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  #31  
Old 07-27-2011, 02:54 AM
ihaveasecret ihaveasecret is offline
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
Because people who feel that they are sinning by having sexual fantasies should clear their consciences by embracing polyamory and injecting ethics into their fantasy lives, I think, or at least they should have that option even if they don't want to have simultaneous multiple relationships. Also, I think many people get dishonored as a parent of their ex's children because their ex feels the need to degrade them as a show of preference for a new partner. You don't have to keep sleeping with someone to honor them as the parent of your children, imo - and honoring is a form of love, I think.
Hello. I don't think a lot of what you've posted has made much sense to me, but this paragraph is especially odd. I don't think it's that common for people to feel that fantasizing is a sin, thankfully. That would be a rather immature and unevolved view (I generally feel sorry for anyone who believes in sin, anyway).

The second part of your paragraph also reflects immaturity. While divorce is difficult and people do snipe at each other, most people I know who have been through it don't trash their exes in front of the kids and do "honor" them. It seems like you have been surrounded by nastiness, negativity, and disingenuous people.
  #32  
Old 07-27-2011, 04:23 AM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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[QUOTE=ihaveasecret;93936]Hello. I don't think a lot of what you've posted has made much sense to me, but this paragraph is especially odd. I don't think it's that common for people to feel that fantasizing is a sin, thankfully. That would be a rather immature and unevolved view (I generally feel sorry for anyone who believes in sin, anyway).
I googled the quote from the bible if you're interested for reference sake:
Quote:
<< Matthew 5:28 >>

New International Version (1984)
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
The relevant point, imo, is that even when people manage to control their physical interaction with people other than their partners, they may still think about it. To many people this is "sinful" within monogamy even if they don't use the word "sin." What I'm trying to point out is that if polyamory isn't sinful (e.g. polygamy is practiced in the bible) then there should be ways to ethically regulate "adultery of the heart." You seem like the type of person who is going to react negatively to any form of lofty religious-based language, so try to just think of this in terms of the everyday struggles people go through trying to be faithful to their partners, whether in monogamy or polyamory.

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The second part of your paragraph also reflects immaturity. While divorce is difficult and people do snipe at each other, most people I know who have been through it don't trash their exes in front of the kids and do "honor" them. It seems like you have been surrounded by nastiness, negativity, and disingenuous people.
Maturity is scarce in my experience and seemingly mature people are often immature in many ways as well. Whether you trash you ex in front of you kids or not, the trashing you do of them in your mind is dishonoring them if it's not constructive criticism. People should continue to love their parents children, imo, if for no other reason than because their children do. I would call this a form of polyamory or polygamy that people attempt to repress by symbolically partitioning themselves from their "ex feelings" for the person they're divorced from. I think a mature honest attitude toward divorce would involve honoring the continuing commitment of co-parenting. If you think people are mature enough to do this, however, try approaching any of your divorced friends with kids about about post-divorce parenting as a continuing form of marriage and see if they don't react with negativity and rejection toward the idea that their marriage isn't completely dissolved. Really, it's just about boundary-assertion for many people.
  #33  
Old 07-27-2011, 04:39 AM
ihaveasecret ihaveasecret is offline
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try to just think of this in terms of the everyday struggles people go through trying to be faithful to their partners, whether in monogamy or polyamory.
You say this as if it is automatic and expected for everyone to struggle with fidelity. This has not been my experience. When I love someone, I don't feel any struggle to be faithful to them. My love sustains me and there is no reason not to be faithful, and I've never felt any temptation to cheat. But I'm a very loyal person, and it comes easily to me to honor my commitments. I don't struggle with this at all.

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Maturity is scarce in my experience and seemingly mature people are often immature in many ways as well.
Then I feel sorry for you about that. Maybe you need to expand your social circle.
  #34  
Old 07-27-2011, 04:55 AM
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SM, you said earlier in this thread that you have some confusion and want to reconcile some conflicting feelings within yourself. I think you are just running around in circles and confusing yourself more -- calling monogamy a form of polyamory, trying to apply the Bible to modern relationships for some strange reason, verbalizing your disappointment in people... your arguments are very confusing, complex, and a bit convoluted. I honestly think it sounds like you need break, some kind of therapeutic or relaxing retreat. You seem so overly occupied with figuring things out, but lots of times clarity comes when we walk away from a problem for a bit.
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  #35  
Old 07-27-2011, 11:59 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
SM, you said earlier in this thread that you have some confusion and want to reconcile some conflicting feelings within yourself. I think you are just running around in circles and confusing yourself more -- your arguments are very confusing, complex, and a bit convoluted. I honestly think it sounds like you need break, some kind of therapeutic or relaxing retreat. You seem so overly occupied with figuring things out, but lots of times clarity comes when we walk away from a problem for a bit.

