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  #201  
Old 02-08-2013, 02:14 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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It's been too long for me to remember what it was like in details. I knew it very young, there were not as many resources handy, there was no Internet. I just stuck to my ethics and winged it.

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I really don't understand how I could have fallen in love with another man while being VERY happily married to another. The two relationships are very different
Because each one brings out and touches different parts of you because they ARE different. And because love is a pleasant feeling that arises when you are close to someone. What's there to understand? Spend time together sharing vulnerable intimacies (of the mind, body, heart and/or soul) and you grow feelings of trust and affections for your sharing partner there. Do not spend the time sharing -- the feelings fade.

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My Primary says he's okay with this, so why am I feeling guilty whenever I spent time alone with my BF?
Are you neglecting your DH? Is DH in the habit of being truthful or in the habit of being a "say it is ok but really not ok" type person? What causes you not to trust/believe his words when he says he is ok? Does his actions/body language say different? Something in your own head making clouds?

Just accept you DO feel guilty. Then investigate what is poking you -- a perceived reality (which could be false) or an actuality (which could need attention.)

Quote:
Ideally, I enjoy the times when we're all three together the best, but my Primary has asked for this weekend "off" so he can adjust better (more slowly).
That is reasonable. Do you understand your polymath tiers in this polyship configuration? Each mini relationship inside the bigger polyship needs TLC and it's own time. Even his "me relating to myself alone time."

Quote:
I never wanted to be in the position to have to split my time between the two, so I hope this is only temporary.
Welcome to reality: There is 24 hours in a day. You now have 2 partners. There's THREE people wants, needs, and limits to take into consideration now. You have increased your commitments. You will not always be able to meet all commitments simultaneously. Some will have to come in turn. Could learn to be ok with that.

While sometimes they are willing to share time in trio to move the polymath tier of

(You + DH + BF) <-- the team working together in harmonious polyship
along?

You still have to TLC all the other mini tiers that your name appears in. They have to tend to their tiers. Each mini rship must be ok for the larger polyship to fly ok. Because yuck in any tier will be felt across other tiers. Serolynne does a nice polymath article. I take it out exra layers to include self care and break up possibilities but it is the same idea.

I write it out sometimes for people. Here is a 3 people polyship. It doesn't matter they are in a triad shape thing and you are in a "V" shape thing. 3 people is 3 people worth of polymath tiers. And since you seem to worry about preventing/handling problems, that one talks about coping with "the elephant in the room" too. Could think about how your polyship will handle elephants.

Quote:
I'm wondering how other people adjusted to the sudden realization (if it was) of being polyamorous?
I was always crushing/falling in love with many. It was "my normal" in my inner world. My realization was dating people who did NOT experience the world this way and coming to realize that they experience the world otherwise. And may not be ok/secure with hearing about my internal world news. It caused insecure, and baffled me because my COMMITMENT was to them and shown in my behavior toward them.

Sun is sun. Rain is rain. Emotion is emotion. Internal weather can just blow on through. My reporting internal weather is not my BEHAVIOR. My reporting internal weather is sharing vulnerable and trying to cultivate emotional intimacy with the partner I am with.

Isn't that what one DOES to cultivate trust, love and all that? Turn to partner with your vulnerable stuff?

So yeah... that was a weird realization for me then. That not everyone is prepared to deal in emotional intimacy the same way as me, and that there could be degrees and types of intimacy.

Quote:
How did you come to terms with falling in love with a second person while still being in love with the first? Was it difficult or easy for you? Did you seek poly counseling, or do it on your own?
You are not clear to me. I think you could mean a two part thing there.

A) "How do you come to terms with the realization you have the capacity to love more than one?"

I just love them. I did not see loving as a problem. Mere loving someone doesn't mean I have to act on it or pursue or cultivate by spending more time with them, asking them if they want to try to grow something beyond friendship or beyond initial love stages. I am ok just enjoying them from a distance and keeping it to myself.

B) "How do you come to terms with BEING IN a multipartner relationship? The HOW of doing it successfully so everyone's wants, needs, and limits are respected and met ok?"

