Advice – I am struggling with my husband’s girlfriend who moved into our house.

My husband and I have been married about 10 years. We’ve been completely open to the idea of polyamory the entire time. Each of us has seen others before, but never for long periods of time. We’ve done a few things as sex only with others as well. Some separate, some together.

A little over a year ago my husband met someone (before COVID19) and they hit it off really well. I liked her, and she seemed to get along well with the kids and such. I loved the fact that my husband was smiling more, and just seemed happier. I know that he doesn’t get AS much attention from me sometimes as we have kids, I have a job, etc… So it was great to see, and I loved him being in a great mood.

Over the summer she moved in (probably sooner than she should but COVID19 kind of screwed up all sorts of things…). I did everything I could to make her feel welcome, even made sure she got enough sleeping time next to him so she didn’t feel left out. This is what we’d really been talking about for years, so putting it all together seemed like a “finally!”

Well not too long after I started feeling very out of place in my own home. I felt almost like a third wheel, like I was just getting in the way. I chatted with them and we all started making changes.

Then I started to get to know her more and realized some of her beliefs are FAR off from mine, or what I would consider a decent human being to believe. I was really thrown off and got pretty mad. I talked to my husband about it because I couldn’t believe he would want to date someone like that. He said that we all see the world differently and as long as she isn’t pushing her opinions on others it was fine.

I also told him her anger issues were going to drive me bonkers. She goes from 0-60 in seconds and sometimes over things I can’t even understand. I feel like I am walking on thin sheets of glass trying to not get them to break while I am around her. Making my decisions based on what won’t piss her off.

Fast forward a few more months. She gets more comfortable, starts reprimanding the kids (more harshly than I), even before I can start a sentence to stop them doing what they are doing.

I finally realized how she REALLY makes me feel. It’s like I am in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone I’m not even in a relationship with! And as someone that has been in a horrid relationship even worse than this, it’s really hard.

Part of me wants this to work. I want my husband happy. I like the extra effort of help around the house. And she and I DO get along often, go shopping (ish… COVID19), watch TV shows, etc… and she CAN be great with the kids. But the other part of me is SO SAD. I am emotionally exhausted. I want my husband back, but I am terrified he will stop being happy. I want my house back. I don’t want to make all my decisions based on others.

I’ve talked to my husband about it so many times. I hate continuing to bring it up. I think he’s blinded by a new relationship as well as the fact that he doesn’t think exactly like I do.

Am I just being selfish? Am I overreacting? I mean I DO have mental health issues (anxiety, PTSD) that maybe are blinding my view. Is there a way for someone like me to fix this? I’m so stuck at this roadblock feeling like there is no good option to make. Kicking her out would be a huge mess. She’s so integrated into our lives. And what if he goes back to not being as happy as he is now? (Keep in mind we have realized the things we as a couple need to work on since this started and are doing that. So HOPEFULLY we wouldn’t go back to exactly the way we were, even though where we were wasn’t BAD.) What if he resents me? I don’t want him to have to go through such a loss.

Please someone give me some feedback.

Munchkin Goggles, Reddit.

Dear Munchkin Goggles,

It sounds like you have been doing an immense amount of behind-the-scenes emotional labor associated with not just the changes in your relationship with your husband but his new partner who moved in rather quickly due to the pandemic circumstances. Imbedded in that transition is a multitude of loss – a loss of the pre-pandemic family life, a loss of ability to authentically occupy your space, a loss of control over your emotional landscape. It is important to acknowledge the underlying grief in those losses and transitions.

The pandemic in and of itself contributes heavily to the emotional exhaustion we all feel. We are currently in the middle of a global traumatic event that will determine much of our adulthood, well past the end of 2020. Constant risk assessment, everyday effusion of mortality, and the uncertainty of the post-pandemic future is both an active and a passive drain on our emotional reserves.

One of the other reasons you feel that way is because you unfortunately have very little agency in your husband’s relationship with his girlfriend. Even if your husband’s girlfriend is emotionally abusive, you can only limit your own and your children’s engagement with his girlfriend, which is obviously further limited in scope by the current shared living space.

