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Old 08-23-2011, 11:51 PM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Hi,

I never know what to say in an intro.

I'm 48 and have been actively poly for 15 years, but in retrospect I've always been poly...even before I knew the word for it.

I am married to my primary partner and currently have three secondary partners (two women and one man), some long distance and some not. (Yes, I know some people don't like the primary/secondary labels, but they work for us. Please respect our choices here.) My husband currently has one long distance secondary partner. I've had a number of secondary relationships over the years, some more successful than others.

I'm here right now because I just had a relatively new relationship end because my partner's wife decided that she couldn't handle him being poly after all. We had fallen deeply in love and I am really hurting right now. I guess I just need a place to talk to other poly folks about it. My husband, girlfriends, and boyfriend are supportive, but my non-poly friends just don't get it.

Thanks for listening. I hope to be a good, contributing member of the forum as well as receiving support and good advice.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:07 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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i have no problem with primary/secondary labels as long as the people that are involved have no problem with them. I use them myself as I find convenient. That said, I can tell you've been reading on the forums already since you know this is such a hot topic and are expecting people to judge you. So allow me to judge you first. I think it's ok.

(This one goes out to all the people who think i'm a narrow-minded ass.)
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:18 AM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Not so much that I've been reading and finding the primary/secondary thing here...I've just been around long enough to know that some people take extreme exception to the terms. Which has always struck me as counterproductive for a group hoping for tolerance from other groups who don't get what we're about...

Not so sure about your sig line, though. I have a decade and a half's worth of experience and it couldn't keep me safe from my current heartache.

Then again, Garth Brook's "Standing Outside the Fire" is pretty much my theme song. I'm never safe.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:10 AM
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River River is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
....That said, I can tell you've been reading on the forums already since you know this is such a hot topic and are expecting people to judge you. So allow me to judge you first. I think it's ok.

(This one goes out to all the people who think i'm a narrow-minded ass.)
Okay, since I've been one to talk down about the terms "primary" and "secondary," let me say here that I'm fine with other people using these terms, if they wish. I think we can come up with better terms, perhaps, which serve the purpose without seeming to rank people in loveliness -- which can seem to be implied by the term (and, no, it need not imply that).

I think all real love is wonderful, glorious, precious and beautiful. And I do understand that we can love some people beyond those we choose as full-on life partners, and all that. I'm personally working with/through these questions and issues -- and especially since meeting a very sweet man, recently, whom I could probably "fall for" even though I know my plate is full when it comes to full-on partnership loves (With probability accounted for).
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:19 AM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Primary and secondary aren't rankings of "loveliness" to me. They are rankings of priority. My primary partner, my husband is my first priority. If push comes to shove, if all of my partners were to have crises at the same time, my responsibility is to my primary partner first. My secondary partners all come before my friends, who come before my acquaintances. We all make these types of choices and rankings in our lives. Why can't we acknowledge that?
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:00 AM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Hey, Julia, if it works for you, that's great.

Getting back to your original post, I am sorry to hear that your newer love broke it off. Breakups suck, but I think especially when the person breaking up is doing it to please someone else. Then you're left with the feeling of "if only..." and wondering how it could have worked. This was my biggest concern when I started a relationship with Burnsy, a married poly guy. I wanted to make sure that any decisions about us were based on us and not his relationship with his wife. I wound up ending it because I realized he wasn't really into having a gf as wholeheartedly as his wife was into having bf's. Still, I was saddened about letting that go.

I have to say, though, without criticizing, that having primary/secondary designations surely play a part in these kinds of breakups. Technically, I would have always been seen by Burnsy as a secondary, although I'm a solo person and do not view my relationships in that way. I look at all my relationship as equally sacred and important to me. I thought it didn't matter how a partner designated me in their lives, but now I know it does matter. So I avoid the married guys now, unless they have a more egalitarian approach, because I don't ever want to be considered secondary. No matter how much I wanted our relationship judged and managed by us on our terms, since Burnsy's wife was his primary, I could always at any time be sacrificed (or "dropped like a hot potato") in deference to their marriage. I always feel that, when someone I'm with is kind of holding back from investing their heart fully into what we've got, I am being dissed and treated as inconsequential. That's just what comes up for me.

Perhaps your relationship that just ended could have been fought for, if you had not been seen by him as less of a priority to him than his wife. Just a guess. I know that couples who have been together a long time and then open up their marriage want to do everything they can to preserve their partnership, but I don't think it's necessary to make others less of a priority in order to do that. I believe one can nurture a married partnership while still seeing others as equally important. But I embraced poly after my marriage ended, so I don't know, but it's a hope I have that people can do it that way. I'm just rambling now, and I hope you don't think I'm criticizing your choice to have primary/secondary designations in your life. I know lots of peeps here do, and it must work for them, but I'm not sure I could ever reconcile myself with being a secondary.

In any event, sorry to hear about the loss of your relationship. I guess he was someone in addition to the three secondaries you mentioned? Was he local or long-distance? Well, my remedy for break-ups is sometimes getting drunk, but other times it's a nice warm bubble-bath and some ice cream. I highly recommend! (the bubbles and ice cream, not getting drunk)

And welcome!
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-24-2011 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:24 AM
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JuliaGay JuliaGay is offline
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Hi, Cindie,

You're probably right that if we hadn't been secondaries that his wife wouldn't have been able to veto. But that doesn't mean I think using these designations for prioritizing is wrong. So we will have to agree to disagree.

Thank you for your support. I have moments when I'm mostly okay and moments when I fall apart. I know that'll last for a while and then things will get better slowly. And yes, this was in addition to my other three. Since I'm a snowbird, I live half the year in Tacoma and half in Tucson. The man who just broke up with me is in Tacoma. My girlfriends are in Tucson. My other man is in Texas. (What is it with me and T's?)

I believe that most of the problem was that he didn't know how to temper his NRE and that drove her nuts. He thinks she will eventually come around. We'll see. It'll get sorted out, this lifetime or the next....

Julie
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:28 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaGay View Post
I live half the year in Tacoma and half in Tucson. The man who just broke up with me is in Tacoma. My girlfriends are in Tucson. My other man is in Texas. (What is it with me and T's?)

And I been from Tucson to Tucancary, Tahathapi to Tanapall...

Quote:
I believe that most of the problem was that he didn't know how to temper his NRE and that drove her nuts. He thinks she will eventually come around. We'll see. It'll get sorted out, this lifetime or the next....

Julie
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me: Mags, 58, living with:
miss pixi, 37, who is dating (NRE):
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