Definitions needed. . . .
So i need some definitions and terms and being that I am not a person who favors labels i need some help because i do need to narrow it down to something so it makes it easier to explain to family. . .
We are going to be "coming out" to our families soon with the type of relationship that we have. The definition for Polyamory is so SO broad and we want to narrow it down to a more defined definition that fits us so it can better explain it to our family but i need some help with terminology & definitions so I can be prepared to explain when we started getting the 20 questions. I in NO way wanting family to get the impression that it is purely sexual or a relationship open to new partners. So here goes:
I am in a V relationship.
I am the hinge.
I am the person who identifies as poly. My partners each identify as monogamous. Both are okay with me being poly.
My husband (we are legally married) is monogamous and has no other partners; its just me. We have 3 kids.
My fiance (we are 100% committed and planning to have a wedding/handfasting soon) is monogamous and has no other partners; its just me. We want to have a child in the future.
My fiance & my husband are NOT partners. Just friends.
We will not be branching out of this V. There will be no new or additional partners at any time.
As we grow more committed and i will by "married" to both partners by 2014, we share decisions, children, money, etc.
That being said, I think we fit better into the Polyfaithful group, which can also be referred to as Polyexclusive or Polyfidelity (which isnt recommended as a term because it can be misinterpreted due to the fidelity part of the word)? Or do the 3 have different definitions?
We are also moving towards being completely Polytrothic: "Polytrothic relationships are characterized by equal participation by all partners in major life decisions such as those regarding livelihood, children and property."
So would I be correct to say "We believe are Polyfaithful while practicing Polytrothism?"
And if so would it be correct to say (im paraphrasing definitions i've read):
"We are in a Polyfaithful relationship which, like monogamous relationships, are closed in the sense that partners agree not to be sexual outside the V that is our relationship. But within our V, we practice polytrothism which means that equal participation is given to all partners in major life decisions such as those regarding livelihood, children and property"
Am i correct? Any feedback? I've been doing a lot of research but my head is just swimming lol
I have always heard the term polyfidelitous as meaning faithful to the poly group. Never really hear anyone use polyfaithful or polyexclusive -- and polytrothic is a completely new one to me! Never heard that before. BTW, we have a Glossary and Definitions thread.
I would keep it simple and use terms that are already known. You don't have to use poly-anything. I imagine you can say something like, "[Spouse] and I want you to know we are not monogamous. Non-exclusivity is something we both agreed upon. I have an additional romantic partner who is very important to me, and [spouse] is aware and supportive of that. I am not cheating on him. We are still as committed to each other as we always were, just not to monogamy. I am also committed to my relationship with [boyfriend]. If you have any questions, please ask." That's how I would express it, anyway. Leave the fancy words out of it unless someone else brings it up (for example, they may have seen something about it on TV and might ask, "Oh, are you polyamorous like on that show?")
As far as I can tell and from what I know, "polyfidelitous V" with you as the hinge works fine (but you'll probably have to explain what it all means anyway). I've heard "polyfidelity" defined two ways: one, that there's no sexual activity except within the committed circle, and two, that no new partners will be added. You'll have to explain which you mean (or in this case, that you mean both). Semantics are often discussed and debated within the poly community, but most non-poly people have never even heard of these words, so, it's hard to boil your situation down to a word or two that will explain it to your friends, family, or whoever you come out to.
Polyfaithful, polyexclusive, and polytrothic are all new words to me, so I wouldn't know what to tell you as far as how they're defined, how you should use them, and if you should use them. It sounds like you can make your own judgment call there as you have done your homework. But again, you'll probably have to explain it to your audience, so just invoking a few words probably won't suffice.
I personally would use "polyfidelitous V" because that terminology is widely-known in the poly community. Something like, "We are in a non-monogamous relationship, two men and myself. All three of us know this and are okay with it. My husband is one of the men. The men just have a platonic relationship with each other. It's a 'V' configuration. It's also called polyfidelity, because we don't plan to add any additional partners, and none of us has sex with anyone except within our V." You could also call it a "closed relationship" to refer to the polyfidelitous (a.k.a. poly-fi) aspect.
No matter how you present it though, I think you are going to get some question marks, people are going to need you to repeat and re-explain things. You're probably mostly coming out to an audience that is completely unfamiliar with consensual/responsible non-monogamy (of which polyamory is a subset). People are going to be saying, "What? Who? You're what? How is that possible?" and other questions. Polyamory is often very confusing to people, because it's such a new idea in this monogamous world.
You're also likely to get some negative reactions from some people. Sad but true. There's a lot of monogamous conditioning out there, and many people just won't accept that non-monogamy can possibly be responsible. You just need to brace yourself for that, and give other people a lot of time to process the information. Sorry to have to tell you that.
Coming out is a tough job; not everyone does it. I'm still mostly "in the closet." So I have to applaud your courage. I hope my post here is of some help for you in preparing for this.
Add me to the list of people who were familiar with polyfidelity, but not polyexclusivity or polyfaithfulness.
You could also just say you are closed, or exclusive. No need to add "poly" in front of it if you have already established the fact that you are polyamorous. Lots of people say they're in a "closed triad" for instance, in your case it would be a closed Vee instead.
If we're talking about labels, "metamours" would be the shorter word for "they both have me as a partner but aren't romantically or sexually involved with one another".
This being said, when coming out, you have to explain everything anyways, so the words themselves are less important, what matters is just explaining the situation. Lots of people understand situations better than labels anyways, especially if they have wrong assumptions about what the label means, so I find it's best to just explain things rather than try to briefly describe them with labels the people might not be familiar with.
But-speak the language of the listener. They arent poly.
So- 'mom, dad, joe , jane etc;
I am a person who is in love with two people. They both l ove me and we are creating a family together. We would love to have your hoessing and continued meaninful participation in our lives. If you have any questions we are willing to talk of course. But-I really hope you will read this book *hand them book* which succinctly describes what it means to be in love more than one person. Name of book: loving more II by deborah anapol.
Like LR says, I would not use all those poly-terms with people wo are new to the whole concept. Start simple, with the things you wrote in that list. Then if they have questions, tell them more.
Whatever works for you. I try to keep it simple in words even a non-poly-educated person would get. This is an "elevator speech", not a thesis.
"I am the hinge in a polyfi V. That means I'm the Shared Sweetie in a loving, committed, CLOSED relationship that is limited to just us 3 people."
Alternately "I'm the wife. I have two husbands. My legal husband is ___. My other husband is ____. We are happy together. "
Person you are talking to can have a cow or not.
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