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  #11  
Old 12-26-2012, 11:50 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
What are you afraid of losing to "damage?"
Maybe because his wife wants to date her close friend/business partner, who is an experienced poly woman and is skittish about starting a sexual/romantic relationship, because if the relationship doesn't work out, it could ruin their friendship and partnership.

Plus, he and his wife might lose some of their "innocence," both having been virgins on their wedding night...
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:28 AM
Moose17 Moose17 is offline
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I am indeed worried quite a bit about my wife losing the best friendship she's had in years. This person has been very good for her, in a lot of ways.

The innocence factor is more an issue for my wife than for myself. I never saw myself as innocent, even when I was; I had waaay too much of a sex drive in me from the onset of puberty onward to not accept that sexuality was a part of who I was as a person. But her . . . I had to teach her what sexuality was, and she still doesn't see herself as a really sexual creature (though that is actually a big part of her, and of how she and I interact & bond).

A related concern is that this will go south in a way that makes my wife feel ashamed for having thought about it in the first place. Having to reconsider what "marriage" means, to reconsider a basic part of our identity, this far into the game . . . is a lot of hard work. To have to do that, for something that might not even get off the ground, when she has no intention of broadening her horizons like this for anyone BUT the one person she developed feelings for after years of friendship, would be upsetting to her.

And yes, there's a sporadic, niggling, irrational fear that even opening this door means our marriage will end horribly within a year or whatever. I'm normally not afraid of that, because we've weathered a lot of storms, but the vast majority of the problems we've faced have been external challenges (job loss, problems with the kids, etc). This is a new kind of internal problem and reassessment for us.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:55 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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My gf, Gia, and her husband, Eric, have been together for 15 years, married for 6, and open, to varying degrees, throughout most of that time. They both dated the same girl once, which ended poorly and nearly broke up their marriage because of trust violations on Eric's part related to the whole thing. They closed up for a while, worked through it, came out stronger than before, re-opened, and Gia and I started dating not long after. We've been together for more than three years. Eric's not dating anyone seriously, but has had a few fwb's during that time. My bf, Davis, and I have been involved on and off for ten years, with this most recent try having been for the last year and a half. He's not interested in dating others himself, but is ok with Gia. So, that's our story, timeline-wise.

I will say one thing -- the veto power concept may be feasible now, but, down the line, may be less so. When you've given your heart to someone, and time and intimacy have strengthened that bond, made it one of both trust and passion... when your partner has become not just a part of your life but a part of your heart and mind, when the holidays are barely over and you're scheming about next year's presents for them... how can you just drop them because someone else gets cold feet? If Eric suddenly told Gia to break up with me, I think we'd break up... if nothing else, because I couldn't stand the idea of sticking around if he wasn't ok with it. But I think it's fair to assume she'd be heartbroken, and that it would put a significant strain on their marriage.
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The major players. Me, 30ish bi female. Gia, girlfriend of 4+ years. Clay, boyfriend/dom. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eddie, roommate & fwb.
The supporting cast. Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler. Dexter, Gia's lover. Helen, Eric's lover. Izzy and Nikki, Clay's partners. Liam, Eddie's husband.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2012, 04:14 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I can't speak to marriage, but I can speak to longevity. I've been, up til now, a serial monogamist. In the last week, I've shared food with two exes, one of whom was my bf in the early 90s. We're still friends. The other was my bf for a short time in 2000 or 2001 or so. He's my mechanic. I also got to spend Christmas eve with my two boyfriends. (more on my blog) FBF became my (mono) boyfriend almost 10 years ago. We became friends with CBF (mostly FBF was friends with him). We were the three musketeers. FBF and I 'broke up' and I started seeing CBF. Awhile ago, I threw CBF out (we'd been living together). We mostly got back together, and last December, I also got back with FBF. After Christmas eve, I suspect that we will love each other the rest of our lives, even if our relationship configuration changes again.
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2012, 04:37 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
I am indeed worried quite a bit about my wife losing the best friendship she's had in years. This person has been very good for her, in a lot of ways.
Well, has the friend articulated her willingness to still be friends if they give it a whirl and the romance is not a runner? Or does she prefer not to be friends with her exes? Is wife willing to remain friends as exes? What would be a dealbreaker reason for a breakup that would nullify the friendship? Is it a risk both are willing to take in order to explore a potential romance? Or rather skip it? And remain friends?

All of that is on them to discern, not you. Talking it out helps reassure -- so hopefully they will talk.

