Polyamory.com Forum

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-   -   Greetings (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27612)

sundevil 08-30-2012 07:01 PM

Greetings
 
Happy to have found a place to discuss poly. :)

I'm 42, married for 19 years, and have been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 8 years (we just celebrated our anniversary). She is my first and only venture into poly (haven't been interested in anyone else). My wife and gf's husband were involved for a time, but things cooled off between them a while back and now they have more of a FWB arrangement. I'm very happy with both my loves, and am committed to them equally.

If there's been any difficulty, it's jealousy (of course). I get along with my girlfriend's husband, but there have been times over the years when his jealousy over the intensity of our (my girlfriend's and my) relationship has created turbulence. Such is life; nothing is ever completely free of static. So far we've managed to work through the issues reasonably well - after 8 years I should HOPE we've gotten adept at it. ;)

Looking forward to jumping into the discussions here!

MusicalRose 08-30-2012 07:12 PM

Welcome! I'm relatively new to the forums as well so I was just popping in to say hello and hopefully we will both be able to find a bit more community here.

Avatar 08-30-2012 07:48 PM

Welcome :)

kdt26417 08-30-2012 11:13 PM

Hello sundevil,
Welcome to our forum.

You're no newbie to this lovestyle, if you and your girlfriend have been together for eight years. It is good to have the benefit of your experience here.

No shortage of discussions to jump into, so dig right in; see what calls to you.

With regards,
Kevin T.

JaneQSmythe 09-01-2012 01:07 PM

Welcome to the forum! So glad to see someone new here who has been in their poly situation for the long-term. 19 years with wife, 8 years with girlfriend - way to go - you guys are obviously doing something right and are an inspiration! Thanks for joining the site - I hope you find it a good place to continue to grow and and to share the insights you have garnered over the years with us.

JaneQ

CielDuMatin 09-01-2012 06:48 PM

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your relationships. So many say that poly relationships are inherently unstable, so it's great to see more examples of folks that are making it work.

Jealousy can definitely play a part - what work have you done (as a group) to identify what specifically is causing this? Usually jealousy is a sign of some need not being met, while they perceive that another (you) is getting what they need. You say it is usually about the intensity of the relationship - what aspects of the intensity bother him? is it the lovey-dovey stuff, or the intensity of the sex? How would you characterise it?

sundevil 09-01-2012 11:12 PM

Thanks all for the warm welcome. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by CielDuMatin (Post 152137)
Jealousy can definitely play a part - what work have you done (as a group) to identify what specifically is causing this? Usually jealousy is a sign of some need not being met, while they perceive that another (you) is getting what they need. You say it is usually about the intensity of the relationship - what aspects of the intensity bother him? is it the lovey-dovey stuff, or the intensity of the sex? How would you characterise it?

I'll try to condense this into a manageable answer that doesn't fill the browser page (hard to encapsulate 8 years of polyamory into one post!) I think I'd characterize it as chemistry. It was good between girlfriend (D) and I even when we were just friends, but it went off the charts when became romantically/sexually involved. It's caused problems from time to time with D's husband (R), because for lack of a better explanation he is very much attuned to his interpretation of "primary-secondary", by which I mean he feels that he is rightfully entitled to the lion's share of her affection and desire. The first two years, R chalked up the imbalance he felt to D's and my NRE, and worked under the assumption that things would cool down, but when it became clear to all of us that things were only getting more intense it definitely caused some friction, despite reassurances from us and even my wife (S) that we weren't looking to leave our marriages and run away with each other. R will (if I understand him correctly) forever feel that as her primary D should work to ensure he never feels that she desires him less than she does me, and the rest of us (me, D, and my wife S) are more of the mind that that approach to the primary/secondary binary isn't terribly realistic. D, S, & I feel that on an emotional/sexual level, there is no hierarchy, so to speak. In other words, you can reassure, you can be "diplomatic" about how desire is expressed, but you can't control it the way R would prefer.

There's a lot of detail here I'm not getting into (maybe elsewhere in the forums if it comes up) but in essence, it's about D's and my sexual chemistry acting as trigger to R's jealousy. Over the years there's been a lot of talking by all four people involved to try and uncover where the difficulties lie and how to resolve them. Some of it's worked well (open lines of communication, D's working to help R see she's not going anywhere, setting aside time just for them, etc.), some of it not so much (e.g. R setting limits on D's and my sexual activity that for various reasons have felt unreasonable or vindictive). It's been an ongoing process, obviously, and it took a long time to figure out how to navigate the worst of it.

As it stands now? Things are good. I love D as much as I do S, and while yes, there will always be a "hierarchy" in terms of one being my wife and mother of my child, and the other my girlfriend, in terms of heart the two are equals to me. Despite the difficulties, I am friends with R and we have no problems with each other outside of this one area. And obviously, I'm good with his relationship with S (I should hope I am, it'd be a little hypocritical if I weren't!)

When all is said and done, my personal experience with polyamory has been very positive.

Avatar 09-02-2012 05:40 AM

Uhm, yeah, wow!

CielDuMatin 09-02-2012 09:53 PM

Thanks very much for the clarification.

While there will always be some sort of hierarchy when it comes to the day-to-day life decisions where those living with each other have to have some degree of priority when it comes to those decisions, it is very very hard to try to enforce a hierarchy in terms of feelings.

So when folks talk about "hierarchical poly" I am always at pains to determine which type of hierarchy they are referring to.

Well, I don't mean to pry, and if you want to write more about it, then please feel free, but I tend to like to make sure that jealousy is being addressed in a relationship, because it's usually a symptom of some unresolved issue. Have you worked through whether or not there are specific activities that you do that causes problems, or is it this whole comparison of "you must love me more then them" syndrome?

Sounds like you guys have got a pretty decent handle on what is going on, though.


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