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Old 12-29-2010, 06:21 AM
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Default Understanding the psychology of monogamy and poly?

Hey all, I'm new here, and I have some questions and so forth.

I've been in a relationship for the last 9-10 months, with a sweet little woman who is into a lot of the things I am. Its been great, sort of.
I'm made it clear in the very beginning that poly was very important to me, and that I couldn't do monogamy. She said she was OK with that and had been in a poly relationship with another couple in the past, but wanted to build up our thing before we went there. Perfectly understandable.

Thing is, its been quite a while and she has basically done a 180. I've tried to talk to her about it, got a copy of the Ethical Slut, been patient, but I think it might be a lost cause

She can't seem to get the concept of sharing as something which does not diminish love. She seems to think that if I have another lover, she'll become number 2 and won't be as loved. She wants me all to herself, only her, no exceptions.
She has insulted numerous past lovers and friends of mine for being poly, calling them unhealthy psychologically damaged sluts who are incapable of love, when in fact, their all pretty well-adjusted happy people.
She has told me she pities me because the first long-term relationship I was in, in my late teens, started out poly and was great, but apparently it messed up my perception of how a loving relationship works. She has also spouted off about how "normal people" don't do poly and kinky relationships.

She has suggested that sluts have a void they need filled, but I am a whole person who is very happy with myself, and love to share myself with other people and brighten their day.
I am starting to think some people are mono because they have a void and the selfishly need to imprison another person in it because they haven't found wholeness...

I've been as patient as can be, and tried to argue with reasonable dialogue.

I don't expect to change her, or force her to see things my way. I know it doesn't work like that. I just want to understand. I suppose I hope I can reassure her and help her work through her issues (she's had some bad exes, among other things) like she has suggested she wants to do. At this point I just want to understand.

How is love a bad thing? How is building healthy relationships with friends and lovers, spreading joy and creative vibes, a bad thing? Why does one lover mean the exclusion of another? Why are people so insecure and selfish in love? Why do people thing poly means having loads of meaningless sex with people who don't care about you that you'll forget the next day?

The seeming lack of logic boggles me. Sorry for the for the giant rant, I just have a lot of points, some needing explaining, some just need ventilation.

Thanks in advance for any clarity, everyone.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:47 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
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Originally Posted by Lucidius View Post
How is love a bad thing? How is building healthy relationships with friends and lovers, spreading joy and creative vibes, a bad thing? Why does one lover mean the exclusion of another? Why are people so insecure and selfish in love? Why do people thing poly means having loads of meaningless sex with people who don't care about you that you'll forget the next day?
I've dealt with plenty of mono people that act like this.

Our time is finite, so time you spend with someone else other than her is taking time away from her. That is logical isn't it? She could see you going on a date with this other person as time you could have spent going on a date with her instead. Is it her being selfish or you being selfish? It's quite subjective really. One could ask why you don't want to spend every minute you have with her, and you answer would be something along the lines of "that's who I am" as if that is a logical answer that would convince anyone of your lifestyle.

Most mono women don't want to be in open relationships themselves and hence they won't be spending THEIR time romantically with others to balance the time you do. So if you want to convert them your best chance is a closed poly relationship and having them involved in it. More mono people are accepting of this in my experience, though it's still quite low as a percentage, maybe 15-25%. Given her past she would likely be one of them, you just have to frame it right and get her involved in the decisions. Good luck.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:50 AM
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Default Psychology of Security and Shame

Fundamentally, I have huge problems with people who choose to shame you into behaving according to their wishes versus truly trying to understand what you're doing and allow you to the freedom to choose. People shame - not only because it is something they learn from parents, teachers, religious figures, etc - but also because it works so effectively. Works effectively particularly in the sexual and relationship arena.

I won't go into what seems to be obvious manipulation - at least from the telling from your perspective.

