Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   secondary? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=787)

Tia 09-15-2009 11:10 PM

hey :)

This is all a bit weird for me because I only really heard of polyarmory, or rather considered it as a concept in relation to me, 10 days ago. I've started a relationship with a man in a polyamorous marriage... it was him who introduced me to the idea, and I have to say, it answers a lot of questions, and addresses a lot of issues I have with traditional couplings.

I do have one concern though, which I haven't really found a definitive answer to reading other people's posts and listening to podcasts etc...

What exactly do you mean when you say "secondary" relationship? Secondary in terms of the amount of time one person spends with the other? Does it signify where his/her "stuff" is stored? Or, in people's opinion, does it also sometimes relate to an emotional pecking order?

I really would value your honest opinions on this. I am literally just about to step out onto the polyamorous path - and whilst I don't know this guy well enough right now to worry about the long term, I would like to walk into whatever I am about to do with my eyes open to the possibilities.


NeonKaos 09-15-2009 11:15 PM

It can refer to any or all of those things, or anything else you want. A lot of times I hear of the "primary" being the person who you live with, have kids with, share expenses, etc. But it is not just that. Some people have more than one primary. "Secondary" doesn't necessarily mean "less important".

This is being discussed in a lot of elsewhere on this forum; I recommend using the search utility to find them, since it often pops up in the middle of a thread and is not always a part of the title.

MonoVCPHG 09-15-2009 11:24 PM

Hi Tia,
Secondary means exactly that. Your relationship is the second priority in the relationship. His wife and family come first ultimately. If you understand and accept that, then you can truly enjoy your poly relationship. Where your stuff is stored or even if you co-habitate have little bearing on being a secondary.

Yes, there is a pecking order and yes you will be considered second in that to his primary.

Yes, you generally will spend less time with him than his primary.

This doesn't mean you aren't an important and loved part of the relationship. Just don't get all possessive and selfish towards his time.

Do make sure you feel healthy and taken care of. Are you looking for a primary as well or other secondaries? That can be a good way to balance your own attention to him.

Take care
Mono "Professional Life Committed Secondary" :D

Tia 09-15-2009 11:36 PM

Thank you for you honesty. It's helped me a lot.

Quath 09-16-2009 12:52 AM

"Secondary" can mean many things. The most common view is that a person in a serious relationship starts to see someone else. That new relationship is usually labeled secondary. But that says nothing about the feelings in the relationship. It says more about who sleeps with whom by default or where a person tends to spend the night.

But secondary can mean many other things. It may just mean that it was the next relationship after the first relationship. Or it can mean that it is a relationship with less value than the primary one. Or it can mean that it is a relationship with more of a specific focus (like BDSM partner). Or it can mean the relationship is a distant one in which it is tougher to feel close.

I would suggest you ask the person saying it if it sounds confusing at all to see how they see it.

MonoVCPHG 09-16-2009 12:59 AM

Quath nailed it..ask the guy involved what he is offering and what he expects out of the word secondary..because it is just a word after all :)

Tia 09-16-2009 09:38 AM

thank you again.. yes - that's good advice. I am to meet his wife tomorrow, so maybe I should ask them both? Or is that improper?

Quath 09-16-2009 01:27 PM

I always lean towards the idea that the more communication, the better. Make sure your desires are known, but be willing to compromise.

Nothing wrong with asking what her perspective on things are.

Tia 09-16-2009 01:37 PM

Thank you quath.. I'm so nervous and excited at the same time. I'm scared she'll not like me, or that I'll do or say something to make her feel threatened or make him lose interest in me... your words are a comfort, especially as this is a bit new to me to be able to talk about it with anyone who knows me just yet... I need to sort the pieces out in my own head before I do that. If anyone has any last minute words of wisdom on how best to handle this situation, I am all ears. My knowledge pool on this topic is a big fat zero.. so I value the voice/s of experience.

Thank you

XYZ123 09-16-2009 02:47 PM

Just be yourself. If she wants to meet you she's already accepted poly and, at the very least, the idea of you. The best thing you can do is be who you are from the start so no one feels surprised or upset if things come out later. Be clear on what you hope to get from this relationship and be willing to listen to what they have to say. Good luck!

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:02 AM.