Should I feel responsible?

Tinwen

Active member
I have a question regarding my responsibilities to my metamour.
Tl;dr of the situation: There is a scheduling conflict about alone time. Idealist doesn't seem really willing to promis Meta an evening during the weak to be hers alone. He cares for time with me, though sometimes other things intervene and alone time is missing too. They have problems in their relationship.

The whole current situation: We had kind of a scheduling conflict last week. Me and Idealist now have Monday to attend a course (which ends late) and possibly overnight, and I had also seen Idealist both Wednesday and Thursday, but only for a rather short time, and in public places, (like a lecture which Meta attended as well). This ment Meta hasn't had him for an evening just to her own that week, but it also ment our alone time was somewhat missing from the equation. I asked Idealist if he could make some time for it as well in the next two days, and he totally wanted to come over for two hours, but Meta regarded Friday as completely her own (due to her schedule that week), and there was something else on Saturday. So there was a conflict. I find her standpoint very understandable, but her way of putting it really gets on my nerves. I am usually shielded from conflict, because we don't meet much (I hold that as a boundary), and the communication goes through Idealist, but this time it took place after the lecture.
After that, I asked Idealist to finally set and confirm an evening which would be hers. He said he asked and she wanted Friday and a part of the Wednesday. I wondered about Friday evening, because that's nonsense to ask for regularly, a lot of stuff tends to interact. I also asked about Thursday, and he said it would be somewhat depending on situation.
I immediately saw the same conflict as last week coming up regularly, and I wrote him a fairly long email explaining and stating I prefer somewhat of a 2/2 evenings time split (instead of some weird half-evening), if that is possible in any way, and that I really cared to have a significant amount of time together on Thursday or Friday.

The outcome was, that he again came to my usual social event on Wednesday for a part of the evening. I think he even disregarded Meta's wish (or agreement?) on when to come home. Of course we both asked for Thursday, she tried to put her foot down and said she would have him no matter what. I finished work a little earlier, so we rushed to play. She said she would come at quarter to nine, and really, a few min earlier she was there (she usually doesn't come on time). When she entered, we were not really done with aftercare. We asked her to wait, I did my best to end and get dressed quickly, yet when we went over to her, I still had a lot of Idealists attention. I am able to gently remind him that he should care for Meta now, but I am not able to reject being with him if he just keeps to it. She had kind of a breakdown :(

I asked about the scheduling agreement between them, and of course she didn't ask for Friday evening, she asked for Friday morning and one of the evenings during the week.
I hope they made up today.

I think big issue here is in their relationship, and I cannot really fix that. He just isn't that keen to have intimate time with her as he is with me. They have some ongoing conflicts going on which makes this more difficult as well. Their relationship has real up's and down's. She is not that good in communicating her needs early enough or clearly enough, but it is crystal clear to me now, what she is asking for. They are both rather disorganised and bad with keeping time agreements, though Idealist seems to be much better with me then with her.

The question:I do think he is sometimes neglecting her for me, especially if they are in conflict, which sucks. I am really conflicted about the etics here. I do ask time from him even if I suspect it might be a problem for her. On one hand I feel somewhat guilty. On the other hand, I learned during the first year of the relationship not to be involved in their conflict. I learned to watch my own demands and let her's to be her thing. I am not there to watch for her, neither can I fix their relationship. I tried a few times to restrict myself, tell him no if I knew she wanted that day or whatever, and more often than not this ended in them not really meeting anyway.
I tend to compartmentalize the relationships as much as possible, but of course this gets through. What is my responsibility? Am I to do anything about this? Am I to remind him of his time agreements? Am I to watch the amount of time we are together, to care if she gets that evening for herself, or is it solely his (and hers) responsibility to plan for it?

Please focus on the topic of my responsibility in this situation.
I have written in other threads, and I got a lot of "you should leave him" for different reasons. I don't want to repeat the same here. I will put this puzzle piece into the picture myself :)

Thank you very much for all your input.
 

