Need some guidance - sleeping arrangements


New member
I moved in with my poly boyfriend and his girlfriend earlier this year. He and I are engaged, though he hasn't given me a ring or anything formal (I'm not much on formalities anyway). He did ask me seriously though and I accepted. He has never ask his other girlfriend and doesn't intend to. She's said she doesn't want to marry anyway.

The new living in and sleeping arrangement is what the issue is right now though. Wasn't sure how the sleeping arrangement was going to work out since I hadn't been in this situation before. I kind of figured he'd spend some nights with his other girlfriend and some with me.

When I first moved in, this is kind of how it worked out and sometimes she'd stay in the room with us. However, I stopped this because I wasn't comfortable with it and she just started popping in whenever she wanted and her popping in unannounced was giving me panic attacks (I have problems with anxiety in general anyway). So i talked to them both and we agreed she wouldn't sleep in my "room".

So it's been about 2 months since I asked that she not stay overnight in the area that we've agreed is my "room" (It's in the partially finished basement). Since that time, he hasn't stayed with her at all. I've encouraged him to but he has chosen every night to stay with me in my room, til now it's become more of a given that he'll be there every night, tho I still remind him he can stay with her any time he wants.

Two nights ago tho, she comes downstairs in middle of the night to "fix" the router and wakes us up by knocking a bunch of stuff off the dresser. To me this seemed silly, I know sometimes she stays up late, but couldn't she have found something else to do if the internet wasn't working? She's got run of the entire house, tv, game consoles, computers, pc games that don't require the internet, knitting, books....

Then the next night, we get woke up because she trying to wedge herself between him and the wall and winds up knocking a book into the wall in the process, after which she quickly left. I had to calm him down because he thought it was a noise upstairs... he didn't even know she was next to him. This whole event spurred a panic attack in me and I couldn't get back to sleep for hours after that.

She said she'd had a nightmare. Ok I really am not trying to be an ogre here, but really adults deal with nightmares all the time without running to someone for comfort. Could she have not calmed herself down and then talked to him about it in the morning? I didn't tell her that I felt she could have dealt with her nightmare as an adult, I didn't want to hurt her or piss her off anymore than she is.

I don't know, I'm not trying to be callous, I just feel she didn't need to run down to him. I know she misses being with him, but there isn't anything more I can do about that. I've encouraged him to be with her and he doesn't want to. It seems though that it's something they need to work out on their own, without my sleep being disrupted.

I sent her an email since she hasn't talked to me since then. I explained to her as nicely as possible how I felt and why I didn't want her popping in like that. I asked her to imagine how she might feel if I kept showing up in her room while she was sleeping. She's mad at me now and won't talk to me, I found out she only read the first few lines got pissed and deleted it without reading my explanation.

I understand she needs comforting but... I feel stuck. I just don't know what to do and I'm at my wits end. I keep trying to make things harmonious but she keeps doing things like this that stirs everything up. Though I feel really bad that she's upset, this wasn't my intention. I don't think she should be coming into my room at night unless it's an absolute emergency (house is on fire), nightmares don't count.

Sorry for the novel, any constructive advice would help. Please don't be harsh to me, I feel bad enough already.
Who`s place was it first ?
How long have The Bf and 'his' gf been together ?
How long have you and your fiance been together ?

Have you ever announced a 'panic attack' when he has gone and stayed with her, for any reason ?

Thanks for answering those questions.
I don't think she should be coming into my room at night unless it's an absolute emergency (house is on fire), nightmares don't count.
and you have told her this? Seems clear to me. Your space is your space. If she struggles to accept and respect that then you have bigger fish to fry.

I have my own room and who I invite into it is my business. Who I sleep there with is my business. What I do in there is my business. How straight forward can one be? Say it like it is and keep hitting the message home. You have ever right to that I think. Any issue she has with him being there should be discussed outside of this issue I think.
Is your bf addressing this issue at all? Like, has he said to her "Please don't disrespect my fiance's wishes and invade our time together like that" or is it all on you to try to resolve the problem? Does he see it as a problem?

Also, has he, to your knowledge, talked to her about why he's not ever sleeping in her room any more? Her way of handling it is inappropriate but I'd be feeling pretty freaked out too in her situation and if he's just allowing this situation to devolve into toxicity, that's not ok.
An interesting read, and informative for me.
Growing up where I did - everything was communal property. I have essentially no concept of "mine", and that includes personal space.
I will now be far more mindful of space a lover may have claimed as "mine"(theirs).

