Tyler did the smart thing and got the fuck out. You two aren’t in a place where you should be dating at all if you can’t date separately.


I was gonna say, damn I feel bad for Tyler in this situation.


So do I. Like, I feel vaguely bad when I watch couples wreck themselves like this, but I really feel for the people who get caught up and become cannon fodder.


Like, I am reading this all as low-key controlling on Ben's side. They can't date solo if he isn't involved, so he is forcing them back to monogamy, because it was stated if he isn't involved, they can't date solo. Can Ben date another couple and do a triad there? If the answer is no, it seems he only wants to be able to have them along with someone else or they can both have *no one.* More work and communication needs to be done here. Seems off, idk. Edit: maybe not controlling, but I can't think of the word for it. Lol.


It’s common enough. Lots and lots of people offer something that they don’t want for themselves. Ben doesn’t want to be a “third”. Why would he? It’s a shitty deal. Ben wants his own. 🤷‍♀️


Tyler is okay. He was experienced with poly and made the conscious decision to try the who triad thing. Kept an eye out for issues, which is why he ultimately decided it was best to walk away. But we have kept in touch and still have a good relationship as friends.


*He did not like the idea of my being in relationships that did not include him, but was still wanting to seek another triad.* That's great and all, but I think you're missing the part where if Ben isn't a part of your triad/relationship, he is unhappy and doesn't want you dating. That's unhealthy, and you should be able to explore separately if you are doing poly. If the triad -has to involve you and him- then it almost even seems like unicorn hunting. Ben needs to get his feelings in order, and figure out how to exist without you in this relationship. Not that he needs to exclude you, but he needs to figure out why he can't comfortable go do things or let you do things alone.


Polyamory is in the Agreements. What are your Agreements?


Our agreement has always been that neither of us have veto over the other and we just want the other to be happy. I'm caught between seeking what makes me happy and limiting my choices and actions because it would make Ben happy.


I don't mean to be cruel, but Ben's problems are Ben's problems. His feelings are *his* to deal with. Since you've both agreed to polyamory, it is his responsibility to figure out how to be comfortable with the inevitable consequences of that: the fact that there will be times when you have more partners than him. He could learn to reconnect with himself, treat himself to solo dates or other group meetups, or just hit the dating apps harder to try and find someone, but from your perspective, that doesn't matter. These are *his* issues. In my experience, limiting my choices is a band aid solution that breeds resentment. Instead of thinking "I should not be spending time with Boyfriend because Ben would be jealous of the time I spend with him", think "If Ben is feeling lonely then I can choose to spend more time with Ben to help with that." Limiting yourself isn't the answer: opening up is. Sounds like you should read The Most Skipped Step, because I think you skipped it.


Wasn’t Ben about to veto Tyler, though? Also how could you *not* have veto if you both have to agree on the third? Isn’t that veto by definition?


I guess I you zoom in on just whether one person would choose to agree to the third, then sure I suppose you could say that there is a "veto" with respect to a triad set up. However, that wouldn't necessarily prevent the person that did like them from dating them solo. Providing or withholding consent to be in a relationship doesn't really feel the same way as a veto. Maybe my opinion isn't shared 🤷


Ah I thought neither of you were allowed to date solo. My bad.


As someone who has struggled with the same— to have any hope of polyamory working, you need to get over the people-pleaser tendencies and speak up for yourself. Otherwise you’ll end up burned out and hurting yourself and others. And I also second what others said, date separately or not at all.


>Now comes my question for advice. Am I forcing Ben into polyamory if I am dating solo when he only wants to date together? No. Ben still owns his consent to do things or not. He can give it or not. Just as you own your consent to things or not. You learned something from the experience with Tyler. You don't like triads/don't have the bandwidth for triads. So you are updating Ben on what you can/cannot do. Ben takes this news how he takes it. Including feeling disappointed. Or saying he doesn't want to poly with you any more. And prefers to go back to monogamy. Then you get to make your next choice based on THIS new information. Nobody is FORCING anyone to do anything. If Ben still wants to triad... would it be ok for him to go find and date 2 people who are NOT you that want to triad? Like he could join some couple, right? Or 3 singles could come together interested in a triad? Then he gets to poly date how he wants on his side. In triad mode. And you poly date on your side how you want -- NOT in triad. More like dating people separately. Does Ben want you in the triad to be like his woobie or security blanket? Or like "absorbing" the new person, because if Ben is involved, he's not left out? Or it becomes a "group project" you and Ben are doing together? Is this triad idea healthy poly or *enabling* Ben to avoid dealing with personal issues? Or was it simple newbie mistakes? Because "Just like us! But with 3!" is easy to IMAGINE but the reality is very different. I think you could take a time out as you heal from Tyler breaking up with both you to reflect on your fitness/health for poly. And then Ben's fitness/health for poly. Cuz if there's personal work to do? Could do it before trying again. Merely being WILLING to poly doesn't automatically mean you have all the skills to be ABLE. So if there are skills missing or personal work to do first? Get it sorted first.


