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  #121  
Old 04-19-2014, 01:10 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Your thoughts on this are well spoken.

Do you have a link to the discussion on ethics?

I'm in agreement that I see exceptions, but what eventually stood out to me is that they are exactly that...exceptions. I asked BF about the poly couples/families/groups he knows in real life...who aren't posting on forums looking for help. He first told me they're all happy. As we dug into details, I found that in truth, he only knows two others in poly marriages, and, on more thought, added, and actually, one of them is having trouble.

My personal belief is that his own marriage is nowhere near so happy, perfect, and rock solid as he tells me it is. The fact he seems to have entered a long depression and be quite unhappy with his life only adds to that impression.
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  #122  
Old 04-19-2014, 03:37 PM
elemental elemental is offline
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Default life what we make it

I'm not on here to doom polyamory. It does work, and wonderfully. Most of my problems with Cinder stem from personality traits that exist all the time in any relationship. I look forward to being in relationships with others that have the same good intentions as I. We don't have to fuck people over to survive. I hope you find that beautiful place. I have not lost hope, far from it. I look forward to the present and the future. We create what we want in this life, I really do believe that. I'm looking forward to meeting the people to do it with, and in some ways I already have
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  #123  
Old 04-19-2014, 06:20 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Do you have a link to the discussion on ethics?
It is here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69529
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  #124  
Old 04-19-2014, 06:35 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemental View Post
I'm not on here to doom polyamory. It does work, and wonderfully. Most of my problems with Cinder stem from personality traits that exist all the time in any relationship.
It's good to hear that you are feeling positive about life.

I very much agree with you that difficult personality traits can exist in any relationship but I think you see them most often in romantic partnerships (or in families).

I have several friends who were once poly. None of them are any more - mostly due to the struggles of trying to balance having a life with having multiple relationships. They probably make up roughly 10% of my friends. I have lots of friends who are in mono relationships - some of those are happy, others not so much so. These are probably 80% of my friends. Then I have another 10% or so of friends who are single and have been for years. All bar 1 of these people are happy with their life.

The single people by far in my life are the happiest group. I was very happy when I was part of that group too.

I say often to my partner that being his partner is a tiny bit better than being single. He tells me that he's glad that he knows about my feelings on romantic partnerships or he might feel a little insulted.

I wish you lots of luck in building a life that is perfect for you.

I'm already living a life that is perfect for me and hope to hold onto it for as long as possible. I take time out very frequently to think about and appreciate how very lucky I am to be able to experience this.

IP
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  #125  
Old 04-20-2014, 03:29 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I know I sound like I'm very down on poly relationships but I don't think it's that. I'm suspicious of romantic relationships in general. Any where people might refer to each other as romantic partners in some way I think are things to be cautious of.

I started feeling this way about mono relationships - because that was all that I knew at the time. I notice that they are hard work for the people involved. I feel the effort myself now that I am having a mono relationship. I consider the work to be worthwhile but still - my romantic relationship takes up more time, thought and emotional energy than any of the others in my life. I know that I'm not alone in this. The notion that these relationships take work and effort is pretty much universally accepted.

I have a close relationship with a being who isn't even human. C and I can't speak the same language. He enjoys doing things that I don't have the sensory apparatus to even perceive. And yet I find my relationship with him to be less work than any romantic relationship I've ever been in.

The stats around how badly romantic relationships go wrong are shocking. One in four women experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. (http://www.nationaldomesticviolenceh...-violence.aspx) Men experience it too and they aren't even included in that statistic. When women are murdered the most likely person to kill them is either their current partner or an ex partner (from The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

This stuff is so common place that it barely gets talked about. What tends to happen, in my experience, is that abused people are seen as being individually responsible due to bad decision making and the abusers are similarly seen as individual bad apples who may be able to be helped through drug therapy or counselling.

