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Old 06-10-2010, 11:42 PM
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Default merged and un-merged poly types coming together.

Okay, I have come across this a couple of times in my relationship life and have been a witness to other peoples dilemmas also...

There seems to be a struggle sometimes when people come together, fall in love, or have the potential to fall in love and they come from different relationship back grounds.

I think this is also a mono thing too, but I have only witnessed it in the poly world and this is a poly forum sooooo.... needless to say, if anyone knows about how mono's deal with it, it might be helpful.

It seems that there are those who are doing the merged with other people thing in terms of kids, marriage/long term relationship commitment, finances and those that are not merged with anyone in this way yet, or have and are not now, or don't intend to be.

What seems to happen when two people meet that are on either end of the spectrum is that the one that has merged with someone or others has a hard time relating to the one that isn't and visa versa. Sometimes the one that is merged understands what is like to be un-merged and sometimes the one that is un-merged understands what it is like to be merged. It depends on the scenario.

It seems that new relationships such as these cause a lot of stress over and above ones that are in relationships that are either two people in a merged situation or not.

I have been trying to think what to say to a partner when you get together with them to help them understand what I need.... not that I am starting a relationship as such, but just as a way of understanding both sides and perhaps being able to offer some support and advice to those that are going through this... I find myself witnessing this often in terms of age differences in our community and life stage differences.

So far I have come up with telling a prospective partner (because I am, in fact, a merged person. So i am speaking for myself) that they need to know that my first responsibility is towards my child. I need them to know that and support that. It is my responsibility to raise a child that is not only tolerant of mummies time doing her own thing, but also that mummy is always there for him if he needs it. That is a tricky balance and I would need a partner to not only understand that, but be able to support me in that and let me know that I should not feel guilty about that responsibility or in anyway concerned for them in the moment that I need to cancel because of my child.

I would need some level of understanding about this around my husband also. I am not able to take off for a fun weekend on our money without consulting him and balancing it out somewhere else. Not only financially but emotionally... I need to be present in our relationship first and foremost. I don't have the luxury of being lost in NRE at the drop of a hat, it needs to be curbed and guided into the moments that I am with my love. Someone who is not merged would have to understand and know that and not make me feel pressured or guilty for not being available 24-7 to spend all day in bed smooching.... or the like

So, I guess I would ask of a partner to be graciously considerate and sometimes cautiously invested (for their own good and therefore mine, at least for a time). I would ask them to not expect to be the center of attention in my world all the time, but at times that we can capture and plan. I would ask them to be grateful that they are a part of my life and allow me to be grateful that I am a part of theirs... I would ask them to be humble and to have faith that I care about them, respect their needs, will be their as much and as often as I can and that what will be will be. Faith that I do what I can out of love for them and others in my life that I am merged with.

Really it comes down to a lot of faith. Having faith being the ability to trust blindly without knowing what is going on all the time, having no control and not knowing what the future will hold.

I purposely did not use primary and secondary roles in this as I feel as if I am done defining at this point in our well established family of loving loves... that was good at the beginning in order to make sure that my child was taken care of first...and that my marriage was going forward into poly with some stability, but now I feel as if I have moved beyond needing a defined term and am on to the nitty-gritty of what it is really all about in terms of requests of those I love or would bring into my life to love... what I am really asking of them in essence.

any thoughts on this?
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Last edited by redpepper; 06-11-2010 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:45 AM
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Great post Lilo I think the biggest hurdle is the concept of truly understanding something you have not lived. This isn't age dependant, it is life path and circumstance dependant.
I can't understand what it is like to have a sibling or parent die, because I have not experienced it for myself. I have experienced this through friends but it has hardly the impact....they were not my parents.

So to look at things that require special care, such as your son, it is easier for me to prioritize his welfare over my time with you because I have the experience of raising a child as well. My bond is not the same as yours because no matter how close I get, I will never have the experience of giving birth to him. He did not come out of my body..plain and simple, no theorizing what that is like or how unique the bond is I figure.

Now there are other things that I don't understand such as actually loving more than one intimate partner. In this case I have to rely on faith that you do and be respectful of your needs in this area. I support you in your other relationships and have to trust in what you tell me because I have not experienced it for myself.

People should avoid being selfish in areas especially when the needs of their partners come from places they don't understand in their.

If partners cannot work around these concepts and find ways to support each other than the relationships will probably be far less rewarding and sustainable than they could have been.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
It seems that there are those who have are doing the merged with other people thing in terms of kids, marriage/long term relationship commitment, finances and those that are not merged with anyone in this way yet, or have and are not now, or don't intend to be.
I don't think I understand what you're getting at. Dating someone with kids is a completely different experience than dating someone who doesn't have them.

Dating someone who is involved in a long-term serious relationship is a completely different experience than dating someone who doesn't have one.

But I don't think that these two things have a lot in common, and I don't have any idea what they might have to do with finances.

I mean, I've dated a single mother, I've dated someone with a long-term primary, and I've mingled my finances with a partner. But sharing a bank account was an entirely different experience than trying to co-parent.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
What seems to happen when two people meet that are on either end of the spectrum is that the one that has merged with someone or others has a hard time relating to the one that isn't and visa versa. Sometimes the one that is merged understands what is like to be un-merged and sometimes the one that is un-merged understands what it is like to be merged. It depends on the scenario.
I like your entire post. I find it thought provoking and valid.
I am one of the un-merged people by choice. I have been merged before and I am choosing to be un-merged at this time of my life. Because of my past experiences though, I understand my merged partner.

I choose to be un-merged because I value my automony first and foremost and because of that, my partners will not have to deal with my unrealistic demands of their time.

