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  #11  
Old 08-27-2012, 03:23 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
I guess the question is, do you think you and he could embrace loving each other, without needing to change the relationship to be more primary...?
I think that's ultimately the question in this situation, and the challenge, as it's hard, at least for me, to visualize what that even looks like. Right now, to me, it means loving someone who spends a limited amount of time with me--although to be fair, I myself limited the time even more after our discussion--and knowing it will always be limited. I'm pretty sure I won't want to live like that forever.

His solution--again, spoken in agitation, I think--was that everything would be fine if I had another boyfriend from the poly world. To me, raising a bunch of kids and working two jobs and not having had any interest in dating to begin with, this is not even remotely a solution, for me to exert effort to 'find a boyfriend' I never wanted in the first place to make this work for the current BF.

I suppose so far, I've pretty much taken it a day at a time, and I don't know what the future holds. I see positive changes in my life and his both, as a result of this relationship, so I suppose I need to continue the one day at a time and seeing where this goes approaches.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2012, 02:02 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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I think that's ultimately the question in this situation, and the challenge, as it's hard, at least for me, to visualize what that even looks like. Right now, to me, it means loving someone who spends a limited amount of time with me--although to be fair, I myself limited the time even more after our discussion--and knowing it will always be limited. I'm pretty sure I won't want to live like that forever.

His solution--again, spoken in agitation, I think--was that everything would be fine if I had another boyfriend from the poly world. To me, raising a bunch of kids and working two jobs and not having had any interest in dating to begin with, this is not even remotely a solution, for me to exert effort to 'find a boyfriend' I never wanted in the first place to make this work for the current BF.

I suppose so far, I've pretty much taken it a day at a time, and I don't know what the future holds. I see positive changes in my life and his both, as a result of this relationship, so I suppose I need to continue the one day at a time and seeing where this goes approaches.
All I can share is my own story, which of course is personal and doesn't necessarily transfer over to your situation. That said, I've been dating a married woman for three years and I'm afraid that it does, indeed, look like loving someone who has a limited amount of time and energy for you. It can be really frustrating. You just have to figure out how to accept it and work with it. In some ways, it's a little like an LDR.

It helps immensely that I'm good friends with her husband. The three of us share hobbies we can all do together, from as small as sitting around watching the same show together to as big as going on a week-long camping trip together. I'm involved in the life of their child. I babysit frequently, and because of that I have the security of knowing that I'm not just drawing away precious resources and energy from her family, I'm adding to it. I can't ask her to live two lives -- she doesn't have the time -- but I can be as big of a part of her life as possible, and she a part of mine. In these ways, our relationship has grown closer and our lives more entwined, even while it's still fundamentally a secondary partnership.

I do have a boyfriend, who I've been with for about a year. Getting together with him in no way diminished my desire to be as close as possible to my gf. On the other hand, it is nice to know that I'm *someone's* first priority, when I can't often be hers. I don't know if my bf and I will stay together indefinitely, we've been having unrelated difficulties, but I do think that if he and I broke up I'd eventually begin to search again for someone else aside from my gf. Not because it takes pressure of our my relationship with her, but simply because I *do* have time and energy that I'd like to share with a partner, and that she can't always be there for.

It's a funny life, and I too wonder at times where it's going. Will I build a primary partnership with someone else, maybe even get married, so that she and I have mirrored lives? Will I eventually find that I have to, for my own emotional well-being, make a bid for co-primary-hood with her husband? Will I stay in a secondary relationship with her and be involved also with one or more other secondaries, and only ever be my own primary?
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2012, 01:50 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
All I can share is my own story, which of course is personal and doesn't necessarily transfer over to your situation. That said, I've been dating a married woman for three years and I'm afraid that it does, indeed, look like loving someone who has a limited amount of time and energy for you. It can be really frustrating. You just have to figure out how to accept it and work with it. In some ways, it's a little like an LDR.
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It's a funny life, and I too wonder at times where it's going. Will I build a primary partnership with someone else, maybe even get married, so that she and I have mirrored lives? Will I eventually find that I have to, for my own emotional well-being, make a bid for co-primary-hood with her husband? Will I stay in a secondary relationship with her and be involved also with one or more other secondaries, and only ever be my own primary?
A belated thank you, Annabel. I think I somehow missed this way back when you posted.

The last few days haven't been good. I posed a question to him about how much is too much...is it going to freak him out if he starts getting texts from me saying good morning and I'm thinking of him. I still feel at a loss as to this whole polyamory world and what my place is in his life and where this is going.

His answer was that there can't be too much, that there are no limits, that he can't care for me too much or get too many loving texts from me...then he laughed and said, "Unless you want to start having my babies or something." Maybe it sounds ridiculous to someone who is immersed in this lifestyle, but to me, I felt like I was being told, "There are no limits to how much we can love each other, as long as you don't start really interfering with my life." Or maybe it was just the fact that clearly there are limits, and it annoys me when people say there are no limits when obviously there are. Maybe it was the feeling of him not being entirely honest even with himself, in a sense, or the feeling of him ignoring the problems for me with some intense love affair with a married man.

To be honest, I don't know half the time what I feel anymore. Yesterday, I was close to breaking up with him. I'm doing some reading tonight, and remembering the reasons I was perfectly happy with this situation. I like my alone time. I value my time with my kids. I'm not even a year out of a divorce and wasn't looking for a boyfriend anyway. I'm in no rush at all to have a man moving into my house. So I'm asking myself what I've been so upset about, the last few days.

I think it's partly that I'm in foreign territory and feeling very out of my element here. This is very unusual for me.

I think it's partly that he's so intense and into this, and me, that I almost don't know what to make of it. It makes me wonder what's really going on and if there's more going on that I don't know about.

