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Old 01-23-2010, 09:19 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Default Questions about mono vs poly relationships....

>Agreed to answer some questions-wanted your feedback on my answers. Any thoughts?
>
> 1. Can you tell me first of all what sort of polyamorous relationship you are in? I.e. are you married and having poly relationships alongside that marriage? Has the marriage/relationship allowed for both of you to be polaymorous, or just one of you?
>
> I am married (10 1/2 years) to my husband Maca.We have been "polyamorous" for the last 4 months. My boyfriend GG lives with us (and has for the last 5 or so years, he's better with dates then I).
>
> GG and I have been best friends for the last 17 years. I actually MET Maca for the first time 21 years ago, but we lost contact for 10 years in between. In a legal sense it's a marriage with poly alongside. Functionally we operate as a single family and both Maca and GG are primary partners to me and friends with one another.
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> Maca has been with another woman but his focus at this time is to look for someone he can have a long-term loving relationship with and we all believe that requires building deep loving friendships, so he's working on that for now. GG is not seeking anyone additional at this time. He says he hasn't got time to even consider it. He holds that option open in the future, but unless the perfect connection falls in his lap right now, it will be some time before that happens.
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> In an "ideal" situation the woman who connected with one of them would connect with both Maca and GG in such a way that she (like me) would be romantically connected to both of them. But that isn't a requirement or expectation (just a great fantasy).
>
> 2. How did you both begin your polyamorous relationships? Did it happen simultaneously or one after the other?
> GG's helped raise my oldest child (just turned 18) and he walked her and my stepson down the aisle when Maca and I married. He's always been very involved and close. When Maca and I's marriage was falling apart (early on)GG and I had an affair-very destructive. It took years to repair that damage and when all was said and done, after years of finding ourselves and reconnecting, it was obvious that I was still madly in love with both of them and that wasn't going to change.
> I searched for what to do and came across the polyamorous community. I shared information from Loving More and Xeromag.com with Maca. The three of us started working on putting complete honesty, disclosure and love in our relationships. The changes have been magnificent and I think we can all agree that there's no going back. We're all much better people now then we were before and as short a time as it's been, we're finally finding happiness, where it eluded us in all prior relationships.
>
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> 3. When you have polyamorous relationships, how does it tend to work: do you see poly partners at evenings or weekends? Or is the relationship on a much more ad hoc basis?
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> In this case we all live together. Maca works M-F 7am-3:30 (or 5:30 if it's a 10 hr day). GG works 1pm-9pm. Currently I'm the "stay at home mom", though over the years we have all worked before. I homeschool the two youngest kids who are still at home. We spend weekends as a family together. We very much operate like a "normal" family with extra adults in it. In December when I needed surgery on my spine Maca took me to the hospital for the surgery and GG got the house ready for "after care". Both took turns watching after me in the days following surgery, alternated with taking care of the kids and work etc.
>
> 4. Are there any children involved? If so, have you been honest with them about these relationships, and was that a hard thing for them to accept or did they find it perfectly natural?
>
> There are 4 children, ages 18, 13, 10, 2. We have been open and honest with the three who live at home. The 13 year old does not live at home, but is aware that GG lives here and does have a close relationship with him as well. The only reason the 13 yr old doesn't know the details is that he lives in another state and hasn't been here to talk with since we officially decided on polyamory. ( I don't advise any partent telling a child something like this over the phone or via letter/email etc.).
>
> The three who know are perfectly natural in the situation. The oldest is mine from a previous relationship, the 13 yr old is Maca's from a previous relationship, the 9 yr old is Maca's and I's, the 2 yr old is biologically mine and GG's, but she calls Maca daddy and calls GG by his given name. EVERYONE knows that GG is her bio-father, family and friends etc. We don't try to keep our lifestyle or the details secret, we believe that it would be potentially stressful for the kids (and ourselves ultimately).
>
> 5. Have you tended to have just one other poly partner (each), or more? What is the ideal configuration – is it for one of you to have an extra partner, or is it better for symmetry/jealousies if you have both have extra partners? Do you ever share partners?
>
> We have a boundary rule that all 3 of us agree to only 2 lovers simultaneously. That means the guys are both free to find an additional partner, but the focus isn't sex and they aren't rushing things. Both would prefer to have a deep emotional connection and commitment prior to bringing sex into the equation. Creating those deep connections takes a bit longer but reduces "turnover" which is important in a close knit family environment like we have.
>
> We have strictures that if another lover were to move in to the house, all 3 of us must be friends with her (I have the two guys so the next would be a woman, since both men are straight and it would be a lover of theirs).
