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  #11  
Old 12-14-2009, 06:38 PM
constlady constlady is offline
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But as we've explored the possibility of a relationship between us, I have not been presented with any boundaries put up to protect his other relationships. Each relationship stands on it's own strength and lends that strength to all of the other relationships that first relationship is attached to. The feelings that I'm developing for him are not seen as a threat by anyone else he is involved with. For the first time, I'm finding myself in a relationship with a partnered person that's allowed to grow on it's *own* merit and feelings without needing to be trimmed or cut for the sake of protecting the other relationships. It also means that he trusts me enough to know that I'll make decisions that honor all of the people and relationships in his life as they will also make decisions that honor me and my relationship with him. So there's no need to set a "rule" to make sure I do that. It's quite lovely and drama free to get to experience NRE that isn't costing anyone else anything.

The other nice side effect is that I'm finding easy friendships developing between me and his metamours that are independent of him, but also connect me to him even more.

As an unpartnered poly person, it is generally harder to find relationships that do not have pre-set prescribed limits that have nothing to do with me. I find that when I have to enter into a relationship that's already full of such rules, it usually means that there isn't a whole lot of trust and that puts me in a very insecure position to begin with.

It's lovely to know that this doesn't have to be the case.

Oh yes! I could nearly have written this myself!

I am so blessed that all of the members of this amazing polyfamily I wandered into feel that allowing relationships to grow organically, with trust in the love between each member, is the healthiest way to relate.

And I agree whole-heartedly with the nice side effect that has of helping to forge greater bonds between all the members as well. Perhaps because right from the start, I knew that my presence was accepted and welcomed without qualification. Feeling respected and included early on made for fertile ground for deepening friendships. It doesn't hurt that we're rather alike in many ways as well
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:02 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Constlady, A-FREAKING-MEN!
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:29 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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I have no idea how prevalent that might be--I've never looked to get involved with somebody who's poly and married (or has a long-term primary). It could be the most common sort of dynamic currently manifesting, though I think that would be a sad state of affairs.

I find it sad because I think it speaks to a fundamental problem in the primary relationship--and I have to wonder why'd they'd even consider adding other people to their lives when their primary relationship isn't very strong. Look, folks, if your existing relationships aren't good--and that means functional and strong on every level--then adding more relationships is not a wise thing to do!

I don't think I have to set any boundaries with regard to that, simply because I'm never looking to replace my wife. I married her for a reason and that doesn't change simply because I may be involved with somebody else. Should the laws ever change and we could add people to our marriage, that'd be cool--I just have no interest in trying to replace my wife.

As long as my wife and I are taking care of "Us," adding more "Us" combinations isn't going to be a problem. Setting boundaries on those other "Us" combinations can then be seen to be rather silly, I think.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:51 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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... simply because I'm never looking to replace my wife. I married her for a reason and that doesn't change simply because I may be involved with somebody else. Should the laws ever change and we could add people to our marriage, that'd be cool--I just have no interest in trying to replace my wife.
I hear that....

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Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
As long as my wife and I are taking care of "Us," adding more "Us" combinations isn't going to be a problem. Setting boundaries on those other "Us" combinations can then be seen to be rather silly, I think.
This part...might be situation dependant. If it's just "Us" adults...perhaps. There's at least two things I can see that stand around like monkeys waiting to throw wrenches...
1) Kids...there was a hottie talking about that earlier in the thread.
And
2) new partners take time...it's no ones fault, but the "Us"s that's wearing rings have likely known each other far longer...it's not that the same level wouldn't eventually be possible, but it takes time. In a similar fashion, I've watched countless friends go through the usual serial parade of relationships because they keep hooking up with people who are all kinds of NRE fun...maybe longer...often they find out too late...and eventually things go sour because they're not a good match...and one or the other is liable to be unkind during the breakup process.
I'd could see some of those unkindnesses as very real risks to the previously established 'matrimonial' relationship, even if it was strong to begin with.
And of course...this situation leads directly back to #1 when there's kids involved.

It is not a given...this is a worser case scenario...but it is possible. There is no reason in my mind why an established couple would be 'silly' to ensure some rules were in place to mitigate that risk.

Similarly I would not consider it silly for a prospective third to want rules to mitigate risks to them....since couples are twice as capable as behaving badly as a single.
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:54 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
It is not a given...this is a worser case scenario...but it is possible. There is no reason in my mind why an established couple would be 'silly' to ensure some rules were in place to mitigate that risk.

