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Old 04-23-2013, 12:31 AM
leelee22's Avatar
leelee22 leelee22 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Great white north
Posts: 43
Default Bewildered...

After reading a few introductions, I feel like it would take months of research to learn all the terminology needed to describe oneself here!

I'm Leelee, and I think what I am is the "secondary" to a person who has a "primary".

I am a (divorced) single woman. My lover is a man in a long-term relationship with a woman. They had a monogamous relationship for many years, but decided a few months ago to turn it into a sort of open relationship. I say "sort of" because it's only open on HIS side, i.e., his partner is not interested in any other partners, which he is happy about, because he's not sure he'd like it if she were. He is allowed to have male and/or female secondary partners, but she is entitled to ask him anything she wants about those relationships. I am the first "secondary", supposedly. I haven't met his primary and he doesn't want me to meet her. He says she wouldn't want to meet me.

One of the first things I read when I first checked out this site was David Noble's "So somebody called you a Unicorn Hunter" article. It made me sad. What he wrote about these "unicorns" that people are supposedly looking for sounded alot like my situation. I have no say in the terms of my relationship with my lover -- his primary gets to dictate when he can and can't see me, what we can do together (sex only; "socializing" like going out for a drink or for dinner is forbidden), etcetera. I didn't get to negotiate ANYTHING about the relationship, and I constantly wonder when his "primary" is going to pull the plug on things. Sometimes I even wonder if she actually exists, or if he is making her up. If she DOES exist, she seems to view me as a sort of free service provider that takes care of her husband's sexual needs for him so that she doesn't have to.

I guess this introduction sounds pretty miserable. My first impression of polyamory is pretty negative, I think. Objectively I can understand it -- my ex had lots of mistresses and he was constantly lying about it. I'm not sure monogamy comes naturally to many men. For a couple to accept that and to negotiate other partners in a honest way does seem like a good thing. But from my perspective, my position in this thing has many negatives and very few benefits.

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Old 04-23-2013, 08:05 PM
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NutBusterX NutBusterX is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Central California
Posts: 98

Hi Lee,
I'm Jim. Welcome to the forum. Poly is not intended to be a lifestyle that makes someone feel bad about themselves or their relationship, in my view. My sympathies go out to you for feeling the way you do.

"Secondary" can be a misleading, and often misused term, I think. Some folks will use the term "Other Significant Other (OSO)." The key word in that term is "Significant." If you were treated as "Significant" rather than "Secondary" your story would be much more positive and uplifting. There's no requirement here to be positive, or uplifting, in terms of the forum. In your relationship, though, do you not have a right to be significant and therefore feel rewarded and cherished? It's always difficult to get a true picture of a relationship in an introduction, but my vote is that you clearly deserve better than what you're getting. It is very much achievable, and many poly people consider all of their partners to be valued equally. I wish you the best luck in attaining that quality of love.

I think you will find plenty of resources here to aid you in your relationship, or in learning to expect and even find a better one.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:32 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,643

It sounds like you entered into this relationship with your eyes open knowing how it would be. You haven't been with this person for very long, and according to the story he gave you, they don't have much experience with nonmonogamy. You clearly are not happy with this situation. He sounds like a douche to me the way you described it. Now i'm expecting you to come back and say that he's not like anyone you've ever met, he makes you feel like no one ever has before, if only he'd chaaaaaaaange and if only his wife would stop being a controlling harpy.

Am i getting this?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:47 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,643

Also, where the heck did you get the idea that polyamory means having lots of mistresses and lying about it?

So you went from being the wife who was being lied to about the mistresses to being the mistress who is being lied to about the wife? And someone told you that this "is" polyamory?

You could memorize every definition in the glossary and you still would not have the right words to describe this fucked-up situation.

Oh and before people crawl up my ass for judging and assuming, let me tell you a little secret about myself. My mother became involved with a married man when i was 10 or 12. They were together until she died when i was 30 (that's a long time). Supposedly, the "story" was that they slept in separate rooms, had DADT (don't ask don't tell), and were staying together "because of the kids". Well, the "kids" are now in their 40's, as i am. To this day i wonder if that man was telling the truth about any of that. So i think i am very qualified to have a strong opinion about situations similar to this.

That said, my mother was content with their relationship and if he lied, he was a good liar and i'm pretty sure he came and went as he chose, not as his wife decreed. Your situation sounds untenable. The sex must be incredible because i can't think of why else you'd put up with this bullshit.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:32 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Yelm, Washington
Posts: 12,478

Hi Lee,
Welcome to our forum.

It makes me sad to hear about your situation, it doesn't sound like you have any rights. You're not just an object, you're a person; you deserve to be treated like a person.

I don't want to tell you what to do in your situation, but it seems inevitable that you'll reach the point where you'll say, "I can't do this anymore." Then you'll have to state some minimum needs that have to be met for you if you're going to stay in this relationship.

Some really awesome people have posted so far; different people have a different way of saying that they're pulling for you on this. I hope things get better for you soon.

Kevin T.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:11 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,356

For a couple to accept that and to negotiate other partners in a honest way does seem like a good thing. But from my perspective, my position in this thing has many negatives and very few benefits.

I'm sorry your situation is negative for you and are treated without a voice in the things that concern you. You sound like you DO want a voice in the relationship. So...why accept these terms? If terms don't meet your needs?

Ultimately you are responsible for your health and well being. What's your plan to get out of this situation now that you have become aware that polyshipping could be executed in a more honest, open fashion? You don't sound happy in this situation and some of your needs are going unmet.

Could choose to do something about it.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-24-2013 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:42 PM
Janelle Janelle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 13

Welcome Leelee,
Im sorry your experience has been difficult. I hate the term secondary. I beleive you are in a V relationship with the guy as the hinge. I am in the same relationship and I am also the OSO. I had some of your same concerns yet not to your extent. Rules and conditions have to be discussed ahead of time and even then they may get misunderstood along the way. Positive,open, honest communication is what helps to sustain IMO. Maybe you can talk to him tell him how you feel, let him know what your feelings are.

I didn't get to negotiate ANYTHING about the relationship
Would you accept this in any other relationship? (ie family trip,business)

she seems to view me as a sort of free service provider that takes care of her husband's sexual needs for him so that she doesn't have to.
Until you said those words I didn't realize that this is something I provide also but I also get other benefits of an actual relationship that I cherish and enjoy. You have to remember this is your relationship also, and If you are not getting what you want out of it, then express that and possibly renogotiate the terms of the relationship.

What do I know Im just a beginner, some really awesome people will be along shortly.
Best of luck to you!
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