Originally Posted by PolyNewbie
Lots of good stuff to think about in this thread. ...........
We're all kind of terrified, and we have no idea what the hell we've gotten ourselves into here, but we've decided to take some time to explore whether it could work. So the floor is open: what should we, the long-term married ones, do to improve the chances?
A certain amount of common sense will illuminate certain obvious things.
Number one is that by dropping all labels (poly, primary, secondary, unicorn etc) you remember that this third person is exactly that - a 'person'. Human, caring, loving, unique person. In many ways we all want the same thing. To be respected. To feel valued. Maybe to be 'loved' (whatever that is). To be desired (for those qualities/reasons).
None of this is unique to poly (multiple) relationships. So it can get distorted when people try to paint the critical parts of a relationship with a different brush when the basics really havent changed but only the count. All confused.
If we focus on the fundementals we stand a much better chance of bypassing all this confusion.
Are we doing this ?
The whole dynamic of a triad, quad etc etc has often been given a different paint job, complete with all it's own labels, new rules & guidelines etc and it seems in a majority of cases it comes to over-shadow the basics and of course those now get lost. And when you lose those basics of human interaction things start to break down. But it's not because of the increased number or new labels !
So how to avoid this ?
Keep focused on the basics ! Let the group dynamic follow THAT lead ! Healthy seeds generally grow healthy plants but seldom the reverse.
I think a second thing that often complicates and poisons many poly relationships is this utopian concept of "equality". Especially in the west, there seems to be a certain indoctrination that leads people to believe that "equality" is this wonderful, desirable thing and that lacking it shows some failing. Well.......guess what. (In my opinion/experience) There IS NO 'equality' in life ! But there are things such as 'good', 'sufficient', 'healthy', 'balance'.
This seems to be an important sticking point in early stages of poly relationships. Especially when adding someone(s) to a previously existing relationship. Even if it's only a few hours old ! The 'existing' relationship is there. It has at least some history. It's established at least some patterns. It's held together by certain components.
Any addition to this, has by nature, got to start from scratch. I think we all understand this - just choose to ignore it sometimes. We don't want to wait. We want everything to just go POP and be there as if it had always existed that way.
Well.....that ain't happening......
So the most promising approach seems to consist of a few fundemental steps.
And the overworn phrase......COMMUNICATE !
It's a learning (and UNlearning) experience. Mistakes are going to be made.
Some people like to frame discussion like this in terms of "needs" but I'm not one who likes the implications of what comes with that term. So I avoid it. But there are certain things that have shown themselves to be 'healthy', 'solid', 'desirable' and yes, 'fundemental'. If we keep those things in the forefront it seems things tend to flow smoother and have higher success rates. Target those.
My thoughts only......