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  #181  
Old 07-18-2014, 12:01 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Thanks, everyone. Ry, I hope you got to see the National Zoo while you were in DC... I always find it amazing that you're just driving or walking down a normal city street, when BOOM. There's a rather large zoo sort of plopped in the middle there. Like a zoo TARDIS, bigger on the inside.

Life updates:
Things have been going well with Chops. I had a bit of an off-kilter feeling the other day, when he asked for some time with Noa on his way home (he'd be home late, bla bla). When he got home, he was verrrrrry appreciative, gushy, lovey, all that, and that night was wonderful, but I had this off-feeling... like it was a booty call or something, and I knew that wasn't right.

Wasn't sure why I was feeling odd about it all until I looked at the calendar. Aha. PMS. Nevermind. I'll wait a day and see if it settles out.

Yep. All good now.
Boy, this whole emotion/hormone connection is an enormous pain in the ass. Sheesh.

Been slowly going through mom's personal effects (STILL haven't gotten my estate paperwork... GRRRRR...). Found the letter to my dad from his birth relative (aunt, maybe), that they sent to my grandparents. My dad knew he was adopted, knew his name, but never met his birth family. Evidently, his birth mother didn't want them to make contact until after she passed away, and so, once she did, they wrote the letter.

He was in his 30s, married, with a teenage kid (me) at the time. He didn't know he had a brother (and his brother didn't know about him).

I remember when they met. My dad, mom, and I went to meet that whole side of the family, but he really didn't want anything to do with them. He figured his brother was just as in the dark as he was, and wanted to maintain a relationship with him and his family, but as far as he was concerned, that initial meet and greet with everyone else was it; he was done. All that time being kept in the dark until his mother's death really soured him on any relationship with anyone else.

Found some pictures of him and his brother (and some REALLY unfortunate early 80s pix of myself in among the family shots). It'd be interesting to see if he's got an online presence (my dad passed away in the late '80s, only about 5 years after meeting his brother) and making contact again.

Crazy, wonderful stuff.


The Yahoo mono/poly mailing lists have been completely blowing up with activity lately. Lots of emotions running high. One of the mono folks was looking for resources, after her spouse (badly) tried to open their marriage. Evidently, she ran into the same issues I did with written and online materials: most of the material out there is "rah rah poly!" and "Boo on controlling, patriarchal monogamy!" Many sources are discouraging when it comes to mono/poly relationships, saying they're doomed to failure and it's best to just date within your own species.

Well, great. But when you're IN a relationship with someone who now ID's as poly, NOW what? Thanks for the support.

She got the runaround online, was told that she was too controlling and should just give up her marriage (I have no idea where she went, but UGH - really?!), and was just gunshy of ANY pro-poly venue at this point, fearing that it'd just be more of the same.

Someone else on the poly list took exception to this, saying that poly folks NEED the books and that mono folks don't need books on how to be a mono; that it's established culture and we have our own support system already.

And *I* took exception to this.

When you are a mono in a mono/poly relationship, at least in my experience, you are in this strange no-mans-land. You can't go to your mono friends for support, because "he's not treating you right". I've been told I was being disrespected, I've had friends pretty much disown and vilify Chops, and I have watched a good friendship between Chops and very close friends of mine just dissolve. When I get invited over for functions, it's extremely stressful, and he just won't go at this point. I feel torn between my partner and my friend of over 30 years.

So, I'm not IN the mono world anymore. I'm not in the poly world because, well... I'm not poly. So I stand here, straddling the line with one foot in each world, not belonging in either. Go ahead and tell me how well supported I am, again.

I resist attending real-world poly groups with Chops, because we've all heard LovingRadiance's stories with her group (ugh). Chops dislikes one of the groups he's been to, because it seems to be a soap opera/meat market (he categorized the leader as a "relationship collector"), where the only mono guy there was talked over by his spouse the ENTIRE TIME. He does like one that's more discussion-focused, and I could be convinced to attend a meetup with them sometimes. Still, a group of folks for mono folks in a mono/poly relationship to talk with? Hard to come by. Judgment from the mono side, judgment (potentially) from the poly side. Where to go?

