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  #11  
Old 12-07-2011, 01:44 AM
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Carob is getting into something (something he's really interested in and passionate about) which will likely have some serious ethical decisions along the way. It's an area I have not much experience in and I don't really know what to think. I feel initially uneasy about some things but I know I haven't explored these ideas much, and I don't really have well-formed opinions on this particular issue. Also, my perspective is skewed because I do come from a place of privilege on this topic, and it's hard to figure how this influences (and possibly invalidates?) my point of view.

I'm feeling, though, that I'd rather simply not care what he does in this case... I'd in some ways prefer to keep my emotional distance, maybe something like DADT but with your personal life! I think that this could work --- unless you expect more closeness than this... ? It's something I haven't thought about much til now, because it hasn't been an issue.

The risk for me is caring too much about his life decisions, and feeling betrayed or upset if he chooses a path that I wouldn't be comfortable with. I'd rather not get this close, I'd rather leave room for us to still be able to be together, even if we disagree on ethical choices like this. This is something that needs me to examine and moderate myself, I guess.

We don't have to agree on everything, and ultimately I value his freedom. There's a baseline moral we agree on, pretty much of the "harm not but do what ye will" variety. However, I have some other concerns that feed into my own moral decisions. These are more personal to me, and not necessarily something I feel comfortable expecting from other people.

Well. I've been disinclined to talk things through with him, and recently he's been telling me how frustrating this is for him. Both of us (like many people, I suppose) work things out through conversations. He's felt like he hasn't had me as a sounding board for his decisions in this area. To quote him directly: "Aren't I allowed to have a moral quandry?"

Yeah, of course he is. And I certainly hope I'm not a holier-than-thou person... I just feel vulnerable somehow. He's going to make whatever decision he wants to, in the end, whether I like it or not. This is as it should be.

I know that talking with him would make things clearer in my mind and also his, it definitely would. So what am I afraid of? I guess I'm afraid of becoming invested in this issue. It's something that's going quite deep for me spiritually. I want to be able to continue adventuring with him (at least in other ways) no matter what he decides to do in this sphere. But I'm scared that if I get into the nitty gritty of this, I'll start to care more, and I'll be open to being hurt more if he sees things differently to me, and acts in ways I find personally objectionable.

Hell, no one's perfect. But this is some heavy shit, something that would be a big deal for me (and is obviously a big deal for him). Ultimately, I'd rather he followed his own path on this one regardless of what I think.

Ah, but he wants to know what I think! I'm finding this hard. I must try to deal with my own hang ups and communicate as much as I can. I understand where he's coming from - of course he'd rather work it through together. But I can't bring myself to get in the boat on this one if we don't both get to hold the rudder.

Last edited by fuchka; 12-07-2011 at 01:48 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2011, 02:15 AM
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Wow, I'm so curious... what could his new project be?? Something political, religious? Is he a member of Wikileaks? Is he going to drill for oil on environmentally sensitive land? Mysterious mysteries!

I think that we owe our partners, and that includes close friends, our honest opinions. You may not get to make the final decision, but I'm sure you'll have an influence on his thinking. I know that if one of my partners refused to even talk to me about a particular topic I'd be hurt and confused and it might make me feel distanced from him/her... talking is just so important to me, talking and touch (cuddle chats ftw).

Of course you can always give him your honest opinion and yet decline to engage in a long, prolonged discussion of all the details. Balance.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-07-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:30 AM
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^I second the curiosity.. My guesses went more along the lines of:
- he becomes a doctor and performs abortions, which you think is murder
- he becomes a hunter and you're a vegetarian
Annabel's suggestions are a bit more dramatic, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuchka View Post
Carob is getting into something (something he's really interested in and passionate about) which will likely have some serious ethical decisions along the way. It's an area I have not much experience in and I don't really know what to think. I feel initially uneasy about some things but I know I haven't explored these ideas much, and I don't really have well-formed opinions on this particular issue. Also, my perspective is skewed because I do come from a place of privilege on this topic, and it's hard to figure how this influences (and possibly invalidates?) my point of view.
I think the only way forward to me would be to face that discomfort, and take the risk that your view may change (or it may not). As in, to discuss all of it, the parts that make you uncomfortable, and the parts that may feel like judgement to him, in order to understand each others feelings about the topic. I would have a lot harder time with my partner doing something I feel is unethical if I didn't understand his/her reasons for doing it. If I understand it, I may not still accept it, but it makes it easier for me to accept him/her even with a differing opinion.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
Wow, I'm so curious... what could his new project be?? Something political, religious? Is he a member of Wikileaks? Is he going to drill for oil on environmentally sensitive land?
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Originally Posted by rory View Post
^I second the curiosity.. My guesses went more along the lines of:
- he becomes a doctor and performs abortions, which you think is murder
- he becomes a hunter and you're a vegetarian
Ha! I was thinking it is something extremely kinky.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2011, 10:11 PM
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AnnabelMore, rory, nycindie - Thanks for your replies! Wish I could relieve your curiosities, but ah... let's just say, for legitimate reasons I cannot

Yes, I know I needed to be more forthcoming, not keep my thoughts to myself. As I tried to discuss it I realised there was perhaps a confusion in my head between something he's decided to do vs something he's deciding whether to do. If he hasn't decided yet, the conversation is more about nutting it out. If he's decided to do it already, it's more about his justification and me understanding that.

