GalaGirl: Conversations Already in Progress.
'Tis my thread. Welcome to my brain. It's conversations already in progress in here. You just jump in and try to keep up. If you can. ;)
But I wanted to have a single thread to dump the things I write to other people's posts that I want to come back to think about some more. Or things I just want to think about "out loud."
I asked my husband if he'd be ok with that (because it could give strangers peeks into our world. And he ought to know who is peeking at his panties.)
His response amused me when I asked him over email if he would be ok with it is below. We talked about it in person and then let it sit a bit and I reconfirmed before starting the thread. First panty peeks at my DH and me? And how we interact in a closed polyship of 2? With a polyamorous wired Wife and a monoamorous wired Husband that is poly-friendly?
(excerpted and expanded from this thread.)
MY INTRODUCTION TO POLY
In high school I always felt simultaneous multi-crushes, intense ones. I had relationships with several boys that were close. We did not know what else to call it so we put it in the "sister-brother" bucket but I remember the most intense one SO was not brotherly in MY mind. Neither were the others. But... at that age you go with what feels safest in your public persona. Actually a lot of people just assumed I was dating one of the guys -- it was me and 3 other boys who were all friends together. And I would have dated them all at once if I could have.
Sometimes someone would be brave enough to ask "So what's UP with you and X, Y, and Z? Are you going out with one of them?" and I'd just smile and shrug and say "Nah. We're good friends."
We all dated others and danced around it -- me never formally dating ANY of the three I most wanted to date. I don't think I could have had a "V" in high school though much less a 3 man quad! But I did have a few of those non-date dates with 2 of them -- dances, and movies, and whatnot.
The strongest, oldest crush in that trio of boys did not confess his own feelings to me until much later when we were in colleges miles apart and it no longer was an emotional threat. He had the strongest pull for me of the trio even though I cared for them all. It was sweet, but a "Damn! what could have been?" moment when he told me he would have been open to it. We have not spoken in years and his life has taken turns I do not understand but to this day I still love him from afar and wish him well in his life. Even if he doesn't know it.
My actual public HS BF? I think of him fondly too. And wish him well. He hard a hard time coping with me being Me. I'm not mad about it despite the mess it became as we struggled to keep dating in college. I needed something he could not provide at that time of his development.
That's part of why I'm so stern/strict with my limits. I love for life. I'm dog loyal on that even when relationships move on and evolve to other forms or fade away. I just don't want to be THAT loyal to all and sundry.
In college I had the start of my unnamed "V" -- that's where it ended up at after I played the field a bit. Closing down to me as the hinge of an MFM "V" structure for a few years. It was sweet. One (my future DH) did not see anyone else. The other side, my ex OSO did and I totally encouraged him because he had the hardest leg with it being LDR. I told him to find a local Sweetie and not limit himself. I did not expect exclusive. For me it just naturally fell that way. I didn't want more than the 2, DH didn't want more than the one though he could exercise the option, and ex OSO kinda HAD to exercise the option or endure a very lonely existance in LDR with me. One year, it changed to both of them being LDR to me and at that time I wondered if I wanted to exercise my option to see a local sweetie third... but I didn't. My plate was full enough as it was.
At the time I was still ignorant about vocab. I did not even know the word "polyamory!" Much less "V" or being a "hinge" person. I just knew I wanted to live and love how I wanted to live and love and nobody was going to stop me. And I was going to do it up front, honest, and ethically. As best as I could with nothing but my instinct to help me -- resources for me were nonexistent. So help me, even if it killed me, or doomed all my relationships, I was just going to be me all the way across. Loving Hard.
Then I was married and moving toward thinking of having a kid by the time the first edition of "Ethical Slut" rolled around. I was amused that it came too late for me. I was out of the dating pool!
Today? I've been in a closed polyship of 2 with DH for 16 yrs and we've been together almost 20. He was one of my college "V" arms. We're not at a place where we'd consider Opening again right now. Too much on our plates with kidcare, eldercare for aging parents, etc. But we talk a lot, and he knows how I'm wired and he loves me how I am and I love him as he is. So we're happy.
