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Old 12-04-2012, 01:51 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
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Do you believe couple privilege exists?
Absolutely and without question.

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How would you define it? (Or how would you adjust my proposed definition?)
Prioritizing the needs/desires/preferences of the couple over any other partners.

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How have you seen couple privilege manifest in poly/open relationships? (Examples)
Creation of boundary agreements that largely impact the ability of other partners to ever have similar depth/privilege/rights in relationship with either partner in the couple. Property ownership, decision making regarding vacations, weekends, finances, etc.

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Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?
I think it's unrealistic to expect people to negate it without time to move towards the negation of it-
but I think overall it is harmful.

I think that it's MUCH MORE functional to prioritize privilege earned in terms of responsibility put in; not in terms of who came first.

For example: we (husband and I) have an agreement that specifies the amount of responsibility and privilege we expect from a person who is in any given role in our lives. We created the agreement so that we could communicate with one another more simply in terms of what we can expect from metamours regarding responsibility to the FAMILY SITUATION and to our partner as well as what privileges we agree go along with those levels of responsibility.

My boyfriend (who has lived with us for 10 years) has equal privilege regarding financial decisions (we are actually in process of purchasing an additional property in his name so that we can improve his credit-as he's never had a mortgage, major cc or loan).
He has equal say so in terms of safety boundaries (safer sex for example) that pertain to any "new" partners (of which he is not).
He has equal say in regards to where family vacations are planned and when and daily schedules, kids schedules, activities, chores etc.

By our boundary definitions he is in fact an "OSO" and has all the same privileges as a full member of our family.

There has still been "couple-centric issues" in terms of equality because of the fact that we got to poly via he and I cheating (3 years poly now). That has meant he and I regaining trust. One of the steps in that has been prioritizing Dh's need for date time with me as a first. That need gets met prior to scheduling date time with my bf.
However-this is a concession bf and I discussed and agreed to on account of our breach of trust.

On the other hand-if someone new comes into the picture as a potential-the amount of one-on-one time they get is significantly less than either my DH or bf gets with me-based upon our ability to "sneak in private moments" since we live together (we still only reserve one date night a week due to having kid/work/school obligations).
They are limited to one date a week one-on-one-which is the same as we get, but because they don't live with us-they miss the sneak-peak moments.

Once a relationship is established they earn more opportunity to spend time joining in family/social activities in addition to the date time.

As time passes, they can become more integrated and involved in the family and to the extent that they put in-they can "get out" of it.



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How has couple privilege affected your personal experience of poly/open relationships? Specific examples or personal stories are welcome.
see above


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How would you like to see couple privilege addressed in the poly/open community at large?
I don't know.


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If you are part of a primary couple that chooses to handle relationships with additional intimate partners in hierarchical ways that may seem to reinforce couple privilege, what is your rationale or intent for those choices?

If you eschew hierarchy and/or labels in your poly/open relationships, how do you “walk that talk” regarding couple privilege?
It's a work in progress. We started with a disaster. I can't say it was even hierarchical-it was just a big clusterfuck.

But-our goal is to address issues as they arise individually and to respect each person in our family as an individual with rights and needs and preferences to be considered by all.
We work (not as a couple-but as a family unit with four parental like people) to prioritize each persons needs without exclusion of anothers. When it becomes impossible due to complete contradictions-we prioritize the kids needs first, then brainstorm the most equitable possible options.
We haven't gotten it fully on board with what we want yet-but we've come a HELL of a long way from where we started.
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