I could believe that if it was just an occasional thing but it isn't. Serious violence in romantic relationships is common and so also are lesser struggles to communicate and feelings of resentment etc. This is a weird thing to happen in a species who live closely together and need social contact with each other.

I think that romantic relationships are an odd way of relating to each other. I think they tend to breed this sort of thing. If they didn't, people would find them easier and they just don't.

I had thought, on hearing about poly that it might make the difference. Maybe the problem is just having one romantic relationship? Maybe being free to have more than one would solve this issue.

It seems that it doesn't. There are so many stories on here of people struggling regularly, being lied to, cheated on and controlled. Plus some really frightening tales of abuse crop up every so often.

If poly worked better, I'd expect to see way less of these and way more success stories - especially given that the people writing here are mostly committed to poly and want to be successful.

So this makes me think that my initial assumption about romantic relationships is more likely to be correct - they are just a weird and difficult way to go about things.

I know that I am in one - and I'm happy to be so (I can't take my socialisation out of myself and there is a big part of me that sees this sort of relationship as a good, normal thing). Still - given my deep suspicion about the wisdom of being in romantic relationships at all, it seems to me a better idea to stick to one of them. One is enough risk, work and effort. And joy and love and all the happy stuff too.

Multiplying it into more than one seems to me to be a bad idea given the issues with romantic relationships.


I think I'm neither mono or poly really.

IP
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  #126  
Old 08-01-2014, 07:00 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I find myself right now in an unwanted place and at a time where I feel ill equipped to deal with it. So one of the things I have always admired about my partner, Art, is his care for others and his ability to step away from engaging in behaviour that he knows may be harmful to his friends. This trait is important to me I place great importance on care for others and feel that avoiding harming those I care about is important. I have also greatly always admired my partner's honesty.

A few weeks ago, he told me that he had been out with an old friend of his, Sue, and that they had found themselves alone and had enjoyed a bit of a make out session together. Just kissing and nothing else not a big deal. Or at least, I think wouldn't have been a massive deal. It might have resulted in he and I having a chat about our respective definitions of monogamy and possibly some shifting in agreements between us. It might have resulted in some short-term anger on my part and a reminder that he needs to talk to me if he wants to change the way our relationship works. I don't know what would have happened.

Because in the next sentence, he told me that his friend had asked that neither he nor I mention what had happened to her partner, Bob. Sue and Bob both are good friends of my partner. He talks about them warmly often and while I consider them both to be acquaintances rather than friends, I've always felt warmly toward them and have been happy to be in their company.

This I'm not okay with at all. I don't like being asked to keep other people's secrets, particularly secrets that would cause harm if they came to light. I especially don't like it when I haven't been given the choice about whether or not to be informed. It is a bit of a grey area, I realise. Art told me about him kissing Sue because we have agreed to be honest with each other. Which meant that I had to know something about Sue's behaviour that I would rather not know.

I also find Art's behaviour odd. Enabling even minor cheating like this is something that he normally is very strongly opposed to. His normal behaviour would have been to insist that Sue speak to Bob before anything physical happened at all.

Art disagrees utterly with the way I see things. He believes that this is a one-off situation which was just about two friends having fun together. He isn't terribly happy about lying to Bob but he feels that I am making much too big a deal of it. He thinks that we should just keep Sue's secret, carry on as normal in terms of spending time with Sue and Bob and that he will make sure that he doesn't do anything similar again. He maintains that he didn't think I would be all that bothered or he wouldn't have gone ahead with it.

The thing is that my experience with behaviour changes that mark a distinct change in willingness to harm others like that tend not to be one-offs. My experiences have been that minor instances like this tend to be the start of a larger change whether through illness, stress, aging, shifting in world view, wanting out of a relationship etc.

I am experiencing lots of unpleasant emotions. Most prevelant is a feeling of being trapped. I feel as if my autonomy is compromised in a way that I haven't and wouldn't have consented to. I'm anxious that my partner would choose to put me in this position knowing my feelings on keeping other people's secrets. I find myself wanting to run away, to leave my partner and free myself from the feeling of being like a butterfly in a jar.

