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  #11  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:37 AM
AggieSez AggieSez is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I think that it's MUCH MORE functional to prioritize privilege earned in terms of responsibility put in; not in terms of who came first.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. One of my closest friends (married and poly) also takes the view that privilege/prioritization can be earned over time by any partner in a poly network of relationships.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Daysleeper Daysleeper is offline
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1). I think that when you enter into a new relationship with someone, there are generally going to be things more important to them than you are. It could be a career, a relative, a friend, a hobby, or a lover. They may be open to prioritizing you over these things eventually, or they may not. When speaking to me, if someone says, "I can't be do x with or for you because of y," I don't think it's different if y is a career, a marriage or a hobby. I think there is a tendency to focus on other relationships because of some (to me unrealistic) idea that all relationships should be equal and a tendency to view metamours as competition. Sometimes one relationship gets priority over others for a number of reasons.

For my purposes, let's say couple privilege is prioritizing one relationship over another.

I think society gives couples privileges triads, quads etc do not have as thatgirlingray already mentioned


2. The way I have most often seen it unfold is this. Single person x starts dating partnered person y. Y says they are always going to prioritize primary partner c. Even though x is uncomfortable with this and understands the potential consequences, they choose to date y anyway. At some point, y has both c and x asking for some of the same resources. Y usually gives them to c. For some reason, x is surprised by this and expects y to change. I don't understand why this is so common.

3. I think it's beneficial for everyone to set the priorities in their own lives and be clear about them. Though I sometimes wish people's priorities were different, I think it is best that everyone decide how to divvy up his or her resources based on his or her priorities. I don't think there is any "correct" set of priorities.

4. I may have been affected negatively by couple privilege when someone i dated for years dumped all of his partners (including me) because he met a monogamous person he could see himself marrying one day. My understanding was that we were working toward a primary relationship. He said that his relationship with this person was more important than all of his other relationships. It was painful for me, but I think he had to invest himself in what he thought was most important. In the end, I'm not sure if it is really a case of couple privilege or simply a case of being disappointed that he had not been honest with me about the importance of our relationship.

In another case though, I have been equally affected by a partner prioritizing a career over me. That was just as painful, though it was more difficult for me to (temporarily, in the heat of my frustration) see a bank account or title as being responsible for the pain in my relationship, while on the above case it was easy to use the new partner as a scape goat to avoid my disappointment in my partner.

5. Consenting adults should enter relationships under any condition they like. I have had plenty of people proposition me with arrangements I had no interest in, but I told them why that wasn't compatible with my desire and moved on. I think it's a bad idea to try to tell everyone which agreements they should make en mass, though I think it can be helpful to give your opinion to people who are interested in it.

6. I am part of a partnered couple. I tell people it is unrealistic to expect the same commitment from me that I give my husband before years and years together. My husband got to where he is by years of trustworthy, caring, compassionate and reliable behavior. He earned his prominent role in my life. I think it would be wonderful to develop something that deep with someone else, but I'd expect it would take years.

If my husband told me it was monogamy or divorce, and we could not find any other way to resolve the issue, I would be monogamous. I made specific commitments to him first, and I will not consciously break those. If someone one day reaches that level of commitment, they will be entitled to the same promises from me, and my husband has agreed to promise the new person equal rights in every way should that time come. Until then, he does have priority. My other partners know this, and they have consented to pursue a relationship with me under those terms. I don't believe the terms are "right" or "wrong". We're all consenting adults making informed choices.

7. My approach to poly is different than some in that I am only willing to date people who understand that most of our time together will be spent in groups. They can bring one or more partners or friends with them. Affection between any combination of people is acceptable in these groups. Most of the time, in these groups, my husband doesn't get a very large portion of my attention because I am more focused on people I see less. At bedtime, it's usual for people to split up in unplanned ways. If a partner wants more sex or wants a private conversation, they are absolutely free to ask for it, and I will accommodate them to the best of my ability. Anyone who doesn't want this is free to pursue a relationship that fits their desires.


I have never been in a situation where my husband didn't want me to date someone I was interested in or vice versa, so that issue has been nonexistent. Our plan in such a case is to identify the reasons for the desire and work on those issues.

The issues my husband had with my other relationships and vice versa were easy to solve by everyone involved talking it out in the same room or over a conference call.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2012, 05:22 PM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Do you believe couple privilege exists? How would you define it?
When one has been together for a while a reservoir of shared experience is created that a third party joining the relationship has not been a part of. If (when) decisions are made based on that shared history and the third party is affected by that reference then, yes, couple privilege is invoked.

