In the beginning.....was confusion.
Being entirely new to this, it's with some trepidation that I start this blog. I have so many questions, and so little insight. I have so much to learn, and no real life guides to turn to. For me, the first step has always been to read, read, read, and try to educate myself as best I can from the resources available. Then, when I feel I have the ability to ask a question, (preferably not one that has already been asked and answered a million times before ) I can venture out.
The first problem I see is simply one of semantics. It appears that for someone new, the chances of putting a foot wrong by not expressing clearly and correctly what they are asking can lead to a veritable shitstorm of confusion, possibly the leaving the newcomer ashamed, wigged out, and wishing they had thought to put on a helmet before posting. Maybe one of those with a faceguard.:eek:
While looking for information on triads, I found this post by Zylya:
“The second set, which applies to me personally, is the group of people who simply prefer triads to other relationship configurations. For me, saying I'm looking for someone to join our relationship shouldn't hold any implications of unicorn-hunting, because that's not how I view relationships, but I will admit it is probably a lazy use of language on my part. The thing for me is that saying "I'm looking for someone to join us" is far simpler than saying "I hope to find another person that we're both interested in, to some degree, who is also into us, to some degree, that we could form a whole cluster of mutually enjoyable and beneficial romantic and sexual relationships, together with no prejudice based on previous relationship status and with no unrealistic expectations other than to be totally honest with each other and let things develop naturally."
If I had to type that out every time, I'd get arthritis in my wrists in no time. "to join us" is just a short-hand way of saying that for me. If you think about, any relationship is a joining of two people, it's just that saying you're looking for someone to join me/us is simply from my perspective. It doesn't mean that I think the other person doesn't have a perspective, it's just a way of phrasing it.
To me, it seems like a lot of people say something without carefully considering their words, and so people assume things that weren't necessarily intended, and could've been avoided with a better use of language.”
EEEEEEEK! Arthritis seems to be the least of the pain involved with having to type that repeatedly, and yet failure to clarify will likely lead to the Land of Nothing Good. It seems to me a lot of people arrive here in mid-crisis, having experienced some kind of upheaval in their relationships and being thrust into the idea of “more than two” without any prep time. Others appear to have come voluntarily, but without any long periods of reflection on what the consequences to their lives will really be. For my partner and I, there has already been over a year of casual discussions, and now the agreement that at least another year should be spent examining the issue in detail before making any moves forward in terms of real life people. Are we too cautious? It seems that no matter how much preparation goes into this, unintended issues will arise. The best we can do is expect the unexpected. Is it worth it? Not something we will know until we try, I suppose. But to not try will have consequences also. For myself, leaving things as they are means ignoring who I really am, and that has become unacceptable to me. For my partner, it means leaving some truly serious questions unanswered. For both of us, my fear is that failing to address these issues now will lead to regret later, when we are both too old and withered and prune-like to be able to do anything about it.:(
Am I morbid for worrying about the regrets I’ll have on my death bed? Heh. Probably.
Then again, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Especially if The Pidge is the one driving the bus!!
Studly Sixpack Or Grizzly Grandpa?
People are curious creatures. I've been reading at some other sites and there seems to be this....trend.
Married couple decides to try open marriage--hot young girlfriend is located--quickly becomes obvious Young Hotty is much more into the husband than the Wife--chaos ensues. Wife does superhuman things to try to make things work--husband repeatedly disrespects Wife in order to champion Young Hotty--Wife's brains begin to boil within her skull--Young Hotty reaps the benefits of appearing to be the easy going one--Wife takes on the burden of supporting Young Hottie, either financially, emotionally, or spiritually--Husband continues to disregard the needs of Wife in order to pacify Young Hotty. Wife ends up being Young Hotty's surrogate mother, teaching her basic manners and ethics, while husband has his nose sharply nipped when Young Hottie's ardor for him cools and she plays the "I get another boyfriend in addition to Husband!" card. Husband comes crying to Wife that he feels abandoned. Wife gives him comfort.:confused:
All of this makes me convinced that The Pidge and I are lucky to be two women possibly opening up to the idea of meeting a man. Also, if we do go out to meet someone, he'd better be a combination of Rooster Cogburn and Grizzly Adam's grandpa; someone with rampant ear and nose hair, those eyebrows that look like cat whiskers, a paunch belly, bowlegs, and his pants hiked up to his armpits. His idea of a good time will be the early bird buffet special at the local Chuck Wagon, followed by a quiet evening of Laurence Welk reruns, a glass of Metamucil, and safely tucked into bed by 7pm. Yup, this will be the man of our dreams. If by some freak of fate, we were to meet swaggering young Studly Sixpack, The Pidge can throw some quarters in the air and while he's distracted ("Oh, look!!! Sparkly!! Shiny!!") she and I will beat a hasty retreat to the Nash Rambler and get our saggy butts home where they belong. Too much youth and beauty is just not where we want to go.
