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-   -   Risk (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3118)

Justbeloving 07-03-2010 02:59 PM

Risk
 
My friend and I were discussing polyamory. He posed this question and I believe the experience of others not so new to polyamory would have a wealth of insight. Thanks!

When it comes to polyamorous relationships, is there a risk of simply starting over with another partner when an earlier relationship is failed yet too painful to end? I suppose that is a major concern I have with polyamory is that instead of multiple healthy relationships, one ends up with a healthy relationship that supersedes a broken relationship, which would more cleanly be handled by serial monogamy of divorce and new marriage. I feel naive in asking that question, but I haven't been able to fully wrap my brain around it.

Karma 07-03-2010 06:25 PM

Hmmm...... I would imagine that it really depends on the people involved. A broken relationship is a broken relationship, regardless of whether it's polyamorous or not. That being said, it depends on whether or not the involved parties are strong enough to A). Try to fix the relationship, or B). Strong enough to admit that it's not working, no matter how much admitting it hurts, and try to move on.

If they're too weak to either end things completely or address their issues, then yeah, I suppose you could end up with a healthy relationship and a messed-up, broken mess of one. But I really think that the same thing happens just as often in monogamous arrangements, as far as people clinging to broken relationships because they lack the inner strength to fix things or end things.

immaterial 07-03-2010 06:51 PM

I think we are often at risk for making expedient, self-serving decisions. Polyamory is not a magic bullet that suddenly makes me transparent, 100% consistently ethical, honest, willing to face pain to stay in integrity, etc.

I lived for many years in a wide variety of profound self-delusions. One of those was "this relationship is broken, I need a new one. " Another: "I will get it right this time. I will be a better person and get it right." Another: "Those other women were just not The One. This one now is The One (or: the NEXT one will be The One)." Etc. Serial monogamy was as much of a recipe for self-deceit as non-monogamy or poly is for me. The key thing for me is to pray, meditate, communicate, communicate, communicate. And not just with people in the relationships either, but with many friends, with community, with advisers who are trusted, etc.

Immaterial

sage 07-04-2010 05:47 AM

Good Question
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Justbeloving (Post 34464)
When it comes to polyamorous relationships, is there a risk of simply starting over with another partner when an earlier relationship is failed yet too painful to end? I suppose that is a major concern I have with polyamory is that instead of multiple healthy relationships, one ends up with a healthy relationship that supersedes a broken relationship, which would more cleanly be handled by serial monogamy of divorce and new marriage. I feel naive in asking that question, but I haven't been able to fully wrap my brain around it.

Yes I think there is a definite risk of this happening but I don't think it's as clear cut as it might seem.

I had a long term marriage which worked on many levels but there were some serious elements out of whack. We discussed having an open-marriage (hadn't heard of polyamory but this is what we actually meant). I think if we had managed it the relationship may have been able to be repaired. It's like putting in a patch. It wouldn't have repaired the whole thing but may have stopped enough air escaping that we could have healed the rest.

And I don't mean to reduce other parties to "patches", but their involvement can be invaluable in repairing the relationship as a whole.
When I was getting emotional input from outside of the marriage I was much more able to be effective within it. New energy into a relationship also shows up negative behavior that a couple doesn't even see anymore because they're so desensitized to it. I had this huge passive aggressive thing happening I had no idea about until Z pointed it out to me.

So, yes I think it can happen but it can also heal the original relationship and make it a healthy part of a poly dynamic.

Sage

Ariakas 07-05-2010 07:14 PM

I think like all things relationship that its simply a matter of the people involved. Is there risk, sure if the person is already poor at relationships. Ideally in a perfect world this would never happen, but it does.

Not every relationship is built on a perfect structure. I guess its a matter of degrees. How messed up is the existing relationship opening up?

And I agree with sage to a degree. A new relationship can offer new energy, perspective etc, as long as the incoming partner isn't going to cause more pain. Support and love and all that jazz would always be a good addition. As long as all parties view it as such

sage 07-05-2010 11:26 PM

Not so much risk as ....
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Justbeloving (Post 34464)
I suppose that is a major concern I have with polyamory is that instead of multiple healthy relationships, one ends up with a healthy relationship that supersedes a broken relationship, which would more cleanly be handled by serial monogamy of divorce and new marriage. I feel naive in asking that question, but I haven't been able to fully wrap my brain around it.

... choice.

Ironically I chose the "cleaner" route and still have polyamory in my life so maybe there's an element of destiny happening.

There are risks in whatever choice you make i.e. to ditch a sick relationship and start again or insert some new life into it via polyamory. You just find yourself cleaning up different messes. But at least you're doing something, not sitting around in a dead relationship letting life pass you by. Or in the case of my ex becoming a spendaholic.

Sage

jkelly 07-06-2010 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Karma (Post 34469)
A broken relationship is a broken relationship, regardless of whether it's polyamorous or not.

...

But I really think that the same thing happens just as often in monogamous arrangements, as far as people clinging to broken relationships because they lack the inner strength to fix things or end things.

I think Karma gets this exactly right.

The only specific risk here is for someone who doesn't know any other way to end a relationship other than leaving for someone new. I don't imagine that describes very many people doing polyamory.

sage 07-06-2010 09:31 PM

interesting
 
:)
Surely Karma understands there are degrees of brokeness, just look at his signature.

Sage

Karma 07-07-2010 01:13 PM

LOL ;)

I actually took it from the end of Lilo and Stitch. Stitch may well be my favorite non-villain Disney character ever.


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