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  #21  
Old 09-05-2017, 03:06 PM
icesong icesong is offline
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I think it absolutely gets easier - at this point, for instance, Knight and I rarely have *poly* processing to do (processing of our own relationship issues outside of poly, sometimes, or casual updates on how our other relationships are going / what's going on in our partners' lives, sure, but not "how is poly affecting US" type processing. And the NRE will calm down so that Ponytail will just be part of your life rather than this New and Shiny Thing Taking Up All Your Mental Energy.

But all the relationships in our particular 'cule are pretty stable and long term, and it took a while to get there.
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Partnered with AnotherArtist (3 years)

Other Dramatis Personae are detailed in my blog.
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2017, 12:04 AM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Default What's the finished picture look like?

I've been thinking a lot about "the relationship escalator." You meet someone, you fall in love, you decide to commit, you cohabit, you get married, you buy property together, you have kids, you make decisions about the house and the kids together, you struggle through challenges together, and eventually you grow old together.

A bit part of this, in my mind, is the idea that you commit first, before you know precisely what the challenges are that you will face together. You make a commitment to work together to weather the storm that come your way.

How does this look in a poly setting? I feel super confused as to what i should expect over the next 10, 20, 30 years. Will Ponytail ever live with me and Glasses? Will we make decisions as a group of 3? Will Ponytail have parental responsibilities as far as the kids that Glasses and I have together? Or will he always be somewhat on the periphery? Will Ponytail have other partners? Will they be serious? Will he want to live with them too? Will Ponytail grow old with me and Glasses?

I have always been the type of person who has and needs a vision for my future -- something I am working toward. It is hard for me to live a lifestyle that deviates from what is idealized by society. I feel anxious about being stigmatized and very much want to see my life fit in and be accepted. And it is even harder for me to live in the moment and have no idea what it is that I am trying to get everyone (including myself) to accept.

I have been thinking about the inherent asymmetry in being married to someone while poly. It means that, whether you believe in hierarchy or not, there will always be a difference in one relationship by the fact that there are legal commitments to consider. No matter how much I might wish for Ponytail and Glasses to be co-primaries, there will always be some level of difference between the two by the fact that I am married to Glasses. We share a last name. If I call him my husband, I mean it in every sense of the word -- legally, financially, sexually, emotionally. With Ponytail, no matter how committed we are to each other, I will never be able to call him my husband and not feel like there's a little asterisk that needs further explanation.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier (on my identity -- not logistically) to get divorced so that I could feel more stable as far as my poly status. Right now I feel like I am in an "open marriage" and that feels kind of icky. I wish I had two boyfriends instead of a boyfriend and a husband. Sure, one boyfriend that I have kids with and have been with longer, but without the societal expectations that come with the word "husband."
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 8 years --> 35, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 35, M, Pansexual
Laptop: my (not-so-platonic?) poly friend --> 31, M, Straight

Metamours and Others
Ginger: Glasses' partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM)
MsPolitical: Glasses' ex and potential new romantic interest --> 35ish, F
LadyLaptop: Laptop's wife --> 30ish, F
Giraffe: Laptop's FWB --> 30ish, F
Glitzy: Ponytail's interest --> 35, F
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  #23  
Old 09-30-2017, 08:35 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is online now
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MsEmotional, your problem, or your discomfort, or fears, involved in being married to one man, and only "Bf/Gf" with another, is common in polyamory. Happens all the time.

There are ways to commit to the second, unmarried partner, if both of you want to. Of course, bigamy is illegal. But you can do a handfasting, which will have meaning for both of you. Then, depending on your state, you can make legal arrangements around medical decisions and visitation rights, inheritances. You can buy a house as a threesome. You can make arrangements with child custody and things of that nature, if you desire.

The best example I can think of for this kind of arrangement is our member Bluebird. She has 2 husbands (one a typical marriage, one not), and they cohabit. (She also presently has, I believe, 2 other new men in her life in more casual arrangements that are still evolving.)

