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  #11  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:15 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by Eko View Post
I would never leave him. I wouldn't. Whatever happens will be his choice to make. But I won't make that choice, I can't - I wont.

So now my OCD is going apeshit on me. How am I supposed to live... Just live and go on continuing our life knowing that he could one day love someone else and want to be with them because of his sexuality. My OCD is so terrible right now. I had to ask him, what would you do - What would you do if you did fall for someone else. You would have to choose, to be with me or to be with them, and he said he wouldn't choose.

He said he would be himself, he would be true to himself - so what does that mean?

He said, if he loved someone else and they were okay with his being polyamorous he would be with them. So I said you would choose them then, and he said no. He said he wouldnt be choosing anyone.
I don't know much about OCD, but I would imagine it's making everything 100x times harder. I'm sorry. :-(

I quoted the part I did because two things stood out to me: First, where you say, "What would you do if you DID fall for someone else. You would have to choose-" well, no, that's about the exact opposite of how it works for a poly person. We DON'T have to choose. I can be in a relationship with my husband AND in a relationship with my boyfriend. The point is that both my husband AND my boyfriend have to be okay with this arrangement. That's what he's saying when he says he would not choose. It would be YOUR choice and up to you to decide if you are okay with the arrangement of him also dating someone else, just like it would be up to the someone else to decide if they are okay with him also being with you.

Which brings me to point 2: you said, "I would never leave him...<snip>...Whatever happens will be his choice to make." It seems like you are trying to force him to "pick you", so you won't have to make a decision. That's not fair to either of you, and it's not healthy. You are saying you will never leave him. He's saying that, though he may love someone else, he still loves you and he's not planning on leaving. So the default is you're staying together, no matter how miserable you are with the situation and in the relationship. Now, maybe you will be able to wrap your head around him being poly and deal with your negative emotions in a productive way and end up not being miserable, and then it's a "win" for everyone. But maybe you just aren't able to deal with it (which does NOT make you a bad person, by the way. Poly and mono/poly relationships aren't for everyone) and then is it fair to hold him hostage in a relationship because you refuse to leave a situation you don't want to be in?
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:01 PM
Eko Eko is offline
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Hello everyone, I have been reading all of your comments and taking them to heart.

Things have gotten a little better for us, and I am starting on the road to acceptance, but I am still struggling over a few concepts of a poly/mono relationship.

First, if my partner truly loved someone, (the way he loves some of his closest friends), then I don't find I would have a problem with them being together.

But here is the thing. As soon as I think that, my thought process gets all back and forth and i seperate the fact that he loves that person, and the fact that they are having sex, holding hands, kissing.

If that doesn't make sense, I'll try to explain in a simpler way...

I am okay with him being in a relationship with someone he loves if he loves them the way he loves some of his friends. As soon as I think that, the fact that he loves them leaves my mind and what enters is a string of thoughts of him being affectionate with someone else.

In order to get over this I need to bring these two ideas together.

Furthermore, if one day all three of us were together, how am I supposed to feel special, if he is also with them? I have voiced that I think I would feel like the third wheel with my own partner in this situation and he can told me that would never happen because I would be his primary relationship.

Also, another update on this whole situation is this;

He has told me, he is the type of poly person who would have what he calls a primary relationship, I am the one he wants to marry and always be around / have a family with / be around his parents, etc

I believe him, however - I have grown up my entire life thinking if this was true, then he would not be with someone else.

It is all so confusing for me, but I am confident we will overcome this situation.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2012, 06:13 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Eko, it sounds like you two are definitely going about this the right way - trying to deal with the mental process of a mono and poly being together is a huge challenge. As you see from some posts here, some people don't understand what it is like to think of relationships as a monogamous person does - they don't understand the source of your fears.

This is the main issue, based on my experience - if poly folks haven't had the experience with a monopoly setup then they aren't going to be any more able to give advice than mono people who have never encountered poly. It's not a personal failing in either, just not a situation they have been faced with.

