Planning for the future/husband attempting to set boundaries that I'm not sure I can follow

Hey gang :)

I am getting to a point in my life (and my newer relationship with P) where I've started investing and planning for the future (i.e. possibly having kids, building a community, etc). I was wondering if there were any polycules (hope that's not a stupid word to use) that have planned these types of things together? Me and P and Joe planned on sticking together (eventually starting a commune) when P and I were platonic, but now I want to have conversations about the future without potentially stepping on Joe's toes. Talked with him today and he seemed a little flustered that I am forming my life around my relationship with P in addition to my relationship with him. I reminded Joe that us all sticking together has always been the plan, but since P is at a different life stage (4 years younger than Joe, 2 years younger than me) it's not so simple to just say "we'll live together" since it's very possible we'll have differing amounts of resources in just a few years. Importantly, when I said something about me spending nights once in awhile at P's house (in the event they live separately but near each other, which is something they both want eventually), Joe seemed visibly upset. I said "how would you expect me to have a relationship with someone if I could never spend the night with him" and he didn't really have an answer but... there's obviously something to unpack there.

It seems like both of them are prideful men (not trying to be judgey, just an observation) and want the whole house-kids-yard-etc. Very monogamous-vibes. Excuse if I sound a tad cynical, I love them both, it's just... 3 houses for 2 people, in this economy? If we (oops, I mean mostly me :sneaky:) have to do all the work of communicating and coordinating schedules for 3 people, it would be nice to enjoy the benefits of shared costs of living. If I had it my way, we would all live in the same house, and P would just have his own suite with bathroom/common area. A girl can dream.

It's very possible that I'm getting ahead of myself here, but the sustainability of my relationships with both Joe and P is really important to me. I.e. if it doesn't seem like this is going to work a few years from now, then I would rather know now and start distancing myself from P romantically (so I can save the friendship) then letting this go on until shit hits the fan. I suppose that's being in a relationship though, if you could predict things not working out, then there wouldn't be any bad breakups...

I know it would help to see my relationships with both Joe and P where they are and not comparing. For e.g., I am legally married to Joe, which means I can never be legally married to P if we stay in the US. Even though I don't treat Joe as my primary partner, for now he is the only person my family technically sees me with, so he gets invited to family events, asked about more in phone calls, that sort of thing. Plus, P is younger, so there is less he can do for me resource wise. I am an independent woman, so I don't need or want anything from anyone, but I know there are things P wishes he could do for me. I know this affects him! At least I know it would give me feelings if I was in his situation, but he can be very stoic about it. <<Full invite for anyone in P's situation to educate my ass on this "not hierarchical but still kinda hierarchical" situation.

I also am trying to take things one day at a time... when all of this started Joe was very reluctant. I still am not sure that he has really experienced compersion; he has said he is happy that I can experience this much love. He also has had some days where he gets jealous. He also has some days where he's joking around about my relationship with P, making fun of me being "thirsty for cuddles", "in love with two dumbasses", etc. Mostly he has days where he is indifferent. <<Also invitation for anyone to talk about their experiences with jealousy over the long term. I haven't experienced either Joe or P having another partner, so I am not sure how either of them deal with this.

This has devolved into a shitpost. Eager to hear from anyone in a situation similar to either Joe or P; gaining a different perspective on this would be great. GEE IT WOULD BE NICE IF THEY HAD THEIR OWN ACCOUNTS ON HERE !!1!!
 
retrospective warning: I drank a lot of coffee before making this thread, which explains all the parentheses 🤪
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi mountaingirl,

My polycule (a V) is pretty much united in not wanting to have kids, we're too old anyway, we're all in our 50's. And both of the guys in the V have had vasectomies. We do have to make plans for when we pass away, we have living wills and powers of attorney and such, and will probably update those before too long.

I think stepping on some toes is a necessary risk when you are planning the future. It's a negotiation process, there has to be give and take. All three of the people in my V live in the same house, I have my own bedroom with an attached bath, and I consider myself lucky. You can't always have a whole house all to yourself, surely Joe and P realize that.

I am sort of in P's position, the other guy in my V is the legally-lawfully-wedded husband to our hinge, and we are not out as poly, so I am presented to the world (relatives and such) as a "close friend." This was hard for me in our early years together, over time I have gotten used to it, but it still itches a bit.

