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  #11  
Old 10-25-2012, 04:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Hrm. I'm sensing some vocabulary used in ways I don't use them. Just to calibrate so we're both talking about the same thing... here's a list of open relationship models.

That could be a talking tool also when talking to John and Sarah to see WHAT kind of model you each are all talking about here.

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I guess I thought - what are the things I can live with. What are the concessions I can make, and be okay with, so that John and Sarah at least have something. But there has to be some level of exclusivity for me. I hoped it didn't have to be all or nothing, for their sakes. :-/
Now you sound like you are willing to compromise if you are guaranteed an open relationship model where you are the primary and secondary is Sarah. That is not monogamy.

I'd suggest spending some time with that open relationship models definitions thing and figuring out what you feel best with FIRST -- before even offering to go places with them. Do not offer things YOU cannot deliver. But learning more and getting more information won't hurt.

If after studying the lingo it is still monogamy for you -- stick with it. You have every right to want YOUR relationship to come in the shape you feel good in. There is NOTHING wrong with monogamy.

It is sad if things do not line up, but breaking up is not the end of the world. You can have a good split and still be friends if this is what everyone wants.

The main issue seems to be communication break down stuff happening here. People not knowing their wants, needs, and limits and articulating them in a clear way. It's good that the three at least are still willing to talk things out and sort it all out! (I have no idea what Mike will do but that's on Sarah and Mike to sort out for themselves. You have enough problems trying to sort out the parts that pertain to you!)

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I just worried if it was completely applicable considering that we won't be truely-polyamorous.
Well, no article is perfect. It's just to help as a talking tool so everyone can be looking at something that is the SAME something. It is much harder to be staring at a blank piece of paper. There are other articles that may or may not be useful in those links I put up there. You could try to see what harvestable nuggets there may be.

This "truly polaymorous" thing is confusing to me. I do not know how you mean that. I think you might mean you are not a TRIAD? Where all three people are lovers with each other?

Whether Sarah and John's relationship has been consummated or not -- they want to be in a romantic relationship of some sort. John would be the shared Sweetie in that case. That makes him the "hinge" person in the "V" shape polyamorous configuration. You and Sarah would be metamours.

Could consider if "vocab snafu" is possibly adding another layer to the confusion problem in communication with your people. You guys may want to look over a glossary to make sure when you talk together, you are on the same page using the same words to mean the same things and not accidentally misunderstanding vocab use.

To me you are not "monogamous" if you swing. You are in an open relationship model. It is a primary-secondary thing of a swinging style configuration. You may very well be monoamorous (only loving your spouse) and having casual recreational making out/sex on the side. But the relationship is NOT monogamous because well... you have soft swapping or hard swapping things going on somewhere in there. It is not closed or exclusive to just the spouse.

Hang in there!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-25-2012 at 05:29 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2012, 04:53 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
Ok, I just wanted to address this. Obviously you know that if you ask them to just be friends, they will of still have feelings for each other, so I don't think asking them to give up physical interaction is ...well it's not really going to "hurt them" They may be sexually frustrated, they may long for more, but I am not sure why you think this would break his heart, or even why you think you'd lose Sarah's friendship, since she seems to have been willing all along to put the sexual aspect on the back burner in order to preserve the happiness of other people. It sounds like both of you have a passive aggressive aspect going on with the relationships you have with your husbands (as most people do) and both of you have bent over backwards for them.
In past conversations with John, he has indicated that if their romantic relationship ended (which has nothing to do with their feelings, just how they are allowed to interact), it would be so painful for him that he might not be able to be a part of Sarah's life in any way. Now, that might just be a passing feeling that he had at the time. Maybe it wouldn't turn out that way. But it does seem that John not getting to have a romantic relationship with Sarah of some kind would break his heart.

I agree that a break of some kind would probably be helpful for both married couples. But understandibly, it's complicated.

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Certainly stop offering things to him/them that they haven't asked for too, I agree about what GG says about sexting, and feel the same about offering to leave the house so they could have alone time.
Actually, I didn't just offer those things up. John has lobbied me consistantly for sexting to be allowed, and has pressed me to ensure that they got alone time whenever Sarah came to our place.

