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  #141  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:07 PM
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When you were talking to them you did it out of a place of concern for them and not out of a place of wanting to take revenge on your ex. I also think that you told them because YOU would have appreciated your friends telling you if someone you were dating has issues commuincating. Did you see them this weekend? Is that what has brought this back up for you? If the friendship is meant to be they will come around. You made the best desision you could with the information you had available to you at the time.

As for your ex talking about you and rolling his eyes behiend your back, that's part of the reason he's an ex. He's the type of person who will do that. Try not to take it too much to heart. Does it matter what he thinks anyway? You're a good, caring person with tons of people around you who love and respect you. If he doesn't, so what, that's his loss.
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  #142  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:38 PM
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Thanks sweets. Actually quite the contrary, its the first time I am able to think about it without feeling anything. That's a good sign. I did have good intentions, but that doesn't mean it was the right choice. I doubt I will do that again.

Most people aren't able to see that someone might be good intentioned and patiently say they are thankful, take the info away and form their own opinion without judgement of anyone and come out on the otherside safely and without change. Really, if there is to be judgement and distruction of a relationship, I would rather it be directed away from me. I seemed to of put a target on myself when I allowed myself to be that vulnerable in assuming they would appreciate my thoughts and info. Next time I will let people know I dated someone and that's it. If they have questions, they can come and ask. This time I directed any negative stuff towards me. I imagine it created a focal point of their negativity instead of really investigating this guy. Yup, not doing that again.
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  #143  
Old 06-27-2011, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClosetPoly View Post
I took a giant leap of faith this morning, trusting myself for the first time in my life.

Last night, we had a friend over and we talked a lot about the situation. He is very monogamous, like me, and in a way argued my case to my partner. I think this really helped her open up more and say things she wouldn't have, out of fear of hurting me more. I learned a few new things, and for the first time in this I saw a flicker of honesty on her face when she told me that I control her relationship with her boyfriend. I have set rules, they have obliged, I have moved them, they have gratiously accepted, been thankful and moved on. The flicker of honesty on her face though, showed how much this hurts her.
This morning, I had a dream where I was drowning in a river (my own metaphors coming back to haunt me) and she was standing on the bank. I reached out for help, but all I heard her saying was "you control this relationship", and I sank deeper. Now, I'm not saying this was a particularly spiritual moment, but I woke up feeling dishonest and cruel. How can I move forward when I have one foot on the brake, and one on the accelerator, both stomping like there's no tomorrow?
The last thing I read on the forum yesterday was the quote "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's yours, if not, it never was.".
This morning I told my partner I'm setting her free. No rules, no boundaries but her own, she is free to be what she is. I have my own boundaries, and will respect them. Those who have read my earlier ramblings might know the setting of our relationship, the upside-down'ness of it, where my partner experienced deep and true love with him before they even got to touch or kiss each other. In that sense, the scary and truly dangerous part is already out in the open, their deep love. I do however see that I have kept a tether on the bird's leg, and this morning I cut that off. It was the scariest thing I've done so far, and at the same time it has really increased my peace inside, and made me even prouder of myself. I know that for every step from here on in, I can pat my own back, and it'll feel true. And every time my fantastic partner, and her amazing boyfriend says "thank you for giving us this", it'll be true and real, and I can take it to heart.

I know I have soooo much work ahead of me, and much pain, but I finally feel like I'm treating my partner as an equal, truly respecting her for what she is and finally treating myself as her equal. I can in time start expecting things and make demands, as can she. This is now hers, not mine. We had a really good 3some-day thursday, as I have mentioned in another post, and it made me feel hope. It made me want something more out of life.

Now, if anyone can invent an anti-NRE spray, I'll douse them both, so that we can move on. :-) I owe my life to this forum, the help I've received have been amazing, I cannot imagine what this would've been like without you people around me. Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClosetPoly View Post
by removing myself from that equation, I give her back control over her life. She's not controlled directly by me, but rather by how she feels about pushing her own boundaries, and balancing that against how much pain I might be in at that particular point in time.
This was posted in another thread today but I thought it was worth repeating here.

This story is like the door opening to freedom. Letting go like this and trusting, not letting fear and programming get in the way of our lives is really important to poly dynamics working. Its hard to get to for some, but so worth it. It changes everything. Nothing is ever the same after that and it only gets better.
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  #144  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:10 AM
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RP asked me to share the story of me and my mono's relationship as a potential lesson:

I'm the poly in a successful poly-mono relationship. I have personal association with other poly-mono relationships. Perhaps I was not applying a scientific level of data analysis to the global poly-mono pool, but I was aiming for reassurance that there are workable situations.