I do find the word privilege a bit loaded however.

Quote:
How have you seen couple privilege manifest in poly/open relationships?
Yes.

Quote:
Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?
I've not personally seen any existence of a 'poly-community' so can't answer that. In poly-relationships it can be something that provides a glue that keeps the original relationship going through tough times (positive) or something that disempowers the third person (negative). It's all down to how conscious everyone involved is.

Quote:
How has couple privilege affected your personal experience of poly/open relationships?
It is simply a reality, we've been together longer.

Quote:
How would you like to see couple privilege addressed in the poly/open community at large?
What community?

Quote:
If you are part of a primary couple that chooses to handle relationships with additional intimate partners in hierarchical ways that may seem to reinforce couple privilege, what is your rationale or intent for those choices?
We've been together longer. We can't do anything about that, it's simply part of the picture. If you don't like that, then we're not good people to connect with. The ones who like it see it as an asset and a sign that we have skills in creating a long-term relationship that can weather stormy waters.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Wow, that is fodder for an entirely separate crowdsourced post. Thanks for the idea! I'll start a separate thread on that later!
I started a thread here about this awhile back. It's here somewhere...
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #15  
Old 12-08-2012, 11:10 PM
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I like surveys of this kind. Let me try to answer the questions, as honestly and clearly as I can:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
[*]Do you believe couple privilege exists? How would you define it? (Or how would you adjust my proposed definition?)
Most certainly. Anyone part of a couple who wants to take on a poly relationship without believing that such privileges exist will be un-coupled in short order.

As for defining it, it is easy: when you are part of a long-term relationship, you cannot take decisions affecting the couple without consulting your partner, and taking his/her views into consideration. Couple privilege consists of taking decisions with your partner's view/opinions/feelings in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
How have you seen couple privilege manifest in poly/open relationships? (Examples)
Yes. A V situation, with a man married to a long-term partner and a female unmarried friend. His wife has made some conditions, the other two seem to go along with them. He is a charming guy, he is worth the candle for both of them, it seems to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?
Harmful or beneficial to whom? No couple (as I understand the term) can survive as a couple unless the partners consult each other and care about the other's opinions and feelings. As for the third party, he or she simply should not enter such a relationship unless (s)he is willing to accept, cheerfully, couple privilege. Reluctance and resentment do not a relationship make. In any case, wouldn't a third party have conditions of his/her own?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
How has couple privilege affected your personal experience of poly/open relationships? Specific examples or personal stories are welcome.
No experience yet, sorry. But I and my wife are intelligent and flexible people, I am sure we could work any reasonable problems out, after discussions with any reasonable third party.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
How would you like to see couple privilege addressed in the poly/open community at large?
More practical examples, less ideologizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
If you are part of a primary couple that chooses to handle relationships with additional intimate partners in hierarchical ways that may seem to reinforce couple privilege, what is your rationale or intent for those choices?
Aside from explaining the obvious significance of having shared my life with someone on a long-term basis, I wouldn't feel the need for giving a "rationale". Here is the situation, here are the obvious implications. If you can't live with them, too bad, but this won't work. There is always some room for negotiations, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
If you eschew hierarchy and/or labels in your poly/open relationships, how do you “walk that talk” regarding couple privilege?
I don't normally eschew hierarchy. I am not against what would traditionally be called a bigamous household with complete equality between my two wives, but this is not likely to happen. As for myself, I wouldn't become a "co-husband" in a million years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
If you are a non-primary partner or solo poly/open person, how have you adapted to couple privilege in terms of how you handle relationships and what you’re willing to accommodate?
No experience, sorry. But I would adopt quite easily to being a non-primary partner (traditionally called a lover) of someone with a husband and family. And if I couldn't call her on Sunday, tant pis, I will think of something else to do.

--------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by AggieSez View Post
To respond, please feel free to comment here, or on my blog post, or in a post of your own (send me the link), or e-mail me (aggiesez@hotmail.com)

As with my previous crowdsourcing project, I'm open to input from anyone on this -- but I'm particularly keen on hearing from people who are non-primary partners in ongoing poly/open relationships, since our perspective usually isn't very prominent in discourse about polyamory.