Another reason you feel that way is because of how his relationship reflects on your husband. You said that neither of you had serious long-term partners even though you’ve been doing non-monogamy for some time. And deeply embedded in your exhaustion is the dissociation around why he chose someone who is so different from who you are. Internally reconciling that moral and philosophical difference takes time and energy, even if unaccounted for.

I sincerely hope that you can find some restorative space to heal and recover when you aren’t busy being a great mother to your children, a great partner to your husband, and a great pup-parent to your dog.

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

We must also discuss how you envision your parenthood directly conflicts with the role your metamour has taken on in such a short amount of time.

As you have experienced, intermixing polyamory with childrearing intensely complicates both polyamory and childrearing. It is why many polyfolks decide to hold off on introducing any new partners to their children until the relationship has solidified. It helps to create a buffer between their love lives and their family lives. You did not specify what type of previous discussions you and your husband have had about the possibility of a polycule household. But it is evident that maintaining a poly household has been very different in practice than in theory. And it is clear that you’ve gathered quite a bit of present evidence on how your landscape might look in the future.

In the process of gathering evidence, you have outlined several points of data that seem to indicate that your husband’s partner might not be a great fit for how you want to raise your children. In specific, stepping in to reprimand your children even before you – their mother – have had an opportunity to intervene reflects a major disconnect between how different you, your husband, and your metamour each envision her role as it pertains to your children. It is also very, very important to note that she has only had a couple months of seeing how you and your husband parent together. That is nowhere near enough time to study how she fits into a possible co-parenting role. Unless you’ve had an extensive discussion about the role your metamour was to take on in regards to childrearing, it might have felt so disempowering and upsetting to see someone new significant disrupt your parenting style.

Another thing to consider is that children quickly absorb the personal values and worldviews of those around them, especially if they are trusted adults. You did not clarify how vast the moral differences were between you and your metamour. But we as parents absolutely need to be mindful of the values we surround our children with, especially if those values could be harmful to their maturation and growth.

Another important point of note is how she behaves around your dog.

You mentioned that she hit your dog. Similar to the disconnect in your respective childrearing philosophies, that disconnect clearly extends to your respective pet-rearing philosophies.

Many researches show that “using harsh punishment based techniques to change behaviour is frequently counterproductive.” One of the reasons why pain- and stress-based training regiment fails is because high levels of chronic stress greatly inhibits a pet’s ability to learn and retrieve memories. This is one of the reasons why many current obedience training revolves around positive reinforcement and positive habit forming. You mentioned that she treats her own dog this way, and that too is not a good sign for things to come. It just merely reinforces that what happened with your dog was not an aberration but a continuing pattern of behavior that is incompatible with how you want to raise your pets.

Most importantly, it is not your metamour’s responsibility to train or reprimand your own dog, much like it is not your metamour’s responsibility to educate or parent your own children. She didn’t have a say in adopting your dog. That responsibility falls on you and your husband’s alone. And it is clear that your metamour has overstepped both pet-rearing and childrearing boundaries.

One of the concepts that come up often in this column – and with polyamory in general – is the role and responsibilities of a hinge partner.

Inter-relational conflicts commonly appear as metamour problems, rather than as hinge partner problems because an improper or inexperienced hinge partner can perpetuate those issues. It is a hinge partner’s role and responsibility to facilitate and manage their multiple relationships.

No two people will see eye-to-eye on every single issue. What is more important is to consider if your respective perspectives are close enough that you can arrive to a compromise with your metamour. It is especially challenging in this case because not only do you and your husband need to compromise on each of your respective parenting styles, but also need to compromise with your metamour’s parenting style as well.

I am very, very curious what your husband’s reaction was to discovering that his girlfriend hit his dog and reprimanded his kids in such a way.

Based on what you have shared, I gather that your husband – as a hinge partner – has failed to properly step up to do what was expected of him. There is a world of difference between recognizing the difference in each person’s view and quite another perpetuating the difference in each person’s worldview. The first acknowledges and celebrates the differences and the second breeds unnecessary contempt and conflict. It can be difficult to stay grounded in the midst of NRE, but he absolutely needs to step more into the role of a father, a pet owner, and a hinge partner to enforce proper boundaries, to renegotiate conflicting agreements, and to set the tempo for how his household is run. Doing anything less than that is naive at best, neglectful at worst.

