Settling In

XJskyboy

Member
So, it’s been a bit since I’ve posted, so to refresh, people will remember that my husband (Adam) and I (Liam) started our poly journey last fall. It was originally thought that just Adam would date outside, but in the end we agreed to more of a throuple situation with a guy Adam met (Braden). After a couple months, that situation crashed and burned badly. No need to rehash that.

We regrouped and kind of just went back to just us, at least from a dating and relationship standpoint. Then, one of Adam’s coworkers (Ethan, who is bi and has a girlfriend, who we know well and is well aware he is bi and poly), who we hung out with socially on a regular basis asked me on a date. Date went well, dating continued. Now, a couple months later, I effectively consider him my boyfriend. In the meantime, Adam started dating another guy we hang out with socially (Dave). Dave and I get along great and Ethan’s GF (Simone) and I get along great. I have no meta issues. Simone travels for work frequently, so Ethan and I spend a couple nights a week at their place when she’s on the road. And usually Adam and Dave are able to work out the same schedule so they can spend the night together at our place. Seems too good to be true. Lol.

Well, it seems that Adam and Ethan (coworkers) aren’t having as easy a time sharing me as I am them. Last week during a social get-together, Ethan was practically completely silent and seemed testy and snappy the whole night. And I overheard a work conference call the next day where Adam was quite rude to Ethan. I brought it up to Ethan and he said that he’s having trouble with sharing me (even though Simone and I are sharing him).

I don’t want this to impact either one of their professional life and I also don’t want it to impact any of our social life. But I’m certainly not leaving my husband of 11 years (16 together) to appease Ethan (which in fairness, he certainly never suggested). But I’m more interested in KTP than parallel poly. I know this has been long, but I just wanted to get thoughts from those more experienced than me. Thoughts?

Thank you very much, in advance.
 
Oh damn, your post started out so well...

I know your husband Adam is not the best at handling strong emotions, or dealing with conflicts. Sigh...

We sometimes talk about agreeing on a "messy list" with our partners. Examples of messy list people whom you shouldn't date:
My mom, dad, sister, brother
My coworkers
My exes
My best friend(s)

Since Adam and Ethan are coworkers, and Adam is struggling with new-to-poly feelings of jealousy/envy, this is making their work environment become heated/awkward. That's really unfortunate. In some ways, Adam really isn't ready for being a poly person. He's in that stage where HE gets to have an OSO, but you, his husband/nesting partner, do not get to date, as well.

Obviously this is extremely one-sided, selfish, hypocritical, etc. But it's also common as hell. Adam needs to work through this. I hear you want KTP, but maybe that's too much, too soon. Could Adam try to avoid Ethan more until he eases himself into becoming that good poly partner I'm sure he wants to be?

I'm pretty sure Kevin shared all the links he has about jealousy on your previous thread. Has Adam seen those and done some work to let go of his fears of losing you?
 
Oh damn, your post started out so well...

I know your husband Adam is not the best at handling strong emotions, or dealing with conflicts. Sigh...

We sometimes talk about agreeing on a "messy list" with our partners. Examples of messy list people whom you shouldn't date:
My mom, dad, sister, brother
My coworkers
My exes
My best friend(s)

Since Adam and Ethan are coworkers, and Adam is struggling with new-to-poly feelings of jealousy/envy, this is making their work environment become heated/awkward. That's really unfortunate. In some ways, Adam really isn't ready for being a poly person. He's in that stage where HE gets to have an OSO, but you, his husband/nesting partner, does not get to date, as well.

Obviously this is extremely one-sided, selfish, hypocritical, etc. But it's also common as hell. Adam needs to work through this. I hear you want KTP, but maybe that's too much, too soon. Could Adam try to avoid Ethan more until he eases himself into becoming that good poly partner I'm sure he wants to be?

I'm pretty sure Kevin shared all the links he has about jealousy on your previous thread. Has Adam seen those and done some work to let go of his fears of losing you?
Thank you, Magdlyn, for your always honest and inciteful response. I think you're right in everything you said. I think I have to leave this to them and stay out of any of it. I tend to have a "solver" personality, and in this case, I think that may backfire on me if I try and get in the middle.

