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  #41  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
I wish a woman would actually like her husband's partner. (And that that partner would like her boyfriend's WIFE). You never hear that on here. I have not once read "she's really cool, he picked well." At BEST, it's been "Well, I have my issues with her, but so far there haven't been any major difficulties." It's like this begrudging acceptance. It's never nice. It's mildly troubled, AT BEST.
Actually, I rather like my metamour. That's not to say we're besties, but we have a ton in common (not counting six feet and change of man). She's whip-smart in so many ways. She's even taught me things I've wanted/needed to know. If she likes, I'm going to crochet her the prettiest scarf ever.

She is really cool. He did pick well. Do we have issues? Well, yes, but who doesn't, on some level? It's possible to be happy with mildly troubled (especially given my family of origin). It's possible to look at one's own difficulties and recognise that one is not exactly perfect oneself. I doubt I'm quite what she imagined, either. "It's too short and scrawny, and it has panic attacks while I'm trying to sleep," she might say of me, plucking me up by the scruff of my neck. "How in God's name do you cope, dear?"

I really do give thanks for her. She's the sort of person who responds to "do unto others", you know? Show her consideration and she'll show it back. We honestly care about the whole of the vee, not just what each of us gets out of CdM. He loves us both; how is it loving to him, exactly, to make each other miserable? Then he's got problems to sort out on top of everything else and frankly being mean is more trouble than it's worth. Without ruffling feathers needlessly, we work things through and get on with living.
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  #42  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
IFE)You never hear that on here. I have not once read "she's really cool, he picked well."
Really? Not once?

Then I guess I have to assume that you either didn't read my post, or you decided that the comment I made about how she has attributes that rub me the wrong way, just like everyone else on this planet, was somehow more important than the many comments I made about how I LIKE HER and think of her as a fond friend, enjoy spending time with her, loved the vacation pictures SHE showed me as well as the one my boyfriend / her husband posted on his Facebook, etc.

To be clear, I made the comment about attributes that rub me the wrong way to express that we do have differences and we STILL really enjoy each other. For goodness' sake, we've even decided to spend time just the two of us (unless boyfriend wants to join, we haven't really asked him yet) excercising every week. Does that honestly sound catty? Do you honestly think that's "troubled"? Then I guess the three-plus years I've been dating her husband / my boyfriend just hasn't been long enough for us to start hating on each other, or something.

I guess there's the possibility that you're just trolling, in which case I feel pretty ashamed for taking the bait, and I'd better just stop now.

I do hope its just a jaded, glass-half-empty kind of thing, instead of a "polyamory's alwasy a failing option and can't be successful" trolling kind of thing.
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  #43  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:58 PM
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The thing is, your sample size isn't any bigger than mine. Or however much bigger your sample size is than mine, it's still not big enough for YOUR assessment of poly to be any more valid.
Well, now our combined sample size is double what it was before.

MY Assessment to poly is that is CAN work quite well, but that there are lots of issues that need to be worked through. I'm certainly not saying that it works for everybody, or that the things you have observed are in the least bit invalid. I was simply refuting your generalization that it wasn't working for ANYBODY.

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I'm not going to place more stock in your assessment than I am in my own just because you tell me to.
I was merely giving you more data points. If you choose to dismiss them because they don't fit your hypothesis, then that's your call.

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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
I do notice a lot of defensiveness here. A lot of people talk freely about how much of a hassle poly is and how it's a real challenge, but as soon as someone says "Yeah, it does seem like a lot of issues," people then quickly revert to "But it's fine! I'm really quite content and it really works out well..."
There is a world of difference between saying that it is a real challenge and takes a lot of work (which I agree with) and saying that it doesn't work for anyone and that everyone dislikes each other and is jealous (which I disagree with).


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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
This is what I"ve observed about poly couples: 1) they're either just starting out and neither partner has even met anyone yet; they haven't even been put to the test yet at all, or 2) couples who have been at it for a long time, but there are lots of issues.
So people, like me, posting that there is a third type, groups (not necessarily couples) that have been at it a long time, but are making it work, and others that say there is a 4) Single people who have multiples relationships and are quite content - you discount those for some reason?

If I am sounding defensive, it's simply that I dislike sweeping generalisations that are only backed up by a small, non-representative sample, and tend to challenge them.
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  #44  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
which meant that my husband was late picking up his girlfriend, and I feel like the fallout from this is going to last for weeks. Sigh. I hate this. It feels like there's always some sort of issue going on that needs to be discussed; I'd just like a bit of a breather from time to time!
I'll be honest with you Fiona, it seems evident enough that you are not going to be "given" any breather room and that you need to "take" some breather room. Your husband and partner are not responsible for your feelings, they are not responsible for how much time you have to yourself, they are not responsible for you feeling fulfilled and peaceful. These things are all entirely your responsibility.