Asked and answered
I posted my first question today and got some really great answers and two new links to sites I had never heard of. It's clear now that by trying to fit questions based on a standard mindset to a non-monogamous situation, I'm not going to find the answers. I'd never really thought before about how for people in small sub-sections of the population, no sweeping answers are available for their group as a whole. I guess in my mind it seemed like if you just knew where to look, someone somewhere had gotten a grant and done surveys and research. The internet seems these days like you can find anything--the numbers of one-eyed Saggitarian platypus living in one square mile of swamp eating only green and yellow slugs? Look *here*...
The Pidge and I have talked recently about how terrified I am to make mistakes, because in my family mistakes are not acceptable. The constant judgement of even the simplest choices eats away at my brain until I am almost paralyzed, for fear of doing the thing wrong. To me, a lot of the people I have been reading about seem fearless, leaping into shark-infested waters and risking their lives without any sign of terror that it will lead to huge regret. I can remember being able to do that, many decades ago, but it seems beyond my capabilities now. And yet, just like it was with meeting Pidge, eventually it came to the point that I just had to do it to know if I could do it. When did I become such an utter chickenshit? This must be one of those things where they say people only move when the pain of moving becomes less than the pain of standing still. I really miss the good old days, when trying something new was based in enthusiasm, and not just fear. Middle age is not fun. Not right now, anyway.:(
Chew the newbie
Mmmmmm.......Take that first bite. Oh, the tender, flaky crust. Buttery and luscious, folded over on itself so many times, and lightly golden brown. Delicate and rich, just the way a first time poster should taste. Like a croissant, but not necessarily French. Like an Egg McMuffin, but glorified and brushed by an angel's wing tip. Still warm from the oven, just the way we like it.
And the filling!!!! Fresh meat, clearly. And not some tough old mutton, either. No, this is the GOOD STUFF! This is lamb, this is veal, this is baby squid still squirming as you swallow. This is the stuff Anthony Bourdain dreams of when he's been swilling absinthe. This is the stuff Andrew Zimmern would trek across the globe to try.
Tiny cubes of succulent nervousness, in a creamy white sauce comprised of equal parts insecurity and the desire to be welcomed. Is that a hint of trepidation, perhaps infused into the olive oil? No? Chive, then? Fear of rejection? I never would have guessed!
How did you get that shine to the top? Ah....a wash of second thoughts, applied with a brush just after it came out of the oven. Clever.
Nothing feels better than coming home from a hard day, and settling in with a nice glass of white wine and a steaming plate of Forum Newbie. It's even better when you spoil yourself, and use the good china.:eek:
Because different people bring different skills to the table, there is no "how much time is enough time" that is the SAME AMOUNT of time for every polyship that wants to go in with a plan. (Some don't and like winging it on the fly -- that's fine too) Could just take the time required for THIS polyship to be on solid ground before launching a new mission.
But can also accept it is not possible (nor should you try) to predict each and every situation Life will throw your way. Can't spend all your life "What Iffing." You will miss your Life by not being present for it! Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one.
Could focus on having set out conflict resolution method you both can deal in to sort out whatever conflict arises.
Could choose to set out how you want to part ways, should that ever come to pass. Fix the two end points, then let it be what it will be in the middley bit there -- in the good faith in each other that you both will treat each other WELL regardless where you are within that scope. Be it solving a conflict problem thing, being just fine, or being at landing the polyship and disbanding the mission.
You will be ok.
Thank you Gala Girl
I just wanted to say thanks for your response. Your comments and suggestions have been uniformly kind and helpful, and you always come across with the links, too!
The Pidge and I had a really good talk about all of this yesterday, and I think we have reasons to be reassured by how similar our goals are, and our plans for how to handle this. Bottom line, it'll be a learning experience no matter how it ends up. I hope for both our sakes, and for the sake of our as-yet mysterious Third, Toilet Seat Guy, it ends on a positive note.