She has a hella long blog going back years, but you might read over this year's posts if you don't have time or motivation to read the whole thing.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags (poly, F, 62), dating... again!
Pixi (poly, F, 40) my darling nesting partner since January 2009
Master, (mono, M, 36), Pixi's Dom/bf since April 2013
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  #24  
Old 10-08-2017, 04:58 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsEmotional View Post
I've been thinking a lot about "the relationship escalator." You meet someone, you fall in love, you decide to commit, you cohabit, you get married, you buy property together, you have kids, you make decisions about the house and the kids together, you struggle through challenges together, and eventually you grow old together.

A bit part of this, in my mind, is the idea that you commit first, before you know precisely what the challenges are that you will face together. You make a commitment to work together to weather the storm that come your way.

How does this look in a poly setting?
Although I never really bought into the mandatory "relationship escalator" expectation, my marriage with MrS fits the picture fairly neatly (with the exception of having kids - which didn't work out).

A long time ago I responded to a thread with a post regarding Commitment in a Secondary Relationship as a response to a similar question.

I have a post in my Journey blog about the subtle shift in my perspective after MrS and I were Married. Now, that was 20+ years ago and the "legal marriage" bit fulfilled some need for me at that time. Now, not so much. MrS was perfectly willing to make the same commitment without the legal standing. The legality makes some things (taxes, insurance, etc.) easier but, all things being equal, if for some reason I found myself NOT legally married, I wouldn't bother to do it over again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MsEmotional View Post
I have always been the type of person who has and needs a vision for my future -- something I am working toward.

I am a goal oriented person, the boys are not. Luckily this works for our dynamic. I decide what I am doing/going to do and the boys tend to just go along. If they have a particular preference or desired outcome along the way, I incorporate that into the plan. For example, when we (MrS and I) were in college - I decided to go to grad school across the state, MrS decided to come with me. When I was researching post-grad education, MrS wanted to pursue a specific Tech Certificate that was only available in one area, so I picked an acceptable post-grad position in that area. When we were moving to the country, one of the criteria was that we be able to have a decent internet connection for MrS (luckily cellular internet came into the picture around that time as we are too far out for high-speed cable and satellite was sketchy). I need a vehicle available at all times for work, Dude has definite priorities when it comes to vehicles and maintenance, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MsEmotional View Post
I have been thinking about the inherent asymmetry in being married to someone while poly. It means that, whether you believe in hierarchy or not, there will always be a difference in one relationship by the fact that there are legal commitments to consider. No matter how much I might wish for Ponytail and Glasses to be co-primaries, there will always be some level of difference between the two by the fact that I am married to Glasses. We share a last name. If I call him my husband, I mean it in every sense of the word -- legally, financially, sexually, emotionally. With Ponytail, no matter how committed we are to each other, I will never be able to call him my husband and not feel like there's a little asterisk that needs further explanation.
Even if, like BlueBird, I eventually have "two husbands" each marriage would STILL be different and have a different "flavor" because they are different people. I wouldn't change my name for either of them (BlueBird changed hers for both). YOU can make the same commitments, whether "legal" or not, or NOT make the same commitments because each person's needs are different. Using the term "husband" or "boyfriend" only has as much weight as YOU give it. Sure, society has different expectations for different roles but, even now, in your example above, I would have to put a little asterisk next to "husband" that signifies (*but we are not monogamous) since monogamy is expected of spouses in our culture.

**If you think that I am brushing off the legal implications of marriage, it is because I am - "legal marriage" is a social construct that I think should be abandoned in favor of actual contracts that are negotiated with full understanding of all parties - not just the mish-mash of implications that current marriage laws engender. Originally intended to protect women and children in a society where women did not have their own voice and were passed as property/responsibility from one male (father) to another male (husband) I find these laws to be antiquated in an egalitarian society where ADULTS (of any gender or number) should be able to forge their own agreements.

(/end soapbox)
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JaneQ(Me): poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" V-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (25+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (7+ yrs) and MrS's BFF
SLeW: platonic hetero girlfriend and BFF
MrClean: hetero mono male, almost lover-friend to me, ex-FWBs to SLeW, friends with MrS
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 10-08-2017 at 05:00 PM.
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2017, 07:56 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Thanks JaneQSmythe. I appreciate the insight.
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 8 years --> 35, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 35, M, Pansexual
Laptop: my (not-so-platonic?) poly friend --> 31, M, Straight

Metamours and Others
Ginger: Glasses' partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM)
MsPolitical: Glasses' ex and potential new romantic interest --> 35ish, F
LadyLaptop: Laptop's wife --> 30ish, F
Giraffe: Laptop's FWB --> 30ish, F
Glitzy: Ponytail's interest --> 35, F
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  #26  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:48 AM
Dop8526 Dop8526 is offline
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Default It won't be easy, but you need to at least tell him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsEmotional View Post
Yesterday Ponytail reopened his OKC account. My first reaction was that I was happy for him. I've been encouraging him to re-open his account for a little while, even though it made me nervous. I've been stressed by not being able to fulfill his time/attention needs and I thought that it would feel better if he was dating and having fun without me.

