metamour issues

rws0042

New member
I don't know if I need advice, or just a place to vent. I've been married for 9 years, poly for 3, and with my current bf (A) for over two years. A's wife, B, is also married to another man, though they are long distance and will be for the next few years. They visit together a couple times a year for 2 - 8 weeks at a time. When he comes here, he lives with A and B, and B spends most of that time sharing a bed with him.
A and I started seeing one another at B's suggestion a little over two years ago. All three of us had been friends for years--we'd have family outings together with our kids, invite one another to parties or over for dinner with some regularity. When A and I got together, it started as just something fun, but it's now quite serious. Last Summer when B and her long distance husband had a commitment ceremony, my husband and I were invited, and at one point, I showed affection for A and B saw it. Later that Fall, we were all at a party together among friends and I was affectionate (not overly so, like, touching his head or squeezing his shoulders, or sitting next to him). After that, A told me that I was not allowed to show affection for him in front of her anymore. It made her too uncomfortable. I dialed it way back for the next visit, and barely spoke to A for the entire gathering but it wasn't enough. B does not want to be anywhere anymore where A and I will be in the same location. She's too uncomfortable.
A and I used to take small vacations together -- like one or two nights away every few months. Recently, he came over late one evening and slept here till 6am, then went home. B got very upset and said she felt "neglected" despite the fact that it would have been time he spent sleeping at home anyway. So -- no more overnight visits or trips.
Last night he came over for the evening, and brought his own soap. He can't use my soap anymore because if he does, then he might smell like my soap, and it's a reminder that he's been with me.
He keeps reassuring me that these problems have nothing to do with me, personally, but B's own insecurity.
B and I used to be friends. Good friends. She was one of my favorite people to talk to. We chatted frequently on facebook and had fun hanging out together, and even sometimes talking about all our relationships. Now, I feel like I'm banned from her life, and A is banned from even the slightest whiff of me. We're only allowed to see each other during times when he'd normally be out anyways. (He goes to a nearly-weekly meetup with friends--including my husband, but leaves early to come see me. If he didn't leave early, he'd just stay with his friends.) Asking to see me at any other time results in passive-aggressive moping on B's part, for lack of a better term.
I feel like A has been slowing cutting back, paring away at our time together and reducing my presence in his life, to try to assuage B's fears and insecurities. It hasn't worked. It's just resulted in a need for more cutting back.
He swears that he does not want to end it, and won't end our relationship, and that B would never ask for that. I believe him, but I don't know how to deal with the sadness of losing B as a friend and with seeing my relationship with A reduced to a few stolen hours a month.
I don't think I can fix this, I just get to accept it, or end things with A, which I don't want to do. Then I'd have lost two friends.
I'm angry, though, and I want to vent and talk it out with someone, but there's no one. I want to tell A that he and B need to get to a good poly-friendly couple's therapist and work on the issues they have. I'd go if they ever wanted me to, too. Maybe there are things I'm doing that I don't realize are hurtful. I don't know.
Thanks for letting me vent.
If you have advice, I'd be happy to hear it.
Thanks.
 

Inyourendo

New member
Sounds like she's trying to transition your relationship to be more of a don't ask don't tell situation. Is that something you are willing to tolerate? If not then you need to nip her control over him in the bud now
 

london

Banned
I'd outline the things I need to happen in this relationship. When I had outlined what I need, I'd ask him to see if he can meet those needs. This includes considering how they tally with his existing commitments . If he can't, I'd see if a suitable (for both parties) compromise could be found on those specific points. If we cannot, it would be over.

I would specifically not mention his other relationship. I would phrase his marriage as an existing commitment, like I would a job or a child or a pet.
 

YouAreHere

Well-known member
Since you were once close friends with B, would it be worth getting all of you together (even your husband if you feel it would "even things out" a bit) to talk about it?

With everyone in the room, then you're at least all hearing the same words that get said, and you can tell her that you're feeling more distant from her lately (in addition to talking about your relationship with your BF). There seem to be two relationships here that need nurturing - your relationship with her, and your relationship with your BF.

Maybe it truly is all hers to deal with, but maybe talking about it can at least help. I know I end up going through cycles where I really want very little to do with my metamour, and when we all get together to talk, things usually improve.

Best of luck to you all.
 

nycindie

Active member
Since she was your good friend for years, can't you talk to her?