The situation you describe above is troubling to me; it tells me a couple of things but I want to make sure I understand you correctly:

1. Is there only one car between the four of you? Why does your arriving later force his date to be pushed later? Or are there children involved (I can't recall)?
2. Either way you answer the question before, if your and your husbands time is so linked for whatever reason, would it not stand to reason that perhaps you should schedule your date nights with outside lovers on different nights? It sounds like you get to go out for a couple of hours, rush back home and then he gets to go out for a couple of hours. Is this the case?
3. His girlfriend doesn't live with you, nor does your partner, so what is the situation with your needing to be best buds with his girlfriend? Is she always around (other than when he needs to go pick her up)?
4. Is your living arrangement meshed in such a way that you can't get away for a while? Is there an extra bedroom you can sleep in? Can you go camp out with your partner for a few days a week? You sound trapped, is this true?

Sorry to bombard but there seem to be a lot of problems but no solutions in sight. If this seems true to you I assure you it is merely your perception. Take the bus, work on your scheduling, figure out a better living situation, stop worrying so much about what they want and start getting what you want.

This is my amateur advice: no charge
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  #45  
Old 07-23-2012, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ViableAlternative View Post
I guess there's the possibility that you're just trolling, in which case I feel pretty ashamed for taking the bait, and I'd better just stop now.

I do hope its just a jaded, glass-half-empty kind of thing, instead of a "polyamory's alwasy a failing option and can't be successful" trolling kind of thing.
She's not trolling. Read her past threads. She's once bitten, twice shy. And I don't blame her.

To be honest, there is alot of the negative on here. But why wouldn't there be? This is a forum for people not only to share the great stories, but to seek assistance, guidance, support and people don't usually seek that unless something confusing or negative is happening in their lives. There are many that share Mercury's feelings, thoughts but would never dare speak it aloud for fear of this exact ostrication for dissing the Primaries.
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  #46  
Old 07-24-2012, 12:09 AM
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I agree it's not wrong for people to post about their poly relationship struggles and difficulties. People do need to reach out for help when they need it. What I'm saying is that the content of the posts saddens\ me. I wish women could just like each other more. When you stop to think about how bad it is to fight over a man, even subtly, it's just...wrong. Women are supposed to be in solidarity. We are united by gender, and I don't like all the "I don't like her" and "She's trouble."

She's your sister in this patriarchal world.
None of that has anything to do with the inner workings of a relationship though. Am I going to reach out and hug a complete stranger on the train because she's also a woman? No. Frankly it's not every woman I'd want solidarity with, just like it's not every woman I'd want to be friends with. We're not all compatible with one another like that. I accept it. So that's a moot point. Everybody as individuals is how I see things.


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But I implore you all, even if he is your husband of 15-25 years, stop hating on other women. I don't think she's as bad as you're making her out to be. She's just a woman who has relationship needs like any other woman.

Don't let yourselves fight over men...

Try looking at things differently occasionally. Instead of "my husband." Think...your fellow woman.
My SO is an excellent judge of character. It's why a lot of the women he has spoken to have never become metamours to me, and I'm glad, because even the thought of being indirectly affected by someone who is generally immature, thoughtless and emotionally downtrodden makes me tired. So far I have genuinely liked one, and if she were to come back into the picture I would love it, despite whatever issues were present initially.

Are we really going to sit here and pretend like it's a good idea to foster a friendship full of miscommunication and deceit? I mean, give me a break. Any metamour that would go out of her way to down-talk me to my OSO is not a woman I would be more than civil to. It has nothing to do with "fighting over men" and everything to do with "In what world is this the action of a mature, considerate person?"

At what point do you trust and use your own common sense?
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  #47  
Old 07-24-2012, 01:58 AM
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You never hear that on here. I have not once read "she's really cool, he picked well."
I've seen plenty of threads where people gush about their metamours. I know I have gushed about one. I really liked her. Have you read the Poly Success and Happiness thread? It's a sticky at the top of one of these forums, and it's just the great things people have to say about their poly relationships.

There's also the "Metamour Love" thread specifically for praising metamours. Maybe you just haven't searched enough to find the happy threads yet.
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  #48  
Old 07-24-2012, 03:52 AM
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For the record, I thought Mercury was making some really good points about cattiness between women, until she started insisting that it's easier to be happier in monogamous relationships.

But now, to redirect this thread back to advice for Fiona:

My first reaction to your situation, Fiona, was to agree that your husband's girlfriend sounds kinda awful. I started to think, yeah maybe this is what vetoes are for.

But then I thought about it more (aside from not believing in vetoes anyway). It seems like the issues you have are with your husband, but you are getting really distracted by the girlfriend and/or blaming the issues on the girlfriend.

For example, when the girlfriend forgot something at home, it should have been your husband's job to say, "Sorry, I don't have access to the car." It's not that the girlfriend was being dramatic or creating drama--your HUSBAND created drama by not respecting your time with your boyfriend.