If opportunity comes to fly another polyship one more time... and we decide to take the flight? I think we'd be fine. It's been done before unnamed. Why would a Named one be different? We're still the us we are.
So my intro to poly? I'm not sure. It's always been kinda... there.
It's just been learning to roll with it and own it and live it.
I love hard. I live hard. I want to live my life full on fierce and in color and all the way out to the edges. Because I only get the one.
Life is not a dress rehearsal. :D
ON CHOOSING TO PARTNER WITH A MONO-POLY MISMATCH
(excerpt from this thread)
I cannot help what I feel when I feel it. Rain is rain. Sun is sun. Emotion is emotion. It just burbles up. I don't choose when it burbles. So just let it blow on through! Internal weather is only internal weather. So what? There's sunny days and stormy skies in there. And? It blows on through.
What I CAN control is how I choose to BEHAVE in response to that emotion.
I can choose many ways to handle internal weather so that I move to sunny days faster. And I don't mind the stormy weather if it is navigated well. When else do you get rainbows? I love the bittersweet sweet moments. They can be so tender and dear.
But whatever choice I make? It's mine to choose. And I cannot escape the consequences of my choice.
I have to own my own baggage. Everyone has to own their own bag.
When DH and I first got together? I told him I was not seeking an exclusive thing. I wanted to see others and he could too. I remember that talk because it was on the side of the education building at our college campus. It was very much a relationship of the present - no pasts, no futures. Friends, with benefits. I chose to offer him that type relationship, he chose to sign up.
We hit other crossroads and kept on choosing each other. When he had to move cities and it became an LDR thing. When I asked him to move back and move in with me. And it became a cohabitating with a roomie thing. When I asked him to choose to just be us without a roomie, to marry. When we chose to move to again, to a time/space where children could come on board too. We chose to have our kid.
It amazes me we've been together pretty much ever since those first encounters where we became friends. Changing the agreement for how to be together as needed as we kept growing and evolving in ourselves and not just in our relationship to each other. Choosing to be flexible and choosing to grow together as well as on our own.
Today? DH and I have an agreement to stay closed throughout active parenting stage of our life. I am going to stick with that. This I choose to do. This he chooses to do too. We hold up our ends of all sticks in our agreement for how we choose to be together. When it comes time to reassess, we do that.
Actually, that's one of our favorite quotes. The Tiffany Aching character thinks to herself --
I'm so glad we chose each other, and that we just choose to get along well. :D
LMAO! I LOVE that first post-haven't gotten further (yet).
BUT OMG! You two are awesome!
ON MONO-POLY RSHIP COMPATABILITY PT 1: Polywired Person Wanting to be Understood
(This is FIVE long excerpts from this thread.)
Not too sure how to condense it and I'm really tired today so I'll just lift and plop so I can think about it with DH some more later. Just sorta roughly organized.
I can only speak from my experience.
Or like now -- the married closed polyship of 2.
Or like yesteryear -- the dating polyship of 3.
Still poly all those times.
1) That is a want. I would perceeve this as someone asking their spouse to discuss if being allowed to explore is a possibility.
2) That is a need. Coupled with a break up -- because this person is not even asking the spouse for their input or comfort level. They are announcing just gonna GO. Kinda mean too and not kind with their feelings.
My current agreement with DH is marriage -- in a closed polyship of 2 while we're in active parenting mode. That was the agreement and we will stick to it. We have an annual "state of the union" near our anniversary to review what is working, what is not, etc. We're both content. I think if you have made an agreement, you FINISH the agreement before starting off on a new path. For some it may mean writing a new agreement for how to best be together. For others it might be breaking up.
I'm very fortunate in my DH. He is not Closed to parts of me. He is Open to all of me. And for this I love him so.
