I am married (7 years), with boyfriend (year and a half), who also has another girlfriend (a few months). They are having trouble getting along; it seems to be a matter of different needs for affection, coupled with poor communication. I have heard only his side, I see how they interact and there is definitely something wrong. He is desperately unhappy, but can’t see a way to resolve things. He’s asked me to “talk to her”, to see if I can understand her point of view better than he can and maybe clue him in.
Here’s my question. I’m not unwilling to do this, but I don’t want to overstep my bounds.. She and I get along well, and are friends. At what point can one girlfriend say to her sister-girlfriend “it seems you guys are having problems. I know he’s really upset and you don’t seem happy either. Do you want to talk about it?” Is that ever appropriate? It seems to me that polyamory is partly about building supportive community, but I also don’t want to complicate things. I like this woman, my boyfriend loves her, and it would be a shame if they split up.
Okay, I’m gonna admit my first reaction involved beating your boyfriend with a whacky-noodle and forcing him to write on sidewalk in red chalk, “I am responsible for my own relationships” for twelve blocks or until he’s Very Sorry and Promises to Behave Himself Forever. Goodness me, asking a girlfriend to be a go-between with another girlfriend? GACK! HORRORS!
But you’re not asking about your boyfriend. You’re asking about you. That’s cool, since you’re in charge of what you do and all. You say your boyfriend’s girlfriend is your friend. So, you’ve an established relationship. You’re allowed to care, certainly. You’re certainly allowed to ask her if there is anything wrong. If you whittle it down to, “It seems you guys are having some problems, do you want to talk about it?” it’s not overstepping usual bounds. Especially if you’re perfectly willing to shut the devil up and accept “no” for an answer should it come up.
Even so, this is dangerous ground.
You’re not nor should you be a go-between in relationships. Please learn from my idiotic mistakes. If you think there’s a miscommunication between partners, you can’t fix it. The only people that have a hope in the world of salvaging things are the people directly involved. Which means, not you.
There’s nothing in the world wrong with being supportive of friends. You can be supportive of each of them if your support is what they want. But for the love of Petulia, don’t become a relationship counselor to someone with whom you have a relationship.