Feeling secure once we have given into the emotional risks inherent in very close relationships can be surprisingly difficult. It may be easy to be agreeable to an unorthodox relationship up front when the emotional risk is low. Once you feel like your sense of emotional health is on the line because of the depth of connection with someone, pulling every trick one can possibly think of to avoid the possibility of losing someone becomes "reasonable."

Unfortunately, too many people don't have the solid sense of self that can prevent such desparation in the face of these kinds of concerns. Being able hurt and feel loss while always knowing where *you* are and that *you* will continue to be, is a seemingly lost art.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:54 AM
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She is in a different country for school at the moment so its not like we're losing time together any more then we would be.
I've suggested this too, to no avail, which I thought was hypocritical given that she had been the "3rd party" in a poly thing with a couple... she went as far as to say she would hate the other woman and never be friends.
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:57 AM
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MindfulAgony, I was worried it was manipulation... there is a pattern in the whole relationship which that fits.
Maybe thats the difference. I know I'm always going to be with me. Now how do you impart that concept to someone without being preachy? lol
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:59 AM
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She is in a different country for school at the moment so its not like we're losing time together any more then we would be.
I've suggested this too, to no avail, which I thought was hypocritical given that she had been the "3rd party" in a poly thing with a couple... she went as far as to say she would hate the other woman and never be friends.
If she can't accept who you are, she isn't someone worth being with at all... Then she won't have you at all. How will that make her feel? But it'll be her own fault for not opening her mind to it and accepting the way you feel.
She doesn't HAVE to be friends with your other partner. It would probably be healthier for her to open her mind to that too, but it's not like you would force your ways on her like she wants to with you.
I'd tell her it's fine that she doesn't want to do the poly thing again, but that you will. If she can't accept it, leave.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:00 AM
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I suppose I should mention that when she mentions being with another man or woman, usually in weaponized context to try and make me jealous, I am 100% ok with it. I've had lovers do that in the past and get extremely frustrated when I supported them.

Is it just an unbreachable psychological division?
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:01 AM
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MindfulAgony, I was worried it was manipulation... there is a pattern in the whole relationship which that fits.
Maybe thats the difference. I know I'm always going to be with me. Now how do you impart that concept to someone without being preachy? lol
You can't. This takes tons of self-reflection and guidance (therapist or the equivalent trained or insightful questioner) typically. My experience tells me that someone as you describe is getting too much of their own self-worth or self-esteem via the relationship. And, as a result, aren't going to respond effectively to your telling them that.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:16 AM
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I suppose I should mention that when she mentions being with another man or woman, usually in weaponized context to try and make me jealous, I am 100% ok with it. I've had lovers do that in the past and get extremely frustrated when I supported them.

Is it just an unbreachable psychological division?
I've had the same thing. I mentioned to an ex that I felt I needed someone else and explained as best I could as to why and what I felt. She didn't agree and asked "what if I got with other guys?"... I said, "yes, you should. It could help for you to understand perhaps?"... Well, that relationship didn't last long anyways. =/ Only one more relationship and split later [after explaining who I am again], I realised it was something I really needed to look on and learn more about myself. It seems like certainly an important thing to bring up before I go into any serious relationship again. I've told those I love and they seem supportive, but they don't exactly agree themselves.

It's unfortunate that people are brought up to think in these ways. I think poly is a lot about having an open mind as to what COULD happen. I may very well find one person I'm happy with forever, but I've not been in a relationship yet where something wasn't missing. Just so happens to be someone who could hold up the other side of my personality I need.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:57 AM
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Sorry, this lady doesn't sound all that emotionally stable. The name calling and insults is a huge red flag for me. When others I'm talking to start doing this, I stop listening (usually political or religous discussions) and I tend to tune their opinion out from then on. This is not comming from a place of logic, it is purely emotional.

Just my personal opinion, from your description, she said what you wanted to hear when you first started dating and is now trying to manipulate you to fit into her mold. The distance may be feeding her fears, or maybe this is just who she is. Either way, it doesn't sound like a healthy relationship, I suscpect that if it wasn't poly, it would be something else.
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