I’m in a poly relationship, have been for almost 4 years. It was more open to other sexual partners but a year ago it opened to other relationships.
My partner started a relationship in December. I didn’t think it would go this far because she is monogamous and told him she didn’t want to share, even though she knew he was in a relationship with me. This is hard, but over time, I accepted this relationship, this other person.
She and I met in person once and it did not go over very well. She had some type of bipolar experience due to stress. I was understanding of the situation, but we did not click. But it didn’t change my perspective on their relationship.
Due to my professional life, I set a boundary of our relationship not being displayed on social media. She has continuously disregarded this request by posting intimate posts of them.
My partner and I have many shared friends. So, my boss, family, friends and colleagues saw that we are in a poly relationship. I am fine with some people in my circle knowing but not my professional life. My partner was in agreement to this and understood why.
I feel her behavior is disrespectful towards me.
My two questions are:
1. She has made it clear that she doesn’t want to share him with me. She thinks I don’t love him because I allow our relationship to be polyamorous. I don’t understand why she would be in this relationship knowing he’s already in another. It makes me not trust her, always wondering what’s she going to do. My partner told me he thinks she’s wanting us to break up. How do I deal with this?
2. Is privacy on Facebook a reasonable boundary to request in a poly relationship? If it is, how do I deal with this?
These two things are stressful for me. It’s making me feel that I don’t want to be in a relationship with her involvement. I don’t want a poly relationship with someone who doesn’t accept it. Personally, it puts me in a place where I feel for my relationship to continue it would have to be without her in it.
Thank you for any advice you can give me.
Oh, girlfriend, we have so much to talk about! If events are going down exactly how you describe it above, you are being generous and your guy is being reckless. You don’t feel like you can trust her? That’s because you shouldn’t trust her! Actually, I take that back. You can totally trust her—trust her to try and break up your relationship. That, she’s clearly good for.
So, I’m writing this one for you, but I’m also linking to another article I’ve written and I want you to read both. More important? I want him to read both articles. Maybe you could ask him to read them out loud to you starting from the top. Here we go.
First thing’s first: You’re dealing with what we in the poly world call a “Cowgirl.” She’s out to take your man, tip him onto his monogamous side, toss him over her shoulder on the back of her horse, and ride him off into the sunset. Rude!
I have done a great job of covering exactly what to say to him about this in a recent article right here. Please read this first, and then come right back to this.
Okay, good? Got what you need to move on? Now, next:
Your guy tells you that he thinks she wants to break you two up. Huh. Curious. What does he make of all this? I don’t think it’s your job to ask how you should deal with her. Try instead asking something like, “Wow. What do you make of this clear and present threat to our relationship?” in the calmest tone possible. The one you’d use when asking if you think it might rain this week. And once the question is posed, just sit there with imaginary duct tape over your mouth. Listen. Don’t say a word. Let him solve this one. Hint: “I don’t know” is an unacceptable answer.
You and she met. It didn’t go well. You’re not feeling like you vibe, want to be friends, or hang for high tea. That’s 100% okay. You don’t have to be besties or even see her—ever. He can have his relationship with her separate from his relationship with you. Is it ideal? Nope. But is it workable? It can be. And as time progresses, you can decide if you want to include her in things you do together (or not).
This kind of arrangement can be tricky. Really tricky. Especially if you and your guy host a lot of parties and/or you have friends in common, which it sounds like you may. He might want to include her, too, and you aren’t comfortable with that. This is a hard one to navigate, but you can always opt out of said gatherings, even when they’re your house. Please don’t ever feel like you have to do anything or take one for the team, because you don’t. If there’s an event he absolutely wants to attend with both of you, and while you don’t want to, you agree? You better get a really, really, really good trade out of that deal. If you do opt out, say, going to dinner with a group of friends, please make an alternative plan for yourself with other friends you love so you’re not sulking at home binge-watching Netflix.
OMG, can we just take a pause for a minute…remember back when we were allowed to gather and go out to restaurants with a group of friends? Wasn’t that great? I miss that so much! Sigh. Okay, back to you.
Next, fucking Facebook (and other social media). Yeah, Facebook tries to connect everybody, all the time, no exceptions, and they push posts that you just don’t want pushed to, say, your grandmother, your boss, your accountant, etc. I’ve been there on both sides of this equation, and it sucks in either direction. I’m embarrassed to admit I once posted a photo of me and my person at a wedding. It was super couple-y. I triple-checked that sucker to be sure his name was not tagged to avoid the push, but because we’re so intertwined on the ‘Book, it tagged him anyway. And yeah, some of the first people to see that image were my metamour’s people. I was mortified. I now only post photos of us in groups, and I don’t tag him + I remove tags of his name everywhere. Why? Because while I want to live my life and not hide anything, I’m also respectful of boundaries. And because it’s the right thing to do.
Yes, there is a clear right and wrong here. And his new girlfriend is in the wrong. You know it. He knows it. She knows it. And he is the only one who can try to influence her into knocking it off. If this does not stop, take matters into your own hands and unfriend/disconnect your profile from your guy. This may be your only recourse.
Last but certainly not least, if your guy isn’t willing to take strong measures to protect your relationship, you two have real troubles. I’ll say it—I’m already worried in this regard. I kinda want to sit him down and ask him a series of questions, starting with, “Dude! Really? WTF?” He needs to be a strong partner and advocate for you, and I don’t see that happening here.
Polyamory doesn’t have to be hard, but it only works with ease and peace when everyone in the poly boat picks up an oar and rows in the same direction. Whether the waters be smooth or rocky, everyone has to have each other’s backs.
Good luck with this one!