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-   -   Poly dissolving a strong marriage (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10818)

idrider47 06-10-2011 11:07 PM

Poly dissolving a strong marriage
 
Hi everyone.
I am like a lot of folks here, have spent some time reading and learning, but this is actually my first post.

I'm married to RunBabyRun for 20 years now. We're in a really good place and considering opening the relationship.

I have been paying a lot of attention to the issues that come up and how people handle them. I have seen a lot of worry and jealousy over sharing a partner, and the huge fear that they will meet someone more interesting and leave the marriage or primary relationship. I've seen a lot of times the response is that, when done properly, a poly relationship actually makes spouses feel closer than they were before.

Do any of you have experiences you'd be willing to share where it happened that a strong relationship was opened with both parties on board for poly relationships, and it actually did happen where one of the partners found someone they were more attracted to where they ended up disolving the marriage over it?

NeonKaos 06-10-2011 11:27 PM

Mags? I think this one's for you.

GroundedSpirit 06-11-2011 12:55 PM

My thoughts.........

If a relationship is not a good fit in the first place, it's only a question of time before "something" becomes the straw that breaks the camel's back.
And it should - so it's often a blessing in disguise.
Why should two people go through life miserable (at least semi) and fight to hang on to something that doesn't suit either one.
Both deserve more.

Let it be.............

GS

Magdlyn 06-11-2011 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeonKaos (Post 85659)
Mags? I think this one's for you.

Heh, hi, Neon.

Yeah, it wasn't just the new woman tho... we had a lot of issues. We thought we were in a strong good place, but it turned out my ex and I, well... we grew apart, had different communication styles, we didn't deal well with the jealousy and the NRE. We opened, and then closed our relationship, did a lot of counseling, and nurturing things like dating each other, long trips, music concerts, etc, but we just couldnt make it work anymore. It just so happened the woman he'd dated when we were poly was still around when he and I broke up.

But poly didn't kill our relationship, is my point.

nycindie 06-11-2011 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by idrider47 (Post 85655)
I have been paying a lot of attention to the issues that come up and how people handle them. I have seen a lot of worry and jealousy over sharing a partner, and the huge fear that they will meet someone more interesting and leave the marriage or primary relationship. I've seen a lot of times the response is that, when done properly, a poly relationship actually makes spouses feel closer than they were before.

Do any of you have experiences you'd be willing to share where it happened that a strong relationship was opened with both parties on board for poly relationships, and it actually did happen where one of the partners found someone they were more attracted to where they ended up disolving the marriage over it?

I think the way you are looking at it is a bit skewed. If someone leaves a relationship, it would be for more reasons and flaws in the relationship itself, I believe. Your ideas that: there would be more attraction for one and less attraction for another which then threatens a relationship; finding someone more interesting than a current partner would be a reason to leave; or that a partner can be "shared" (implying ownership); all indicate a very monogamous mindset. Sure, all of these are possibilities (but not owning someone), but I would hazard a guess that most people who are comfortable with polyamory enjoy the variety.

That's kind of the whole point!

If you have certain interests that one partner doesn't share you can enjoy them with someone else -- but that doesn't take away from what is there with the others partner(s). One can have lots of different kinds of relationship dynamics with different kinds of people and different levels of physical/intellectual/emotional attraction for each of them - yet accept and enjoy them all for who they are, rather than comparing and saying, "which is better?" That is so mono to boil it down to something that implies a choice must be made. Poly is a wonderful opportunity to experience a smorgasbord of people and relationships!

sage 06-11-2011 10:32 PM

Hi

Are you wanting reassurances, guarantees or strategies to prevent this fear of yours happening?

Sorry, but there are no guarantees, not about this, not about much in life actually, except maybe having your toaster replaced if it's faulty. I have heard of it happening although I wasn't close enough to be able to comment on the ins and outs of the situation.

Reassurances: It isn't very common. Red pepper said it and my partner feels exactly the same; polypeople don't stop loving in the same way that mono people do. Unless they have been very hurt they generally don't stop loving they just add loves, their hearts have a capacity to keep expanding to include. The concept of moving on to greener pastures is very much a mono concept.

Personally what I have found being in an essentially poly/mono relationship (me being the mono)is that I have grown more in the past three years than in the 28 years I was with my supposedly mono husband. Sure that might be due to other things but if you're open-minded and just relax into it, being around polyamorous people seems to make you more interesting.

idrider47 06-12-2011 04:22 PM

Hi All
Thanks so much for jumping in and giving me your honest opinions. I really like how the people on this forum are caring and kind.