Why wouldn't you be able to say something like:

"B, we've been good friends a long time. You were always one of my favorite people to talk to, and we used to have a lot of fun chatting and hanging out together. But something changed for you and it hurts me that we aren't as close as we once were. Now, I feel like I'm banned from your life, and A is banned from even the slightest whiff of me. I don't understand why it seems you don't want to be aware that A is with me, especially since you have another husband.

I'm struggling with all these new rules and limits on my time with A, and with what feels like the loss of my friendship with you. It seems like you have been slowing whittling away the time A and I can spend together and reducing my presence in his life. Is it true that you get upset if he wants to see me more often or at any other time besides when he's already scheduled to be out, or if he brings home some kind of evidence that he's been with me, like the smell of my soap?

Have I offended or hurt you in some way? Does my relationship with A feel like a threat to you somehow? Please talk to me about it, because I want to fix things between us and I want to reassure you that I am not a threat if I want to see A more often than we are now. You know he is devoted to you and I would never intentionally do anything to hurt you. This has been very frustrating and sometimes I get angry about it, but mostly it makes me sad. I've never stopped being your friend, so please help me understand what has happened and why you've backed away from our friendship and seem to want more distance between me and A."​
 
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rws0042

New member
Thanks, all.

nycindie-- that is a good suggestion, to try to talk to her. I'd never do that without talking to A first about it, though. It's scary and hard to think about having that kind of conversation, but it's worth considering.
 

GreenAcres

New member
I agree with NYCindie--talk it out as soon as you can, if you can.

I had a metamour start in a similar way, and her goal was to make things so miserable he and I would stop seeing each other. It finally worked, because it impacted our time so much, and got so ridiculous, that I just couldn't deal with it. I did try to talk to her (several times, actually), and each time she'd agree to compromises, say how much better talking made her feel, etc. Then go right back to her bad behavior and make his life so stressful that he and I couldn't have reasonable time together.

It did end us. Hopefully, it doesn't go the same way with you. If you talk it out sooner, hopefully you can find out what is going on (the not using your soap seems pretty extreme to me, but I suppose everyone has their thing), and maybe find work solutions before the damage and resentment gets too bad. Or, if there are no reasonable solutions, it can help you take care of your own situation.
 

nycindie

Active member
. . . to try to talk to her. I'd never do that without talking to A first about it, though.

Why do you need to run it by him first? Do you feel you need his permission to have a conversation with your friend and metamour? Or do you mean you're just going to tell him, "Hey, I'm going to talk to B tonight, 'cause I really want to clear the air and get our friendship back on track. Just letting you know."
 

PolyinPractice

New member
She's poly and has a husband, as well as A. It's not cool for her to control his relationship with you. If she isn't comfortable being where you and A are, that's fine, she can stay home.

If I were you, I would be gentle, but firm, and explain that if he needs permission from her to date you, then I need to find someone else. I would find it ridiculous if my boyfriend brought soap over so he didn't smell like my soap. I just wouldn't want to deal with that kind of immaturity.
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
I'm hearing that you're really longing for more connection with A, and the current arrangement doesn't seem to provide that connection. It also sounds like your autonomy is being disrupted -- choices you'd like to be able to make are being made for you. Maybe there's some frustration over A's autonomy also being disrupted, and you're upset because that ultimately means your desire to connect with A more often is going unfulfilled.

Advice? There's only so much you can do here. You're right that B is showing signs of insecurity, which means she's afraid of losing something. What that is, we can only guess.

The thing about insecurity is that it can't be treated symptomatically. The root of the insecurity needs to be found -- the unmet needs or longings that are causing fear.

I agree that A and B would benefit from therapy, however that's a choice for them to make. They don't "need" to do anything.

There's a lack of communication within the group. B is speaking to you through A, but only via her actions not words, and it's nearly impossible to figure out what's going on in someone's head by the way another person responds to their behaviour. So I agree that a sit-down with the three of you would be good for everyone. Try to get to the root of what's bothering B and really try to have some empathy for what she's going through, let her know that you hear her and you care about her needs. It may or may not change her behaviour -- only she can choose to do that. But I'm fairly confident that without her feeling heard and understood, she won't be inclined to change her behaviour any time soon.

Meanwhile, as someone suggested, you could figure out what's the minimum that you can tolerate, and communicate those boundaries to A. Let him know that right now, the dynamic of this relationship is triggering more pain than joy, and that staying in it under the present circumstances is not likely to meet your needs. Ultimately, you only want relationships that serve life. If you can find ways to meet your needs in other ways so that your life is still fulfilled, then this relationship could continue under a different dynamic than you previously hoped. In other words, you could learn to accept his limitations for what they are, and be satisfied with what you can get.
 
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