Bluebird

Well-known member
I have a very full schedule, as I am juggling 3 monogamous partners. That said, each of them have a conflict with me almost every week - DarkKnight is heavily involved in local theater and has practices he can't miss, PunkRock treats his painting time as sacred, and WarMan has a long term close female friend who has required at points, an almost equal split of time. So, I feel your pain!

What works for me is that I make sure I stay aware of what each of my partners and their "metamours" require, but I always put myself first. If I need an overnight, or there's an event I want to attend, I request it. It is up to my partner to do his own time management. If I need to change our schedule, I ask for it. We have a shared calendar app, so I can see at a glance if one week has turned heavy in favor of one partner, and I try to balance that out when it happens. That said, I do try to suggest to my guys that they may need some alone time or to work space into their schedule to do other things, when I see they need it. They can get focused and pulled away too.

My recommendation is that you suggest, but then let it go. It's not up to you to manage your other's relationships.
 

KC43

New member
In my opinion, your responsibility to the relationship between Idealist and Meta just plain does not exist.

It isn't your relationship. It isn't your problem. If their relationship is failing, or Idealist is neglecting Meta, or anything like that... it is NOT your problem. It's theirs.

Your only responsibility is in the relationship between Idealist and YOU.

If you choose to express your opinion or make suggestions to Idealist, that's certainly a choice you can make... but you don't have any responsibility to do so, and it might piss Idealist off that you're stepping into his other relationship. I don't know; I don't know anything about him other than what you've posted. But I do know that unless I ask one of my guys about the other, they'd damn well better keep their opinions and advice to themselves. I've had a couple of wrangles with Woody about that already, since he's the type who wants everyone to be happy and so he doesn't censor himself when it comes to blurting out things he thinks are good ideas. I've had to tell him I don't actually want his thoughts on my marriage unless I ask, because he doesn't entirely understand Hubby's and my dynamic and so 99% of what he says is completely useless and infuriating.

My advice to you would be to focus on your own relationship with Idealist, and let him and Meta be the ones to deal with their relationship. And if Meta's causing problems for you, ignore her, avoid her, or tell her to cut the shit.

(Sorry. I'm in a really pissy mood right now... I mean what I'm saying above, but not necessarily the way I'm saying it.)
 

SchrodingersCat

Active member
Agreed. Be responsible for yourself and your own relationship. The others are grown-ups and they can be responsible for their own selves. If Idealist isn't choosing to prioritize her, then he has his reasons, and they're none of your business. If she doesn't like being second on the totem pole, she's free to leave any time. I'll never understand people who sit around moping that things aren't other than they are. Live in the real world, leave fantasy for the movies.

Neither one of you own his time, but I'm getting the sense that both of you act like you do. For example, you say it's unreasonable for her to request all his Fridays. Well, that's up to him and him alone. If he's willing to give her all his Fridays, then you can deal with that like a grown-up. But most likely he thinks that's ridiculous too, and it's his right and responsibility to say so. Then there's you asking for alone time with him "within the next two days"... came across to me more as a demand than a request, that the only choice you gave him was which day and you weren't willing to take no for an answer. You don't own his time either, and if he can't or doesn't want to make time in those two days, he doesn't have to. You can deal with that like a grown-up, too.

So that's your responsibility: recognize that you don't own his time either, and that as much as it's not your responsibility to manage their schedule, it's also not your right to dictate his schedule, even as it pertains to you. Learn that any request you make, ever, can always be answered with "no" and that you don't control that. You have the right to be upset about it, you even have the right to express your upset, but you don't have the right to force him to behave how you want him to.

If he can't manage his time, that doesn't make it your job. You're not his mom and he's not a child.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thank you Bluebird and KC :)
You are probably right for saying I have no say or responsibility in their relationship. Yes, they must manage time themselves.
I guess I was sorry for her pain, but really, I have to stand my ground so that my relationship keeps happy, there wasn't much room for me to say "have whatever", even if it helped, which I doubt.