This is why I've carved out a spot here; I haven't been driven away yet ( ), and honestly, I really REALLY enjoy gaining perspective from all of you here. And no, I have NOT received judgment from any of you for being brainwashed (ugh), controlling or whatnot, and I appreciate that (although I've been asked some good questions that make me think a bit... thinking is a good thing, though ).

So I dunno. I expressed my opinion (as I am wont to do), and I think it'll lead to a good discussion. I find it amusing that I seem to post more to the poly list than the mono one, but I think it's because the poly list feels a little bit freer to chew on some food for thought, while the mono list is almost always in support mode. Then again, I post here too, so there ya go.

Chops and I will have a nice Sunday/Monday together (we both took vacation days Monday - yay!), and I think we'll do some exploring down in RI. I'm going to clean up the tripod I found in mom's stuff, and bring the camera to do some shooting. I'm dying to hit the park they've created around the site of the old amusement park (oh, the feels... I loved that place back in the 80s) and take some pictures of the park ruins and the water. Oh, and get clam cakes and chowdah. And a Del's. And if you don't know what a Del's is, you need to get yourself to RI and get yourself one. And then go to Olneyville and get "two all the way with a coffee milk." Just because.

Nom.

Later, folks. I'm going to clean up my drool now.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #182  
Old 07-24-2014, 12:53 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
Ry, I hope you got to see the National Zoo while you were in DC... I always find it amazing that you're just driving or walking down a normal city street, when BOOM. There's a rather large zoo sort of plopped in the middle there. Like a zoo TARDIS, bigger on the inside.
Like! MrS visits zoos at every opportunity - I was in DC for some training a few years ago and he spent two DAYS at the National Zoo...in February...and could have gone for more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
...So, I'm not IN the mono world anymore. I'm not in the poly world because, well... I'm not poly. So I stand here, straddling the line with one foot in each world, not belonging in either. Go ahead and tell me how well supported I am, again.
Reminds me of people's responses when I tell that about my experiences with the LGBT community. Because, although I have ID'd as bisexual for 20 years, it doesn't "count" because I am married...TO A MAN - therefore, because I can "pass", I don't need any support. (And I'm not really "bi" etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
This is why I've carved out a spot here; I haven't been driven away yet ( ), and honestly, I really REALLY enjoy gaining perspective from all of you here. And no, I have NOT received judgment from any of you for being brainwashed (ugh), controlling or whatnot, and I appreciate that (although I've been asked some good questions that make me think a bit... thinking is a good thing, though ).
I'm glad that you feel un-judged here. I really enjoy reading your perspective and hearing about your journey. Makes me look at MrS's perspective in a different way. He doesn't ID as mono precisely, but has no interest in ACTIVELY looking for relationships (although is open to the idea if they should happen) and I have been his only partner in the last 20+ years...nothing more than "flirty friendships" and the occasional three/four-some (instigated by me)...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here!

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 (21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #183  
Old 07-29-2014, 05:13 AM
FullofLove1052 FullofLove1052 is offline
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We saw the National Zoo. It was placed in the oddest location. We had been to zoo in Powell, Ohio, a few days before, and their zoo sits out in the middle of nowhere. In D.C., it is just there. I would love to know how they decided where to place it.

I appreciate your POV as the mono partner in your relationship. Your thoughts mirror my hubby's, and your posts always give me something to think about. Admittedly, some of the advice to the mono parties in these relationships grates on my mother loving nerves. YAH, you are brainwashed, controlling, and you have not been enlightened. Come on over to the darkside. Oh please. I am not even on the darkside!

I hope you and Chops are doing well.
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  #184  
Old 07-29-2014, 03:10 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Thanks, Jane and Ry.

I swear I had another post in the queue, but it seems to have disappeared. Oh well... Evidently, I closed the tab or something. Such is the danger of running Chrome with a bajillion tabs at one time.

