Wanting to take a step back but idk how.

MelloHippie

New member
Ok I don’t want to put the whole back story here I believe it is on my first post “can I be the platonic partner?” If you want to read more of the back story. I’ll try to sum up the important stuff.

I’m married and we started dating a close mutual friend back in july. Husband and I hadn’t discussed anything prior, no boundaries, wants/needs, expectations, nothing. We know that was not the way to do things but things happened and we’re in it now. When we started dating there were no discussions between the 3 of us. It was just ok we’re dating now. I took a step back after a few weeks because I wasn’t sure of my romantic feelings. Again that’s covered more in my first post. I decided to try and be involved again but it’s still been very hard for me. I don’t particularly feel romatic feelings for our partner but I care a lot about them and help them with their life emotional mental health alot.

We started on an expert level of poly and I have been struggling so hard with things and trying to rewire myself to be ok with poly and understand the desire and need to be in it but I truly don’t know if I can or want to be poly. I don’t need to love/date someone else. I feel fulfilled in my marriage as is. Sex with a woman would be nice sometimes but I’m also kinda on the ace spectrum so again it’s not really a need.

It’s hard knowing my husband wants to love other people as deeply as he loves me and desires deep connections with others. I know he’s allowed to have that please don’t shame me for feeling that way it’s just hard to understand because I don’t want or need it. It doesn’t make me feel like what we have is important. I kinda covered that in my last post. He’s agreed to keep things casual and not progress past that. It even that feels hard sometimes. You can’t always control if things go deeper or not.

I really want to take a few steps back. It’s really hard seeing my my best friend and husband be in a relationship sometimes. I don’t know what steps back would look like for me. Knowing and feeling what I do know I wish we would of started this journey dating seperately or as parallel poly. Or as mono/parallel poly where Im mono and don’t have to see the poly side much. But it’s with one of our only and close friends. We literally have 3 friends and the one is our partner and another one is dancing around being involved too.

Even if im not involved in the triad it’s always gonna to be in front of me when we hang out. And even if they don’t do relationship interactions when we hang it’s always going to be on my mind. “They’re dating this isn’t just friends hanging out anymore.” We don’t have money for them to go out often, and our partner does not have a private place at their home. They live with their family, the house is completely packed every room has someone living in it. Including living room and dining room which is her room.

I can leave the triad but I can’t change their relationship and even if we discussed things and they agreed to de-escalate their relationship I’d feel like the bad guy. Our partner has BPD, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideations. I feel like I can’t talk to them for fear of it really causing them mental/emotional pain. They’re working on themselves though as best they can. My husband is doing as much as he can to accommodate me in this and help me feel comfortable and secure. We talk alot and He listens and does good at reassuring me and letting me know how important I am to him. But we bit off way more than I can chew and idk what to do, I wish more than anything we did things differently, I was not at all prepared and 5 months in I feel I am still so stuck and confused. I don’t think I want poly for me. Not at this time in my life. It’s alot harder than I thought and I can barely keep myself afloat with my own mental health most times. Is there anything I can do?

Edit to add: I’m doing my best to branch out more on my own and maybe atleast get some friends that aren’t mutuals with my partners so I can get out of the house when I don’t want to be around things. I’m anxious and introverted. It takes a lot for me to find people and even more to connect. I am trying though. Im trying my best through this whole thing.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for the vent. I am sorry you struggle.

Jumping in underprepared can lead to a lot of stress.

If possible you might consider a poly counselor to help you deal with having jumped in underprepared and figure out next steps.

Leaving is ALWAYS an option. You don't sound like you want to break up with spouse though.

So what other options are there at this time? Could reflect.

In the old post you said you established you could date separately. So... maybe not rush into dating other people right now. But remember you do not HAVE to triad even if other people want you do. You can be on your own or date separate.


I really want to take a few steps back.

Ok. What would that look like?

I wish we would of started this journey dating seperately or as parallel poly. Or as mono/parallel poly where Im mono and don’t have to see the poly side much.

Sounds like parallel poly of some kind might be ok? And you do NOT hang out in a group with those husband and meta any more?

Could start there.

Later on, like after 6 mos or a year? Even more? You might consider garden party -- like you can manage polite conversation like if you bumped into them at the same garden party. But not taking special pains to hang out or be super involved. Maybe once a year you go to husband's birthday dinner at Fancy Restaurant as a group for example. But few and far between.