My serious relationships have been long haul and good. My break ups have been ultimately parting on decent terms -- even consider the grief process for break ups all go through. Can't ask for more than that. One of my friends tells me I'm a boundary queen and wishes she could learn that from me. I laugh because sometimes sometimes other people tell me I have too high a personal standard.

I think all people have a personal standard -- you develop what serves you best, and if you stick to that and actually take the time to calibrate with your polyship people so ALL people are on the same page when creating a SHARED standard? Rather than just assume everyone is on the same page and trip on that later?

Then you could improve your odds of not having as many crazy shenanigans heaped on your head when polyshipping. Life happens, stuff comes along that people cannot control or help.

But reducing the stuff that comes along because of lack of communication/preparation (stuff one COULD help and deal with if making the time to calibrate) ... it just makes the flying together a lot more pleasant!

Recognizing personal limitations is a valuable thing -- knowing yourself and what you are NOT capable of is as valuable as knowing what you ARE capable of. Pitch it toward the happy medium, and Life is lived in a way that is mostly ok, most of the time for you. Whether or not you chose to be in a polyship at the time.

Quote:

I can't help wishing I wasn't able to love anyone but my husband, as it was for 17 years of happy marriage.
I do not understand this. It the marriage not happy any more? If you do not want to be with anyone but him, why are you in a polyship?

You ability to love more than one, is not a horrible thing. You chose to act on it and enter polyship. So did your polyship people. I assume all entered prepared to pay the price of admission, right?

So why are you sounding like you do not want your polyamorous capacity? Or do not want your polyship? I am confused.

Your relating/coping/management skills in being in a polyship consisting of more than one? It's sounding pretty normal. You grow the skills as you go.

You get general knowledge in reading or similar. You get experience in doing and that is how confidence is grown. By doing. Reading the recipe for how to bake bread is not actually baking the bread. And it could take a few stabs at it with the same recipe before you can produce a yummy loaf consistantly. Sometimes the first few come out wonky.

So... why lament that you are not skilled ALREADY in something you have not attempted before? Is that what you are doing here? I am not sure.

Both your DH and BF sounds like they are accepting the price of admission here -- sorting through their own jealousy/weird as the "new normal" BECOMES normal. It's going to feel odd in the transition time for all. That IS normal.

Is it that you are not comfortable witnessing their discomfort as they do their own growing things? Growth happens out there on the edge of the comfort zone.

Where is problem that causes this purple wish thing above?

You will be ok. Hang in there in the learning curve for whatever is is your polyship wants to be. Try to keep it real.

Could reading more resources together help in the polyshipping journey?

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/do...documents.html
http://www.serolynne.com/polyamory.htm
http://www.morethantwo.com/
http://openingup.net/resources/free-...om-opening-up/

HTH!
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 02-08-2013 at 02:27 AM.
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  #202  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:44 AM
friday friday is offline
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Default Where did you discover the concept of polyamory?

I'm curious, because I see so many different and interesting stories, and I like to look for themes.

As a teenager reading Heinlein I always thought the group marriages sounded like so much fun, that I thought it would be cool to have one in a very abstract way. As an adult once I figured out how much work it was to maintain one successful relationship, the idea seemed much more difficult to obtain. The fact that Kinsey has always been one of my favorite movies also probably helped me to think that poly is something that is not that "out there".

I'd had one open relationship early in my 20's, he was also a Heinlein fan and I think he knew that we were both poly kind of people, but I didn't really analyze it too much.

When I met my husband in my late 20's, it seemed like a no-brainer since he was gay before he met me and I didn't want him to be unhappy with never having the possibility of being with a man again, or not having the possibility of finding love with another man. And the idea of being open to finding another partner just seemed to fit us as a couple.

So I'm curious, what are other people's stories about how you adjusted to the theory of polyamory, and how you came to believe it was the right choice for you? Was it guided by a partner? Was it a burning need to love more than one person? Was it an ideal that you ended up fulfilling or a person in particular (say a third or quad) that brought you to it? Which comes first, chicken and egg style, the theory or the practice? What made it seem like the right and practical choice for you (and your partner[s])?