That was all a really long way of saying that You Are Not Overreacting.

Underneath that initial layer of guilt and self-shame lies the ever-present ambivalence. Clearly, there are some positive aspects to your husband’s relationship (“I loved him being in a great mood.”) as well as her presence bringing obvious benefits (“I like the extra effort of help around the house.”). But it is brought down by a deep-rooted resentment for her general disrespect for your previously established boundaries in a home that you have already nested in. That resentment is anchored around your emotional exhaustion, which then feeds into your difficulty around actively addressing problems in your poly household through your hinge partner.

This is just one part of your emotional burnout.

In his groundbreaking 1974 study, Herbert J. Freudenberger identified three major components of emotional burnout: emotional exhaustion, decreased sense of accomplishment, and depersonalization. We have already talked extensively about your emotional exhaustion, but there are also signs of other two components as well.

Specifically, “decreased sense of accomplishment” is manifesting in the disempowerment in your own relationship with your husband. It could be that your reticence to bring this up again with your husband is because you see so little improvement or changes. It is also manifesting in the perceived lack of control over your own decisions (“I’m so stuck at this roadblock feeling like there is no good option to make.“). The “depersonalization” on the other hand is manifesting through the depletion of empathy and detachment you feel towards your own place in your home (“Well not too long after I started feeling very out of place in my own home.“).

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

Now that we have fully fleshed out what you are experiencing, let’s finally talk about what you can do.

In a recent episode of Unlocking Us, Brene Brown interviewed Drs. Emily and Amelia Nagoski about emotional burnout and the process of completing the stress cycle. I strongly recommend that you give that episode a listen. In that episode, they discussed that removing the stressor doesn’t mean the stress cycle is complete. So even if your stressor – your metamour in this case – moves out, that doesn’t mean your stress cycle is complete. You are still in the middle of your stress cycle.

The only way a stress cycle is completed is through fully experiencing the breadth of the emotions that accompany the stress itself. It can be as simple as a twenty second hug from a loved one, or as intense as going on a run. Sometimes, competing your stress cycle can look like scream-cry during a solo drive, a routine yin yoga with plenty of breathing exercises, or a creative expression such as writing a 2700-word advice column for a complete stranger. Whatever it is, it is very important to allow yourself to complete the cycle of your internalized stress.

In addition to completing your stress cycle, I also advise you to outline what you have experienced and engage in a meaningful conversation about how this past year has gone. 2021 is finally upon us. So take time to revisit how 2020 has gone, outline what did & didn’t work in 2020, and lay out what your goals & expectations are for the brand new 2021. That doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone has to move out, de-escalate, or end their relationships.

But it does mean that things can no longer simply continue as is.

Lastly, I want to touch on this comment (“Kicking her out would be a huge mess. She’s so integrated into our lives.“). This is a simple manifestation of the sunk cost fallacy. It is a false narrative we tell ourselves. Just because we have already invested so much time and energy into something doesn’t mean that it needs to continue even as it is no longer a fulfilling or rewarding endeavor. In the same way, just because you spent a lot of time and energy trying to be okay doesn’t mean that you are or will be okay. It isn’t like she is going to get any less integrated into your lives as long as she continues to be a very dysfunctional part of your lives.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – My partner and my metamour are leaving me behind.

Hello, so I am in a poly relationship where my friend and I are dating the same person but not each other. We have been living together for a couple years now and things have been good, a few bad moments but they were all resolved after we all would sit and talk about it.

Recently, we all have been planning on doing a nomadic life style by getting one vehicle for us and our 3 cats to travel in. We have been talking about it, planning it and even went to see a few places to see what our options are. We all were really excited about doing this cause we don’t like the state we live in, we just never felt like it was home.

One day though I went for a walk and I was planning on telling my mom the news, my partner asked where I was and I told them the situation, but before I could my partner stopped me and said not to tell her and to come home. They wouldn’t go into details so I was expecting the worst. After coming home I was sat down by both my partner and my friend saying that they decided to change the plan and instead of all of us going together, it would just be my partner and my friend getting the vehicle and they would travel together without me.