And if you discover that you prefer strict parallel? Do that. Don't bother with any attempts at garden party poly. You are not obligated to hang out with hinge and meta.

Going parallel means no longer being as close with your meta/friend person so you get the emotional space you need. Like backing off and NOT helping them so much with their life, emotional health, and mental health, like you are doing right now.

Not if it means YOUR life, YOUR emotional health, YOUR mental health take dings.

Could keep a boundary with hinge also. No leaking stuff from that side of the V over on to you. Past calendar and sex health hygiene info? You don't really need to deal with that side.

Could also work on making more friends of your own, people outside this "shared friends" group.

So there's other people for you to be with and not "cooped up" here with these few people.

We don’t have money for them to go out often, and our partner does not have a private place at their home. They live with their family, the house is completely packed every room has someone living in it. Including living room and dining room which is her room.

The polite thing for roomies to do is alternate being "here" and "over there" with their dating partners.

In this case, your spouse is the roomie you would have to talk to. It is not reasonable for him to bring your ex and meta over here all the time if you break up and leave the triad. When do you ever get a break like that?

Does this home have a floor plan where you can have your own bedroom? You might consider that too so you have both physical space and emotional space.

The state of meta's home is NOT your problem. (Spouse + Meta) can figure out their dates when it is time to be "over there" if "over there" is not pleasant to be in. There is nothing wrong with free or cheap dates like taking a walk, going to the library, getting a coffee. Many people have to figure out how to live within their dating budget.

Do you and spouse have separate finances? Even if you have joint banking to deal with the house bills, you each could have your personal banking acct for your own things and your activities with your friends or dating activities. Then it's not messing up the house bills. You could spend all your personal money on massage and he can't say boo. It's your personal. He can spent all his on video games and you don't say boo. It's his personal.


We literally have 3 friends and the one is our partner and another one is dancing around being involved too.

It is well past time to widen your social circle, then?

I suggest you ask spouse NOT to date more people from the shared friend group. Even if one of them is hinting.

Friends are often on the "messy people list." Friends is who you turn to when things go wrong. It gets real weird when the friend IS the meta. You are living it now.

Others besides "friends" might include "relatives, roomies, coworkers, minors, exes." If anyone teaches or coaches? "No dating my students" might also be on the "messy people list." There's enough people in the world to poly date without going right for the ones that make it weird and messy.

This is part of the original problem of having jumped in and not having made these kinds of agreements beforehand.

If spouse doesn't want to meet that request? Well, can't force him.

But then YOU might have to rethink if you want to stay married to someone who helped make a big poly mess, and then doesn't want to work with you on finding balance as a parallel poly V. You are just supposed to "shut up and lump it."

And YOU might have to rethink if these people are actually friends if they take up with him when they know the marriage is struggling.

I sure hope it's not like that here.
 
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MelloHippie

New member
I hope you feel better for the vent. I am sorry you struggle.

Jumping in underprepared can lead to a lot of stress.

If possible you might consider a poly counselor to help you deal with having jumped in underprepared and figure out next steps.

Leaving is ALWAYS an option. You don't sound like you want to break up with spouse though.

So what other options are there at this time? Could reflect.

In the old post you said you established you could date separately. So... maybe not rush into dating other people right now. But remember you do not HAVE to triad even if other people want you do. You can be on your own or date separate.




Ok. What would that look like?



Sounds like parallel poly of some kind might be ok? And you do NOT hang out in a group with those husband and meta any more?

Could start there.

Later on, like after 6 mos or a year? Even more? You might consider garden party -- like you can manage polite conversation like if you bumped into them at the same garden party. But not taking special pains to hang out or be super involved. Maybe once a year you go to husband's birthday dinner at Fancy Restaurant as a group for example. But few and far between.

And if you discover that you prefer strict parallel? Do that. Don't bother with any attempts at garden party poly. You are not obligated to hang out with hinge and meta.

Going parallel means no longer being as close with your meta/friend person so you get the emotional space you need. Like backing off and NOT helping them so much with their life, emotional health, and mental health, like you are doing right now.

Not if it means YOUR life, YOUR emotional health, YOUR mental health take dings.

Could keep a boundary with hinge also. No leaking stuff from that side of the V over on to you. Past calendar and sex health hygiene info? You don't really need to deal with that side.

Could also work on making more friends of your own, people outside this "shared friends" group.

So there's other people for you to be with and not "cooped up" here with these few people.



The polite thing for roomies to do is alternate being "here" and "over there" with their dating partners.

