Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-16-2013, 06:16 AM
Darkling Darkling is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Unhappy Starting a relationship, knowing it will also end--seems weird

Good evening,
I have a primary relationship that I am happy in, and my husband and I have been talking a lot about what it would look like if we weren't monogamous. In some ways I can see a lot of positive things that could come from this, balanced with some challenges as well.

One thing that has been kind of a mental road block to me is, even if we weren't monogamous, I would prefer that our marriage was the primary relationship for both of us. I'm afraid of risking that. I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point. Maybe mutually and gracefully, and maybe not.

Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful. Does this concern make sense to anyone? Does everyone really end up with a loving extended family of ex-lovers? Or do they end up with a collection of uncomfortable exes that pop up periodically to cause problems?

~darkling
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-16-2013, 07:05 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Why does a secondary relationship have to end? As long as everyone is happy, it could go on for years. If your secondary wants a primary relationship too, you give them the space to find that. As long as you have compatible partners, there is no need to think of relationships as inherently short term.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-16-2013, 07:36 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 339
Default

All relationships end. Even if you never stop seeing the other person one of you will die sooner or later.

Given that all relationships end sooner or later, for me, the questions are more around how to live so that the relationships in my life are the best they can be.

IP
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:58 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,806
Default

Quote:
One thing that has been kind of a mental road block to me is, even if we weren't monogamous, I would prefer that our marriage was the primary relationship for both of us. I'm afraid of risking that.
If your spouse and you and your dating potentials cannot agree on satisfactory boundaries for a primary-secondary model, don't try to practice that open model with those players.

Or if you yourself simply are not willing/able to go there in general -- respect your own limit and don't go there.

Quote:
I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point. Maybe mutually and gracefully, and maybe not.
ALL relationships come with a clock attached.

Even the one with your spouse. I certainly hope the ending for my and my spouse is "death do us part" when we are old, but that's never certain. He or I could get run over by a bus tomorrow. But one does not live life expecting doom at each corner. That's no way to live!

Quote:
Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful. Does this concern make sense to anyone? Does everyone really end up with a loving extended family of ex-lovers? Or do they end up with a collection of uncomfortable exes that pop up periodically to cause problems?
First... Are you considering secondary relationships like casual sex or casual emotional flings? Or like serious relationships that could last years?

Again, if this journey sounds painful and unfun to you -- could not go there. Obey your personal limit.

Is it your spouse that wants to go there and you really don't? Do not do this for your spouse. Do it for you -- and if you cannot go there of your own joyful heart and spirit? Just say no.

Galagirl
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:20 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkling View Post
One thing that has been kind of a mental road block to me is, even if we weren't monogamous, I would prefer that our marriage was the primary relationship for both of us. I'm afraid of risking that. I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point. Maybe mutually and gracefully, and maybe not.

Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful. Does this concern make sense to anyone? Does everyone really end up with a loving extended family of ex-lovers? Or do they end up with a collection of uncomfortable exes that pop up periodically to cause problems?

~darkling
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
All relationships end. Even if you never stop seeing the other person one of you will die sooner or later.

Given that all relationships end sooner or later, for me, the questions are more around how to live so that the relationships in my life are the best they can be.

IP
I struggle with this immensely darkling. You are not alone.

I also find the idea that all relationships end sooner or later, as IP noted, to be not helpful at all in resolving this issue for me. First, it's depressing. Realistic and accurate but just not how I want to think about my relationships. Second, spiritually, it's not true for me. I'm pagan and believe in reincarnation. I also believe that beyond death, the entities that were my friends, lovers, parents, family still exist in some form and will interact with the entity I become after death in some way. Everyone dies. However, I believe death is not the end. But I digress. You may find those words more useful than I do.

I have struggled to let go of the idea that relationships must be committed and must be lifelong in intent, if not in actuality. I have struggled to cope with the inherent expectations of that worldview. For example, that relationships have to 'go somewhere' in certain ways. One idea that has helped me think about those expectations is that of the 'relationship escalator'. Basically, the idea is that once in a relationship, it moves in a strict direction ('up' to marriage and babies traditionally). The blog, Solo Poly, has some great posts about implications of the relationship escalator, and what it can look like to get off the escalator. http://solopoly.net/. It's also been discussed here. I've found the idea helpful in framing my struggles but not in resolving them just yet.

(Solo Poly has some great posts on couple privilege which everyone who is in a couple, or wants to be in a couple should read IMHO.)

My relationship with my boyfriend started as FWB. It's gotten more serious over time. I've found that as it's gotten more involved and emotionally important, then my expectations went up. This has caused problems. I'm trying to examine the feelings underneath the expectations, examine the resulting envy and jealousy and get at what is really going on emotionally for me. Unfortunately, I don't have any other useful advice, beyond seeking the deep personal truth behind one's feelings, reactions and expectations.

It's hard. I'm not enjoying it. So far it's been worth it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:25 PM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
I struggle with this immensely darkling. You are not alone.

I also find the idea that all relationships end sooner or later, as IP noted, to be not helpful at all in resolving this issue for me. First, it's depressing. Realistic and accurate but just not how I want to think about my relationships. Second, spiritually, it's not true for me. I'm pagan and believe in reincarnation. I also believe that beyond death, the entities that were my friends, lovers, parents, family still exist in some form and will interact with the entity I become after death in some way. Everyone dies. However, I believe death is not the end. But I digress. You may find those words more useful than I do.

