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Old 02-08-2011, 09:48 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Default Getting the cake with a little less icing

I'm using myself as an example to take on this thread:

Recently the issue of compromising on boundaries has come up for Redpepper and me. One of the ways I offered to create more freedom in her level of intimacy with Leo was for me to pull away from some group activities that we share as families. Admittedly, part of this is because I cannot effectively deal with the reality of how intimate they were and would like to continue being. Fair enough, like an Ostrich I burrow my head into the sand. I also know this would likely result in me being less active in a broader spectrum of poly environments/activities once again to avoid reminders or triggers which might make my issues around this topic flare. I think I would become more live in boyfriend with a separate/more introverted social life.

Essentially I would be stepping myself back into a more "secondary" role in order to deal with more openness for Redpepper. She would get something and I would get something. Compromise?

I have read of other posters on here who also want to be viewed as more secondary to cope with their partners other relationships. They too encounter resitance in the face of being asked to accept new relationships.

Yes, the dynamic of the relationship changes but it also changes with the addition of new partners. Is it "fair" to expect no change in current partner dynamics in light of the desire to change the dynamic by adding new ones?
Is it fair to ask existing partners to "not" change when they are themselves being asked to accept change?

If both people are getting some of what they want while still maintaining relationships that they both get something from...is that not feasible? Is that not what compromise is about?

I'd like to try to stay somewhat on target with this because I know there will be a tendency to ask "why don't you work on getting over this issue as opposed to avoiding it through stepping back". Been there…will be there again I am sure

Peace and Love
Mono
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 02-08-2011 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:11 PM
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Mono, what you're proposing sounds very reasonable to me. You are protecting your heart in the best way you know how, while still staying as connected as you know you can be in such a situation. If RP and Leo do move forward in their relationship, and you step back for them to do that, it doesn't mean you cannot become more engaged with the tribe at a later date. You might just need an adjustment period. People and relationships are fluid and you can ask to create what you want. The way you put it, about there being change happening on both sides of the equation, makes perfect sense to me.

I could be wrong but I thought Leo's wife didn't want them to move forward either? It seems there are challenges in this, from more than just you, but ultimately RP and Leo need to be clear about what they want. Want, not what they would consider fair. Then you have to look at what you want, and if they want to be together and stepping back is what you want, I don't see a problem.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:45 PM
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In all honesty stepping back is not what I want...but what I would need to do and none of us can predict what that would lead to. But at least it is something on the table to work with if they want to continue as they are. I'm trying LOL
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
In all honesty stepping back is not what I want...but what I would need to do and none of us can predict what that would lead to. But at least it is something on the table to work with if they want to continue as they are. I'm trying LOL
Hey Mon

I think this is at the heart of mono struggles and mindset. That desire to freeze moments in time that are special and beautiful. Just sit there forever and glow.

But you know too that life isn't like that. Nor relationships. We can't 'freeze-frame'. Things are always changing and evolving. Sometimes in a direction we like. Sometimes not. But the one thing we DO know is that wherever they happen to be at the moment won't remain. Whether it's positive or negative. It WILL change over time.

So your fears of things shifting are kind of self torture. They're going to shift eventually, for some reason eventually anyway. Better to develop coping mechanisms from the shifts than just inflict avoidable pain ?

Every survived instance seems to reinforce the "this too will pass" foundation.

Breath deep my friend !

GS
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:46 PM
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I'm signing off on this one too. Thanks to those who maintained focus on the topic of compromise. I learned a lot. Sorry to those who want it to go somewhere else.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:48 PM
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If you're signing off Mono, I'm not sure I should even post a reply - ?! But here's my .02 anyway

I hear some discrepency in your posts about Leo -- and of course I don't know the guy, so bear with me on my comments based on a very, very limited scope. Mono says he would trust Leo with RP's heart... but then I read that Leo has mental health issues and a drinking problem. From what I've experienced personally, alcohol only makes mental health problems WORSE, so that would need to be addressed before he could be seen as a healthy, trustworthy person. RP is very wise to back off on pursuing that relationship. It sounds like he has some things to work on, himself. (I struggle with a savior complex so I could see this being incredibly hard to do. But what this man needs is a friend, not a lover, until he gets his head on straight, so I think you are smart. In AA I know they recommend that a sponsor be of the same gender, and this is probably one of the reasons why. Sex can be a great diversion from dealing with substance abuse and addiction issues).

