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Old 06-05-2012, 02:43 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Location: Yelm, Washington
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Re (from mostlyclueless, Post #1):
"Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married?"
Whew, that's a loaded (rhetorical?) question ... I can't speak for "these people," I can only speak for myself. I was in a traditional monogamous marriage for almost twenty years before I realized I wanted a polyamorous arrangement. Believe me, I wasn't presumptuous about how I brought it up. Actually (over the course of many years) I went through a great deal of change in my whole philosophy about life and all that, and apologized to my wife for the change, as I knew she had never signed up for that.

What does a person do, if they realize things about life that they never thought they'd realize? One could always pretend, I suppose, that nothing had changed. But that's not a very good solution.

On the other hand, if someone knew they were polyamorous/non-monogamous from the very beginning, and pretended that they were monogamous, in order to get together with another monogamous person, then, that's a pretty crappy thing to do. I suppose you'd just have to know what was in a person's mind, which, you could only ask them, and take their word on it, unless you don't trust them for some reason. What more can you do? None of us have E.S.P., so you just have to make the call on whether you can trust the other person's word.

"It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it."
In some cases that may be true, and it would be pretty crappy if someone did that. But be careful about coming to any blanket conclusion about a whole category of people. One could say that I had a "hunch," in that I was never comfortable "thinking inside the mainstream box," but I had learned to force my thinking into that box, and believed I was okay with it. It's a question of social conditioning. There's so much pressure to "be monogamous" that for most people, contemplating polyamory/non-monogamy is just an unthinkable thing to do.

It would be as if, if I had thought of myself as being polyamorous, that would have made me a "slut" or a "whore" (the male version of it). Who wants to think of themselves as a slut or a whore? So I tried my damnedest never to question the social/sexual norms, and to conform my mind/body to what the church/society wanted/expected. And for almost twenty years, I succeeded. So I wouldn't say it was like I hatched some kind of plot to make my (future) wife believe I was monogamous when I suspected I was polyamorous. I was pretty darn well convinced (at the time I got married) that I was monogamous.

As I said, some people may have a hunch about being polyamorous, and "hide" that part of themselves from their (future) spouse. But I'd caution against any blanket assumptions about that, as it's a serious accusation. Make sure you know all the relevent details about a situation, before coming to any harsh conclusions about it. (That's my advice anyway.)

Re (from rory, Post #4):
"People change, and relationships need to be adjusted or they will break."
Yes, I think that's a true principle (one that applies both to polyamory and to many other things).

Re (from mostlyclueless, Post #5):
"Let me clarify -- I'm talking about the threads where people come here and say, 'My spouse is adamantly opposed to open/poly relationships, how can I convince him/her to let me have one?'"
Well, that's a somewhat different issue. That's like any time one person wants to "convince" another person of something (whether it's a spouse wanting to convince their spouse to open the relationship, or a salesman wanting to sell someone a new car). The word "convince" is somewhat of a fallacy, especially in a close relationship like a marriage, where you're supposed to respect each other's views and opinions, not try to change the other person all the time.

In threads like the one you described above, my general answer would be, "Don't try to convince your spouse to think like you do. Just explain to them how *you* came to think differently about things, offer to answer any questions they may have, and/or direct them to websites and further information if they want it, and express that you hope they'll be able to accept this about you, but that you understand if they can't, and you're willing to renegotiate the relationship, and apologize that things didn't turn out as you thought they would be." That's about the best anyone can do in such a situation. Maybe it's time to dissolve the marriage. Sometimes marriages dissolve, even if polyamory isn't the reason. Like rory said, people do change, and you can't always predict these changes.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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