Yay, learnings :)
So, you moved into your fiance and his girlfriend's house earlier this year. Does your boyfriend have his own room? Were he and the girlfriend sharing a room prior to you getting the basement room? If I were her, I'd feel pretty hurt if my boyfriend proposed to his other girlfriend, moved her into our home, and stopped sleeping in our bed (if that is the case).

That being said, I understand your need for privacy and for her to stay out of your room. If you've made that clear to her and she keeps disrespecting that boundary, than I would suggest that you all have a family/household meeting. Ask her how she would feel if you kept stumbling into her room during the night. And if needing access to the router is that important to her, can it be moved up to the first floor where she doesn't need to come into your space to find it.

I do think it is a little cold to say that she should handle her nightmare as an adult would. How exactly does an adult handle a nightmare? I'm 30 years old and I still snuggle up to my husband when I've had a bad dream or if I can't get back to sleep I will hop on Skype and talk to Wendigo. When I was in college, I would call my grandmother. You say that you have anxiety and I understand that her coming into your space makes that worse, but nightmares cause a certain amount of anxiety and I wonder how you'd feel if you were upstairs all alone trying to deal with the panic a nightmare can cause while all the people in the house are down in the basement?

I think you all need to sit down and talk this out. Put a lock on the basement door; the kind used in bathrooms should be fine (so you can get out quickly if necessary); and insist that she knock before entering your space (and vice versa). That way, should she need your boyfriend during the night she can knock to give you two a warning; but that also means that you are expected to answer and not just ignore her.
I may be way off, or missing the general point....could this be a NRE issue? Either that or that is just how their (your fiancee and his gf) relationship is. 2 months of sleeping with you, and leaving her stranded seems a bit harsh.

Yes, she keeps breaking your rules, and entering your personal space.... im sure id do the same in her position. Seems to me like she's getting the short end of the stick. I'm still new to this, but from what ive learned here, your fiancee should probably make more time for her....
Is he really still interested in her? I'm new to all this, but I think I would insist that he either give her more attention including sleeping with her once or twice a week, or cut her loose.
Responses - part 1

Wow, thanks for all the responses... I checked on here yesterday and the mod hadn't posted this thread just yet. Sorry if I'm behind...

Sourgirl - I've been with him for about a year and started staying in his place in June. This is a house he and his gf moved into about 2 1/2 years ago. They've been together for about 5-6 years. He never really thought about marrying her since she doesn't want to get married. I've never really had a panic attack when he's wanted to go be with her, in fact I've only ever encouraged him to but pretty much since I moved in he hasn't. The only time I've talked about a panic attack to him was when she's appeared in my space in middle of the night unannounced. The episode before this I would roll over to find her just standing there or wake up to her sleeping on the far side of the bed against the wall. I've had other panic attacks but they were usually related to things going on outside of the relationship (ie, work, sibling drama, etc).

Redpepper - Yes I've told her this in a face to face discussion, through email, even my fiance and approached her with it. I completely agree with how you think. I was asked to stay there by my fiance, we've established months ago that the basement was to be my area... especially at night. I've told her more recently that any issues with him should be discussed with him. I wrote what I felt was a very friendly email explaining why I have an issue with this, she just got very angry and apparently deleted the email after only reading a few sentences. She did go back and read it later, but things have been strained since then. I'm not sure how much clearer I can be to her.

Nycindie - kinda wish I could, although the laundry room is down there and since this is a rental I don't think we can...

AnnabelMore - He has told me he's talked to her and asked her not to come down while we're sleeping. They've had extensive conversations that ends up her getting pissed and making him feel bad for speaking up...or at least that's what he tells me. I'm not around during these conversations. Knowing the way they communicate it was probably all done through email. He sees this whole thing as a problem because I'm having issues with it, he's really ok with her being down there... I'm not. So far he's respecting that tho and hasn't pushed it but has tried to support me and respect my boundaries.
As far as I know they haven't really talked about why he won't sleep in her room. Though he has told me some reasons... she asks him to and deflects the request or comes up other possibly truthful reasons. He has taken to cuddling with her in her room when I'm not around, but I don't think they are really sexual with each other. I think for him their relationship has devolved but she's looking the other way by insisting that everythings fine and he's not directly talking about it.