In this case, your spouse is the roomie you would have to talk to. It is not reasonable for him to bring your ex over all the time if you break up and leave the triad. When do you ever get a break?

Does this home have a floor plan where you can have your own bedroom? You might consider that too.

The state of meta's home is NOT your problem. (Spouse + Meta) can figure out their dates when it is time to be "over there."

There is nothing wrong with free or cheap dates like taking a walk, going to the library, getting a coffee.

Many people have to figure out how to live within their dating budget.

Do you and spouse have separate finances? Even if you have joint banking to deal with the house bills, you each could have your personal banking acct for your own things and your activities with your friends or dating activities. Then it's not messing up the house bills. You could spend all your personal money on massage and he can't say boo. It's your personal. He can spent all his on video games and you don't say boo. It's his personal.




It is well past time to widen your social circle, maybe?

I suggest you ask spouse NOT to date more people from the friend group. Even if one of them is hinting or whatever.

Friends are often on the "messy people list." Friends is who you turn to when things go wrong. It gets real weird when the friend IS the meta. Others besides "friends" might include "relatives, roomies, coworkers, minors, exes." If anyone teaches or coaches? "No dating my students" might also be on the "messy people list." There's enough people in the world to poly date without going right for the ones that make it weird.


This is part of the original problem of having jumped in blind and not having made these kinds of agreements beforehand.


If spouse doesn't want to meet that request? Well, can't force him.

But then YOU might have to rethink if you want to stay married to someone who helped make a big poly mess, and then doesn't want to work with you on finding balance as a poly V. You are just supposed to "shut up and lump it."

I sure hope it's not like that here.
We can’t afford an established poly counselor. We plan to reach out to our local college counseling practicum and see if anyone in the clinic has open marriage/poly experience. I’ve gotten personal counseling through them and it has helped. I plan to try and do that again.

Leaving isn’t something either of us want and he said he’d work with me as much as he can to make things work for us but cannot promise he could let go of poly completely. I’m not really asking him to but I truly don’t know what I can and can’t handle at this point. It all feels like too much. I feel like I could handle sexual partners but once feelings get involved I get really scared and insecure. I plan on talking more with him when I’m home. You saw my last post, I’m still on my trip. I’m enjoying it but still processing things. My brain doesn’t know how to just stop thinking of these things.

The hard part is I don’t want to lose my friend. She is very important to me and hasn’t done anything wrong in this situation. She is just as new to this as I am and figuring things out. I’m sure she deals with her own insecurities and losing out on some of her wants and needs too. We don’t discuss things much though. We plan to try to work on that.

I have a shared bedroom with my husband, but we have an office/guest room with a spare bed, we’ve established the bedroom is my/our space and other partners are not to be involved in it, we live in a small apt though. I can hear most things going on in the apt.

I have expressed not dating friends as a future boundary. It does not change the current circumstances though.

We do have separate accounts but share bills and house care expenses. Sometimes there’s very little left for either of us after bills. Money is tight and getting tighter unfortunately.

I’m doing my best to get more friends. It is not easy for me. I cannot express that enough. I have high anxiety and am in the autism spectrum. It takes a lot to push myself and to connect. I am trying though and doing my best to keep up with it.

We are working on things and he is by no means not listening to me or forcing me to do anything. That last bit of yours sounded harsh and it is not at all how things are being handled. I understand I have to do what’s right for me, but I cannot fathom leaving him. We are a very bonded and a very good couple together. This is the only thing we’ve ever really had trouble with. And it’s mostly me having the trouble and not being able to figure out my side of things. He’s doing everything he can to make it work on his side without giving up his happiness too.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
You're right that leaving the triad won't stop their relationship, I advise you to leave anyway. The triad is a farce. You should be a vee.

Since you don't want to leave, you just have to reframe the situation. There is plenty of poly literature that reframes it for you. This site being one of those sources.

It won't happen overnight. I don't think it's advisable to try and put in rules that attempt to limit their intimacy. Of course boundaries around things like your bed are fine if it works for everyone who is a co-owner of that bed. If not, make sure you have a bed that is yours.

You have to understand that if you express consistent discomfort and unhappiness with the arrangement in the way you are, nobody is going to think this is a healthy decision. Additionally, most will think your husband is of poor character for not leaving when he can see how his choices hurt you.

It isn't that you don't deserve a space to vent, but what's missing from your venting is the ownership of your choice to remove splitting as an option.

