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-   -   Can one have a 'primary' partner for whom they are not 'primary'? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1142)

rolypoly 11-05-2009 07:14 PM

Can one have a 'primary' partner for whom they are not 'primary'?
 
Something that's come up a couple times and is resurfacing again.

Having a partner in your life who for you is "primary", whatever that means for you. But, you don't have as much "importance" for them. I don't know how else to phrase it.

Just thinking out loud, really.

roly

Ceoli 11-05-2009 07:29 PM

Yep, it happens. I know a few people in that situation. It's also a situation that can work for some.

Fidelia 11-05-2009 07:32 PM

The question is whether the needs of each partner are being met. If everyone's needs are being fulfilled, there's no problem and "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

rolypoly 11-05-2009 07:58 PM

Thanks. I know it's possible and can work. Just haven't yet experienced it fully. I spent the night with 'R' last night and realize how much I love him. He cares about me too, but it's a bit complicated. He is bi, but has relationships primarily with men. We have a strong connection and I'm thinking it has meaning for me that's different than for him. I'm pretty happy being in his life in whatever capacity. The fear is, of course, what if he fell in love with a man. It would change our relationship, etc, etc... The usual poly stuff. ;)

Just amazes me how love can be just love. How loving someone can be so fulfilling in and of itself.

Ceoli 11-05-2009 08:03 PM

Here's a good piece on being a secondary:

http://www.xeromag.com/fvsecondary.html

Some of it might be useful for you.

redpepper 11-05-2009 10:05 PM

I like to think of it that way too roly, love can be just love and it can be fulfilling just to love.
I do this readily regardless if someone loves me back even a titch. I totally think they can be a primary even if you are not theirs. As long as you don't have expectations that you receive that title in return and keep yourself from being used or hurt because of it, then why not. There is nothing I like more than bestowing love on people without them knowing. Unfortunately I have been used for this trait and have to be very clear that I bestow love on my own terms, rather than theirs. It can get complicated but can be so fullfilling, as you say. I don't regret giving of myself in loving ways for one moment, regardless of the pain I have had in my life.

rolypoly 11-06-2009 02:45 AM

Ceoli, thanks for the link. Good read.

RP, I thought after I wrote all that, of course, you and Mono have a similar situation. I mean, you're married and he's monogamous with you. His needs seem to be met so...

Quote:

As long as you don't have expectations that you receive that title in return and keep yourself from being used or hurt because of it, then why not.
I definitely don't have expectations and he meets so many of my needs. The more I explore what's going on for me, I am realizing that it has absolutely nothing to do with him or the nature of our relationship. Old wounds are resurfacing and bringing a lot of sadness.

Not sure where to put the sadness or what else to do other than just recognize it's there. I need to reread that thread that River posted. ;)

...I feel like Dora Carrington and her love for Lytton Strachey. Carrington, very good movie.

MonoVCPHG 11-06-2009 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 11318)
I mean, you're married and he's monogamous with you. His needs seem to be met so...

.

Surpassed is a far more accurate word.

rolypoly 11-06-2009 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 11319)
Surpassed is a far more accurate word.

Awww!

Quote:

I do this readily regardless if someone loves me back even a titch.
RP, do you ever feel negative emotions from loving someone who only loves you a titch back? (Guilty, sheepish, silly, invasive...)??

redpepper 11-06-2009 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rolypoly (Post 11323)
Awww!



RP, do you ever feel negative emotions from loving someone who only loves you a titch back? (Guilty, sheepish, silly, invasive...)??

No I don't actually, I'm not a negative person in general really and I find that if I were to experience negative emotions because I am not getting anything in return I would really have to look at what the purpose is for my being there. That purpose doesn't have to come in the form of receiving love back. It could be any number of things... if I wanted it to be love, then I would have to look at whether or not the situation is healthy for me to be in.

I am proud that I can give without receiving directly. It gets returned to me ten fold in so many ways... I really see it as a gift to ME to love someone because of this. I have seen how it softens people in ways that I never expected and that is a big gift to everyone, not just them or me... love really does change how people think and act in the world...

Maybe I learned it from my work with people with developmental disabilities as I see it as my job to love them, take care of their needs, advocate for them and treat them with dignity and respect. That kind of giving has huge returns in the most pure, uncluttered form... there is nothing like a hug from someone with downs (for example) to know what pure, trusting love is. I could go on all day with examples from my work. I have really learned everything I needed to know from my clients in terms of trusting "individuals," not "people" in general.

Each person is different and should be trusted from day one... that trust can be broken, sure, but more often than not at this age and stage in my life, the people I met (also in my cohort) have been through stuff and know the value of trust. It really seems that I offer them a clean slate when I trusted them. One that they can then put value on using the wisdom they have learned along the way.... that trust generally seems to be respected much more than it ever did when I was young and my cohort was just starting out with the trust thing. More often than not they cherish it and use it to heal when they do everything not to break it...

Love and trust seem to go hand in hand it seems... we trust others to take care of us in our vulnerable state of loving them.. I can totally see how old wounds would resurface and old sadness. I hope that this person is worthy of your trust and takes care of your heart roly... perhaps telling him all this might help. If it doesn't fit to trust him that much then perhaps your sadness is due to the fact that he is not the right one to direct your love to in the depth that you want to give... no harm in that, it just means that you will need to make sure you are free enough to be able to give to the next person who perhaps could take care of your heart as it should be and needs to be.


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