So when he told me that he had reopened his account, my first reaction was "Yay!"

I temporarily reactivated my own account so that I could see his new profile. This meant that I got to also see who was currently on OKC and identifying as non-monogamous. There were lots of cool people on there.

And suddenly I felt awful.

I know what it is: it's insecurity. I'm afraid that he will find someone who better suits his needs and not want to be with me anymore. But no matter how much I try to talk to myself about these feelings and try to cope, my whole core just says, "No. I don't want this."

As in, I just have a strong desire to push him away. Why? I don't get it. Literally, two days ago I was freaking out telling both Glasses and Ponytail how much I love them, how happy I am, how I am the luckiest woman in the world. But now?

Now I feel like I never want to see Ponytail again. Even though I know that I am so incredibly happy when I am with him. This morning we were processing my reactions and feelings about him opening his account and he offered to stop by and give me a hug. This is something that I have happily done for him when he has been feeling down, and we've both appreciated it. But when he offered it, I declined. I didn't want to see him. What's wrong with me?

I don't know how to reconcile my logical mind and my illogical heart. I know that it's possible to be attracted to multiple people at once. I know that I love two people right now and I don't want to deny either of them that same sense of fulfillment and joy. I know that I am not able to meet Ponytail's needs for time and affection. Every part of me says that it makes sense for Ponytail and Glasses to have other relationships. And yet it....hurts? Does this mean that I'm not really poly? Does it mean I am just a selfish asshole?

I've been reading some resources about insecurity. How you're supposed to identify the negative self-talk that your brain tells you ("I'm afraid that my partner will leave me for someone who is better in bed," for example) and tell yourself, "No, that's not true. This is true instead . . ." ("My partner loves me and I bring value to my partner's life in these ways . . .")

But I can't identify any messages that my brain is sending me. It's just "No. Don't do this. This is why monogamy is so popular -- it's because polyamory is just filled with potential for you to feel insecure and hurt." The negative self-talk is not personal to me or whether Ponytail loves me. It's just situational -- "You should stop talking to Ponytail so that this all goes away." Followed up by, "That would hurt Ponytail if you stopped talking to him. You're such an asshole." Then I try to use the technique above..... "No, that's not true. You're not an asshole . . ." but I can't figure out what to say in the part where I say positive self-talk instead. Because if my instinct is to cut someone out of my life because I'm afraid, how am I not behaving like an asshole?
The advice I would give you, is that you should talk to him about how you're feeling. That doesn't mean you should expect him to not see other people. But talking about it can help a lot, and as somebody who was cut out of someone's life whom I cared deeply for, no communication without warning. I know it's easier for you to just stop, and try to forget, but not knowing what happened is worse than you telling him he's a piece of shit and you hate him trust me I've been there.

Last edited by Dop8526; 10-09-2017 at 05:50 AM.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2017, 02:58 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Default So much is happening....

A lot is going on.

Glasses has a partner (Ginger) who is moving out of state, and so they had to say goodbye last night. They don't know when they will see each other again, and that is really stressful on all of us. I am worried that Glasses will grow resentful of the time I spend with Ponytail now that he doesn't have a partner in town. I am worried that he and Ginger will suffer from the distance and they will break up and that he will feel pain. I know it's all out of my control and I need to focus on what I can do and not on what I cannot do, but it's hard.

On a more positive note, Ponytail and my children and I went away for a weekend road trip. It went SO well. Ponytail is so wonderful with the kids, and they really enjoy spending time with each other.

The best part was ok the car ride back, my older daughter (4 years old) said, "Papa, [Ponytail] and Grandpa are the tallest members of our family." Ponytail was driving and I could see that he got all misty-eyed hearing her describe him as a member of her family. He told me later how much it meant to him.

