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Old 12-27-2012, 04:49 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,573

Thank you for sharing your situation with us - I have found this thread very interesting and thought-invoking.

As you have noticed we all "do poly" in different ways...which I find fascinating, since the way that I "do poly" differs depending on what my present configuration looks like.

Originally Posted by CageyCate View Post
... I am getting the sense that some view poly as you just do your thing and I do mine. In my house, we are in a life-long relationship. We do not operate our lives quite that independently, or have one foot out the door. We discuss everything. We check in with each other ....make sure what we are doing is in keeping with comfort and commitment levels. We have been together more than 20 years...are raising a child, and are committed to growing old(er) together. So, we don't just say, choose your secondary or choose me. That's just not our scenario.
A lot of what you say here applies to my relationship with my husband. We have been together for 2 DECADES, we have built something together (although we don't have kids), we share a history and common goals. I would never give up what I have with him, regardless of who else is involved in my life.

Originally Posted by CageyCate View Post
...I cannot see myself refusing to end a relationship with someone who hurt my spouse so much and who obviously causes such pain in our relationship. My husband is first, always. And I am first with him. That's just how we operate.
Hmmm...interesting, I (myself personally) agree with part of the sentiment but not with the reasoning. I think it is because I don't "date." By the time I would consider myself in a "relationship" with someone they would already have had to pass the hurdle of NOT causing pain in my relationship with my husband...or in my relationship with Dude.

It's not that my husband is "first, always" (although he is the first chronologically)...sometimes Dude is first...sometimes I am first - depending on the circumstances. It's more that ... if a "potential" relationship is damaging to a "proven" relationship, then, to me, that "relationship" is just simply not going to work. Why would i want to be with someone that damages the things that are important to me? An analogy: If a friend of mine came in and set fire to my collection, say, of Heinlein novels - they wouldn't be my friend.

Originally Posted by CageyCate View Post
I should also say that seeing people outside our marriage is more for dating enjoyment and less a "lifestyle" mandate. While we have caring feelings for those we date and love some of them in nurturing, non-posssessive kind of way, I would not say we are "in love" with them in any way close to the way we are in love with and committed to each other. So, our polyamory may differ from yours.

...While I like having a primary secondary I really connect with -- that sounds awkward -- I may also have periodic dates with others, as might my husband (which I fully support), for whatever reason. New experiences? New connections? Doing things our regular secondary or primary is not into? Just plain fun?
So this may very well be a way that "your poly" is, in fact, different from "my poly" (and every person's "poly" is different). I agree with the "New experiences? New connections? Doing things our regular secondary or primary is not into? Just plain fun?" part, but, for me, I am also a proponent of letting relationships evolve to whatever level is right for that relationship, without restriction. (And, to be fair, I hate the very concept of "dating.")

My relationship with Dude is not at the same place my relationship with MrS is. How could it be? They are different people, we have been together different lengths of time, we have shared different experiences. 20 years from now could my relationship with Dude be near where MrS and I are now? Certainly, or it could be somewhere completely different. My relationship with Dude doesn't have to follow the same trajectory, it is it's own entity.


With regards to this:

Originally Posted by CageyCate View Post
Yes, he knows how I feel about the ex. Ad nausea. That is why he isn't pushing so much as just reminding me periodically that he is still interested in her and would appreciate me not closing the door to that. I seriously consider it every time it is discussed (a few times a year?) and say I am trying to get my head around it and here is where I have trouble, how can we get past that? No solution has become apparent yet. We talk and I say I will think about it. But whenever it comes up, I have such a negative visceral reaction, it doesn't go much further.

... He realizes I have legitimate concerns and that she (or the relationship I guess, to be fair) caused major drama before. He justs wants this because she is a fun fuck and low maintenance (which I understand -- very appealing). For him. He is not desparately in love with her and my saying it pains me for you to do this won't end his world.
Aside from the "few times a year" that he brings it up, how much effort are you putting into "trying to get [your] head around it"? Do you ignore it between conversations? (This doesn't seem to be the case, since you are here talking about it.) It sounds as though the two of you don't date looking for "co-primary" type life-long relationships. So it sounds, from my perspective, that he is really looking at her as a potential "fuck-buddy" (i.e. "fun fuck and low maintenance"). - to me, that is less-than a relationship. So you either set swinger-type boundaries (you can see her x times a month, and I don't want to hear about it) and let him get her out of his system or you say "No, anyone but her." and put and end to the discussion.

Just some random observations.

Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (23+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (4+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
Lotus: "it's complicated"
SLeW: platonic girlfriend + BFF
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.

My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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