What is appropriate to post about & where? (Autumnaltone please read)
I have some questions/thoughts but it didn't seem appropriate to continue addressing in someone's lifestories/blog thread.
I considered a pm. But, I think this is a useful topic if it's addressed correctly and something we could all benefit from hearing/reading/discussing. I hope no offense is taken by my bringing it up publicly.
I hear what you are saying about this being a board for discussing poly, but really, we do have MULTIPLE conversations going on here about topics that don't pertain to poly at all (like the thread on tattoos for an example).
I don't think that someone expressing that (at least at this point) they've opted to live mono (and that may be a life long choice or it could change) means that they shouldn't continue to express how things develop.
My biggest issue is this:
It's been less than a month since the drama unfolded and things in their poly dynamic blew all to hell.
I KNOW that multiple times over the course of the last 4 years Maca (my husband) has said he was DONE WITH POLY. But, things evolve and grow and change.
MAYBE they will be mono for life.
MAYBE they will be poly for life.
MAYBE they will go back and forth another half a dozen times before settling.
But to limit posts to including poly in them... that's going to really limit the opportunity for the rest of us to see what can come of a huge blow up like they had-and the opportunity to learn how we can grow/avoid/whatever similar situations. It also limits the bonding opportunities and the sense of "community" that we have going. If we have to limit our conversations to poly-well a good solid half of what I write would be out. Because poly is an aspect of my life-but without the rest... well it's not really conversation worthy much of the time. We just live and let live. It's only conversation worthy when it's a dramafest. :rolleyes:
If this (example that brought up the discussion) were something that had been going on for even 6 months of "we are mono and that's forever period" I might see your comment as making more sense. But it hasn't even been one month since they were hell bent on potential divorce over her not leaving the girlfriend-who she'd been with for 12 years or so? In fact, most of her thread is about poly, there's a couple posts that are about her decision change-but there wasn't anything even in those to suggest that she was going to be posting anything anti-poly or even avoid discussing poly topics going forward. Just an update as to where things stand this week (which is broadly different from last week which was broadly different from the week prior)...
Also.... such a long time of living poly.. even if they do stay mono, why can't she acknowledge that in posts? I guess what I'm getting at is-why should EVERY post have to include something about poly? Mine sure as hell don't.
In fact-as another example, my thread (some time past) about my neck injury and the following months of recovery... it was 10 months worth of blah blah blah and had nothing to do with poly.
Again, when we were in the midst of a custody battle over our Godson-months of my posts in my blog thread, had nothing to do with poly and everything to do with kids, abuse and those frustrations.
No one said anything about those things when it was me.
THAT is why I questioned your comment.
And for the record-I wasn't trying to be rude or disrespectful to you (or anyone else).
From the User Guidelines:
So when AT said:
In this case I feel as though AT overstepped his mod powers by telling a user what the parameters of their blog needed to be. I also feel BG did not respect the "protected space" rule regarding blogs.
I find it interesting that the snark delivered by DH was commented on by a mod, but the condescending comments by BG on a User's blog (along the lines of "Are you even reading what was written? Do you make stuff up in other areas of your life too?") were not (at least not publicly in that thread- I have no idea if anything was said in PM or via the Infractions system).
I also find it interesting that valid points brought up to a mod in the original thread (such as other users who are not currently in a poly relationship, and the fact that the change in this instance was very recent) were not addressed publicly. Perhaps they were in PM, but if one User has asked, you can bet there are others who want to know the answer. And what can be seen by all Users is the face this site presents to the rest of the internet.
While I understand that an already difficult job would be even more difficult if every mod decision were brought up for public review (there just isn't enough time in the day!) I have never before been a member of a public forum where one was not allowed, in the very User Guidelines, to not publicly have a negative opinion of or question a mod statement. There is a message board I have been a member of for over 10 years, and none of the 4 mods there have ever felt the need to hide or be secretive regarding their decisions. Shit-stirring against the mods is not tolerated, of course, but if a legitimate complaint can not be made publicly, how on earth can there be accountability regarding the mods' desire and ability to do their jobs?
LR is potentially risking being banned by posting this. Probably, so am I. But I'm very glad she did. I've previously had issues with a policy that does not allow for public discussions of issues regarding the site or those in charge of it, and I had not yet read the Blog thread this post references, so I thank her for bringing this to a wider audience on this forum.
