Two monos and a poly walked into a pub...

ClosetPoly

New member
No, seriously, we did.
This is officially a how-do-you-do-it-poll on behalf of myself. A quick recap of setting and timeline:
Partner came out as poly 4 weeks ago, has intense and full set of feelings for a close friend of us, he reciprocated in full, 2 weeks ago he became her boyfriend, and 1 week ago I let all boundaries go, letting them explore their new relationship freely.
Now, I have a difficult time with 3some-settings with us, because I have issues (assorted, deep and old, abandonement, replacement, being left out etc) which come up when I see them together. Or rather, not when I see them together, but when they melt into each other, which really IS just lovely, but I'm "left out".
They have pretty intense NRE, (obviously, after letting loose 7-8 months of love), and I always feel in the way (and I am, cause they can't be "normal" around me, seeing I have issues, and so on). I already miss our group settings cause it is always fun when we do stuff together, and we make an impressive team.
I see from other threads how some people just stay away, others ignore their partners and let loose whatever feelings they have, often hurting the primary. Others again seem to have very polite and strict rules.
Now, I truly truly understand that the poly in a new relationship has no way of mirroring the same focus towards their primary as a new secondary, in a group-setting. At most, the NRE can spill over on the primary, in a group cuddle. I know I focus a lot on the future of things, of having them both around me (again, issues, I have them), and I am extremely uncertain how to approach this. Should I not arrange group-things, and let them have their relationship quietly, or should I "work" on myself by arranging it, and having them gradually be more and more open around me?

So, finally, my simple (and completely unintelligible, lost in ranting) poll is:
How do/did "you guys" do it?
- Do you avoid group-settings?
- Are the poly and secondary able to completely be free around the primary?
- How "far" has the primary come in acceptance for that to be possible?
- Does group-setting HELP a primary deal with the actual relationship, or does that come first?

No need for essays, just personal experiences, short tidbits on arrangements, timelines, etc, if possible.

This became a lot more of a rant than the easy poll I formed when walking the dog. Maybe I shouldn't click Submit new thread. Or actually, while people shake their heads about this post, I will make a list of what I *want* to happen in a group setting. There's a start! :)
 

ClosetPoly

New member
And my second thought after posting this was quite simply, I don't think I can handle NRE in a group-setting.
 

nycindie

Active member
When you talk about a group setting, are you referring to group sex or doing social activities as a group? Is there some reason why you feel your partner's other relationship should always involve all three of you? It doesn't have to, you know, although most people would probably recommend a respectful acknowledgement kind of thing. But you don't all have to do everything together all the time... is that what you're asking? I'm just not clear on the question, I guess.
 

ClosetPoly

New member
When you talk about a group setting, are you referring to group sex or doing social activities as a group? Is there some reason why you feel your partner's other relationship should always involve all three of you? It doesn't have to, you know, although most people would probably recommend a respectful acknowledgement kind of thing. But you don't all have to do everything together all the time... is that what you're asking? I'm just not clear on the question, I guess.

Ah, indeed, Vague McWavypants at your service. See, thing is, he is an old friend of mine, we kinda fell apart when my partner came into my life, I didn't hang with the same group, and we just disappeared for each other. Then we "rediscovered" each other 2-3 years ago, and started hanging. At that time, he was with a girl in a seemingly good and steady relationship. We shared a few parties, my partner and him started chatting online, and things were good. We played a lot of Starcraft and Left 4 Dead online together, really enjoying each others company. Then he got dumped, badly, november last year, and my partner was there for him. Basically she picked up the pieces and helped him back to a normal life. That of course brought them even closer, and he was here a couple of times, we were at his place, just hanging.
Now, my partner has stated that her highest wish is to have a triad, to have both of us around at the same time, as a family. I can see that being pretty fantastic, if I can work through my "stuff". They have alone time, as much as I can arrange, but all of us also wants some group-time, to *be* a family, but it's hard for me to choose, and right now I'm just trying to take a couple of steps back and let them figure out their relationship and burn off some NRE. I don't think I necessarily am ready for any group-setting until I am truly comfortable with them having a relationship, but on the flipside, maybe group-setting would help me deal with that...I don't know, and I'm scared of making the wrong choice and hurting both of them, and myself, in the process. So for now, I'm just letting them have their alone time and we'll see where it goes...it's only been a few weeks... :)
 

Breathesgirl

New member
From my own experience: If I don't like the metamour I can't handle their relationship with Breathes. If I like them then things are MUCH better. I can handle them cuddling, hugging, kissing, etc.

