Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-07-2018, 06:48 AM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 1,724

IMO, there's certainly no "winner" from this impasse, but there are certainly paths to avoid anyone losing.

Individual therapy for panic attacks set off by (unnamed) "trauma" -- definitely.

Couple therapy to correct poor communication -- highly recommended.

If anyone in this situation is truly "poly"-- or ever was at all -- then everyone is going to have to get up to speed in how to not only speak but to listen. Otherwise, while it is/was an open marriage, it can't be polyamory.

We talk about "the poly bomb," but maybe there ought to be more discussion of using intermittent "mortar bursts" of overshare to undercut efforts at communication that is constant, forthcoming, honest, & self-revealing. Hit someone often enough (especially when they're emotionally vulnerable) with TMI, & maybe they'll eventually say something like "I really don't need to hear all this," which might be interpreted as "we aren't going to talk about it any more" -- creeping DADT.

I am puzzled at how often this pattern has appeared in recent years. Previous to 2000, I'd only seen it once in my extended social circle -- though it's long been "a thing" in swinging.

My concern with "taking a break from poly" is that it'll play out something like this:
  • the vetoer puts any non-primary relationship(s) on hold, & claiming reciprocity demands the vetoee break off all contact with any interesting others
  • the couple attends a handful of counseling sessions, reads a book or two, maybe takes a trip
  • now "fixed" (more from passage of time than learning), the vetoer decides it's okay to "try poly" again
  • but the vetoee isn't allowed to resume involvement with any previous interest, any such having become a "trigger" (what someone here dubbed "a messy person") & thus inherently undermining the vetoer's "healing"
  • the vetoee either has no veto power or isn't inclined to use it, maybe (again) to not restrict the vetoer's "healing"
  • there's the risk that this rationale will continue to be applied, extending the "messy" list until the vetoee becomes entirely gunshy about even getting interested in dating
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 10:17 AM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 727

I understand the concept of spontaneous attraction, however IMO, it comes down to expectations, agreements and on-going open communication.

For example, I was in a closed FFM "V". At one point, after we'd shelved any possibility of a triad, I told my female partner (who happens to be more attracted to men than women) that IF she was ever interested in exploring a relationship with another man outside of our V, that we could talk about that.

She said, no, she intended to be monogamous and didn't see that changing. Therefore I would have been quite shocked, hurt and confused if she deliberately misled me about being attracted to someone, or announced out of the blue, that she'd made out with/had sex with someone else.

Just because the "offer" of reciprocity had come up in the past, and the subject broached in a general way, doesn't give a partner carte blanche to just do whatever they feel like if that person has previously stated they're not interested and do not intend to go down a specific path. In that situation, there is an expectation - implicit or explicit - that any forays into intimacy "outside" the dyad will be discussed prior to anything physical occurring.
Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible
Jester: M, 59, straight, primary partner (LD)
Boho: F, 57, heteroflexible, primary partner (LD)

Red: M, 53, straight, ex-husband
Bud: early 20s, son
Lola: early 20s, daughter
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2018, 11:20 AM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: NW Minnesota
Posts: 1,724

Originally Posted by Yellowlover View Post
As this was the first connection he had made with anyone within our marriage I was shocked and hurt. Why didnít he tell me he had feelings for her previously?
How did the two of you handle it when you "dated a couple people" in the past year? Did you keep him informed, at every step, about what was likely to happen & might happen?

Did he react well, or did he have problems with it, or do you not know? If there were problems, did you deal with it as a couple, or did you leave him to "handle his own feelings"?
Reply With Quote

cheating, communication, ptsd, trauma, trigger

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 06:32 PM.