Last edited by friday; 03-05-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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  #203  
Old 03-05-2013, 07:20 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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I first read Stranger In A Strange Land when I was very young. I think, now, that my parents, at least my dad, viewed it as a bit of primer for how life should be. [I recently found out about their attempt at a triad/vee/whatever. Mind-blowing. I knew the woman when I was a child, I had no idea what the adults were up to.]

My theory is that because I was so young, I had no idea it was odd. My life was already a grand series of odd, so I didn't really notice odd. Marry extra people? Surewhynot.

At twelve, I got to see the Harrad Experiment movie. Probably read the book after (though I don't recall exactly). When I got to senior year in high school, the discovery that I liked girls was the biggest news. I must have entertained notions of 'one of each,' though I don't specifically remember thinking that. First college boy I dated turned out to be bi, and I had a scrumptious morning once, when we both woke up and watched his roommate crush a can (from bed) across (three feet?) from us, and we both shivered with delight. I guess that would have been my first moment of compersion.

A few years later, a crazy woman tried to seduce my girlfriend and I, unbeknownst to each of us. When we found out, we told her to beat it; but she was not easily dissuaded. For a minute, we attempted to be three. We had a lovely makeout session one evening on the couch, and then they got up to go to the bedroom. 'what about me?' 'you can wait out here.' I DON'T THINK SO TIM. So that was over.

Twenty years later (10 years ago) I met my CBF, and you can find the rest of the story in my blog (I'm not averse to typing it a gazillion times, I'm just tired at the moment)

Both of them said to me, more than once, that they didn't think they could do this with anyone but us. They were very good friends and much closer to each other than they were to me, in some ways.

I don't think it's so much of a burning need for me. I tend to fall for quiet, often cranky, introverts. I am quiet, but an extravert. I can be happier with more than one ~ I have a lot to give, and spreading it around seems to ease the burden on any one person to receive it.

It's much more potential for me. It's a possibility, rather than a mandate.
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and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #204  
Old 03-05-2013, 07:30 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Ever since I was a child, I knew that monogamy was not for me. Growing up, I always assumed that meant I would simply never get married, because who wants to be with just one person for the whole rest of your life? Blech.

I always knew about non-monogamy as an abstract concept, all that "free love" stuff from the 60s. I'd heard that some people lived in communes and rejected traditional marriage. I just didn't realize that there were "normal" people who agreed that monogamy wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

The best way to answer your question is that I never discovered the "concept" of polyamory, only the fact that there's a word for it and that I wasn't the first person to come up with the idea.
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  #205  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:29 AM
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Helo Helo is offline
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It really wasn't any one thing in particular. Concepts just started stacking up until I stumbled across the term one day. I looked up what it meant and then it hit like a bike lock to the face; holy fuck, this is me! It resonated so strongly that I knew in my heart of hearts THIS was me, THIS is how I want to live, THIS is what I need to be happy in a relationship.

I was told later by several friends that once they knew what poly was, they could have told me years ago that I was poly.

Monogamy to me was always the norm, it was what you did, it was the only way to live, the only way to love. I didn't think about any other ways of being because I didn't really have any other ideas to contrast it with. I always felt...confined somehow, muted, dimmed, constrained with the idea of monogamy but I could never articulate exactly why. When the idea of polyamory came along, I just exploded outwards and I felt more like myself than I think I ever have in my whole life.

A very strong sense of homecoming and personal realization, not that I didn't fight it tooth and nail to begin with. It was such a left-field thing that I thought it must have been an abberation, a defect, a fault in the programming that had to be found and eliminated. I spent several months trying to force myself to think more "normally" even going so far as to dip into "repairative therapy" bullshit and trying to use some of their principals. After four or five months of making myself depressed and stoking the fires of self-loathing, I sat down and decided that I was not faulty nor was I in need of help.

This was who I was. It was inconvenient as hell (I was engaged to be married at the time to a VERY mono woman) and caused no end of problems but this wasn't going away and rather than try to make myself miserable trying to fit a demographic I clearly wasn't, I said to hell with it and set fire to pretty much everything around me. An extremely difficult period but one of the most worthwhile personal decisions I've ever made and I dont regret a second of it.

