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  #1  
Old 01-19-2012, 05:34 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Default Secondary Relationship Card

It's funny.
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The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:24 PM
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BrigidsDaughter BrigidsDaughter is offline
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Interesting and provocative. If we were to use labels, Wendigo and my relationship would be considered secondary (because we live with, pay bills with, and have kids with our spouses) and my relationship with Pretty Lady would be considered tertiary (because she does not have the time to invest in a secondary relationship). Of all of those things, our only expectation is that we have to keep our relationship secret from our family and 99% of our friends.

It's funny because about a month after we became involved we were at a fighter practice/pool party with our friends and Wendigo had to leave early to go to work. He pulled me aside and asked if we were so far on the DL that he couldn't even get a hug good bye. The following year at the same event, he let me climb on his back and pretend to try to drown him.... at first we were so full of NRE and desire, that we'd lock down our feelings; then we realized that was probably even more suspicious.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:02 AM
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Oh man, so sad but so true sometimes. That was a lot of how my relationship was. It was definitely no fun. I know that in reality there are actual good secondary relationships but I just haven't witness one IRL and certainly not experienced it myself.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:19 AM
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Oh man is that hitting home right now. Thanks for this. reposting in my blog.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:39 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Yeah I really hate using the Primary/Secondary labels myself, even as a "quick and dirty" description of my circumstances.

I have a friend who recently referred to my husband in a sentence along the lines of "yeah, but, you have a primary, so it's different."

And this was someone who claims to be of the more progressive poly type.

Yes, I'm married. Yes, we share finances and a household. Yes, that means I have obligations and commitments to him. I also have obligations and commitments to school, to my parents, to my best friend and her son... And if I get into a serious relationship with someone else, I will have obligations and commitments to them. And triage will go thusly: who's having the bigger crisis right now and needs my time and attention most, at this moment?

It does not mean that I have already decided, a priori, that all my future relationships will be "less important." It does not mean that anyone will ever be considered disposable, simply by virtue of not being my spouse. I didn't roll that way when I was single, why would that change now?
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Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 01-28-2012 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:45 PM
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Yeah, I wouldn't agree to anything on that list. Maybe being kept secret from coworkers is fine, but otherwise, nothing on that list I'd agree to.
Nor would I expect from another!
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:32 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post

I have a friend who recently referred to my husband in a sentence along the lines of "yeah, but, you have a primary, so it's different."

And this was someone who claims to be of the more progressive poly type.
I have to say, SC, I am genuinely puzzled by your reaction.

Why would your friend's comment bother you? Having a primary really IS different.

It seems like a pretty innocuous comment. I doubt she meant to imply that your other relations are unimportant or disposable.

While I was amused by the Secondary Relationships Card, I also feel like...I don't quite get it somehow, or I have a totally different understanding of what it means to be a secondary.

If I were a secondary to a married man with kids, for example, I certainly would not expect (or want!) to join him for family vacations or holidays.

I have my own friends to go on vacation with, and my own family to spend holidays with.

I would expect my partner to prioritize his primary relationship. I would not, in fact, be comfortable in the relationship if he were NOT putting his wife's needs first.

(Even if I were in a monogamous relationship with a divorced man, I would expect him to prioritize his kids' needs, for example, and I would not expect to join him at holidays unless our relationship became VERY serious).

I would not enter into a secondary relationship if I were expecting or wanting to get pregnant. And anyone who dumps you if you get pregnant is an asshole, regardless of polyamory or primary/secondary relationships. So I don't see how that quite applies to secondary relationships in particular.

If my relationship caused drama or problems with the primary couple, I would WANT to remove myself from the situation. I would expect my partner to end things with me if I caused problems with his wife.

Of course I wouldn't want to be valued less or respected less--but it seems to me like the POINT of a secondary relationship is that it truly is of secondary importance.

And I think that's a good thing! Secondary relationships should enrich the lives of those in them, but shouldn't BE your life the same way a primary partner IS your life.

I'm speaking as someone who wants (or might want) to be a secondary or even a tertiary. I regard myself (or maybe my writing) as my own primary relationship and I have no interest in sharing my life with a primary boyfriend.

But, so far I've been reluctant to seek out poly relationships because I think I might be missing the point and might not really "get" poly the way poly people get it. I think I would make an ideal secondary, but maybe my guy wouldn't appreciate feeling like he's only secondary to my life as well.

And judging from the reaction I got when I mentioned to my own friends and one close family member that I might go on a date with a married poly man, I will probably be keeping it a secret for a while. The date never even came about, but, wow, was it hard to explain. So it's not unreasonable to have to keep a secondary relationship secret for a long while.

It just seems to me like if you are at the point where you go on family vacations, are public to everyone about your relationship, and are committed enough to go through with a pregnancy together, you're a co-primary, not a secondary.

Here's what seems odd to me about poly relationships (or with the way many poly people talk about relationships): it seems like the relationships are not allowed to pass through a non-serious phase before becoming serious.

In monogamous dating, it's (usually) okay for a relationship to take a long time to get serious, right? But in poly, if you don't immediately include your secondary on family vacations, you're disrespected him/her.

And going back to what I quoted above: I have observed this kind of thing a number of times in the various poly communities/forums I'm exploring. A poly person takes offense at some sort of comment which they perceive as non-poly-friendly, and then they scoff at how the person who made the comment thinks they are so open-minded.

I honestly don't get what bothered you about your friend's comment, SC? Is there more context you can explain?
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  #8  
Old 02-16-2012, 03:50 AM
CrystalLiving CrystalLiving is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Thank you for this post.
I was told I was a "primary" but between you, me and this website-- I had no idea what that meant in the grand scheme of things.

This post has helped me today.

CL
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2012, 10:16 PM
strixish strixish is offline
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It really helps me to see how different people do things (differently!), since it helps me get perspective on what the heck I'm doing. (I sometimes feel like I have a good grasp on all of it, but sometimes feel like I'm making it up as I go.)

In any case, the card in the OP is amusing, and definitely helps me feel more secure in my situation. I think that in my secondary relationships, I'm not really at risk of getting dumped unless something breaks down fundamentally in the relationship itself. Outside factors could change the sexual nature of my relationships, I suppose, but not the personal/emotional connection and friendship.
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