Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-06-2013, 09:38 PM
Petunia Petunia is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Talula
Posts: 101
Default Relationship labels: possessiveness or connectivity

When you think of someone special in your life as "my husband", "my boyfriend", "my wife", "my girlfriend", "my lover", (insert appropriate label) does it elicit feelings of possessiveness, as in "s/he's mine," or connectivity, as in this person is someone of value in my life and I am connected to them in this special way?

If you feel possessiveness due to these labels, do you chose to use other terms that carry less meaning to change your perspective? Such as, "the wo/man that I'm married to" or "the person I'm dating"?

I recently had someone tell me I should ponder this as he felt I was using the term "my husband" possessively in my thinking which made me feel bad and has led to this examination.
__________________
Petunia: 48 year old, straight, cisgender female married to Twitch
Twitch: 41 year old straight cisgender male
Shasti: Twitch's 41 year old straight cisgender girlfriend
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:37 PM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,830
Default

Sometimes-but not always.
In my D/s dynamic "My M" is definitely possessive. Saying it elicits possessive feelings too. As does being called "My Angel".

In my day to day life I don't CALL Maca "My husband" except to speak to others who have no major importance in our lives (like a grocery store clerk). In conversation with most people, I simply call him Maca. Likewise-with GG. I generally refer to him as GG when speaking to people. Only with others-or in conversations on here for clarity do I identify them as "my husband" or "my boyfriend".
When speaking to them personally, I call each by a pet name. THOSE are special. We have pet names for everyone in our family-including the kids and generally those aren't shared either. I have a pet name for each person and each of them has a pet name for each person. But we don't use the same ones. Shrug.

Like my grandson is "Little Pea" to me. But Maca calls him "Peanut" and GG calls him "Spidey".
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:38 PM
Vixtoria's Avatar
Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 298
Default

Part of what we had to get over when we started to open our marriage was that you do not OWN anyone, you do not BELONG to anyone. It's been romanticized for a long time to 'belong' to someone or to belong somewhere. So we did start changing how we refer to each other. Hubby refers to me as Wife. Capital W as we are legally married and there are plenty of poly people that call more than one partner husband or wife. I use DH for darling hubby or just say Hubby. Though to be honest, I mostly say hon out loud. I refer to both hubby and boyfriend as hubby.

I know some people don't like the term boyfriend and I admit it sometimes comes off seeming juvenile but boyfriend likes the terms boyfriend and girlfriend because right now we are long distance and while that means nothing to emotions it means logistically things are different than other relationships.

Thinking about it, I don't really say MY kids either. I say the kids, or by names or whatever nicknames I use when I am not in a place (real or internet) where I want private information out on them. So I refer to them as people, not property.

Side note: This does not count when they are in trouble. Then they 'belong' to hubby, or if he catches them first, they 'belong' to me. As in "She so gets that from you!" or "Oh that one is all you!"
__________________
Me: Late 30s pansexual poly.
DH: My husband of 19 yrs and father of 3 teen girls.
DC: LDR of +4 year
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:10 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 505
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
When you think of someone special in your life as "my husband", "my boyfriend", "my wife", "my girlfriend", "my lover", (insert appropriate label) does it elicit feelings of possessiveness, as in "s/he's mine," or connectivity, as in this person is someone of value in my life and I am connected to them in this special way?
Connectivity.


Quote:
I recently had someone tell me I should ponder this as he felt I was using the term "my husband" possessively in my thinking which made me feel bad and has led to this examination.
Is he inside your head and heart?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:25 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,830
Default

For me it has nothing to do with possessiveness. So I do use those types of terms.. We all do.. Its a descriptive label not a prescriptive one
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:27 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,085
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
I recently had someone tell me I should ponder this as he felt I was using the term "my husband" possessively in my thinking which made me feel bad and has led to this examination.
I am glad to see that you are taking the time to consider your words and the possible impact they have on your life and surroundings. If we don't take a moment to think about these things then we are really just functioning off of our instinct which is primarily fueled by the traditions or our environment.