Maybe she IS dramatic and immature. But it sounds more like she is just a bit inexperienced with poly. The comment about giving your husband a blowjob, the awkward things she said to your boyfriend--those don't sound like malicious comments, but like the attempts of an uncomfortable person to figure out what to say.

I wouldn't automatically think it's not okay to joke about giving a blowjob in front of one's metamour. I mean, some people would be fine with it. Is she supposed to pretend she doesn't have oral sex with your husband? Sure, it's awkward to mention it, but treat it as her awkwardness, not as her immaturity.

If she really is immature, you want to know what your husband sees in her. My knee-jerk reaction was, "Ew, I hate it when guys get caught up in sexual feelings for an immature woman and think they have real love." But part of my reaction comes from a lifetime of absorbing catty attitudes toward the "other woman."

Maybe she's a bit immature. But the fun thing about being poly is that you CAN date someone who is not the type of person you'd pick for a primary partner--someone who is totally different from the primary partner you already have.

One of my best dating experiences as a single person was becoming involved in a casual/sex-friendship thing was a guy who was TOTALLY unsuited to me. He was a total flake, he was irresponsible, he smoked, he had wildly different political views, he was too old for me, he was...frankly not all that bright Oh man, was he fun. I learned so much about myself and about sex. In many ways, he was a pretty good friend to me too.

Part of the time that I was involved with him, I also had a boyfriend/ex-boyfriend that I was non-monogamous with. I liked my boyfriend quite a lot. I would NEVER have expected that he would like the other guy. (Because of distance they never had to meet). I talked openly about the other guy to my boyfriend, and he was supportive, but if they had met I'm sure my boyfriend would have thought, Whoa, that guy is flaky and immature and what the heck does she see in him?

So what I'm saying is, maybe let your husband carry on his relationship the way he wants to do it. It might end eventually for reasons that have nothing to do with you. In the meanwhile, give him the freedom to date as he chooses. You don't need to like her.

However, that said, I see some big problems here. With your husband, not with his girlfriend. I am REALLY bothered that your husband said, "Well she doesn't like you either" to you. That is REALLY harsh and dismissive of him. And hurtful.

The issue is not that she doesn't like you, it's that your husband doesn't seem to like you much right now either.

No wonder you are feeling panicky and unhappy.

It sounds like you and your husband should work on your own relationship a bit (dates nights, etc). Maybe you should flat-out not discuss the girlfriend with him since maybe that's only part of the issue.

Actually, I think you should try harder to communicate with the girlfriend and get to know her better. As an introvert myself, I know that's hard. But it seems like she tried to reach out to you but you shot her down, and now she's struggling to figure it all out.

I agree with Mercury's points in some ways: we all really do have a knee-jerk reaction of jealousy against the interloping, manipulative, immature other woman. You're even trying to assemble evidence from her other partner's wife that she might be "trouble."

It sounds to me like she's trying as hard as she can, but she's a bit clueless.

Also, can you and your husband buy a second car or something???? That arrangement sounds ridiculous.
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  #49  
Old 07-24-2012, 05:06 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Forgot to mention a few more things, Fiona.

You said that your problems with the girlfriend started in part because your husband began the relationship by breaking boundaries: getting drunk and having sex with her before everyone was tested for diseases. (That was you, right?) I sympathize with your frustration at having the relationship start off on the wrong foot like that.

But, I'm also wondering if your boundaries are reasonable. They used condoms, yes? In fact, you said all of you, including you & your husband, use condoms?

So why on earth is it a rule that new partners have to be tested before intercourse WITH A CONDOM? Sure, there are diseases you can get from oral, etc, but in the "regular" dating world, people don't have to be tested before hopping into bed with a new partner. That's what condoms are FOR, after all.

(Excuse me if I misunderstood what you said or if I'm mixing it up; if that's the case, never mind).

I'm sure many poly couples have similar limits, but as a single person, this just seems odd to me. I'm responsible and get tested for everything yearly (which costs me $200 even with my insurance), but I can't imagine having to be tested before safe sex with a new partner. I would be pretty insulted, in fact, if a wife expected me to get tested just because she didn't really trust me or my sexual health.

(I'm not saying that's what you think, but it might come across that way).

I mean, sure, when people have multiple partners it's important to be extra careful about diseases, but if you are really petrified about any risk of diseases at all...well...nothing but monogamy (or celibacy!) will be risk-free.

Similarly, I'm not sure why you were so upset about the situation with the condom breaking and you not being told right away. If I had been the girlfriend, it would never occur to me that that should be something to inform the wife about. I mean, the disease risk would be mine, not the husband's, right? The wife should not be too much at risk of getting something from her husband if his condom broke once with his girlfriend?