I'm worried about what the next thing will be and have a sense of creeping dread about it.

I feel doubt about my Art and lack of trust in his ability to make good decisions.

I worry too about the possibility that I may decide to make this easier on myself by choosing to take Art's viewpoint and see it as not that big of a deal. That worries me because I would see that as compromising my own ethics, as changing some of my core beliefs for a relationship. The thought that I might do that scares me because I think it is easy for individuals to get lost in relationships, to crush who they are for the good of the relationship and to suffer for it. I'm keen not to do that which means acknowledging that for me, this is a big deal and that it is a big deal because it's stuff that I've thought through, experienced and worked through for years. Still, this leaves me feeling down lots of the time.

Because of the differences between my view and Art's view, I am unclear about a course of action. I know I'm being heavily influenced by my experiences with changes in behaviour. I know also that I feel very emotional about this situation. I'm not in a good position to make decisions or to judge really if Art is being truthful or if he is (as I suspect) desperately trying to deny changes in himself that he isn't yet able to come to terms with.

So I've decided that the only thing I can do is wait, to treat this like any other grieving process and to make no major changes for at least 6 months. As the time passes, my ability to make judgements will be better and it will also be clearer to me if Art is correct about this being a one off. If it becomes clear to me that this is part of a longer term change for Art, we can transition to being friends. The level of constraint that this sort of behaviour from a partner would place on me isn't acceptable to me in a romantic relationship and in that case, I'd much rather be single than deal with it.

Discussing it is hard for us just now our views are so opposed and we are irritated with each other. We have talked a few times hard conversations and have exchanged a few e-mails. We'll probably leave talking about it with each other alone for a couple of months at least.

Still as is usual for me when I feel trapped, I am planning trips away, new interests and visits to friends so the situation is far from all bad. I am generally sleeping okay, enjoying work and able to get on with things I want to do. It is, I think, a matter of waiting.

I very much hope that Art turns out to be correct in all of this. He is a good guy, one of the few I could be in a relationship with and I hope that isn't going to change. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he is correct about this being a one-off while fully expecting it not to be.

IP
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  #127  
Old 08-01-2014, 12:18 PM
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MusicalRose MusicalRose is offline
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I'm really sorry you are dealing with this. I know I'd probably go through just about all the same thought processes if I were in your shoes and it's not an easy situation at all. I'm hoping things work out well and that perhaps in the meantime Art realizes that honesty is more important.
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  #128  
Old 08-19-2014, 06:43 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Thanks MusicalRose.

I had a long chat yesterday with a good friend of mine about the situation. It was a helpful chat to have. Just good to talk about it with somebody else.

Things between Art and I have been good recently. Things between us are generally good. I'll probably schedule in another chat with him about what is going on in another month or two and we can talk about it again then.
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  #129  
Old 10-19-2014, 09:08 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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I felt like updating. Secrets and the keeping of them have been on my mind a bit recently. Things between Art and I continue to go well - he is being very sweet, loving and kind both to me and to his friends. We haven't discussed further the situation with him, Sue and Bob. I find no change in my view of it. This isn't a secret I want to be part of and while it is one that must be kept, I would prefer to avoid situations where I might have to spend time with Sue and Bob.

A big part of what pisses me off about it is the clear assumption from Sue that extracting a promise for secrecy from Art is the same thing as extracting a promise from me and Art. I am not his other half, I don't share the same views as him on everything and I dislike intensely being treated like less than an autonomous adult. Still, it is a common belief and Sue doesn't know me at all so she has no idea about my views on relationships. It isn't her fault that she doesn't know those things and so I will keep her secret - the price for me is that I don't spend time with them. I don't want to punish people for not knowing me but I also don't want to be in situations where I feel uncomfortable with the lies.

