Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:13 AM
avoidscauliflour avoidscauliflour is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Default

I'm new here - and identify as mono to boot, so maybe this opinion is not welcome but I wanted to offer a different point of view on his use of possessive language.

Possessive language is so ingrained in our culture that for many people, it is often the goto way to express other feelings. Esp if this was said in the heat of an argument. When intense feeling of jealously, insecurity or abandonment are involved, it's easy to pick the words that come to mind quickly, ones we know from tv, movies or books, and they may not tell the whole story.

He may not mean "as long as your mine..." in terms of dictating your actions or beliefs, he may mean "as long as I stay your primary" or a host of other things. I can't tell your for sure if he wants to possess you without meeting him first-hand, but talk with him about what he really means by that before jumping to any conclusions.

Why is this my opinion? Because I've used this language before - usually while distressed and always without thinking first.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-08-2012, 08:43 PM
MindfulAgony's Avatar
MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour View Post
I'm new here - and identify as mono to boot, so maybe this opinion is not welcome but I wanted to offer a different point of view on his use of possessive language.
Your opinion is definitely welcome. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

We often use language poorly, without precision. And, you're correct that we often use stand-in concepts for what we really mean not thinking about the deep meaning of what is said.

One of the many reasons why communication is so difficult.

On the other hand, we do live in a heavily mysogonist, patriarchal environment that encourages such distainful notions for men in particular. But, also women have corresponding expectations that are equally as corrosive.

Picking through whether the dominant norm is operating or something else entirely requires lots of committed communication.
__________________
Male, Straight, Poly

OKC Profile

Blogs:
Mind Crush
sloetry

“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
-Pema Chodron
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-09-2012, 07:42 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 146
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour View Post
Possessive language is so ingrained in our culture that for many people, it is often the goto way to express other feelings.
I've thought that very thought myself, and I've wondered if there is some other easily-spoken, natural-sounding idiom that can be used instead of the familiar, possessive ones.

One might say, "my wife," or "my girlfriend," out of ingrained habit, when one might prefer to express "the mother of my children, the woman to whom I've pledged to spend the rest of my life" or "the girl with whom I have a deep connection, who chooses to spend time with me," but those constructs, though accurate, make for awkward and stilted-sounding conversation.

I'm kinda strange, I guess, but for the woman I've had a crush on for a long time, I'd get a kick out of introducing myself as "her boy toy" rather than introducing her as "my girlfriend." At this point, neither are true, but I think you see where I'm going.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindfulAgony View Post
We often use language poorly, without precision. And, you're correct that we often use stand-in concepts for what we really mean not thinking about the deep meaning of what is said.

[...snip...]

On the other hand, we do live in a heavily mysogonist, patriarchal environment that encourages such distainful notions for men in particular. But, also women have corresponding expectations that are equally as corrosive.
Alas, most of recorded history has been that of women being treated poorly by men--almost as furniture. It is only in the relatively recent past that this has begun to change (and in many societies, it still has not changed). The history lives on in the language, even without most people being conscious of the origins of the idioms they use, and of the corrosiveness of the ideas behind them.[1]

By far, the most corrosive and toxic idea (IMHO) is the Princess Bride style "one true love" fantasy and all of the BS that surrounds it. At best, one couple in eight has a shot at that (I got there from applying Bayes Theorem to the U.S. divorce rate, and to U.S. infidelity rates, which I've seen quoted as 60% among men and 40% among women). The other seven couples suffer from the toxicity of unrealistic expectations, and the pain that comes when those expectations are not (cannot be?) met.

MT

[1] As a humorous (and somewhat horrifying) example, consider how many people use the phrase, "your turn in the barrel" without having any idea of how that phrase came to be! Thus it is with much of our language.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:39 PM
beginninglove's Avatar
beginninglove beginninglove is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: west coast, USA
Posts: 69
Default

Going back to the OP's request for some advice, I'd like to offer up my experience as both a cautionary tale as well as some how-to guidance for how I have been creating a poly/mono relationship with my mono partner of 5 1/2 years.

When I first broached the topic of non-monogamy with her, she threw a coffee cup at the wall. Granted, she has a temper, but this was a real indication of her initial feelings about it. We had been together about 3 years at that point and married for one year. I didn't bring it up again for another year. I was very unhappy during that time, swallowing most of my feelings down and feeling like I couldn't talk to her about what I was going through inside myself, coming to the full realization and acceptance of the fact that I am poly.

When I did bring it up again, it was because I eventually cheated on her. (With someone who smelled really damn good to me!) This was horrible, and obviously the worst possible way to re-introduce the subject. But it did force me to get real with myself and with her, and look at my situation directly. We had some really difficult conversations after that, where I basically said, "Look, I did this terrible thing and I never, ever want it to happen again. I can no longer be authentic to who I am and promise you that I will never be with anyone else. But I can promise to tell you the truth, and to honor your feelings and work through this together."

Long story short, here we are about a year after that with a bumpy but progressing poly/mono relationship and very explicit agreements. I ended up having an ongoing playdate relationship with the person I cheated on her with for about 6 months, and have recently started seeing someone new.

The advice I would have for you if you are going to embark on these conversations and really want it to work, is to be very patient and understanding, and at the same time be as honest and authentic as you can be. This builds trust, and also gives your partner the room to have his feelings and know that you can sit with those. Personally, I'm still trying to find the balance between sitting with someone else's difficult emotions and feeling compromised or blamed in some way, so I can't give you advice on that. But I can say that with my mono partner, being willing to spend a LOT of time listening to her and really helping her to feel heard has made all the difference in making progress and (re)building trust. Also identifying her particular fears around poly stuff really helped. Like for her, it wasn't about the sex but it was important to establish (and repeat again and again) that I was not looking to replace her, that she is the only one I want a primary relationship with, the house, the marriage, the dog, and maybe someday kids with, etc.

I hope that helps. Best of luck to you!!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-11-2012, 04:36 AM
PolyKat PolyKat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 38
Default

Thanks, Beginninglove!

My fiance and I had a huge breakthrough today and he's now (in a Grey's Anatomy, Meredith and Cristina kind of way) my "Person". I've been dealing with a particular guy and this whole pheromone issue for some time now and it has been really difficult to work through it on my own with no one to talk to about it. Now, after a few days and sleepless nights and well into the morning hours, my man and I have finally had a breakthrough that left me in a very happy (crying at my desk at work, happy on the phone with him), extatically overjoyed place.. and I can talk to him now.

He is also breathing easier, eating again and doing well. I'm so very pleased and I thank everyone on this site and this site just for existing and helping us work through things. I have his understanding and an open line of communication and I couldn't ask for anything more!

Soooooooooooo happy!!!!!

-Kat
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-11-2012, 09:16 AM
avoidscauliflour avoidscauliflour is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
(I got there from applying Bayes Theorem to the U.S. divorce rate, and to U.S. infidelity rates, which I've seen quoted as 60% among men and 40% among women).
Lol - you must be an engineer, or a statistician.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:30 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 146
Default

Close--I majored in physics.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-13-2012, 02:22 PM
PolyKat PolyKat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 38
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningTwilight View Post
Close--I majored in physics.
You did sound a little Big Bang Theory'ish.. lol
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 04:53 PM.