Were you mainly concerned about the risk of her getting pregnant? I can see why a pregnancy scare would be something that you should be informed about, but you said the girlfriend "says she can't get pregnant." Why don't you trust her/believe her?

I'm just trying to offer an alternate perspective. Maybe you are overreacting to these things because you just don't like the girlfriend very much.

But I totally sympathize with your struggle to communicate with your husband, which sounds really difficult right now.
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  #50  
Old 07-24-2012, 08:59 AM
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But, I'm also wondering if your boundaries are reasonable. They used condoms, yes? In fact, you said all of you, including you & your husband, use condoms?

So why on earth is it a rule that new partners have to be tested before intercourse WITH A CONDOM? Sure, there are diseases you can get from oral, etc, but in the "regular" dating world, people don't have to be tested before hopping into bed with a new partner. That's what condoms are FOR, after all.
Condoms are not a 100% surefire protector against all that can ail ya. And some people in the single/dating-around world DO require testing of a new partner prior to sex.

Let's ignore the (comparatively lesser) risks of oral sex. Herpes, HPV, and other complaints can pass between sexual partners even with the use of a condom. If someone who is 100% free of STDs wants to remain that way (or someone WITH STDs doesn't want more, or want to pass what they've got, or whatever), well, that person has EVERY right to take the precautions that they feel are best for them. I don't think it's at all unreasonable to require that your partner have a look at a clean bill of health from a new partner prior to sex. The consequence to failing to do so could probably be no sex with the existing partner until testing can be done on all parties involved to ensure health. Condoms are entirely irrelevant. A condom can break, or leak, or be used improperly, fall off, get schlorped up into a particularly grabby vagina, spill, get slingshotted up someone's nose, or otherwise fail to work as intended/desired. A clean bill of health is worth FAR more than just a bit of peace of mind.

Regardless, the OP and her beau made an agreement. It must have been reasonable enough to agree to, or an agreement wouldn't have been reached. If the beau broke the agreement, well, that's a fail. If he no longer agreed with it, he'd be better off renegotiating, or, if unable to renegotiate to reach a mutually acceptable compromise, decided what is dealbreaking and act accordingly.

In any case, yeah, I just don't see the testing thing as an unreasonable or even unusual requirement. It's not one that I prersonally require, but I can appreciate others' requirement of it.

Quote:
I'm sure many poly couples have similar limits, but as a single person, this just seems odd to me. I'm responsible and get tested for everything yearly (which costs me $200 even with my insurance), but I can't imagine having to be tested before safe sex with a new partner. I would be pretty insulted, in fact, if a wife expected me to get tested just because she didn't really trust me or my sexual health.
Just because she trusts you, and even your selection of partners, doesn't mean she automatically trusts those partners, or their other partners, or partners' partners, etc..... One apple can spoil the barrel, and all that jazz. Sure, testing just the spouse's partner doesn't ensure that no one along down the line has anything, but it at least gives a little more insight than just using a condom and hoping.

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I mean, sure, when people have multiple partners it's important to be extra careful about diseases, but if you are really petrified about any risk of diseases at all...well...nothing but monogamy (or celibacy!) will be risk-free.
Celibacy IS the surest way to remain disease free. But that doesn't mean a person is unreasonable for taking all available precautions. It's her HEALTH. It's no one's place but hers to determine an acceptable level of risk for her.

Quote:
Similarly, I'm not sure why you were so upset about the situation with the condom breaking and you not being told right away. If I had been the girlfriend, it would never occur to me that that should be something to inform the wife about. I mean, the disease risk would be mine, not the husband's, right? The wife should not be too much at risk of getting something from her husband if his condom broke once with his girlfriend?
Seriously?! So, a person of unknown health status has a condom break with a guy. Now the guy's health status is also unknown. It IS possible that something can pass with one single oopsie. How likely or unlikely it is doesn't matter; it IS possible. You really think it's totally okay to NOT tell another sexual partner with whom he also uses condoms (which might again break or otherwise fail)?! I have a clean bill of health. No interesting STDs, no yeasties, no nothing. My boyfriend and I had a condom fail. I absolutely REQUIRED that he inform his wife, out of plain old courtesy. It was irrelevant that I required it, because he fully intended to tell her ASAP anyway. She wasn't upset, but she was glad she was told.

Quote:
Were you mainly concerned about the risk of her getting pregnant? I can see why a pregnancy scare would be something that you should be informed about, but you said the girlfriend "says she can't get pregnant." Why don't you trust her/believe her?
Why isn't the OP's health a viable enough concern on its own?

Quote:
Maybe you are overreacting to these things because you just don't like the girlfriend very much.
While it may be true that the OP is overreacting (debatable, and I haven't an opinion on that), I do think that the breaking of a firm boundary by having sex before testing and then not disclosing a condom break are rather grievous issues. But, they're issues with the partner, not the new girlfriend.
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