I don't think you polybombed him. I just don't think Ben is on board with polyamory. If you proceed knowing that Ben is not consenting though, it does become unethical. Lots of people are okay with other forms of non-monogamy and not okay with polyamory so it may just be that you and Ben's ideal non-monogamous set up is incompatible. So I think that leaves you needing to decide what is more important to you. Polyamory or your relationship with Ben?


Date 1:1. Expecting someone you like to like your partner and have sex with them in the first month of dating is too much to ask.


Dating as a package deal is abusive. That needs to be out of the question. So your choices are monogamy or healthy polyamory (dating separately). Which did your husband agree to?


Ben is forcing you both into monogamy if dating as a unit is the only way he can see doing polyamory. ​ Dating as a unit should have never been an option. You and Ben need to sort out if you are compatible long term. Something you should have probably sorted out before you got married. I would suggest you start at the basics and read some books and listen to some podcasts together. Make poly friends and community. Get into therapy and work on your relationship skills and see if there is a mutual kind and respectful ENM relationship on the table or if you could both be okay with monogamy, or if you need to go your separate ways.


Triads are the least common and hardest form of polyamory to achieve. No, it doesn't sound like you forced him into anything - it sounds more like neither of you are ready to open your relationship up this wide without doing a ton of work first. Dating together is a gray area that often leans black, meaning it's not "bad" per say, but it does raise a lot of yellow flags for those you're wanting to pursue. More often than not it implies you two are unicorn hunting. Unicorn hunting usually ends in the exact way your relationship with Tyler did - the established couple blows themselves up and the unicorn is left hurt and discarded. At this point, either you close your relationship entirely and do the work together, or accept that you have different styles of poly and your partnership may end.


This isn't polybombing because you both want polyamory. You didn't polybomb him. You just want to practice ETHICAL polyamory and your husband wants to practice UNETHICAL polyamory. Insisting on ethical polyamory isn't poly under duress. It's just avoid shitty practices that hurt people- like Tyler.


I understand your point. I will note though that Tyler and I still have a good connection. He just made the decision to end things because it was what he felt was the best move for him. No hurt feelings for him


Firstly people-pleasing will always get you in trouble. You end up doing shit that is either not what you want or out of character for who you are. That’s a self-esteem issue you need to address before you decide to date anyone else or polyamory could destroy you. Sounds dramatic but I’m really not kidding that shit gets you into trouble in monogamy. You may not see it as an issue because people will usually fall into “roles” but polyamory exposes all that. So I’d suggest contacting a polyamory friendly therapist for yourself and one for you and Ben. It’s not uncommon growing pains. Early on my spouse and I butted heads a lot because he’d try to please his new partners and wrapped up in NRE so hard he would end up trampling on my boundaries. It was little things, but you gather enough drops you make the ocean as they say. It got to the point I pulled out the D-word and reminded him our post-nuptial agreement strongly favors me. He was free to decide how he wanted to proceed but I’d match that energy. He opted to get himself in check and then asked to change our household dynamic completely. What we have now works for us but wouldn’t for many others every household is different and you have to figure out what your NEW normal is. IMO you’re both not ready to date anyone as there is no agreed upon plan now on how to move forward. You don’t have to consent to be in a triad and it’s good you realized your limitations…..but Ben equally doesn’t have to consent to be with you and be polyamorous. If he says that he doesn’t want to be excluded from anyone you date and that’s a deal breaker…it’s fucked up and messed up on his part but that’s his right to feel that way too. Monogamy is a better choice for some people. Depending on what he says it could possibly be the end of your relationship together, but without shared agreements you have no foundation. This is a new relationship for all intents and purposes…what you had before is technically over, dead and set on fire. So until you two figure out what your plan is, how you will behave and how Ben will it’s unethical to drag anyone else into that. Dating solo or not.


