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Old 05-20-2018, 11:03 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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Default Treating everybody well

Good poly, it seems to me, is the art of treating at least three people well simultaneously— you, your first partner, and your second partner.

So often, I see people drop one or more from the equation. Might be themselves- caught between making people happy, or being codependent. Might be the new person- in a tricky situation, they default to treating the old relationship well- and thinking they are therefore “doing the right thing”. It’s only the right thing if when doing it, you take the additional step of making sure your partner and yourself are also being treated like valued human beings. Could be the old person, in a whirl of NRE about the new person.

It’s perhaps easiest in a triad, where all value the well being of every part, and are affected by all treatment, so there is advocacy on all sides of it is healthy. Though just as one perspn’s Needs can dominate with two, they can also with three.

It’s perhaps hardest in a V if one person actually fears what will happen if their partner treats others well- will they get treated badly?

The only true allaying of those fears is a continued commitment to really high standards of treatment for all people in the group, and watching treatment of you get better, not worse, as someone dates.

I think, for me, the greatest predictor of success from what I can see in a V is “does the other person balance themselves and me well? Do I find I have to stand up for myself a lot, or watch out for their needs, or is it an easy flowing relationship where balance is really simple?”


If a skill isn’t evident with two, it’s not going to be there with three.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:06 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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How does this apply in cases where there is no "first partner"? For example, a soly poly person who doesn't practice any form of hierarchy. Would you consider the person they've been dating longest to be their first partner? In my case, although I'm married, my husband doesn't practice poly at all, and I slant as much as possible toward non-hierarchical poly. My husband is *chronologically* my first partner, but that's all. Our marriage is no more or less important to me than my other relationships; my husband is no more or less important to me than my other partners.

I agree that an important part of poly is ensuring that you're respecting and taking care of yourself as well as your partners. I'm just trying to understand what you mean by "first partner" and how that fits into a situation where there isn't a hierarchy and, as with someone who's solo poly, isn't necessarily even a partner they've been with the longest.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:10 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
Good poly, it seems to me, is the art of treating at least three people well simultaneously— you, your first partner, and your second partner.

So often, I see people drop one or more from the equation. Might be themselves- caught between making people happy, or being codependent. Might be the new person- in a tricky situation, they default to treating the old relationship well- and thinking they are therefore “doing the right thing”. It’s only the right thing if when doing it, you take the additional step of making sure your partner and yourself are also being treated like valued human beings.
...

I think, for me, the greatest predictor of success from what I can see in a V is “does the other person balance themselves and me well? Do I find I have to stand up for myself a lot, or watch out for their needs, or is it an easy flowing relationship where balance is really simple?”


If a skill isn’t evident with two, it’s not going to be there with three.
There are some good thoughts here and it matches my experience. By the end, I was having to stand up for myself against his wife's games, which he denied were happening despite the evidence. He defaulted to putting her first, regardless of her behavior, and expecting me to just deal. Yes, I think he thought he was doing the right thing.

My feeling was and remains: if you say you're poly then the right thing is to treat everybody well, that one person does not get a pass on any and all behavior (read, bad behavior) because they are the official, legal spouse. But I see it happen a lot, and I especially see a lot of wives expect that they should be put first, no matter what they do. This, to me, flies in the face of what poly is all about.

I find the last comment interesting. He clearly did not have the ability to balance and be a good hinge and she clearly did not have the ability to really let him love someone else and treat the girlfriend well. From things he said, I don't think she treated him well, either. Yet they are still together.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:26 PM
Ravenscroft Ravenscroft is offline
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Wellll... nah, sorry, just too many weasel-words, & using vague terms to "explain" other vague terms. It's great that you're thinking about the underlying mechanic of nonmonogamy, but there's many "then a miracle occurs" discontinuities being imported from the "common wisdom" of the Western world.

First, define "well."

Then this linear thing needs work:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
you, your first partner, and your second partner.
I was happy with my fiancee, we had an open relationship, & things between me & my first girlfriend rekindled a bit. Which one was my "first partner"?

Are you just dodging the non-PC "primary/secondary" thing?
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
It’s perhaps easiest in a triad, where all value the well being of every part
Sorry; well-intentioned nonsense. Not helped by potential weaselling (I changed "of" to "if" so that it parses):
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
there is advocacy on all sides if it is healthy.
Briefly: citing "a healthy triad" DOES NOT equate to "triads are healthy," & it's disingenous to mask an invalid claim behind "healthy triads are healthy."
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
really high standards of treatment
Like... what, exactly? Therapy?
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
the greatest predictor of success
Needs to define "success."
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
“does the other person balance themselves and me well?"
Needs to define "balance."