You want to stay, so for it to be healthy, you have to learn to accept your choice and be happy with it. Your husband is no longer monogamous with you and you've chosen to stay. You have to work within that reality.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi MelloHippie,

Since you are on the ace spectrum, you probably don't need sex very often with your husband's other partner. You probably feel like you should be wanting it more, but that isn't the case. There's a wide range of shapes and relationships in poly, you can do the shape that suits you.

Since you have limited feelings of being poly yourself, it is hard for you to understand why your husband wants multiple deep relationships. You do not want to divorce him, but you wish he would stop. Stop wanting multiple deep relationships. At the same time, you don't want to tell him what to do. I feel bad for you, I can tell that you are suffering in this dilemma.

You want to step back and try poly in a different way, a way in which you and your husband date others separately -- and in fact, you might want a setup where you yourself remain monogamous, and while your husband might be poly, you don't have to see or look at the poly. Have you talked with your husband about these feelings? What about the close friend who is his second partner, have you talked with her about it? This can be a really difficult conversation to have.

And it may well be too late for you to have a mono/poly relationship (or a separate poly relationship), because now you have experienced a combined poly relationship, and that means it will always be on your mind, even if you don't have to see it. I feel bad for you, you are in a bad situation with no easy way out. You do seem to be doing your best to cope.

I take it it's the feelings involved that make you feel scared and insecure. If your husband just has a sexual partner, that doesn't bother you so much. But the problem is, you can't control when/where he (along with said partner) does develop feelings, and he can't control that either.

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
I understand how it's difficult to make new friends if you are introverted (and/or on the autism spectrum, as you say). It can be difficult for all adults to made good deep new friends, however. Once we are done with school and start working, we get busy, and we may not meet as many like-minded people whom we click with.

I think it's fine to mourn and grieve a time when you and Husband were practicing monogamy, and your shared friend was just platonic with you both. Did you have no idea Husband was poly at heart when you were dating and first married? How long have you been together in total? How long ago did he reveal he was poly and attracted to your best friend?

If Husband and Friend have no where else to go for sex, it's good you do have a bedroom to retreat to, and a guest room for his sexy times. If you can still hear them, I'd recommend a set of noise-reducing headphones, or to at least listen to music, play video games, watch TV, etc., with headphones/earbuds. Even better, you could go out while Friend is there and not see them at all when they are there for sexy times.

They say that millennials and zoomers are more into polyamory than boomers, but I have seen first hand that it's difficult for younger people to practice open relationships because they, on average, don't have much extra money for bigger apartments/houses, or to rent a hotel room for sex. That's really hard! You might feel better about poly, at least in the early stages, if you didn't have to see/hear anything when it came to their dates. You don't need new friends to keep yourself busy (if that seems almost unattainable in the short term). You can go out by yourself. Or again, stay home, and when Friend is expected, get your drinks, snacks, etc., and retreat to your bedroom with headphones until they leave.

Another reason it's more difficult for younger people to practice ENM is that they are still getting to know themselves, their own wants and needs, and learning how to express that to one dating partner (or spouse, in your case) is hard enough, never mind negotiating everything with multiple partners. It sounds like your communication skills are not as good as they could be. There is plenty of info out there about learning how to improve your communication skills, which will serve you in intimate relationships, friendships, at work and also with children, should you decide to have any.

You will have to establish a whole new relationship with your Friend, who is now your metamour. You probably don't want to be as emotionally intimate with them anymore, since you don't want to hear a lot about how they relate to Husband. You might want to withdraw emotionally completely for a while, not to mention sexually, until you get on a more even keel with Husband's new love-style, and start better identifying your needs and communicating more effectively about them.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
Not trying to be harsh. Just giving some things to think about and saying "Go slow. Tread with caution."

Glad to hear he's not that type of person.

There is nothing wrong with backing up and doing LESS. So you can heal you first. Then slowing inching forward and figuring out how to be friends again with your now meta, how to deal with this being a poly V rather than a poly triad. Rather than trying to still do all the things at once WITHOUT taking the self-care pause.

Glad you already have separate finances and a guest room. I think noise canceling headphones might help when they are "here" and then not needed when it is the turn to be "over there" -- whatever that looks like on that side of the V. Over here, you can enjoy the flat to yourself and destress on those weekends.

Do aim for clear communication across all parties.

Do try to work out issues. Perhaps reading self help books can help bridge a gap while you try to secure counseling of some kind? A starter list...
YMMV.

