I’ve been in a poly relationship for a few years now, with an extended polycule. Recently, there has been conflict between me and my bf’s wife’s partner (teramore?). He started being horrible and racist, and we got in this huge fight. Later he apologised for it. Now he’s decided he hates me and is at best ignoring me, at worst being openly hostile. He lives with my bf and his wife, so I have to see him every time I visit. It makes me anxious to visit my bf. What can I do?
That sounds like a really hard situation, and I’m sorry. The first thing to do is talk to your boyfriend about this. Does he have your back? If he agrees that this guy’s behavior is out of line and supports you, that’s different than if he’s conflict-averse enough to try and just ignore it. Ultimately, you don’t have a relationship with or an obligation to this teramore guy, so it’s about whether you feel supported and safe and respected by and with your boyfriend.
You have the right to refuse to be around someone who is cruel and hostile to you, so you can tell your boyfriend that you won’t be around this guy because you won’t tolerate that treatment. That could create some tension with your boyfriend, and it would certainly be less convenient if you two couldn’t spend time at his house. It could also make you look to your partner or his wife like you’re part of the problem. Those are risks you have to decide whether you want to take.
Alternatively, you could try to “rise above it” and just let him be immature and let your behavior speak for itself. If your boyfriend and his wife are people worth having in your life, they’ll recognize that someone who is obnoxiously ignoring you or being openly hostile is the one being the problem. Imagine how annoyed he would be and how gracious you would look if you just kept being pleasant despite how terribly he behaved. But of course this has to be an intentional decision on your part, not you feeling obligated to put up with someone being nasty for the sake of other people.
It’s a choice you have to make. On the one hand, you may value standing up for yourself over keeping the peace.” On the other hand, you may value your own discipline and maturity more than wanting to contribute to the tension. Whether your boyfriend shares your perspective on the situation is also valuable information to have. Either way, make the choice that you’re most proud of, that lets you be your healthiest and most authentic self.