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The other relationship


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I know this isn’t always the easiest place to post about open relationships but I have received good advice in the past so I want to ask for help again.


I am in a polyamorous relationship with my partner Joe for almost 4 years. His other committed partner Alice (of two years) is in the middle of some really ugly stuff with her partner and our good friend Dan. It looks like Dan and Alice might break up. He’s locked her out of the house, isn’t picking up her calls and has taken there car.


I love Alice, but both Alice and Dan have done some screwed up * * * * to get there relationship to this point. Alice is scared that her breaking up with Dan will change the way me and Joe will think of her. And the truth is it will, at least for me. It would be a change in thinking to have someone who is otherwise single dating Joe. I’m ready for that but it isn’t the easiest thing.


The problem is that I’m scared; I loved Alice and Dan as a couple. But I can’t handle them anymore they are such a mess, something has to give. And it’s frightening to be a part of it. I am fighting shutting down and trying to keep them both out of my life. The only reason I would do that is because I’m scared. It’s just hard to feel strong when you are doing things that make you very vulnerable.


I want to support Joe as he helps Alice thru this rough time, but I keep getting defensive and mean about things. I’m normally able to drop them and move on, I know it’s just all this fear building up but I need help, something to help me keep perspective and keep in mind that I love and trust all of these people, and that in the end it is better to get hurt then to just shut myself off from people I love.


Any words of advice?

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Sounds like there are 2 somewhat independent issues you are dealing with.


1) How to get through 2 friends breaking up.

2) Dealing with the probability Joe is going to end up with you and a single, and therefore more "threatening" woman.


As for the first item, I can't give much advice.. my wife and I have always been better friends with one-half of a relationship, and when it ends, we support our "favourite"... its kinda cold and bad - probably not what you are looking for - but it makes things easier and we never had an issue.


For item 2.. well, it sounds like it will be a test, and a growth opportunity for you. New levels of trust and all that. I understand your concern.. that it might make you feel like you're the 3rd of Joe and Alice, which I know holds historical issues for you. But if I've learned anything from you about the poly world, its the importance of non-bs communication.. so talk to Joe about your concern and let him know the situation (he may not even realize the significance himself).


As Alice goes through this, she is no doubt going to need more love and support from Joe.. and more of his time and energy. Perhaps this answers item 1 above after all. That will likely be hard on you, just like it is when your partner starts something new or refreshed with another.

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Rose, are you really sure a polygamous relationship is right for you? Take some time to really think about that. I have seen you post before about having some jealousy about your main boyfriend's second relationship. I don't know what's considered normal and what's not in these types of relationships, but it seems like you get pretty uneasy about them but you try to fight it.

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I'm not sure how it works for poly relationships. Do you and Joe live together like an exclusive couple? I'm not sure of what all the rules are when something like this is invovled. Will Joe get her to move in with you now?


Could you simply ask him not to talk about his other relationship until everything is settled? and for him to meet them outside your home until they act "normal"? (or is this not considered polite in an open-relationship context)


I think it's totally fine to take a break from friends and reconsider your friendship. It might be want you need right now. You obviously can't stop Joe from seeing her, nor making new living arrangements if he considers it so though I assume.


Man, am I ever glad to be with only one man!

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