There appear to be multiple underlying demands on logic here.

First, that if one person has two intimate dyads (a "vee"), then those individuals DO NOT have others, & are to a large degree dependent (emotionally, physically, residentially, economically, socially...) on the good graces of the "hinge" person.

1.a.: that this is somehow "balanced."

Second, that it is somehow the responsibility of one "metamour" to "balance" the other, rather than primarily falling to the hinge. When someone chooses to juggle daggers, does responsibility lie with the daggers or with the juggler?

Third, that it's even possible to say one relationship is somehow "equal" to another in any sane sense. (You might be looking for something more like my household's "one set of rules, equally applied" mantra.)

Fourth, that there's probably some degree of cohabitation, or at least near-constant (maybe co-primary?) contact, rather than one (or both) dyad being LDR &/or intermittent/infrequent.

Fifth, that the "metamours" even have to meet, ever.
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Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
Do I find I have to stand up for myself a lot?
IMNSHO, people who are unwilling to "stand up for themselves" constantly are asking to be treated lousy, even by good-hearted & well-intended people.

Everyone must be ready to lead, everyone must be ready to follow. Polyamory IS NOT therapy. Anyone who turns to poly to be taken care of is not (yet?) suited for polyamory &/or is stepping into something that's not polyamory.

Sure, to have a healthy relationship it's everyone's core responsibility to COMMUNICATE & maintain constant CONVERSATION... but expecting everyone to instead mind-read everyone else, to always be in a state of doubt & guesswork & "what if," is nothing but crazy-making Monogamism, which has NO PLACE WHATEVER in nonmonogamy much less polyamory.

Last edited by Ravenscroft; 05-20-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2018, 05:26 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Re (from 1234567):
Quote:
"It's perhaps easiest in a triad ... It's perhaps hardest in a V ..."
Surprising thoughts, as triads, on this forum at least, tend to be labeled as one of (if not *the*) hardest kinds of relationships, and V's one of (if not *the*) easiest. Don't know what that means ...
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:40 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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I think “an established partner” and “a newer partner” would work instead of “first” second.

Havind said that, I think in general, solo poly and no -hierarchical people tend to manage this whole area quite well in general.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2018, 01:43 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Re (from 1234567):


Surprising thoughts, as triads, on this forum at least, tend to be labeled as one of (if not *the*) hardest kinds of relationships, and V's one of (if not *the*) easiest. Don't know what that means ...
I’m not saying a triad is easier. But I am saying that in a triad, all people are motivated to look out for all— unless it’s really unhealthy.

In a V, it’s the hinge’s job to look after both and themselves. It’s much easier for one of the metas to be unreasonable, and especially, feel justified in that unreasonableness.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:46 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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My personal experience is that it was easier to have a relationship with some felt degree of balance and caring for all in a triad than a V with the same set of puople. Once we “V”’d out, there was a conflict felt between caring for me
and caring for my meta. Whereas before, caring for me was “takin care of it girlfriend”- and therefore easier to think of approvingly.
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  #9  
Old 05-21-2018, 01:48 AM
1234567 1234567 is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
There are some good thoughts here and it matches my experience. By the end, I was having to stand up for myself against his wife's games, which he denied were happening despite the evidence. He defaulted to putting her first, regardless of her behavior, and expecting me to just deal. Yes, I think he thought he was doing the right thing.

My feeling was and remains: if you say you're poly then the right thing is to treat everybody well, that one person does not get a pass on any and all behavior (read, bad behavior) because they are the official, legal spouse. But I see it happen a lot, and I especially see a lot of wives expect that they should be put first, no matter what they do. This, to me, flies in the face of what poly is all about.

I find the last comment interesting. He clearly did not have the ability to balance and be a good hinge and she clearly did not have the ability to really let him love someone else and treat the girlfriend well. From things he said, I don't think she treated him well, either. Yet they are still together.
I resonate with this experience. Is it just me, or does it seem like
The ones who demand and play games tend to “win out” when a choice has to be made? It drives my sense of justice mad
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2018, 05:44 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1234567 View Post
I resonate with this experience. Is it just me, or does it seem like
The ones who demand and play games tend to “win out” when a choice has to be made? It drives my sense of justice mad
In my experience...yes, the ones who play games somehow seem to win. I would still rather be the one deals hands straight than the one who plays games. I'd still rather NOT be the one who hurts other people.
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