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Old 10-23-2017, 03:07 PM
tmw0602 tmw0602 is offline
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Default Is the poly experience different for married men vs. married women?

Hi all,

I'm very, very new to this and I've been spending a LOT of time back-reading posts on this forum and learning so much. I know experience is the best teacher, but I do better with new things when I've "done my research," so to speak, so I'm soaking up all your stories and sage advice.

One thing I came across that worries me, though, is a somewhat recurring theme that seems to indicate that married women may have a harder time finding men who want to be involved in a deeper way with someone who is poly. Outside sex is fine and easily found, but long-term relationships with deep connections seem harder. For men, however, it looks like there are any number of women who are willing to "go deep" with someone who is already attached, so males in poly relationships don't struggle as much to find girlfriends (as opposed to just sex partners).

I'm generalizing, of course, but this has popped up a few times in many different threads.

Additionally, I went to see a popular comedian recently who joked about how "no man wants a married a woman! Oh, he'll fuck a married woman. But he don't want to HAVE her!" This was funny, actually, in context, but as the female in a relationship that is just on the brink of becoming poly, when I reflected on it later, it scared the shit out of me.

Not to mention, I did have an interest in someone who was also interested in me. He is involved with someone else, has a child with her, wants to get married someday (but not to her, necessarily) and isn't interested in being poly. We never consummated, but we had lots of discussions about our mutual interest in one another, many of them centering around the idea that I didn't want to cheat on my husband, but if/when we ever opened our relationship up, he would be the one I would date. But when I recently told him that my husband and I actually started moving toward poly, he backed away and said that he is in an unhappy relationship and he feels like he only has two options: leave her and be with me (which he wants to do) but then he'd end up "by himself" essentially, because this would "never go anywhere," or be anything more than what it is now (i.e. I would never be his wife). Or, he can try to work on the relationship he's in, since she is the mother of his child, in which case he doesn't want to "have feelings for me," while he's trying to do that. BUT... when I asked him if he would be OK with us having a purely sexual relationship -- without feelings or deeper attachment -- he said, of course, that he would. And I was crestfallen. Still am. I really liked him, but I am not interested in being someone's fuck buddy.

This seems to confirm what I've been picking up on in these threads and elsewhere: It's maybe not impossible for women to find loving partners outside of their primary relationships, but it seems like it will be much harder for me than for my husband!

Would you all care to tell me what your experiences have been? And how you've dealt with it? Do men have an easier go at poly than women? Anything to be done about it? HALP! :-)

NOTE: I am speaking from a hetero perspective, because that is my preference. I imagine this theory might play out differently if applied to other kinds of relationships, but I honestly have no idea!
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:33 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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There are several women here who are in or have been in long term relationships with more than one man.

For example I have been polyandrous for 5 years. Before that I had other long term partners beside my original husband. My experience has been quite the opposite of what you have seen. I have had no shortage of long term potential partners. I am a heterosexual female who is 43.

In my experiences men have it harder. Many women want the relationship escalator that most married poly men cannot provide.
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Old 10-23-2017, 05:35 PM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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IMO, to some varying degree males are indoctrinated to be the center of attention, & to have other provide for them at least in part. I attended college with guys who went home every weekend, packing along their soiled laundry so Mom (or occasionally Sis) could do the washing-up. I've seen grown males who had no problem with laundry or cooking or housekeeping when bachelors, & suddenly forgot every last bit the moment a woman moved in.

Some of us were raised to be autonomous. I don't feel it's coincidental that I had minimal problems "learning to share my women" -- ugh, there's so MUCH wrong with that sentence but it DOES sum up the way in which much of the outside world sees polyamory.

Anyway, if a guy became interested in one of my partners, I was providing an example for how she expected him to behave. Some of my intimates (two I'm specifically aware of) ended budding relationships because the guy made "cowboy" statements & then repeated the error.

I guess I've been fortunate that the women in my life have almost entirely not been interested in escalator relating.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:10 PM
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vinsanity0 vinsanity0 is offline
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Being a man, I've obviously run into more women who had a problem with me being married. Also, for some reason, married men are assumed to be cheating on their wives.

My wife did run into a few men who didn't take the relationship seriously because she was married. One even texted her that he was looking for a wife...and this was before they ever went out on a date.

My conclusion is that it's just hard to find people who are truly poly on a basic level. As I move forward with my life I will be acting as solo poly. My main concern is that telling the first woman I date that I am poly but currently single may send the wrong message. Like I might be in the market for a mono relationship and she just might be the woman to do it.
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:10 PM
tmw0602 tmw0602 is offline
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Default Escalator?

Could someone explain the "escalator" concept? It sounds like it means interest in moving a relationship forward toward something more serious or deeper, but want to make sure I'm understanding the lingo.

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:06 PM
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Dagferi Dagferi is offline
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The escalator usually means legal marriage, children, owning property together, going on long vacations, making medical decisions and etc.

A lot of married poly people cannot offer some or even all these things to a partner.

I am unusual in that I do own property with Murf and seperate property with Butch. I actually have two places I consider home and split my time accordingly. I go on vactions with both. Spend holidays seperately with both. Both are in my will. Both have medical power of attorney. Both are included in any big events or decisions I make.
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Murf my monogamous second husband has been with me since May of 2012.
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:42 AM
icesong icesong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmw0602 View Post
Could someone explain the "escalator" concept? It sounds like it means interest in moving a relationship forward toward something more serious or deeper, but want to make sure I'm understanding the lingo.

Thanks!
Sort of - it's also all the social expectations that are built around "being a couple" - like, you can have an emotionally deep relationship without all the markers of "the escalator". I highly recommend Aggie's writings on this - https://offescalator.com/what-escalator/
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:16 AM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Awhile back, I had a conversation with family members about recurring tropes in film & TV. I brought one up that had recently shown itself multiple times: a couple is dating, things are going really well, then one floats the potential for marriage, the other declines or just waves it off, & the relationship ends. Even (rarely) when it's "we're not really there yet," it's A Crushing Rejection. No discussion, no compromise. This strikes me as totally absurd, yet there it is, "the way things are."
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:03 PM
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Amarna Amarna is offline
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Pansexual married woman here, but I've only had heterosexual relationships so far in my dating life. I have two long term boyfriends and have generally had an easier time finding partners than any of my current partners have. Both my husband and one boyfriend are married, and the general assumption they seem to run into is that they are cheating, looking to leave their marriage eventually for the "right woman" and/or only able to offer something casual.

I've run into similar too but not nearly as often. I think it's more a people problem than one centered around a specific gender. Wrapped up in societal expectations of monogamy and Disney-style fantasies of what love and romance is supposed to look like.
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:18 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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In my limited experience, I have not observed women having a harder time finding long-term partners. Of the poly people I know in real life, married women have easily found long-term partners and married men have had difficulty finding lasting relationships -- despite this being what they are seeking.
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