Given I wasn't sure of what I thought either, it helped to get a clear frame for discussion.

The urgency of this issue has passed for now, as he decided against taking the opportunity this time. Hmm, given I can't be more specific I wonder if I should stop talking about it in abstract. Could make for a bit of a weird "Thing That Must Not Be Mentioned" plot line! But since it might come up again, I'll try to make a more specific frame of reference.

Let's just say there's an experiment C would really like to run in theory, and he is working on the experiment itself as well as looking for subjects for the experiment. There are possible objections to the experiment itself (I'm not sure if I have any absolute objections to this) but there are possible ethical issues depending on which subjects he selects.

Whatever you're imagining is probably far more interesting than the reality! I liked your guesses so far *grin* Obviously can neither confirm nor deny.

Anyway, where we've got to: he will continue working on the experiment, and thinking of possible subjects. But he wants to be able to talk if things are getting ethically murky.

I'd like to be communicative as much as possible, and I have abandoned the DADT idea (yeah yeah, y'all knew it wouldn't work). If the need arises to talk about this again, it will help to make it clear whether it's something he's going to do anyway, regardless of my opinions, when we discuss it. Most probably he'll be looking to sound off to me re: ethics, and I really should be open to this (inspite of my fears that we will disagree in the end)

Well, so much for that mystery in a teacup!

Been busy, Sage is getting here late on Friday (YAY!) and four days after that we are travelling with a mutual friend to visit family and other friends and take a holiday... Travelling for a month, woo! We've made a pact (the three of us travelling) to write together for an hour a day when we're away - not sure of the project, maybe a collection of stories. Will be fun to spend time.

Once I get back from holiday overseas, I have two weeks here in New Zealand again before I move to Australia.

Clearing out the house as a couple of friends are house&cat-sitting from next week, til the end of next year! Long distance ahoy

C & I having some poignant moments, taking it sweetly, luxuriously ambling conversations, cuddle chats, etc. Am going to miss his touch
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2011, 09:57 AM
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Carob and I are ride-sharing with Brian, a guy we've recently met. I pick up Brian, and go to C's work. While we're waiting for C to come out (har har), Brian asks me:

"So what's the deal with you and Carob?"

Me: (pause) "Well, we're really good friends"

B: "Oh. So just friends then."

Me: "Um, well, you could say we're lovers... but I'm not monogamous... and I am with someone else too who I've been living with, just he's not in the country right now... "

Later Carob was amused but also a little face-palm about it. He suggested: "Carob's my boyfriend and I'm also happily married to someone else."

So simple, yeah? Too simple perhaps

Nah, I see his point. I just haven't figured out how I like to put things... I really don't like saying I have a husband (not sure why)... I hardly ever call Sage my husband. Only when I really have to. I'd rather use his name, and I definitely do with people who know him or know of him. With people who don't know him, I tend to say "one of my friends..." or (less frequently) "my partner" or "one of my partners"

(Actually I was teaching recently and I told an anecdote beginning "One of my friends...", then realised I was talking about S, and joked "... ah, I'm married to him now, I should really stop introducing this story as 'one of my friends'")

But seriously? I find it difficult to know what people are getting at. Friends and lovers, friends who are lovers... Surely, they're not just interested in whether or not we're having sex. And you can have close intimacy with friends... I kinda don't get the distinction between friends and "just friends" but I'm okay with being bemused. Just from time to time there are some possibly avoidable awkward moments in conversations with other people.

Both Sage and Carob have no issue with the labels.

Sage introduces me as his wife (as a side note, in private he calls me "mife" (man-wife) - I love it!)

Carob calls me his girlfriend

I call Sage my... friend
and Carob... also my friend

They don't mind my reticence as such, but I don't think they get what my hang up is. I'm not exactly sure myself, though every now and then I have a go at teasing it out.

It's not that I just want to feel unique or undefinable. Or maybe it is (I hope not, but egos can be weird like that.)

What's so wrong with summarising things as Carob suggested: "I'm happily married, and I also have a boyfriend"?

I guess maybe I feel that it's too neatly boxed. People could say "oh, okay" like those words convey something more meaningful than "we're all really good friends". (Mm, maybe the generic word "friends" suggests a different kind of intimacy, with no sex or romance, and a looser sense of commitment... maybe?)

Maybe I just am passionate about friendship! I don't like the idea of "just friends" being some kind of lower level of importance, and I'm politically against using words that indirectly cheapen the ideal of friendship.
Hmm, that feels closer to the core of it than any of my other guesses.

That said, sometimes short and clinical works best.

Earlier this year, I went to the doctor for something that was hard for me to see a doctor about, and I asked whether Sage and Carob would come along with me. They were okay about it, but asked me how I would introduce them. I thought that a very quick summary would work best.