I hope some good comes of it, and no one is banned for attempting to address things in a mature, adult way.
What I was thinking to write - with all due respect for the prerogative of the mods, of course - is simply that it might be worth leaving some latitude in what we think of as "discussing poly".
The experiences and struggles of someone going through a transition away from poly and toward monogamy may well be of interest to people who are considering the transition in the other direction, or who are struggling with being poly, or even who are doing well with poly but who are curious about the whole range of possible relationship configurations.
For anyone who may be eyeing the door that leads to monogamy - and I've been known to eye the door, from time to time - updates from someone who has just gone through that door, along with reflections on the transition, may be quite valuable.
There are pitfalls in that direction, too, for all that FOL seems quite confident in her choice, for the moment.
For those who have no interest in the tales of such a transition, there are plenty of other threads and boards to read.
More broadly, it is at least worth thinking about how prescriptive the participants in this board want to be about what it means to "be poly" or "discuss poly". Given the diversity here - with at best a family resemblance among different styles and configurations and sets of expectations - we already have to leave a lot of latitude.
Whether to draw the line across FOL's blog is at least a point on which there may be reasonable disagreement, with no disrespect intended to the mods.
I am glad I am not alone in my questions/concerns.
I'm not sure what else to say right at the moment.
But I look forward to hearing from the mods.
I will note-that I too found it astounding for one persons snarkiness to be commented on-but not the outright provocative snarkiness of another-who was actually much lengthier and prior...
Points of View
In some ways I feel like there are so many valuable points of view to be offered that aren't. That many people lurk on here, and don't tell their stories, for a wide variety of reasons, and that their stories hold a great deal of untapped value and insight for others. I have read multiple postings about people considering going back to monogamy, and even in my own blog, covered a span of several months when Elemental and I stepped away from poly to work on our core relationship.
It concerns me that my blog is open to a moderator shutting me down because of a change in my lifestyle. I have gone through long spells of monogamy in my life because partners weren't comfortable with non-monogamy/poly/being queer/whatever you want to call it. That doesn't mean that my philosophies on relationships changed, mind you. Just that my external lifestyle did, for awhile anyhow ;)
Not all tentative journeys into poly end in long term poly. Heck, FOL lived full poly for twelve years, and has now stepped back into monogamy. This is her story, and I'm sad that she can't be free to post what she feels, thinks, and experiences as she exits from a long-term life commitment to more than one person. Both her posts, and Matt's posts were so interesting, well written and informative.
I have, to date, felt very comfortable sharing some of the most private details of my life and relationship with a community that I have always taken for granted that I am a member of, because I felt like I belonged, and because people have chosen to include me - I feel like I have true friends on this board, and some have even crossed over into the 'real world' to boot. To be honest, I didn't even know that mods had the right to silence posters... feeling a little ignorant over here and more than a little taken aback. It's certainly food for thought, and makes me wonder if I want to keep posting on a forum where I too could be silenced like that.
It's also not "polyamorousrelationships.com"
FOL has previously identified as polyamorous, in terms of who she is. Her current identity crisis does not erase that.
Any polaymorous person struggling to maintain their sanity in a mono relationship is going to go through some serious challenges. There will be other visitors in the future who will identify as polyamorous but be "stuck" in a monogamous relationship because their partner is not willing to budge on their vows, and they are not willing to leave that partner for the sake of their inner feelings. FOL's insight on her process of learning to cope with that situation will be valuable to those people. Hence, 100% relevant to the topic of "polyamory" in general.
No one "owns" this forum. Moderators are here to keep the peace and enforce policy. Silencing someone's voice is not keeping the peace. Silencing someone's voice when other people are interested in hearing what she has to say is doubly wrong. As the policy is written, posts belong in the appropriate board. "About my new monogamous life" is a topic about...uhm...her life. Ergo, her "Life Story" if you will.
The bottom line, as far as I'm concerned, is that her blog is her safe place. No one has to read it. The text takes up only a few bytes of memory -- far fewer bytes than some of the crappier threads on here that are "about polyamory." The fact that her experiences could be useful to other poly people going through a similar situation makes it not merely permissible, but fully relevant to "polyamory."
