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  #11  
Old 01-25-2012, 11:22 PM
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I just got dumped by a boyfriend that considered me his secondary so my thoughts on it might be skewed you can read my blog for details. I would wonder what his wife thinks of you having more.

I had a once a month date for three years and no sex. To me you have it good. Mind you I have other partners too so the time thing was an issue. Really though, it does work and that new relationship energy can last and last the way you are going right now. It can drive you crazy for more or keep you energized if you can ride the wave.

I would breath, smile and enjoy every moment for now. If more comes along then great, but really, to me it sounds like just enough if you have a family and other partner to think about.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2012, 12:02 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
I can't help but feel like people who need to be with their partners all the time have dependency issues.

I personally find it very draining to be involved with people who can't stand being away from me.
Firstly, "need" and "all" are very absolute words. "strong desire for" and "most" would probably be more accurate. And maybe the OP and I do have dependency issues, but so? I probably have dependency issues, frankly, but I'm doing alright. The key is that I know myself, know what I need and want, and can communicate effectively enough to find partners that are ok with my needs and wants. Neither MC nor TGIB have a problem with the amount of alone time they get compared to together time, so what does it matter if I'm a little on the dependent side? Who am I hurting? I said I didn't like to be alone, not that I couldn't be alone. There's a big difference. The OP is saying she wants more time with her bf, not that she can't function without him. Also a big difference.
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I think it's important for people to meet their own needs themselves. Expecting other people to meet your needs puts a heavy burden on them. It's a lot to live up to.
If we meet all our needs ourselves what's the point of having any relationships? I agree putting all that burden on ONE person isn't fair. No one person should be the center of my world and reason for being, not even myself. I live for myself, my kids, my partners, my family, my friends, the kids I help at work...

You know, this thread is making me think of my best friend from high school. He's the opposite from me in some ways, and wants so much alone time that for a large part of my 20's I was worried about him. He probably has intimacy issues, but I've realized that it doesn't matter. He's happy and content with his job and video games and cats and friends and doesn't want a romantic or even purely sexual relationship with anyone. He has no desire to entangle his life with anyone besides his roommate (his sister) and that's ok too. He's fine.
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For those who feel the need to share every aspect of their lives with their partner, I'm curious: do you have a history of rushing into serious relationships?
Again, "every" is a strong word. I don't like EVERYTHING the MC and TGIB like, nor do they like everything I like, but I want to hear about things that are important to them, even if I don't share their enthusiasm. And vice versa. I would never have been exposed to anime, for instance, if I had never gone to an Anime Club meeting with a previous bf, which is where I met MC. The three of us like a lot of the same stuff and have similar interests, so it's usually VERY easy to hang out together, but the interests that are different can be excellent ways to grow and learn too.

I tend to rush in to close friendships (when things just "click"!) and sometimes get hurt because of it, but I don't rush in to "sharing my life" kind of relationships. I've only ever had two, the two I'm in now, though there were two others that could maybe have gotten to this level if other things hadn't interfered. So, 4 in 20 years of dating? No, I don't rush in.
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Does that ever leave a trail of destruction when the relationships don't work out? Or is it more that you're comparing your marriage, which you've spent years building, to a new relationship that's still growing? Perhaps all you need is to give the new relationship time to flourish.
No, and I doubt it. 1 of the 2 "maybes" was before I ever even met my husband, and the other "maybe" is coming from MC's perspective. I don't think of that relationship as THAT serious, but he sees it as when we began being poly. *shrug*

MC and I knew we'd be sharing our lives before we had been together 6 months. TGIB and I took a little longer but we also knew fairly quickly considering it's a LDR and we've only been together in person for a total of 3 weeks. So I stick with the idea that it doesn't matter how much or how little time you want with a partner as long as you communicate what you want and it works for your partner as well. That's how you avoid lopsided relationships where people end up hurt because they're not getting what they need.

