Originally Posted by Athena
The bottom line of poly is that poly people deal honestly with their reactions to this inevitable sharing, and don't sneak around in their romantic attachments (or at least ideally they don't), and in a good poly relationship the various partners in the relationship are all made to feel valued and special, even though they recognize they are sharing.
The poly situation is a new one, and actually when I read vodkafan's account of his facebook experience, I was immediately reminded of my own. The concept of all made to feel "valued and special" gets lost to the extreme when couples are in the middle of NRE, and being very public about it in online spaces, before the situation is able to just settle down for a bit.
I'm sure if my wife happens upon this post, she might figure out it's me, and that's ok (carl isn't my real name, but I am a very real person behind this pain).
I've frequently, well, how shall I say this. Frequently, my mantra in life has been "perspectives are everything".
How does one navigate around different perspectives, different experiences and knowledge around poly? How does a former monogamous couple navigate around "respect", "honesty" and "openness" and "tolerance" when all these things are questioned, argued over...
I'm not 'new' to poly, but it's new at the same time. I have been exposed by way of friends and community and some past poor experiences around poly that it leaves a very sour taste in my mouth to be honest.
The only thing that keeps me going right now, is that I love my wife, and want to see this through without too much hardship. It's very difficult when I'm feeling like I'm expected to follow along and grow into this at *her* speed, not mine, or ideally, some "compromising" speed.
like vodkafan (if I may), poly has consumed my life, especially because all 3 of us are new to this. In a very real sense, I have more of the language, the definitions, and the concepts of poly than my wife and her new partner. I've experienced a lot of the same pitfalls that my wife already knows about my past, and sadly, she is repeating almost every last issue I've ever had about poly in my past.
The ONLY difference, is that I believe she loves me like no one else ever has, and we have some sense of good will collected over the years we've been together.
My issues apart from acceptance are crystal clear in my head: time commitments, speed at which this is taken, respect (or currently lack thereof) from the other partner, and the commitment to grow into this for longevity. I understand NRE, I understand the power of the energy around that, but if I'm to get past the hurt, the originating betrayal, and the fact that my time that was already limited is now even more limited, there should be a lot more give and take than what I believe I'm getting.
Again, perspectives are everything.
I've made a lot of mistakes during this transition which I'm more than willing to admit to, and have. When my own personal boundaries have been pushed and challenged, I've unfortunately pushed back, and pushed back hard. It's not sustainable of course and I recognize that. What I wish my wife would understand is that the bulk of my 'anger' is more about hurt, shame and pride than anything else.
Thanks for reading.