Originally Posted by BaggagePatrol
I just don't get the division and judgement that seems to be arising with increasing regularity around couples.
I have no problem with couples. I myself am a member of several couples, and am in love with people who are in couples with other people. In fact, I think that the only real way to have a relationship is as a couple (a triad being, at heart, a collection of various couplings between three people with the added dimension of the various two-on-one dynamics that are not individual relationships in and of themselves... anyway, you get what I mean). What is a couple, anyway? One person relating to another. Poly is just a matter of having more than one coupling in your life, imho.
For clarity's sake, I think what we're all discussing in this thread is NOT couples at all, but primary partnerships.
I also have no problem with primary partnerships, though it happens that I'm not in one myself at present. I value and respect the effort that they take, and the ways that they enhance people's lives.
I get sick to death of seeing people in primary partnerships reaching out eagerly for secondary partners, only to completely misrepresent what they can offer, or offer things that are just so stunted and weird that they're not real relationships at all.
I'm tired of hearing the secondary partners of people in primary relationships say things like:
"I've been trying to go on dates with my new bf, with whom I'm very much in love, but his wife insists on always being present. I just want to be alone with him every now and then -- am I being selfish?"
"I'm seeing both Joe and Jane, who are married, and the idea was that we'd all be equal to each other, but they each read all of my correspondence with the other, and I'm not allowed to do the same, and I've noticed a few other things too that are starting to make me feel really depressed..."
"My gf insists that our new relationship has to be a secret, because otherwise she and her husband would look bad to their relatives... I get where she's coming from, but it's killing me to have to hide all the time. What can I do?"
It's like basic human rights -- things that, under different circumstances we'd all agree only make sense! -- things like being able to be alone with your lover, not having all your most personal writings read by someone to whom they weren't addressed, being able to openly show your love -- just go out the window without a second thought in the minds of some people in primary relationships when it comes to their secondary partners.
I try really hard not to be divisive or judgmental when I read stories that seem to me to have elements of what I'm describing. I don't scoff at the posters and deride them, instead I try to stay focused on what we're all here for -- to help.
It gets tiring sometimes.
And I can understand why some people begin to get a little abrasive about it, even if I don't agree with their approach.