I hope I can help.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Eponine

Active member
Importantly, when I said something about me spending nights once in awhile at P's house (in the event they live separately but near each other, which is something they both want eventually), Joe seemed visibly upset. I said "how would you expect me to have a relationship with someone if I could never spend the night with him" and he didn't really have an answer but... there's obviously something to unpack there.
Yeah, I would be more worried about that than about future living arrangements. It's fine if he doesn't experience compersion, but if he's not okay with you spending nights with another partner, that's concerning. Does he fully embrace poly? Is he open to having another partner himself?

I'm of the opinion that a stable V, or even a triad, doesn't have to all live together if it doesn't make everyone happy. If both guys want their own house and kids, sure it would be expensive, but it's a common and legitimate life goal. The way I see it, the most realistic scenario would be you and Joe live together, and P finds another partner to share a house and have kids with. You can still have a relationship with P as non-nesting partners, which doesn't mean the emotional intimacy has to be any less than you and Joe's.

Or you can have a co-primary arrangement where you split time evenly between their two houses. But from your post, it doesn't seem like either guy would be satisfied by that. It would also be much more demanding for the hinge.
 
Does he fully embrace poly? Is he open to having another partner himself?
he fully embraces that this is something I want, but doesn't see himself having another partner. Neither of them do. I have talked to both of them at length about what that would look like though; like who is off limits (my family and close as well as professional friends) and what I would appreciate that they communicate with me about. But nothing has happened yet. If anything I see one or both of them having something more casual/dating (Joe has a job with months long travel contracts, and P is potentially entering into a similar career), but they've both made it clear that they would like to be married to (in the spiritual sense for P)/have kids with me (if I actually want to have kids).
Right now, because we all live together, I spend a lot of time with both of them. We spend a lot of time all together. We go on vacations. Make dinner when schedules align. Yard work/cleaning days together. We all live together really well. I just don't think their egos can handle that in the future, or that they both expect to move on to something different than cohabitation once I'm done with school. Not sure.
Or you can have a co-primary arrangement where you split time evenly between their two houses. But from your post, it doesn't seem like either guy would be satisfied by that.
I think P would be satisfied by co-primary situation, since he has told me as much. Joe, obviously, not so much, or at least not right now. That's kind of why I mentioned taking things one day at a time. It's possible that me and P don't last (doubtful, but who hasn't said that lol). It's also possible Joe changes his mind... I guess. I'm not sure. Things have changed a lot for the better since me and P first got involved. Joe was super jealous in the beginning; like, accepting that this is what I wanted, but not great at managing his feelings about it. After 1.5 years of me and P being together (with 6 months long distance and interspersed with a couple breaks to slow down for Joe's sake), we're all in a very different place. I am hoping to talk with both of them about this stuff soon, just don't really feel like mediating right now. I'm also not sure how necessary it is; if what we have is working right now, then am I just being weird for trying to plan far in the future? Or being proactive? idk.
It would also be much more demanding for the hinge.
this. I have gotten way better at managing myself lately and making "me" time, but while they're both friends, all they talk about is f*cking sports, music, boy stuff for lack of a better description, and a lot of the heavy lifting is left to me. It's like they are both (especially**** P) okay with just remaining seemingly shallow friends, even though they love the same person, which means things are a lil more complicated and more communication is required in my opinion. It's like, they're not together romantically but they do have a relationship that has to be maintained? And I sometimes feel as if I do that for them.
I'm a little resentful that they can have this super light and fun friendship, and I told both of them that earlier this week. In separate conversations of course....:rolleyes: They both want to be with me in the most "complete" sense of a lifelong romantic relationship, and they both are friends and consider each other like brothers. They are considering joining the military together (they watched zero dark 30 lmao... just a wild hare but idk, I wouldn't want to do something like that with someone I don't f*ck with heavy). Sometimes I think because they don't communicate with anyone poly, and rarely tell anyone about our situation, they are afraid to just talk about shit together, as if it makes more clear what is already happening and being consented to. It's frustrating. I think I resent P a little more because he and I initiated this, but I feel as if I am the one maintaining it and he benefits. P is great at prioritizing me in his life, making time for dates, talking and listening to me, but when it comes to literally anyone else he is horsh*t at communicating. He just shuts down. V hard to read.
When I say things like:
"P considers himself married to me." to Joe so that he knows where things are at (I don't think that's too much to share since I'm committed to Joe and want to let him know what's going on), it's not met with any verbal corroboration from P. So Joe is here wondering if P is really committed! And Joe considers the possibility that P just wants me to himself and is waiting for Joe to walk off. P assures me this isn't the case, but doesn't talk to Joe about it. And in P's defense, Joe doesn't bring up this fears/insecurities to P. It can be a f*cking nightmare to communicate between them and sometimes I really don't know how much I should be doing and when I should just throw my hands up and say y'all got this.