I was Tyler in this situation and they still paint me as the villian for leaving. Lol


I'm sorry to hear that. I understand that love isn't everything. Sometimes what is best isn't always being in a relationship where your needs aren't being met.


Is there an update?


Sure. Thanks for asking. Ben and I are now separated while he works on stuff in individual therapy. We tried couples therapy for awhile, but it started to feel like a tool for only talking about things he didn't like about my decisions/actions. Tyler and I still talk regularly and hang out, but he was pretty clear that he isn't interested in a relationship with me while Ben is still my husband. Both Ben and I are now dating solo, with an agreement that if someone (other than us) is interested in dating together, we can explore dating together in a more intentional way. We still fundamentally disagree about our approach to polyam. Ben seeks a hierarchical structure while I will only exercise non hierarchical polyam.


You are absolutely right. Thank you for that.


Just another unicorn hunting story that went wrong. Who could imagine?


Your are correct to be critical. We started the process without educating ourselves. I've since read all the resources in this sub and am well aware of the ethical issues around unicorn hunting. That was before I ever even thought of posting here. While your critique is correct, it's not really adding anything here. Thanks 💚


The issue is that you don't seem to have a ton of empathy for Tyler. You insist in the comments that's he's fine (and I hope he is! I'm glad he left). I think some folks might be hoping to see more interest in not hurting people, instead of worrying over "polybombing" your husband, who doesn't seem ready to do a polyamorous relationship.


I understand what you are saying. Tyler and I talked at length after the break up, and we both got closure. It happened a few weeks ago and isn't fresh. While he is in my heart and on my mind, he has already moved on. My concern rn is my actions and how I can be a better partner in the future. I'm aware there were many things wrong with seeking a third and making all these decisions without any discussion with the person. Hope that helps


Is this real?


Why wouldn't it be?


Because Ben is so classically terrible and you treated Tyler awfully but you don’t mention it in your post. Asking if you’ve poly bombed your husband is missing the forest for the trees, your husband comes off as a walking red flag in this story, and your naïveté is so strong here that it’s blowing my mind. I guess it just made your story unbelievable to me and I thought it could be a troll. But I guess you really just married this guy and treated this other guy like shit and just walked away under the impression it was all small mistake? Your life is blowing up here but you are kind of talking about it as if it isn’t.


>and you treated Tyler awfully but you don’t mention it in your post Is this from my saying I had meltdowns over the phone? I meant I was having panic attacks and crying. I never treated him poorly and always tried to be as open as I could once I worked through those feelings. However, there was a lot going on in the background that he didn't know, but still could feel. After the breakup, Tyler explained that the only reason he broke it off with me is because he didn't want to cause issues between Ben and I.


OP is sharing openly that they’re learning and understand mistakes made. Do you want them to self flagellate themselves to prove how big of a mistake it was??? How exactly is shaming helping here? Plenty of people already gave feedback without the shame. This is an educational/advice/community forum.


Actually tbh I don’t feel bad about what I said. If you do it’s a personal problem. If I were to fuck up as badly as OP did and sought out advice from total strangers on the internet, I would be able to stomach “this was all such terrible behavior that I can’t even believe it’s real.” I think OP is gonna be just fine after reading my comments and so are you.


You're not fixing shit you're just making people feel worse. I do not see why you think there is merit in that.


Not everything is merited or unmerited. Sometimes you just care about something that another human being doesn’t care about. Nothing you’re saying is gonna make me care 🤷🏾‍♂️ be well


As first forays into poly go, this isn't really that bad. You weren't terrible as unicorn hunters and you learned how that type of relationship really doesn't work. Adding a third to an established married couple is fraught with problems, as you found out. Use the experience to read up on unicorns and share what you learn with Ben. I think when most people understand it from more than their own desires and perspective, they realize how dating together really doesn't work and why it's looked down on in the poly community. Do the work, together and on your own, to get to the point where you are both comfortable dating separately if you want to stay with Ben and have poly work for you.