As for how it works, I believe the major factors are the people and the effort. Luckily, I have had many disastrous relationships to learn from, and I have always been analytical about things, so I likely have a higher than average (for normal folk but maybe just normal for poly folk) awareness about relationships.

The people aspect is pretty clear. Some people are hardwired. Some are hardwired straight, some gay. Some are hardwired poly, some mono. Guys out there should give up trying to "cure" lesbians, and ladies should not worry about (and are generally smart enough not to in the first place) converting gay men. That doesn't work, yes? Some folks are in the middle and may be predominantly one way or the other but can be swayed. The same goes for poly and mono nature.

The issue there is two hardwired mismatches. A mono wanting to fix a poly is trouble. A poly wanting to free a mono is trouble. Short term stuff might work, but friction causes pain in the long term. I'm not going to worry about trying to free a mono just like I'm not going to tell a lesbian or a homosexual man that they should try some variety. I also am not going to put myself in a position (again) where I'm with a mono who is going to want to fix me. Learning to recognize the difference and choose an applicable partner is definitely a skill, and sometimes we learn it only after we're in love.

My mono is awesome. I spent years dealing with depression and self-destruction, but even when I want to do bad things to me I'm positive when it comes to my mono. Having a positive attitude is important. Yep, she's an idiot sometimes. Sometimes she forgets to use her "out loud" voice when telling me important stuff. But overall we're good for each other. She is also not a hardwired mono. Let's call her a softwired mono, or maybe you'd say "mono-friendly." She's not likely to ever be poly herself in the full sense, but she understands and accepts the way I am. Yes, this is rare; it adds to her awesome. So I avoided the mistake of being with a hardwired mono (even though I am mono-friendly).

The next part is effort. Talk talk talk. Oh my god, poly folks talk so much I want to just strangle them sometimes. But communication is rule #1 (right? Maybe #2. I'm sure someone will speak up if it's not #1.). We talk about everything that any normal couple would or should talk about. We also talk about what's going on with me and others. I don't make the mistake of oversharing though, and she doesn't dig into details. Her personality (see part 1: people) is such that details are not needed. I've seen many folk get obsessed about the details to negative effect (does it matter who's what went where if you're happy with you what where as is? Whose is bigger or is tighter doesn't matter if everyone is happy. Any difference from my mono just makes me appreciate my mono's uniqueness.). We try our best to be proactive in our talking. No waiting for later, and we understand that we always share based on love and respect.

Beyond talk, you must have action. I make a point to translate any NRE or potential NRE that I feel for someone into energy that my mono receives. Thus, any relationship or potential that comes up causes her a direct benefit. Thinking about how delicious someone else adds to my own hunger for my mono. Beside the obvious benefit, this reassures her that she is and always will be a part of my life. Frankly, the influx of NRE reminds me that my first (think primary in a nonhierarchical way for ya'll pedantic folks) relationship also deserves wooing and fun. One of our simple rules is that when either of us comes home, the coming home person is responsible for seeking out the other and giving them a kiss. It's a simple thing, but it constantly reminds us to connect. Even when I give energy somewhere else, I always try to remind my mono how important and attractive she is. Too many times I've seen polys let NRE blind them to the lovely they have right there already. The NRE may get more E, but that no one gets left out in the cold.

Another success factor is selection. Along with NRE-blindness, I've seen polys make partner choices based on personal preference alone. When you're in a poly situation, you don't get to think only of yourself (IMHO). So when I'm looking at a potential partner (yeah for mono who gets that bonus energy!), part of what I'm evaluating is how that person would integrate with the existing situation. This doesn't mean moving in or group time necessarily. It's a recognition that we all react to personalities differently. Will this new person's personality affect me in a way that will negatively impact others? Is this situation likely to be stable or sane enough for all? And most importantly: is this someone that my mono (who knows me well) would be reasonably (maybe not perfectly but with some insight) able to understand why we're attracted? If the person doesn't get along, move on. If the situation is likely to be full of emo and crazy, move on. If my mono would look and her and think, "Wtf, dude!?" move on. When I make good choices that take me and my mono in consideration, then we're way less likely to raise the stress level greatly, and she's reminded that even her poly's mono is important.

That's how we work in a nutshell. I actually found out just this week that she had been to this site over a year ago to read and lurk. Last night I was telling her about a cute freckled woman that showed up on the radar (bonus energy) and asked why she was looking at poly sites. Her response, "It's how you are; I wanted to learn more." In retrospect, I felt like an idiot asking why she'd be doing research. Duh. She's very thorough about things that are important to her.