Breathes and Possibility, my primary and secondary respectively, seem to handle this very well. Last night we were at Possibility's place. There were four of us in the basement. I was holding Possibility's hand while my other arm was around Breathes. We don't get a lot of chances to do group things together (some of it by my choice, some due to circumstances) so when I'm up to it I take the opportunity and run with it!

Breathes and I have talked about it and as long as he knows I love him he's good with the way things are going.

It's best to work through your issues one at a time. Simple things like letting them give each other a hello/good-bye hug can help immensely! It lets them know you really are trying to overcome these things and it gives you an opportunity to work through it a little bit at a time without overwhelming yourself with emotions.

Search for boundaries, rules and any other word you can come up with. There's lot of advice on here for situations such as yours.
 

ClosetPoly

New member
It's best to work through your issues one at a time. Simple things like letting them give each other a hello/good-bye hug can help immensely! It lets them know you really are trying to overcome these things and it gives you an opportunity to work through it a little bit at a time without overwhelming yourself with emotions.
Search for boundaries, rules and any other word you can come up with. There's lot of advice on here for situations such as yours.

Well, we are quite a bit past that point. I really don't mind seeing them kiss and touch each other. Lacking better descriptions, it's the times when they just melt together in NRE, needing to hold each other and just cling. That is what makes me feel replaced and, in a way, unwanted, and that's what I'm working on, realising the real truth, understanding that she doesn't do this to hurt or replace me, quite the contrary. And no, I can't *have* that, because it doesn't exist between us, but if I get to a point of full acceptance and love, at least there is a chance of her NRE spilling over to me, when she feels totally accepted, simply by her brimming with love for us both...

We've had some good moments, laying on the sofa all together, watching a film and cuddling. And that does help me accept this, it is good training to see his hand on her thigh, and her hand on his etc...
In truth, I think it is just a silly loop of me feeling hurt (this being new, and I'm being insecure), them not wanting to hurt me, they hold back, I feel in the way because I make them hold back and so on and so forth. Obviously there must be a balance involved, otherwise it's not a group-setting, but just their alone-time with me in the way. :D I do however have problems describing this balance, and I know that frustrates her socks off sometimes. I do think this will be easier in a few months though, when some more of the NRE has been burnt off, and the clingy softwhispering relationshipbuilding hugs are not needed all the time. :) I just really want her to be happy...

Oh, and an important point, it's not Vanilla's wish to have the triad NOW, that's her far-in-the-future-goal. :) Very important, she's not pushing for anything, I'm the one dozing out their time, I'm the dating agency here. :) which in a way really helps too, cause I can set pickup-times I'm comfortable with, and at the same time I can push myself a bit.
 

TruckerPete

New member
If you don't like seeing them melt into each other around you, ask them not to do it.

It's really quite that simple. Come up with a code word if you need to, whatever.

It is her dream to have a family with the two of you, so she needs to take a cold shower and be more aware of how she is acting around you with the three of you together. I know, because I hear myself in this. ;)

Mr. A and Indigo and I started having dinner together once a week about a month, month and a half after he and I started dating. At first it was painful. I wanted so badly to be able to touch him ALL THE TIME in ALL THE WAYS. But obviously Indigo was not comfortable with this. So it was usually limited to holding hands and cuddles. I would check in with him during the group time, to make sure he was good, and we would go over any concerns afterward.

It was a lot of work! I was working furiously at being aware of Indigo's reactions at all times, and he was pushing himself to be more comfortable and okay with affection between Mr. A and I.

But it got better and easier. We are at a point now where if I want to kiss either of them, I do it. I snuggle with who I want, and if someone wants more attention, they ask for it or come get it. I don't have the urge to bury myself in Mr. A, at the expense of Indigo. I know that I will have time to do those things with either of them if I just wait a few hours.

So try setting aside some regular time for the three of you together. Cook for them, or have one of them cook for you and the other. I think that knowing that this once a week time was coming up and being able to prepare myself to keep it PG was crucial. Spontaneous things may have been harder.

You guys are doing well. Don't forget that. :)
 

ClosetPoly

New member
What is the timeline on your progress? You say you started out holding hands and cuddling, and now you are at a point where kissing is ok, and you snuggle who you want. How long has this taken? I'm starting to think I might be pushing myself into a boundary-setting which will only make things take longer...

