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-   -   primary status rejected (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6008)

dingedheart 01-27-2011 05:53 PM

primary status rejected
Hi folks, had a interesting discussion last night. I think she was trying to be supportive by saying I was her primary and blah, blah. At which point I said " what if I don't want to be the primary" I think she said I want you as my primary. I said in poly isn't everything negotiable why is this any different. I then asked "who do you think about when you have mental free time, how much time do you spend texting or checking in on the phone with him. The answer I got was some question to me and some avoidance bs. I then said, "if you are spending you free mental time thinking of this guy... then he's already the number one thing on your mind. He may as well have the title to go along with it. And conversely I'll gladly switch places or be something even less if that meant being the focus of your thoughts and attention. Or better yet just your thoughts. Things got a little more heated after that. And this idea seemed to really bother her. I thinking Ok. whats my up side? I/we get less time, attention, focus. I get to be her emotional tampon when things get rough, in all things not just this relationship stuff but her job, friends, etc. And I almost forgot the financial piece. Here's women who makes over 80 grand a year who never has a buck. Her money is her money and my money is our money. When I think of all the money I have spent/invested in this I could have bought a small island somewhere, a topic for another time. All For What? Whats my up side again?? I said I'm not sure I want the responsibility of primary and I would let her know. Maybe tertiary, but that might not work seeing there is only two, I get that status by default, hey lucky me. I wonder if she'll be thinking of this conversation the next time she pickup her blackberry. What am saying she most likely emailed an entire transcript 3 min after it ended last night. Got go have a lunch meeting.
Look forward to hearing the replies D

SNeacail 01-27-2011 06:18 PM

All I can say, is that was an interesting approach. I can't immagine her not thinking about that conversation for awhile yet. Very interested to see how she responds to this.

I have never understood the "what's mine is mine, and what's his is ours". Living expenses as well as household chores should be shared. Not saying 50/50, but proportional based on income, ability, etc. Maybe re-negotiating that could help you start finding a balance, where you don't feel like you are being taken advantage of.

Fidelia 01-27-2011 09:10 PM


You and your wife have some serious issues the two of you need to address so that you get your marriage on the right track. Among them are basic fairness, trust, honesty and communication, going strictly on what you have written on this forum. A counselor or therapist might be really useful to y'all to help you sort through things and acquire the tools you need to work through it and get your relationship back on track.

Adding the complications of polyamory to an unhealthy relationship never solves the underlying problems.

redpepper 01-27-2011 10:22 PM

Was that a vent you just had? I am kind of waiting too. To see what you think about what the conversation you had.

You basically have told her that you are not wanting to be the soul supporter of her and her emotions and actions in her relationships. That is fine, but that means she will go elsewhere. Are you okay with that?

Just because she texts and talks to others more does not indicate a hierarchy. You as a couple decide on that... and I suggest that you move out of it frankly as hierarchies are useful to a point and then they just become disrespectful to the people involved. Everyone is worth being on a even ground I think

It sounds like you are thinking that she doesn't consider you in the position you hold in her life. So tell her that and tell her what position you want to have, including details about your needs and boundaries...

It sounds like this needs renegotiating and refocusing on... that is not something to be sarcastic about all the time, just as a vent maybe... if in fact it was venting sarcasm you were doing in your post? Eventually sarcasm leads to passive aggression in my experience, rather than being assertive about what you need. I say assertive rather than aggressive... assertion comes with a heavy dose of respect and consideration of words, and compassion for the listeners position. Aggression with attempt to bring the listener down in some way... if you want respect you have to give it also.

As to the money issue? I don't think its fair to bring that up when you are pissed off. If you don't like it, change it... it's not open season on everything you hate about your life with her when you have a fight I don't think... If you realize there is something that you would like to change when you are in the midst of a fight then put it aside and work on that later. It sounds like you have an imbalance of finances going and that you don't understand why. So that is to deal with separately. If you don't, and things carry on, and you know that you don't like the situation, then its on your head not hers I think. If you don't address issues that are a concern of yours and not hers, then that is your issue, not hers. Its not fair or relevant to other arguments to bring that up.

Stick to the topic at hand and work at one thing at a time... blowing up over everything at once is bordering on verbal abuse for some people. Not to say that you are, but to let oneself go in that way can be extremely destructive rather than instructive. Again, perhaps you were venting to us, and that is completely valid and welcomed... I do that with people too with a reminder that I just need to vent in order to gain some composure to be able to handle the situation. Often it becomes clear where to head after and I appreciate the ear.

I use to blow up and throw words at people, situations at people and damaged relationships and chances at working towards something better... it isn't worth it in the end and I hurt people I love. Now I make every attempt to get a grip on my feelings before that... It might take some therapy to be able to do that... or a course in communication. There is a thread on that here in the stickies... I also suggest looking into non violent or compassionate communication techniques. They have changed my communication life ten fold.