For the record, I've been in poly relationships (interspersed with mono ones) for over 16 years now. I finally gave up on trying to fit the mono mould and began self-identifying as poly (without intention of ever trying to be mono again) about five years ago. My mono and I have been together for about four and a half years, married one and a half with a six-month old son and two cats. I also like lasagna, freckles, and intelligence.

Last edited by sagency; 07-15-2011 at 04:22 AM.
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  #145  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:33 AM
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Default Sagency's Guide to a Less Screwed-Up Life: Question #1

Life question #1
Is this a level of crazy I'm willing to deal with?

Much of what we face in life is based on our choices. Our choices affect our environment. This is true for us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes the added complication of the crazy is worth it, sometimes it's not. Either way, if you're accepting crazy into your life, do so knowing that the choice is yours.

Example: I've had friends (and family) who were downright toxic to me. As long as I chose to be near those folk, my life was full of unnecessary drama and angst. Sometimes it's their habits that annoy me or incite me to bad things. Sometimes it's their own need for constant drama and angst that threatens my overall chill. Drama and angst was what I knew much of growing up, so I thought it was normal. I eventually learned I could choose to reduce drama and angst (collectively called "level of crazy"). By regulating how much crazy I choose around me, I find that I can be a much more stable person myself and can therefore be more resilient and helpful when the crazy comes looking for me anyway.
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  #146  
Old 07-15-2011, 01:33 AM
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Default Sagency's Guide to a Less Screwed-Up Life: Question #2

Life question #2
Is this a really question I want the answer to? (a.k.a. If there is no good answer, should I ask the question?)

Sometimes we seek things that do nothing but upset us when we would have been fine without ever asking. Humans are curious creatures. That curiosity isn't always helpful when it leads us to do things we know are hurtful. Yes, that hot pot will burn you--it's hot. Maybe it's best if we leave some things alone--maybe not forever, but maybe for right now is a good idea.

Example: The classic example is someone asking, "Do you love me?". There are two answers: yes and no. If the answer is "yes," why did you have to ask? Feeling insecure? Jealous? Needy? If the answer is "no," what now? Were you not happy without having to articulate the question? Did having an answer actually help? Can you not be mutually happy in the presence of someone else and not have to saddle it with potentially weighted words?

Example: For polys, "what did you do with X?" Some folks are fine with details. Some folks think about details and freak. Some need details to keep imaginations in check. We all learn over time what our comfort level is as far as detail goes. If you know that asking for details is realistically going to upset you, then perhaps you shouldn't. And if you know that a partner wants more or less detail, then perhaps you should set your communication to that level. Sometimes "Did you have fun?" "Yes, X send his/her regards." is plenty.
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  #147  
Old 07-15-2011, 04:02 PM
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Default When it finally all clicks in !

Here is a great clip that I find representative of the overwhelming feeling we get when a new paradigm finally clicks in - makes sense.........


Quote:
...................
but I wasn't open to him being poly then. I didn't even really know it was an option. So, I had fought them, and he gave her up for me. It's been tearing them both up, because they really do love one another. She completes a part of him that I can't and I complete a part of him that she can't. When he had us both last year, before I found out and ruined it, he was the happiest I had seen him in a long time. So, we will be talking to A. I will be the one to break the ice on that subject, so that she knows where everything stands. She and I have been rebuilding our friendship (I love her like a sister!!) for a few months now. I am actually EXTREMELY excited to talk to her. Even when they had their affair, she would always tell my hubby, "This can't ruin your marriage. You love your wife too much, she loves you too much, and I love you both too much." Oh, if I had only been wiser then!! I really can't wait to bring A in as a partner in the ultimate goal of happiness and love. I miss her and her kids so badly!!
We spend a lot of time on the board discussing the complications & struggles of moving towards poly understanding & living.

What I think we don't talk enough about is that elation we (if lucky) find when we finally "get there". I've borrowed the above snippet from a thread I was participating in that really illustrates how wonderful and releasing it is when we realize we CAN build something where everyone wins ! When we're all on the same page working towards the same goal and outcome. And how beautiful that feels.

I think for those who have 'gotten there' you know it's a feeling that's hard to describe.

I would encourage any of you who do understand that to contribute YOUR stories and feelings to this thread.

Thanks in advance to the OP who I borrowed from. I hope this was acceptable because as I say, stories like this are SO important for everyone to hear - especially those who question whether they can ever truly "get there".