Similarly I would not consider it silly for a prospective third to want rules to mitigate risks to them....since couples are twice as capable as behaving badly as a single.
Or you can chose partners that you trust will make choices that honor the relationship and behave well. Even in the midst of NRE.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:59 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Ceoli,

I agree with your perspective - at least to a large degree. Our style is also much like that (no rules-no limitations). But I also understand and tend to be maybe more empathetic with others and their particular situations. I think it's important to remember that most people are in their infancy in exploring what they see as having potential for something good. And yet I suspect we all know the horror stories that abound. If you've ever had open discussions around poly loving in a mixed group of poly minded and mono minded people you soon learn the fears and misinformation that circulates. I also respect the fact that relationships are (as others have mentioned) more than just an emotional one. There can be various physical factors involved (kids, finances, property etc) that really have to take priority for the greater good. You've shown your understanding & respect for that also.
But maybe here's another angle to consider...........
When we come across situations like this we try to dig beyond the "rules" by getting to know the individuals more intimately to understand why those rules may exist. Rather than blow them off because they don't meet "our" immediate need or perfect world view, we sometimes ask what "we" can contribute to them to help them move forward with their hopes & dreams. By giving them the opportunity to proceed slowly into waters that they want to swim but are afraid because of all the negativity commonly associated, we're trying to add to the net-positive. Rules can and often DO change because they are often constructed to protect against worst case scenarios. We all know even the nicest, best intentioned situations can turn ugly - sometimes because of factors not really related to the potential poly situation.
It's wonderful that you've stumbled upon some folks that are more evolved in their practice. We'd all wish for that. But in the mean time we also feel we have a valuable role as teachers - givers rather than receivers.

GS
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:01 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Or you can chose partners that you trust will make choices that honor the relationship and behave well. Even in the midst of NRE.
Except when you don't know someone that well it can be hard to tell if down the line they will continue to behave well and honour the relationship. I trust my husband to do what is best for 'us' but until I know the new someone well there are some boundaries in place to prevent some of the drama that can happen. That's not to say that the boundaries aren't negotiable, it's just a starting point to work from where everyone currently involved is comfortable.

-Derby
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:03 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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It is not a given...this is a worser case scenario...but it is possible. There is no reason in my mind why an established couple would be 'silly' to ensure some rules were in place to mitigate that risk.

Similarly I would not consider it silly for a prospective third to want rules to mitigate risks to them....since couples are twice as capable as behaving badly as a single.
The established couple may have rules that apply to THEIR relationship, but they shouldn't have rules that pre-emptively dictate how their OTHER relationship(s) unfold and evolve.

The same thing re: the "prospective third". "They" may want to have rules about the relationship(s) THEY are in, but they don't get to dictate, "You two need to be / cannot be [a certain way] when you're together so that I can feel secure."
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:10 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by Derbylicious View Post
Except when you don't know someone that well it can be hard to tell if down the line they will continue to behave well and honour the relationship. I trust my husband to do what is best for 'us' but until I know the new someone well there are some boundaries in place to prevent some of the drama that can happen. That's not to say that the boundaries aren't negotiable, it's just a starting point to work from where everyone currently involved is comfortable.

-Derby
Negotiating boundaries within a relationship that's forming or already formed is perfectly reasonable. Setting boundaries for a relationship that doesn't yet exist isn't so much. At least not for the person that may be entering that relationship.

It is completely reasonable for couples to have agreements for what they consider to be acceptable within their relationship. But when those agreements start to be about what's acceptable within my relationship, then I have a problem. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be boundaries. I'm saying that creating boundaries for the sake "protecting" one relationship against another can be problematic. Getting involved with a new partner is a gamble any way you look at it. But partner selection is a skill, and not a terribly hard skill to learn at that. I would trust that my partner can recognize when a potential partner is going to cause harm and make the choice that honors what we have. I don't see the need to set up an outside rule that makes sure he or she does that.
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:13 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
It is not a given...this is a worser case scenario...but it is possible. There is no reason in my mind why an established couple would be 'silly' to ensure some rules were in place to mitigate that risk.
It still seems silly to me. If the couple is taking care of "Us" and is also taking care of the children--at all times, as a constant--then that care will always be operating and nothing more needs to be done to make certain that "Us" and the children are taken care of. If that "Us" is strong and functional, nothing else need be done.

And if that care of "Us" isn't happening as a constant, then no amount of rules or boundaries is capable of saving it. I do believe it really is that simple. You either nurture your relationships or you don't. The former protects them from essentially everything and the latter means they're unlikely to prosper regardless of any props or crutches.

And I swear my reading glasses are not rose-colored....
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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