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Don't know if I missed this - did you guy choose a poly friendly or LBGT friendly counselor? I'd have somebody else lined up in case your next visit to the therapist is just as useless.
We found a therapy place nearby that has a lot of "Sex Therapists" and list polyamory as a specialty. The only problem is that they're not in-network for our insurance. That's not make-or-break, but money is finite, and if we can pay a $25 copay a session instead of $120 a session, that would be preferred. Of course, if we can't find a therapist that can meet our needs at $25, our marriage is worth the higher rate. I think we'll give this therepist another try (we have an appointment for next Wednesday), since the first session is always an information-dump, bringing the therapist up to speed. We asked her what she thought about polyamory, and she said she's pretty open minded, but she doesn't have any direct experience with it. Obviously, we're not technically polyamorous, but like I said before, I don't want a therapist who simply thinks that polyamory is wrong and any hints of it are our major problem.

Last edited by Lydia1; 10-25-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2012, 05:31 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Hrm. I'm sensing some vocabulary used in ways I don't use them. Just to calibrate so we're both talking about the same thing... here's a list of open relationship models.

That could be a talking tool also when talking to John and Sarah to see WHAT kind of model you each are all talking about here.
I just read through the vocabulary document. I guess what we originally agreed to was 1a - The Primary Secondary Model of Swingers with no emotional involvement or committment (beyond of course the already existing friendship). But that's not where we are, now that Sarah and John have fallen in love. At first I thought I would be okay with it becoming more of 1c -the Primary Secondary Model with an outside relationship. But then as our marriage was harmed, I no longer believed that 1c was viable. And what I experienced is actually listed as the Con in the document:

However, a major drawback of this model is that outside relationships are not so simple or easy to predict or control. Having a sexual relationship with someone else often leads to becoming emotionally involved and even falling in love, frequently causing a crisis in the primary relationship and even divorce. Initiating a sexual relationship is opening a door to many possibilities, and often secondary relationships grow into something else which does not fit neatly into the confines of this model. Many people who become "secondary" lovers become angry at being subjugated to the couple, and demand equality or end the relationship. For this model to be successful, couples must be very convinced that their relationship is strong enough to weather these ups and downs. Conversely, some couples who start with this model decide eventually to shift to some form of the Multiple Primary Partners model to allow secondary relationships to become equal to the primary couple relationship.

Option 2 - Multiple Primary Partners, is not an option, and Option 3 - Multiple Non-Primary partners is not an option.

The option we're attempting isn't on the page, because option 1c (which is closest) involves a fully fledged relationship with sex between John and Sarah. I want to be the only one for John in certain things, whereas I feel like I can share with other things. It's monogamy with caveats, or I guess some sort of hybrid between monogamy and polyamory.

Quote:
The main issue seems to be communication break down stuff happening here. People not knowing their wants, needs, and limits and articulating them in a clear way.
John and I talked last night. I asked him to tell me what his needs are, and he said he didn't feel that he could, because he thought I would just say no, so what's the point. He wants me to tell him what the limits are for what he and Sarah can do, and then he'll make he decision about what he wants to do (which include, break up with Sarah, break up with me, or try this hybrid thing). I said I didn't think that was best - because if I have no idea what his needs are I'm working in the dark. For instance, if what matters to me is some combination of frequency of his dates and length of his dates, I might say that X is the limit - but maybe the length matters more to him than the frequency. I think that explanation helped him, but he's still holding back a lot.

Quote:
This "truly polaymorous" thing is confusing to me. I do not know how you mean that. I think you might mean you are not a TRIAD? Where all three people are lovers with each other?
What I mean is - we would be a married couple, and he would be allowed to spend time with and do something things with Sarah, but he can't have a fully fledged romantic and sexual relationship with her. Sarah and I would never be on the same level, or even in the same catagory.

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To me you are not "monogamous" if you swing. You are in an open relationship model. It is a primary-secondary thing of a swinging style configuration.
I think the key difference is - we weren't suposed to be in a romantic relationship with anyone but each other. This was my first experience with anything of the kind, and John's only experience in the past was a miss-fired threesome where the other guy lost it and left almost immediately. If I had known at the time that swinging would threaten our monogamy, I definitely would not have attempted it in any way. But here we are.

