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Old 04-04-2020, 08:11 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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The lockdown has started me not really blogging. This will really change the world.

Last night, over dinner, we facetimed some dear friends from our old area in the US. 3 friends have contracted CV19. One is on a ventilator. Without organ failure though so there is reason to be hopeful. The other 2 are now home after being in hospital for a few days. One of those people's mother died of it 2 days ago though they were estranged. Weirdly I know of around 12 people around the world who have had the virus confirmed via testing. I guess that happens when you have lived in several popular places and there is a pandemic. I realized this when a conspiracy theory buddy wrote on their Facebook status "but do you actually know anyone who has this virus?" as everyone they knew with symptoms was refused a test. I realized then that I knew around 8 people at that point. This is no hoax.

During the facetime, we got to speaking about my friend's job as a psychiatrist and counsellor. Recently my friend, Ivy, has moved from more family therapy to couple's and individual therapy for adults and is advertising where appropriate as specialising in ENM. Ivy has been poly all her life. She had two mothers who were "sister wives" for all intents and purposes. They subscribed to some sort of polygyny due to their religious background but they left that church before Ivy was born. They stayed as a 3 in 2 different homes but the religious aspects of their lifestyle were dropped. Ivy practices solo poly herself.

She's enjoying her new job but she's found something quite disappointing. The best majority of her poly clients are women with what she would say are indications of a wider pathology like a personality disorder or attachment disorder. Very few of her female clients would she describe as well adjusted. Many of them have severe depression or anxiety +/- self harm, suicidal thoughts and attempts plus physically or emotionally abusive behaviour and a lack of emotional regulation. As her background is in psychiatry and not purely talking therapies, she's had to speak potential diagnoses with some clients because she feels unless an underlying diagnosis is confirmed if there is one, nobody can move forward.

She knows it isn't all poly women as she knows and dates many socially but she's feeling like the ones who end up in therapy might fit the bill of people who are poly for the wrong reasons.

Our other friend, Stu, hasn't been all that close to his nesting partner for some time though work and life managed to distract them both from this reality. Now they are quarantined as they both had mild symptoms but even in the lockdown when they've been both at work, a polite disinterest and social distancing has evolved into thinly veiled resentment. Well not at all veiled. They've been screaming at each other or totally ignoring each other. Stu wants to come to Europe asap. He's had enough of America and Americans. He's currently trying to sue a hospital for medical treatment he didn't need and isn't endorsed by evidence and getting nowhere. He hates the place.

I miss my masseuse. Yesterday I was thinking of ways he could wear a hazmat suit and give me a massage though I'm sure the gloves would negate the quality of his expert kneading.

My cousin is convinced her cat has CV19.

This is why I don't blog or speak much about my personal life. I live a bizarre life full of the weirdest people.
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Old 04-04-2020, 03:01 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Cats supposedly CAN get the virus...


RE: Your therapist friend Ivy. Something about her theory isn't sitting well with me. People with undiagnosed personality disorders, attachment issues, and abusive tendencies are going to struggle in any relationship. Wouldn't monogamy be just as hard for them, if not even more isolating? I'm just not sure they're "poly for the wrong reasons."
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Old 04-04-2020, 07:39 PM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
Cats supposedly CAN get the virus...


RE: Your therapist friend Ivy. Something about her theory isn't sitting well with me. People with undiagnosed personality disorders, attachment issues, and abusive tendencies are going to struggle in any relationship. Wouldn't monogamy be just as hard for them, if not even more isolating? I'm just not sure they're "poly for the wrong reasons."
Ivy is a poly woman who dates poly women herself so it isn't that she thinks this of all poly women at all. Just that the female clients she has (ie people unhappy or discontent enough to seek therapy) who are also poly fit this bill. It doesn't seem incidental, like their race or sexuality, it seems connected to their wider issues with relationships and having multiple (not very successful) relationships is a way to mask or facilitate some of these issues. One relationship went really, really badly. She thought she would have to testify but a plea deal rendered it unnecessary.
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Old 04-04-2020, 08:39 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Lots of poly people, men and women, "end up" in therapy. Therapy is a good thing for anyone. Few of us are so entirely well adjusted that we wouldn't benefit from it at some point in our lives.

Saying "most poly women that end up in therapy" have severe depression leading to self harm or suicidal thoughts/attempts, abusive behavior, or are controlling, is extremely misleading. Many poly women and men I know have been in therapy and have none of these extreme behaviors.
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:37 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Lots of poly people, men and women, "end up" in therapy. Therapy is a good thing for anyone. Few of us are so entirely well adjusted that we wouldn't benefit from it at some point in our lives.

Saying "most poly women that end up in therapy" have severe depression leading to self harm or suicidal thoughts/attempts, abusive behavior, or are controlling, is extremely misleading. Many poly women and men I know have been in therapy and have none of these extreme behaviors.
That's not what I said. I said my friend is a psychiatrist and counsellor and has recently advertised as poly friendly. The women that are poly and seek her services seem to mostly have severe attachment and/or personality disorders.