You're correct that Kevin has shared a lot of amazing links to help me learn. Several posters also suggested some books, which I ordered copies for each Adam and myself to help us learn. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the attention span, so I typically wind up having to disseminate over dinner what I've learned. lol.

As to the workplace stuff, I've suggested the same thing you suggested. While their roles are indirectly related and they report to the same boss, they rarely overlap. So I suggested they simply minimize the overlap when possible. I just think the biggest bummer for me would be losing Ethan and Simone as social friends because Adam, Ethan or both can't keep things in check. I guess we'll just have to see. Both are smart guys and I'm optimistic it will work itself out :)

Thank you again! Have a great weekend.
 
Thank you for the quick opener! It made it super easy to remember you!

I’m happy you two have moved on to new situations and it’s mostly working. Not perfect as they work together, so it’s a bit messy, but a lot better than the last mess.

I agree with Mags, but want you to consider more strongly that you ditch your desire for KTP, for now, in favor of parallel. I know it’s your desire, but your partners are both having a hard time. Make it a little easier on them to work through their feelings by not forcing them to see you with each other.

Don’t hang out together socially and keep things parallel. For some, it’s hard to get in the right state of mind when stuck with feelings and images of the night before. Separate the two into parallel so they can more focus on their time with you and build that secure connection without the other's presence. Over time you can VERY SLOWLY add a quick get together maybe once every other month, then every month, slowly increasing time. If feelings start to come up, do not increase time. If it’s too much, take a step back.

When you do have gatherings, come up with agreed-upon behaviors that all of you can handle and discuss what you (they) can’t handle. Deal with discomfort in baby steps.

People think all poly is created equal and they can just jump in wherever. Fact is, poly takes a lot of personal work and growth over time and there is a way of doing it that isn’t jumping into the deep end and trying not to drown. Learning to float first is a much better way to go. Parallel is learning to float. Slowly sharing experiences with other partners and feelings about them. Giving each other the time to figure out how to regulate or work through feelings regarding those things before adding more can be paramount in the success of becoming poly.

Being poly isn’t about feeling comfortable about having more than one partner. It‘s about feeling comfortable with your partners having more than one partner.

Right now, you are good, but your partners aren’t there yet. Give them space to grow or they may shut down and decide it’s not for them.
 
Thank you for the quick opener! It made it super easy to remember you!

I’m happy you two have moved on to new situations and it’s mostly working. Not perfect as they work together, so it’s a bit messy, but a lot better than the last mess.

I agree with Mags, but want you to consider more strongly that you ditch your desire for KTP, for now, in favor of parallel. I know it’s your desire but your partners are both having a hard time. Make it a little easier on them to work through their feelings by not forcing them to see you with each other.

Don’t hang out together socially and keep things parallel. For some, it’s hard to get in the right state of mind when stuck with feelings and images of the night before. Separate the two into parallel so they can more focus on their time with you and build that secure connection without the others presence. Over time you can VERY SLOWLY add a quick get together maybe once every other month, then every month, slowly increasing time. If feelings start to come up, do not increase time. If it’s too much, take a step back.

When you do have gatherings, come up with agreed-upon behaviors that all of you can handle and discuss what you (they) can’t handle. Deal with discomfort in baby steps.

People think all poly is created equal and they can just jump in wherever. Fact is, poly takes a lot of personal work and growth over time and there is a way of doing it that isn’t jumping into the deep end and trying not to drown. Learning to float first is a much better way to go. Parallel is learning to float. Slowly sharing experiences with other partners and feelings about them. Giving each other the time to figure out how to regulate or work through feelings regarding those things before adding more can be paramount in the success of becoming poly.

Being poly isn’t about feeling comfortable about having more than one partner. It‘s about feeling comfortable with your partners having more than one partner.