I find that most of the time the people around me aren't stopping to consider what *they* are doing, so why should I accept without consideration that it is right for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
When you think of someone special in your life as "my husband", "my boyfriend", "my wife", "my girlfriend", "my lover", (insert appropriate label) does it elicit feelings of possessiveness, as in "s/he's mine," or connectivity, as in this person is someone of value in my life and I am connected to them in this special way?
While I try to avoid labeling people, I do understand that we are pattern seeking creatures and that classifying the things around us is one of our instincts. It's not a bad thing for our mind to want to do this, it helps us to decide how we qualify and thus value what is around us. Unfortunately these labels often come with assumptions that we may or may not personally attribute to a relationship and can serve to prompt us to beliefs that we don't necessarily have.

I was recently struggling with an emotional reaction to being labeled "friends with benefits" because of some of the assumptions which I was making about the name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petunia View Post
If you feel possessiveness due to these labels, do you chose to use other terms that carry less meaning to change your perspective? Such as, "the wo/man that I'm married to" or "the person I'm dating"?
As with any communication, I find that using the most precise words generally helps avoid unwanted assumptions.

This is the same with introducing someone to other people. If I say "This is my girlfriend" people make a number of assumptions; that we are exclusive, that we live together, etc. If I am not comfortable with those assumptions then I might just be better off using the persons name - "This is IV." (though invariably if you don't assign a label to someone you will promptly be asked to do so "Is she your girlfriend?")
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:37 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,085
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariakas View Post
Its a descriptive label not a prescriptive one
Labels in general are not prescriptive or that is just not your intention in using them?

Most labels come with a number of assumptions with them, which is why we use them (as a kind of short hand). This short hand can easily convey a set of characteristics which is not necessarily present but that the title itself can help to encourage. Introducing someone as "This is your new manager" not only describes the position and responsibilities of the role, but can also suggest things like "authoritative nature" and "problem solver" and "decisive under pressure". It's the same with "wife", "boytoy", "girlfriend", it is entirely possible that the use of those labels encourages a pattern of behavior in line with whatever the assumptions are (even if it wasn't the intention of using those labels).

I imagine as long as people are mindful that their language is not instructing their actions then their language is entirely irrelevant (at least for them personally). Since I don't assign that kind of presence of mind to the unwashed masses I would always advise using titles which come with the least possible number of assumptions.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-06-2013, 11:53 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,830
Default

I understand your point.

I simply don't care about other people's assumptions. People see and understand what they want.. Regardless of how well spoken. If people are interested they ask. Otherwise they can assume what they want..

Its always been a good litmus test for my interest in them as friends or otherwise.

Besides it can be fun to leave communication room to breath. Makes for some interesting discussion with the right group of people.

My label laziness could simply be a consequence of my job. I can't allow for assumptions in my work place. I build documentation and policies for it infrastructure and the training to go along with it. I don't carry that skill's into my personal life.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:26 AM
InsaneMystic InsaneMystic is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 100
Default

"My X" definitely has possessive connotations for me, yup. I actively try to avoid it and construct sentences otherwise, and do sometimes catch and correct myself when "my" slips out.

["ceterum censeo" rant] Then again, "my husband/my wife" seems just about right. Marriage *is* about ownership of another person, IMO. That's a main reason why I despise the whole concept and will not support any kind of "marriage equality" movements. I want society to get rid of it completely, not to get more people to sign up for this outdated mess. [/rant]

I dearly wish there was a relative/connective pronoun instead of a possessive one to use. *sigh*

As for the labels BF/GF, partner, lover, whatevs... go with whatever floats your boat. R. and I happen to be fond of "shipmates".
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-07-2013, 12:49 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 1,647
Default

"Biatch", "Cabana Babe" & "Space Cadet" work for me, and they all come running because they aren't sure who i'm talking about.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:47 AM.