Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:13 AM
River's Avatar
River River is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NM, USA
Posts: 1,894
Default

Empathizing in a personal way here.... I haven't even held hands yet with my FarawaySweetie, nor kissed her, nor gazed into her eyes. What I have done is exchanged a lot of emails--and I mean a LOT. And talked long hours on the phone. So I understand the challenge of patience and waiting. Only, in my case, patience and waiting are about (a) she's very recently divorced and still grieving the end of that relationship (b) she lives twelve hundred miles from me, and I from her.

Eight months? Good grief, I'd pull my hair out after a certain duration.

Your gal's husband sounds a bit too freaked out about his gal's loving another man, if you ask me. Will he EVER allow her and you the freedom to love whom you love without constraint? Consider this question carefully.
__________________
bi, partnered, available

River's Blog
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:06 AM
River's Avatar
River River is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NM, USA
Posts: 1,894
Default

By the way, this story exemplifies why I'd never, ever, ever want to be anyone's "secondary". If I am in love with someone who is in love with me, I'd want -- and insist upon -- equal status with my other Sweet's partner/s. Why should one of them get to decide how I can be with my love, without my equal participation in that decision?

Some folks will insist that "secondaries" are not that, exactly. But look around at how they behave and decide for yourself.

"Secondary" is almost always a ranking system. That's fine for those who want to come in second class, but not me.
__________________
bi, partnered, available

River's Blog
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:39 AM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,233
Default

Hey now, River. To me, "secondary" is a very useful term in that it describes a real and prevalent type of relationship. We can be equal in love and in respect but we can't always play the same roles in each other's lives. Maybe we as a community could find a term with less baggage, but we need some way to talk about the fact that we have different levels of entanglement in each other's lives. Different types of partnerships. To me, secondary means a relationship where you're serious and an important part of each other's lives but probably not formally committed and not making life decisions in a building-our-lives-as-a-unit type way.

Are you really saying you'd never be in such a relationship? Or that we shouldn't have a way to talk about the issues and questions that naturally come with such a relationship?

Or am I completely misunderstanding the word?

This may be a topic for the General Discussion board...
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:41 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,288
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
This may be a topic for the General Discussion board...
Big thread already :
Primary/Secondary: Merged Threads, General Discussion / Debate
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:07 AM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,233
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Thanks, lady... reading now, not sure why I haven't before...
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:04 AM
MorningTwilight MorningTwilight is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 146
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsoul View Post
This is great advice. But I lack the tools to do so. What do I say?

I have been understanding--you don't turn a traditional monogamous marriage of 21 years into an open one overnight. This has been driven by my nature to be compassionate, and to see things from everyone's point of view. But also, I must admit, partly out of fear. I didn't want to upset her husband and jeopardize the relationship and any potential forward progress.
It sounds like you've been causing yourself a LOT of hurt in the process. I admire you for your self-control and for your consideration, but at this point, what do you really have with her that you would lose? Yeah, if they shut you down, it would hurt for awhile, but that might, in the long run, be better than the torment you are currently experiencing.

And, depending upon how you voice your concerns, you might not get shut down. No one is born with the ability to read minds--it is very possible that the husband does not know how you are suffering, and will be taken quite aback when he realizes just how hard you have worked to take care of his concerns. He also might not, but you will never know if you do not try.

If you do not try, the best you're going to get for awhile is no more than what you have right now. Ask for what you want--the worst that will happen is that you do not get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kidsoul
Another thing, I'm not sure she fully understood just how painful this has been for me until now. How do I convey these sentiments without hurling (e.g. LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO ME!!) emotional slings? I guess in some ways, you can't. But I do want to avoid "twisting the knife" as it were, if that's possible. Anyone have advice on this?
See, it's that mind-reading thing again. You cannot be certain that people know what you are feeling unless you tell them. The other side of that coin is that you cannot be certain that you know what others are feeling unless they tell you. This may require that you ask them.

There is a lot out there in the big bad internet about communication and polyamory (from "I" language to minimizing or avoiding conflicts, even when talking about difficult subjects). It might not hurt to ask some questions and let husband and wife talk for awhile, ask some more questions, and so on, until you believe you understand where their heads and hearts are at. Then it's your turn, and after they've seen that you're willing to take the time to listen, they may be more receptive to your words.

Practice what you want to ask, and what you want to say. Rehearse it. Maybe even make an outline. Remember H.A.L.T.--do not have a deep conversation that may involve having to stand up for yourself when any of the participants are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired (H.A.L.T.). Everyone should be fed, rested, calm, and in their happy place, if possible. That helps to avoid throwing dry kindling onto a fire, so to speak.