If your respond, I'd appreciate if you’d clarify whether you identify as poly/open (or not), and whether you currently have a primary partner, and whether you currently are in a non-primary relationship. I’m happy to consider input from anyone, but that it crucial context for understanding your perspective.
I am a married man, and agree wholeheartedly with most of the principles of the polyamory movement, as does my wife. Whether I can actually find a poly partner for myself is another matter - maybe yes, maybe no.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:52 AM
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Despite this being a thread intended for thoughts and experiences more than a discussion, I'd like to address this

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Honesty requires, in part, admitting that the egalitarian ideal works better as a theory than as a reality.
the reason I disagree with this is not because there aren't people who claim to live by that ideal and fail to do so (whether intentionally or not). The reason is that this line of thought lets them off the hook way too easy. It is not the ideal that is at fault, it is the person who isn't able/willing to put the work into what they say they will. I.e. being honest about hierarchy doesn't mean saying "it's probably impossible to reach an egalitarian situation", it means saying "I am not willing/able to prioritise my relationship with you, or your feelings, to have those difficult talks with my other partner, or to go through the challenges of making changes that would make things more fair towards you". It's not because the ideal can't work, it's because making it work requires hard work.

----

Do you believe couple privilege exists? How would you define it? (Or how would you adjust my proposed definition?)

I do think couple privilege exists. However, I am unsure how much to include within the concept. I definitely see it encompassing societal and cultural support, recognition, and financial benefits to individuals in a specific kind of relationship. I am more on the fence about specific activities those individuals choose in relating to other people.

An example from mainstream culture: a married woman cheats on her husband with a friend. Circle of friends find out, and the affair ends. The husband forgives the wife, and both stop talking with the lover, as do all the people of the friend circle. I would say the reason why the lover is ostracised and the wife is not, is definitely couple priviledge. However, I am unsure about the other aspects, the choices made by the people in the original couple. They do exist within a context of couple privilege, which also influences the likelihood of certain decisions over others. However, I am not sure if the definition of privilege allows defining individual's decisions as privilege, isn't it more that individual decisions are made in the context of privilege..?

That is, I am not sure the word can bend to all uses without the concept loosing its usefulness/clarity. I am not familiar with the concept of "invoking privilege", is that used by writing that has to do with privilege in other context (gender, race, etc.)?

Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?

I think it is useful to approach privilege as something that simply is. Pretty much everybody has some kind of privilege, and mostly you can't really get rid of it even if you wanted to. I, for example, cannot wish myself to be non-white. I guess I could end my marriage in order to no longer have couple privilege, but don't really see that as a valid reason... I do consider it an ethical responsibility to be aware of privilege so that one doesn't harm others. Privilege is not always necessary for causing harm, rather, it makes specific kind of harm hard to notice because it's culturally sanctioned.

To use a poly example, a married man starts dating a woman. His wife is initially fine with this, and the V is in existence for some time. However, at some point the wife starts to feel threatened and demands the husband breaks up with his girlfriend. The shared partner chooses to preserve his marriage by dumping the gf. Now, he might do it for whatever reasons, but couple privilege affects the situation in many ways. Firstly, the choise of divorce is less likely than breaking up with the new partner, since the former carries more social consequences. Secondly, in the ultimatum situation there's this narrative which makes that "the right thing to do". He can feel like he has to do it. Even the girlfriend may support it, because she doesn't want to "break up the marriage". This is the way in which the harm done to the non-primary partner becomes invisible. The whole belief system rests on couple privilege: the issuing of ultimatums to prove own position as most important, the obscuring of the husband's responsibility in the choices he makes and shifting it onto the "third" who came to disrupt the couple, the preservance of marriage at all costs, the perception of "the third" as less important...

(Btw, sorry about the hereronormative examples, it's just that I didn't wish to make things more complicated with straight privilege and using same gender for all makes it confusing which he/she I'm talking about )

How would you like to see couple privilege addressed in the poly/open community at large?

I would say there is a need for a deeper challenging of couple-based assumptions and practices. More awareness of couple privilege as it is in poly, and even more as a cultural phenomenon. And avoiding support for couple privilege in our own personal life as well as privileging couples over solos in poly spaces. Not imposing couple-centric or hierarchical relationship models on other people's relationships.

If you eschew hierarchy and/or labels in your poly/open relationships, how do you “walk that talk” regarding couple privilege?

This is an incredibly broad question. I will share some of my experience. I met Mya about 1,5 years ago. Both of us had a long-term partner, both original couples were open but not poly. With the consent of all, Mya and I started a relationship, and so we became an N. Later, the situation evolved into a V with me in the middle (non-poly-related reasons). Throughout the poly relationship, I have lived with Alec. Mya and I were first in an LDR, and she lived with her partner. She now lives alone, and the three of us live in the same city.