There was a recent situation in another part of my life where requests were being made for secrecy, for hiding knowledge from others. That secret is not a secret any longer - there were a number of us not comfortable with keeping it and so we didn't.

I have been spending time talking to friends and family about how I dislike being asked to hide things from people. I have been telling people that they must ask me before telling me things that are secret otherwise I make no promises about keeping secrets.

The type of secret matters. When a friend confided in me about difficulties in her marriage, I was fine with keeping her secret - she was feeling down, wondering if she and her husband could work through their issues. Her secret was a secret because she didn't want people gossiping about them. It wasn't a secret that was being kept because it was about her harmful behaviour.

The secret that Art, Sue and I know about is about harmful behaviour. I am not cool with it. The other recent request I received to be quiet about was harmful to keep too.

I think it is those secrets that I struggle with. The harmful ones. The ones that the keeping of encourages and enables behaviour that is likely to cause harm to others.

Anyway - I hope that Art and I have a greater understanding between us. He does not share my views on this at all and does keep secrets I wouldn't be happy about. That is his choice - what I ask is to not be dragged into it. Hopefully we understand each other better now.

IP
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  #130  
Old 10-23-2014, 10:05 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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So - it has been about 4 years since Art and I started seeing each other once more. It has coincided with 4 very difficult years for me. A significant death in each of 3 of them and then a protracted, painful complaint about medical staff and bills in the last one (this year).

I was single and happy to be so for about 7 years before that.

The adjustment to being a partner during all that has been going on and following a long period of being very happy with my life as it was has been difficult at times - is still difficult at times.

For all that, having Art there makes me life better. He is probably the only person I've met in many years that I would consider having a relationship with. I'm aware that the way I lead my life and many of my beliefs would make me a challenging partner for most people - men in particular. It is something I came to terms with a long time ago and am at ease with. I feel very glad for having reconnected with Art and having found so much in common with him.

His gentle outlook and lack of need to feel in charge really help. I remember talking to him about dogs when we first met and about how it is common for people to feel like they have to be the pack leader in their house. Art thought that I was exaggerating for effect - until I sent him loads of articles on the subject. He has always been gentle and kind with my dogs - something that I find men struggle with. Especially with the larger ones - my experience is that men find it necessary to take control of larger dogs and I could not have somebody in my life who behaved that way.

Recently I cared for a dog belonging to a friend of mine for a few days. This dog has been rescued from a difficult situation. He carries some baggage from those days and in particular gets stressed out about people and dogs moving around. He is anxious in homes and so wants to take control to make things safer for him. This comes out sometimes as refusing to allow people or dogs to move in or out of rooms - he'll bark, growl, show his teeth. It can appear very threatening and means that he can be difficult for some people to deal with.

My friend reports that men in particular find it hard to deal with this dog, they tend to see his upset as a direct challenge - it has caused her to end a romantic relationship in the past.

My friend and I discussed how Art might cope and I thought he would be fine. He was. When the dog became upset, his instinct was to help, to calm the upset, not to take control of the dog. Art knows nothing about dogs and while he likes them, he isn't particularly into learning about them. His reaction to an irritated dog refusing him access to a room was to attempt to reassure the dog, to convince him that everything was okay. For most men, the instant reaction is to want to show the dog who's boss.

It is that reaction, that lack of wanting to take control that is a big part of why Art and I get on so well together and why he is so good in my life. He's somebody to learn from - he knows so much and also so many people - but he doesn't push or try to take charge. Nor does he want me to take charge. He doesn't feel that anybody should be in charge - an attitude that is rare to find.

I could not tolerate anybody trying to take charge of any part of my life. Nor could I tolerate anybody who needed me to be in charge of any part of their life - I am not a good home maker and have no desire to be so.

I think that's why I am destined to spend much of my life single. People like Art are not, in my experience, very common and if our romantic relationship were to end, I suspect I would be single again for a long time.

IP
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