My mono-BF1 (now my DH) and mono-BF2 knew before dating me I was poly. So there was no struggle of not having known. And it suddenly changing on 'em later. When we got married, DH and I had no struggles with a "mono spouse vs poly spouse" dynamic. Because he knew all this well before hand. It was "mono spouse AND poly spouse" from the get go.
I think it is harder for people who marry and then come to terms with their poly side after the marriage has already begun. Maybe they don't realize polyamory has a name until much later or something. Or maybe it is the marriage that makes them finally realize -- "wait.... this isn't it!" Then the struggle to cope.
It's entirely possible for poly me to be happy in a closed married polyship of 2. I've been here for more than a 15 yrs since BF2 and I parted ways amicably. And I am happy, loved, and content.
Why? Because I can be the authentic me and nothing is hidden. Periodically I'll pop up with some poly wonderings, readings, or musings and mono DH shares the thoughts with me and that satisfies me. The exchange of ideas in calm fashion. That I am loved as I am, authentically. There's no panic or freak out on his end. He knew it going in and he's lived with me this long and he KNOWS I'm not going anywhere so he's secure with me.
He likes to yank my chain when I announce I have a new crush (I never tell the crush person though-- we are closed) and I like being teased and I like crushing from a distance. It's flirty and fun for DH and I and our bond is tight so we can enjoy that sort of titillating banter.
Maybe that's the partial crux in other marriages? The poly person is not free to be their authentic selves with the mono spouse? I'm not talking about free to date. I mean free to express their poly thoughts? And not have the spouse wig out and rage at them?
Because it's like... if my mono DH says he loves me, all of me, just as I am? How much all of me is he really loving if I cannot even express my polyside thoughts to him -- my life partner? Without him having a conniption?
I don't want to leave him. I don't want to betray our agreements. But I do want to be able to talk to him about my inner self, my ideas, my crushes, my STUFF.
Doesn't he want to know me? All of me? Or does he just want to love a sanitized version of me that meets his approval or is easier to digest?
Who does that leave me to talk to then to create emotional intimacy and bond and all that other good married stuff? Cuz he's the one I'm married to?
For us in marriage, the mono DH OPENS up to share poly thoughts, ideas, books, etc. The poly wife CLOSES to a polyship of 2. That's been our happy medium place and it satisfies. If we choose to Re-Open later, it's coming from an informed, "been here before" type place and years of talk.
We've agreed that if both are not on board, it's fine to carry on as just as we are. I'm not lacking anything. Because I can be authentic in my relationship with him and he doesn't bat an eye. Just staying Open to each other even if not ever opening up to Another again.
And it so satisfies me. I love him how he is loving me how I am.
ON MONO-POLY RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY Pt 2: Polyamory vs Monoamory
(This is long excerpts from this thread.)
A polyamorous wired person could choose to be in a monogamous relationship structure. A monoamorous person could choose to be in a "V" structure. They both could choose to be celibate for all we know -- and still be polywired or monowired. Just not actively seeking a partner.
I mean, mono DH sees cute people on the street -- and he don't run over to them to jump their bones just cuz he saw them! He is a monowired man in a closed married rship!
Why would I jump their bones just cuz I'm polywired? Sheesh. I am in a closed married rship!
ON MONO-POLY RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY Pt 3: Bad Reaction of the Mono Partner Alienating Ethical Poly Person Sharing Vulnerable
(This is long excerpts from this thread.)
The expression of polygamous relationship structures are wide and varied -- V, triads, quads, tribes, etc. THAT is structure to me.
The expression of polyamourous wiring -- that's wiring. I can totally be in a 2 person rship and feel happy, loved, and content if I am allowed expression of my polyside. I don't NEED to have another lover. I NEED to be understood and loved like I am. Not keep a part of me stuffed down and hidden because... my spouse can't handle me talking about things?
What kind of wimpy spouse did I marry? Where just talk is threatening?
The saddest things I see? The situation of a mono spouse and a poly spouse who comes into poly awareness AFTER the marriage. Maybe the poly spouse was too scared to share this side of themselves BEFORE the marriage. Maybe they come into awareness after the marriage. Maybe they are in a serious rship but not married. Whatever.