I have struggled to let go of the idea that relationships must be committed and must be lifelong in intent, if not in actuality. I have struggled to cope with the inherent expectations of that worldview. For example, that relationships have to 'go somewhere' in certain ways. One idea that has helped me think about those expectations is that of the 'relationship escalator'. Basically, the idea is that once in a relationship, it moves in a strict direction ('up' to marriage and babies traditionally). The blog, Solo Poly, has some great posts about implications of the relationship escalator, and what it can look like to get off the escalator. http://solopoly.net/. It's also been discussed here. I've found the idea helpful in framing my struggles but not in resolving them just yet.

(Solo Poly has some great posts on couple privilege which everyone who is in a couple, or wants to be in a couple should read IMHO.)

My relationship with my boyfriend started as FWB. It's gotten more serious over time. I've found that as it's gotten more involved and emotionally important, then my expectations went up. This has caused problems. I'm trying to examine the feelings underneath the expectations, examine the resulting envy and jealousy and get at what is really going on emotionally for me. Unfortunately, I don't have any other useful advice, beyond seeking the deep personal truth behind one's feelings, reactions and expectations.

It's hard. I'm not enjoying it. So far it's been worth it.
Why can't your relationship with your boyfriend last for (this) lifetime if you continue to make one another happy? I don't understand why people think they *have* to end at all?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-16-2013, 02:36 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,044
Default

We all die-but in the mean time-
I love my husband and I love my boyfriend.
15 years with husband. 20 with boyfriend.
No end in sight.

How you negotiate the terms of any relationship is important.
There is no guarantee that one or another will end.
So you need not look at it from the assumption that it will.

Dying isn't "an end" to everyone. Some people see it as simple another change.
Relationships will change. Your relationship wtih everyone in the world including yourself will change over the course of time. But end? That part is unnecessary.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"

Last edited by LovingRadiance; 10-16-2013 at 02:37 PM. Reason: clarification
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-16-2013, 06:33 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Why can't your relationship with your boyfriend last for (this) lifetime if you continue to make one another happy? I don't understand why people think they *have* to end at all?
There are circumstances and limits. For example, if he needs to move for work, we will break up because neither of us want a long distance relationship. But, yes, as long as we make each other happy and are in geographic proximity, I see no reason not to stay together!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-17-2013, 12:57 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,277
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkling View Post
Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful.
The end of a relationship can be quite painful, depending on the circumstances. Am I correct in interpreting this to mean that you have never been party to a relationship ending? Friend, family, lover...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkling View Post
I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point.
This statement blows my mind. In the same sentence you have stated that it is a foregone conclusion that any relationship with the mono-for-life stamp on it will in fact last for life... and any other relationship is doomed for failure.

Just because you have stated that your mono-mate-for-life preference has no bearing on whether it will last for life. Some rare relationships are the very first one for both people, they mate for life, they constructively and positively tackle every difficulty life has to offer, their sex drives remain perfectly compatible for their entire lives, and they have compatible philosophy growth for their entire lives. If this happens I'd say that is one for the record books. Assuming that it's going to happen just because that's the way it's supposed to... that is almost blind optimism.

The defeatist approach that a relationship can't last simply because it doesn't have the mono-forever stamp is setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is also applying traditional life-long-mono viewpoints onto a relationship style to which it doesn't apply.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-17-2013, 02:47 PM
Vixtoria's Avatar
Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 299
Default

On one hand I understand your worry. I'm married, hubby and I have kids, we've both discussed it and neither of us want more kids so have taken care of that issue on our ends. That means, my boyfriend one day will want kids, probably a wife. I can't be that for him, so does that mean that at some point this relationship will end?


Maybe.

I agree with Marcus here that you are putting the cart before the horse and setting yourself up for pain. Relationships end, many times you are dating someone and it ends. Amicably or not. So? You stop dating? Forever??

Each relationship is it's own relationship. Meaning if you subscribe to the idea of poly you understand that a relationship is not successful or fulfilling solely on the basis of ending in marriage and kids! It's successful if it's loving, if it works for the people involved.


My current boyfriend and I have discussed this a lot, and the discussion has changed over time. At first, we sort of tried to accept that at some point, he may have to say goodbye to me. That if he meets a woman he is wanting to marry and have kids with, she's going to want him all to herself. Then it evolved. He's happy with this model and while we both understand that especially with NRE and all that he may back off a bit, spend a little less time with me while they are building their relationship, why does it mean that I CAN'T remain in his life?

Now a days we have discussions on how he hopes any future relationship and I get along and how I plan on spoiling their children just because I can!

The point is, why go into it assuming it will fail? Maybe you will break up maybe you won't, but why is that dependent on the fact that you are already married? If someone is dating you and knows you are married they should be pretty aware that the relationship model you two will have will not include a legal marriage and be okay with it! Lots of successful relationships have nothing to do with marriage!
__________________
Me: Late 30s pansexual poly.
DH: My husband of 19 yrs and father of 3 teen girls.
DC: LDR of +4 year
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 08:58 PM.