It's ok not to have all the conversations at once. "Regular life" still needs to happen. It cannot always be THIS 24/7 -- that is stressy. So perhaps setting a dedicate time helps Like 1st and 3rd Fridays is this. And other times it's just living as normal life as possible?

It's ok not to want to break up. At the same time, don't forget to make that emergency plan just in case it is needed. People don't want the boat to sink, but they still pack life preservers on there. People don't want the plane to fail, but they still pack parachutes. The "parachute" conversation might need to happen eventually. It's ok not to have it this minute.

Even if everyone wants it to work, even if nobody is being mean, even if everyone loves and cares about each other? If in the end you just don't want to participate in a poly V as one of the "V-arm" people? That's what it is then. No what? Eventually that's going to need to be one of the conversation you have. It's ok not to have it this minute.

One thing at a time, and address easier tasks (buying a book, buying headphones) before harder tasks.

I will hope thing land as you hope they do.

Hang in there as you continue to sort this out with your poly V people. Nothing wrong with taking it in baby steps.
 
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MelloHippie

New member
I understand how it's difficult to make new friends if you are introverted (and/or on the autism spectrum, as you say). It can be difficult for all adults to made good deep new friends, however. Once we are done with school and start working, we get busy, and we may not meet as many like-minded people whom we click with.

I think it's fine to mourn and grieve a time when you and Husband were practicing monogamy, and your shared friend was just platonic with you both. Did you have no idea Husband was poly at heart when you were dating and first married? How long have you been together in total? How long ago did he reveal he was poly and attracted to your best friend?

If Husband and Friend have no where else to go for sex, it's good you do have a bedroom to retreat to, and a guest room for his sexy times. If you can still hear them, I'd recommend a set of noise-reducing headphones, or to at least listen to music with headphones/earbuds. Even better, you could go out while Friend is there and not see them at all when they are there for sexy times.

They say that millennials and zoomers are more into polyamory than boomers, but I have seen first hand that it's difficult for younger people to practice open relationships because they, on average, don't have much extra money for bigger apartments/houses, or to rent a hotel room for sex. That's really hard! You might feel better about poly, at least in the early stages, if you didn't have to see/hear anything when it came to their dates. You don't need new friends to keep yourself busy (if that seems almost unattainable in the short term). You can go out by yourself. Or again, stay home, and when Friend is expected, get your drinks, snacks, etc., and retreat to your bedroom with headphones until they leave.

Another reason it's more difficult for younger people to practice ENM is that they are still getting to know themselves, their own wants and needs, and learning how to express that to one dating partner (or spouse, in your case) is hard enough. It sounds like your communication skills are not as good as they could be. There is plenty of info out there about learning how to improve your communication skills, which will serve you in intimate relationships, friendships, at work and also with children, should you decide to have any.

You will have to establish a whole new relationship with your Friend, who is now your metamour. You probably don't want to be as emotionally intimate with them anymore, since you don't want to hear a lot about how they relate to Husband. You might want to withdraw emotionally completely for a while, not to mention sexually, until you get on a more even keel with Husband's new love-style, and start better identifying your needs and communicating more effectively about them.
We’ve been together 7rs total. We went into our relationship saying “we don’t want monogamy” but like I said there was never any further/deeper discussion about what that looked like for either of us and what we wanted out of it. I have not really any experience with these kinds of relationship set ups. Up until this triad happened we were monogamish because life was hard, we were trying to survive and opportunities didnt arise. We’ve always considered it “open”. There was occasional talking on dating apps but nothing that lasted more than a few weeks or so. Apps are hard to meet people on. Neither of us get out much. Now that I’m in it, I’m doing my very best to figure what I want and can and can’t handle.
 

MelloHippie

New member
Not trying to be harsh. Just giving some things to think about and saying "Go slow. Tread with caution."

Glad to hear he's not that type of person.

There is nothing wrong with backing up and doing LESS. So you can heal you first. Then slowing inching forward and figuring out how to be friends again with your now meta, how to deal with this being a poly V rather than a poly triad. Rather than trying to still do all the things at once WITHOUT taking the self-care pause.

Glad you already have separate finances and a guest room. I think noise canceling headphones might help when they are "here" and then not needed when it is the turn to be "over there" -- whatever that looks like on that side of the V. Over here, you can enjoy the flat to yourself and destress on those weekends.

Do aim for clear communication across all parties.

Do try to work out issues. Perhaps reading self help books can help bridge a gap while you try to secure counseling of some kind? A starter list...
YMMV.