I think sometimes we don't know exactly what goes on behind closed doors or why people do the things we see them do. Their therapist however might have a much better idea. What we see as a happy, mutually beneficial relationship might not be at all. Sometimes we are caught surprised when one partner admits things haven't been mutually beneficial for a long time

Ivy said that she advertised as poly friendly as she had heard of so many poly people who said their therapist was "against poly". She now thinks it is more likely that a sizeable amount of the poly people who end up in therapy have chosen this relationship structure due to faults within themselves rather than positive traits. So for example, you'll have a woman who drains any partner she has and no one person can take all of that on. So she has two or three partners instead. These relationships will always be tainted by the fact that she is draining. It has nothing to do with wanting multiple relationships and everything to do with spreading your weight around to make it a more manageable load.

I have nothing against therapists for the most part. I think you have to be extremely careful about their qualifications because it is quite easy to appropriate the term counselor or therapist with minimal credentials in a lot of countries. Aside from poly, I know people with a lot of really obvious problems who live in therapy yet their therapist never calls them out on behaviour that is either unfair to others (like kids) or downright dangerous for the people involved. I do think that is problematic. I know Ivy has strict boundaries around abusive clients. She won't continue to see someone if she feels their is abuse coming from her clients side and they won't take steps to stop it immediately. She has enough work to be picky and she said you should always seek that in any type of psychiatrist or counsellor.


A long time ago I wrote a thread about a scary metamour. That metamour ended their own life very recently. I just heard/saw last night. Sad news. They really needed help.
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:50 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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I'm interested in Ivy's theory because I think she's onto something. BUT the way she's framing it is not sitting right with me.

On this forum we have all heard many stories about horrible metamours. Specifically, we hear from women who are struggling with dating a poly guy whose wife/primary partner is making things extremely difficult for the girlfriend. Usually, the wife has other partners of her own, but she can't handle her husband dating seriously. She says all the right poly things but then is a nightmare to her metamour. Often it sounds like she has severe undiagnosed issues (or sometimes, diagnosed but unmanaged issues). The wife's behavior often seems at the very least emotionally abusive, perhaps toward her husband as well as toward her metamour.

It's anecdotal, but it happens enough that it seems to be a phenomenon worth investigating. It sounds like Ivy is getting clients who are like the wife in these anecdotes.

It may be true that these people should not be doing poly until they are managing their issues better. But I don't think it's fair to say they are "poly for the wrong reasons." No therapist would ever say that someone is "monogamous for the wrong reasons."

People have a right to be poly if they want to be poly. These women are seeking help--they certainly eagerly sought out a poly-friendly therapist.

I would argue that monogamous women with their same issues are simply less likely to seek help. The poly community is more pro-therapy than mainstream society in general (I think), and poly relationships have more people in them to demand that partners and metamours seek therapy. Monogamous relationships are more isolating. It's also more "allowed" to be controlling, possessive, and borderline emotionally abusive in monogamy (because of false views about what a "healthy" monogamous relationship looks like).

So I think Ivy is just seeing the polyamorous examples of emotional issues that can remain hidden in mainstream monogamy.

I do think that people with very intense personalities or a lot of emotional needs will have a tendency to seek out multiple partners. But I'm not sure that that's "poly for the wrong reasons."
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:08 PM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeraReed View Post
I'm interested in Ivy's theory because I think she's onto something. BUT the way she's framing it is not sitting right with me.

On this forum we have all heard many stories about horrible metamours. Specifically, we hear from women who are struggling with dating a poly guy whose wife/primary partner is making things extremely difficult for the girlfriend. Usually, the wife has other partners of her own, but she can't handle her husband dating seriously. She says all the right poly things but then is a nightmare to her metamour. Often it sounds like she has severe undiagnosed issues (or sometimes, diagnosed but unmanaged issues). The wife's behavior often seems at the very least emotionally abusive, perhaps toward her husband as well as toward her metamour.

It's anecdotal, but it happens enough that it seems to be a phenomenon worth investigating. It sounds like Ivy is getting clients who are like the wife in these anecdotes.

It may be true that these people should not be doing poly until they are managing their issues better. But I don't think it's fair to say they are "poly for the wrong reasons." No therapist would ever say that someone is "monogamous for the wrong reasons."

People have a right to be poly if they want to be poly. These women are seeking help--they certainly eagerly sought out a poly-friendly therapist.

I would argue that monogamous women with their same issues are simply less likely to seek help. The poly community is more pro-therapy than mainstream society in general (I think), and poly relationships have more people in them to demand that partners and metamours seek therapy. Monogamous relationships are more isolating. It's also more "allowed" to be controlling, possessive, and borderline emotionally abusive in monogamy (because of false views about what a "healthy" monogamous relationship looks like).

So I think Ivy is just seeing the polyamorous examples of emotional issues that can remain hidden in mainstream monogamy.

