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Old 08-30-2012, 03:55 PM
Petunia Petunia is offline
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Default Outside relationships: enhance or diminish primary relationship over time?

To the seasoned poly people with a primary partner, have you found that having outside relationships has enhanced your primary relationship over the long haul? Has it strengthened that bond or has it diminished it as your feelings for others have grown?

Do you limit how attached or how deep your outside relationships can become? Have you implemented safeguards to protect your core relationship?
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:11 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Hey, hows it going?

Did you get your compersion back?

I think what you are likely to find is that it's similar to successful marriages, it's dependent on the players. Also, I think you might find a bell curve effect.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:08 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I think what you are likely to find is that it's similar to successful marriages, it's dependent on the players. Also, I think you might find a bell curve effect.
Yep. That's my guess too.

For me-my relationships both enhance one another. But, there again-they have each been significant parts of my life for 20 years. SOOOOOOOOO-I guess its all in how you play it.

Personally, I don't do things to try and "protect" one relationship FROM the other-but I do subscribe to the belief that relationships require care the same way a garden does-so I do my gardening in each relationship and I don't take on more relationships than I have time to garden...
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:27 AM
Petunia Petunia is offline
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Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
Hey, hows it going?

Did you get your compersion back?

I think what you are likely to find is that it's similar to successful marriages, it's dependent on the players. Also, I think you might find a bell curve effect.
My compersion waxes and wans. I'm trying. He's trying. We're working through it.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:32 AM
Petunia Petunia is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Yep. That's my guess too.

For me-my relationships both enhance one another. But, there again-they have each been significant parts of my life for 20 years. SOOOOOOOOO-I guess its all in how you play it.

Personally, I don't do things to try and "protect" one relationship FROM the other-but I do subscribe to the belief that relationships require care the same way a garden does-so I do my gardening in each relationship and I don't take on more relationships than I have time to garden...
Initially my philosophy was that we should not restrict our hearts from where they may lead us in this journey. That what we have together would not be harmed by outside relationships, but rather enhanced. Now I'm not so sure. My fiancee assures me that he feels more for me because of his outside relationships, and that it reminds him to do the romantic things with me, but I'm still feeling threatened. I think what it boils down to is that I don't want to share the limited amount of time I have with him.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:01 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Have you found that having outside relationships has enhanced your primary relationship over the long haul? Has it strengthened that bond or has it diminished it as your feelings for others have grown?
My V was a long time ago and it was run as two separate rships. They each knew the other existed and had contact info but I left it to them to do more than that as they chose. They chose to leave it as it was -- the polite place, but not much more. I loved both as hard as I could. Loving BF2 did not diminish anything for BF1 (who later became my DH).

Enhance? I'm not sure. They were each their own person, and each rship was its own thing. It isn't like one was ketchup to the other one being a burger.

Appreciate? Yes. It was interesting how being with one reminded me of the other. Like "Oh, I want to tell this to ___ too!" or "Oh, ____ would get a kick out of that too!"

Strengthen? I did grow to love both more because they played well, and they played well with each other in limited context. The few times they checked in with each other was about MY well being, and I never knew they did that til much later after the break up. Remarkable to me because not all metas want to operate that way and I knew each had some jealousies of the other. But they put them aside to check in on my well being. I held them both in high esteem to begin with but when DH revealed checkpoints with BF2 along the way years after the V was over it made me love them than much more, and both rose several notches in my esteem. Without it being a V situation for that to happen in, it would not have happened that particular way. I'm sure they each would have demonstrated a concern for my well being in some other way though. It was just in their character. So it didn't need to be in polyship.

Assuming other rships with automatically enhance the already established one? That's not a given. Otherwise terms like cowgirl/cowboy would not exist. I think it will be a mixed bag/luck of the draw thing to some degree.

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Do you limit how attached or how deep your outside relationships can become? Have you implemented safeguards to protect your core relationship?
No, I did not limit the Loving. Both had the potential to go out to co-primary. Our limitations were LDR things, school, work, time available to spend with each other. Things not in my control.