It's ok not to have all the conversations at once. "Regular life" still needs to happen. It cannot always be THIS 24/7 -- that is stressy. So perhaps setting a dedicate time helps Like 1st and 3rd Fridays is this. And other times it's just living as normal life as possible?

It's ok not to want to break up. At the same time, don't forget to make that emergency plan just in case it is needed. People don't want the boat to sink, but they still pack life preservers on there. People don't want the plane to fail, but they still pack parachutes. The "parachute" conversation might need to happen eventually. It's ok not to have it this minute.

Even if everyone wants it to work, even if nobody is being mean, even if everyone loves and cares about each other? If in the end you just don't want to participate in a poly V as one of the "V-arm" people? That's what it is then. No what? Eventually that's going to need to be one of the conversation you have. It's ok not to have it this minute.

One thing at a time, and address easier tasks (buying a book, buying headphones) before harder tasks.

I will hope thing land as you hope they do.

Hang in there as you continue to sort this out with your poly V people. Nothing wrong with taking it in baby steps.
We are working on the communication part. My husband and I communicate well and it seems he and our partner are able to communicate ok about things. It’s hard for her to open up and let her true feelings out. She’s always been a people pleaser and often goes along with what other people want. We have encouraged her to stand up more for herself and be honest with us about her needs and wants. Her and I want to work on our communication but it is hard for both of us. We are very anxious people and don’t like hurting the ones we love, even if it means we are hurting ourselves.

I am looking into resources on self help and reaching out for support when I feel I need and am able to process things. With my mental health I really have to be careful about how much of this I can take in at times. I will hyperfocus and make myself sick with anxiety if I’m not careful. It’s been a hard balance and I’m not always successful. I do take pauses when I absolutely can’t handle things sometimes.

I understand that leaving is always an option. And I am thinking of what my “parachute plan” would be. Right now I do not see leaving as an option until we have tried everything we can to make what we have work. There are alot of ways we can continue to work on things and try to figure it out.

It’s really hard putting my life out there for people to analyze and I do my very best to get things across and explain as much as I can. I still feel like in ways people don’t fully understand my situation and how and what we’re doing to work on it.
 

MelloHippie

New member
I understand how it's difficult to make new friends if you are introverted (and/or on the autism spectrum, as you say). It can be difficult for all adults to made good deep new friends, however. Once we are done with school and start working, we get busy, and we may not meet as many like-minded people whom we click with.

I think it's fine to mourn and grieve a time when you and Husband were practicing monogamy, and your shared friend was just platonic with you both. Did you have no idea Husband was poly at heart when you were dating and first married? How long have you been together in total? How long ago did he reveal he was poly and attracted to your best friend?

If Husband and Friend have no where else to go for sex, it's good you do have a bedroom to retreat to, and a guest room for his sexy times. If you can still hear them, I'd recommend a set of noise-reducing headphones, or to at least listen to music with headphones/earbuds. Even better, you could go out while Friend is there and not see them at all when they are there for sexy times.

They say that millennials and zoomers are more into polyamory than boomers, but I have seen first hand that it's difficult for younger people to practice open relationships because they, on average, don't have much extra money for bigger apartments/houses, or to rent a hotel room for sex. That's really hard! You might feel better about poly, at least in the early stages, if you didn't have to see/hear anything when it came to their dates. You don't need new friends to keep yourself busy (if that seems almost unattainable in the short term). You can go out by yourself. Or again, stay home, and when Friend is expected, get your drinks, snacks, etc., and retreat to your bedroom with headphones until they leave.

Another reason it's more difficult for younger people to practice ENM is that they are still getting to know themselves, their own wants and needs, and learning how to express that to one dating partner (or spouse, in your case) is hard enough. It sounds like your communication skills are not as good as they could be. There is plenty of info out there about learning how to improve your communication skills, which will serve you in intimate relationships, friendships, at work and also with children, should you decide to have any.

You will have to establish a whole new relationship with your Friend, who is now your metamour. You probably don't want to be as emotionally intimate with them anymore, since you don't want to hear a lot about how they relate to Husband. You might want to withdraw emotionally completely for a while, not to mention sexually, until you get on a more even keel with Husband's new love-style, and start better identifying your needs and communicating more effectively about them.
You're right that leaving the triad won't stop their relationship, I advise you to leave anyway. The triad is a farce. You should be a vee.

Since you don't want to leave, you just have to reframe the situation. There is plenty of poly literature that reframes it for you. This site being one of those sources.