I think a weekly scheduled thing actually sounds pretty good, and I have to be open and actually say what I feel and think. We have tried the cool-it-down-thing, and they were *very* good at it, but it just got to me that every time I left the room, they melted and the last thing I heard was "kaplosh" when I left, and then the slow sucking sound of two squids being pulled apart just before I came back in. That made me feel that I was "in the way" simply by being there. I have huge issues with expressing exactly what I want or feel, cause I tend to flail a lot at times, and I debate inside my head what I want vs what I think is "fair" and then it comes out as just a wish to have my mind read. :)

But yes, maybe a regular thing with a level I'm comfortable at, which actually is cuddling and kissing (in moderation, I'm not ready for makeout-session on the kitchen counter), hug'n'squish now and then etc. I'm still worried though about pushing Vanilla in this, me seeming overly needy etc. As I mentioned, I do realise that she can not possibly have anything close to NRE towards me, but I think 10-15 seconds of isolated focus every now and then can work well. Just to confirm to myself that I am still in her world, even though he's here. :)
 

AutumnalTone

New member
Now, my partner has stated that her highest wish is to have a triad, to have both of us around at the same time, as a family.

Well, to have a triad, you'd have to be involved with him, too. Are you bi? If not, it's gonna be quite difficult to have a triad. As you've not mentioned being bi, then I'll guess you're hetero and your relationship is going to be a vee.

The next question is whether you want your vee to operate as a group at all times. If you don't want that going on, then it's up to you to reinforce your boundaries and let her know you don't want that.

My wife and I, for example, don't arrive as a matched set in our relationships with other people. She doesn't go along on my dates with others and I don't go on her dates with others. That's something in which I have absolutely no interest and isn't likely to happen without it being a bi lady who gets involved with each of us separately and then convinces us some group dating would be enjoyable.

So, just because your partner wants to have the three of you together because she thinks it would be wonderful doesn't mean it's going to be wonderful for you. You're the only person who can decide that, and if you don't care for the idea, don't do it.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Gosh, if you and your buddy/her lover are gonna get together for an evening to hang out, and they both know that seeing them making out makes you uncomfortable (for now), they should *not* be making out the minute you walk out of the room to pee or get a beer. Then you hear the wet making out and moaning sounds start and end just as you leave and come back? That almost makes it worse.

They should abstain from the mushy stuff when you're in the same house/apt and save the wet kisses for hello and goodbye only, and the real intense stuff for their own one-on-one dates. IMO.

Common courtesy, really. A bit of self control won't kill them. If it bothers them too much to act like adults when you're there, I am afraid your wife's idea of spending cozy evenings with both her her men will not work. She, as the fulcrum of the V, must work to help both of you guys feel comfortable, wanted and desired. NRE is no excuse for rude, inconsiderate behavior.
 

TruckerPete

New member
What is the timeline on your progress? You say you started out holding hands and cuddling, and now you are at a point where kissing is ok, and you snuggle who you want. How long has this taken? I'm starting to think I might be pushing myself into a boundary-setting which will only make things take longer...

We're at a year, now. It was probably around 8 months when everything became close to natural.

Common courtesy, really. A bit of self control won't kill them. If it bothers them too much to act like adults when you're there, I am afraid your wife's idea of spending cozy evenings with both her her men will not work. She, as the fulcrum of the V, must work to help both of you guys feel comfortable, wanted and desired. NRE is no excuse for rude, inconsiderate behavior.

This. I've bolded all the important parts. ;)
 

ClosetPoly

New member
Okey, I have been obviously very bad at describing the setup for the situation. :)
My partner has done, and will do, exactly as I say when it comes to boundaries. I have not said explicitly that I don't want them to kiss and cling when I'm out of the room, I have quite to the contrary said that I want them to act as they want. Now, I realise that I can't handle that, so I told them to dial it back. They are both able to control themselves, but I haven't been good at voicing my opinion. It's only been a month, less than a month actually, and we're all still learning, me more than them. What has worked very well, has been when they've had 1-2 hours alone before the group-thing, to get some steam out.
We will be having a "family meeting" next week, before a big summer-party we're throwing, and I will try to be as honest and open as I possibly can, about what I can handle and not. I don't see us going back to hand-holding and cuddling, but I do see that I need to be more explicit about the clinging.

But again, I'm the one at fault here for being wishy-washy about the boundaries. They are not making out and moaning the second I leave the room, by all means, it's not black and white. What I have learned from this is that I have to listen to what my partner says, when she tells me to SAY WHAT I WANT. :) My main fault in this is trying to act normal, trying to just let it happen and "force" myself into accepting it. But I have learned that it's not a good way to make this work, so I will be more honest with myself, and set some "rules of conduct" we all can live with. And I intend to make this work. :)

Thanks for all the input, I'm learning every day, but I want to make it absolutely clear one last time, my partner is not cruel or evil and disrespectful, she is merely trying to understand me and act upon what I say is ok.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
...every time I left the room, they melted and the last thing I heard was "kaplosh" when I left, and then the slow sucking sound of two squids being pulled apart just before I came back in.

They are not making out and moaning the second I leave the room...