It feels yucky though if she views me as his distraction from their relationship, and I know it sometimes happens to be true. I mean, I am not afraid he doesn't see me as a person at those times or anything, but still, if I learn he avoided a conflict or something like that with his primary... I wouldn't want to be a accomplice who just closes both eyes not to see if their relationship is falling appart.
Anyway, writing this reminds me that I really should not take on external guilt.

Making suggestions hasn't been a problem, he just ignores them if they don't fit.
 

KC43

New member
You aren't an accomplice to their relationship falling apart, because you are neither causing nor facilitating it. If you don't engage in dealing with it, that isn't being an accomplice, that's simply choosing not to engage in something that isn't your problem. It also isn't your problem if she thinks you're a distraction, or if she thinks anything else negative about you. She isn't the one you're in a relationship with; her opinion is irrelevant.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Thank you SchrodingersCat
Neither one of you own his time, but I'm getting the sense that both of you act like you do. For example, you say it's unreasonable for her to request all his Fridays. Well, that's up to him and him alone. If he's willing to give her all his Fridays, then you can deal with that like a grown-up.
Well, I said the request doesn't make sense for her, but thats not the point.
Yes, you are right that we don't own his time, but maybe act like it. I think he kind of encouradges it, he's quite happy to let others "rule" the exact schedule as long as it goes along his preferences as well. Actually, reminding him multiple times that you want some of his time is a good way to get it.
I am not afraid he cant make a change of his own, though, he's perfectly capable of putting himself first if he feels like it.

Then there's you asking for alone time with him "within the next two days"... came across to me more as a demand than a request, that the only choice you gave him was which day and you weren't willing to take no for an answer. You don't own his time either, and if he can't or doesn't want to make time in those two days, he doesn't have to. You can deal with that like a grown-up, too.
Uhm, yes and no. I surely do have difficulty with rejection or separation, and often I feel a need as so overwhelmig, that it turns into a demand. But in this case if he wasn't willing I would deal as a grown up. But we were both impatient in the same way, while Meta was in the state of "I feel a need as so overwhelmig, that it turns into a demand".

So that's your responsibility: recognize that you don't own his time either, and that as much as it's not your responsibility to manage their schedule, it's also not your right to dictate his schedule, even as it pertains to you.
It's hard, yeah. I usually don't have the issue as he misses me too when we are appart, so I don't have to "dictate" anything, but sure something to watch out for.

Learn that any request you make, ever, can always be answered with "no" and that you don't control that. You have the right to be upset about it, you even have the right to express your upset, but you don't have the right to force him to behave how you want him to.
And ... this is even harder ;)
I do forget this when emotional, happens with the need for emotional comfort, or sex or whatever. That's why I learned to schedule alone time so carefully, because I don't want to get into the state where it's been a week and I am desperate. I've had enough of that.
But again, he's on board, he just kind of leaves it mostly to me to make the requests for his schedule.

If he can't manage his time, that doesn't make it your job. You're not his mom and he's not a child.
Well, yes, you are right :(
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Tinwen,

I basically think that Idealist-Meta relationship matters are between Idealist and Meta. But, perhaps there's a gray area if Idealist isn't good at organizing his schedule and you remind him of something or question whether Meta is getting her fair share. I put it that way because I don't think it's your duty to remind or question Idealist in that way, but maybe it's okay if you volunteer to remind or question. If you're not overbearing about it.

It would be nice if Idealist managed his own schedule, and it sucks if his relationship with Meta is on the rocks. But, unless he asks for your opinion about that, I would keep quiet about it.

Just my perception.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle.

I am usually shielded from conflict, because we don't meet much (I hold that as a boundary), and the communication goes through Idealist, but this time it took place after the lecture.

You seem to have a "Don't TMI me" boundary with Meta. What is your boundary with IDEALIST? Because you seem to be saying that he's the one telling you details you rather skip.