A discussion such as FOL's blog is open to interpretation, and as such no one person's word should be law. If it has no relevance to you, then don't read it... just like anyone else who didn't give a flying fuck about FOL's monogamous marriage. I'm glad LR opened this thread so I could wax philosophically, because I never would have noticed it otherwise...
FTR and IMO, no one has said anything in this thread that I feel merits banning, unless "don't criticize me" is an appropriate reason to ban someone. However, I've been assured by AT, in the past, that hurting his feelings does not even merit an infraction, provided the language is respectful. He's an adult and he can handle reasonable criticism like a grown-up. Anyone who can't has no business being a moderator. The worst fate this thread deserves is being moved to the Forum Guidelines board.
I'm really glad you started this thread, LR.
I am quite uneasy about the comments on FOL's thread also. I read the rules for blogs very carefully before starting my own blog - which has lots of stuff in it that is nothing to do with polyamory. I write more about dogs than I do about poly.
I particularly write just now about grief and grieving and my attempts to cope with the changes in my life. Very often too I write about the positives in my new situation - because I find it helpful to write them down and focus on them. Helps with the times when the sadness is overwhelming.
The rules for blogs were clear that it would be okay to write about my own life in there and so I do.
If that rule has changed, a more appropriate way of dealing with it would be to post a comment on one of the other boards advising everybody that the rules for posting have changed and that they should look to see what the new rules are.
A person in power such as a forum mod going onto the blog of somebody who is going through a major life change and starting a post with the words. "I guess I have to bring the bucket of cold water now" is just not appropriate.
Life changes such as the one that FOL is going through are not easy. Anybody dealing with that sort of stuff should receive help, support and be able to talk about the positives. The title of the forum should not matter - regardless of title, people should be treated with care and respect.
Thread closed until I can return to it.
The blogs section is of primary importance in that effort. It is the blogs that provide first hand accounts of relationships and how they are experienced from one point of view. The appearance of blogs that relate a monogamous journeys of couples where neither identifies as poly work against that effort.
There's also the problem of allowing ongoing blogging about monogamy in one instance and then telling other folks who show up that they can't post discussions of monogamy elsewhere. As we won't support discussion threads solely about monogamy on the other boards, we can't support blogs solely about monogamy. (Discussion of how past polyamory has affected the marriage and contributes to further issues is fine, as mentioned in the discussion on that blog.)
If one or both do change their minds, then I suspect we'd all get an update telling us about it. Yeah...we're not necessarily going to lose out on their experiences, for any inclination to take up polyamory again (or realization that one does identify as poly) brings them back into play. Couple that with the fact that they're still welcome--and encouraged!--to participate here because of their past experience with polyamory, and I doubt we're losing much in the way of interaction and information.
So, if we allow for folks to walk away and blog about monogamy without any reference to polyamory, for how long would we let it go on? Is there some standard anybody can point to as how long it takes before a couple can be certain they don't want to be poly? Three months? Six? A year?
The only consistent standard we have available is that of current situation, and that includes generous allowances. As it stands, if one of the people involved maintains a desire for polyamory at some point, we accept it as topical, without regard to what the partner maintains (and the partner is encouraged to show up and discuss matters, too.) It's only when all involved say there's no desire for polyamory going forward that we look askance at blogging about it.
In this particular instance, I have a quite positive view of the blogger and would love to keep track of how well things work out. I'm sympathetic to the urge to want to hear about anything. I also have the task of keeping this site focused on its mission, and for better or worse, I'm unconvinced that letting anything go in the blogs is good for the site.
In your example of Maca deciding to be done with poly and then changing his mind, the constant in all that was that you were still wanting to do poly--there was one person involved with a desire/intent/identity involving polyamory. That's a distinctly different situation than one in which both involved have stated that they have no desire to pursue polyamory in any way.
In fact, most of her thread is about poly, there's a couple posts that are about her decision change-but there wasn't anything even in those to suggest that she was going to be posting anything anti-poly or even avoid discussing poly topics going forward....
As you'll note in the discussion there, she's been encouraged to continue to post about how the poly has affected them and she's indicated she's willing to do that. She seems to be worried about putting out a negative vibe about poly, a concern that I never had.
It's not a happy situation. We want to hear from them, we want to hear that things are working out, we want to maintain some connection. This particular place, however, is limited in scope as to how far we can support those ties, which is the situation with most any social site.
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