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  #31  
Old 02-15-2012, 10:50 PM
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Things where moving along swiftly, gf was staying over and bed sharing for days at a time, BP would get up and go to work leaving us to snuggle in bed until we got up. I think part of that was an extension of that, as well as our strong sexual/sensual connection. Partly willful ignorance that if we were not having penetrative sex or foreplay then it was all right to be in bed together, we both enjoyed denying ourselves, which inevitably lead to a more charged sexual atmosphere that helped alienate BP. Part of me feels like if we would have been allowed to have sex then there would have been less pressure on BP...

One of the early boundary struggles I had was around communication, as BP was handling all of that, I could read up on the emailing and txts but had no independent communication with our gf, and that bothered me. At times I could see the logic in it as they grew their friendship, but as we became more of a triad I began to resent the limited communication I had. I wanted to be able to say ď thinking of youĒ without it being a boundary issue, but it was. Eventually that boundary was negotiated but not without lots of processing.

I think once the relationship got moving along ( too quickly) I started to resent some of the boundaries and my old patterns of rebelliousness where triggered, as well as our swelling NRE which kicked in the desire for more part of it. All of which attributed to BPís feelings of being alienated and overwhelmed.
There was another triad who posted here a while back, a married couple and a gf, and they also had the same rules about only having sex when all three were together and all communications with the gf (dates being set up, etc.) go through the wife. This was insisted upon by the wife.

It made the gf feel really shitty, like she was only being contacted and used for sex. The gf and husband had become close and wanted more of a relationship. Everything fell apart and the gf was left very skittish about poly because of it, and I believe the unrealistic rules were really the reason why.

Obviously, if three people are in a relationship, they should all have the freedom to talk to each other and not be monitored. When one person has a gf or bf, they share many things in a relationship, like communication, dreams, hopes, non-sexy times as well as sexy times -- it shouldn't be any different when someone is a gf to two people, whether those two people are married or not.

What it boils down to, I think, is respecting everyone as individuals and equals, and not placing the gf at a lower level than the couple nor putting anyone in a special category. Maybe you and BP have different visions of what a girlfriend should be, and how you would like to see the future unfolding for all of you. I think all three of you need to talk about things like this together.
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An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/
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  #32  
Old 02-16-2012, 12:00 AM
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If anyone is interested, if you do a tag search for "triads" "triad" then you will see that this kind of thing is not uncommon in terms of "rules" rather than "boundary negotiations"... rules that keep people from loving to the best of their ability and in the way that comes naturally.
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  #33  
Old 02-16-2012, 05:43 PM
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NYCindie, I struggle with the definitions of primary and secondary, like logically I can understand the concept, but practically it is difficult for me, love is love in my heart. I can understand BP wanting me to think of her needs first in all situations, maybe thatís where I stumble.

Putting my wants needs and desires and BP wants needs and desires and our GF W,N+D all into play, I gets confused. In BPís mind it is really very so clear it seems, in my mind not so much. I work to let her know my love for her as my wife is unconditional and all accepting and look to take care of her needs first and foremost as much as possible, and then there are my needs as well. Maybe this situation is exposing some co-dependency in our relationship that was running under the surface. Maybe me treating our GF like an equal in terms of intimacy has threatened BP. I just struggle so mightily to control my capacity to love like I want to, like I know I can. I need to find a better way to do this.
I want to treat our GF equally, in turn it has hurt and alienated BP by stomping on boundaries.

Annabell, I did know on some level what we where doing was wrong. I was working at home that day, and had not seen our GF over the xmas break for a couple of weeks. We were snuggling, but there was a sexy vibe for sure, we where in love and horny. She was lounging in bed late, and I came in for lunch and got back into bed, 15 min later BP came home. I guess I just got greedy for that physical connection, thatís my main love language by far. I agree nuances are important, they ultimately define intent in my opinion.

BP has laid it all out in her recent blog post, we are in a tough spot. She has lost huge respect for me, and respect has always been a big beef in our relationship, we are both very alpha. When I feel disrespected we fight, a lot. This has been a very humbling experience, hurting the ones I love the most always has, and I have ended up hurting BP and our GF. Emotionally we are both burned out from a month and a half of intense upset and processing, and with BP exploring ď exit strategies ď Iím feeling pretty grim. There is still love there and the story is not finished, but certainly one of the darker moments in our relationship.
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  #34  
Old 02-16-2012, 07:09 PM
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Not every poly tangle needs hierarchical primary and secondary designations.
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An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/
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  #35  
Old 02-16-2012, 08:00 PM
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Ok, to recap then. Snuggling naked in bed one-on-one before getting up for the day = OK. Snuggling naked in bed one-on-one after one of you has gotten up for the day = a boundary violation that constitutes a possibly-deal-breaking breach of trust.

