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  #21  
Old 07-11-2012, 08:55 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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TGIG,

You start by arguing against the concept of plaything and in doing you describe a hobby. Then the last sentence you admit your relationship actually started out that way . I'm confused ?

Look at the intro section .....couple seeking hot single female. Yeah that never happens

A once a week date or once a moth date that usually has some sort of sex involved might be considered playthingesque.

Last edited by dingedheart; 07-11-2012 at 08:58 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-11-2012, 02:55 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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What I'm gleaning from this exchange (and I feel so fortunate to be able to hear your perspectives) is that a secondary relationship has the potential to make either person feel less valued. As the married person, I have been feeling less valued because of C's intention to find a full time partner who will almost certainly cause our relationship to change to a casual friendship with very little contact. As secondaries, I hear you saying you can feel less valued both because of the imbalance of the relationship (getting less time than the primary) and because of a fear that the married partners might call an end to the secondary relationship at any time.

I don't believe in "veto power" and would never allow another person to dictate who I may and may not spend time with, or love, but I do know that my relationship with C has had to accommodate several changes of shape (amount of intimacy, amount of time together, kinds of time together) due to my husband's feelings. I've always felt this was inherently "unfair" to C, just as I have felt it was "unfair" to my husband for me to start living polyamorously after many years of monogamy, but I've tried (and sometimes failed) to let each of them know how much I value them.

I'm also concluding that the mono secondary relationship is inevitably going to end in a lot of pain for both parties, unless it can take a very large place in the married partner's life, as LovingRadiance has achieved with her live-in boyfriend. Since my husband will only befriend C if we aren't intimate, it means having to always divide my time between them, which severely limits how much time I have with C. Since sex isn't an option right now, it means C is never going to feel totally accepted. I see the dead end in this now.

When C gets back from camping, I want to walk to him about ways I can still feel valued in spite of the inevitable loss of this relationship, and ways I can help him feel valued in spite of his "secondary" status in my life.
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  #23  
Old 07-11-2012, 05:21 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
TGIG,

You start by arguing against the concept of plaything and in doing you describe a hobby.
I start by pointing out that spending time with someone outside of a primary relationship, be it a friend, a hobby, or a date, does not make it automatically less important than the primary relationship.
Quote:
Then the last sentence you admit your relationship actually started out that way . I'm confused ?
Yeah, years and years ago, TGIB and I had a mutual agreement to be friends who also played around together. If the idea of "plaything" is mutual, that's fine, it's the choice of those involved. My point, which I guess I wasn't so clear about, was that if all someone wanted was a plaything there are way easier ways to have one than trying to have a relationship to get it.

Quote:
Look at the intro section .....couple seeking hot single female. Yeah that never happens
Yeah, so? Sure it happens. Doesn't mean they're automatically seeking a plaything. Doesn't mean they aren't, either. That's why you have to get to know people as, ya know, PEOPLE.

Quote:
A once a week date or once a moth date that usually has some sort of sex involved might be considered playthingesque.
There are lots of things that could be considered playthingesque. Doesn't mean they are, since again it depends on the intent and actions of the people involved. If I were able to have a weekly, "just us" date with TGIB (oh god, that'd be AWESOME!) you bet your ass there'd usually be sex involved. Doesn't mean we're treating each other as playthings. Just means we REALLY like having sex with each other and want that included in our time together.

I originally contributed to try to give some perspective on what it's like being poly, coming home to my husband after spending time with my partner. It's really not any different than if I'd been out with the girls or at a book club meeting or something. I spent time where and with who I wanted, and my husband is fine with that. In other ways this thread doesn't really parallel my situation, since TGIB is poly, just mono at the moment by circumstance, and I expect him to date others sometime in the future without having to end our relationship.

AnotherConfused, I DO sometimes feel like this setup is unfair to both MC and TGIB, and that I'm somehow selfish (I know I'm incredibly lucky!). But no matter how often I check in with both of them about it, they continue to express that they're fine with the division of time/attention/etc so I just need to learn how to take them at their word and stop worrying!
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 07-11-2012 at 05:26 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-11-2012, 06:25 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
TGIB is poly, just mono at the moment by circumstance, and I expect him to date others sometime in the future without having to end our relationship.
Do you ever worry he'll start dating someone who wants him to be mono with her? I'm thinking how much more valued I'd feel if C were able to say, "I wouldn't give you up; I love you too much to do that," but I suppose the fact that he would give me up has less to do with how much he loves me and more to do with his not being committed to a poly lifestyle.

I'm starting to think I should start dating within the poly community, but I only happen to know 2 poly men and neither is right for me. I'm not brave enough to go to poly meet ups.
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  #25  
Old 07-11-2012, 06:37 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
Do you ever worry he'll start dating someone who wants him to be mono with her? I'm thinking how much more valued I'd feel if C were able to say, "I wouldn't give you up; I love you too much to do that," but I suppose the fact that he would give me up has less to do with how much he loves me and more to do with his not being committed to a poly lifestyle.
I used to, but I don't now because he has said pretty much exactly that. He and I have made a lifetime commitment to each other, which is why I mostly tend to call him my partner rather than my boyfriend. These days I'm worried that he'll miss out on other opportunities because of me. He says I'm being silly, that he doesn't need the things I can't give him, but I just keep coming back to wanting what's best for him, even if what's best isn't me.

