put any effort into our relationship if he doesn't want to. I don't know if I should just stay, be supportive, and let him explore this new relationship, while having to feel my heart break, or if I should walk away before that truly happens.

Does anyone maybe have some perspective that I'm missing? Any advice?
 
You have LDR dated him for 11 months and then he found someone who became a serious partner. They have been together for 5 months. Now you and him have been together 16 months. You sound like you are maybe stressed dealing with him in this "NRE time for new partner."

Because it's the first time? So maybe some poly hell feelings made worse by the LDR thing? Maybe there's a learning curve on both sides. Maybe this is the end of the line. Only you two can figure that out.

I have spoken to Sam about my fears, and the changes in our relationship, and he has admitted that these changes have been as a result of his new partner, but there is no effort from his side to change things, and his focus is 100% on growing his new relationship and not at all on continuing to grow our relationship.

Ok, so you told him your fears.

Are you a passive communicator? Because I didn't read that you made any actual REQUESTS for change in behavior. If this is the first time he's dealing in NRE and you are watching him deal in it? You might actually have to spell out what you need. Did you ask him if he's willing to set some scheduled LDR dates so you get enough time with him and he gets enough time to develop his new relationship?

Like a direct request? What did he say?

I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose this relationship but I realise that it's a two way street and that I can't make him put any effort into our relationship if he doesn't want to.

Can't make him. But could ASK if he's willing to do _____.

I don't know if I should just stay, be supportive, and let him explore this new relationship, while having to feel my heart break, or if I should walk away before that truly happens.

Does anyone maybe have some perspective that I'm missing? Any advice?

I could be wrong but that sounds like "I'm scared of being hurt. So I am tempted to dump him before he dumps me to try to ward some of that off even though I actually want to be here and continue the relationship."

Is that true?

If what you need is scheduled time/LDR dates with him? ASK.

If what you need is clarity -- like is this a temporary thing while he deals in NRE? Or is this the new normal from him as to how much time he can spend with you now?

Because if temporary, you might be willing to put up with it. If permanent? Maybe this frequency of time spent together doesn't meet your personal standards for an LDR partner. So you bow out.

What can you expect from him under these new conditions? Could ASK HIM. Then decide.

Lean IN to sort things out rather than leaning AWAY or running away.

That would be my suggestion.

Galagirl
 
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You can't keep someone who doesn't want to stay. If he is supposed to stay, he will. Maybe this new relationship with that other person is just something he needs at this moment, and will grow out of. Maybe that other person is what he needs in a long run. Either way, my advice would be asking yourself some important questions concerning your feelings towards the whole situation. Ask yourself what is EXACTLY what you're feeling, then try to figure out why do you feel that way.
The answer to one of your question is if you feel like your heart is breaking and you just can't keep up with feelings that this situation awakens in you, leave. You don't have to hurt yourself. If you do want and have time to try to feel all the feelings, go through them, and see where it goes, stay and support his experiment. None of us can give you one clear answer, I might say. But one thing I can tell you is to follow your heart.
I use this simple technique where I ask myself a question, whether I should do one thing or the other, and then I do what first goes up my mind. No thinking, just feelings. It might not be the best decision all of the time, but it is what I truly desire, since I let my heart drive me where it wants.
I'm sending lots of virtual hugs to you, I'm sure you'll do what is right.
 
You can't keep someone who doesn't want to stay.
Can't make him. But could ASK if he's willing to do _____.
Quoted to reiterate.

Relationship is a street that is tough to travel. Right now there is some construction gumming up the road. It take everyone who caused the issue to repair it and make the traffic flow or the road will need to close.

You have expressed your concerns and asked for your needs to be met. Change is hard sometimes and some of this is pretty normal when you are the focus and then have to split time. But is that enough...you need to understand how much of this is desires vs needs. And he has to also be willing to understand and give want is needed while also balancing the new relationship. It is a tough growth path
 
Hello Phosphorus,

It sounds like Sam is all caught up in the new and shiny NRE with his new partner. I'm not sure he's even noticing the pain and anxiety he's putting you through. LDR's are very hard, and they need extra attention. Not less attention (which is what yours is getting). My suggestion to you would be to think about how much time you need from Sam, in order for your relationship with him to thrive, not just survive. How many days/week do you need? How many minutes/hours per day do you need? Also, what would constitute the kind of quality attention from him that you need? a text? zoom/skype? in-person visits? when and how often? Once you have figured out what you need in those areas, contact him and tell him that's what you need. Ask him if he can do that. If he is willing to do that. If he says, "No," then it's probably time to break up with him.

This is just my opinion, but I think it is premature for Sam and his new partner to be thinking about moving in together. Before they do that, Sam needs to take the necessary steps to make sure he is taking adequate care of his relationship with you. If he's not willing to do that, then it is probably time to break up with him. I hope it doesn't come to that.

LDR's are so, so hard. They just are. They are hard to nurture and grow. But even if this wasn't an LDR, Sam might be more monogamous than he says, and this new partner could be his way of slowly (painfully) breaking up with you. That's just one possibility, I don't know it for a fact, but I think it needs to be said.

I'm sorry you're going through this.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
Thank you so much for everyone's replies, questions and different perspectives . I appreciate it SO SO much. Definitely lots to think about, feel, consider and talk about. Thank you!
 
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