It won't happen overnight. I don't think it's advisable to try and put in rules that attempt to limit their intimacy. Of course boundaries around things like your bed are fine if it works for everyone who is a co-owner of that bed. If not, make sure you have a bed that is yours.

You have to understand that if you express consistent discomfort and unhappiness with the arrangement in the way you are, nobody is going to think this is a healthy decision. Additionally, most will think your husband is of poor character for not leaving when he can see how his choices hurt you.

It isn't that you don't deserve a space to vent, but what's missing from your venting is the ownership of your choice to remove splitting as an option.

You want to stay, so for it to be healthy, you have to learn to accept your choice and be happy with it. Your husband is no longer monogamous with you and you've chosen to stay. You have to work within that reality.
I have been expressing my discomfort in ways but I haven’t completely said to him “I can’t do poly” because this was all completely new to me and I was doing the best I could to sort things out while it’s been happening. But we went from 0-100 really fast and I feel like I’m having to do years of mental/emotional work in a matter of months. Neither of them are pressuring me to figure it out. They’ve both been as understanding as they can be when I bring things up. I talked more about how communicate has been in my response to galagirl. My husband also had a closer family member pass and it hadn’t been the time to bring these more current feelings up. I am communicating as best as I can when I have things clear on my end.

I’ve considered “reframing the situation” but I do not know what that would look like and I don’t always know what I can’t and can’t handle. Feeling like I’m constantly changing things is exhausting for me and I’d assume them. As I mentioned originally sometimes things feel fine, others I’m literally sick over the situation and my place in it.

Often times I just feel like I need some support and guidance before I talk about things with my partners. I want to feel like I’m thinking things through properly and that my feelings make sense to others as best they can. I don’t have many people to talk about it with. I don’t really have any friends in the poly world so I understand why you may take the things I say about my husband negatively. But you don’t know him. None of you guys know any of us personally, you can only go off what I am able to write out and your own perception of that. I’m doing the best I can to explain everything without making it a literal book each post. I just want some support.
 
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MelloHippie

New member
Hi MelloHippie,

Since you are on the ace spectrum, you probably don't need sex very often with your husband's other partner. You probably feel like you should be wanting it more, but that isn't the case. There's a wide range of shapes and relationships in poly, you can do the shape that suits you.

Since you have limited feelings of being poly yourself, it is hard for you to understand why your husband wants multiple deep relationships. You do not want to divorce him, but you wish he would stop. Stop wanting multiple deep relationships. At the same time, you don't want to tell him what to do. I feel bad for you, I can tell that you are suffering in this dilemma.

You want to step back and try poly in a different way, a way in which you and your husband date others separately -- and in fact, you might want a setup where you yourself remain monogamous, and while your husband might be poly, you don't have to see or look at the poly. Have you talked with your husband about these feelings? What about the close friend who is his second partner, have you talked with her about it? This can be a really difficult conversation to have.

And it may well be too late for you to have a mono/poly relationship (or a separate poly relationship), because now you have experienced a combined poly relationship, and that means it will always be on your mind, even if you don't have to see it. I feel bad for you, you are in a bad situation with no easy way out. You do seem to be doing your best to cope.

I take it it's the feelings involved that make you feel scared and insecure. If your husband just has a sexual partner, that doesn't bother you so much. But the problem is, you can't control when/where he (along with said partner) does develop feelings, and he can't control that either.

Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
I don’t feel like I need to be wanting sex from our partner. And I do have a healthy and consistent sexual relationship with my husband that is fulfilling to me. I just don’t have the initial desire as often as others and I do not see sex as a need as others often do.

I do communicate open and honestly with my husband. Currently not so much with our partner. We are working on that, it is hard. We both suffer deeply from mental health issues. Hers are more extreme than mine. And that can make opening up and communicating hard. We are working on it. My husband also recently had a closer family member pass and it has not been the time for me to bring these things up.

I try to make sure I am as clear on my thoughts and feelings as I can be before I bring them up. I do suffer from some depression mood swings and I do not want to be making decisions or important conversations out of those depressive swings. Sometimes I need a few weeks to make sure I am truly feeling the way I’m feeling before bringing them up.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
I have been expressing my discomfort in ways but I haven’t completely said to him “I can’t do poly” because this was all completely new to me and I was doing the best I could to sort things out while it’s been happening. But we went from 0-100 really fast and I feel like I’m having to do years of mental/emotional work in a matter of months. Neither of them are pressuring me to figure it out. They’ve both been as understanding as they can be when I bring things up. I talked more about how communicate has been in my response to galagirl. My husband also had a closer family member pass and it hadn’t been the time to bring these more current feelings up. I am communicating as best as I can when I have things clear on my end.