In a previous relationship though (what MC considers my first poly relationship, even though I don't), I had exactly that happen. I knew it was a "for now" thing, until he found a "serious" (i.e. mono) girlfriend, which was fine. It was fun while it lasted, and I put in extra effort to protect my heart and not let it get overly invested. It was a little awkward when he started dating her and stopped physical things with me, but we dealt and stayed friends. The problem, though, was as they got more serious and she learned about the role I had played in his life prior to her, she FLIPPED. Couldn't believe he had been with a married woman, couldn't believe he'd stay friends with someone "like that". Ultimately he cut off his friendship with me entirely in order to appease her. They ended up getting married. It hurt like HELL, and even now, years later, it would be very hurtful and awkward if I saw him again. But if he's going to make a choice like that, he wasn't the friend I thought he was anyway. Turns out I couldn't depend on him to have a spine and stand up for his choices, with me or with her. (He didn't stand up for his choice to make her happy either. He just kind of slunk away after telling me I misunderstood the situation. Yeah, right.)
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  #26  
Old 07-11-2012, 08:19 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Men and Women are different. It's true. Oh sure there are exceptions, men who think more like women, women who think more like men.

Men are less likely to want to be tied down. It sounds like he's found the ideal arrangement for him: he gets the love and romance of a relationship, without the risk of being roped in for marriage and kids.

He has someone to call "his girlfriend" without having to be tied down to her, since you're not tied down to him. He gets to live the life of a bachelor, which he loves, without having to answer to anyone. But he still gets the convenience of a girlfriend, who likes him enough to make herself available whenever he desires to find the time.

No offence, but he doesn't really sound anything like WhatHappened is in the same situation at all... she wants to settle down with a family, which is not what C wants. He's had that, it wasn't for him.

At this point, I would start making myself feel less attached to him, and enjoy the time you have together for what it is: good times that come and go.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 07-11-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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  #27  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:10 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
\The problem, though, was as they got more serious and she learned about the role I had played in his life prior to her, she FLIPPED.
That sounds horrifying. C says he intends to tell any future partner about me before cutting me off from intimacy, on the off chance she'd be ok with him continuing with me, and also out of honesty. I hope he sticks to that. I know he's worried he'll be judged for being involved with a married woman, but I think he knows he's got to be accepted for the choices he's made and not live a lie.
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  #28  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:22 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
No offence, but he doesn't really sound anything like WhatHappened is in the same situation at all... she wants to settle down with a family, which is not what C wants. He's had that, it wasn't for him.
C has never had a family. He has had a few serious girlfriends, a few years at a time, alternating with being on his own for extended periods. (He's not a "play the field" type.) He really craves a chance at a long lasting partnership or marriage. I don't want to deny him that, but I just can't imagine how he could ever handle it without drastically changing the way he lives his life -and how sad it would be, if he ended up staying home to be with a partner who wasn't interested in all the excursions he likes to take.

I don't get the sense that he is resisting being "tied down" to a relationship with me at all. He is resisting giving up his dream of a full time partner.
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  #29  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:27 PM
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newtoday newtoday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherConfused View Post
C He really craves a chance at a long lasting partnership or marriage. I don't want to deny him that, but I just can't imagine how he could ever handle it without drastically changing the way he lives his life -and how sad it would be, if he ended up staying home to be with a partner who wasn't interested in all the excursions he likes to take.

I don't get the sense that he is resisting being "tied down" to a relationship with me at all. He is resisting giving up his dream of a full time partner.
It sounds a little like you are focusing on every reason for C NOT to have the long lasting partnership that he craves.

Fact is, if he wants it bad enough, the other stuff won't matter. He will find a way to make it all work.

I understand that you love him and want him to build something long term with you, but denying him what he really craves isn't fair to him. Or maybe you're just rationalizing it to yourself to ease your own fears of him leaving?
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  #30  
Old 07-11-2012, 11:47 PM
AnotherConfused AnotherConfused is offline
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It sounds a little like you are focusing on every reason for C NOT to have the long lasting partnership that he craves.

Fact is, if he wants it bad enough, the other stuff won't matter. He will find a way to make it all work.

I understand that you love him and want him to build something long term with you, but denying him what he really craves isn't fair to him. Or maybe you're just rationalizing it to yourself to ease your own fears of him leaving?
I don't intend to deny him what he wants. I've told him I just want a clear decision, to either take things with me as far as they might be able to go, or let me know now if that's never gonna happen so I can try to protect my heart from hoping too hard. The choice is his, and I'm pretty sure I've been clear in my communication that I'm not expecting a "right" answer -I just need an answer. I'm giving him time to think it over. The suggestion that I'm denying him anything feels pretty harsh. He's not the sort of person to ask me to suck it up and keep my emotions to myself.

The reason I keep coming back to how a full time relationship seems unlikely to work in his life is because it feeds into my not feeling valued. First, that he doesn't have much time for me, in spite of saying he truly wants to spend more time with me, even though he expects to have "all" his time free for a primary partner. And second, because it feels like he is willing to give up something very real and now and happening with me, for a dream that looks pretty unrealistic from my perspective. When I asked him how spending "all our time" together would have looked these past couple of months if I were single, he basically said, "good point."

Maybe when he actually has a relationship opportunity in front of him and he has worked out a way to live happily with a full time girlfriend, I'll better be able to understand the trade off. For now it feels as if he is looking to set me aside for a mythical pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
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