What seems simple to a pure poly or a pure mono is incredibly complicated when you get into a mono/poly situation. You DO need to talk things through to a FAR greater degree than with a mono/mono or poly/poly situation. You DO need to spend more time trying to work things through, because it is so much harder to put yourself in their position. The danger, of course, is that you overthink things, but to be honest it's better than just "going with the flow" and experiencing a major train-wreck where everybody gets hurt.
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:12 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
He has told me, he is the type of poly person who would have what he calls a primary relationship, I am the one he wants to marry and always be around / have a family with / be around his parents, etc

I believe him, however - I have grown up my entire life thinking if this was true, then he would not be with someone else.
So it's like he's Hindu and your are Jewish. Or you are Russian and he's Italian. Or he's apple and you are orange. Basically this is cultural differences you are talking about. You are in a mixed marriage type setting. Only it's mixed GF/BF and not marriage.

And it is "monowired & polywired" as what is on the actual table and not those other things I just used for general example.

Why some of your upset? I think it is from "mixed marriage" type stuff.

You have been raised mono, and in mono world, having anything besides the GF/spouse you committed to/married is automatically "cheating" and a bad thing. "MONO" means one. More than one -- bzzzzzz! Game over!

But in the poly game? "Cheating" is not about having extra people in your romantic life. "Poly" is more than one. Other people is not a cheating thing. Nobody is being left behind or abandoned or dumped.

It is not cheating to love more than one or to have sex with them or whatever the level THAT particular rship is at does.

The cheating happens when the people in your romantic life do not KNOW about all of each other. The betrayal is not of number. It is of HONESTY.

And really, isn't that the same thing as mono if you get down to it? Not so there was more than ONE, that sex happened, but the hiding and secrecy and lack of honesty? Lack of honesty and respect is what broke the commitment agreement.

Sometimes people want to pin it on the sex part of the romance. But sometimes people in marriage cheat and there IS no romance at all! Just use the 3rd person for sex, sometimes hurting that person AND the spouse! It's still cheating. The actual betrayal is one of FAILED HONESTY. All partners were not informed at all times. Ergo -- hurt.

Or what if it was a poly-poly couple? And one of them ran off and had a romance and slept with someone else without informed consent. It's not cheating because they are both poly right? WRONG. It is STILL cheating. It doesn't MATTER that they are both wired for poly -- the betrayal was lack of honest. Poly just means wired to be ok to have more than one. It doesn't mean you want to have it right this minute, it doesn't mean polys are all sluts or whatever.

One of my fav buttons is "Bi, poly, and I STILL won't sleep with you!"

There's honor ethics here.

Spend some time with this and thinking that out to the end. And don't fret or worry or rush -- again, this is all "just thinking out loud" with your partner. It isn't YOUR RELATIONSHIP REALITY to just be thinking and talking. If anything I'd hope that brings you closer together and more emotionally intimate as you share your ideas and feelings and come to greater understanding of each other.

It is you understanding cultural differences in a mixed marriage (of gf/bf thing). All he's done is announce he is poly-wired. You guys sound like you are a closed relationship, he's not pressuring you for more than you can deal with, he loves you, etc. Don't jump the gun and overthink and cause both of you needless strife. Thinking and talking is not running out to do some betraying.

Opening up is not on your table. If it ever gets to the place where he wants to talk about that? And if it comes to be that you can't be in a mixed committed rship/marriage down the road that is OPEN, then you will deal with that then and break up decently. You'd hope for that even in a mono-mono pairing -- you give it a good run, be decent, love each other, etc. But if for some reason in dating it comes to the end of the run, you hope for a decent break up and not mega-UGH.

The main thing in mono OR poly is to be decent to all your people. You do NOT have to get ugly. Things happen, people change and grow and evolve, the ups and downs of Life are shared, communicated.

It's all how you handle it, and hopefully with some respect and grace for all your people. Whether it is just the 2 people in the couple or otherwise. Be kind to him and to YOURSELF too. Don't overthink and beat yourself up like you somehow are "not enough for him" -- it's not about that. You are coming from different cultures. He knows this -- he knows he is with a monowired.

It's not like you were hiding your Hindu Russian Jewish Appleness, right? (joke)

You will be ok however it turns out. BREATHE.

Just don't be making mountains out of molehill if your current relationship is a mixed one of CLOSED mono-poly. Is that your current rship agreement with him? If so? Most of the stuff won't even apply in a closed rship anyway! It's a big "Does not Apply here."