They said I could get my own vehicle and I could do my own thing and at some point when they are done doing what they want to do they will come back and we can meet up again or I could just do my own thing with my own vehicle.

I already told them that I felt betrayed because they made a major decision on something all of us were a part of and they didn’t even consider that I should be part of the conversation. They already talked and made up their minds so I literally couldn’t and can’t really stop them. They did apologize after though.

I do want to add that my friend wants to do something very personal on the trip. The reasoning they had on changing the plan was because it was hard finding something that would accommodate all 3 of us and the cats, so it gives more options to them if it’s just them two. Also my partner is planning on leaving their cat with me to take care of while they do this trip.

I never got unemployment even though I’m eligible and I do have a full time job, but before the pandemic I had 2 jobs and after all the expenses I have to pay for I don’t really have much left over to save a good amount and the same applies now with my current job.

I want to leave my state, I hate and have always hated living here so getting my own vehicle and leaving sounds ideal. But because of the pandemic I don’t really know if leaving is such a good idea. Not only that but my partner and friend have unemployment and haven’t been working since March. They have been getting more money they ever made in their jobs and they have all this flexibility to plan and research all day long to do this.

While I on the other hand am working 40 hours a week, making 9 dollars a hour and I can barely pay a months worth of rent on my first pay check. I work from 9-6 5 days a week and when I’m done I’m so tired and mentally exhausted that I can’t do research or even plan for doing this.

My partner said that there is no guarantee that they will do this by April (that’s when our lease ends). They might postpone it. But I still feel like I’m being left behind and that I’m just dead weight. I don’t know maybe I’m just over thinking this, my biggest fear is living alone and that’s going to be my reality in 8 months so maybe I’m just scared.

I understand why my friend wants to do this voyage and I understand why my partner wants to be there with her on a personal trip, but I still feel like I was wronged and it doesn’t seem fair, but I don’t know these times are very scary and uncertain so I don’t really know how to feel anymore.

I’m sad, scared and I feel like I was tossed to the side. But there’s another part of me that understands their reasoning.

Am I over thinking this?

/u/OtterSupport, /r/polyamory
Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Dear Otter Support,

The pain that you feel appears to be deeply rooted in a sense of betrayal and abandonment. After all, you three have already committed to a collective plan to leave behind your current state to travel as a polycule. You did not go into detail about what personal feat your friend/metamour would be accomplishing on this trip. But I do have a difficult time understanding whatever it is necessitating your exclusion from this entire trip.

Based on what you have shared, I gather that there is a sense of resentment that you are experiencing through the current income/work imbalance, where you are still working full-time while they are collecting unemployment benefits at home. That aspect does open your polycule up to a significant emotional resource imbalance, which you are seeing through the travel plans they have altered.

Then there is the financial aspect that also needs to be addressed.

I want to use this post to go into more detail about each of those conflict points – altered travel plans, household labor, and financial aspect – before we can talk about what you can do to remedy this situation.

Photo by Lu00ea Minh on Pexels.com

The Un-Invitation

I get the sense that your polycule has mostly operated as a unit – you, your friend/metamour, and your shared partner – when making life decisions. It is as present even how you describe the initial travel plans. And when they communicated their intention to travel without you, that decision could have been a bit of a glass-shattering moment for you. As you laid out, this was a plan that involved everyone. And for your partner and your metamour to make a decision that had such a big implication for you was not only hurtful but also quite dispassionate.

At any point, your partner or your metamour could have approached you about how difficult it is to find housing/traveling accommodations for three people and three cats. But instead of communicating with you in a timely manner, they only approached you after they’ve already made their collective decision about you to exclude you. To further elaborate, they even made a decision about your transportation method while they were on their trip. I’ll get more into why this part is so troubling in the next section.

In essence, they are also asking you to be fine with being alone with the cats they too are responsible for. That is a lot of labor you did not sign up for in order to be in this relationship with your partner, at a cost you do not have to accept.