I think it's partly that I fear that one day I'm going to want more, and I don't want to get to that point of 'falling in love' and being that girlfriend crying over him.

It could be that there's just a lot of additional stress in my life with kids, their health issues, an alcoholic father, an ex-husband causing (minor but real) stress, and two jobs that has me deaing poorly with everything.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:10 AM
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Oh, wow, WH - I can relate so-o-o-o much to what you wrote. You should read the last few pages on my blog (with my views preferences set at 40 posts per page, it would be the last one or two pages or so). I am not a secondary but I am involved with someone who only wants things casual and light, and most of the time that is perfect for me and just what I want as well. But then sometimes I struggle with wanting more or... something. I think it has alot to do with what we've been taught to expect from relationships. It takes some work to untangle what really makes us happy from all the conditioning laid on us our whole lives.
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:37 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2012, 01:15 PM
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I am in a situation where I have a boyfriend of 2 years, and 2 relationships where I consider myself secondary although we have never mentioned the terms "primary" or "secondary". I guess it's more my own feelings, since I came into the picture after they were already in relationships (one of 15 years, A, and one of 1.5 years, K), so I have the feeling I cannot ask for anything more than what I am getting, since their other partners have a bigger stake/right.
Additionally, A is married to his high school sweetheart and has 2 other relationships on the side, both that started before me, so it's hard not to feel like "just the third side-gf". And he stated clearly that not falling in love is one of the rules he and his wife have in place. So even if I am maybe developing some more feelings for him, I won't ever voice them, and live with the fact it's just transitory (which he specified, when he and his wife will have kids, they will most likely break up their other relationships).

With K it seems that the story is developing slightly differently, maybe because both he and his gf have much more experience in open relationships and know better what to expect/how to handle these situations. Plus he seemes keener on having two equal relationships with his gf and me. In this sense I consider myself secondary with the option of eventually reaching parity (once the relationship is more established, if we both want to).

I consider my boyfriend my primary partner again simply because he was here first. He also has no interest in pursuing other relationships at least for the time being (let's say that he has to live with the fact that I want an open relationship, it wasn't his idea. But he's coming on board...)

It helps that I live alone and have no desire to share living conditions, finances, etc with any of my partners.
I do feel sometimes I would like to be more expressive in my feelings for my secondary partners, but I restrain myself in the interest of their primary relationships.
I guess as nycidie says, it might stem from what we've been taught to expect from relationships, but overall I am quite happy with the status of all my relationships.
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2012, 03:31 AM
abejita abejita is offline
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My current concern as a secondary: emotions.

My feeling is that relationships typically end or move forward, including growing and deeper emotions and attachments.

In the past, BF has run into problems in his secondary relationships when his girlfriends fall in love and suddenly start to have trouble with the fact that he's married. I said I fear this becoming an issue with us, too, if I let my emotions grow.

He got agitated, ironically while telling me we can control our emotions, that we can have emotional boundaries as well as physical.

I find this unrealistic, to expect to continue a relationship into forever, as he very much wants us to do, and think that we can decide exactly what and how much we'll feel. (How often do people talk on here about being told they can have sex, but not fall in love?)

I find it sad to contemplate a relationship in which two people spend a great deal of time together and are physically involved, but in which emotions are not meant to go past a certain point. It feels a little bit cold to me.

I agree with him, however, that we have some control over our feelings, and since that conversation, I feel myself pulling back emotionally. I'm not quite as eager to spend time with someone who thinks that I can spend a ton of time with him, be physical with him, and yet, not feel too much for him. That's not who I am.

I confess I'm a little irritated at his insinuation that someone might be 'out of control' if they actually feel too much or fall in love with someone with whom they have emotional and physical intimacy, and with whom they spend a great deal of time. To me, it is natural and good to have growing feelings in that situation.

I'm left feeling he wants to have his cake and eat it, too: have his wife, and have his girlfriend and have it all go on just like this forever without me going and screwing things up with those messy human emotions.

Is this what others expect from secondary relationships, to have growing intimacy, emotionally and physically, without growing emotions?
i understand what you mean completely. this is why i can't be in relationships that use a hierarchy system. putting a relationship or feelings in a box is not something healthy for me. it makes me feel controlled and resentful. i hope things get better for you - be sure to communicate this. and know it's okay to have your feelings grow as you begin to connect more and more.
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  #18  
Old 10-06-2012, 03:55 AM
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How do I change my view preferences?
Click on "User CP" link at top left of forum page. You will be brought to your CP - Control Panel. Look at left-hand column of links, scroll down to the "Settings & Options" section, and click on "Edit Options." On that page, you will see a section near the bottom (center) called "Thread Display Options." There, you will see a setting for "Number of Posts to Show Per Page"and a drop-down box of choices. Select 40 posts per page and make reading long threads easier. Voila!
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2012, 02:45 PM
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Default Secondary isn't easy for me

When I love, I tend to do so with all my heart. So I've struggled in the same way as you, WhatHappened. Now my situation is a bit different in that I have both a primary and a secondary partner...and so does my secondary. We're each other's secondary I guess.

My feelings for the secondary partner have grown to a point of wanting more and wondering where to go from here. Truth is, short term, there is no room for more. Maybe long term (years down the road) there could be ways to arrange a co-living situation, but that's a big maybe.

I have to accept the limitations of that secondary relationship: the finite amount of time that we can spare, always making sure our primaries get their needs met first so no one gets upset, not being able to take vacations together (or have any kind of overnight dates) and trying not to miss him like crazy when we're not together. But he's worth it.
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2012, 04:01 PM
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I consider myself a secondary. My biggest concern with the relationships are, honesty in the group, and making sure everyone gets as much affection as they want or need.
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