The weekend & day off were really nice (although Chops' motorcycle is NOT cooperating). We got down to Galilee, RI for some clam cakes and chowdah (if you've never done it, DO IT!) and some photo-taking along the rocky shoreline. Then to Newburyport, MA the next day. Once again, the antique shop I'd wanted to go see was closed, and I finally figured out that it's not open Mondays, but Monday holidays. Derp. Once again, I come home without exploring the big, giant barn-o-stuff. I will get there someday! <shakes tiny fist>

Chops and I are doing well, although this week will probably be a bit of a challenge. I'm out on vacation this week with the kids, since their dad went through surgery yesterday and can't really move around too much (hernia surgery). Chops doesn't like to "pull me away from the kids" so he separates himself from us. That's fine once in a while, but it serves to separate himself from them as well, and it makes it easy for the 13-year-old to ignore him and treat him as if he doesn't exist (although to be fair, she does this with everyone... she's such an introvert, and really doesn't engage anyone, ever). When she does that, it bugs him, and just serves to pull him away from the kids even more. And there is nothing I can do other than find activities we can all do together once in a while, and at least give them an opportunity to interact. It's frustrating to me, because it's like we don't get to enjoy each others' presence until the kids go to bed, and it just makes the divide worse.

Sigh.
I'm not sure what the best course of action here is, other than just to continue to do what I'm doing. I can't force anything (and I wouldn't if I could), but it sucks to feel as though he's pushing them to go to bed so we can have "our time" when it's summer vacation and I have no problem with them staying up a bit later, in principle.

Oh well. Last night, my cousin spent some time with us anyway, so it was a late night all around.

In other news, I started a blog. Just what the Internet needs, right?

I think a couple things helped me reach my tipping point. First, many of the Mono folks on the email list had major difficulties finding resources on Poly (or Mono/Poly) relationships that didn't sound "anti-Mono". It's something I found aggravating as well. "Mono's fine for some people, buuuuut..." is usually the best you see, and it's still dismissive as hell. Sage's blog was a nice alternative, and I personally found Franklin Veaux's site a good one, in that it did more than pay lip service to the validity of actually BEING a mono partner in a mono/poly relationship. Still, when looking up resources on Polyamory, the Internet is kind of a lonely place for Mono partners. I figured why not try to add a voice that's been there (and still is), even if my situation doesn't quite jive with many folks'.

The second thing that tipped me over the edge was some comments here on the boards. I still maintain that *I* have never felt judged here. I enjoy debate and conversation, and I tend not to take things from Random Internet Strangers personally. However, I've been bugged by the tone of some comments toward mono folks in newly-opened relationships. People are afraid - their world has turned upside-down on them, and setting up rules and agreements may be the only way they can try to regain trust in their partner. Ripping mono partners apart for trying to find a way in which to feel secure is a great way of pushing people away, leaving them feeling that poly folks are hostile to monos. It's true that they don't give a shit about the OSO's feelings in many cases, because they're trying to find their OWN balance. It's tough to feel charitable when you feel like your life is running out of control (and especially tough when you feel the other person is part of the cause).

Nobody here is WRONG. But the different points-of-view are difficult to grasp for people who are struggling. So I figured I get it (to a point); I understand the fear of what the future looks like. I understand the resentment in having to change your entire world view. If I can offer something to help, and show them that yes, it *can* work, but it takes time, experience, work, honesty, etc., then okay.

It's a variation on the "if you want something done, do it yourself" mantra.
So I did.

http://frombaltictoboardwalk.blogspot.com/

Title is what it is because of my utter frustration in Googling for anything to do with Mono/Poly relationships. Thank you, Parker Brothers.

We shall see what comes of it. This blog thread is more my stream-of-consciousness, day-to-day thing. That one will be more polished. Stuff I've gone through, not stuff I'm working through (or at least, not in a "venting while I'm working through it" sort of way). Not like I don't have a bunch of other things to do, of course, but that's how I roll... if I don't have a to-do list a mile long, I don't feel right.