As I proceed further down this path, I am continuing to find just how trained my mind is to think mono. I'm definitely not looking for assurances or expecting guarantees. I'm in a long term, committed relationship that I strongly value. I want to open my mind and continue to grow as a person, and I want to do it in a way that will not bring harm to that relationship. In reading many threads here, it felt like there was a missing perspective, or so I thought.

All the responses to my questions have given me things to think about and work through as I try to stick a crow-bar into the mind and pry it open from years of conditioning towards mono. It honestly never occurred to me that, in a poly way of thinking, a person wouldn't have to come to a decision, to pick one relationship over another, but instead would just have both. Thanks to all for pointing this out, as this has been transformative in my thinking. Why in the world would a poly person leave a loving relationship for another when they could have both, or get caught up in comparing or somehow ranking relationship. I completely agree with the thought to just enjoy all relationships for what they are and leave it at that. I'm sure all this just shows my poly-immaturity, and that I have a long way to go to shed the mono conditioning.

I'm sure this won't be the last time I need help with the crow-bar. Thanks! ;)

Kommander 06-13-2011 11:07 PM

Even when people do break the "I have to choose one or the other" state of mind, there still seems to be a ranking system a lot of the time. Personally, I prefer to describe relationships as "different" rather than rank them, but it does kind of fall into that pattern despite my best efforts. Even if I can avoid ranking people, I still get it on the other end. Currently, I refer to my various interactions as "friendships." However, one girl could be considered "primary," and I'm secondary to her. At times it's stressful that the other guy always comes first, and I feel unimportant sometimes. Overall though, I'm very happy with the situation, and she does give me more than enough attention.

I guess the point is: All relationship formats have various benefits and difficulties. The important part is how we deal with those difficulties, not what the difficulties are.

nycindie 06-14-2011 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by idrider47 (Post 85848)
Why in the world would a poly person leave a loving relationship for another when they could have both, or get caught up in comparing or somehow ranking relationship. I completely agree with the thought to just enjoy all relationships for what they are and leave it at that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xared (Post 86176)
. . . there still seems to be a ranking system a lot of the time. Personally, I prefer to describe relationships as "different" rather than rank them, but it does kind of fall into that pattern despite my best efforts. Even if I can avoid ranking people, I still get it on the other end.

Yeah, you will see lots of references to primary, secondary, etc. Many (but certainly not all!) poly people do rank their relationships, but my understanding of that philosophy is that it's not based on a any criteria of who's "better" or more... something???..., but rather the amount of time or investment there can be given to that relationship. I think it's the relationship that is really ranked more than the person, if that makes sense. Sometimes a relationship cannot be primary simply because it is long-distance, for example. For many, I've learned, the primary person is a spouse with whom finances and child-rearing responsibilities are shared, and the other relationships are called secondary or tertiary based on the amount of responsibility or some other significance that puts the primary as being central.

Personally, for me, as a solo person living on my own and desiring to remain independent, I am dating and hoping to meet a few guys I can establish ongoing relationships with. I realized recently that I really don't care what designation I have been given by them, as long as I am treated with respect. If someone considers me a tertiary because we can only get together once a month or even less often, fine, as long as when we're together, it feels like I have his full attention and we are fully enjoying the moments we have together. Of course, that will be easier when I have other relationships with which to occupy myself. Right now, I'm taking it a step at a time. The guys I have been dating since embracing poly, and those I hope to continue seeing now, are so different from each other! And although each engenders varying responses and levels of excitement in me, they are all equally as important to me (not that there are that many right now, but I'm thinking about several guys whom I dated recently as well as some new "hopefuls" :D), so I prefer not to use any kind of ranking system or hierarchy when I consider them.

Kommander 06-14-2011 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 86201)

Yeah, you will see lots of references to primary, secondary, etc. Many (but certainly not all!) poly people do rank their relationships, but my understanding of that philosophy is that it's not based on a any criteria of who's "better" or more... something???..., but rather the amount of time or investment there can be given to that relationship. I think it's the relationship that is really ranked more than the person, if that makes sense. Sometimes a relationship cannot be primary simply because it is long-distance, for example. For many, I've learned, the primary person is a spouse with whom finances and child-rearing responsibilities are shared, and the other relationships are called secondary or tertiary based on the amount of responsibility or some other significance that puts the primary as being central.

Yeah, I do get that. It's more of a personal preference. I like to avoid the ranking system as much as possible mostly because, even if it does just describe how relationships naturally develop, it's still putting them in order. "Different" just sounds better to me.

Although, as much as I don't like it, I do sometimes have to, like with my previous post. There's no avoiding it, I guess.


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