I said to the doctor: "These are my partners, S & C"
She said, "Sorry?" and I repeated it, and then she said "Oh, okay." and we moved on.

Perhaps I should try that more often
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2011, 01:34 PM
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I don't see Carob's suggestion as better or even simpler than yours. In fact, mentioning you have a boyfriend and a husband could be much more complicated, depending on who you're talking to.

I got married for the first time at 39, and it took me a long time to get comfortable with the word "husband." I like "partner" for that kind of relationship. But I am similar to you in that I do not take friendship lightly, and it's an honor to have someone in my life as a friend. Nothing wrong with that, nor with referring to your loves as friends. Nothing wrong with that at all. I think you explained your situation to Brian perfectly.
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2011, 02:16 AM
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fuchka fuchka is offline
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It can be scary to do something against the grain, that mainstream society doesn't acknowledge or accept fully, something that is "odd".

When things get tough, you can question yourself - is it because I'm wanting too much? Have I tempted fate? It would be easier, maybe, to colour inside the lines.

If you follow the rules and fail, it's bad luck. If you break the rules and fail, it's your fault. Or so it can feel sometimes...

I love the poly community - by no means homogeneous, but sharing an openness to questioning where people draw the lines... taking away (or repositioning?) some of the safety scaffolding and seeing what (if anything) falls over, and how far we can now build up, or sideways...

Maybe we're tripping, maybe we are messing with the idea of what successful relationships are, maybe we're doomed, I don't know - but I'm glad to be here.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:48 PM
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Sage gets here tomorrow late night. Trying to finish up work for the year before heading away next week. Away for just over a month, will be a decent break if I manage to not get twisted into too much family stuff. Will be good to have S by my side. Heaps to do before that though, trying not to get strung out, but things are getting emotional.

Carob teary this morning, not looking forward to me going, afraid of things changing; we're feeling the ramp running out and it's making our emotions pretty wacky.

Wish I had time for more cuddles. Dealing with emotions is important, but sometimes you gotta to defer that stuff cos other things need doing too. Ah, striking the balance. Hard to be productive when you feel upset, hard to take time to talk when you have impeding deadlines... When things are like this I really feel the time-suck of poly stuff. I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing, by following a path that requires so much intense communication time.

In a way it's worth it, in a way it feels maybe selfish?

Had dinner with C's ma, her boyfriend, and C's brother last night. Went well, food was good, and it was great to spend time and chat.

I kind of joked about something in conversation that touched a nerve for him.

Earlier this year C and I were both presenting at a conference. At the end of his speech, he made crazy poetic declarations of love to me, something like "you are the meat to my salt", was hilarious and cute. I was surprised and touched but also a tad embarrassed... I don't usually wear my relationships on my sleeve, and it felt a wee bit like someone putting a flag into me. Especially cos the conference is more his scene, as in, he knows more of the people there than I do. But it wasn't a problem for me at all, it was a really loving gesture.

When I presented, the person introducing me said that I probably have something to say back to C. I said something along the lines of "you seem like a nice guy, don't call me, I'll call you." Was in good fun and it wasn't an issue at the time.

Anyway I thought it was a funny anecdote and I shared it at dinner. Seemed to go down well but this morning he was saying that it made him feel weird, that I could be embarrassed by that. After talking a little, I realised we're both kinda messed up with how to conceive of next year, the looming LDR, and that's making everything heightened. Well. LDR for a year, but we'll see each other through the year. And it's not _that_ long distance. We should be right. But eh, it's been a hard year and next year will have it's own things going on. The growing gloom...

I just want a hug. From anyone, really

Little things are feeling like big things. I don't know whether to vent when it's kind of irrational. (Little things like me asking him to help me with the dishes before he left, and him heading off to work, maybe forgetting or caught up in his own thoughts. I work from home, so it feels sucky to be left with all the kitchen/dinner mess. Little things like that! I fear it's better out than in, but sometimes you say things in the heat of emotion that are much harsher than intended once the words cool.)

Glad I'm getting a holiday soon, seems like I need it

Last edited by fuchka; 12-14-2011 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:02 AM
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Virtual *hug* (please try to make time for some IRL ones, too )

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuchka View Post
Wish I had time for more cuddles. Dealing with emotions is important, but sometimes you gotta to defer that stuff cos other things need doing too. Ah, striking the balance. Hard to be productive when you feel upset, hard to take time to talk when you have impeding deadlines... When things are like this I really feel the time-suck of poly stuff. I wonder whether I'm doing the right thing, by following a path that requires so much intense communication time.

In a way it's worth it, in a way it feels maybe selfish?
I can understand the feeling of time-suck. For me it doesn't come up often, but when everything's intense... I can't relate to the feelings of selfishness, though. But I do think that when emotions get really intense, my judgement is not always the best. I mean, I still balance the relationship stuff well, but my studying takes the hit 'cause I can't concentrate. [Yet, it's not like monogamy never requires emotional work.]
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