Being in two relationships, I started with the aim of equality, which I largely (subconsciously) equated with sameness. Not maybe as "everything has to be the same right now" but as "the eventual aim is symmetry". I think this was valuable at the beginning of poly in terms of being open to changes. However, at some point it started to become increasingly clear that the aim of symmetry was not always something that aligned with what the people involved actually wanted. Also, it seemed that the aversion towards hierarchy (plus some internalised relationship-escalator-as-measure-of-serious-relationship assumptions) was something that caused pressure towards equality. So, the aim of equality as symmetry moved aside, and was replaced by more flexible decision making based on what all want.

I think there are some aspects that have been incredibly helpful. Firstly, I don't view my poly life as something separate from other aspects of my life. Secondly, I used to have an autonomous relationship when monogamous, and I have not changed this since becoming poly. These tie in together, and I will try to illustrate.

When monogamous, I would make decisions concerning the ways in which I spend my time autonomously. Obviously, I want to spend some time with my partner, so that fact will be factored into the decision-making, along with any preferences he has expressed in the past. But if I want to see a friend, I will make plans with my friend and let my partner know about it. If he has any wishes, he is free to express them - e.g. "I have Sundays off and would like to see you then" - and I am happy to consider them in the future, but I will not cancel plans with other people once I've made them. When opening up, there is no reason to change this method - i.e. when making plans with another partner, I will not start asking for his permission, or even checking with him in advance, any more than I do when I'm making plans with a friend. He is as free to express his wishes as he's always been, and I am happy to take them into account in the future.

Poly is not separate from life. Romantic relationships are relationships. I will make my own decisions autonomously as I've always done. If my partner expresses wishes, I will consider them based on their reasonability, validity, and my own judgement; not based on some hierarchical status. I would not cancel plans with a friend simply because my partner asked me to, and I will not cancel plans with a newer partner because older partner asked me to. I would not give up a friendship simply because my partner wants me to or doesn't like my friend, nor would I break up with a person for those kind of reasons. You get the picture. None of these situations have ever happened. I doubt any of them will ever happen, because there is a mutual respect for each other's autonomy, which recognises that unreasonable demands don't become any more reasonable in romantic relationships. That is not to say that we are above that - more that we all know ultimatums etc. would not be met with compliance, because, eventually, none of us want the kinds of relationships where they are used.

Egalitarian relationships are a process. We have established a relationship life and routines that work for us. However, there is a need to remain open to change in order to take into consideration potentially changing wishes. That is the key; consideration. Doesn't mean you need to change everything, or accommodate everything your partners want, or compromise everything. It means to take seriously the wants and wishes of all people involved, whatever they are and become.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:29 AM
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Interesting discussion. Thanks to AggieSez for starting it. I learned more about peoples’ attitudes to married people getting into polyamory than from any other source I have seen.

Still, I have questions and comments about some concepts raised:
The concept of harm, as in:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Is couple privilege harmful, neutral or beneficial in poly/open relationships, or in the poly/open community? Why or why not?

I think it's unrealistic to expect people to negate it without time to move towards the negation of it - but I think overall it is harmful.
Harmful to whom? How do you define harm?

Arguably, an extramarital relationship is ipso facto harmful, possibly to all three of the people involved, and should never have been entered. Your grandmother could have told you that.

Times have changed, however, and polyamory assumes that such relationships may work out to the benefit of everyone concerned. If this was not thought to be likely (or even possible), relationships involving married people would have been specifically excluded from the writings of the people advocating polyamory, and this is not the case.

I therefore question the use of the word “harmful”. If you enter an informal relationship of any kind, there is always the danger that the other party may wish to end it one day. This may well be hurtful, but it should not be damaging. If you are healthy in spirit, you will get over it. How else do you propose dealing with relationships that have run their course? It really does not matter why the other person has ended it – it could be because of “couple privilege”, but it could also be because (s)he has become bored with you, or feels that you have not lived up to some image (s)he has of a long-term partner, or because you said something that you shouldn’t have, or did not do something that (s)he expected of you (without ever saying so). None of this matters much – no-one can be expected to live up to imagined commitments (s)he has not formally made or to qualities that (s)he does not have.