So while Glasses and Ginger are going through separation, Ponytail and I feel closer and more secure than ever. This is a hard time because I don't want to rub my lovey-dovey relationship in Glasses' face. And as afraid of distance as Glasses is, he isn't interested in dating anyone else locally. Which makes me worry that my relationship with Ponytail is going to become a source of pain and frustration for Glasses. How can I best nurture my relationship with Glasses while not trying to minimize or replace his relationship with Ginger?

Maybe I'll start a forum thread with this question. Surely other poly people do this distance thing pretty often...
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 8 years --> 35, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 35, M, Pansexual
Laptop: my (not-so-platonic?) poly friend --> 31, M, Straight

Metamours and Others
Ginger: Glasses' partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM)
MsPolitical: Glasses' ex and potential new romantic interest --> 35ish, F
LadyLaptop: Laptop's wife --> 30ish, F
Giraffe: Laptop's FWB --> 30ish, F
Glitzy: Ponytail's interest --> 35, F
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  #28  
Old 10-22-2017, 06:37 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Default On Threesomes

Glasses and Ponytail and I hadn't had a threesome since shortly after the two of them met. So I was genuinely surprised that we basically spent most of the weekend in bed with one another.

The kids were out of town with their grandparents and Ponytail spent Friday and Saturday night at our place. He was telling me some fantasies he'd been having about Glasses and I wasn't sure how much, if any, of them he wanted to act on in real life. We were planning to go to a burlesque show together on Saturday evening and I asked Ponytail on Saturday morning if he would be interested in any intimacy between the three of us afterward. To my surprise, he said he was interested! Just a few hours later after I'd made them pancakes, we were all hanging out, cuddling on the couch, and then one thing led to another and we were having amazing afternoon sex.

That evening we didn't end up going to the burlesque show, but we did go out to dinner and later we had another threesome together.

I think what stuns me about having sex with both of them at the same time is how natural and wonderful it feels. I check in with both of them frequently -- before, during, and after -- to make sure they don't feel pressured or uncomfortable....but ultimately they interact with one another in ways that feel good to them too and are good at taking care of each other's needs. I don't feel like I have to play intermediary.

Ultimately I am still a little nervous. There has been tension in their metamour relationship in the past and they still aren't interested in each other romantically -- just sexually -- which is hard for me to understand. But I am trying to remember what my therapist told me and focus on nurturing my relationships with each of them individually, making sure the lines of communication stay open and comfortable, and reiterating that I love them both and sex with each other is not a requirement for being with me.
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 8 years --> 35, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 35, M, Pansexual
Laptop: my (not-so-platonic?) poly friend --> 31, M, Straight

Metamours and Others
Ginger: Glasses' partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM)
MsPolitical: Glasses' ex and potential new romantic interest --> 35ish, F
LadyLaptop: Laptop's wife --> 30ish, F
Giraffe: Laptop's FWB --> 30ish, F
Glitzy: Ponytail's interest --> 35, F
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  #29  
Old 10-25-2017, 02:47 PM
MsEmotional MsEmotional is offline
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Default Am I doing something wrong?

Last night there was some miscommunication. Ponytail thought we were getting together for a date and I thought we were getting together for a quick hug after work. It all got sorted out and we ended up still being able to go out for a date, but we had a conversation about how the mix-up made him feel.

He wasn't upset with me or anything, but he is feeling uncomfortable with how he reacts when he is disappointed about not being able to see me when he was expecting to. The way he described it, in previous relationships -- even if they were healthy good relationships -- it didn't really matter to him how often he saw his partner. She could say that she was available and he'd say, "ok let's get together!" or she could say that she was unavailable and he'd be like, "no big deal. See you next week." If she suggested going out and he already had plans, he'd say that he was unavailable, even if he knew that he wouldn't be able to see her again for awhile.

With me, his experience is different. When I spontaneously ask him if he wants to get together, he doesn't even think of it as a question -- he will stop whatever he is doing and come see me. As long as it doesn't jeopardize his employment or his friendships or something, he will always be eager for time with me. And at times like yesterday, when we miscommunicate and he thinks we're getting together and I think we aren't, it's like a soul-crushing disappointment.