Casey - As far as "mine" vs "theirs"... I think it depends on the individual and the others involved to determine if it will be more communal or not. In my particular instance I feel I'm ok with most things being communal, I just need a place (even if it's one end of the basement) that is my own and not invaded by those uninvited. It's a place I can go to chill out away from others, I need downtime... others, perhaps like yourself?, may not need that. Glad you gained a new perspective :)
Responses - part 2

BrigidsDaughter - On your first point, he had been sleeping mostly in the basement and every once in a while sleeping with her in her room. He told me if I needed a space that I should claim his area and it would be both our area or just be my area when I needed it to be.
I can see how this would all feel to her as you say, however, I have reason to believe that this devolving with them was happening long before I came around. Thought I didn't know it before, I'm definitely seeing proof of it now. Also she was happy that we were engaged, since she knew she would never marry him. She told me that herself. We also all 3 sat down several months ago and had a conversation that has been reiterated many times since that I really didn't want her down there when I was sleeping especially. This keeps coming up because she just doesn't follow that even though she agreed to it.
I realize now how cold I sounded about the nightmare issue, I myself need comforting too. Please understand that I was typing out of anger and frustration at that point since it had just happened (again). But I do feel that she could have at the very least woke him up and asked him to come upstairs because she needed him instead of trying to settle in to sleep. Right after I moved in there were times where he would stay with her in her room and I never went into her room. I just feel that it should be reciprocated.
I like the idea of a lock, but I just don't think we're allowed to since we're in a rental...

Derrall - I agree that if he's wanting to continue this relationship with her that he should make more time for her. However, even after all my encouraging him to do that, he simply just doesn't. I can't make him, either he wants to or he doesn't and honestly it feels like that's an issue they need to work out. I don't know if there is anything I can or should do about this. But in the meantime I can't be trampled on in the process.
As I've said in previous responses, he didn't cut off sleeping with her when I moved in. They were already sleeping part of the time in separate areas. A couple months after I moved in though even that waned despite my encouraging him to stay with her.

sevechten - I've asked myself and him that very question... he says he doesn't know or evades the question. He avoids her advances well enough and has told me that he feels really annoyed when she tries touching him. I have tried insisting what you suggested at the risk of sticking my nose into their business. I've brought it up twice, the first time he just said he didn't know if he could do that. The other time (several months later) he twisted it around to make it sound like I was telling him he had to get rid of her.... I can only think this latter response was more about him lashing out and projecting his thoughts and feelings about himself onto me. Because I certainly never told him to get rid of her. I'd never think of such a thing... I may if she were seriously abusive, but that just isn't the case here.
I like the idea of a lock, but I just don't think we're allowed to since we're in a rental...

Putting in a "bathroom" door knob with a lock is simple and can be switched back out when you leave (keep the old knob). Just requires a Phillips head screwdriver.
Yeah, I am agreeing with Cheryl... something needs to change, otherwise things would be going along just fine with no hard feelings, boundaries crossed, etc... Doesn't sound like a healthy place for anyone to be in. I personally would not want to be in any of the three positions there, but I like to have a harmonious life with no drama or unresolved issues hanging over me. Just my opinion
I find your fiance's behavior here kinda worrying. It seems callous, or at least... lazy?... for him to allow this relationship to continue when he doesn't even want to be touched by her, and to refuse to try to identify or talk about the problem. If I were you I might tell him that seeing him treat a partner that way is disappointing, and would make me wonder if he'd ever treat me that way.
I can't figure out why she is still there. I would be hurting, terribly so.

Doesn't seem like a V to me. More like a Mono with this X that hasn't left yet. (no offense to her). I am sorry that you were brought into this situation. It really leaves you in a bad position. It puts her in bad situation. It is not your fault they have this issue, but it certainly affects you.

It is like she has to be a stalker in her own home, just to try to get affection. She is up there all alone night after night after night while her lover showers another with whatever affection he has the capacity to offer and with holds it from her. And doesn't care at all about how hurt she is. I don't see where the love between the two of them is, at all.

