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Old 08-06-2013, 11:27 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Portland, OR
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Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
I recently had someone tell me I should ponder this as he felt I was using the term "my husband" possessively in my thinking which made me feel bad and has led to this examination.
I am glad to see that you are taking the time to consider your words and the possible impact they have on your life and surroundings. If we don't take a moment to think about these things then we are really just functioning off of our instinct which is primarily fueled by the traditions or our environment.

I find that most of the time the people around me aren't stopping to consider what *they* are doing, so why should I accept without consideration that it is right for me?

Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
When you think of someone special in your life as "my husband", "my boyfriend", "my wife", "my girlfriend", "my lover", (insert appropriate label) does it elicit feelings of possessiveness, as in "s/he's mine," or connectivity, as in this person is someone of value in my life and I am connected to them in this special way?
While I try to avoid labeling people, I do understand that we are pattern seeking creatures and that classifying the things around us is one of our instincts. It's not a bad thing for our mind to want to do this, it helps us to decide how we qualify and thus value what is around us. Unfortunately these labels often come with assumptions that we may or may not personally attribute to a relationship and can serve to prompt us to beliefs that we don't necessarily have.

I was recently struggling with an emotional reaction to being labeled "friends with benefits" because of some of the assumptions which I was making about the name.

Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
If you feel possessiveness due to these labels, do you chose to use other terms that carry less meaning to change your perspective? Such as, "the wo/man that I'm married to" or "the person I'm dating"?
As with any communication, I find that using the most precise words generally helps avoid unwanted assumptions.

This is the same with introducing someone to other people. If I say "This is my girlfriend" people make a number of assumptions; that we are exclusive, that we live together, etc. If I am not comfortable with those assumptions then I might just be better off using the persons name - "This is IV." (though invariably if you don't assign a label to someone you will promptly be asked to do so "Is she your girlfriend?")
Me: male, 43, straight, non-hierarchical, independent
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