I’ve considered “reframing the situation” but I do not know what that would look like and I don’t always know what I can’t and can’t handle. Feeling like I’m constantly changing things is exhausting for me and I’d assume them. As I mentioned originally sometimes things feel fine, others I’m literally sick over the situation and my place in it.

Often times I just feel like I need some support and guidance before I talk about things with my partners. I want to feel like I’m thinking things through properly and that my feelings make sense to others as best they can. I don’t have many people to talk about it with. I don’t really have any friends in the poly world so I understand why you may take the things I say about my husband negatively. But you don’t know him. None of you guys know any of us personally, you can only go off what I am able to write out and your own perception of that. I’m doing the best I can to explain everything without making it a literal book each post. I just want some support.

So it's true that some people will view him negatively because he isn't doing exactly what his wife wants him to do. He isn't just staying within your comfort zones. Some think he owes you that because you're married. I don't. Others will think that his decision to stay with you, while you feel you cannot leave, and put you through him falling in love with someone else, it's that which speaks of his character. Some will say a brave, ethical person will take the steps to disentangle from you and since he's not doing that, he's neither brave or ethical.

I understand you want support, rather than him dogpiled. I'm suggesting owning your choice to stay and be part of his polyamorous life will mean you're more likely to get the support you want.

Reframing the situation just means using analogies like "having more than one kid" to view him having more than one partner. The only way you will feel better about it is if you view it differently and stop seeing exclusive intimacy as a marker of love or validity.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Of course we here can only assess your situation from what you write. I, personally, do not see your Husband as the Bad Guy at all! As you say, you both agreed to be Open from the start, 7 years ago. But you basically were mono until recently, when he just jumped in with Friend, who was your bestie, without doing any reading or prep or even communicating with you. And you and Friend, whether because of mental illness or whatever, also just jumped in impulsively, considering yourselves now lovers, despite you IDing as asexual and not wanting or needing another sex partner

It kind of sounds like you're both people pleasers. It's critical to learn more about yourself and be firm with your needs, desires and personal boundaries. I think you're learning this already!

We all make mistakes when we are new to practicing poly. Most people here will not judge you. We are mostly a kind bunch. We will offer general information, and share things we've learned from our own experiences. It's OK for things to feel wonky in the early months and years of trying to practice ENM. It is better to prepare ahead of time, sure. But you and your Husband and Friend are not the first people to jump into this without much forethought. Heck, lots of people fuck while drunk and then go, oh shit, what did I do, and what the hell do I do now? ;) (I did that when I was dating my husband when I was 19. I just completely forgot I was in a relationship when my bestie and her bf offered me a threesome at a party one night where we were smoking weed and drinking beer. Teenagers R Dum.) (But I made mistakes in my late 40s too, when my [now ex] H and I tried poly again.)
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I don't think anyone in the situation is bad people. I just think all of you are in a tough situation.

Compounded by you and meta having mental health issues. And you having autism. And then husband recently having a relative pass away. It's a lot.

(I'm sorry to hear of their passing. My condolences to all of you.)

I try to make sure I am as clear on my thoughts and feelings as I can be before I bring them up. I do suffer from some depression mood swings and I do not want to be making decisions or important conversations out of those depressive swings. Sometimes I need a few weeks to make sure I am truly feeling the way I’m feeling before bringing them up.

Understandable.

I am looking into resources on self help and reaching out for support when I feel I need and am able to process things. With my mental health I really have to be careful about how much of this I can take in at times. I will hyperfocus and make myself sick with anxiety if I’m not careful. It’s been a hard balance and I’m not always successful. I do take pauses when I absolutely can’t handle things sometimes.

FWIW, this stands out the most to me.

Please do take it in baby steps and take as many pauses as you need.

Often times I just feel like I need some support and guidance before I talk about things with my partners.

That's fine. You can talk here.

Just keep in mind that tone of voice, body language doesn't carry well when it's just written text.

And YOU know what you are talking about, but those just tuning in don't and will ask questions or make general suggestions that may or may not apply based on what we've experienced or seen commonly play out. It takes time to get to know you and your situation better.

Hang in there, and try to go one step at a time.
 
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