Here's an example of how it might go (salt to taste):

"I know you've been going through a lot right now, and I've tried very hard to stay out of the way and not push. However, I am having a very hard time right now with the restrictions that are on the relationship I have with X. I care very deeply for her, and have been unable to adequately express affection for her for a very long time now. Can we, together, consider moving the boundaries?"

Make sure, if what you get is a much smaller step than you would like (and it probably will be), that you have an agreement to have this discussion again in a few weeks or at most two months. Don't let yourself get rolled here--you may have to do some nudging to keep the relationship moving. If you get a lot of pushback, or a lot of anger, you may need--for your own sake, to walk away from this situation.

DO read the "Secondary Bill of Rights" at the xeromag website. You MUST be given consideration as part of the secondary relationship to negotiate what that relationship will look like; what the boundaries are, what the schedule is like, etc. If they simply want to impose their view upon you, you are going to be an unhappy, frustrated, resentful, hurt fellow.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:10 PM
River's Avatar
River River is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NM, USA
Posts: 1,894
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
To me, secondary means a relationship where you're serious and an important part of each other's lives but probably not formally committed and not making life decisions in a building-our-lives-as-a-unit type way.

Are you really saying you'd never be in such a relationship? Or that we shouldn't have a way to talk about the issues and questions that naturally come with such a relationship?
Note the fact that I personalized my comment by saying I, personally, would never wish to be anyone's "secondary," so defined. Not if I'm in love with them, I'd not. I'd be hurt and offended if someone I loved -- am in love with -- called me "secondary". It's the word I despise. But I'd despise it only if directed at me. And maybe I'd feel compassion toward another who has had it directed at them. But I'm not going so far as to say that the word is morally wrong. If all persons invloved are happy with that word, great. Let them have it.


EDIT:

Let's say X is my Dear Sweetheart-lover-partner, and she meets another man and they decide to live together, with me not sharing a house with them. That would be FINE with me! Let's say they share finances, share in important decisions about livlihood, location, etc.... All of that would be fine with me. I'd love her no less and feel no less loved. But if she described me as her "secondary" to this other man, and I was fully in love with her and partnered..., I'd have my heart utterly broken and would have to call it all off with her. It's the concept and word that would sting me to my core and break my heart. So I guess I'm saying that I'm only interested in "primary" relationships. However, the term "primary" is redundant and meaningless to me, because I'd never consider entering a loverly relationship as a "secondary".

So, any Sweetie of mine, even if we don't live together, must think of me and treat me as an equal to any and all of her other loves. Otherwise, forget it!
__________________
bi, partnered, available

River's Blog

Last edited by River; 08-26-2011 at 05:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:00 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,288
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
. . . any Sweetie of mine, even if we don't live together, must think of me and treat me as an equal to any and all of her other loves. Otherwise, forget it!
That's how I would want it, too!
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:49 PM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,233
Default

When we talk about relationships being equal, my question is equal how? I think that for a partner that's less involved on a day to day basis it makes sense (and is, in fact, critical to one's emotional health) to seek equal status as a person and equal respect BUT that in many (most?) poly situations that does not necessarily mean that it will make sense to go for equal status as a partner. For things like major decision making, vacations, family events, etcetcetc it may just never be feasible to treat everyone equally. Plus, how could all love be equal? That may be the goal, or at the very least it can be a possibility for the future, but how likely is it that, say, a relationship of six months will be equal in depth and connection to a relationship of 12 years?

Yet another scenario. What if your lover was married with young kids. You and the spouse both get dream jobs in different countries, whereas your lover doesn't care about their job. Would you really demand that there be an equal chance that your lover move to follow you, versus moving to follow the other parent of their children? Again, my point is that we can be equal in love and respect but some preexisting relationships are going to be treated differently than any new relationship, at least for a significant amount of time or until significant blending of life circumstances occurs.

I recognize that you are talking about what's right for you, and I would never try to tell you what you should want or accept... I'm not trying to be combative here, just trying to feel out these issues. Because the thing is, we can choose to talk about things using the words primary/secondary or not, but the issues remain.

Kidsoul, apologies again for the threadjack, hopefully you're at least finding this mildly interesting even though it may not be helping you in your immediate situation.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:08 PM
AnnabelMore's Avatar
AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,233
Default

Wow! I just read a great article that elucidates my thoughts on this issue well, and that may also be of use to your thinking about things, Kidsoul!

http://www.polyfamilies.com/polysecondary.html
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boundary negotiation, communication skills, mono/poly, new to poly, secondary, vee

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:56 PM.