Quote:
The innocence factor is more an issue for my wife than for myself. I never saw myself as innocent, even when I was; I had waaay too much of a sex drive in me from the onset of puberty onward to not accept that sexuality was a part of who I was as a person. But her . . . I had to teach her what sexuality was, and she still doesn't see herself as a really sexual creature (though that is actually a big part of her, and of how she and I interact & bond).
That is something for her to reconcile. She and BF can explore this dating thing with your blessing in the fullness of time if they become lovers, explore that too. Or she can choose not to go there and have you as her one and only lover.

Quote:
A related concern is that this will go south in a way that makes my wife feel ashamed for having thought about it in the first place. Having to reconsider what "marriage" means, to reconsider a basic part of our identity, this far into the game . . . is a lot of hard work. To have to do that, for something that might not even get off the ground, when she has no intention of broadening her horizons like this for anyone BUT the one person she developed feelings for after years of friendship, would be upsetting to her.

Fear of feeling yucky feelings MAYBE in the future is not a reason to skimp out on loving now. She could continue to keep it in the friend zone and love her friend as a friend. She could choose to explore if the friendship will grow to romantic types of love or not.

But this fear and worry over what MIGHT be an ugly break up thing? What it if is worry for naught? Since future is not actually here, it cannot be known.

Maybe this post will help? http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showp...54&postcount=9

I wrote it to another in similar emotional worry state.

If things must end, they could talk about how they want the good break up to be like. That could help reduce fears and worries that it would be "ugly."

Quote:
And yes, there's a sporadic, niggling, irrational fear that even opening this door means our marriage will end horribly within a year or whatever.
The risk is always there even without Opening. DH and I call it "The Bus."

We talk about things and one or the other goes "Alright, so what if you get run over by a bus then. Now what?" And we keep on talking to sort out plan B. Not just in talks about Opening. But when we bought the house and had taken out the mortgage. Or had the child. "The Bus" could hit and leave one spouse hanging in whatever fashion. It isn't that we WANT the spouse to get run over by a bus. Or that we want the marriage to end. But part of what helps to reduce worry/fear for us to to have a working plan in place. How do we want to be to each other as exes? Or if one is left widowed? What plan is in place to help the surviving spouse? To finish raising kid? To make ends meet? That sort of stuff.

You are going to go through a lot of things, and a lot of feelings. But Share your Vulnerable with each other and talk it out. Sharing in that emotional intimacy will create/strengthen that kind of bond between you as well as reducing the fears and worries.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-27-2012 at 04:45 AM.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2012, 05:10 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I've come to realize that the success of a relationship is not necessarily contingent upon how long it lasts, and I've mostly been monogamous my whole life, and practicing poly since late 2010. While it can be a very nice and comforting thing to grow and deepen with someone over time, sometimes relationships that are quite short in duration can teach us a great deal and enhance our lives in unexpected, wonderful ways. At least, that has been the case in my life. Some of my most memorable and life-altering relationships were only a few months long. However, that doesn't mean that I have not been in anguish many times in my life because a relationship ended. Of course, we want to see a relationship continue if we have feelings of love or fondness for someone and it brings us joy.

I was devastated completely when my marriage of almost 12 years ended, but I think a huge contributing factor in my devastation was the expectation that we'd be together forever. I was wrapped up in the sense that I was a failure and had forgotten what I'd always said when I was single, and often to my single friends when I was married, that just because a relationship ends doesn't mean it failed. All it means is that it ended. Some relationships are not really meant to last or shouldn't, and can still be enriching if they break up.

And this refers to friendships as well as love relationships. If a friendship with someone discontinues, everyone will eventually get over it and move on. Such is life. All you can do is stay as aware as possible of your own internal processes, and treat people the way you want to be treated. There are no guarantees in life.
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2012, 06:41 PM
Moose17 Moose17 is offline
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Well, we're kinda getting away from "general & theoretical" into something that should be more in the Relationships Corner, but here goes:

AnnabelMore: Thing is, they're at that level of friendship and emotional commitment already, and it doesn't phase me, and they're both fairly committed to maintaining the friendship even if this new thing (romance? flirtation? Neither of them is really clear on that) gets off the ground and then crashes. I'm fine with all that. Wifey IS already thinking about Jane Doe's next Christmas presents, but she does the same thing for anyone she cares about that much, myself and our kids' godparents included, and that isn't a sexual or romantic thing in my wife's world. If for some reason I got terrified or something went wrong and I asked to end the openness, that would close the door on one small part of their relationship (potentially a bigger part in the future, I know, but not the biggest part by any means). In any case, I don't see that happening; I was just relating how much we've talked about all this, and how we've tried to address some of the issues that have arisen.

