Meeting Family

When another partner gets to meet family, it's can be difficult to feel like there's not an inequity.

I’m new to this type of dynamic.
I'm in an open relationship and we are in an open relationship. I have some trama [sic] I have to deal with.
So my partner has other partner  and found out he’s going to introduce her to his sister in law (he’s a widow). I'm having a hard time not feeling like he’s picking her. We talked about it he says it’s not like that it’s just he’s not hiding him anymore and they have plans for the weekend and the sister in law is coming to the area with the kids hockey team. So that’s why.
I just don’t know how to deal with all this.

I feel like there’s definitely something deeper going on here that’s worth addressing or thinking about. Because from what you describe, it doesn’t seem like he has made an intentional choice to present this other partner to his sister in law but, as he says, they already have plans and his sister in law is coming to the area, so it would be a strange thing to cancel either the date or the meet up with the sister in law.

But it seems like, to you, meeting family is an important milestone in a relationship and you have a lot of feelings around the idea that one of his partners may meet a family member that you haven’t met. And that’s understandable. There aren’t any cultural scripts for non-monogamy that most people can follow and the idea of meeting family is a pretty big milestone for a relationship for people.

It’s best to think about what your ideal polyamorous situation looks like and what steps in a relationship matter the most for you and then work with your partner to figure out where you can compromise or agree on some of the milestones. Identifying what your ideal situation is and then working with a partner to figure out how you both can work towards your ideal. Because two people can be polyamorous and not necessarily be compatible in terms of what they want from polyamory or their lives. Focusing especially on the physical realities of what polyamory looks like in your lives will also help.

When you have established together what your ideals are and how polyamory fits into your relationship, there are less surprises there. So, for example, if your partner’s ideal is to spend three nights a week with another partner and have a partner that they live with then you can also understand where you fall with your partner and where your partner falls in with you and this can help tremendously with this type of anxiety. If you both agree what your milestones are (e.g. there is a specific time partners will meet family members or there may be a time where he buys property with a partner, etc.) then you don’t have to wait for things like this to just drop along and trigger something.

I have an exercise in my book on figuring out your ideal polyamorous setup which might help and you can also review my 101 and 102 articles for more information about finding an anchor and challenging your own fears.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Subscribe to Non-Monogamy Help

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.