ETA: To clarify, MC and I have the house, kids, joint account, etc. He is my "primary" and we have a legally recognized commitment to each other as well as a personal one. TGIB is my descriptive secondary because while we may at some point share living space (if there's enough of it!) we will never have kids together, combine finances, or own anything together. But we plan on being in each other's lives for the duration. That's our personal commitment to each other.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 01-26-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2012, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
And yes, I do think you're stuck in a mono mindset. Commitment in poly often does NOT lead to shared homes and finances and kids together, happily ever after with a mini van and a white picket fence. Poly brings us other good things: shared interests and activities your other partner(s) don't share with you, good talks, laughs, and lots of yummy sex. Also there is the potential for much personal growth when one gets opinions and views from more than one lover... it keeps us challenged and taking risks.
Yeah...I fear you're right. It's a bit hard to unlearn after a lifetime of being monogamous. We do have a lovely relationship even without the traditional 'commitment' you mention above. Sometimes it helps to have the obvious pointed out, ya know? lol

As for what Schrodingerscat is saying, it's not that I need to be constantly with my mates. The hubby and I have separate interests, he has a FWB of his own, we are not joined at the hips. I am not constantly needing to "do something" either, I'm a rather quiet person and I enjoy quiet moments. It's the lack of foundation of my secondary relationship that's had me second guessing it's depth and importance. But after reading the many replies, I can certainly say I have a better understanding and mindset regarding what it's like to be a poly secondary
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  #14  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by nouryia View Post
It's the lack of foundation of my secondary relationship that's had me second guessing it's depth and importance. But after reading the many replies, I can certainly say I have a better understanding and mindset regarding what it's like to be a poly secondary
Lack of foundation? Hmm... I am curious - what does that mean to you? What kind of foundation are you lacking in the relationship with your bf? I think it might be a good writing exercise for you, to explore what a "foundation" is to you, and what kind of commitments you want. There are all kinds of ways to commit to someone.

If there is honesty, and the ability to communicate honestly with each other, that is certainly a good foundation. Or are you looking for some sort of "pledge" or declaration from him? If you feel that you are unsure of how to express your needs in this relationship, working on your communication skills and confronting your insecurities would be a good place to start in building a strong foundation.

And you don't have to feel like you should project some kind of easygoing experienced-and-cool-with-poly attitude. It is perfectly fine to say to him something like, "Sometimes I feel like I don't know how to be a secondary. You know I'm crazy about you, but I feel a little insecure about my place in your life. I'd like some sort of reassurance that I can count on this, or at least knowing that you want to keep moving forward with me for the long-term. Without that, I just feel like our relationship is a little bit on shaky ground - but it could just be my inexperience. What do you think?"

How do you feel about saying something like that to him?
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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/

Last edited by nycindie; 01-26-2012 at 09:29 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-26-2012, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
How do you feel about saying something like that to him?

Honestly, I'm a little bit afraid. I do want to seem 'cool about it' rather than insecure...so guilty there. I don't like to admit my insecurities, I feel like that would make me annoying and whiny. I know it's advisable to be open and speak up...but I'm definitely a bit apprehensive, probably because I know in my subconscious that some, if not most of my fears, are likely unfounded.

The lack of foundation I mention is a lack of traditional commitment (ie. moving in/marriage) that's not on the agenda of this secondary relationship. He has a wife and a husband, I have a husband and we have 4 kids and 7 pets between the two of us...moving in together would be a logistical nightmare, lol.

I am glad to hear that some of you have carried on meaningful secondary relationships for multiple years...it gives me hope we can make it work too
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  #16  
Old 01-26-2012, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by nouryia View Post
Honestly, I'm a little bit afraid. I do want to seem 'cool about it' rather than insecure...so guilty there. I don't like to admit my insecurities, I feel like that would make me annoying and whiny.
You could just direct him to this thread.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

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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  #17  
Old 01-27-2012, 01:02 AM
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Knowing what kind of foundation you feel comfortable with is important. It can be uncomfortable to have a need for some kind of certain stability in the form of shared income, formal commitment, shared housing and know you won't ever have that with a person. It takes a lot of trust and even then its no guarentee that it will work.

