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  #211  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:07 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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While I would never want someone who is not-a-primary to be seen as "less" (and yes, that card is all kinds of wrong. Especially the pregnancy one) for me there are just some things that apply to what I consider to be my "primary" relationship that don't apply to my other relationship. Does that mean I have a hierarchy? Well, yeah, sorta. Besides the fact that Monochrome (hubby) and I live together, have children together, own property together, etc. while TGIB (partner) and I don't and do not plan to, there's also:

- looking for a job. I would expect Monochrome to discuss it with me if he wanted to job hunt outside our current location. While it would be nice if TGIB let me know before he did something similar, it would just be a heads up. I would not expect to have any input or for him to consider me or my family in his decision making process.
- similarly, moving. Monochrome and I decide together where we live and if we want to try living somewhere else. While I would be thrilled if TGIB was willing/able to move also, I wouldn't expect it.

TGIB and I were talking about this recently and the thing is I DO consider him a primary, as far as my commitment and emotions go, but it's a different kind of primary. I certainly don't consider him less of a human being or respect his wishes any less. I want him around all the time and a major part of my life, but because of the ways we specifically are NOT blending our lives (at least for the foreseeable future) I don't ("can't"?) consider him a "co-primary".

Do the labels matter? No, probably not, as long as everyone involved is on the same page, but if it were to ever come right down to it, assuming I still loved them both and I had to choose for some god-unknown reason? Well, it would suck beyond words. Like people who live together for a long time and then break up, just because you never technically got married doesn't mean the break up hurts any less than a divorce. But the plan is for both of my relationships to be for the rest of my life, so ohdearlord I HOPE I never have to face that choice!

(This post was triggered by a comment someone made elsewhere about it seeming like there's still a tendency to preserve/protect the marriage by putting it first, implying that this maybe wasn't "true" poly. Well, maybe it's not, but my commitment to my husband was made first, and as long as I still love him I intend to uphold the promises I made to him. I never planned or expected to be in a long-term relationship with 2 people at the same time, so I think we're all doing an ok job of figuring out what works for us as we go, and this thread seemed to be the most appropriate place to put my thoughts.)

(Also, writing this gave me a headache. I don't like thinking about this aspect but it's part of our reality.)
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 01-05-2012 at 02:28 AM. Reason: changing hubby's nickname to his registered handle
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  #212  
Old 01-06-2012, 07:18 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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While it's quite possible this quote came from this thread to start with, I came across it in the Definitions thread and wanted to add it to my previous post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat:

"prescriptive" secondary basically means you're "not allowed" to ever become more than a secondary, you'll never be as valued as the primary, and if your relationship ever becomes "too threatening" to the primary relationship, you're out the door.

Compare to "descriptive" secondary, where it's more like you just happen to have your life not as entangled (i.e. your partner has a wife with kids together, shared bills, and a joint mortgage) so the "secondary" status just describes the nature of your current relationship, without forcing it in a box that says it will never be allowed to become something more.

Huge distinction there. Helps my headache a lot!
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  #213  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:38 PM
polyq4 polyq4 is offline
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In our Quad right now my GF is my secondary. However there has been talk about the 4 of us moving together. She is secondary because I share or house with my wife. If we all moved together, I would no longer consider her a secondary. They would all (3 of them) become primaries.
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  #214  
Old 02-17-2012, 11:34 PM
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Default "central" = "primary"

Great article that suggests "central" partner over "primary." Thoughts?

http://m.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%...2F&h=wAQF0QCyF

I remember hearing the term "anchor partner" at one point too. Thoughts on that?
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  #215  
Old 02-17-2012, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Great article that suggests "central" partner over "primary." Thoughts?

http://m.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%...2F&h=wAQF0QCyF

I remember hearing the term "anchor partner" at one point too. Thoughts on that?
So, if one partner is central, that makes all the rest on the side or periphery. Not sure if that's better.
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  #216  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:15 AM
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Thoughts on this included that it reduces the risk of hierarchical thinking and could reduce the emotional impact of that hierarchical thinking.
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  #217  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:29 AM
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Hmmm... when one person is given a designation that makes them special in some way, how is that not a hierarchy?

Central and primary would seem to be pretty much the same thing to me. Anchor a little less so, though it gives the impression of being tied to whomever is the anchor person in a way that one is not tied to other people.

I'm not sure if many people are able to wrap their brains around the idea of "separate but equal" in poly relationships, especially when they are married and feel like their spouse should be considered before all others. It seems like very few people really take an egalitarian approach to poly, no matter how much they might say they don't like hierarchies. My guess is that comes with experience.
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  #218  
Old 02-18-2012, 01:49 AM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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I have no problem with hierarchy, or saying hubby is #1. Anything else is a fringe benefit,....so,..even I think it looks like a fluffy term to cover up shit with poop.
A few will use it correctly, and the rest will use it as a catch-phrase to sound more appealing and get what they want in the short-term.

However if you like it, and feel inclined to it,..use it !
I just wouldn`t use it expecting it to change how people interact.
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  #219  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:06 AM
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Primary is to central as secondary is to _____________?

I've always been opposed to the idea of hierarchy, but when you're living with partner(s) and have responsibilities around money and basic survival, it's necessarily more involved than a partner you don't share those things with. I'd really like to see labels built around those differences instead...

"Hi, new friend! This is my partner, Jack, and my partner, Jill, who is also my _______________ because we own a house together." (or raise kids together, etc.)

Primary
Central
Homebuilder
Home plate (methinks poly baseball analogies are fertile ground)
Checkmate
Money-Honey
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  #220  
Old 02-18-2012, 05:41 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Money-Honey!!!
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