When I asked if there was something I should do differently (should I not make spontaneous suggestions? Should we find another way of scheduling time together so that we aren't miscommunicating about our schedules?) he said that he didn't think I needed to do anything different, that he needs to control his reactions better. That these feelings are internal to him, but that he finds it unsettling how out of control his feelings are for me. I asked if he felt like I was IN control and he said that he didn't feel like it had anything to do with what I was doing or not doing, that I wasn't doing anything wrong, but that his feelings for me were just really strong.

Even though I hear that he doesn't think i need to do anything differently, I feel really responsible. Like, my train of thought goes like this:

He feels unsettled in our relationship.
This feeling is internal to him.
This is not a normal feeling for him in relationships.
Because it's not a normal feeling for him in relationships (and he's had a lot of relationships), it must be because of me that he is feeling like this.
This feeling may be internal, but it has an external cause: me.
Because I am the cause of his feeling like this, it's my fault.

I recognize that that's not 100% logical, but it's still where my mind goes. I feel really responsible for his feeling unsettled, even though I know I am doing nothing wrong and he's trying to communicate to me that he's not asking me to do anything differently.

Is this just part of the fact that this is his first truly poly relationship with someone in a more established relationship? Like, maybe subconsciously the reason he wasn't all that concerned about carving out time for his partners in the past was because his partners didn't have other long-term partners or responsibilities that he was "competing" with? He's never been in a relationship with a person with kids before. Maybe he feels some level of scarcity when it comes to my time? Whereas when other partners has stuff on their plates it wasn't a big deal because it wasn't *generally* difficult to schedule time with them?

He had told me previously that he really liked long-distance relationships -- that they are easy to maintain because he appreciates having some more independent time and likes being able to have/give full attention in shorter bursts. I brought up to him that it sounds like his previous relationships -- whether long-distance or local -- had a similar style to them: that he was comfortable chatting on the phone or texting and having less frequent in-person contact. He agreed, and reiterated how different his experience with me is in comparison, that he feels desperate to spend all the time he can with me.

I asked if he'd felt that sense of desperation at the beginning of those other relationships -- whether this was an NRE thing that could maybe fade with time? He said that he had never felt like this with anyone before.

I just feel really confused. Am I doing something wrong here?
__________________
Me: 34, F, Bicurious

Amours
Glasses: my husband of 8 years --> 35, M, Queer
Ponytail: my first-poly-date-turned-boyfriend --> 35, M, Pansexual
Laptop: my (not-so-platonic?) poly friend --> 31, M, Straight

Metamours and Others
Ginger: Glasses' partner --> 30ish, Transgender (FTM)
MsPolitical: Glasses' ex and potential new romantic interest --> 35ish, F
LadyLaptop: Laptop's wife --> 30ish, F
Giraffe: Laptop's FWB --> 30ish, F
Glitzy: Ponytail's interest --> 35, F
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  #30  
Old 10-26-2017, 02:29 PM
icesong icesong is offline
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I don't think you are - I mean, what you're describing feels a little bit like the scarcity I felt back when I was dating HipsterBoy, which was kind of fueled by NRE but also by some dynamics where we felt like we were "stealing" time from our other partners - me because I was new to poly, him because he was new to poly AND because that's how his wife acted.

It's funny you mention long distance, as I think in some ways Artist and I work like we're a semi-long distance couple. We only live 7 minutes apart, but pretty much never do any sort of "random" time together - just scheduled weekly overnight dates (you'd think we lived more like an hour apart or something, i say point). But we do have that level of Really Intense Focus when we're together, which I think suits us both. And I think that wouldn't necessarily work for you all since you do have much more of a goal of an entangled life than I have or want with Artist (hell, I'm trying to _detangle_ my life with Knight a bit) anyway.

But back to your stuff (sorry to slightly derail on your blog), would it help to reframe it not that *you* are the cause of his feelings, but *life circumstances* are the cause of his feelings? I mean, yes, it's a new and unique circumstance that he'll have to get used to, but it's not like you are *doing* things that make him feel bad, it's just the life that he has chosen. Let me say that again: he has chosen to build a relationship with you. Let him own that choice and the consequences/feelings it entails.
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Partnered with AnotherArtist (3 years)

Other Dramatis Personae are detailed in my blog.
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