What am I going to offer my two men in a relationship? The thought came up after reading Sage's post about a mono in a mono/poly relationship who would just be able to have “half of a relationship”. But what is “the fullness of a monogamous relationship” as Sage calls it?
I personally would never be in a relationship when my needs aren't met. That's a fact. If I am unhappy or feeling like I do not get enough out of it, I would want things to change or would leave it. That is mandatory for my partners as well. That's what my biggest fear has been when I realized that the relationship with my husband had to change because of my feelings for Lin. And that therefore he would feel like his needs weren't met any longer. Lin's worries were on the same page, he was fearing that he wouldn't be able to start a relationship like the vee we are living now. But why? I felt more than enough fear to be able to answer this.
The only thing that changed, really the only thing, as we all three see it now, is exclusiveness. Mainly for Sward in regard to what he had before and had to give up and for Lin this is something that will never be established. And for me the by then unknown experience of giving up on the concept of “exclusive love” which meant a change to my inner emotional world. But do they feel like they have no longer the fullness they would have in a monogamous relationship?
As always, if I am confused about something that concerns the feelings and inner workings of a person, I ask. The thought of Sward or Lin living a 'halved relationship' wouldn't be acceptable for me. Lin said he doesn't feel like he gets a narrowed or reduced kind of relationship with me. Yes, it isn't exclusive but it's a full-fledged relationship for him. He isn't missing or lacking anything with regard to me, as he sees it. It's the same for Sward. He can't speak for the future, maybe there will be a point when he thinks that especially time isn't divided equally, but we got trouble with that issue in our monogamous marriage already. This will be something we simply have to handle when it's the case. But as things are now, he doesn't see our relationship as changed in terms of quality. I am still all in for him as well.
That brought me to the point what a relationship means for me. What am I offering when I start one? I am offering me. Full stop. Nothing less and nothing more basically. What am I expecting when I start one? The person I start it with. Again, full stop. Everyone all in, with everything they got and they are. Does exclusiveness half a relationship when it isn't there? No, I don't think so. Maybe because we are going poly-fi and just widened our “exclusive circle”. But it is still the view of a mono who lives in a poly relationship from their viewpoint. And maybe it is too fresh and new to have real overview and insight in this matter. But I am glad that the starting point doesn't bear anything that I would regard as harmful for our future.
Maybe not using primary/secondary system, indication or denomination helps here as well. I would never rank a relationship. That has been a problem for Sward in the beginning, but it is no longer. He wanted to hear that he is more important, primary so to speak. I wasn't able to live this, because there isn't one more important to me as I see it. Yes, there are differences in quality, duration and time when it's started, but never in importance. I mean, I love them. How can I measure love? Or weigh a person against another? They both understood and agreed to be in my life unconditionally and that it's the only way for me to be with them. As I said everyone all in. (I am quite a greedy person, aren't I?
) They would never have agreed to a relationship where they felt something would be missing and this assurance from their side made me calm again.
Everything is still so new and unknown that I tend to be nervous and unsure. I fear stumbling blocks behind every corner. But that's why I appreciate this side even more. Always food for thought and different point of views that make me reconsider and check in with Sward and Lin. As many times before, thanks for being there to all of you