Sorry for the hinge rant. Managing my time better is a big thing I'm working on right now. It's getting better but only because I have been making adjustments, and clearly I have some more to make.
 
I'm of the opinion that a stable V, or even a triad, doesn't have to all live together if it doesn't make everyone happy. If both guys want their own house and kids, sure it would be expensive, but it's a common and legitimate life goal
Meant to reply to this. That's totally fine. I am down to do that, and have said as much to them. I just thought it was confusing of Joe to express wanting this, acknowledge that P wants the same, and then expect that I wouldn't spend the night at P's house occasionally.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am hoping to talk with both of them about this stuff soon, just don't really feel like mediating right now. I'm also not sure how necessary it is; if what we have is working right now, then am I just being weird for trying to plan far in the future? Or being proactive? idk.

Is something pinging your anxiety or stress? If things are working fine, what are you worried about? That Joe, P, and you are better than before but still a work in progress? What's wrong with that at 1.5 years into the polyship?

What reassurance are you needing from which partner that things are ok enough right now?

It's very possible that I'm getting ahead of myself here, but the sustainability of my relationships with both Joe and P is really important to me. I.e. if it doesn't seem like this is going to work a few years from now, then I would rather know now and start distancing myself from P romantically (so I can save the friendship) then letting this go on until shit hits the fan. I suppose that's being in a relationship though, if you could predict things not working out, then there wouldn't be any bad breakups...

Is this the stress source? Fear or worry about break ups?

What you could do is talk to each one about how to break up. Not that you want to. But if it DOES have to happen, what you prefer so it can be done with respect and dignity. Then if it comes to pass, the break up plan is already known. And not like shit hits the fan and no plan and people acting out at each other.

Because one can't predict the future. But one also can't be living on pins and needles in the present just because of one possible future that still remains to be seen. It like analysis paralysis after a point. What iffing too much and then ending up frozen.

They are considering joining the military together

Is this the stress source? Like how real is this or is this just daydreaming? Because being a military spouse is tough, and military has adultery rules that could land one in military jail. Makes problems for poly people esp if two of you are legally married.

So if just pie in the sky, fine. If REAL... whoa. May need to talk this plan out.

this. I have gotten way better at managing myself lately and making "me" time, but while they're both friends, all they talk about is f*cking sports, music, boy stuff for lack of a better description, and a lot of the heavy lifting is left to me. It's like they are both (especially**** P) okay with just remaining seemingly shallow friends, even though they love the same person, which means things are a lil more complicated and more communication is required in my opinion. It's like, they're not together romantically but they do have a relationship that has to be maintained? And I sometimes feel as if I do that for them.

Is this the stress source? How about you just STOP doing so much heavy lifting?

Let their relationship between them be however it is, and if they like it "shallower" than you would want it? Remeber you are not in that (Joe + P friendship) dyad. It's on them how the quality of that relationship is.

When I say things like:
"P considers himself married to me." to Joe so that he knows where things are at (...), it's not met with any verbal corroboration from P. So Joe is here wondering if P is really committed!

So... at that point isn't it on Joe to go ask P for whatever corroboration he needs? Or is he content to just wonder and not know?

Either way, not your prob, right?

And Joe considers the possibility that P just wants me to himself and is waiting for Joe to walk off.

So if Joe needs reassurance from P that he isn't trying to rope you off... isn't it on Joe to go ask P? And if he tells you? You say something like "I see. Why don't you ask P direct about that?"