This just described pretty much what an LSD-trip is like (minus the black light and Dark Side of the Moon). (I snipped the parts about poly just because this kind of rumination can be fixated on any topic).
  #36  
Old 07-27-2011, 02:39 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default marriage and divorce as seen by serialmonogamist

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
..........I don't really believe in divorce so polyamory seems like a solution to my ethical dilemma.
Ooooooooo - k

So what DO you believe is the solution for relationships that have gone.........toxic. When it is obvious that being together is no longer in ANYONE's best interest ?

I think you have to be careful about such sweeping statements.

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  #37  
Old 07-27-2011, 05:08 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
SM, you said earlier in this thread that you have some confusion and want to reconcile some conflicting feelings within yourself. I think you are just running around in circles and confusing yourself more -- calling monogamy a form of polyamory, trying to apply the Bible to modern relationships for some strange reason, verbalizing your disappointment in people... your arguments are very confusing, complex, and a bit convoluted. I honestly think it sounds like you need break, some kind of therapeutic or relaxing retreat. You seem so overly occupied with figuring things out, but lots of times clarity comes when we walk away from a problem for a bit.
I guess you're just being concerned and not just insulting me as being crazy in an indirect way. I'm surprised you and others who have reacted negatively to me don't see anything in the kinds of cultural analysis I do. Granted the bible is controversial and tends to evoke strong reactions in many directions, but it has been such a major basis for so many cultural traditions, I value it as a source of insight into culture. Maybe you disagree with the idea that fantasizing about someone else's partner is a form of adultery, but surely you can at least appreciate the idea of considering the ethics of non-physical behavior?

Also, to be clear I wasn't crudely calling monogamy a form of polyamory. I was exploring the level of feelings vs. the level of outward behavior and I'm thinking that many monogamous people have polyamorous feelings/tendencies. Think about the discussion that's gone on regarding homosexuality as an inborn thing. Just as you can feel gay but behave heterosexually, surely people can feel polyamorous and behave monogamously, and I think many people do. Why is this not a good polyamory topic for discussion?

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Originally Posted by ihaveasecret View Post
You say this as if it is automatic and expected for everyone to struggle with fidelity. This has not been my experience. When I love someone, I don't feel any struggle to be faithful to them. My love sustains me and there is no reason not to be faithful, and I've never felt any temptation to cheat. But I'm a very loyal person, and it comes easily to me to honor my commitments. I don't struggle with this at all.
It is a theme in a lot of popular media and fiction, for one thing. Second, even if you don't have any trouble remaining faithful, why would you have less potential to be attracted to someone just because it would be unfaithful to your partner(s) to be? Humans define relationships in order to manage social relationships, but aren't there underlying feelings that defy control on some level?

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Then I feel sorry for you about that. Maybe you need to expand your social circle.
It's more than I am fundamentally conscious of people as being complex beings. Everyone has inner immaturities. Mature behavior requires the ability to resist potential immature behavior but the potential remains for everyone, doesn't it? If you look closely, you can recognize how repressed feelings and desires manifest themselves in other ways. If you dislike these kinds of psychological ideas, you may disagree, I think.
  #38  
Old 07-27-2011, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
I guess you're just being concerned and not just insulting me as being crazy in an indirect way. I'm surprised you and others who have reacted negatively to me don't see anything in the kinds of cultural analysis I do.
I'm not "reacting negatively;" I just disagree with most of what you say. Furthermore, your "cultural analysis" doesn't make much sense to me, either. It has come across as convoluted and a bit unsound, and could seem a bit crazy to some, actually, but that's not an insult. It just seems like you are following your thoughts in a circle that will get you nowhere - that's why I suggested taking a break.

