my bf & i have a stronger connection than he & his fiancee and its bothering ME

LilithHp

New member
hi all. after almost a year of back & forth between me, my bf, and his fiancee (she was vehemently against a polyamorous situation but also didnt want to leave him), things seemed to have smoothed out, at least enough for he & i to have the relationship i want. she & i actually have a (platonic) connection and get along pretty well. we've all hung out a few times and its pleasant, but i do connect to him much more strongly and there's probably no chance of this becoming a triad. they continue to have a lot of the same issues they had before me, but they're still willing to work on them.

the problem is that he & i have a much stronger emotional connection than they do, and it's particularly noticeable when we all hang out. because of this and the fact that they're having issues and arguments that basically come down to not connecting to each other, i feel very self-conscious about behaving the way with him in front of her that i would if we were alone. we are extremely in love and their connection seems a lot more lukewarm, at least lately. he insists that its ok for me to "act natural" but im worried about hurting her, causing more issues for them or being seen as rubbing it in her face, making her feel like the third wheel, etc. it just feels somewhat cruel to be staring in his eyes and rubbing on him while she's there and they aren't nearly as engaged. from my perception, he has also been much more loving towards me than her which has also made me feel bad. she hasn't specifically mentioned this as an issue, but as i said, i have also spent a lot of time during our time together downplaying the strength of our connection.

i guess my question is whether or not i have a responsibility or whether its reasonable to be mindful of the issues they are having. is there such a thing as poly etiquette regarding hanging out as a hinge group that is generally-accepted? i know technically its "not my problem" but because she and i have at least somewhat of a friendship, i feel guilty about the potential of making her feel worse at a time when i know she's already having insecurities about the strength of their relationship. i think of it as akin to telling a friend how well you're doing in your career when you know they've just been fired or something along those lines, and he & i have enough alone time where i dont feel like im sacrificing too much by just toning it down a little when all of us are together. he seems to think this concept is ridiculous. is my instinct to "lay low" when its all 3 of us reasonable?
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
If she hasn't mentioned it as an issue, and he says to act natural... why are you making it be a problem?

i feel guilty about the potential of making her feel worse at a time when i know she's already having insecurities about the strength of their relationship. i think of it as akin to telling a friend how well you're doing in your career when you know they've just been fired or something along those lines, and he & i have enough alone time where i dont feel like im sacrificing too much by just toning it down a little when all of us are together.

So don't hang out in trio as much. Or tone it down so YOU can feel better when you do hang out in trio.

Or rather than guess, ask her directly if she's ok with the amount of PDA you do with him.

i think of it as akin to telling a friend how well you're doing in your career when you know they've just been fired or something along those lines

So you are trying to be considerate.

he seems to think this concept is ridiculous. is my instinct to "lay low" when its all 3 of us reasonable?

And he can think that you trying to be considerate of his other partner is ridiculous. He's free to think whatever.

That doesn't have to stop you from trying to be considerate towards her because she's your friend.

If either of them is unloading too much info about the issues between them on you? Can also tell them not to be telling you this stuff.

Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
You don't have to hang out with her. I'd recommend you don't.

Also, there is no need to explain why you aren't in a triad. Contrary to the media, the huge majority of polyamorous people are not in triads. And if they are, they are usually short-lived. Triads just don't work very well.

It sounds like this couple is having a very hard time getting along. I'd back off for that reason too. I'd ask bf not to tell me much about his struggles with his fiancee. He can talk about those issues with other friends, or better yet, a poly-friendly couples counselor or individual counselor. It's not your job to be his 24/7 therapist.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
The other thing to think about is that different relationships can *look* very different from the outside. Knight and I don't tend to be terribly into PDA anymore (we used to be wildly excessive, and even now I think I am more into it than he is), and do have a decent number of issues. So some people might think that I'm more into Artist... but that's 100% not true. (Has your boyfriend actually *said* he's more into you? Just because you have a different connection doesn't mean it's *better*)

(Our issues, though, are only tangentially polyamory related and it's something we both want, so that's a bit different. Still. )

Artist and I are *very* physical, including when we're hanging around my house with Knight, and for a while I was very self-conscious about that too. But Knight really is ok with it - he recognizes that that kind of relationship is a thing I want/need, and that we have something very different, and _that's fine_. So if your friend/metamour says she's ok with it, unless she's really obviously not, I'd believe her.
 

LilithHp

New member
(Has your boyfriend actually *said* he's more into you? Just because you have a different connection doesn't mean it's *better*)

yeah. he's said that we connect emotionally much more than they do, and it just so happens that the foundation of all their most pressing issue(s) is a lack of emotional connection. they've both said this to me and its why i feel particularly bad about the contrast when we are all together.
 

LilithHp

New member
And he can think that you trying to be considerate of his other partner is ridiculous. He's free to think whatever.
lmao this is going to be my takeaway for this situation i think. hearing somebody else say its ok to just let him think what he wants helps. this is my first time dealing with a metamour and i just didnt know if i was overlooking something.
 

