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Old 12-06-2012, 08:58 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Cali
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Now, another post I'd like to respond to-
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I'd define it as putting the preservation of the couple first and foremost.
I was talking to TGIB about this bit, and his response was, "Aren't there two couples in our relationship?" and he's right. I know you meant preserving the primary couple first and foremost, but frankly if my relationship has to be "preserved" or "protected" then it's probably time to exit anyway. I'm not going to run out and start doing things to intentionally damage my relationship with my husband, of course, but nor am I going to tiptoe on eggshells and treat it like a fragile piece of glass. If my relationship can't stand up to my choices, it's fucked anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
In my situation, as a single woman seeing a married poly man, I see it mainly in the fact that our dates tend to revolve around his wife's plans. I see a lot of ways in which he has put my feelings and what matters to me on an equal or even higher level, which I suspect, reading here, is a little atypical.
Does he tend to change plans with you based on plans she makes? Or does she just get on the calendar first since she lives with him? MC has a friend that he meets up with to work on writing, and a lot of times she tries to schedule something only a few days in advance, which doesn't really work for our family schedule. And when he tries to schedule something further in advance, she often doesn't know her schedule well enough to commit. I wonder if, in your case, is that less "couple privilege" and more "live-in partner privilege".

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
However, there's that one major 'couple privilege' of the assumption that the couple will remain together, which tells the secondary from the start that this relationship can only go so far. Yes, a few do eventually move in and become co-primaries, but there are so many reasons why that wouldn't work for most people, that those numbers are very, very small and don't change the likely outcome of this secondary relationship can only go so far.
While I agree that this does happen a lot, I think your assumption that a co-primary must move in to be considered such speaks again to the "live-in partner privilege" rather than "couple privilege". TGIB and I didn't start this relationship with any sort of "this can only go so far" message, though there was definitely a message of "I have no interest in leaving my husband" which TGIB was perfectly okay with (again, MY choice and decision, not anyone else's assumption). It was more of "we don't know what this is, let's let it play out and figure it out." Originally he had NO desire to live with a partner again, or even be in a committed relationship again. As those desires changed, though, the expectation of what will happen once we all live in the same area changed, from "living nearby" to "living next door" to "living with us".

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
I have been told repeatedly that "I can't offer you more." (No, I wasn't asking, he says it in apology and in reference to other things.) So right from the start there is the mixed message of, "I really, really like you, I can't wait to see you again, I'd do anything for you...except that...and I can't see you tonight." In short, it can feel like, you're not really all that.
I understand that feeling, and it SUCKS, but again I wonder if it really goes back to couple privilege or something more general like family responsibilities. TGIB is not seeing anyone else at the moment, but he still has tons of responsibilities and commitments to his kids and other family members. He would LIKE to be able to give me more, but it's just not possible given the situation at the moment. Perhaps there's a "family privilege" for those with kids that is similar to "couple privilege". In fact, thinking about it, I can already think of privileges for those with kids AND privileges for those without kids, so I guess it can go either way and the key is to be aware of whichever one applies to you/your loved ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
It's beneficial to the couple for obvious reasons. It's what allows them to believe they have enough security in the marriage to venture out.
Ouch. That last sentence feels a little derogatory. Hopefully you were speaking to the un-examined assumptions of couple privilege? Because I would venture to say that BECAUSE MC and I have discussed so thoroughly the ways in which we don't desire to adhere to the expectations of couple privilege, but rather do what we feel is best for each of us separately, as well as best for us as a couple (and that applies to me and TGIB as well), THAT is what tells me we're strong enough to navigate whatever comes to pass, whether we're referring to my relationship with TGIB or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
For the secondary, it depends on many things: the situation and desires of the particular (secondary) person, and just how much couple privilege we're talking about (only the one rule that they won't break up, or an extensive list of rules and regulations?)
Very true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
But perhaps among other things what is needed is the honesty you mention. Honesty requires, in part, admitting that the egalitarian ideal works better as a theory than as a reality.

People need to believe that they can rely on their spouse. I won't even say know because I've seen too many examples, even here, of primary couples breaking up and one person re-marrying their secondary. But in relationships, any relationship, we have a need to believe we can count on someone else to continue being there and playing their role in our lives. We are not islands. We weren't made to be islands.

But it is this very promise to continue being there for one person that limits and often ultimately harms the second person who becomes very emotionally involved.

This is one of the fatal, inherent flaws I see in polyamory.
I wonder if this is part of the difference between choosing to be poly because it makes sense and being wired for poly. Is it easier for those "wired" for poly to continue being there for more than one person? I feel I'm there for TGIB as much as I am for MC (except for the long distance thing, but again, that goes back to family responsibilities on both our parts, not romantic entanglements). And I would sure hope that TGIB is very emotionally involved because I sure am, even though I'm also married to and very emotionally involved with MC. This may be the key to "successful" (by whatever definition you choose) poly relationships- are you, as an individual REALLY capable of putting the time, energy, and effort into multiple relationships? Or are you already pretty stretched just trying to handle one? I wonder how many people try to be poly because they like the idea in theory, rather than are cognizant of the real consequences of it, and if those aren't the ones that tend to blow up badly.
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Pan Female, Hinge in a V between my mono (straight) husband, Monochrome and my poly (pan) partner, ThatGuyInBlack
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