Tips & Advice

Metamour Issues? How to Speak Up

Uncomfortable First Date

How a metamour fits into our poly lives can be very different from one relationship to another. Personality dynamics will play a part and can sometimes cause issues.

Let’s look at a relationship where a dominant metamour rubs others the wrong way at times, and what can be done about it.

Dear Tia,

I’ve been in an egalitarian poly triad for 2 years, and for the most part, it’s great. I’m very much in love with my partner and get along well with my metamour. I wouldn’t say that we’re besties, but we do share a deep affection for one another, and I know she’s got my back.

What can be challenging, however, is that my metamour is very alpha, and our shared partner and I definitely are not. If we’re doing something as a group, she always has to have the last word on planning. She also runs the show in other ways, like insisting that my partner stay home to clean out the garage on a long weekend vs us spending time together as a group.

For context, my partner and metamour have been married for 20 years and have gotten very used to their 2-person dynamic. I would like to know how I can speak up more without causing major conflict. We’re supposed to be equals, but sometimes it feels like I’m a secondary partner. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. – Ashleigh

Hi Ashleigh, thanks for your question. I’m sure that many people can relate to your challenge with a metamour as it’s not uncommon to encounter dominant personalities in the polysphere.

How to be Heard When You Have Metamour Issues

1. Draw Attention to the Power Imbalance

If your partner and metamour have been together for a long time, chances are they’re locked into their routine and don’t see the impacts it’s having on you or your poly dynamic. Unless you speak up, nothing will change. During your next poly check-in, gently bring up the power imbalance using “I feel” statements.

Read: 4 Tips for Checking In with Your Poly Partners

2. Come Prepared with Specific Examples

Make a mental list of the times you’ve felt edged out of the decision-making process, and bring up a couple of these examples during the conversation. Focus on one thing at a time, being careful not to cast blame or overwhelm your metamour with a laundry list of offences. The idea is to clearly and concisely make your point, not to shame anyone.

Read: Tips for Maintaining Communication in Poly Relationships

3. Offer Concrete Solutions

If you and your partner are on the submissive side, your metamour may feel the need to take charge due to what she perceives as a power vacuum. Maybe she doesn’t want to always be the decision-maker but thinks to herself, “If I don’t steer the ship, who will?” Take some of that pressure off of her by coming to the table with practical solutions for sharing the power in your polycule.

Read: How to Show Love for Your Metamour

4. Invite a Conversation and Listen Openly

Once you have gotten things off your chest, open up the floor to discussion. Be receptive to whatever is shared during this time, but don’t back away from the original intent of why you brought the issue with your metamour up in the first place. It might take some time for your triad’s power dynamics to shift. Have patience and be ready to revisit the conversation as needed.

Read: How to Be a Better Listener in Your Relationships

Have you had issues with a metamour in your poly world?

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