You said that you understand why your metamour wants to go on this trip and why your partner wants to accompany her. So it sounds like you logically understand and empathize with their decision, but you are struggling with coming to terms emotionally with the feeling of exclusion from a trip that is still early on its planning phase.

Photo by Kehn Hermano on Pexels.com

Labor Imbalance

Pet ownership is a serious commitment. Their companionship is one that is predicated on their well-being and faith in our ability as pet owners to take reasonable and good care of them at all times. You said that your partner already decided to leave their cat with you while they are on this trip. That is, again, expecting you to do a lot of labor that you do not have to consent to.

What’s more important to discuss here is the growing sense of resentment toward your partner and your metamour that started growing even before this travel plans started materializing. You are still working eight to nine hours a day five days a week, whereas your partner and metamour are not. Instead, you believe that they’re using this moment of laborless income to research more on planning this trip. I want to get away from whether or not that’s actually true, but talk more broadly about how you feel about the current emotional capital imbalance.

Labor balance should be inversely time-reflective, not directly income-reflective. The household chores should be based on the hours they don’t work, rather than the money they earn. The more “free time” they have, more of it should be represented in the household chores they do.

Since you are still working forty hours a week, they should ensure that you have minimal chores to do when you are at home. Unemployment benefits are not perpetual. But even if they continue to earn laborless income through unemployment benefits, they still have a lot more free time to help out with the household chores they might not have been responsible for in the past when they were all working.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

Money and Pandemic

It sounds like you definitely have a pulse read on your household finances. And I see a lot of difficult financial decisions ahead of everyone.

Both your partner and your metamour are currently unemployed. How do they plan on funding this trip? With the unemployment checks they’re collecting? In most US states, unemployment certification only applies if they are still actively looking for work but cannot find work. I don’t believe that they’ll get to claim unemployment benefits while traveling since they aren’t also actively looking for work. Not only that, but it looks like unless the Senate Republicans get their sense in order, the unemployment benefits are set to expire this week for majority of the 1.5 million Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week. Additionally, what do they intend on doing with the current place of residence? Do they just expect you to re-sign the lease while pitching in for their share of the rent? Or do they plan on letting the lease expire while expecting you to hold on to all their stuff while you struggle to make your own ends meet?

I also have a lot of questions on how they plan to manage their COVID transmission risk while they’re traveling. I understand that April is quite some time away. But unless an affordable COVID vaccine becomes readily available, they’ll be constantly exposing themselves to new and unknown vectors of COVID transmission. What is their plan just in case one or either of them contract COVID while they’re traveling? How do they plan on managing that transmission risk level when they eventually return?

I also want to talk about the vehicle situation. What did they mean when they said you could “do your own thing with your own vehicle”? Are they saying that you should get your own car? With what money?

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com

What should you do?

Talking about this all the way through with your partner needs to happen. You need a better understanding on why there was this massive gorge of a communicative disconnect before you can talk about the actual disconnect. You are entitled a robust explanation so that you may start preparing emotionally and financially before April.

Talking things out loud with your metamour might also be a good idea. There was a real sense of “me vs. them” in your story and that should really be embraced and resolved before it becomes resentment.

Once you’ve discussed with both of the affected parties, you should start thinking about adjusting your expectations with both your partner and with your metamour. If they are willing to exclude you from a trip that initially involved all three of you without involving you in the discussion, what else are they willing to exclude you from without your involvement? If it means altering your relationship agreement, restructuring your personal boundaries, or erecting some new ones, do so while including everyone on what you personally decide are your own fault lines.

I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. You deserved a much more collective approach to problem solving than a unilateral decision.

Good luck.

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!

Advice – My boyfriend says I cannot leave him alone with my dog.

“I have a dog who was abused in his past and now has behavioral issues. He is very attached to me and doesn’t like when I leave. My BF moved in about 8 months ago, and whenever I leave to go anywhere- the gym, hike, see friends- and my boyfriend is home, the dog pesters him and won’t relax or leave him alone until I get home. I guess he follows him and pants and whines and won’t just lay down and be quiet. I’m not sure what I would do in my BF’s position. He says he just wants a quiet place to lay down and I don’t blame him. When the dog is sectioned away from him, he either barks or has accidents. This is very distressing for me. My BF always lets me know there’s trouble and I feel like I need to leave wherever I am and come back home.