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
Maybe you disagree with the idea that fantasizing about someone else's partner is a form of adultery, but surely you can at least appreciate the idea of considering the ethics of non-physical behavior?
No, I don't "surely" appreciate it -- I don't even know what you mean here? Are you saying now that someone's thinking can be called non-physical behavior and judged to be ethical or not? Ethics and morals are subjective and culturally-based, anyway. Religious views of relationships don't affect me, as I don't put much credence into religion or religions telling me what to do in my relationships or in my bedroom.

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
Also, to be clear I wasn't crudely calling monogamy a form of polyamory. I was exploring the level of feelings vs. the level of outward behavior and I'm thinking that many monogamous people have polyamorous feelings/tendencies. . . . Why is this not a good polyamory topic for discussion?
That is not what you've been saying. You have plainly stated that you view serial monogamy as a form of polyamory. Numerous people have told you that that is not what polyamory is, even considering the fact that there are many ways to practice polyamory. Polyamory is about simultaneously having more than one loving relationship at a time. Of course, there may be times when a poly person has only one relationship happening, but the difference between them and a mono person is that they are still open to finding and cultivating additional relationships, while a mono is devoted to one only. Now, you seem to be saying that that if a mono person has attractions or thoughts about being with others, they are poly, even though they would never pursue a poly relationship.

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Originally Posted by serialmonogamist View Post
. . .even if you don't have any trouble remaining faithful, why would you have less potential to be attracted to someone just because it would be unfaithful to your partner(s) to be?
It is natural to have attractions to people, but that doesn't mean there is automatically a temptation to cheat. In my marriage, we acknowledged attractions, but there was never any possibility that either of us would act on those attractions -- we're human and just let it be. We never struggled to be faithful, either, because of attractions. While I was married and monogamous, just because someone came into my life and I found them attractive, that didn't mean I was then polyamorous. Attractions are a part of life and happen every day.
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Last edited by nycindie; 07-27-2011 at 05:41 PM.
  #39  
Old 07-27-2011, 05:33 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Ooooooooo - k

So what DO you believe is the solution for relationships that have gone.........toxic. When it is obvious that being together is no longer in ANYONE's best interest ?

I think you have to be careful about such sweeping statements.
I suppose I could be more careful, but once I figure out something for myself, I have trouble presenting it apologetically and with much attention for some other culture. Do you, for example, enjoy apologetically explaining your poly views and choices to mono-normative people?

What I really mean about divorce is that I don't think a relationship really ends as "dissolution" implies. This was the impression I had of what divorce was supposed to mean before I did it. What I find is that divorce is more like a second marital contract regulating the individuation of communal property, childcare responsibilities, forbidding harassment, etc. If the relationship was completely dissolved, there wouldn't be anything to regulate with a contract, so it is a social contract that defines a new relationship. The reason this probably sounds creepy to hear me say is that it sounds like someone who is trying to maintain ties with someone else who doesn't want them, which would be sort of rape-ish. The problem is that relationships stay a part of you for as long as you remember them, so there are rituals people try to use to give themselves a sense of control over the life-choices they've made and are stuck with in one way or another.

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I find that whenever a new relationships begins/ends, I have a closed-off period when I don't really want to seek out anyone new. A honeymoon period during NRE, and a mourning period when a relationship ends. So no matter how much I intellectually shy away from poly-fi, I have my poly-fi tendencies come very naturally at certain times. Imagining that out of my two relationships, one would end, that would in practicality translate to a period of freely chosen monogamy.
I really enjoy reading the words of someone who is so aware of their natural feelings in reflection that they can rethink categorical assumptions about themselves based purely on the logic of definitions. I am also aware of such natural monogamous feelings, which is what attracts me to monogamy, I think, even though I have such a strong interest in coming to terms with the human potential to love more than one person in life (whether at different moments or simultaneously).
  #40  
Old 07-27-2011, 06:16 PM
serialmonogamist serialmonogamist is offline
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I'm not "reacting negatively;" I just disagree with most of what you say. Furthermore, your "cultural analysis" doesn't make much sense to me, either. It has come across as convoluted and a bit unsound, and could seem a bit crazy to some, actually, but that's not an insult. It just seems like you are following your thoughts in a circle that will get you nowhere - that's why I suggested taking a break.
I don't know why I'm getting defensive when you're just stating your impression honestly. I guess I just don't like the idea of being "convoluted, unsound, and a bit crazy to some." I can understand that you disagree with things I say, but I think my analytical reasoning is sound enough to be a basis for reasonable discussion and I don't see how my thoughts are going in circles - maybe you'd care to explain in more detail/depth. It feels like you might be saying I should "take a break" because you don't want me pursuing these ideas on this forum for some reason. If that's not the case, and you really just see that as a way for me to reach greater clarity, thanks but I actually like working through these ideas philosophically. I'm hoping to get more constructive insights from people who are comfortable reflecting on their inner and outer experiences.

