Oh No! My Poly Partners Don’t Get Along

Are you one half of a primary couple and your partner isn’t getting along with your lover? Let’s discuss how you can avoid this situation or how to deal with it if you’re already there.

Prevention is the best solution. Discuss poly rules or write contracts that might include giving primary partners the right to veto a third coming in. This can also just be a conversation that allows one partner to discuss their hesitation and feelings about a third that will prevent uncomfortable relations down the line. Nip it in the bud before NRE blooms and is too hard to let go of.

Part of prevention consists of meeting possible thirds together in social groups. It’s a way to experience first impressions at the same time and avoid jealousy which can become part of the issue when one partner feels left out of the initial getting to know someone stage.

Some feelings of irritation are normal when a third becomes involved with a primary. One half may be deep in NRE while the other is feeling left out and in the process of adjustment. Talk, talk, talk. If you feel jealous, let your partner know. Get to know their new partner, so you can see what your partner likes about this person.

Of course, prevention isn’t always possible. The three of you may have been getting along fine before a rift has developed, and now you don’t want to lose either partner. Not a fun place to be, especially if they aren’t communicating which puts you in the middle. Your partners don’t have to be buddies, but there needs to be mutual respect and conversation about everyone’s feelings.

Perhaps your partners just don’t know each other well enough and have let small ideas or assumptions grow into feelings of anger or jealousy. You may feel resentment about having to smooth the waters between the two, but if you can’t bear to let either go, it may be the only way to avoid a big blow-up where you lose both partners.Is there some common ground or interest that would help bridge the gap?

Maybe all three of you can live with the fact that two of you just don’t get along that well. If you can accept this, you can limit the time they spend with each other and how much they talk about each other with you. I think this is an unhealthy solution based in avoidance, but I have seen it work.

If everyone involved is dedicated to making things work, counselling is always an option. Just be sure to research possible candidates to make sure they have experience and knowledge with polyamory, not always easy to find.

Do you have experience with poly partners that don’t get along? How did you manage?

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