Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:27 PM
polyprof82 polyprof82 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2
Question privacy/ limits with secondaries

I'm new here, but I have lurked for a few hours this morning and haven't seen my question addressed in other threads.

My problem is about boundaries and rules/ agreements. I recently realized that it is important for me to know that my primary partner comes to me first (and preferably last) with problems about our relationship. I found out a while ago that she had been discussing our problems with one of her secondaries and it made me feel threatened. I don't want to prevent her from having a support network of friends, family, therapist... but I would prefer it if she doesn't include her secondaries in this network.

I am open to any and all perspectives on this situation. There are more details below for those who are interested.

About me: a bit of a polywog, been in my first poly-relationship with a lovely lady for about a year. Realizing that I was poly was a revelation. This is the kind of relationship that I have always wanted. My partner keeps telling me that this agreement I am asking for is "too monogamous" and isn't really poly. It drives me crazy, because I really like being poly. I just want a form of poly that feels right to me.

The details:

We had some problems this summer. We both had some emotional issues that ended up bumping into each other and we started fighting. I had problems managing my anger and yelled. I'm working through this anger problem with a therapist and she is working on her things with her own therapist.

She told me at one point that she had started talking about these fights with her main secondary. At the time I didn't express how this made me feel, because I was ashamed of the fights and didn't think I had the right to say anything. But as time went on, I lost all feelings of compersion for this other guy. I became jealous and insecure about our relationship.

She says I am trying to censor her or control her other relationships, but I feel like if this other guy gets to step in as relationship counselor about us, then he isn't really a secondary. I feel like I have been pulled into a V that I didn't agree to.

EDIT: I know a lot of people don't like the hierarchical terms "primary" and "secondary." These fit well for us because my primary and I have been together longer than any of our other relationships and we recognize that our level of commitment makes us more important to each other than any of our other partners. The secondary she talked to also has a live-in primary partner of 5+ years, so it is clear that their relationship is non-primary for both of them.

Last edited by polyprof82; 11-25-2012 at 07:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:15 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,353
Default

My boyfriend is my best friend and tends to be MUCH more mild mannered and accepting than I.
So I do frequently ask his advice in terms of issues between dh and I. Frankly-without his input, I would have destroyed this marriage a long time ago.

He's much more likely to support a solution that benefits my husband than anyone else in our lives AND he knows both of us well.

On the otherhand, if a lover didn't have a good knowledge of both of us or they weren't prone to supporting the relationship between DH and I-then I would definitely not go to them for advice.

I dont think primary/secondary or lover/nonlover matters. What matters is the persons ability to prioritize suggestions that are beneficial to both your partner and you. Some people are gifted in that-others are not.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:28 PM
polyprof82 polyprof82 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
My boyfriend is my best friend and tends to be MUCH more mild mannered and accepting than I.
She keeps saying that this person is her friend too, but I think him being a lover and romantic partner makes it more complicated. Once he starts learning things about me that I didn't want to tell him, I feel like he becomes competition.

Quote:
He's much more likely to support a solution that benefits my husband than anyone else in our lives AND he knows both of us well.
That's the other problem. I don't know this guy very well and I don't trust him because he is a well-known gossip.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:46 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,353
Default

He only becomes competition if you choose to compete.

As for the trust-I do understand what you are saying.
In my case, my boyfriend has been my best friend for 20 years come April. He's been in the picture longer than my husband (we've been together 15 years). Furthermore, we have all lived together the last 10 years.

So there is a LOT of knowledge and understanding.

But-the bottom line for me is that some people aren't trustworthy for that type of role (advisor, confidante etc) REGARDLESS of if they are sex partners or not.
Other people are great for that-regardless of if they are sex partners.

If you don't trust HIM-that is a whole different issue to address.
If he's a gossip-that is a specific issue to address.
If you don't want your private info shared-that is an issue to address.

But each is different and ESPECIALLY in poly dynamics its IMPERATIVE to name the distinct and specific issue-not to allow ourselves to ball up the issues into being about "a lover" or "a friend" but specific people and specific behaviors.

Otherwise-we end up in a quagmire of semantical bullshit.

So-My advice is to sit down with yourself and make a list of what specific characteristics (not relationship status's) make a person a GOOD confidante and adviser. Then make a list of what makes someone not trustworthy as a confidante and adviser. Also make a list of what things you absolutely don't want discussed with ANY other people versus things that you are ok with being discussed with a trusted adviser/confidante, vs things you don't care who knows. Finally-what information is YOUR personal info, what is your partners personal info and what is "our" personal info. Because anything that is your partners and anything that falls into "our" is also your partners info.. where as things that fall under you alone-are not your partners to share ever-without your explicit permission.

