Originally Posted by Petunia
To the seasoned poly people with a primary partner, have you found that having outside relationships has enhanced your primary relationship over the long haul? Has it strengthened that bond or has it diminished it as your feelings for others have grown?
Do you limit how attached or how deep your outside relationships can become? Have you implemented safeguards to protect your core relationship?
I'm at about 16 months with a second partner, which is the longest I've had more than one partner at a time. Other relationships can remind me of problems with my husband, but on the other hand, positives with my husband can also highlight problems with my partners. I'd say my "primary" relationship has been enhanced by poly both because I am not somebody who goes NRE crazy, and mostly
because my husband is so great at being a supportive partner, and he's been giving me good objective relationship advice since I met him, so I know he supports me and my happiness. The two times I've been in love with somebody besides my "primary" it was a good thing overall, and did not detract from my feelings or desire for them.
We don't have limits on relationships in an emotional way, though there is a limit on time - our default is up to 2 dates a week with somebody else is fine, and if we want more than that it requires a discussion about how things are on the home front, if chores are getting done, how that will impact us, before it gets over 2x a week. My husband isn't interested in one of my partners moving in, and I sure don't want to share my house with another girl who might want to *gasp* decorate shit, so that is the only other thing that would limit how far a relationship can grow.