(I am clearly not talking of psychotic behaviour. If I abuse someone physically or psychologically, or burn her house down Alan Harper-style, she is not going to break up with me because of couple privilege, but because I committed a deep wrong towards her.)

The concept of a happy marriage, or “Holy Dyad”, as in:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I personally call this attitude "revering The Holy Dyad," and I do find it distasteful. I would not get involved with anyone who operates that way, as I do not recognize the idea that there is any sort of privilege a couple should have. I feel that if people in a couple want additional relationships, they just need to embrace and accept the idea that everything is going to change, and holding onto this kernel of having the couple at the center of their poly universe makes absolutely no sense.
Oh, so you find distasteful relationships such as mine or that of any number of couples I know, married for 30 or 40 years or even longer?

If it’s not that, what you find distasteful is the fact that a participant in such a Holy Dyad would try to enter other relationships? How is that different from mainstream attitudes? Oh you cheating bastard, how could you do this to your darling spouse, or to the innocent third party who has no idea what (s)he is getting into?

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to get the approval or understanding of most people. I am extremely open about my circumstances in life, and if someone doesn’t like Holy Dyads, go and take up with someone not in one. And, fortunately for the naive young innocents out there, I am not so hot and sexy (or young, more is the pity) that someone would take up with me in a moment of passion, to be let down later by the need for submission to a Holy Dyad.

Sorry to be sarcastic, but really! Intelligent people know how to evaluate social possibilities, and know what to expect from specific kinds of situations. One of my first romantic interests, whom I pursued with extreme ardour, turned to me with some exasperation at one point, and asked me: “You know that I have a boyfriend, don’t you?”. The subtext being: “You know how far this can go, don’t you?”. My excuse was my youth and inexperience.

Finally, the concepts of “off the hook” and “hard work” (in the context of relationships), as in:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
Originally Posted by WhatHappened
Honesty requires, in part, admitting that the egalitarian ideal works better as a theory than as a reality.


The reason I disagree with this is not because there aren't people who claim to live by that ideal and fail to do so (whether intentionally or not). The reason is that this line of thought lets them off the hook way too easy. It is not the ideal that is at fault, it is the person who isn't able/willing to put the work into what they say they will. I.e. being honest about hierarchy doesn't mean saying "it's probably impossible to reach an egalitarian situation", it means saying "I am not willing/able to prioritise my relationship with you, or your feelings, to have those difficult talks with my other partner, or to go through the challenges of making changes that would make things more fair towards you". It's not because the ideal can't work, it's because making it work requires hard work.
What is the hook one should not be left off? Who is the hooker and the hooked (and I mean no puns) here? In my view, it is the person who has more to gain is the one who should do more work.

I am trying to envision the situation. V is at the centre of a vee (very suitably named), he is married to A and has girlfriend B. (V could also be a woman, with A and B men, or they could all be gay – I am simply using this configuration for simplicity).

V’s relationship to A could be almost anything, as long as A and V run a common home together. Talk of hard work – this is hard work. B may not get as much out of the relationship as A does, but then she does not have to invest the same amount of resources (time, money, effort) in it either.

Anyway, when B and V are together, they are having a great time. If they don’t, why are they together at all? If it’s not enjoyable for B, she can just say goodbye.

OK, so it’s enjoyable. But, after a while, she wants some certainty, some stability, some sense that she matters to V. Unfortunately, our V is a bit dense, for he does not realize that B needs reassurance and act on this realization. Alternatively, V does not care that much for B as a person, but he likes the good times. Who doesn’t like good times? He is a bastard in this case.

Now, B doesn’t know whether V is just dense or is being a bastard. She can test the waters. Ask for some sign of commitment, for example. If V is dense, he may now do something to reassure B, or he may give up and crawl back to A, who has known for a long time how dense her husband is, but what the hell, at least he is good in the sack or with power tools (or both). If V is a bastard, why, he will continue being a bastard, for example promise to talk to A and ask for more time off, then not even do this.

It’s not clear to me why B wants to be someone who is either dense or a bastard, but there is no accounting for tastes.

But what I don’t get above all is what this has to do with being off (or not off) the hook, or hard work? What’s so hard about talking over time- and money-management issues with intelligent people? Or about being honest – from the very beginning – about what you are prepared and what you are not prepared to do? What happens at Christmas, who pays for holidays, I feel lonely at times, can you do something about this? Simple issues, possible solutions. And yes, sometimes we all feel alone and neglected, deal with it. What did you do when you were unattached?
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
Oh, so you find distasteful relationships such as mine or that of any number of couples I know, married for 30 or 40 years or even longer?

