when the person you love already has a primary relationship

Another day, another thought.

Am reading one of those stupid, poison-ridden Reddit dramas. This one about a woman mad that her newly wed husband chose to spend Thanksgiving with his mother over her.

I agree with her that it sucks. She doesn’t get along with her MIL, and now she loses her husband for the holidays to her.

But I wish she’d understood something from the beginning:

You aren’t going to have an easy primary relationship with someone who has another primary, unless YOU have a relationship with them, too.

Does this mean you have to be best friends with everyone your partner loves and cares for?

No, this doesn’t mean you have to be their best friend. A lot of times, people new to non monogamy or polyamory think a triad means everyone loves everyone equally. Not true.

I can very well date a married partner, without having much of a relationship with their spouse at all. The thing is, I can’t really do that if their spouse hates me.

I can’t date a man who loves his mother, if his mother despises me.

Or a woman with children whose children I cannot stand to be near.

Or rather, I can, but not without a lot of pain and consequences.

When someone has existing primary relationships, be it a romantic partner, family members, children, maybe a work wife or husband? That means that person or persons is part of their life… which means if you join in, they’ll be part of your life, too.

If they cannot stand you, or vice versa? That person you love will inevitably be put in a position to choose. Every day. Holidays. Important moments.

Sometimes- maybe most times- they’ll choose you. But it will be a constant choice. Which translates to constant strain. Which when you consider most relationships have rough periods– prepare for an additional 15-20% extra difficulty.

…and perhaps plan to spend a few holidays without them.

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