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No, I don't "surely" appreciate it -- I don't even know what you mean here? Are you saying now that someone's thinking can be called non-physical behavior and judged to be ethical or not? Ethics and morals are subjective and culturally-based, anyway. Religious views of relationships don't affect me, as I don't put much credence into religion or religions telling me what to do in my relationships or in my bedroom.
Ethics and morals are ultimately at the individual level, imo, no matter what people think about them being something external and imposed. It is always up to individuals to decide what they believe and whether or how to incorporate ethics or morality into their judgment and decision-making.

As for the physical vs. non-physical, I think that is important regardless of anything else. Feelings are one thing and actions toward others are another. Sometimes you may think about saying or doing something to someone but then choose not to for some reason. I think it's hard on people to have to keep feelings a secret or engage in denial out of fear of humiliation or judgment. If someone's been indoctrinated into cultural beliefs and norms about monogamy that lead to them feeling shame and self-hate for feelings that don't seem to conform to what's normal, that's a problem imo. If you're feeling like you can't feel poly and live mono because there's something wrong with feeling one way and acting another, that could also cause such stress.

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That is not what you've been saying. You have plainly stated that you view serial monogamy as a form of polyamory.
Oh, right. But my whole point is that serial monogamy may be monogamy in terms of outward behavior but in terms of feelings, you have to have the capacity to love more than one person to be able to end one relationship and begin another. A truly monogamous person would stay broken-hearted for life and never fall in love anew. This was always how I imagined Blue Roses from the Glass Menagerie living after the guy she fell in love with broke the horn off her glass unicorn. Such true monogamy may be a cultural fiction or an unattainable ideal, but I think it does exist as a cultural ideal - one that has been strongly criticized and lost popularity, like the idea of remaining a virgin until marriage or reserving sex only for procreation.

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Numerous people have told you that that is not what polyamory is, even considering the fact that there are many ways to practice polyamory. Polyamory is about simultaneously having more than one loving relationship at a time.
If you limit the meaning of polyamory to the practice of simultaneous multiple relationships, what do you call the capacity to love multiple people when you're not doing it? Wouldn't that be like saying a man who feels attracted to men isn't gay or bi as long as he's not acting on his attraction?

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Of course, there may be times when a poly person has only one relationship happening, but the difference between them and a mono person is that they are still open to finding and cultivating additional relationships, while a mono is devoted to one only. Now, you seem to be saying that that if a mono person has attractions or thoughts about being with others, they are poly, even though they would never pursue a poly relationship.
Yes, and I think repressing polyamorous feelings may be as fundamental to mono culture as homophobia has been found to be for heteronormative culture. This is of course open for debate, but surely it's not a ridiculous idea to discuss.

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It is natural to have attractions to people, but that doesn't mean there is automatically a temptation to cheat. In my marriage, we acknowledged attractions, but there was never any possibility that either of us would act on those attractions -- we're human and just let it be. We never struggled to be faithful, either, because of attractions. While I was married and monogamous, just because someone came into my life and I found them attractive, that didn't mean I was then polyamorous. Attractions are a part of life and happen every day.
I remember reading this about your marriage in another thread. I agree there is a difference between feeling attraction and the desire to cheat. I think it was great that you were able to honestly reflect and talk about this in your marriage. It is something I am only slowly learning to do, because I have always felt a strong desire to protect my partner's feelings from fearing that I won't cheat on them just because I found someone attractive. I think they might have felt the tension and taken it as a desire to cheat or just me being secretive in general. I find it hard to come to terms with the idea that people tell each other that they would never think of being with another person to make their partner feel good, but that it would be deceptive. I have known people who preferred not to be told about their partner's feelings and activities just to avoid jealousy, and I regret that I considered it legitimate to sacrifice honesty for a comfortable facade. On the other hand, it takes a lot of depth and maturity to accept the knowledge that your partner can feel attraction for others and still have faith in them when they tell you they want to remain monogamous. I can see both sides even though honesty seems more liberating when people can deal with truth and consequences.
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