The answer as you point out is a resounding YES !

GS
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  #148  
Old 08-30-2011, 06:22 PM
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After three years? There is no mono, there is no poly, there are just people with an idea of how to have relationships.... finding out what that relationship style is and seeing if it can work together, or readjusting the style of relationship you have with someone is what its all about I think.

To me there is a way I want to have relationships; open and honest in communication, partners that value integrity, mutual respect and consideration of others, caring and concern for the well being of others... etc. All these things are not mono or poly, they are the foundation of good relationships to me... I chose to have relationships with people, not with how they identify in terms of mono or poly.
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  #149  
Old 08-30-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Jealousy

I get asked often and people ask often here about how to deal with jealousy and how to help their partners through it. I wrote a PM to someone recently and wanted to pass on what I said here... I think we have talked of jealousy on this thread before, but I can't find it.... excuse me if this is a bit of a repeat.

Quote:
Walking through jealousy is all that can be done really.... It takes time, patience and a whole lot of consideration/empathy/compassion... from partners. Avoiding doesn't seem to make it go away and tends to prolong the process it seems.

Really jealousy is a culmination of many emotions that glob together and aim to confuse and make the person distraught. Sorting all of the emotions out and dealing with one at a time can be helpful. It seems that mostly jealousy is fear of loss and fear of change. There is also sometimes abandonment stuff in there for people also; not trusting that there will be enough time or love for them.

There is also sometimes a large component of realizing just how dependant one is on ones partner for some simple life things such as companionship. It seems that a partner that is feeling jealous and goes about finding others to spend time with, or spending time with themselves doing stuff they love, fair well once the jealous feelings pass. At some point its important to lesson the talking and getting about getting the jealous partner out to create a life that works by getting some of their needs met elsewhere or spreading out what they do to other people in their life.

Lastly there is a huge relief in jealousy sometimes if the person meets and gets to know the object of relationship desire that their partner is focussing on. Sometimes that is all it takes is to see that the big scary person that their partner is loving is just human and likely struggling with some stuff too.

It seems that setting boundaries, working together to pin point what the real issues are working on those, is the best bet to be able to walk through jealousy.
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  #150  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
After three years? There is no mono, there is no poly, there are just people with an idea of how to have relationships.... finding out what that relationship style is and seeing if it can work together, or readjusting the style of relationship you have with someone is what its all about I think.

To me there is a way I want to have relationships; open and honest in communication, partners that value integrity, mutual respect and consideration of others, caring and concern for the well being of others... etc. All these things are not mono or poly, they are the foundation of good relationships to me... I chose to have relationships with people, not with how they identify in terms of mono or poly.

Well said, sounds like the conclusion I have come to also. I read a lot of stories, & pretty much everything I can get my hands on about polyamory & relationships, (thus my long hours browsing the internet so much so that I really need to take a break or it will become an obsession. haha) But I also had a conversation about jealousy with a friend, Im just going to copy/paste that here:

I wouldn't say Every time a newer relationship experiences jealousy that is the End of it all, but it does take a certain amount of confidence and courage to make it over the top of the hill & to see beyond initial selfish reactions that a lot of people do not think is worth the effort.

Although my experience with jealousy is relatively small, I have experienced it a few times myself & as well as my partners feeling it. I think you describe the feeling perfectly as a "threat", since I believe that this "jealous" feeling that crops up in many ways is actually a natural phenomena, ie, the body signals a POSSIBLY threatening situation & allerts it to your brain. The brain interprets it as pain. Surly we can find ways to deal with our automatic responce with intelligence. I believe pain is not necessarily a bad thing, it helps protect us, and hones our skills for staying out of trouble.

In my case, I seldomly feel jealousy, but when I do, I usually deal with it fairly quickly because I am ready for it. I think that awareness is the first step in fixing any problem, so this has really encouraged me to get to know myself & what makes me tick. When I start feeling strange, I go to my room by myself & think about it. Then I talk about it with my partner. I usually feel better once he simply understands, but sometimes we work out what we can try to do differently.

I think perhaps in my past partner's experience, the jealous feelings stemmed from the fear that he was getting a raw deal, embarrasment, & that I did not love him as much as my other partner. This fear eventually led to our breakup since his solution was to try to gain more power/control over me.

With any relationship, there is the potential for painful feelings & good feelings. However, when you add more people/ more relationships (which by the way, grows exponentially) with polyamory, then you get even more variables squeezed into a smaller time window so that is why it may seem that polyamory is so fast paced, intense, and an emotional rollercoaster to some.
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