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Old 04-17-2010, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jkk View Post
L knows about my relationship status being open. I've talked with her at length about it on several occasions. It was interesting hearing her response, as I sensed a lot of cognitive dissonance in her words -- on one hand she really likes the honesty aspect of polyamory; on the other, she couldn't seem to wrap her mind around it. She said, "People can connect and be good friends without having to 'go there.'" By that, she meant sex and physical intimacy. She is a very flirtatious person by nature and thrives off of that part of herself. Unfortunately, H doesn't like that and tells her so often, as do other people in her life who see it as a "problem," and so she has guilt about it and tries to minimize it.
It sounds like you have your answer right there. If you've explained what polyamory is, and she's reflected that she likes some aspects (the honesty) but it's just not for her (being physically intimate with more than one person), then she doesn't want a poly lifestyle.

If she doesn't want poly, then you would be asking her to leave her relationship to be with you, bearing in mind that you're poly and will continue to be so. Therefore, whatever difficulties she may have in her current relationship, you'd be asking her to completely redefine her idea of relationships in order to be with you. That doesn't sound fair to me.

It sounds like the best thing you can do is validate her behaviour (flirting) by telling her that it's healthy and natural, and encourage her to talk to H about how she feels he is stifling her by forcing her to behave against her nature. You mentioned H may suffer from depression, and that generally goes hand-in-hand with low self-esteem and insecurity, both of which are easily triggered by watching your partner flirt. Does this give him the right to control her behaviour? Hell no! But that's between him and her, and the best thing you can do as a friend is be supportive.
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