I am a 32 yo female bisexual who has always leaned more toward women than men. However, I met the man who made me want to have a serious relationship (44 yo male) and grow old with. He also met another female (43 yo female) he was interested in. 

I am a free spirit and have always believed that we are capable of love with more than one person and we shouldn’t confine ourselves to “general societal standards” just to “fit it.” We’ve been involved with each other for quite some time now, basically around two years. At first, we weren’t all three romantically involved together (although her and I did communicate as friends and I did have compassion and love for her almost instantly), but our recently she verbalized that she wanted all three of us to be involved – that she had developed feelings for me as well. 

I had previously thought she was completely against the idea of women in her life, but she told me later that she felt the same as I did – she was always more attracted to women. He has always wanted another female involved with both of us in a kitchen table poly[am] setting and do did I, but I struggled to find a female who wanted that type of lifestyle in the rural areas we live in currently.

We all three sat down together and discussed what we all thought. We decided on a triad where we all had time with each other separately, all of us together and alone time as well. Lately, when he is with me she becomes almost erratic at times and continuously messages me at night saying how lonely she is and much she misses him. She then proceeds to say things like “he’s always leaving me” “he won’t come home to me” or “I’m going to bed all alone as always”. It has even gone as far as messages that said “I’ll go cry myself to sleep like always” and “enjoy our husband since I never get to.”

He works 12-15 hr shifts most days and our home is where he works. She lives around 1.5 hrs away. He spends most week days here since it’s less of a drive for a long day. This makes for little actual “us” time since he’s exhausted when he gets home and I don’t even get to make him supper most nights anymore. We usually spend Saturdays together and he’s with her the remainder of the weekend and any day he gets off before dark. She feels like it’s not fair and I feel like I’m missing out on good quality time with him, but want her to be satisfied because she struggles with independence and self confidence where I really don’t as much. I feel comfortable and secure doing this, but I do miss when just the two of us could spend time together on a weekend doing things we loved to do together and being intimate alone. 

When we’re all there together, it almost feels like she’s constantly guarded. Drinking is an issue we struggle with in her case sometimes – she can tend to go overboard and binge drink. Sober or drinking, she clings to me when we’re all together and is almost mean to him, especially sexually – sometimes literally telling him not to touch her after she has verbalized that she feels neglected by him during our sexual encounters with the three of us. 

I have been the middle man and talked her down several times when she becomes upset over things that the other two of us don’t see as upsetting. She is currently seeking help for her mental health (as we all are because I believe it’s important for everyone whether they think there’s an issue or not to at least have a therapist). I fear that these outbursts and constant reassurance to her is going to be the downfall of everything.

I don’t want to lose two people I love so incredibly much, but I’m not sure what else to do after having several open discussions with both of them alone and all together. I constantly feel like I’m the peacekeeper and middle man and don’t feel like my own personal, sexual and emotional needs are being met by my partners. I personally feel like I’m here sometimes just to be here relationship therapist and tool. Any advice? Critique? HELP?

So me (34 male) and my partner (25 female) have been together for almost 7 years now, we’ve lived together for 4, recently got engaged (she proposed to me) and we have just bought a house together. My fiancé came out to me a few years ago about being bisexual but had never been with another woman before.

Some time later she suggested the idea of having a threesome to explore sexually and I agreed. We looked for someone to join etc but ultimately nothing ever came of it, we talked about going to swingers clubs etc to dip our toes in and again nothing ever came of it. Some time later she said that she felt as though she was poly[am]. We talked about it and I was open to the idea of it but never really discussed it from there.

A few months past and now she has started an emotional relationship with another man and wants to take things further, as she asked if I would be okay with her going on dates with him. I know the guy (he is poly[am] too) and he’s a nice person but my whole world has crashed around me as I was ‘okay with it in theory’ but now it’s reality, I have my fears and doubts.

I’m warming to the idea of it over time as I do more research and learn about the subject but it’s all come to fruition so quickly.. I don’t even know how it would work does she want me to be primary? Will she want to have him over at the house? Nothing has been discussed and it’s all going too fast. I agreed for them to be platonic friends whilst I figured things out, but I can’t give a timescale and she’s said she’s now ‘in limbo’

To add, I would also like to date other people but I want our relationship to be in the right place for us to make things work.

It’s absolutely understandable that you would have so many questions and feel like the world has crashed around me because… it kind of has a little? You say that you discussed the idea of polyamory and you talked about and were open to it but never discussed it further and then… she has a relationship with someone she wants to take further, but you’ve really never discussed anything about it. Things escalated from a threesome which was about exploring sexuality to her being in a romantic relationship with another guy. It’s a lot.

I’m going to assume your fiancé didn’t necessarily intend for things to go this way and maybe is a little bit terrified to talk to you more about polyamory, maybe thinking that if you talk more about it you might change your mind. It’s a little bit of delaying the inevitable and it’s very understandable but it’s best if you’re both able to really talk to one another slightly more so that you can have a little bit of grounding together.

Within my Polyamory 101 article, I talk about finding an anchor which might be a helpful concept for you. It does seem like you have an interest in polyamory in general, which is great. But it would also be important for you and your partner to both think about what your ideals are. All of these questions are completely up to you and there are multiple ways to do polyamory. Maybe both of you should check out the 101 and the Polyamory 102 articles I have and talk through things.

I also am going to have a book called The Anxious Person’s Guide to Non-Monogamy that has some exercises that might help you think about what your ideal is.

So have a sit down and think about stuff and that will give you both some more clarity around the situation and help you feel a little less like the world has crashed around you. I hope this helps and good luck!