It is not your job to manage the (Idealist + Meta) layer of relationship. It is their job. You seem to say it yourself already:

I learned during the first year of the relationship not to be involved in their conflict. I learned to watch my own demands and let her's to be her thing. I am not there to watch for her, neither can I fix their relationship.

The problem today seems to be this:

I tend to compartmentalize the relationships as much as possible, but of course this gets through.

Well, who is letting it through? Idealist.

If in the (you + Idealist) relationship he keeps telling you TMI about (Idealist + Meta) stuff ?

What is my responsibility? Am I to do anything about this?

He is not a mind reader. If this behavior of his bothers you? It is your responsibility to tell him to stop oversharing THEIR stuff with you.

You could ask him to only tell you sex health labs, and the final calendar thing. Not all the "back and forth" he had to do to get there.

Am I to remind him of his time agreements? Am I to watch the amount of time we are together, to care if she gets that evening for herself, or is it solely his (and hers) responsibility to plan for it?

They are responsible for planning (Idealist + Meta) time together. Not your job to plan their dates.

JMHO.

Galagirl
 
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Vinccenzo

New member
You are an influence on this, but not in any way that can be blamed on you. It sounds like you are the newer partner and the issue is the hinge you and Meta share. They have a mess in their relationship that either requires repair or a finish. If he can't find the will in himself to devote the care and time required to fix it, that isn't something you are doing or causing.
The only part of this that should be concerning to you is it shows you what you'll be up against when you two run out of NRE or have problems with each other and another new partner comes into the picture. Your SO seems to run out of care and looks for an easier association to avoid cleaning up his relationships. Some people don't have relationships with others for the individual they are, they use people as mirrors to feel good about themselves without actually being "good". When the mirror person can no longer reflect back to them a shiny version, they go looking for a new mirror they haven't disappointed. They can't suck it up and end relationship because it makes them feel bad and feeling bad is what they avoid above all else. They also can't put in the work to make it healthy again because that means facing qualities about themselves that also are not "good". They just neglect till the old mirror gives up.
You aren't causing this. You can't fix it. All you can do is watch for it to start happening to you.
 

Tinwen

Active member
So, this seems to be fine again. Thank you all for your answers, reminding me this is not my responsibility etc.

We met at an social event. They seemed ok. Me & Idealist are ok too, actually great.
It seems it was just one of the downs in their relationship, a bump more or less, so I might be the one thinking about it afterwards for the longest time. I have to leave their conflict resolution to them much more strictly, not getting emotionally involved (I have been doing that, though not perfect yet, as you can see).
It was unfortunate I met her that Thursday, though it is good I asked some questions. This reinforces my feeling "if we want to/are/have been intimate, avoid her at all costs", which is kind of impractical.

KDT:
perhaps there's a gray area if Idealist isn't good at organizing his schedule and you remind him of something or question whether Meta is getting her fair share. I put it that way because I don't think it's your duty to remind or question Idealist in that way, but maybe it's okay if you volunteer to remind or question.
Thank you. Yes, I think there might be a grey area, if I see some unrealistic plan. For our plans, it is in my best interest to remind. For the highlighted part, I'll ask him once and let it go then.

Galagirl:
I am sorry you struggle.
Thank you. This was more of a dilema, not so bad (recurring though).
You seem to have a "Don't TMI me" boundary with Meta. What is your boundary with IDEALIST? Because you seem to be saying that he's the one telling you details you rather skip.
I think it's something different then TMI, he's not venting much to me or anything. I don't really mind hearing about their conflict, actually I'd better know, because then I can avoid meeting them together. What I don't want to hear is how they communicate in conflict.
I think the boundary with him is "I don't meet her if (me and him) are not completely ok", and "don't take me home where I meet her, if you know there are problems between you two". The problem with this boundary is I am not always aware there is conflict or how severe it is, he tends to underestimate. It think I'll just stick to the "I don't meet her, before, during or after, if we want to be intimate".

Vinccenzo: Thank you. I hear you. I am definitely cautious and watching for signs.

I think I can close the tread more or less, thanks again.
 
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