If it’s not that, what you find distasteful is the fact that a participant in such a Holy Dyad would try to enter other relationships? How is that different from mainstream attitudes? Oh you cheating bastard, how could you do this to your darling spouse, or to the innocent third party who has no idea what (s)he is getting into?

Fortunately for me, I don’t have to get the approval or understanding of most people. I am extremely open about my circumstances in life, and if someone doesn’t like Holy Dyads, go and take up with someone not in one.
Wow, you really misinterpreted what I wrote!

First of all, I never said I find long-term relationships distasteful. That makes no sense. Why would I? You only quoted the part where I said I find the revering of a Holy Dyad (my own term for it) distasteful, but you didn't quote what I was referring to, which is this:
If couples act in a way that indicates a they have a certain privilege over individuals, it is basically because they think that's what they should do, and for whatever reason, they feel it is necessary for their "survival" as a couple. Or it is based on a misguided arrogance which leads them to think that anyone else they get involved with is only there to supplant and enhance what they have, while the individuals' needs are far less important. But the carrying out of such a privilege only happens if the individuals they get involved with also go along with it.

I personally call this attitude "revering The Holy Dyad," and I do find it distasteful.
I don't find it distasteful that a married or long-term partnered couple practices polyamory. What I find distasteful is when they lord their status as a committed couple over the other people they are involved with and supposedly love. That they cling on and attempt to protect the dynamic of their relationship so that it will never change, and treat additional love partners as threats and expendable. I know lots of swingerish couples do this, and it has carried over into poly, with all sorts of clingy and possessive rules and behaviors. People can do whatever they want, but I don't have to like it or agree, and I actively choose not to get involved with couple-centric people like that. This is not to say I wouldn't respect a previously established relationship of a lover of mine, but I would not stand for not having the respect I deserve as well. I'm just sharing my viewpoint, not asking others to join me in seeing it that way,so you don't have to get so huffy.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:29 AM
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PolyLinguist PolyLinguist is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Wow, you really misinterpreted what I wrote!

First of all, I never said I find long-term relationships distasteful. That makes no sense. Why would I? You only quoted the part where I said I find the revering of a Holy Dyad (my own term for it) distasteful, but you didn't quote what I was referring to, which is this:
If couples act in a way that indicates a they have a certain privilege over individuals, it is basically because they think that's what they should do, and for whatever reason, they feel it is necessary for their "survival" as a couple. Or it is based on a misguided arrogance which leads them to think that anyone else they get involved with is only there to supplant and enhance what they have, while the individuals' needs are far less important. But the carrying out of such a privilege only happens if the individuals they get involved with also go along with it.

I personally call this attitude "revering The Holy Dyad," and I do find it distasteful.
I don't find it distasteful that a married or long-term partnered couple practices polyamory. What I find distasteful is when they lord their status as a committed couple over the other people they are involved with and supposedly love. That they cling on and attempt to protect the dynamic of their relationship so that it will never change, and treat additional love partners as threats and expendable. I know lots of swingerish couples do this, and it has carried over into poly, with all sorts of clingy and possessive rules and behaviors. People can do whatever they want, but I don't have to like it or agree, and I actively choose not to get involved with couple-centric people like that. This is not to say I wouldn't respect a previously established relationship of a lover of mine, but I would not stand for not having the respect I deserve as well. I'm just sharing my viewpoint, not asking others to join me in seeing it that way,so you don't have to get so huffy.
Thank you, nycindie, and I am sorry if I misinterpreted you. It can happen to the best of us... (Not that I am among the best, I am sure).

In fact, I can see another aspect of why this attitude can be irritating. Suppose I was interested in someone (in the poly world, obviously), and that person went on and on about her wonderful husband/lover/whatever. It just wouldn't be all that sexy, would it now?

And I'll have to find just the right tone to express my attitude to my wife, not too little, not too much (the Goldilocks Zone, so to speak), otherwise I'll just turn everyone off.
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2012, 05:32 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Originally Posted by PolyLinguist View Post
Suppose I was interested in someone (in the poly world, obviously), and that person went on and on about her wonderful husband/lover/whatever. It just wouldn't be all that sexy, would it now?
Ah, well, sometimes it is downright sexy. You'd be surprised. I had a lover who enjoyed me telling him story after story about the other men I've been with. He thought it was super sexy.
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"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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