Would it have been ok if you had gotten up to grab a glass of water that morning and then gotten back into bed after that, or is the zone of ok-ness broken the moment you get out of bed? If you had kept your clothes on at lunch, but had gotten back into bed, would that have been ok? What if you'd been clothed but still hard? What if you've been naked but limp?

The line was not that you weren't allowed to be alone together, or that you weren't allowed to be alone in bed together, or that you weren't allowed to be alone in bed together naked... because you were already doing all that!! Just at a different time of day. So, the line was that you were not allowed to do it after one of you got up? Or that you weren't allowed to get hard?

You probably should have thought twice on this, assumed that ANYthing that hadn't yet occurred was not ok until explicitly ok'ed, and held off until talking to BP. But if I'm understanding everything correctly... and correct me if I'm not... I think I would have been confused in this situation, I think I would not have known what exactly was ok and what wasn't, and I might have made a similar mistake. And I don't consider myself a cheater.

I'm not trying to say anything about what should happen next... I've given some perspectives about that on BP's journal and it's a complicated question... just trying to dig down to the core of the major break that occurred here and look at it from as objective a perspective as I can (obviously I, like anyone else, come with my own set of biases). I don't know how helpful that is? But it seems important to me.
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  #36  
Old 02-16-2012, 08:17 PM
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As for primary/secondary, I think of them as being useful as descriptive categories. A primary is someone you share your heart, body, and your life with, someone you've made commitments with, a life-partner. A secondary is someone you share your heart and your body with, though maybe not in all the same ways, but is not someone with whom you're actively building a shared life. BP is, in fact, Elemental's primary. The gf is, in fact, his (and her?) secondary.

Generally, people who are managing poly relationships that fall into different categories like that (not necessarily because they've been prescribed into those categories, I'm not much if a fan of that, but because that's just how it is) prioritize their primary relationship(s) (yes, you can have more than one). I consider that to be good and healthy. If my gf was regularly considering my needs before those of her husband... the man with whom she shares a mortgage, a child, and a much longer commitment... I'd be not ok with that. I need to be important to her. But for her life to function, considering the much bigger impact they have on each other, he needs to be important to her more. Maybe that'll change some day. It's already shifted in some ways, after 2+ years of she and I being together. But especially when our relationship was newer, primary/secondary was just right/natural, and it still is.

So, no, not every poly tangle needs hierarchy. But I do think many of them healthily incorporate it, and that that's totally ok.
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  #37  
Old 02-16-2012, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
As for primary/secondary, I think of them as being useful as descriptive categories. A primary is someone you share your heart, body, and your life with, someone you've made commitments with, a life-partner. A secondary is someone you share your heart and your body with, though maybe not in all the same ways, but is not someone with whom you're actively building a shared life.
I kinda agree with you Annabel, but I have noticed that most poly people, once in poly dynamics for awhile, tend to agree that primary generally means someone you have shared finances with, shared children with, shared assets with. To me its nothing to do with love. Secondaries can be loved just as much but don't have the same "joined" life. More tag searches would reveal many discussions on this topic.

I don't think its fair or realistic to expect or assume one persons needs and concerns be over another. Sure, starting out it might be wise until ones "primary" gets used to the situation, or whatever the circumstance, but working toward equality to me is what holds relationship dynamics together.
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Last edited by redpepper; 02-16-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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  #38  
Old 02-19-2012, 09:05 PM
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Double dose of reality today, our triad is over AND my personal relationship with our GF is untenable for BP, so that needs to be over as well. We have lost the dream of the poly-fi triad and I have lost a friend and a lover. It seems BP wants a total break, no communication whatsoever. What choice do I have? Our relationship hangs in the balance. BP wants me to come to these decisions on my own, to naturally defend our relationship at all costs, wants for primary to MEAN something. We have had so much fighting, so much processing over this, I am numb. I tell her just tell me what you want; what do I need to do to start us on a healing path. I reflective listen, use non violent communication, try to not defend my position, my perspective. I am such a fiery person, BP use to be attracted to that, now I am not so sure. We work so hard at this, when did so much become so little, when did too little become too much? My best intentions are such a fucking wreck right now. This has become stream of consciousness bullshit.

Iím not going to respond to this thread anymore, let it fade off into the back pages of this forum. Thanks to everyone who read and responded with kind and not so kind words, Iím good with that, I benefit from a little butt kicking when I deserve it. I really found the input helpful, the links stories and suggestions. I value every ones perspective. I will stay active, read, post when I can, add my 2cents when and where I think it would help. Try to find another, better way to love with this fierce heart that I have. Fuck.
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  #39  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:20 AM
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My sympathies to all three of you. Take care of yourself!!
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