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Old 01-30-2012, 09:18 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 10,083

Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Having a primary really IS different.

It seems like a pretty innocuous comment. I doubt she meant to imply that your other relations are unimportant or disposable.
Hope you don't mind my chiming in. It all depends on how the primary relationship is different from others. If it's simply a designation of shared households and parenting, or how much time can be spent together, sure it's different. But far too many people do feel that secondary relationships are disposable and less important when they say things like that.

Personally, I don't subscribe to hierarchical arrangements myself, because as a solo, I view all my love relationships as equally important. But I wouldn't mind, in fact I welcome, the opportunity to be a secondary to someone who has a partner - provided I do not feel like I'm being treated as a secondary in the ways that the term is often used. I was not amused by the card. I feel like it is a sad commentary on how to bungle a relationship.

Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
While I was amused by the Secondary Relationships Card, I also feel like...I don't quite get it somehow, or I have a totally different understanding of what it means to be a secondary.

If I were a secondary to a married man with kids, for example, I certainly would not expect (or want!) to join him for family vacations or holidays.

I have my own friends to go on vacation with, and my own family to spend holidays with.
I wouldn't necessarily, either, at least not in the beginning stages. But if I were in a tight relationship with someone as his secondary and had befriended his primary, and built a friendly relationship with any kids he has, after a period of time, I think it would be nice to be able to vacation together, whether I act on that option or not. I mean, you spend 2, 5, or 10 years in relationship with someone, it shouldn't matter that he considers his spouse as a primary at that point. If you all get along and want to go somewhere together, my designation as a secondary should not automatically preclude me from that. I guess for some polyfolk, it does, at least often enough to be on that card.
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
If my relationship caused drama or problems with the primary couple, I would WANT to remove myself from the situation. I would expect my partner to end things with me if I caused problems with his wife.
How would you cause problems for the wife... by existing? I believe it is up to the guy you get involved with to manage all his relationships with each partner, not let one dictate the other.
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Of course I wouldn't want to be valued less or respected less--but it seems to me like the POINT of a secondary relationship is that it truly is of secondary importance.
I couldn't accept that to be a secondary. I want to be valued, respected, AND acknowledged as just as important (if, and that is a big IF, the relationship reaches that "serious" point and we do have a commitment to each other). For me, being someone's secondary might just mean that he would not make decisions about my life, and there would be no mingling of funds, or co-managing a household (although there are possibilities for that as a secondary, too, I would imagine), but I couldn't stand to be considered less important. That doesn't mean I'd expect the same or equal amount of time as a spouse, but I want to be as important in terms of consideration for my feelings, mostly. I just posted this in another thread:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
As I see it, married people who choose to have polyamorous relationships are also choosing a responsibility to all the people they are involved with, not just their spouses. If I get involved with someone who has a partner, my main boundary for myself is that no metamours can set rules for my relationships.
The above is very important to me.
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Secondary relationships should enrich the lives of those in them, but shouldn't BE your life the same way a primary partner IS your life.

... It just seems to me like if you are at the point where you go on family vacations, are public to everyone about your relationship, and are committed enough to go through with a pregnancy together, you're a co-primary, not a secondary.
Well, this is how you view primary/secondary arrangements, and I am sure you will meet others who feel the same.

Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Here's what seems odd to me about poly relationships (or with the way many poly people talk about relationships): it seems like the relationships are not allowed to pass through a non-serious phase before becoming serious.

In monogamous dating, it's (usually) okay for a relationship to take a long time to get serious, right? But in poly, if you don't immediately include your secondary on family vacations, you're disrespected him/her.
Yes, I have seen that tendency as well, especially with those people who come here and say, "we want to find someone to move into our household and live with us." How silly. But yeah, I don't understand why it seems that you have to go from zero to 60 mph in an instant, just because you're poly. People seem to think that it's a serious relationship after four months, when I think I would still barely know the person at that point. I'm all for nurturing a relationship for at least a year before considering it "serious."

However, I think that card is directed at established secondary relationships, not really new ones.

Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
I honestly don't get what bothered you about your friend's comment, SC? Is there more context you can explain?
I think SC explained it really well:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Yes, I'm married. Yes, we share finances and a household. Yes, that means I have obligations and commitments to him. I also have obligations and commitments to school, to my parents, to my best friend and her son... And if I get into a serious relationship with someone else, I will have obligations and commitments to them. And triage will go thusly: who's having the bigger crisis right now and needs my time and attention most, at this moment?

It does not mean that I have already decided, a priori, that all my future relationships will be "less important." It does not mean that anyone will ever be considered disposable, simply by virtue of not being my spouse. I didn't roll that way when I was single, why would that change now?
And, I have to say, it warmed my heart to read it! I am so happy to see that someone feels this way. I didn't roll that way when I was single either. It is in keeping with how I approach poly as a solo. If I were married and pursuing poly relationships outside my marriage, I would see it the same way. This gives me hope that there are other married poly peeps out there whose philosophies are compatible with mine, so maybe I won't have to keep turning people down because they tell me their wife will always be their first priority.
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia

Click here for a Solo Poly view on hierarchical relationships
Click here to find out why the Polyamorous Misanthrope is feeling disgusted.

Last edited by nycindie; 01-30-2012 at 10:11 PM.
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