Right now, you are good, but your partners aren’t there yet. Give them space to grow or they may shut down and decide it’s not for them.
Thanks, Bobbi. That's why I love this site. All of that makes perfect sense, but aren't nuances that had crossed my mind. For example, since I don't have issues with my metas (and don't work with either of them), I didn't think about how parallel in the beginning and easing in would be better for my partners. I definitely want them both to be happy, so we'll throttle back the socializing and, as you said, give them the space they need. Things are definitely better than they were 3 months ago, without a doubt. I have to stay optimistic that things will keep moving in that direction. :) Have a great night.
 
Hi Liam,

I'm sorry to hear of the speedbump you have hit, although I'm glad it's not nearly as bad as was the Braden situation. It sounds like Adam and Ethan both want to be okay with things, they are just having a hard time getting their emotions to square with that ideal. Sometimes people just need time. Easing off on the KTP part of your relationships may just be the thing that gives them the time that they need. Time to sit with their emotions, time to get used to their emotions, and time to figure out how to manage their emotions. It's okay if they're uncomfortable for a while. Give them a chance to figure out how to navigate their emotions, and a chance for their emotions to calm down on their own.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
As far as having KTP dreams, but parallel reality, Pixi and I have been through all that for various reasons.

When I first met her, I was also active on dating sites, having lots of first dates, and ended up in a goodly amount of several-months-to-two-and-a-half-year relationships. (All have ended now, except for one guy. Although we aren't dating, we are pretty good friends.) This was over a space of more than 10 years. Pixi is friendly and full of compersion, so she was totally down with KTP when it came to the guys I was seeing. But it often got weird because, well, guys being guys, and her being as cute as a button, many of the guys just couldn't seem to not hope to get with her too. We even tried it, to an extent (the threesome thing), a handful of times, but it really wasn't good for us emotionally, and one time it got actually really bad (a story for another time).

So, we made the decision for her to just make herself scarce when I had bfs come over. Now, with my present bf Aries, she did keep herself away for a good year or so, until he and I were definitely a long-term thing, and he understood our boundaries. (He does have a wee crush on her [shhh], but he totally keeps it in check. I think getting crushes on your metas is not uncommon, but for us, it's inappropriate to act on it. I mean, in poly in general, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. And poly does not mean group-sex-free-for-all.) Now we can all hang out and talk, or watch a movie, or go to Malachi's for dinner, whatevs, and it's fine. But it was a long process!

This past December, Pixi did say that when we both went to a holiday pops concert with our bfs, and a couple other people, she couldn't help but feel like it was a hetero double-date, her and Malachi, and me and Aries! I was like, "Oh hell no!" Don't put me in that straight MF box. Yuck. I'm proud to be queer haha She feels awkward/shy about doing PDAs when we are out as a foursome like that, like if someone sees her showing affection to both her partners, she'll get weird looks. I care much less what people think than she does, but that's because of our backgrounds.

On the other side, I didn't meet Pixi's bf Malachi, except for the quickest hello at the door, for seven years! She'd just always go to his place. He's introverted and has a busy managerial job, and just doesn't like to socialize much after work, because he's drained. It wasn't until the pandemic hit, that Pixi and I and Malachi and my son were all in our own covid pod, that we started having dinners from time to time, because we NEEDED the socialization. Now that the ice has been broken, he hosts dinners for Friendsgiving, with up to 10 of our friends, and he also will even host friends that come to see Pixi from out of town, for entire weekends, sometimes. :) And I pop over now and again for quick casual visits, like, to help them decorate their tree for Yule, or hang out with the out of town guests, etc.

This post got longer than I meant it to, but I hope it showed that gradual progression from parallel to KTP. Pixi and I would actually love it if I had an apartment attached to Malachi's house or something, so that we'd all be right there, but still have separation for bathrooms, cooking, walking around naked, and so on.
 
As far as having KTP dreams, but parallel reality, Pixi and I have been through all that for various reasons.

When I first met her, I was also active on dating sites, having lots of first dates, and ended up in a goodly amount of several-months-to-two-and-a-half-year relationships. (All have ended now, except for one guy. Although we aren't dating, we are pretty good friends.) This was over a space of more than 10 years. Pixi is friendly and full of compersion, so she was totally down with KTP when it came to the guys I was seeing. But it often got weird because, well, guys being guys, and her being as cute as a button, many of the guys just couldn't seem to not hope to get with her too. We even tried it, to an extent (the threesome thing), a handful of times, but it really wasn't good for us emotionally, and one time it got actually really bad (a story for another time).

