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Old 04-08-2014, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by copperhead View Post
I just want to hear other peoples experiences, so that I don't need to make all the mistakes myself. I don't know about you, but I do know how to learn from other peoples lives. Even something that works for you might give me an insight of what is never going to work for me.
Ok, now I think I'm understanding. Thank you for the clarification.

I like your example Although I'm not sure I would tell anyone do anything in that context. I've been in relationships where it was my job to protect the other person from letting me hurt them, because they where unable to communicate their needs and wants and boundaries. They just wanted to please and please and please. I will not be responsible for keeping someones boundaries for them. I have enough work with my own boundaries.
I don't disagree. Especially if you're a people pleaser. I'm not a people pleaser. I'm 100% "only child" and I'm used to getting my way. I never do things for people if I don't want to. It's not good for me, and it's not good for them. So you and me, we're different that way, it sounds. Gralson is a people pleaser, and because I have an incredibly strong understanding and respect of my boundaries (sometimes, maybe too strong), I'm 100% happy to help him work on his own.

This makes me think how to undo that monogamous programming? Should it be done before one enters a poly relationship? Would it be possible? Or is it just something one needs to go through as it is happening?
I'm not sure you can ever completely undo it, if it was drilled in really hard when you were a kid. I suspect there's only so much of it you can conquer when everything is hypothetical. Many things are best learned as "trial by fire."

I've found that before you can learn anything that doesn't come naturally, you have to remove the mental block, the lurking thoughts that you "can't" do it. Once you commit to learning something, or doing something, it's much easier to do it. You have to remove the doubts that it will be possible. Make it a matter of "when" not "if."

Ok, so it comes back to communication. It seems like this is the cornerstone of polyamory. Maybe there is no answer beyond that. Then it would mean one has to learn to be honest with oneself first and then honest with others. It would mean that the goals of communication are understanding and respecting each other.
It is, that.

but this then leads me to wonder how do you know that you have understood someone correctly or that you have been understood correctly?
Oh, that's the easy part, at least in theory. You ask. You reiterate. You paraphrase. "This is what I understood you to mean. Is that accurate?" It's a difficult habit to get into, but well worth the effort.

I suggest looking up "nonviolent communication" and possibly taking a workshop in it, or at least reading the books or listening to the training course audiobook. It really goes into explicit, easy to understand detail about how to express one's needs and feelings, how to hear the needs and feelings of others without taking responsibility for them, how to make requests that do not sound like demands, and how to hear requests without taking them as demands.

I'm still busy congratulating me for sticking with my decision of ending the relationship if my boundaries are not respected.
When you say "boundaries" what do you mean exactly?

I look at it this way: There are boundaries, and there are rules. Boundaries are the things I will not allow people to do TO ME. They have nothing to do with what the other people in my life do to each other. Rules, on the other hand, are things that I tell other people they must do or not do on their own time. Rules really have nothing to do with me, they're just a way to exert control over other people. I don't use rules. I'm no one's master, I don't have the right to tell others what they may or may not do with one another. I am my own master, and I can only control my own behaviour. So boundaries are enforced by letting people know how I will respond if they treat me a certain way, e.g. I will leave you if you deliberately deceive me, or I will stop having sex with you if you have unprotected sex with strangers from the bar. It's not saying "you can't lie to me or have unprotected sex" because it's not my place to tell other people what they can and can't do. I can only tell them what I will do if they do a certain thing.

Actually no. I really would like to hear very concrete examples from peoples lives. This is how my brain works. I understand abstract things by having enough examples on them. I don't understand them from universal explanations.
Fair enough. Nothing comes to mind, but maybe you can suggest some hypothetical situations and we can tell you how we'd respond?

This is a very good point. Such an obvious one, and I hadn't thought about it. Not like this at least.
Acknowledging your limitations is the first step to accepting them. The truth is, despite what they teach kids in school these days, not everyone can do everything. Sometimes it's better for everyone to just say, "You know what? I can't do this whole poly thing. It's just not for me. If it's something you absolutely need, then you have a decision to make. I can't make it for you, but I can't pretend to be something I'm not, either."
As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.
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