It was NOT my Loving being limited. In my universe, the core relationship does not need "protecting" from anything. It stands on its own two feet and the people involved are together because they want to be, and are in agreement about wanting to be together in right relationship to each other.

I did put safeguards to protect ME. Going slow in Opening myself up to each in Mind, Body, Heart, and Soul because I wanting minimal dings as we got to know each other. Going slow and not spreading myself too thin. There is such thing as a polysaturation point. Love may be infinite but TIME is not. There's only 24 hrs in a day.

After I realized these were the ones I wanted to be with most, I narrowed down the playing field to just the 2 and for a short while a 3rd tempted me but adding more to the mix was not the right thing to do at the time. It would not be fair to any of them for me to spread myself even thinner if school/work/time/ldr was already imposing limitations on my time.

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I think what it boils down to is that I don't want to share the limited amount of time I have with him.
See? Is your BF's polysaturation point such that you are feeling shortchanged on time spent with you? Your needs are not being met? Are you being given a lick and promise rather than truly being present when it is time with YOU?

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 08-31-2012 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:01 PM
Petunia Petunia is offline
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Thank you, GalaGirl for sharing that. It was helpful.

I had an epiphany in the middle of the night in regards to all that opening up has brought to our relationship and our lives. We've become closer and more appreciative of each others qualities. We can now discuss any topic no matter how painful, or embarrassing, or just plain silly it may be. We look forward to the times we can be together and we don't let those moments pass by without connecting like we may have done in the past. If it wasn't for the poly, I would not have let the last barriers around my heart fall away, allowing me to love him more deeply than I've ever loved anyone before in my life.

So, I need to celebrate polyamory and the gifts it has brought into my life. We are strong together and we make a great team. Loving others will not erode our base, only we can allow that to happen by not putting forth the effort to be connected and supportive.

It's going to be all right.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:45 AM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
To the seasoned poly people with a primary partner, have you found that having outside relationships has enhanced your primary relationship over the long haul?
For us, yes, absolutely. We have become far better communicators. I am a lot happier and content being able to feel free to be poly and following the callings of my heart. We have more true quality time together. Someone who had just met us asked me today how long we had been together and when we said "21 years" she commented that we looked like our relationship was brand new.

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Has it strengthened that bond or has it diminished it as your feelings for others have grown?
Strengthened it, most definitely.

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Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
Do you limit how attached or how deep your outside relationships can become?
No, not at all - that would feel contrived.

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Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
Have you implemented safeguards to protect your core relationship?
By "core" I assume you mean the primary, original relationship? If so, no we haven't. We were cautious earlier on as to what it would do to us, but it turned out that the fears were completely unjustified.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:44 AM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
To the seasoned poly people with a primary partner, have you found that having outside relationships has enhanced your primary relationship over the long haul? Has it strengthened that bond or has it diminished it as your feelings for others have grown?

Do you limit how attached or how deep your outside relationships can become? Have you implemented safeguards to protect your core relationship?
I'm at about 16 months with a second partner, which is the longest I've had more than one partner at a time. Other relationships can remind me of problems with my husband, but on the other hand, positives with my husband can also highlight problems with my partners. I'd say my "primary" relationship has been enhanced by poly both because I am not somebody who goes NRE crazy, and mostly because my husband is so great at being a supportive partner, and he's been giving me good objective relationship advice since I met him, so I know he supports me and my happiness. The two times I've been in love with somebody besides my "primary" it was a good thing overall, and did not detract from my feelings or desire for them.

We don't have limits on relationships in an emotional way, though there is a limit on time - our default is up to 2 dates a week with somebody else is fine, and if we want more than that it requires a discussion about how things are on the home front, if chores are getting done, how that will impact us, before it gets over 2x a week. My husband isn't interested in one of my partners moving in, and I sure don't want to share my house with another girl who might want to *gasp* decorate shit, so that is the only other thing that would limit how far a relationship can grow.
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