P assures me this isn't the case, but doesn't talk to Joe about it.

So when P does this, do you say "I see. Why don't you tell Joe this directly?" or similar?

It can be a f*cking nightmare to communicate between them and sometimes I really don't know how much I should be doing and when I should just throw my hands up and say y'all got this.

I suggest you tell them this both NOW, and then enjoy a reduction in your stress. A hinge doesn't have to be doing all the communication jobs in ALL the dyads.

I could be wrong in how I remember past posts of yours... but it's like you keep coming back to "I am not comfortable seeing my partners in real or perceived discomfort. So then I go do all these extra jobs to fix it in order to assuage my anxiety. And then I'm not comfortable because I'm getting stressed doing all these extra jobs." Or something like that. Like a circle thing of some kind?

Do LESS. Let the guys deal with their stuff themselves.

As for planning ahead, I get it. I do 5 year plans myself.

But since you are all in your 20s and the next baby step is to stop living together and either get two new flats or a flat and a house, or two houses or whatever is it? I'd focus on that and not overthink the rest. Make the 1-5 year plan to get to the place of separate homes. And then when that plan is done, rest, dream, and make the plan for the next chapter of life together.

Galagirl
 
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I think stepping on some toes is a necessary risk when you are planning the future. It's a negotiation process, there has to be give and take.
Thanks Kevin. I never know how much to say and when to just leave things as they are.
But if I bring sh*t like this up with both of them and neither of them are willing to negotiate, then that would answer a lot of my questions right there?
I am sort of in P's position, the other guy in my V is the legally-lawfully-wedded husband to our hinge, and we are not out as poly, so I am presented to the world (relatives and such) as a "close friend." This was hard for me in our early years together, over time I have gotten used to it, but it still itches a bit.
P is pretty hard to bother, but I know this has to sting, especially right now since it's still pretty new. He recently came out to his family and said he felt a lot of relief which is cool. It's nice that he could tell someone important to him about our relationship.
 
Is something pinging your anxiety or stress?
P told his family about me and our relationship. He's also talked a lot more about commitment lately. It felt like a big step. If me and P's relationship has the potential to continue in the future (which would be awesome!), I feel that I have a responsibility to talk with Joe about this, because it affects his life too. P clearly doesn't.
What reassurance are you needing from which partner that things are ok enough right now?
I talked to P last night. Told him I was feeling like I was in outer space, he said how I'm feeling makes sense but he can't relate. That he feels "in tune". must be nice lol
Joe apologized for dumping a bunch of feelings on me (the conversation about future living arrangements followed a vent session of his). He said he has mostly all good days, just sometimes feels sensitive about me and P's relationship. This was the first time we really talked about future arrangements including P. I think some stuff between our other roommates has spurred this.

IDK. I can't want expect them to talk about this because that's out of my control, and I get plenty of reassurance from both of them when there is time/space for that. I think I need to be able to listen to Joe's venting and not be sent in a tailspin every time trying to fix his feelings. He tells me there's nothing I can do, and that my relationship with P doesn't always upset him. He is a consenting adult, everyone here is. I guess also listening to him when he's saying good stuff, and not just when he's venting about jealousy feels.
Neither of them find the need to talk about things when they're going well. I am a super communicative an emotional human; I cry happy tears when I feel appreciative and am open about my insecurities/fears. Perhaps I can lean into the happy silences when we're all hanging out. They're a lot more indicative of how things are going 99% of the time than when someone's venting on a bad day.