Okay, off to rouse the older child before lunchtime. Aah, vacation.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #185  
Old 08-01-2014, 02:01 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Good for you, starting a blog for mono partners of poly people. You're right, we are probably too harsh here on monos who are afraid of loss, and need lots of rules when first opening a relationship.

After all, I unschooled my kids, child led curriculum, but I had sympathy for people who were also homeschooling, but needed set curriculums they purchased from companies, and set times for school, work books, time off, vacations. Some of them lessened their structures over time as they began to trust the homeschooling process, and trusting their kids to be eager to learn, with or without a set format for the day. Some don't relax the structure, and that's OK for them, though it does make them a family we probably would not have hung out with much.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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  #186  
Old 08-01-2014, 02:09 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Thanks, Mags.

To be honest, the harshness comes and goes (it all depends on the people who are active at that time, and quite honestly, people's moods). It's just tough when you see initial comments all of the confrontational variety when people are obviously looking for support. I have to wonder if some people even come back to see the supportive ones.

Ah well. I like you guys. You're all stuck with me. So there.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #187  
Old 08-02-2014, 03:13 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
Ah well. I like you guys. You're all stuck with me. So there.
Wheeeeee!!!! We like you, too!
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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 against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/
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  #188  
Old 08-02-2014, 03:16 PM
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Wheeeeee!!!! We like you, too!
D'aaaaaaaw! Group hug!
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #189  
Old 08-11-2014, 02:18 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Default More Random Crap - An Update

Well, nothing too exciting is happening of late. I'm enjoying the new blog, and actually considering doing some book reviews from a Mono POV (I think too many times, we mono partners are given "Poly Bibles" to read without any idea that we may be alienated by the text). I'm starting with "The 5 Love Languages" (and rereading it) because I think that's been my favorite relationship book to date (and it's not even poly-related).

I've managed to give myself tendinitis by going out for a run when my body wasn't ready. All due to a pinky-promise to some friends that we'd run a half-marathon together this year (well, REALLY due to my inability to believe that I really AM this out of shape). The kicker - sex aggravates it too. Nothing like having a nice night of sexeh time, and then Chops feeling awful afterward when my leg decides to tell me to fuck off. Boo.

Still having difficulty with the "kinda-sorta blended family" thing. Chops was here for a Sat/Sun while the kids were here, and by the end of it, he was staying away from us, and I was walking on eggshells around him. Not good. There's a lot there - feeling like he's competing with the kids for my time (and his refusal to do so, hence removing himself from the situation), being ignored/dismissed by my teenager, getting rankled when he perceives them disrespecting me (when my tolerance levels are clearly different and I don't even notice this half the time).

On the one hand, it's perversely nice to have a problem that isn't a "poly problem." On the other hand, this one's extremely difficult. Sigh.

Home improvements are going slowly (I've started really trying to work within a budget - thank you, YNAB!), but going. The tree limbs have been taken down, and Chops has begun to split wood. We're looking into roofing options for the garage now, but given my budget, buying shingles may have to happen over time. We may have to find a temporary solution for the winter (since ideally, we want the summer heat to adhere the shingles better) and then collect shingles over time.

In the meantime, I decided to start working on some of the smaller projects that I've been putting off in favor of the big ones. I bought a pedestal sink for the downstairs bathroom, and we're thinking of retiling the floor (although the traditional hex pattern that I wanted is a bit more expensive than I'd have liked... there's a cheaper square-ish pattern that goes with the character of the house, so we may go with that instead). Painting the trim and wainscoting white, sinking the medicine cabinet into the wall (not sure why they didn't, so I'm sure we'll find SOMETHING that sets us back), and then finding some other storage solutions (and a nice new paint color) when done.

Little bit by little bit.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids (DanceGirl, 13; and PokéGirl, 11), two cats, one house, many projects.
Chops: My partner. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

Blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
Slightly more polished blog with a mono/poly focus: From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #190  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:17 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I kinda liked those blue small square tiles, but I agree they aren't period appropriate.

Sorry things are awkward with Chops and the kids!
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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