If you have some of the foundation you need from others in your life, perhaps you can just let it go and enjoy. I hope so, I struggled with that as a secondary, but pushed myself to let go as much as I could. It wasn't enough letting go, but for you it could be.

Maybe there is a boundary that he is willing to see you at if you talk to him about how you feel. I suggest you go to him with some kind of idea of boundaries that he might be able to meet though. Maybe sit and think about what you need and what you would be willing to forgo in order to get somewhere close to seeing your needs met. Then go and tell him your struggles and give him some ideas on how you could feel more worthy and needed in your relationship by him. Ask him what he needs too.
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2012, 02:33 PM
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Nouriya, I'm in a similar boat. I have a LDR with my secondary partner and both of us are married to other people. We have four kids among us, and we own homes and are very settled in our communities. I only get to see him every 2-4 months, depending on what is going on. Although we have only been together for ten months (and that is if you count virtual friendship, which is how we started), I see him as a life partner and I know he sees me the same way. I just don't know how to get to happily ever after from what we have now. I am completely committed to my husband and my OSO is completely committed to his wife. I haven't even dared to fantasize about living with him but living in the same town would sure be nice.

What bothers me the most about being a secondary is having very little input in terms of who else my OSO dates. He dated someone local over the summer, who sounded very nice to me, and I was supportive. It didn't work out, and now he is interested in someone new. I have seen this person's profile on a kink site and I think she sounds like a sociopath. In addition, I am very uneasy about any partner of mine being potentially the sub in a D/s relationship (new woman is a domme), after having a very bad experience with a domme metamour in the past, who booted me out of a long-term relationship with someone I loved very much.

(I hadn't even known my OSO was interested in kink until he told me about this new woman, we have always been vanilla and he seemed happy with that. I could have easily played that way in our relationship, I have some experience with that, but he never asked.)

Anyway OSO listened politely to my concerns, then told me he could take care of himself and not to worry. I dropped the issue, but I hate not having more input than that. If I was his wife, I know I would.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:06 PM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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Originally Posted by nouryia View Post
Honestly, I'm a little bit afraid. I do want to seem 'cool about it' rather than insecure...so guilty there. I don't like to admit my insecurities, I feel like that would make me annoying and whiny. I know it's advisable to be open and speak up...but I'm definitely a bit apprehensive, probably because I know in my subconscious that some, if not most of my fears, are likely unfounded.
I can really relate to this. It isn't always an issue for me, but it pops up somewhat regularly. The fact that it isn't always present can make me feel like maybe I should just get through it on my own when it does recur, knowing that I do have unwarranted flare-ups of insecurities. On the other hand, the fact that it keeps coming back makes it feel like a real issue that I shouldn't ignore. And feeling that I can't talk about something tends to make it worse for me. I think what I tend to do now is not bring it up immediately, try to sit with the feelings for a while and see if they subside, and also get a better sense of what it was that triggered them. Then if I need to talk I can do it a bit more calmly, and it can ends up being more of a real discussion, rather than simply a session for soothing my jangled nerves. It's definitely possible to talk about it without being whiny. And really, I don't get a sense that you are being whiny, which I associate with being critical; I didn't hear criticism of your boyfriend's behavior at all.

What I don't get a sense of from your posts is how communicative your boyfriend is about his feelings and expectations. Do you just need him to talk more about them? Does he talk about past relationship so you have a sense of whether his relationships have a typical progression? Not that yours would necessarily follow that progression, but still, his experience likely shapes his expectations.

Also, in that you seem to want to share a lot emotionally, I expect that you want such sharing to come back to you. So is part of your insecurity simply that he has less of a tendency to talk about all this stuff, giving you a feeling that you don't totally know him or understand him?
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2012, 09:02 PM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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Nouryia, I found your question about insecurities a helpful starting point for my own thinking. I started writing them down as if addressed to my boyfriend, although I'm not actually planning to give the writing to him. But I thought some of it might be helpful for you, seeing that/how others might struggle. But I didn't want to hijack your thread, so I started my own, which is here:
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...346#post122346
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