>
> Jealousy is an individual thing. It will inevitably crop it's ugly head at times in any type of relationship (not just romantic ones), but it's not a good definer for relationships or love. If one of us feels jealous-we deal with what's wrong (we need some more time together, or time alone, or we're scared and need to address the fear etc). We don't let jealousy decide how to live our lives or with whom. (more on this below)
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> In an IDEAL configuration we would love to have one more person who joins the family as part of our dynamic. She would optimally be in love with both men and have the option to marry GG (which covers medical, health and other legal details for her and he). Whether or not she was bi doesn't matter in the least, having another woman in the house as a good friend would be just fine for me. But it's important to note-we aren't "living for" an ideal. We're just living our lives, enjoying the ride and seeing where things go. It's quite possible that in the next year both guys will have girlfriends of their own. If it ends up that they are both just THAT perfect of a fit for the family, then they would both become part of the family. It's not about trying to find someone to "fit the empty spot". There is not "empty spot". It's about allowing for space when someone new fits with the whole family.
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> 7. Do you feel you get different things from your relationships outside the two of you? If so, can you be specific about what those things are?
>
> ABSOLUTELY!!They are both completely different and compementary to one another!
>
> Maca is very strong-willed. He's a construction worker with trade, the proverbial "bad boy". He's loud and commandeering, a real "go getter".He's very logical and very methodical. He's loyal, but also demanding. He keeps the cars running, the house from falling apart. He will get up in the faces of people who threaten any of his family, very protective in a fierce animalistic way. Beautiful in a very classic Adonis way. (he would disagree)
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> GG works with kids and is much more soft and the typical "boy next door" type. He's quieter and he's the more artistic one. He loves music and is a total romantic. He helps take care of the kids, keeps up with indoor household chores. He's more emotional and intuitional. He's loyal, but also gentle. He will try to find the compromises, keep the peace. He's the person who can be anyone's best friend.
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> Together they make an AWESOME team for the family, taking care of the odd variety of needs that each of us has and particularly dealing with my idiosyncratic personality!
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:19 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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8. Does jealousy ever crop up in your relationship and if so, how do you deal with it? If it doesn’t, how do you think you have safeguarded yourselves against jealousy?
>
> Of course it does, but jealousy isn't a relationship problem, it's our bodies way of telling us that we have a need we aren't getting fulfilled. Too often people PRESUME that it's CAUSED by another person, but that's not the way it works. We understand and accept that we will sometimes feel like we need more from one or another person in the family. When someone's feeling jealous we let the others know (so that they don't wonder what on earth is our problem-openness and honest are key) and then we work together to figure out what the underlying issue is. Then we work as a team to resolve the underlying cause of the jealousy.
>
> For example, it's well understood that I have insecurities during "that time" of each month. We already know it's primarily because I feel unattractive due to my own physical discomfort caused by that time of the month. It's only going to last a short time and then I'll feel better again. It would be destructive to rearrange relationships for something so simple to fix. Our way of dealing with it is more a "drawing together" and not a "pushing away" of anyone.
>
> We schedule more family time, hang out as a group, cuddle on the couch, watch movies, play games and talk. But we don't redesign all of the rules to alleviate my jealousy or insecurity, that's ridiculous. If another lover was involved, which likely will happen eventually, they too would be a part of the "circle" of friendship invited to curl up in that "cuddle pile" on the couch and watch movies if they or I or one of the guys was feeling jealous. When emotions crop up we all pull together to deal with them lovingly and supportively together, we don't try to push one person away, that never works.
>
> 9. Do you think polyamory could be for everyone – or is just for some people? What do you need to make it work – e.g. honesty, reasonably thick skin, sense of humour…
>
> It's NOT for everyone. Some people are simply not capable of making polyamory work and some people would never have a good reason to want to for a variety of reasons!The important thing is for people to understand that some people CAN and DO live happier, healthier lives in polyamory then they can in "mono-amory" relationships. Of my four parents (divorced and remarried) 3 are only comfortable in mono relationships, one is perfectly happy as a polyamorous woman. I have friends on both sides of the coin as well. Much like sexual preference, some people are happy ONLY heterosexual, some ONLY homosexual, some can do both.
>
> Both Mono and Poly relationships require honesty, sense of humor, GOOD communication, openness to one another, loyalty, true introspective understanding of ones own self (in order to truly open and honest with your partner), patience, devotion and a commitment to continue growing. If you try to build a relationship with someone without these it lacks the luster of a GREAT relationship. Doesn't matter if you are aiming for poly, mono or just platonic friendship, these things are necessitities in all great relationships.
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> 10. What are the essential rules to a happy relationship?
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> See the above paragraph.
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> 11. Do you think polyamory is easier or harder work, emotionally, than a monogamous relationship?
>
> Neither. I think that GREAT relationships are harder work than ones that just "survive". The key difference is that in a mono-amorous relationship you are putting the focus on ONE of the relationships those two people have. But even mono-amorous people have relationships of some sort outside of their marriage and every relationship regardless of romantic intentions requires effort and time and commitment in order to be great. In polyamorous relationships you are focusing on the effort people put in SEVERAL of their relationships. It would be better to compare "3 important relationships of a mono persons life and 3 important relationships in a poly persons life". THEN it would be clear that it's not HARDER-it's just that EVERY relationship requires the effort. No more, no less.
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