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  #21  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:32 AM
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PolyLinguist PolyLinguist is offline
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I sometimes wonder what people actually talk about before they get married.

I myself got married within 5 months of meeting my wife-to-be. That was 30 years ago. I wouldn't necessarily advise people to get married so quickly, but hey, it worked for us. We are still happily together, and have two wonderful sons to show for our efforts.

Now, polyamory was not in our consciousness at the time, so of course we didn't discuss it as such before we got married. And when you are so happily in the grip of a wonderful (and sudden) love affair, as we were, having sex with others is the farthest thing from your mind - when would you find the time and the energy, for one thing?

Nevertheless, we had talked a lot before tying the knot, and we quickly learned where the "boundaries" were. No smoking, no drugs, no dietary laws, yes children, no surgical procedures on male offspring (obviously, there is some Jewish blood in there!). It's not as if we couldn't imagine saying NO to something. But "infidelity"? I maintained then, and have maintained ever since, that it is not necessarily wrong to have adventures outside marriage, as long as it is not done to humiliate your partner. My wife-to-be smiled and married me anyway.

Now, if someone is so adamantly against infidelity of any kind, she (or he) should say so loud and clear, before the marriage ceremony. Since about 1965 in western countries, it is simply naive to rely on a few words in the marriage ceremony to reinforce an attachment to absolute fidelity. Besides, the same ceremony also contains references to "till death does us apart" and "for better or worse". How many people take those words seriously, what with divorce rates above 50%?

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you want 100% fidelity, say so early and clearly - and keep on saying so throughout the marriage (or other kind of relationship). Assuming you find somebody to marry you...

Last edited by PolyLinguist; 06-04-2012 at 02:51 AM.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:49 AM
PinkDragon PinkDragon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post

I abhor the idea that a relationship is a bank account with carefully detailed pluses and minuses in blue and red ink, and that the balance between the two columns must never exceed zero, unless you pay interest on the debt.
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VERY well said!
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2012, 11:23 AM
persephone persephone is offline
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One of my OSOs married right after college and has been with his wife for over two decades. He had no idea that polyamory existed as a concept, and indeed, I don't think the term was even coined until after he married.

A few months after I met him he shocked me by admitting that he had had thoughts of suicide in the distant past because he had felt so stifled and unhappy in the monogamous life he was leading. Now, six years after he and his wife first opened their marriage to others, he's probably the happiest person I know. It hasn't been easy for him, his wife has struggled with his poly-ness and he hasn't had much luck finding lasting love relationships outside of me, but being poly is a huge part of his identity and I know he could never be any other way.

The majority of poly married couples I know started out as monogamous. I myself was never aware that monogamy was a conscious choice, instead of a given, until I was in my 40s.
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2012, 12:04 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Originally Posted by feelyunicorn View Post
Maybe. But, in Woody Allen`s words, "whatever works."

I abhor the idea that a relationship is a bank account with carefully detailed pluses and minuses in blue and red ink, and that the balance between the two columns must never exceed zero, unless you pay interest on the debt.

Things are hardly ever equal. There may be all sorts of variation in the dominant-submissive, poly-mono, bi-straight, spectra between a single couple. And even more changes over time. Some people like doing the cooking, others the dishes.

----------

What if you enjoy picking up women and I don`t? And you`re perfectly happy with having only me as a male partner? Isn`t that all that matters?

The above question is not merely rhetorical; I despise picking up women. It feels tremendously unnatural to me, I grow a tumor and gray hair, I lose sleep and life expectancy over it, even if pussy is being thrown at me.

So, it would be nice if I had a partner, male or female, who enjoyed doing that for me. The difference between me and your example is that I`d be more than willing to let you (or a girl) roam free with other guys as well, as long as I wasn`t consistently sucking my thumb on chilly nights.
Not really what I was talking about.

More along these lines.
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24242

A more extreme example, but closer to what I was talking about. If no one is having to do something they don't want to then it doesn't fall into the conflict of motives I was discussing.

But I'm getting use to posting after you and then having to explain that what I posted wasn't in response to your post or specific situation just because it came after your post.

The thread being about opening a marriage and the oddities of it - our judgement of different approaches. I see quite a bit of the dynamic I shared. I'm still not sure I have a grasp on compersion, but I'm pretty sure okaying someone to sleep with others only because you think you will gain more sex partners isn't compersion. Add an extra helping of seeing their association with someone else as not a threat because its not a real relationship if its two guys or two women is also disrespectful to all involved. I was just wondering how something like that gets resolved or if its just bound to create more problems.
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2012, 12:27 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by Icewraithonyx View Post
I've often thought the "married and now poly" bomb was like going into work and having your boss suddenly announce that your job has been transferred to another country. "You can either move or lose your job. Decide now." rather than having any say-so in the matter.
I believe it is good to know yourself. Therefore it is good to know you can't take mono for an answer. Therefore, not giving your partner a say in the matter would mean just leaving. If instead of leaving them, you tell them that you will stay if the relationship opens, I figure you give them a say.
Then I would expect the partner to express the same self-awareness and maturity, and therefore not just say "okay, but only so you won't leave" and be miserable. Ultimately, if you are miserable in the relationship, you are making the whole relationship miserable for everyone involved, for no good reason.
If you won't take poly for an answer, then breaking up for lack of compatibility is the right solution.