And then what? You've just been making him and yourself nuts for no reason. Maybe even hurting the relationship. Who wants to live with endless yaketty over "non-reality that does not apply here?" That's the fast track for pushing him away with tiresomeness.

To ask for some clearer communication is fine. To ask for some reassurance is fine. But sooner or later you have to BE reassured right? Don't be the bottomless pit of reassure and reassure but never GET reassured. It's an energy drain and rship killer.

Do the growing you need to do to get secure in your closed mixed rship and then ENJOY your rship! Individual growth and growth as a stronger couple together.

You love each other and want to be together? Then go forward slowly if it needs to be slow, but go on forward together so you can enjoy each other. Not forever stuck in a tempest/teapot thing. Hang in there!

hugs
GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-24-2012 at 12:38 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2012, 09:24 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Because you have been raised mono, and in mono world, having anything besides the spouse you married is automatically "cheating" and a bad thing.
"MONO" means one. More than one -- bbzzzzzz! Game over!
It's not just that - it's that if your partner loves someone else, then they obviously must love you LESS. The reason that they have fallen in love with someone else is because of a failing in YOU, something that you are lacking and that they are forced to go elsewhere to find. If everything was ok with your relationship, then he wouldn't WANT to go and spend time with the other person, because you'd be enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
And really, isn't that the same thing as mono if you get down to it?
No, nothing like it. It is completely different.

Yes, there are a lot of similarities when it comes to "best practices" with relationships, whether mono, poly, open or closed, but there are also some major differences, and that is what causes the doubts, the fears and the vast amount of work to make it work ok.

Because mono/poly is NOT a typical poly relationship, and a lot of the ground-rules and assumptions that are often talked about on fora like this just don't apply in my experience. You have to respect both sides of it - the monogamy and the poly, and neither side can ride rough-shod over the other if it's going to work in any healthy, resentment-free way.
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  #16  
Old 06-23-2012, 11:22 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
it's that if your partner loves someone else, then they obviously must love you LESS.
Ha! Yup. I know that one. It's NOT that the poly person "must love you less." Though that's common enough reaction sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
No, nothing like it. It is completely different.
Interesting. I just think it is. Like...

There's the vast differences of a "mixed cultural marriage" in terms of upbringing, expectations, styles, configurations, experiences, etc.

But in the end, I think what makes cheating cheating is being dishonest and crossing relationship boundaries the actual people in the actual rship talked out and agreed on as their lines.

I don't think it matters if the rship is between mono-mono or mono-poly or poly-poly. At the dating, living together, or married and co-habitating places... whatever stage the rship is at?

If an agreed boundary is knowingly crossed dishonestly, and then dishonestly hidden? Hello, betrayal, hello, cheating.

GalaGirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 06-24-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2012, 11:31 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
Because mono/poly is NOT a typical poly relationship
Really? I'll admit my knowledge of people practicing poly is almost nil outside this forum, but there are SO many poly people on here in a relationship with someone who is mono. You, I believe, me, redpepper, November Rain, Jane Q Smythe, Phy, AnnabelMore, dinged heart, I think...and that's just off the top of my head. I don't think there's a significant contingent of people here who don't respect monogamy or those who choose (or are hardwired for) monogamy.

The difference as I see it is between understanding and acceptance. MC may not (and may never) understand how I can love more than one person at a time, since he so far doesn't, but he can see that I do in the way I behave and he accepts it as part of who and how I am. Eko doesn't necessarily have to understand how her bf can love more than one person- she needs to see if she can accept that he does (and if she can't accept it, that's fair too!) and if she can trust that he still loves her as much as he always has and feel/be shown that love by his behavior.

If it's going to be up to Eko's bf to "prove" that he loves her (which is sorta what it sounds like to me), that's starting off from a poor place already, imo. How did she know he loved her in the first place? He said it, he did things that made her feel loved, etc. That's still all he can do, really. I know it's EXTREMELY hard to get past those things you were raised believing about how a relationship "should" be, and I commend Eko for putting in the effort to try to think about relationships and love a different way. Ultimately I think Eko needs to internalize the fact that it's OK to go VERY slowly through this process. Shedding decades of social conditioning or belief systems isn't going to happen overnight, if it happens at all.
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2012, 04:37 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Yes, it is quite common, but not typical. I was trying to draw a distinction between the issues that poly/poly relationships (which I call typical poly) have, and those that mono/poly face, which I think those that have only been in poly/poly relationships aren't going to know about.