What you could do is talk to each one about how to break up. Not that you want to. But if it DOES have to happen, what you prefer so it can be done with respect and dignity. Then if it comes to pass, the break up plan is already known. And not like shit hits the fan and no plan and people acting out at each other.
Thanks for this suggestion. My plan would be prioritizing saving the friendship, however long after a breakup that would take. Joe and I have talked a lot about this and are on the same page. Would be worth talking about with P.
Is this the stress source? Like how real is this or is this just daydreaming? Because being a military spouse is tough, and military has adultery rules that could land one in military jail. Makes problems for poly people esp if two of you are legally married.
I was definitely like ??? when I was told of this conversation.
(At least) 4 years with both of them away? What a commitment on all of our parts. I think it was part daydreaming, part serious. Joe is p ambitious and is reaching a lull in his own career, and P is looking for a way to pay for nursing school. so... yeah lol my mind was definitely racing trying to figure out those logistics.
Let their relationship between them be however it is, and if they like it "shallower" than you would want it? Remeber you are not in that (Joe + P friendship) dyad. It's on them how the quality of that relationship is.
I know I need to do this. It's easier at some times than others. To expect them to be closer just because of the relationship I share with both of them is just setting me up for disappointment. They are as close as they've ever been.
Joe talked about "continuity" of people in our lives; the roommate stuff I mentioned up top is basically just one of our roommates moving back home for a job opportunity and the other one getting in a new relationship and not hanging out with Joe anymore (both are his childhood friends). The conversation prior to us talking about the future took place while he was on shrooms. I had came home at the end of the day and he said "I've felt like crying all day, I miss my friends, I feel like we're growing apart." He mentioned being happy in Colorado, and happy with his job and reaching a new financial milestone. So not all bad stuff. But I think because his friends are leaving, he's lumping P in with them. He makes a point to tell me that P is "just his friend" and this led into assumptions that P would leave some day too, that it was only a matter of time. This hurt my feelings and also echoed all of the insecurities I've worked past in the last few months.

The changes happening in his life has him reflecting a lot, and unfortunately me and P's relationship was something he was reflecting on. My relationship with P always seems like the source to blame, for both me and Joe, when life gets stressful. It's the most radical thing going on in our lives and still feels really new.

I could be wrong in how I remember past posts of yours... but it's like you keep coming back to "I am not comfortable seeing my partners in real or perceived discomfort. So then I go do all these extra jobs to fix it in order to assuage my anxiety. And then I'm not comfortable because I'm getting stressed doing all these extra jobs." Or something like that. Like a circle thing of some kind?
Yeah I can see how literally every insecurity and fear Joe has could just be talked about with P. Neither are mind readers. I know P would listen if it was brought up by Joe, but you're right that it's not my job to mediate. And yes I want everyone to feel comfy all the time, sometimes at the expense of myself. In my defense, if I'm not posting stressballs on here it means I am keeping them contained. This conversation w P just had me doing mind backflips to solve his discomfort. a circle is a great way to describe it haha
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Yes, Joe and P must be willing to negotiate. It's one thing if you are the mediator, although it would be nice if they would talk to each other directly. Maybe the thing to do is to sit down all three of you together and negotiate the future. But if they aren't willing to compromise even when you mediate, well, I guess like you said you have your answer.

It is a hopeful sign, that P has come out to his family. That's one less group of people that he has to pretend around. It can be hard when you are an intimate partner to someone, but only in secret, like you want to shout it from the rooftops but can't.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I feel that I have a responsibility to talk with Joe about this, because it affects his life too. P clearly doesn't.

I talked to P last night. Told him I was feeling like I was in outer space, he said how I'm feeling makes sense but he can't relate. That he feels "in tune". must be nice lol

P might be one of those people where "We only talk if there's issues." So he's feeling good coming out to family and in his commitment to you, and you all live together in a consenting, happy 99% of the time V ... where's the issue? (To him.)

Is that true?

Does it bother you that he doesn't worry like you worry?

The conversation prior to us talking about the future took place while he was on shrooms. I had came home at the end of the day and he said "I've felt like crying all day, I miss my friends, I feel like we're growing apart."

I think because his friends are leaving, he's lumping P in with them. He makes a point to tell me that P is "just his friend" and this led into assumptions that P would leave some day too, that it was only a matter of time.

So maybe not have serious relationship talks when J is on shrooms and J is feeling sad about his friends.

It might be the right person, but wrong time, and wrong topic. He's on "friends changing" and you are bringing up "polyship future plans."

It's normal for roomies to change out sooner or later. It's ok to feel sad. You all were planning to move on eventually too -- get separate homes for P and J and not do this bigger roomie thing any more, right? So changes coming for you three also. Just that the other roomies had job and relationship changes come first.

Is it that Joe and P are content to have one 1-5 year plan in place, and you want to know the next two plans? Like this "move to 2 new homes ones" and then the next chapter after that?