LilithHp

New member
You don't have to hang out with her. I'd recommend you don't.
we do get along well enough and the idea is hopefully to bring our families together at some point, so that's why i haven't wanted to stop it altogether. she and i have hung out alone a few times so i think ill probably just hang around them separately until they fix their connection and everything feels more stable
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
we do get along well enough and the idea is hopefully to bring our families together at some point, so that's why i haven't wanted to stop it altogether. she and i have hung out alone a few times so i think ill probably just hang around them separately until they fix their connection and everything feels more stable

You can do what you want, of course. If it were me, I would feel awkward as her friend and his lover, being kind of in the middle of their troubles, and maybe acting as a mediator of sorts! No one should ever feel they need to be their bf's or metamour's relationship counselor. That's just way too much entanglement.

When you say "bring our families together," do you mean there is hope for their emotional disconnect to improve to the point where all 3 of you (plus kids??) will be living together? If they can't deal with their own emotions, how can they deal with yours as well?

What would your status be, if they do get more connected, enough to marry?

Is there a chance they just DO NOT (will not, can not) connect emotionally, and might want to call off the engagement? If so, there is no rush for you to move in with them. How would that be helpful to anyone?
 

LilithHp

New member
When you say "bring our families together," do you mean there is hope for their emotional disconnect to improve to the point where all 3 of you (plus kids??) will be living together? If they can't deal with their own emotions, how can they deal with yours as well?

What would your status be, if they do get more connected, enough to marry?

Is there a chance they just DO NOT (will not, can not) connect emotionally, and might want to call off the engagement? If so, there is no rush for you to move in with them. How would that be helpful to anyone?
we'll never live together-- i just meant bring them together as in this being established enough to where we can spend time around each others children, maybe vacation together, etc. as it is right now, he comes to visit me on my daughter's weekends at her dads or i go to visit him and we stay in a hotel. she has been more resistant to "coming out" as being in a poly relationship to her family but is working towards that, and keeping our kids out of it has worked fine for me thus far. just in the future, spending more than a day or two together at a time would be ideal for us so eventually that bridge will have to be crossed because neither one of us wants to be away from our kids a week+ at a time.

they've been engaged for a few years now already. im not sure why they haven't gotten married yet but im sure the hesitation is at least partly motivated by them wanting to work things out first. he's made it clear to both of us that a marriage would not affect my presence in any way, and altho im aware people's minds can change im not particularly worried about that possibility
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
yeah. he's said that we connect emotionally much more than they do, and it just so happens that the foundation of all their most pressing issue(s) is a lack of emotional connection. they've both said this to me and its why i feel particularly bad about the contrast when we are all together.

Blue is the behavior. Purple is the resulting feeling in you after you listen to all that.

So maybe that's the problem then. If both are overloading you with too much info about their side of the V? This behavior has to STOP in order for you to have different feelings. They can keep on trying to talk but you don't have to stand there listening.

I know some people don't even ask for consent. They just start inundating a partner or a friend inappropriately with their problems just assuming person is up for it any time or even at all. But really?

You aren't their automatic emotional dumpster where they get to unload and feel better. Because then it's like "pass the buck" stress whooshies and you end up feeling crap or like you were slimed. You don't have to be like some kind of "free therapist" for them. Esp if listening to that makes you feel ugh.

If either of them starts to overshare again, you could exercise better personal boundaries. Could say "No, thank you. Stop. This is oversharing TMI details about the other side of the V. You did not ask me if I was up for this conversation. I am not. I suggest you talk to him/her directly about these problems. Or seek a counselor if you cannot solve it together. I am not the right person for this. Don't put me in the middle."

they've been engaged for a few years now already. im not sure why they haven't gotten married yet but im sure the hesitation is at least partly motivated by them wanting to work things out first.

As it should be. I am a fan of loooong engagements. Do the actual work of engagement and assess DEEP compatibility.

To me engagements end successfully in one of two ways.

1) The couple does the work of engagement and finds they ARE deeply compatible. Then and only then do they move on to planning a wedding.

2) The couple does the work of engagement and finds they ARE NOT deeply compatible. They end the engagement and part ways or become good exes and friends. They save themselves the cost of wedding/short marriage only to end in divorce, and emotional/mental pain.

Is she still against a polyamorous situation but doesn't want to leave him? Just going along with whatever even though she doesn't really want to? If that's the core issue? I don't see how they can get emotionally close with that unresolved.

Because she can love her partner a lot. But not even for him should she be doing stuff that hurts her. She could be stronger in her boundaries and end it.

And if he SEES her hurting like this, doing stuff she really doesn't want to be doing just to stay in his orbit? He could be stronger in his boundaries and end it. Sometimes the most loving thing one can do is end things so the suffering can STOP, and the healing can BEGIN. Not just drag on forever.

If they have passive personalities and/or enmeshed ones? If they are mad the other one doesn't end it (even while being too ___ to just end it themselves)? You might have to assess if you want to deal in these procrastinate-y people, listening to their drama.

I'm a fan of long engagement. But I'm not a fan of fence sitting. One doesn't sit on the engagement fence for 5, 10, 20 years right?

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Lilith,

As long as you don't feel like you're sacrificing too much, my vote is to go ahead and tone it down a little when the three of you are together. I think that concept is reasonable, I don't think it's ridiculous. I will say, however, that given the poor dynamic between them, they should not be planning to get married. If anything, they should be planning to break up. But that's for them to figure out, it's not your job to explain it to them. In the meantime, I would go ahead and "lay low" when it's all three of you. There's not an official code of poly etiquette that says you should do that, but to me it seems like the polite/considerate thing to do.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
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