Galagirl: See above. They have talked about it. Not a ton, as Jane Doe has been busy, in and out of town, and they seem to have some difficulty communicating at times around these issues, but they're both committed to each others' well-being and want their friendship to be a lifelong one, whatever happens with this new, potential, and undefined aspect of their relationship. Thanks for the links, and thanks for the language of "the Bus." We've already used that language a few times in the long talk we had last night after I read your post. "So what about (such&such fear)? What if THAT bus hits?" Useful to have a shorthand phrase like that.

Yeah, there are certainly no guarantees in life. I initiated this thread to get an idea of the breadth of lifestyles and possibilities that we might fall into. The terminology is still new, the ideas foreign, I just needed to learn more about what's out there for us.

One more for Galagirl: Would you mind defining "closed polyship of two" for me?
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  #18  
Old 12-28-2012, 01:08 AM
turtleHeart turtleHeart is offline
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One short book you might enjoy is What Does Polyamory Look Like?: Polydiverse Patterns of Loving and Living in Modern Polyamorous Relationships by Mim Chapman. It details a number of poly relationship styles. You can check out a kindle sample on amazon.
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  #19  
Old 12-28-2012, 01:09 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose17 View Post
...

But how long do these relationships tend to last? I know monogamous marriages don't have an incredible track record, but is serial polyamory any better than serial monogamy?

I ask because my situation feels somewhat unusual in these circles. My wife and I started this discussion very recently, when she developed romantic feelings for someone who was already a close friend and happened to be openly poly.

...we built a life together for the last decade-plus, and it can grow and change, but nothing can be allowed to damage it or substantively detract from it. I'm not sure how common that dynamic is, how long external relationships can last for people in situations like ours, or even how monos going poly tend to do a few years down the line.

But it goes back to the question of "how long does any poly relationship last?". So, I'm asking. Gimme stories of endurance. I want to hear particularly from people whose situations started out like mine, but also from anyone who wants to chime in. I freely admit that I don't know enough about any of this. Fill me in.
You asked for stories of endurance, so I will share a bit of mine. My "version" of polyamory is heavily influenced by the type of "group marriage" demonstrated in the science fiction novels of Robert Heinlein. In a sense, I've considered myself polyamorous since before the word was invented (in 1992 I believe). So much so, that when I got together with MrS, 20 years ago (and my first "relationship") I told him that he should just read everything that Heinlein ever wrote and then he would understand me a LOT better. (Lovely man, he did just that .)

We ironed out some boundaries and ... well, have been together ever since. Our early boundaries (they have evolved over time) included no limitations on my interactions/relationships with other women (this hasn't changed). And, within the first year, I had developed a FWB type relationship with one of his close female friends. That relationship still exists today.

Several years later I had a conversation with a bi-curious (female) friend of mine along the lines of: “What if you found a girl who was really into you but wasn't willing to be with you if you were with a man (MrS)?” My answer was that leaving MrS was not, and would never be, part of the deal.... and this would be understood from the beginning. My relationship with a girl could take any form that she felt comfortable with except one that dictated what my relationship with MrS could be. She would not need to meet him if she didn't want to. But she could never be a “secret” from him or demand a change my relationship with him (other than negotiating time management and other practical concerns). Anyone who has talked to me for 5 minutes knows that I am married and how important MrS is in my life...there is barely a significant story of my life that doesn't involve him in some way, so it's not as though it would come as a surprise.

My relationship with Dude has been the first "outside" relationship that has evolved past FWB - and it is getting on two years along at this point and, unless something drastic happens, could conceivably last "forever" (in the same way that monogamous relationships can last "forever" - until they don't). There are no constraints on how far or how long that relationship can go - the only caveat is that (as above) me leaving MrS is not, and never will be, part of the deal. In our current configuration, our "version" of poly looks a lot like a woman with two husbands, an old one and a new one - who love and care for each other as well (platonically, they were best friends for years before I met and became involved with Dude). Dude has informed me that should the two of us (me and Dude) ever break up, he still gets to be friends with MrS (because MrS came "first" ).

I don't know if that helps your understanding any, but you asked for stories...

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2012, 05:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
One more for Galagirl: Would you mind defining "closed polyship of two" for me?
Sure. It's just my shorthand for describing where I'm at right now. Once upon a time I was a hinge person in an "Open V" sort of arrangement. We were all free to date others, so it was not a "closed" polyship -- it was still "open." And there was 3 people in there. So it was three.

Later it changed. It was partially Closed -- I didn't see others, neither did BF1 but BF2 did. He wound up with another sweetie and he had a VERY hard time with a 4 person "N" thing. So it changed again -- I broke up with BF2 and we were friends only. Which left it at a closed polyship of 2 for me and BF1. Then I married him. So it changed again -- now BF1 was my DH.

Who knows what will come in future? But for now, "closed married polyship of 2" will do for shorthand.

HTH!
GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-28-2012 at 05:19 AM.
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