It's possible that an un-merged person who is demanding more time or attention ect. from a partner that is merged with someone else or merged with a family- is a person who is actually desiring to be merged and maybe doesn't realize it yet.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:30 AM
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It's possible that an un-merged person who is demanding more time or attention ect. from a partner that is merged with someone else or merged with a family- is a person who is actually desiring to be merged and maybe doesn't realize it yet.
Yes, I like your point! Food for thought. Perhaps you are right.

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I don't think I understand what you're getting at. Dating someone with kids is a completely different experience than dating someone who doesn't have them.

Dating someone who is involved in a long-term serious relationship is a completely different experience than dating someone who doesn't have one.

But I don't think that these two things have a lot in common, and I don't have any idea what they might have to do with finances.

I mean, I've dated a single mother, I've dated someone with a long-term primary, and I've mingled my finances with a partner. But sharing a bank account was an entirely different experience than trying to co-parent.
Merged would mean someone that has a partner that they are committed to in a marriage or the like, has kids and/or joint bank accounts with someone... owns property that they both are responsible for... that kind of thing. Is that more clear?
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:59 PM
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Hey RP,

I think this is a general skill, outlook, attitude about about intersecting with people in general. Although it has specific applicability to relationships (your context), it has a lot of crossover into a variety of parts of life.
When we intersect with people, not many of them are existing in a vacuum. They have some existing life (hopefully) at the moment and there's going to be some challenge to figure out where our place might fit into that.

I think if your attitude in general is that you are going to react with other people and sweep them along into your world, your life, your culture then there's going to be difficulties. The important part at first is learning about each other - what our various worlds look like. Then we can decide how they might mix and how they might conflict.

Relationship-wise, I think anyone who is 'single' is going to have more difficulty coming to grips with this as it's not their current mode. If they have some experience from the past you would hope they might be able to 'switch gears' more quickly as they've been there. They just need a reminder of what it was like. But if they have little or no relationship - or as you term it - "merged" experience, then there's going to be some learning curve and they have to be up for it.

Thoughts at first anyway............

GS
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:46 PM
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I like what you are saying GS, I spoke with Nerdiat about this this morning and he said something along the same lines. I encouraged him to write about it on here as he has a book to add along these lines and lots of insight as a result of reading it. We shall see.

I occurred to me that there is also the added component of asking that an un-merged person, or anyone coming into my life for that matter, take care of their own lives and be independent. When an un-merged person is able to do that, then the attitude that comes along with it suits the situation where they could get along well in a relationship with someone that is merged.

I am looking for ways of talking about this with someone who is un-merged also. It seems to be so difficult to express/communicate with someone who doesn't fully grasp what it means to be merged.
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:59 PM
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......................
I am looking for ways of talking about this with someone who is un-merged also. It seems to be so difficult to express/communicate with someone who doesn't fully grasp what it means to be merged.
Yea - I understand - but yet I don't !

If put in the framework I attempted, everyone is "merged" from birth in some form!

But if I'm understanding your quandary (?) you are trying to establish some rapport with some person - maybe young & inexperienced (?) and say.....accustomed to just a 'dating' approach to relationships. And to bridge such a gap really is an educational effort.

It's almost like a cultural barrier, where the day-to-day life, language and priorities are so foreign to them that you can waste enormous amounts of time and effort just getting simple concepts across.

And at least 'I' don't know any shorcuts for that !
Trying - or having - to explain how an existing commitment to a relationship(s), children, finances, a job etc put unavoidable demands on your time, mental energy etc, is asking a lot. But in my mind, if they are SINCERELY interested, the burden is on them. Someday they will be there too so may as well start the process sooner rather than later.

But again, I don't really see this a vastly different - except maybe in degree - to learning about anyone you interact with. The genuine desire has to be there. And in reality, there are going to be people whose lives seem SOOOOO complex and full already that you get a sense that there really isn't room for you to fit in - at least in the role you see yourself in.

As we talk about a lot, there are existing priorities and it would be unfair and unrealistic to expect those priorities to just evaporate.

So you kiss, hug.........and let it go.

Last edited by GroundedSpirit; 06-12-2010 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:41 AM
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Merged would mean someone that has a partner that they are committed to in a marriage or the like, has kids and/or joint bank accounts with someone... owns property that they both are responsible for... that kind of thing. Is that more clear?
I guess that I just don't see these things as having a lot in common.

Let me put it this way; if I met someone now who was married, had joint finances and owned property with someone else, that would have very little impact on my decision to date them. If they had kids, however, that would have a huge impact on my decision. It's just a totally different experience.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:22 PM
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RP, I feel like I totally understand what you're getting at by the idea of 'merging', which I think is largely due to my tagging along on the threads about primary/secondary labels for the past few months. I'm appreciative of and interested in your choice not to use those labels here and get at underlying issues-- and I think referencing back to the shorthand of 'primary' might make some of this discussion more straight forward.

I'd like to elaborate a bit on other kinds of merging that happen no matter the relationships people have... There are people who are married to their jobs, and that commitment is one that a partner needs to take on willingly-- marrying an ER surgeon or a firefighter means that your spouse is going to need to leave abruptly often, albeit with the best of reasons, and you both have to find ways to make that work within the relationship. My job is nowhere near that strenuous, and between work and the commute I'm still not home from 7am to 7pm, five days a week. How do we make time for each other?

Then there's people with passionate hobbies: someone who has no interest in sports dating an enthusiast needs to figure out how to cope with it, and they both need to make decisions about how to fairly negotiate their time together. Same goes for historical reenactors, shoe moguls, and craft enthusiasts... Then there's people who insist on alone time, or on having three date nights a week with other people , or...

In the end, I feel like it all comes down to time management and prioritizing. "This weekend, I'm going to a LARP, and next weekend I'm with my other boyfriend, so on Tuesday and Thursday you and I should go out for coffee." We all juggle it, and we find ways to make it work.
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