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I am in a relationship with someone who used to be my...

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Question by kinoprincess
Submitted on 9/18/2003
Related FAQ: alt.polyamory Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Supplement
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I am in a relationship with someone who used to be my business partner's lover.  He is someone I love very much, and we have been seeing a great poly-oriented therapist for the better part of a year.  Our relationship has grown over the period of a year through the difficulty of this close three-way relationship that we share(me, him, my business partner) - basically he and I have done everything we could not to be together, but can't seem to help ourselves and have been trying to figure out our relationship and know that we love each other.  We tried to have a relationship with another woman recently (a friend of his who he had slept with early in our relatiosnhip), which was a great learning experience but it didn't work out really, although we're still friends.  Now it seems my boyfriend has realised that he still loves/is in love with my business partner and wants to have a relationship with her - she has a very close strong relationship with a man that she wants to marry and have a child with, but he lives across the other side of the country.  She's always been poly, but her current partner isn't and is having a really hard time adjusting to the fact that she doesn't want to be monogamous.   Into this comes the fact that she loves my partner.  She's not necessarily compelled to move into a romantic relationship right now with my boyfriend as the stakes are high for all of us.  My partner however, in recent discussions  said that he has very strong feelings for her (well, he's in love with her), and that he sometimes wants her to be his primary partner.  Although we don't know what is going to happen, I am feeling very unhappy about the situation and am feeling strongly like the "default" girlfriend.  I asked him how he saw the relationship being and he said that he saw me as his primary partner because "that's the way it is".  I don't really feel very comforted by this or very safe, and I don't want to be in the hideous position of working every day with my business partner who is also in a romantic relationship with my boyfriend, especially if he can't tell me that he wants to be with me as his primary partner.  This whole situation is making me freak out completely actually.  I need some advice - what is wrong with wanting to be considered the primary partner?  And not just because the other person won't be right now?  I am open to the idea of polyamory, but I need to be looked after and made to feel secure too - and there's not much in the way of security being offered here other than the "last woman standing" variety.  I understand that going through this stuff promotes closeness and intimacy, but frankly I feel undervalued and I want to pull back from this relationship.  We both see a counsellor every couple of weeks and this is all we ever deal with.  So I'm investing a huge amount of time and emotional energy (the only other thing I do right now is focus on my work) in a man who doesn't reciprocate my feelings of wanting to be a primary partner.  
Any real-life advice anyone?  Anyone experienced this kind of thing before?  Help... anything.  I don't necessarily want to throw this relationship away, but damn it's hard to feel close to him under the circumstances and it's hard not to feel like I'm being taken for granted given the time we spend together and the effort that goes into our relationship. And I just don't want  my boyfriend and my business partner shagging!?  

Answer by princez
Submitted on 3/10/2004
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well, this is complicated. I think that if the relationship makes you feel undervalue, i suggest that you just let your partner be. It is difficult but at the same time you cannot control how your boyfriend feel about your business partner. He cant choose. At this point, if her has already told you that he is still in love with your business partner, most probaly he will shag her somehow or another. Better leave the situation and find yourself a worthy man rather than get stuck in this complicated mess.


Answer by Nebula
Submitted on 4/27/2005
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wow, it is complicated even without bringing business into it!  It may help if you find yourself another lover.  Also make sure you communicate a lot with your business partner regarding the relationship and your boundaries/fears.  Honesty and compassion are the two most important factors in successful poly relationships.


Answer by den
Submitted on 3/22/2006
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hi my girlfriend just told me she dont want to see me no more we split up few times she says same thing before  she walked past my house other day and she kept looking back does it mean she still likes me.


Answer by richgadea
Submitted on 7/30/2006
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well if you like him ask him out or something.


Answer by anonymous
Submitted on 11/16/2006
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A monogamous, 1 primary partner type of relationship is enough of headaches.  A GOOD FULFILLING HEALTHY relationship requires a reciprocal love between two partners.  Bringing a third person in only heightens jealousy and insecurity. Move on with your life:
-Get a new job that doesn't involve your business partner
-solidify the lines of relations, are you mine or not? if not, move on.
-If they're still in love, please please do yourself a favor and step out of this triangle.  There are plenty of guys out there.  I met my second love after my first, luckily I love him even more and it was the best decision to make.


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