This hurt my feelings and also echoed all of the insecurities I've worked past in the last few months.
Joe having some feelings hurts your feelings? Why?

I get plenty of reassurance from both of them when there is time/space for that.

Have you all been making time and space?

I think I need to be able to listen to Joe's venting and not be sent in a tailspin every time trying to fix his feelings. He tells me there's nothing I can do, and that my relationship with P doesn't always upset him. He is a consenting adult, everyone here is. I guess also listening to him when he's saying good stuff, and not just when he's venting about jealousy feels.

Yes. Could earn to listen without fixing anything.

Or you could tell him you aren't ready to be his vent person on this topic right now -- " Poly jealousy about P." Because you are not outside the system, you are in it. And until you have your own poly "sea legs" more firmly under you so you don't wobble listening to his stuff getting yourself triggered? You can't be that listener. He could talk to someone else outside the system.

Or split the diff. Joe can write it in a journal so he gets it out when he needs to. You only read it when you are feeling firm and can deal with receiving it and not wobble.

Maybe there's other ideas for emotional management around this. Like reminding yourself most of the time things here are ok.

Joe apologized for dumping a bunch of feelings on me (the conversation about future living arrangements followed a vent session of his). He said he has mostly all good days, just sometimes feels sensitive about me and P's relationship.

So he had his spell of the blues. And is getting/got it back together. It's ok for him to express how he feels, right? It is ok to be "in progress" people, right?

My relationship with P always seems like the source to blame, for both me and Joe, when life gets stressful. It's the most radical thing going on in our lives and still feels really new.

It's been 1.5 years. How long does this polyship need to exist / be before you and Joe stop blaming all the things on the polyship or P? Like that's the knee jerk reaction?

Cuz even if P was never here? Joe would have been sitting around feeling sad the other friend roomies are moving on.

I could be wrong, but it's probably a good thing P is sort of chill and lets things just flow. Because if he had another personality... he might start feeling like the scapegoat person if you and Joe blame the polyship/P for everything.

Even normal life stuff that would have come to pass whether he's there or not.

You and Joe might think about working on not automatically reacting like that.

Yeah I can see how literally every insecurity and fear Joe has could just be talked about with P. Neither are mind readers. I know P would listen if it was brought up by Joe, but you're right that it's not my job to mediate. And yes I want everyone to feel comfy all the time, sometimes at the expense of myself. In my defense, if I'm not posting stressballs on here it means I am keeping them contained. This conversation w P just had me doing mind backflips to solve his discomfort. a circle is a great way to describe it haha
No need to defend. I'm not judging. (Do you feel like you need to defend a lot?)

I will however gently lift those sentences up.

You know it's not your job to mediate. In your head.

So... in your actions or behavior why is it your job to contain them? What is it they do that requires "containment" by you?

I get being all "Oh, this is a new polyship!" nervous. But eventually you just start being like regular ol' life right? You just burp or fart in front of a partner. You just wear the ratty, comfy PJs rather than "company PJs" and all that. You start to relax.

I could be wrong... but I think you might be putting too much pressure on yourself as the hinge to solve everyone else's stuff when there's really nothing to solve in your situation. From the sound of it, it's just living life and getting through its various up and downs. In this case, changes coming up with some of the other roomies and Joe having a spell of the blues.

It is OK and appropriate for Joe to feel sad that his roomie friends are getting on with their lives and will eventually move out/move on.

It is OK for P to not have to tell Joe every little detail about (you+P). It's not a secret you and P are partners, and committed, is it? Do you ever think that in your desire to stave your anxiety by keeping Joe super-informed, you overshare and end up triggering his poly jealousy? When really the two get along well enough and don't feel the need to pin down every detail to the same degree as you?

It's ok for Joe (and P) to learn to bring up issues with each other directly on their own when THEY decide they need to.

It's OK for you to NOT be the communications monitor and let their relationship be whatever it's gonna be.

It's ok to plan for the future, and keep it realistic. You don't have to have your whole life planned out in detail all the way to your funeral. Maybe it's enough in your 20s to make a simple will for now, and over time add more details.

Same with letting this polyship grow and unfold. Next goal of 2 new places to live might be good enough for now. Then add more details and a new 5 year plan when you achieve this first one.