So, we made the decision for her to just make herself scarce when I had bfs come over. Now, with my present bf Aries, she did keep herself away for a good year or so, until he and I were definitely a long-term thing, and he understood our boundaries. (He does have a wee crush on her [shhh], but he totally keeps it in check. I think getting crushes on your metas is not uncommon, but for us, it's inappropriate to act on it. I mean, in poly in general, just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. And poly does not mean group-sex-free-for-all.) Now we can all hang out and talk, or watch a movie, or go to Malachi's for dinner, whatevs, and it's fine. But it was a long process!

This past December, Pixi did say that when we both went to a holiday pops concert with our bfs, and a couple other people, she couldn't help but feel like it was a hetero double-date, her and Malachi, and me and Aries! I was like, "Oh hell no!" Don't put me in that straight MF box. Yuck. I'm proud to be queer haha She feels awkward/shy about doing PDAs when we are out as a foursome like that, like if someone sees her showing affection to both her partners, she'll get weird looks. I care much less what people think than she does, but that's because of our backgrounds.

On the other side, I didn't meet Pixi's bf Malachi, except for the quickest hello at the door, for seven years! She'd just always go to his place. He's introverted and has a busy managerial job, and just doesn't like to socialize much after work, because he's drained. It wasn't until the pandemic hit, that Pixi and I and Malachi and my son were all in our own covid pod, that we started having dinners from time to time, because we NEEDED the socialization. Now that the ice has been broken, he hosts dinners for Friendsgiving, with up to 10 of our friends, and he also will even host friends that come to see Pixi from out of town, for entire weekends, sometimes. :) And I pop over now and again for quick casual visits, like, to help them decorate their tree for Yule, or hang out with the out of town guests, etc.

This post got longer than I meant it to, but I hope it showed that gradual progression from parallel to KTP. Pixi and I would actually love it if I had an apartment attached to Malachi's house or something, so that we'd all be right there, but still have separation for bathrooms, cooking, walking around naked, and so on.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share the progression of your journey. Gives me so much incite moving forward.

Adam and I had dinner last night before I headed over to Ethan’s and I had him read this post. I suggested we throttle back the social setting temporarily for both he and Ethan’s sake and that we can just gauge things as we go and move forward or backward as appropriate. He was appreciative of the perspective and agreed. I also shared the same sentiment with Ethan and he seemed to agree that that was the best course of action, although he said Simone would be disappointed because she considers me a close friend outside the poly stuff. So I said I don’t see any reason Simone and I can’t continue to be friends. Just independently.

Again, thank you all for your very kind help!
 
But I’m more interested in KTP than parallel poly. I know this has been long, but I just wanted to get thoughts from those more experienced than me. Thoughts?

Does it have to be KTP at ALL the tables?

You, Ethan, and Simone seem to be doing KTP okay enough over at that table.

You, Adam, and Dave seen to be doing KTP okay enough at that table.

Why do Adam, Ethan, and you ALSO have to be doing KTP at this table right now? Especially if this table would be better off parallel, since those two are having difficulty right now NOT being the hinge, and are coworkers? Over time it might change to garden table poly, or eventually KTP. Or not. But what's the big rush? That's the issue. At the other tables, Ethan or Adam are the hinges. They deal with their partners, not the metamours.

Here, YOU are the hinge, and they have to exercise their metamour skills with each other, which they are less practiced at and comfortable doing. Don't rush them.

Remember, you JUST started dating Ethan mid-January, not even 2 mos ago. Not everyone can adapt/flex/change as quickly as you seem to be able to do.

The biggest bummer for me would be losing Ethan and Simone as social friends because Adam, Ethan or both can't keep things in check.

You can socialize with these folks WITHOUT bringing your hubby Adam along.