Once you have that knocked out-then sit down with your partner and explain to them what you have written out and that you want to discuss with them creating an agreement of understanding regarding what information is shared and with whom.

(side note-I do grasp well what your complaint is-we had a doozy of a battle for the last year because my husband shared personal info with a new interest and she wasn't trustworthy and it did get used inappropriately-try to be calm and find a rational way to convey the info to your partner.)
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:53 PM
psychomia psychomia is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 25
Default

I wouldn't be able to function in a relationship in which I was censored. I prefer to be open about my relationships, and being an introvert means I have a few close friends, and currently I have one lover and a fairly intimate relationship with his wife. I talk to them about people I'm interested in, because I need their support. I started a serious relationship with a man this past summer and the main failing point was his attitude about my lover, which I would not have discovered if I hadn't openly talked about my relationship with my lover... not to seek advice, because I don't necessarily need advice when I describe an issue or experience. it was valuable to see his reaction because I was able to conclude more quickly that I have no room for him in my life than I would have if I'd tried to keep every relationship in its own airtight container.
__________________
solo polyamorous pansexual queer biological female with Aspergers.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:42 AM
Emm's Avatar
Emm Emm is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 745
Default

There's a difference between censorship and discretion. If you're unable to function in a relationship in which you're asked not to discuss one partner's personal details with another then you need to make that clear to everyone going in so that they can decide whether they'd be able to function in a relationship with no privacy.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:58 AM
Anneintherain's Avatar
Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 821
Default

You know, I am NOT OK in any way with my husband talking to other parties about issues he is having with me if he hasn't already talked to me about them. I know the intent isn't there, but to me it feels negative and gossipy (or fearful that it means our relationship is not strong), and I don't want to be married to somebody who can't discuss things with me first if they are about us. I know it may happen now and again, but I hate it with a passion, I'm a private person. If we've discussed a problem but it's ongoing, of course him talking about it with friends I expect, him discussing our stuff with metamours - well if I like them and am comfortable with them, I don't usually mind, and there will be a point where I specifically state that I am OK with them being a confidant of our "personal business". If I don't know them at all, or they come across as judgmental, I will ask Adam to not talk to them about it if the conflict isn't directly affecting them too. I talk to my two best friends and my sister about relationship issues to varying degrees, but I don't want to color a partner's opinion of another partner with transitory feelings or issues.

Oddly, I have no idea if my boyfriend talks to his partners at all about me. He doesn't talk about them in any way that includes sharing with me any problems they might be having. Because he is married I don't feel like it's necessary to protect some "core privacy", and if he's feeling unhappy about us, I imagine he would talk to his wife & girlfriend about it before he talked to me. I just realized as I wrote this that if he started dating somebody new and I hadn't met them, I would feel unhappy about the idea of him talking to them about issues he was having with me without a verbal statement from him that he was going to do so. So that was a tangent...

Anyway, if privacy is important to me, I make sure to discuss what I want or expect from any relationship, and to negotiate what is or isn't going to happen in that arena so I can figure out if I'm willing to accept them wanting to share differently than I do. If I haven't asked for privacy, I don't get too upset when I find out stuff I'd like to be private is shared with others.

On a side note - I think it is easier when both sides are sharing somewhat equally. If her bf is sharing relationship troubles with her, it might be natural for her to disclose more about her relationship with you. You have every right to ask her to only ask for advice and feedback from friends, relatives, forums without a heads up. You have a right to ask for whatever it is you want, and that's where negotiation begins. If she doesn't want to abide by your preferences, you get to decide if it means the relationship doesn't feel "safe" for you, and what that means to you.
__________________
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-26-2012, 11:46 AM
Witch Witch is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 19
Default

My personal opinion on it is that you need to work out how to deal with your emotions concerning the jealousy about the secondary. Like everyone else is saying, is he okay as a person for her to go to. Do you think that he is going to use that information against you. Do you think he's the type of person to tell her things like "Well if its that bad then leave the relationship" and not things like "how have you considered working this out?" Will he use this information against you, or are you just FEARFUL that he will use it against you. Has he done anything to make you fearful of this information.

If not, and he has proven to be a good supporting role, giving her advice, good advice as its needed, you have to remember that when you feel jealous and learn to look past that.

In the meantime, while you're trying to work through that issue, let your partner know, "Hey I'm trying to work through these feelings and not restrict you, for your secondary is not a bad person and I know this. So I ask that you work with me on this and let me know what you're going to discuss with him." or something along those lines. But actually work through those feelings, don't just keep constantly giving that excuse.

Good luck okay.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:34 AM.