I was so afraid of this happening to me. It sort of did. Hubby and I like to shower together, but when another was in the picture he would sleep a little later and shower with her. Then when she was practically living with us she was always in the shower with him and it was never me anymore. I did talk to him and he remedied the situation. It was NRE, but he needed to work on it and because he truly wanted to love us both he did.

Why does he have so much disdain for her?

If he can't handle loving both of you I wonder if he is even polyfolk. Have you guys thought of getting your own place?

Please don't take my words harshly, like I said this a bad situation for you as well.

Does he have a clue about how bad this is for you to? I know that you talked to him about it but it really is not OK for him to just say, "well I can't stand her" and just leave it at that. If he dislikes her affection so much, why didn't he just tell her it doesn't work for him and move on, set her free. And, why on earth doesn't she escape it. I couldn't handle it with no affection, month after month, whether or not there was another love in the picture.
sounds like this girl is being treated very badly by both you and your fiancé. You telling her she can't spend time with her lover when she is scared and lonely. He ignoring her needs. I don't feel sorry for anyone with this ex-gf who for some reason is living with a monogamous couple in her basement.
I don't have any grand solution to the larger problems here. Mostly because it's not really your problem to work out - your fiance needs to work it out with his gf. But in the interest of your sleep (and continued sanity) I would seriously consider having him sleep elsewhere for the time being. It is your space and you have a right to invite who you want into it. If his presence is indirectly causing disturbances then kick him out. I'm not sure if there are three bedrooms? It sounds like not. So it may force him to deal with the situation.

Good luck with it, whatever you decide to do.
I've asked myself and him that very question... he says he doesn't know or evades the question. He avoids her advances well enough and has told me that he feels really annoyed when she tries touching him. I have tried insisting what you suggested at the risk of sticking my nose into their business. I've brought it up twice, the first time he just said he didn't know if he could do that. The other time (several months later) he twisted it around to make it sound like I was telling him he had to get rid of her.... I can only think this latter response was more about him lashing out and projecting his thoughts and feelings about himself onto me. Because I certainly never told him to get rid of her. I'd never think of such a thing... I may if she were seriously abusive, but that just isn't the case here.

It seems to me that the underlying issue here is not her coming into your room but rather their failed relationship and his inability to formally end it. Your sleeping problem is a symptom of this underlying issue. She's continuing to try to meet her needs with him, and he's apparently not willing to be a part of that. She has the right to be loved and supported by the person she's romantically cohabiting with. Your sleeping problems will really never end until their relationship is properly resolved. Locks and rules are a bandaid, but implementing those will likely just bring up new issues.

I wonder if a different approach to this situation would work better. In the spirit of female solidarity, you could say something like "Wow, if you treated me the way you treat her, it would break my heart. I would want you to either treat me the way I deserve to be treated, or else grow a pair and confess that you just don't love me anymore. But leaving me upstairs all alone while my boyfriend spends every night with his fiance is just really cruel."

On a side note, this notion of communicating via email with people who live in the same house seems really odd to me. I admit, I myself am also better at composing my thoughts electronically, not to mention censoring myself when necessary, but some conversations really require body language and tone of voice.
What's worse is that he does have another girlfriend that he sees on the side. She doesn't live with us. I've asked him several times to tell me when he sees her and he won't. I've caught him few times when he was seeing her but he didn't tell me about it. He told me 6 months ago that he was breaking it off with her, but he still hasn't. He just keeps stringing her along, or lying to me about it.

Either way I feel stuck. I keep encouraging him to do the right thing but he just doesn't. Maybe what he views as right is different than mine. Sometimes he only sees her for 5-10 min at lunch but. I don't know maybe I shouldn't be freaking out over there little meet ups, but it bothers me because he doesn't tell me. I've tried telling him that when he finds out that he's meeting up with her just please send me a short message. He does it one or two times after I remind him and then he stops again. He says he forgets because he doesn't think seeing her for 5 min is significant.

He says he doesn't understand why I feel I need to keep tabs on him and what he's doing. I tell him I'm not, just that I'd like to know when he's with her. I don't know, I feel like he's sneaking around behind my back when he doesn't tell me. I don't want details of how long he's with her or what they're doing and I don't ask what he's doing at any other time. He just wants me to accept that he's going to see her whenever he pleases and I just can't do that. It doesn't feel right, doesn't feel open and honest. I don't understand why he can't tell me... maybe I'm just over-reacting...