But from my end, it sucks that I can’t go anywhere. I’ve resorted to taking the dog with me places like CVS to pick up meds and instead of going to the gym, hiking the dog. Today we had a big fight about it as I told him this all makes me feel really controlled like I can’t have my freedoms and I can’t go anywhere or see friends (pre- and post-pandemic) because this has been going on for a long time. What is the right thing where? Am I being unreasonable? I understand my BF’s side- he wants to feel relaxed and safe in his own house and not bothered by the dog.

The dog also can’t go to dog parks right now cause of the pandemic and he is even more anxious than usual. He is not aggressive in the slightest but rather painfully anxious and he jumps up when he hears car doors slam because he thinks it’s me. We don’t have a yard for the dog to go outside in. My BF has gone so far as to say that if I insist on going places and leaving him with the dog, he may want to live somewhere else. I am so deeply wounded by this. We are/were planning a life together. He says that I am threatening his psychological well being by not allowing him to have a quiet place to lay down. I know that my dog is an anxious handful. Yes he already has doggie Xanax. What should I do here?”

/u/didntstartthefire on /r/relationship_advice.

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

Dear Didn’t Start the Fire,

Poor little anxious pup.

One of the most challenging aspects of any relationship is in establishing healthy boundaries, enforcing those agreed-upon boundaries, and developing contingency plans for the unexpected. It can be difficult to communicate, especially in such pressured times like this. But it is an absolute necessity in order for you to have a healthy relationship. And I don’t mean just your relationship with your boyfriend. I also mean this in regards to your relationship with your dog as well.

My dog also used to have mild separation anxiety symptoms – symptoms that I know will come back once life gets back to normal. And my vet friend once told me to consider putting a blanket on top of his crate and crate him even when I was home. She told me that doing so could help normalize his crate space as his living space rather than a space he has to go to be alone. The first couple times were very challenging, but he eventually got used to his crate to the point where he’d just chill there even when he wasn’t necessarily being “trained.”

And dog training is often like that. It seems impossible and unmanageable until it isn’t.

It sounds like your pup has severe separation anxiety. You said that your pup is already on canine Xanax. That is a good start to help manage anxiety, but it won’t be the solution to the anxiety caused by the act of separation.

Photo by Ilargian Faus on Pexels.com

There are a couple ways to actively work at fixing the core issues at hand.

First is by properly establishing expectation with yourself and your boyfriend. It is not your boyfriend’s responsibility to look after your dog; your dog is your sole responsibility. Dog ownership comes with a lot of unwritten expectations, and actively managing and training your canine companion – often at very little recognition or award – is one of those unwritten expectations. Communicate so with your partner and let him know that you’ll be managing your pup’s training on your own.

Next is by determining how you would like to manage your dog’s separation anxiety. Counterconditioning (by aligning good feelings and rewards with being alone) and desensitization (by slowly removing yourself a little further, for longer amount of time each time) are both really great places for you and your pup to start managing his separation anxiety. But if you feel that his separation anxiety is too severe for you to manage on your own, I would advise for you to contact a certified animal or a veterinary behaviorist who can help correct this behavior with you.

Once you have settled on a plan of action, stick with it. Behavior adaptation can be very difficult, especially if it is with an older dog that you’ve been with for a while. Communicate with your boyfriend that these are the steps that you’d like to follow. He does not necessarily need to participate in the correcting your pup’s behavioral routines, but he too needs to understand that you’re doing your best to manage this.

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Like I mentioned, it is wholly your responsibility to manage your dog’s anxiety, as his primary owner. So his feelings about not wanting to be around your dog while his anxiety is not as well-managed is fair. And his potential decision to live elsewhere while his constant psychological well-being is threatened by the state of your dog’s anxiety, try not to read it as a slight on your relationship. Just because you two are planning on building a life together does not necessarily mean that you two have to cohabitate in the same home together.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com. If you liked my advice for this post, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe below to get alerted when my next advice column is published!