Also, neither John or I would categorize ourselves as "Open" - it's not like if Sarah doesn't work out, someday there might be someone else. This is it.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2012, 08:01 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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You definitely sound like you subscribe to an "ownership" relationship paradigm, and that's fine for some folks if all (or in your case, both) involved are on-board with that sort of thing. But because of that, i don't see ANY outside involvement on your husband's part working out for you long-term. I see three possible outcomes when it comes to your marriage:

john and sarah break up now

You and john break up now

You and john break up later

I don't see any type of compromise or middle-ground working for you and john over the long-term. Basically, he needs to choose you OR her.

Not judging any of you. It sounds like you're all good people who want to do what is right. But this is a case of "can't please all of the people all of the time" or however that saying goes. Someone is going to come out of this with a broken heart (besides Mike, to whom the damage seems to have been done).

I am sorry i cannot predict a happy ending for all involved. It sucks big-time, but there it is.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I am sorry i cannot predict a happy ending for all involved. It sucks big-time, but there it is.
That's exactly where my thoughts are going, BoringGuy. :-/ I've expressed my feelings to John, and he says I'm being pessimistic. I think I'm just being realistic. I don't see a way out of this that isn't horrible.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:12 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Lydia1 View Post
That's exactly where my thoughts are going, BoringGuy. :-/ I've expressed my feelings to John, and he says I'm being pessimistic. I think I'm just being realistic. I don't see a way out of this that isn't horrible.
I know you love your husband and have had a good relationship until now, but from what I am reading, it sounds like he's using verbal manipulation on you to get what he wants. It sounds like he wants it HIS way - to be married to you and be able to have a "full poly" relationship with Sarah - even if that means you would be miserable. It seems as though he's rather be with sarah AND a miserable you, instead of being without Sarah and having a happy you, or being without you and knowing that you are free to pursue happiness with someone else, as he is doing.

I am DEFINITELY making a lot of assumptions when coming up with these insights. I believe this thread/your story has reached the point where John (and Sarah) needs to come on here and tell his (and her) side of the story before anyone can give any more advice that would be useful and accurate.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:19 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I believe this thread/your story has reached the point where John (and Sarah) needs to come on here and tell his (and her) side of the story before anyone can give any more advice that would be useful and accurate.
I'll ask them and see if they're willing to join the thread.
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:20 PM
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Anneintherain Anneintherain is offline
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I really don't get someone's heart breaking over not being able to be sexual with somebody, only if you are forced to cut them out of your life, so I guess that just makes no sense to me, and I read it as emotional blackmail on his end.

I'd certainly look for somebody under your insurance. Nycindie posted some good resources just yesterday. It sounds like your husband could benefit from some solo counseling too, as he's certainly had time to think about what he wants or needs, and I imagine it's worrisome and tiring that he does not have any clue, and that he won't trust you with the feelings he does have. Makes me think solo appointments might cut through things quicker.
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:26 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Anneintherain View Post
I really don't get someone's heart breaking over not being able to be sexual with somebody, only if you are forced to cut them out of your life, so I guess that just makes no sense to me, and I read it as emotional blackmail on his end.
This is one of the things I was thinking of when I made reference to "verbal manipulation". Maybe I should have said "emotional blackmail" instead.

Oh, and about being "pessimistic". Pessimism is not a character flaw. It is one of many viewpoints that are equally valid (some more valid than others in certain cases). You have MY PERMISSION to be "pessimistic" all you want.
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2012, 09:59 PM
Lydia1 Lydia1 is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
This is one of the things I was thinking of when I made reference to "verbal manipulation". Maybe I should have said "emotional blackmail" instead.
The thing is - he WILL feel loss if he loses his romantic relationship with Sarah. So if they have to break things off entirely, and just be friends, I don't think it's emotional blackmail or even unrealistic to foresee that he will resent me for it if I am the cause of that loss.

As far as if they still get to have a romantic relationship but just not a sexually active one, that resentment may or may not ever come to fruition. In the best of circumstances, maybe we could make our hybrid of monogamy and polyamory work, without there being resentment of the limitations. I don't know.
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