Adam and I had dinner last night, before I headed over to Ethan’s, and I had him read this post. I suggested we throttle back the social setting temporarily for both his and Ethan’s sake, and that we can just gauge things as we go, and move forward or backward as appropriate. He was appreciative of the perspective and agreed. I also shared the same sentiment with Ethan and he seemed to agree that that was the best course of action, although he said Simone would be disappointed, because she considers me a close friend outside the poly stuff. So I said I didn’t see any reason that Simone and I couldn’t continue to be friends, just independently.

I'm glad you seem to realize it is okay for people to go at their own pace and not expect them all to leap into KTP as fast as you.

Galagirl
 
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So, after conversations with both, particularly leaning on the advice I’ve gotten from experts on here, things are really starting to smooth out. They’ve made their peace that they both go to the same establishment for Friday night happy hour (hard to say one or the other shouldn’t because all their coworkers go there). They simply sit with different groups and I kind of bounce back and forth. In addition, they’ve been much more cordial. Beyond that weekly event, we’ve dialed back social engagements entirely, which has seemed to be a relief valve on the tension.

We’ve kind of drifted to more a parallel poly situation with Ethan, Adam and me (outside the fact they work together), while I’ve maintained more of a KTP situation with Dave and Simone.

So a lot of things seem to have worked themselves out. Ethan asked me last night if I’d be interested in doing a spring trip to Mexico just us and that Simone is completely ok with it. I just worry about asking Adam about it because I don’t want to re-light any fires we’ve successfully extinguished.
 
So, after conversations with both, particularly leaning on the advice I’ve gotten from experts on here, things are really starting to smooth out. They’ve made their peace that they both go to the same establishment for Friday night happy hour (hard to say one or the other shouldn’t because all their coworkers go there). They simply sit with different groups and I kind of bounce back and forth. In addition, they’ve been much more cordial. Beyond that weekly event, we’ve dialed back social engagements entirely, which has seemed to be a relief valve on the tension.

We’ve kind of drifted to more a parallel poly situation with Ethan, Adam and me (outside the fact they work together), while I’ve maintained more of a KTP situation with Dave and Simone.

So a lot of things seem to have worked themselves out. Ethan asked me last night if I’d be interested in doing a spring trip to Mexico, just us, and that Simone is completely ok with it. I just worry about asking Adam about it because I don’t want to re-light any fires we’ve successfully extinguished.
Knowing Adam, a vacation for several days? close to a week? to an entirely different country might be too much too soon. Maybe just start with a kinda local vacay of three days to a cute BnB and ease Adam into it. That will probably be hard enough on him.
 
Knowing Adam, a vacation for several days? close to a week? to an entirely different country might be too much too soon. Maybe just start with a kinda local vacay of three days to a cute BnB and ease Adam into it. That will probably be hard enough on him.
Thanks Magdlyn. Kind of what I was thinking. Too much too soon. I like the idea of a more local vacay for a weekend instead. Thank you.
 
So, after conversations with both, particularly leaning on the advice I’ve gotten from experts on here, things are really starting to smooth out. They’ve made their peace that they both go to the same establishment for Friday night happy hour (hard to say one or the other shouldn’t because all their coworkers go there). They simply sit with different groups and I kind of bounce back and forth. In addition, they’ve been much more cordial. Beyond that weekly event, we’ve dialed back social engagements entirely, which has seemed to be a relief valve on the tension.

We’ve kind of drifted to more a parallel poly situation with Ethan, Adam and me (outside the fact they work together), while I’ve maintained more of a KTP situation with Dave and Simone.

So a lot of things seem to have worked themselves out. Ethan asked me last night if I’d be interested in doing a spring trip to Mexico just us and that Simone is completely ok with it. I just worry about asking Adam about it because I don’t want to re-light any fires we’ve successfully extinguished.
I'm happy making these changes has worked out for all of you and the advice (not professional😉) was helpful.
 
Well, we worked out the vaca situation quite well. :) Rather than a full-fledged international getaway, Ethan and I will be taking a weekend road trip to San Antonio instead. And it works out very well because it’s a weekend Adam will be out of town for a family event that we never intended for me to join him on anyway. Thank you again for all the help.
 
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