SNeacail 01-27-2011 10:30 PM

@RP - Ouch! Your absolutely right, but what you said hit real close to home for me. Again Ouch! Off to find some more books to read...:D

ray 01-27-2011 11:51 PM

I can't claim to know how you feel, since I'm in a very different place in life, unmarried, college student, female etc. I would take heart in knowing that she's is likely experiencing NRE right now which is why she thinks about him and txts him a lot. It's sounds like you've been married a long time. It doesn't mean that she loves you less or that she sees him as primary. The NRE will pass. It may be obnoxious and hurtful even, but it can't last forever. I hope that she and her SO are respectful of your needs while they enjoy NRE. I doubt there's much I can say to make anything better but I do wish you the best in figuring out what you need to be happy.

dingedheart 01-28-2011 07:45 PM

hi again, To clarify, it wasn't a fight it was actually started out a quiet discussion, as her trying to get me to understand her version of primary. That's when I got myself in trouble by saying or asking I should'nt be the "primary"... her words not mine. She seem very hurt to think I could have such a thought. And when I said heated she became emotional not me. She had tears. Anything with quotes around it was close to my words as I can remember. The " whats my up side part " was a rant to all of you. I never said anything about money as she her contributions. As for the money thing rant I really don't give a shit that's just sour grapes looking back. If I didn't have kids I may bitch about the time I wasted,.... want those years back and the like. Stupid I know, I wasted and lost more money than the pocket change I was refering to anyway.

The idea of a hierarchy seems inherent with the use of the word/status of primary. I see a change happening already I don't think she gets her behavior/nre may kill things for me. There maybe nothing to go back to after the Nre wears off. Again I was told nothing was going to change... it was just something she needed to explore. In the beginning she said she had no problems with me having a outside relationship. About a month a go I stopped wearing my wedding band....wow another thing she didn't like. Kind of blown away by her reaction... she's free to date, fuck, whatever and I can't stop wearing a ring. So none of you has tried to remove yourselves as the "primary"???? I'm sure its a question that's never been asked, I get that a lot. Thanks D

SNeacail 01-28-2011 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by dingedheart (Post 63728)
Again I was told nothing was going to change... it was just something she needed to explore.

To say nothing is going to change, when your are changing the entire dynamic of your relationship is naive at best, to believe it was also naive and unrealistic. Any thing we do has the potential to severely impact our day to day lives, changing medication changes things, changing jobs changes us, etc. We need to learn to watch for what is changing and address the problems that inevitably arise and work toward a solution that is liveable.

As far as the money thing is concerned, obviously there is some resentment there. What worked great 3 years ago, may not be what works now. It's not unreasonable to negotiate new systems to run your household.

redpepper 01-29-2011 04:13 AM

I became an unprimary when my wife and I were poly. PN became primary after a time... really now, I wouldn't of defined it as such... she is just as important as she ever was. Our marriage ended, but my love for her didn't change... her involvement in my life changed, but when I think of her now... thousands of miles away, having not talked to her since Christmas, I feel the same as I did 15 years ago... perhaps even more love. The kind that of love that grows with time and experiences together.

I don't have primaries in the sense of hierarchy. Mono is not financially bonded to me or bonded to me in terms of a child, but he is just as important as PN... in time and in experience, the loves in my life become more and more primary... the time I spend with them is not indicative of status either after a time... there is old love and new love and differences in personality... that's it.

dingedheart 02-01-2011 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by SNeacail (Post 63731)
To say nothing is going to change, when your are changing the entire dynamic of your relationship is naive at best, to believe it was also naive and unrealistic.

What I meant by nothing was going to change was/is the early discussions on this topic were such that "my love for you won't diminish but grow. More love, and happiness for all. Things of that nature. Words we have all read on here and other sites many , many times. In theory that's great and in a lot of cases workable. The rub comes in practice. We have all read post now in which a partner feels like the time or dates and yes even sex he or she is given is out of fairness and or obligation. I've don't think I have read any responses to partners detailing why it was happening or what they plan to do about it.

When I said in one of my early posts I came to this poly situation reluctantly its the same way I viewed cocaine in the 1980's, Don't even try it once because I'll most likely get hooked. I was an adrenaline junkie at that time , and we used and or abused alcohol, thankfully I put most of that behind me. Way to many morning waking up feeling like death, I wish I could get that time back as well.
The concept of poly was not to much different< in my head > as what I did in college... and for about yr or so after. I date several women at once, some on the same day, very similar to stories here. However I never had more than three. And more likely it was two with the third being a transition back to 2. My mind set was fun... Never marriage or anything like that. The problem was the women wanting more of a commitment, generally that's when things got sticky, time to move on so to speak. Knowing myself the way I think I do when it comes to matters of the heart, I personally don't think I could make assurances or statements like the ones my wife has. Sure I could say I'll always love you but I think we all know that could have 3 dozen meanings. When I felt the disconnect happening she would say but I love you. To my reply... like what brother, room mate, cousin ,etc,... never really got a great response back. Or one I remember. Hope that helps explain a little. D

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