OK, something of a contradiction here. It does seem you have a bit of difficulty expressing your needs. And yes, Vanilla should be giving you 10-15 seconds of attention every hour or so when your V is together. :rolleyes: I am not usually sarcastic, but um... 10-15 seconds???
 

ClosetPoly

New member
Hah, yes, I see that contradiction. Thing is, we've had....urrr....3 group settings, and every time has been different, Vanilla is desperately trying to adjust to my flailing, and I know that's a tall order. That is why we are doing it on wednesday, with the main agenda being "order of conduct", where everyone gets to say what they want and need.
When I said 10-15 seconds, my point was not pr hour, or anything like that. I understand that it's unnatural and in a lot of ways painful to "fake" an interest, to try to balance her love and make me feel happy. I have been under the insane assumption (and hope?) that she *wanted* to be supercuddly and tight with both of us, but I never thought of *asking* her if that was what she actually wanted, until...a day or two ago, or today, days are like weeks now.
I just assumed (very dangerous trait I have) that "I want to have a relationship with both of you" meant that she wanted to express her love in the exact same manner. She can not possibly reflect the NRE-intensity to me, I understand that now, after we actually talked about it, so it's now in my hands to describe what I actually want, and what I can handle in a group setting.
I realise that it's not going to gradually change into a lovefest, it's going to change into what our level of every day affection is, possibly a little more. We are more cuddly in every day life though, I certainly have learnt to appreciate her more, and some of the cuddle-NRE spills over, wonderful stuff!

I have always been laidback, happy-go-lucky with things, just assuming things will work out, but I realise that mono-poly relationship is NOT something I can take lightly, and I have to be better at stating my needs, and have actually realistic ones, not ones where she bubbles with NRE for me as well.
 

ClosetPoly

New member
This whole situation sounds like a huge case of miscommunication and non-communication.

Yupp, I realise that. I think the weekly meetup mentioned earlier is a brilliant idea. Perfect way to have scheduled group-time with predictable behaviour, non ad-hoc, and deal with impulse-meetups separately.

I am certainly a child when it comes to communication in groups, I see that. I think I don't want to feel vulnerable or exposed around him, don't know. Will do much better next wednesday!
 

ClosetPoly

New member
Sorry...

Okey, I see this wasn't a good day for my question. I have had a cold sore for more than a week, keeping me from kissing my partner, and things are bundling up a bit.

I am sorry for making the impression that Vanilla is the one to blame for how I feel. Vanilla, I'm sorry.

I am the one jumping all over the place, pushing and prodding, both them and myself, and it hasn't even been a month... *sigh* Sorry for flailing, it's what I do worst...
 

TruckerPete

New member
Okey, I see this wasn't a good day for my question. I have had a cold sore for more than a week, keeping me from kissing my partner, and things are bundling up a bit.

I am sorry for making the impression that Vanilla is the one to blame for how I feel. Vanilla, I'm sorry.

I am the one jumping all over the place, pushing and prodding, both them and myself, and it hasn't even been a month... *sigh* Sorry for flailing, it's what I do worst...

Oh no worries over here. We can see you flip flopping crazily, contradicting yourself, and generally worrying about what's reasonable and unreasonable to request. Vanilla must also be drowning in NRE at this point.

Indigo was not great at expressing his needs at first, fearing he'd be too selfish. So he'd okay things, and then not be quite so okay with them. I was crazy with NRE and didn't listen especially well to the voice in my head that warned me he was saying one thing, but all other cues were pointing to something different.

You guys will get the hang of it, and I certainly don't see red flags in either of your behaviour. Just stuff to work on! :)
 

ClosetPoly

New member
Re-reading this thread fills me with sadness for my own shortcomings. It is SO coloured by feelings, rather than facts. Not good. I am actually feeling ashamed. This is sadly reflecting how I often communicate, poorly and inadequately, saying what I think will resolve the situation, rather than what I can stand for. I see this is another of my issues I need to work on.

TP: Busted. :) Vanilla is *really* starting to get a grasp on sniffing out when I say something I don't mean, and that really helps. What I have realised recently though is that in this, there is almost no selfishness, within reason, it's coping and surviving. And if this is gonna work for all of us, I have to man up and be "selfish" enough to say what I feel, not what I think I want to feel.
 

nycindie

Active member
I still don't know what you mean by "group settings." Please, if you're talking about group sex and threesomes, say GROUP SEX and THREESOMES! If you're talking about just hanging out as a group, please be specific about what you want to do. It helps everyone here to be able to offer encouragement, feedback, or advice IF WE KNOW WHAT IT IS YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT! Thanks.

(Or maybe it's me who just isn't getting it)

But please take care not to be so critical of yourself. Have compassion for what you're going through. You're okay! :)
 
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