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Old 12-28-2012, 01:09 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,742

Originally Posted by Moose17 View Post

But how long do these relationships tend to last? I know monogamous marriages don't have an incredible track record, but is serial polyamory any better than serial monogamy?

I ask because my situation feels somewhat unusual in these circles. My wife and I started this discussion very recently, when she developed romantic feelings for someone who was already a close friend and happened to be openly poly.

...we built a life together for the last decade-plus, and it can grow and change, but nothing can be allowed to damage it or substantively detract from it. I'm not sure how common that dynamic is, how long external relationships can last for people in situations like ours, or even how monos going poly tend to do a few years down the line.

But it goes back to the question of "how long does any poly relationship last?". So, I'm asking. Gimme stories of endurance. I want to hear particularly from people whose situations started out like mine, but also from anyone who wants to chime in. I freely admit that I don't know enough about any of this. Fill me in.
You asked for stories of endurance, so I will share a bit of mine. My "version" of polyamory is heavily influenced by the type of "group marriage" demonstrated in the science fiction novels of Robert Heinlein. In a sense, I've considered myself polyamorous since before the word was invented (in 1992 I believe). So much so, that when I got together with MrS, 20 years ago (and my first "relationship") I told him that he should just read everything that Heinlein ever wrote and then he would understand me a LOT better. (Lovely man, he did just that .)

We ironed out some boundaries and ... well, have been together ever since. Our early boundaries (they have evolved over time) included no limitations on my interactions/relationships with other women (this hasn't changed). And, within the first year, I had developed a FWB type relationship with one of his close female friends. That relationship still exists today.

Several years later I had a conversation with a bi-curious (female) friend of mine along the lines of: “What if you found a girl who was really into you but wasn't willing to be with you if you were with a man (MrS)?” My answer was that leaving MrS was not, and would never be, part of the deal.... and this would be understood from the beginning. My relationship with a girl could take any form that she felt comfortable with except one that dictated what my relationship with MrS could be. She would not need to meet him if she didn't want to. But she could never be a “secret” from him or demand a change my relationship with him (other than negotiating time management and other practical concerns). Anyone who has talked to me for 5 minutes knows that I am married and how important MrS is in my life...there is barely a significant story of my life that doesn't involve him in some way, so it's not as though it would come as a surprise.

My relationship with Dude has been the first "outside" relationship that has evolved past FWB - and it is getting on two years along at this point and, unless something drastic happens, could conceivably last "forever" (in the same way that monogamous relationships can last "forever" - until they don't). There are no constraints on how far or how long that relationship can go - the only caveat is that (as above) me leaving MrS is not, and never will be, part of the deal. In our current configuration, our "version" of poly looks a lot like a woman with two husbands, an old one and a new one - who love and care for each other as well (platonically, they were best friends for years before I met and became involved with Dude). Dude has informed me that should the two of us (me and Dude) ever break up, he still gets to be friends with MrS (because MrS came "first" ).

I don't know if that helps your understanding any, but you asked for stories...

Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (24+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (5+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic girlfriend and BFF
Lotus: "it's complicated"
+ "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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