But if the ethical poly person turns to mono partner to share Vulnerable Things -- isn't that what you are supposed to DO?
And the mono partner blows a gasket and unloads abuse and crazy on the Vulnerable poly partner? For what? For just coming to the Loved One with a Vulnerable?
I don't see how THAT helps any to move the relationship forward toward a happy medium where both can coexist in harmony. All that does is shut the poly person off from nurture/support at the quarter they need it most. And then things REALLY can go haywire.
I always wonder what sort of foundation the relationship/marriage has if just talk can blow it apart. And what the poly person is supposed to do. Pretend they don't have polywiring? Where do they go to express it? Are they happy knowing they are married to a mono partner who is supposed to love them who actually... only loves some of them -- the parts that are "acceptable" only? Is the mono partner happy knowing about this side of their poly person now? And knowing deep down that they wish they never knew it because they rather NOT love the whole person and now have to live knowing this darker side of themselves?
Trying to ignore or sweep it under the rug -- that sort of thing just makes walls.
It can become very lonely in there -- and it's strange to feel lonely inside a relationship when your Loved One doesn't even want to deal with talking about much less loving a part of you that does exist. When you start to feel unloved in your relationship? That's no good at all. It leads to all kinds of trouble.
I ended an rship with a BF NOT because he was mono or because I couldn't be happy in a mono rship as a bi or poly person. But because he denied me my personhood, he only wanted to love a sanitized me, he didn't want to talk about my polyside and give me a small space to express it (just in talking to him!) and because he was so insecure he was a drain. So. Cut ME off from partner love, nurture and support but suck me dry? Ugh. I grew sad, lonely, then later tired and bored. I left. And not to leave him for another like he always feared. I left him to be ALONE because he was not partner to me. He was a black hole of need I could not fill or satisfy. I was less lonely ALONE than with him.
I asked DH the other day if I make him nuts when I ask him all sorts of poly weird and he just laughed and stroked my hair. "I love you. I love you making me nuts. I don't love some Idealized you. I love YOU you. That is the you I love, and that is the you I NEED."
And this satisfies my Soul. And I'd follow him to the ends of the Earth just to keep living in the Heaven that is him. I have never been loved so completely, faithfully, and understandingly. Open or Closed or Upside Down even... You can bet your ass I'm not letting THAT one go without a fight! I adore my DH. :D
ON MONO-POLY RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY Pt 4: Choosing to NOT go there Openly with Support
I feel like this...
Even if polyme chooses to be in a closed polyship of 2 for whatever reason right now? I have the choice. I can talk about it. I can think about it. I can choose to not exercise it. If I did? And wanted to go there? I know he'd try to work with me, and calmly rewrite our agreement to a new agreement for how to best be together. Because he understands, knows and loves ALL me. There is nothing hidden here.
I understand how he is wired and would work with HIM back. So he can feel safe in all his buckets too -- mind, heart, body, soul. Why would I go make his life hell by shaking up his emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health all willynilly? I love him! I will treat him in loving ways, not cruel ones!
Right now it is not the time -- I have kid and eldercare and my own chronic patient stuff -- I am not FIT to be seeking a new lover. I don't NEED a new lover. Would it be fun? Sure! But this is not the right time, nor the right place in my life. Husband is all I need and want as husband. And then some. Because I know how rare it is to find someone who will love you for you -- all of you, just how you are.
I don't have to hide these feelings or thoughts -- I can talk about how I feel any damn time I want with my husband. My dreams, wishes, desires, thoughts, secrets... and he doesn't bat an eye. He's secure, he loves me, he understands my wiring, and he is compassionate about all my things. He will offer me support and nurture.
Whatever it is -- he will listen, support, nurture. I feel valued like a complete person.
I have the RIGHT to his support and nurture. He's agreed to our rights and responsibilities, and he holds up his end of the sticks. I hold up mine.