Like... pace yourself. YKWIM?

And yes I want everyone to feel comfy all the time, sometimes at the expense of myself.

How about you think about changing your mind about that? And go with

"I want everyone to feel comfy enough most of the time. Including myself."

instead? See if you feel better that way?

Galagirl
 
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P might be one of those people where "We only talk if there's issues." So he's feeling good coming out to family and in his commitment to you, and you all live together in a consenting, happy 99% of the time V ... where's the issue? (To him.)

Is that true?

Does it bother you that he doesn't worry like you worry?
Yes. you bring up later that maybe it's a good thing that P doesn't react the same way Joe and I do. I totally agree. Hard to see when I'm feeling anxious because I just want someone to show that they care... or rather that I'm not crazy in worrying about this shit. But one of the reasons I love P so much is because he is level headed and good at taking things one day at a time. Just when I feel pressure from Joe to make plans, or hear from Joe that he is insecure because he's not hearing certain things from P, I feel this pressure to make things better. The reality is that P is way more open and honest with me then he is with anyone else, and sometimes I feel bad that I've invited this human so far into Joe and I's lives that can't/won't offer him the reassurance that he would like.
So maybe not have serious relationship talks when J is on shrooms and J is feeling sad about his friends.
hahaha valid
It might be the right person, but wrong time, and wrong topic. He's on "friends changing" and you are bringing up "polyship future plans."
He brought it up; like roommates moving out/growing more distant reminded him that he would like to live alone with me eventually.
No need to defend. I'm not judging. (Do you feel like you need to defend a lot?)
haha yes. I feel crazy sometimes. I have a therapist, am deep into yoga, meditation, etc. I would definitely be an anxious wreck if I didn't do those things, so all the work I've done is important to me. I defend to convince myself perhaps that I'm actually doing it + it's working.
It's been 1.5 years. How long does this polyship need to exist / be before you and Joe stop blaming all the things on the polyship or P? Like that's the knee jerk reaction?
I feel this. I've definitely gotten better with it, and so has Joe, but there are still occasional conversations like this where I'm like "what exactly about me and P's relationship does this have to do with?" because it doesn't seem related. The convo went something like "I'm sad about my friends being far. life is changing a lot. what about you and P?" and it's like ... what about it hahaha things are going well right now. He expressed fear/insecurity about planning a trip by himself for a couple months, going away on more work assignments, etc because he is worried P and I will get closer, but I think it really is Joe thinking him and I will be less close. It's as if he still doesn't understand how I feel. My love for both of them is different; it's not a balancing the scales type of thing. He says he gets that, but some of his questions make me feel otherwise.
Or you could tell him you aren't ready to be his vent person on this topic right now -- " Poly jealousy about P." Because you are not outside the system, you are in it. And until you have your own poly "sea legs" more firmly under you so you don't wobble listening to his stuff getting yourself triggered? You can't be that listener. He could talk to someone else outside the system.

Or split the diff. Joe can write it in a journal so he gets it out when he needs to. You only read it when you are feeling firm and can deal with receiving it and not wobble.
I would really like it if Joe would get a therapist. Someone who isn't family or close friends (since he doesn't want to tell them yet) and isn't me. I am the only person he talks about this stuff with, so yeah it can be a lot sometimes. I'm not always sure how to navigate these conversations without taking things personally. I care too much. He has other parts of his life that would be useful to talk with a therapist about.
Same with letting this polyship grow and unfold. Next goal of 2 new places to live might be good enough for now. Then add more details and a new 5 year plan when you achieve this first one.

Like... pace yourself. YKWIM?
heard lol. trying to take it one day at a time rn
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Yes. you bring up later that maybe it's a good thing that P doesn't react the same way Joe and I do. I totally agree. Hard to see when I'm feeling anxious because I just want someone to show that they care... or rather that I'm not crazy in worrying about this shit.

Do you articulate what you need directly? Like... "I feel anxious. I need someone to show they care. Could you please be willing to give me a hug and kind words?"

Just when I feel pressure from Joe to make plans, or hear from Joe that he is insecure because he's not hearing certain things from P, I feel this pressure to make things better.