Your partners gives you the options that are acceptable to them. You get to remove the ones that are not acceptable to you, and see what's left. It's not different than a partner saying "you'll be exclusive to me forever or this relationship is over". Then the relationship is over. What can I say, the other option wasn't acceptable.

Yes, it should all happen through respectful discussion, but knowing what you want does not make you a dictator, it makes you a self-aware person, and I think much less problems would arise if everyone was that way. Don't lie to yourself, if you can't do it, you can't do it, no need to drag it on.
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  #26  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:04 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
I wanted to bring this up as something I have seen that is starting to bother me, and I'm hoping to hear some other perspectives will help me be less judgy.

I find myself getting irritated at the posts about opening up a marriage. It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.

Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married? It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it.

Ok, that's all my judging. Tell me I'm wrong! Tell me your stories!
Ok I can only speak for myself... and I am new here.

When I got involved with my husband I had every intention on being mono. I have never stepped out side of a committed relationship before last year. Before my husband who I have been married to for 11 years I had the habit of flitting from one relationship to another when I found that one man could not fulfill my emotional and sexual needs. Just kind of figured I hadn't met the right man. Not that I need two very different kinds of men to cover all my needs.

Unfortunately we have learned hubby can not function sexually or even emotionally to a lesser degree without his bdsm, humiliation needs met. Well I am not wired that way. I can play with him when I am very happy. I have a high sex drive and emotional needs of my own. For 5 years I suffered and he suffered. We love each other and my husband is my best friend. He is the one who after thinking long and hard about my past and our current situation that I needed someone else in my life to fill the hole he can not. I tried to set my husband free in the very beginning of our relationship because I had a gut feeling that we would have issues. He wanted me. We love each other and want each other to be happy.

I am fiercely loyal to my husband. He discuss his feelings and thoughts on our relationship and my relationship with love all the time. For example how much does he want to know... any concerns.

I just spent my first weekend away from my husband and with my love. It is hard for him knowing that I spent the weekend having a separate relationship with another man that is just as emotional and physical. Yes it is. But I answer his questions honestly and make sure he gets equal time. And I make a real effort to make sure to try and pay special attention to hubby's needs. Actually hubby gets more of my time and love gets less of my time. Mainly due to love's work schedule. But that is another story.
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  #27  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:07 PM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
But I'm getting use to posting after you and then having to explain that what I posted wasn't in response to your post or specific situation just because it came after your post.
Excuse me. I`ll let others chime in.
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  #28  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:47 PM
nllswing nllswing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
I wanted to bring this up as something I have seen that is starting to bother me, and I'm hoping to hear some other perspectives will help me be less judgy.

I find myself getting irritated at the posts about opening up a marriage. It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.

Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married? It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it.

Ok, that's all my judging. Tell me I'm wrong! Tell me your stories!

1. There is something missing in my life.
2. There is no reason to dump my partner in life with whom I match on so many levels, with whom I have shared so much, and to whom I feel responsible.
3. Maybe I could search of the missing thing without dumping my partner and while we continue keeping each other happy.

P.S. This is the answer to the original question, before amendments, clarifications, and so on.

Last edited by nllswing; 06-04-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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  #29  
Old 06-04-2012, 02:43 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Default What did we promise?

My wife and I never had a very conventional understanding of marriage, though we were monogamous for nearly 18 years before we decided, together, to become polyamorous.

When we married, we promised to live together, to mingle our finances, to seek to make one another happy, to explore the world together, to grow old together. A little later, we also promised to work together to raise our children to be independent and happy human beings.

We have always thought of our marriage as a practical partnership between equals, and as a work in progress.

We have never thought of it as a binding contract, a deed of ownership, a power relationship, or a bludgeon one might use to retain control over the other.

So, when my wife suggested the idea of being poly, I was startled and worried, at first, but not fundamentally offended or threatened.

When I'd had time to read and think about it, I came to understand becoming poly as possibly opening a new phase in our ongoing relationship, not as the violation of the fine print of a contract carved in stone.

So it has turned out: opening our marriage has been a revision or a reinterpretation of what it means for us to be faithful to one another, a way of making our commitment to one another more deliberate and more honest.

My experience may have been unusual, but there is a broader point here: people come to a realization of their own poly inclinations in their own time and in the midst of particular circumstances.

If one partner in a marriage comes to that realization, she or he should be at liberty to bring it up, to at least open the discussion . . . and they should also feel welcome to bring their questions and concerns to this forum, to get some ideas of how to open the discussion in a way that won't do a lot of damage.
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  #30  
Old 06-04-2012, 04:03 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.
On this specific point... I'm thinking of someone who would want to change careers. Who has a revelation about what they want to do from now on. It would require adjustments from their partner, and it's not what they originally agreed on when they got married, and it could upset them if it requires a very different schedule, or a move, or causes a big change in income.
Yet most people, it seems to be, would agree that you need to support your spouse who has found their calling, possibly even be the only breadwinner while they get a new degree, etc. It doesn't seem that rare, I've heard many people mention that situation.

Never when I got married did any of the paperwork mention monogamy, except to say we couldn't marry another person while still being married. (What it did say, though, was that regular sex between the married couple was a duty. Thankfully few people demand that when their partner is not in the mood, or is sick, etc).
So to me the expectation was never something we signed on, just something he expected of me, just like we expected to keep the same careers and keep living in the same place.
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