Because where ELSE can the poly person go to get support and nurture and understanding from partner if not the partner?!
ON MONO-POLY RELATIONSHIP COMPATIBILITY Pt 5: Cut Off from Support Can Lead to Affair, Demise of Rship, and Other Trouble
I do not judge at all -- but this is common enough a situation.
It is hard. Then it becomes a struggle not just of feeling unloved and lonely, but then struggling on ethics too because deep needs are not being met.
In my case, old BF did not want to Open to my thoughts and feelings (and that is all I asked for initially. I did not ask for right to date others or for us to Open to Another. I just asked for his willingness to hear and talk to me about my inner life and try to love all of me, uncensored.) He refused. He also did NOT want to break up to set me free.
So... what the hell? I am left stuck in a relationship that does not feed me then? I try to give my 100% and actually, it is not wanted? I want to receive his 100% an actually, that won't be ever be given? I'm not a masochist. And I cannot offer support and love and nurture where I get none in return. I broke it off.
He didn't want to accept that. What a mess it became.
It was actually that break up that got me to draw up my relationship boundary points crystal clear. I was so hard ass on those in subsequent dating -- and thank goodness. Because I was strict about my limits, and very honest about my wants, needs and expectations? I never had a thing like that again because the players were CLEAR on the gamebook going in from the get go. They could add their own wants, needs, limits too of course. I wanted to know theirs too. I expected to make agreements for how to best be together, if we were going to be together.
But me? And my wants, needs, and limits? And how to best be in right relationship with me? All out there in the front window. Take it and start negotiations to crank it up a notch to a romance or leave it and let's just be friends then.
I had enough Muppet Show. Play like honorable Star Wars Jedi here or don't play with me at all.
I didn't initially but I'll add this extra tidbit here.
With that ex? I broke up with him. Because I needed to be free to see others since he cut me off from support/nurture and love in not wanting to talk about my problems, feelings and struggles in my inner life.
He chose to view it like "We are on ice" because he did not want to deal with this new information.
While I told him "It is totally over. I am seeing other people. We are done."
Because I was tired of the stonewalling and I was tired of feeling lonely and all hollow. Share in my inner life. Come IN. Or let me IN on your end to help share in your Vulnerable as you process so I can be a part of this relationship somewhere. Or just let me GO. Won't do any? I have to go then. There is no relating happening here. I can't be perpetually in limbo for the rest of my life. I want to be have a chance at the pursuit of happiness.
Later I was suddenly a cheater because he asked me if I was dating and I honestly said yes. Apparently he thought I was still his GF despite zero contact with me for a whole 3 or 4 mos? I thought I was his ex, and we were just talking one day back at home on a break. (We went to different colleges.)
I was angry, tired, bored, and just so over the whole thing. "Fine. I'm a cheater then. I am evil. NOW can we be officially broken up?"
Many years later he apologized for being such a dingbat at the time and I forgave him. I get that we were young, mismatched, and he totally spazzed out completely over the whole bi/poly thing. He was young and ignorant at the time about non-conventional models of loving and just could not deal with it well. It is what it was. College was good for him -- he met other people of other walks of life and lost that limited outlook thing eventually. He wasn't a bad person. We just weren't the fit.
But shutting down on your partner? Heaping abuse on your partner? Refusing to even deal with your partner?
It would be so much kinder to say something like "Wow. That's a lot to digest. Thank you for sharing that. I need time to take it in. I do not know what that might mean for our relationship future. But I value your being honest and up front with me."
Far more graceful even it is still the end of the relationship.
A basic mismatch is a basic mismatch. Unfortunate situation. But it doesn't HAVE to go gettin' UGLY and lashing out and just yuck on top of all else.
We cannot help how we feel because we do not get to choose how we feel. We do get to choose how we behave in response to those feelings - REACT in the heat of the moment or ACT WITH INTENTION with a cool head.
Be really remarkable to be a mono in those shoes and try to love your poly person ANYWAY and try to find a happy medium that works.
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