In our three years together Pidgie and I have gone through some wacky and scary stuff together, and through it all our friendship has been solid as a rock. I truly believe that no matter what happens, it always will be. That comforts me.:)
A really good conversation with the Pidge yesterday. It's nice to see how much we are on the same page. We both agree we don't want drama, and endless stress. We agree we'd both rather pull the plug on the whole thing if it seems to be heading that direction. We both agree that we can't predict the emotional tone of the relationships we will each have with Toilet Seat Guy until we start spending time with him. Pidgie seems to seriously doubt that she and Toilet Seat Guy could ever fall in love, and I keep trying to get her to keep an open mind. She is utterly lovable, and there's no reason to think he couldn't adore her just as much as I do. Whether or not she would allow herself to fall in love with a man is another question, and one I certainly can't answer for her. For me, it's not really a question of falling in love, I am already in love with Pidge. iI's more about having that masculine energy back in my life, and in our bed. I don't need to fall in love, a good solid friendship with benefits would suit me just fine. Still, we can't predict.
We keep trying to remain very aware that how Toilet Seat Guy feels, what he wants, what he needs, is as important as what we want and need. At times it seems we aremaking better progress identifying what we *don't* want than what we do.
Any way you look at it, I really feel reassured by how much she and I agree on. I really just hope T.S.G. likes gardening.:D
Glad it helped and you guys had a good talk!
Fits & Starts, Snits & Farts
In the course of the conversations The Pidge and I had recently, I found myself thinking a lot about how we got to where we are now. It turned out that a lot of the things I had seen as negative at the time were actually mixed blessings.
The Pidge and I met in March of 2010. I was living with MD Guy, in a non-sexual relationship of 7 years that met his needs for a home health aide, but ignored my needs to be in a physical relationship with someone. Pidgie was in year 10 of her domestic partnership with the Banshee. The Banshee considered herself free to have sex with anything that moved (and a few things that didn't, I *still* wonder about that dead possum she dragged home) and the Pidge was living a celibate life, afraid of whatever germs the Banshee might be coated in.
Pidge and I fell fast and hard for each other, and to say it wigged me out was an understatement. I had never had a relationship with a woman before, and I was lost in typical "Am I gay? Am I straight?" brainloops without a soul on the planet I could talk to about any of it. While the Pidge had the green light from the Banshee to see other women in theory, The Banshee never missed an opportunity to remind Pidgie that it would always and only be bad sex, because the Pidge was unlovable, and lousy in bed to boot. Not to mention that if the Banshee saw anything she didn't like, she'd find a way to take their house, and leave the Pidge homeless, and alone. Ah....what a nurturing person the Banshee is.:mad:
New Years of 2010 arrived, and I found out that the Pidge had been talking to another woman online, and had in fact met up with her a few months before. The whole thing was confusing, and still is. I have had to come to terms with not knowing for sure what the true extent of that was, what the Pidge's intentions were, what really happened. I know the Pidge lied to me, and continued to try to hold that lie together until I threw the evidence in her face. I know she says one thing happened, the evidence would appear to say something else happened, but I can never be sure. All I could be sure of was that I had been lied to,and had my trust betrayed.
One step forward onto the banana peel
Looking back, I think the Pidgie said and did everything she could to try to help me get over the lies. It was a lot of old baggage I was toting around, having been lied to and cheated on in the past. It was also the realization that as close as I thought we were, she was so able to deceive me. I wouldn't have thought that was possible, but since it clearly was, I had to face the fact that if she chose to lie to me again, I'd probably not see through it the next time either. I'd had enough of being in relationships where the primary focus was playing a private dectective to know what was happening in my own life, and I wasn't able to face doing it again.
We spent the next 9 months dealing with my lack of trust. Finally, after I was literally starting to die from kidney problems, I moved out of MD Guy's house and moved in with the Pidge. She had finally managed to move the Banshee out, and her divorce was in the final stages. It was a pretty awful time. My daughter had a miscarriage, I was recovering from 2 kidney surgeries, the Banshee was up to every nasty trick she could think of to punish the Pidge for having divorced her...I just couldn't cope with my own suspicions and doubts and told the Pidge that since I couldn't stop her from seeing other people, the only option I saw was to open up the relationship. That way, if she chose to date other people, whatever it was, it wouldn't be cheating, and she'd have no reason to lie. I told her that we were both free to see other people. She was sad, but agreed, and told me again she didn't intend to date anyone else.
Looking back, I can see it wasn't a choice we made together, to move forward into an open relationship to make ourselves happier. It was my choice, made only to get that sense of impending doom to stop hanging over my head. I just couldn't face another revelation of lies, and I couldn't stop loving her. At the time, it seemed like a very unhappy truth on top of our already massive pile of unhappy things. It was also a choice I had never made in a relationship before.
Although I had always outwardly stated that I wanted to be monogomous, the fact was that when I was unhappy I either set about looking for a new person to replace the old, or I tried to micromanage and control my partner in order to keep them from finding someone new. Looking back, I can see that it truly never crossed my mind to try to fix problems by being open and honest. that's just sad and wrong.:confused:
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