Because it's not about cheating. The main issues are the things I mentioned before, which I won't repeat.
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2012, 05:44 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Eko View Post
Furthermore, if one day all three of us were together, how am I supposed to feel special, if he is also with them? I have voiced that I think I would feel like the third wheel with my own partner in this situation and he can told me that would never happen because I would be his primary relationship.
There's nothing that says the three of you have to spend a significant amount of time together as a threesome. While I definitely believe it's good and healthy to meet your partner's other partners, and to try and have as amicable a relationship with them as possible, that's not the same thing as weekly group movie night or anything.

You have every right to say that you don't want other partners to be brought over to your house without you being OK with it. I feel the same way about friends, for the record. My home is my safe place. I feel uneasy when people are invited over without my input, because the presence of other people in my home inevitably changes the way I have to behave there (like wearing clothes, for example...) Some poly people will disagree with that approach, but to each their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
Because mono/poly is NOT a typical poly relationship, and a lot of the ground-rules and assumptions that are often talked about on fora like this just don't apply in my experience. *You have to respect both sides of it - the monogamy and the poly, and neither side can ride rough-shod over the other if it's going to work in any healthy, resentment-free way.
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Really? I'll admit my knowledge of people practicing poly is almost nil outside this forum, but there are SO many poly people on here in a relationship with someone who is mono.
Well, for starters, there is no such thing as the "typical" poly relationship... any more than there's such thing as the "typical" romantic relationship in general.

But there are definitely major differences between a poly/poly relationship and a poly/mono relationship.

For one thing, mono people, no matter how much they can intellectualize the concept and accept their partners, can never truly understand how it feels to be in love with two people at the same time. I can understand all the physiology of a male orgasm, but I wasn't born with a penis, and I will never truly know how it feels.

Another main difference is what mono people are willing to put up with, given that they don't feel the same way and the allowances they make can never truly be reciprocated. Some are more allowing than others, some are more willing to work on their jealousy. But some will never stop wishing that the love of their life would just wake up one day and stop being poly.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 06-26-2012 at 05:48 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2012, 11:46 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Interesting discussion.

Good general information about mono/poly relationships.

However, I think the OCD is not being fully addressed. My sister, with whom I am very close, has a adult son with severe OCD. To the point where, before meds, he used to believe he'd hit a toddler if he was out driving and saw a tricycle at the edge of someone's yard.

After he saw the tricycle, he'd circle around and around the block looking for the child he fully believed he'd hit. He was even stopped by a cop once, who was called to the scene because someone had seen my nephew circling the block for an hour.

His mind would cycle in worst case scenarios. He'd see a pregnant coworker at work pushing a cart of documents and believe he'd just pushed the cart into her belly, injuring her and her fetus. He'd look at the pregnant co-worker, feeling horribly guilty for hurting her, tho in reality, he'd not come near her.

Always a worst case scenario, and he was helpless to see reality until he got medicated.

All this nice info won't make a lick of difference if your OCD is driving you to constantly imagine and believe the worst-- that you WILL be lesser than any other lover your bf takes, that he WILL leave you as soon as he falls in love with someone else.

Someone else asked if your OCD has been medically diagnosed and if you are being treated. I wonder also how your bf's OCD manifests and if that affects his approach to venturing into poly territory.

If you feel so challenged, so undesirable, because of your medical condition, that you fully believe no one besides your BF would ever want you, none of the intellectualizing here will help. Galagirl has told you "just stop" having these obsessive thoughts. Of course, telling someone with OCD to "just stop" is pointless. If you could, you would. If you could, you wouldn't have OCD.

So, to be able to feel strong enough, being able to stand up straight in an H configuration, means you need to take care of yourself. See a dr, get meds, therapy... you might always be wired to have OCD, but meds can quiet the worst case scenario thoughts quite a bit. And the neediness, the constant quest for reassurance, the hopeless feelings.
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