Regarding boundaries and crossing them.... for one thing poly is all about crossing the conventional boundaries of monogamy. So we are already in some wild waters to begin with! It is difficult to decide whether to uphold a boundary or not when you are not clear on the consequences. Is it not???

How can we know what will break a relationship and what will not? Scary.

I do think of that old poem (and Sting song ): "If you love something set it free..." How much can we trust that the person we love will come back to us? I love having the freedom to follow my heart, even when my heart gets me into some places that end up hurting. If my intentions were pure, if I only meant to love, and had no malice in my heart, how can that be so terribly bad?

Just my thoughts...
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:50 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is online now
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Stepping back can sometimes be the only way to re-group ourselves in order to deal with the situation at hand. However, it all comes down to how far is too far or how far is far enough? When we offer up compromises we have to remember not to shut ourselves off to counter offers.

Sometimes I offer up a compromise and it gets accepted as "this is what I need/want", end of story, but now I'm misserable. What I really NEEDED, was more options, because my solution was too drastic. At the time, my head could not comprehend any other solution and the second party (my husband) was feeling too guilty to argue and accepted what I said I wanted.

I understand stepping back from activites they share as families, with the goal and understanding that this is only temporary. Some re-building might have to be done and new goals set. This doesn't necessarily mean that the entire dynamic of the relationship or how you interact within the immediate family needs to drastically change.

I think this is where I am, I'm in the process of rebuilding my relationship with my husband. While some may say that he really didn't have an affair, and other would say he did, the truth is trust was violated, boundries crossed and my families saftey was compromised. We both had decissions to make, we both had to decided how or if to move forward. In this process, I have learned a lot, but while this knocked us back for a while we are moving forward.

At first, I backed away from everything and everyone, it was very necessary, for a short while. Now I am carefully looking at what really needs to be added back and what was I doing simply out of obligation? I had to ask myself did I enjoy it or the people involved or was it causing more stress than it was worth? How was this stress effecting my relationship with my husband and children?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
This doesn't necessarily mean that the entire dynamic of the relationship or how you interact within the immediate family needs to drastically change.
That was never a part of the compromise. I love and enjoy our extended family. I would continue to be the public face of poly for family and be just as active in that area I think. I didn't take the heat (and still take the heat) to achieve acceptance to walk away from that. I am the only partner most of the family knows about. To me that fight was worth it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
That was never a part of the compromise. I love and enjoy our extended family. I would continue to be the public face of poly for family and be just as active in that area I think. I didn't take the heat (and still take the heat) to achieve acceptance to walk away from that. I am the only partner most of the family knows about. To me that fight was worth it.
I guess I just missunderstood your reference to "secondary" and "live-in-boyfriend". My bad
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:15 AM
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Let's be bottom line honest here. Of COURSE dynamics are going to change when adding another person or the amount of time with another person. HELLO! There are only 24 hours a day. I'm admittedly currently a bit bitter because my guy all of a sudden decided he didn't have time to commit to me on a regular basis. This was after I moved PARTIALLY to work further on a relationship with him (in addition to wanting to live in a warmer climate.) He was the one who introduced me to the idea of poly.....talking about seeing "love" as "abundant" and not "scarce". etc, etc. I was the one who raised the issue of how does one fit everyone in with how busy life can get working, raising kids, etc? He assured me it could be done.

When it came right down to it he became overwhelmed with job and family responsibilities. (He had another partner before we met and they are raising her 9 year old child, too) Adding another person into his life on a regular basis all of a sudden was too much for him. His partner and I got along well...became very fond of one another. I participated in activities with them as a family and with their friends, so it's not like I was demanding or asking for exclusive time with him only.

There are no guarantees in life in any type of relationship....poly or mono. But, I would like people to really stop and think it through about the day to day impact on everyone involved when adding other partner(s) in to their life/lives. Please! My guy said he still loved me and wanted to see me.....IF and WHEN he had the time. I was asking for a once a week commitment to seeing me....even if it involved being with the family at the same time. I made the choice to not compromise with seeing him IF and WHEN....even though that's what he wanted. He didn't want me to end our relationship. I never wanted a secondary position and had always been clear about that. It saddens and angers me to think that in the end he had such little commitment to our relationship when the going got tough.

Last edited by dragonflysky; 02-09-2011 at 05:32 AM.
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