I even bought this little poly heart pendant and wore it everywhere. I used to be somewhat irritated by people who did shit like that; if you're happy with who you are, cool, but do you really need to put it around your neck or on your shirt? Wearing that was kind of like planting the flag; THIS is who I really was, it was a "fuck you" to the years of not knowing, the years of feeling uncomfortable and trapped.

Man, that was an essay. I must be more stressed than I thought.
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  #206  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:12 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo View Post
it hit like a bike lock to the face
What a great visual...
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  #207  
Old 03-05-2013, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
What a great visual...
It hurts. A lot. It's also very surprising when it happens.
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  #208  
Old 03-06-2013, 03:08 AM
FatMouse FatMouse is offline
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I discovered it through my first mate. He showed me an article about it.
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  #209  
Old 03-06-2013, 03:23 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
So I'm curious, what are other people's stories about how you adjusted to the theory of polyamory, and how you came to believe it was the right choice for you?
It's just how I'm wired. I love hard. I love many. I felt that way before the word became an "official dictionary word" somewhere in the mid 90's.

Quote:
Was it guided by a partner?
Nope. Just me. I knew me.

Quote:
Was it a burning need to love more than one person?
Nope. I knew I had the capacity. I felt no burning need to love more than one at a time though. Just because I am capable does not mean I have to resources to polyship well. (Ex: enough time, enough space, enough energy, enough desire) What I wanted in college is different than I want now. Even in the same poly person, the wants and needs and limits can change over time.

Quote:
Was it an ideal that you ended up fulfilling or a person in particular (say a third or quad) that brought you to it?
Does not apply? I don't think I understand the question. (Forgive me... I feel tired tonight and am not taking it all in well right now.)

Quote:
Which comes first, chicken and egg style, the theory or the practice? What made it seem like the right and practical choice for you (and your partner[s])?
I am answering as a person. On the "global" level there is NOTHING new under the sun for humankind. Multipartner arrangements have been had before even if the word "polyamory" was not used at the time. I am delighted that the Internet and authors have created more poly resources closer to hand for those who are questioning or seeking. Makes things so much easier for people.

So for me it is neither. This isn't "poly theory" to me. This isn't "poly practice" to me. This is internal wiring -- just me being just me.

I grew up observing different relationship models -- monogamous marriages, cheating affairs, living together but not married. Living with grandparent generation in the home also. Living only with the parents and kids. Lots of living arrangements.

I slowly came into awareness that hey! I also knew several people who were concubines/second wives or children of concubines/second wives and how those households were set up and run. To me as a kid hide and seek at those houses was... hide and seek. It took me a while to notice the set up there was different than the set up in my home. Nobody made a big deal about it. So it was not a big deal to me. I grew up with "This is our house. That's other people's houses. Be respectful when at other people's houses."

So growing up I just figured that when I grew up... if I found willing partner(s) that I'd form my own model(s) with them in collaboration. We would make our agreements and stick with them as our personal relationship standard. You make your own house rules and it's your own house, right?

These relationships would grow and suit my wants, needs and limits at different ages and stages of my life. So I have done that and continue to do so.
It's not a big deal to me to just live my life as I see fit. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get the one.

HTH!

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 03-06-2013 at 03:29 AM.
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  #210  
Old 03-06-2013, 03:30 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I assumed in high school that I would never get married, but I assumed I'd be a serial monogamist (not that I knew that term at the time!), ending one relationship when I got interested in the next person like I had been doing so far.

I read Heinlein in my 20's, but by that point I'd already met MC and established various non-monogamy boundaries (again, didn't know the terms. I just knew I wasn't going to tolerate jealous behavior and I knew I was a flirt). And to me, Heinlein was just another fiction story. I didn't really read it as a, "Hey, this is how it COULD be!" kind of thing. I was still trying to wrap my head around wanting to be with ONE person for the rest of my life (MC), let alone more than one, but I suppose it did help plant the possibility in my mind.

It wasn't until my 30's that my cyber-flirting with TGIB turned into something more and we decided to start using the terms boyfriend and girlfriend. Even then, it was another year or so until I learned the word "polyamory" and found this forum.
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