Are you able to sit with feeling pressure and not do anything about it right away?

sometimes I feel bad that I've invited this human so far into Joe and I's lives that can't/won't offer him the reassurance that he would like.

All are consenting adults here. People could have said "No, I don't want to poly."

And they can still say "Ok, tried it. Not working out. I'm bowing out."

You REALLY seem to take on responsibility for too many things. If Joe wants some reassurance from P he can ask him.

He brought it up; like roommates moving out/growing more distant reminded him that he would like to live alone with me eventually.

Are you able to recognize when someone is venting and just dumping out a bunch of stuff?

And know it's ok to just let the stream "go on by" and not actually dive deep into the topics right then?

I mean, the plan IS for him to live alone with you eventually. You are shooting for two separate homes. One for you and P and one for you and J.

I defend to convince myself perhaps that I'm actually doing it + it's working.

It seems to be working well enough for 1.5 years in. What do you need to be able to trust that?

The convo went something like "I'm sad about my friends being far. life is changing a lot. what about you and P?"

I would have taken that like "I feel sad about my friends being far. Life is changing a lot with the roomies planning to move. What about you and P? Do you feel this big roomie change like I do?"

So I would have said "You mean how do I feel about the roomies moving on? I feel... You'd have to ask P directly how he feels. I don't know."

Like trying to really be an active listener to Joe in the moment and stay on his topic, the roomies moving on.

Not just leap over to "poly problems" because YOU have worries around that.

He expressed fear/insecurity about planning a trip by himself for a couple months, going away on more work assignments, etc because he is worried P and I will get closer, but I think it really is Joe thinking him and I will be less close. It's as if he still doesn't understand how I feel. My love for both of them is different; it's not a balancing the scales type of thing. He says he gets that, but some of his questions make me feel otherwise.

And sometimes his "thinking out loud" is just him processing. You don't have to fix anything.

I am the only person he talks about this stuff with, so yeah it can be a lot sometimes. I'm not always sure how to navigate these conversations without taking things personally. I care too much. He has other parts of his life that would be useful to talk with a therapist about.

So until you figure out how to listen without taking things personally? You could say "I see you want to talk about X. I'm not the right person for that at this time. I think you need to talk to someone else."

I'm glad you are trying to take it one thing at a time.

That might mean one task at a time too -- not trying to do ALL the jobs in this polyship.

Galagirl
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
One thing that is common with hinges in Vs is that they want their lovers to be very good friends too. It makes them feel more secure, I guess, if their lovers love each other too. The reality, though, is that it is very very common for metamours to just be acquaintances, if even that. Of course, it's easier to avoid one's meta if one doesn't live with him/her. In this case, for now, your partners live with you and each other. But that does not mean that they are, or should be, or need to be, bosom buddies. They can still just be casual acquaintances, who feel absolutely no need to share every intimate detail of their lives and feelings.

There is no need for Joe to reassure P, or for P to reassure Joe, about each man's feelings about YOU, and their future with YOU. You yourself, as a good partner, can reassure Joe that you love him and want to stay with him for the foreseeable future. It is not P's job to reassure Joe. P's actions in this regard would probably be more reassuring than mere words, anyway.

Joe may be struggling with loss of his other roomies, and be insecurely attached to you. It's not P's job to reassure Joe that Joe will be OK once he learns to flow with changes in relationships. Of course, Joe can ask P to reassure him (if he really feels the need to do so). But P is not obligated to reassure Joe, to meet this need or desire of Joe's. We can always ask people to meet our needs. And the other people then get to decide if they wish to meet our needs.

If this makes sense to you, you could tell Joe that P is not required to have a deep intimate relationship with Joe, just because they both love the same woman. P is not required to meet Joe's needs and assuage his fears.

From here, it seems you struggle with a compulsion to manage/control other's feelings. It also seems like you want to require P to manage, control or prevent Joe's passing uncomfortable feelings.
 
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dingedheart

Well-known member
Has anyone thought and or suggested becoming unmarried. maybe taking the legal hierarchy out of the equation will help everyone settle down. Boom clean slate. Separate homes, children etc etc becomes easier. Joe gets to confront all his fears at once upfront Instead of drip drip drip.
 
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