I do think that people with very intense personalities or a lot of emotional needs will have a tendency to seek out multiple partners. But I'm not sure that that's "poly for the wrong reasons."

I disagree that no therapist would say that one is mono for the wrong reasons. It's quite common to suggest that someone is forming relationships from some negative motivation. Serial monogomaists, players, etc.. The difference, perhaps, with these women, is that they are sustaining one or more relationships but still seeking new attachments for the same reasons as someone who consents to regrettable, random sexual interactions in their quest to find love and affection. Without those long term relationships, they'd have a similar pattern to anyone else who seemed unable to form mutual long term commitments.

Do remember that this is the way I'm framing a complex conversations that didnt just form over one conversation. "Paraphrasing" would be a generous term, here.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:32 PM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Life goes on.

We live in SmallTownsVille. It is a place where everyone always wants to be in a state of outrage, fear, misery or discontentment. One neighbour wanted to call the police on another neighbour for grilling food and playing music with their other household members. This house is a mix of medical students and recent graduates so the neighbour feels that they should be isolating in their rooms due to their exposure to the virus. I hope they have a good time in lockdown before going out to risk their lives again.

I think I'm over this place. We moved here for a sense of liberalism that is being slowly eradicated. We intended to live in the capital but work actually pushed us here, about 40 miles from the capital. Well it pushed my partner here. I am lucky enough to work remotely for the most part these days. My partner works long hours usually. Failing to have my house to myself to work as I wish has been challenging. Even the pets are confused. I've heard many people's cats are overjoyed by the additional human company. Ours are not. One disappeared for 2 days last week.

One of my other partners, Rose, is having issues with her two other non-nesting partners in terms of dealing with the quarantine. She's totally isolating now with her nesting partner, Thorn, because of his high risk status and their feeling that her social distancing isn't adequate given people's inability to follow the rules or take appropriate caution.

My metamours haven't been around long enough to actually feel how much Thorn's health issues affects her availability to others and this has been quite an extreme way to find out. Other people have found ways to keep 2 or more households at a risk level low enough to allow for some visiting or socially distanced meetings outside in accordance with lockdown rules. For instance, I went for a walk with a friend through our local park and back around the block keeping a 2 metre distance. However, Rose is staying in all the time and only accepting deliveries from companies or friends which she disinfects before bringing into the main part of their home though she is probably healthier than me.

This hasn't gone down too well with her other partners who perhaps weren't aware of how couple's privilege manifests in Rose's case. Rose is practical though rather than sentimental. She will see it as in their best interests if they terminate unmet expectations sooner rather than later. Rose would (wrongly) object to calling this couple's privilege because she is protecting Thorn's health and not his feelings. Luckily our longer term relationship as well as my relationship with Thorn means that we have more opportunity to interact. We can Facetime regardless of his presence because he will join in rather than her having to take time away from him to interact with me. On the other hand, the interaction she has with those partners is more likely to have intimacy that would not be appropriate if it is possible in a group video situation where we discuss the horrors of this pandemic.
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:51 AM
SEASONEDpolyAgain SEASONEDpolyAgain is offline
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Ivy asked a interesting question about forums like this, or Fetlife, or Reddit: how much responsibility do we have to our fellow members?

She has a legal responsibility to report abuse of children and the vulnerable. If a client isn't particularly vulnerable per se, but is being abused, she has to show how she both highlights how it comes under the criteria of abuse AND show that she advised the client of safe next steps. Unfortunately, she has been called upon to show she took those steps in the past.

I advised her of the limitations that rules might present in this case. For example, the rule about blogging on this site. She was interested in how far that would go. If I reported that I am objectively abusive to a partner but didn't accept comments on my blog, what would happen? Would posts detailing my abusive behaviour just sit on the site? Would those posts or the blog just be deleted and/or the user banned? Or would the rule be relaxed so people could address what is harmful behaviour?

If you take it back a notch to just objectively unhealthy behaviour, how much do the members of forums actively enable this behaviour by ignoring or creating rules which facilitate people with the space to share these views? I mean, say all people in a closed MFF triad were banned from this site because it was decided that configuration is just too problematic, it wouldn't stop unicorn hunting which is arguably the problem. But perhaps that sort of blatant objectification and misogyny will only be stamped out if, as a collection, people decide that it isn't okay to want or need a completely closed triad founded on a OPP. If you do want that or need that, then you need to do more work on yourself.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:56 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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I'm picturing a scenario where a newbie posts in the intro section and says, "We are a happily married MF couple. He is hetero, she is bi. We are searching for a second bi female to complete us. If interested please email us at the following address." Whereupon, a moderator posts and says, "The kind of activity you are engaging in is called unicorn hunting, and it is not tolerated on this forum. Cease your search for a bi female immediately, or you will be banned." Sounds gratifying on paper, but I doubt it would happen in practice. Is the answer, then, for a swarm of members to post, criticizing, in unison, the offending couple for their unicorn hunting ways? Then the offending couple would probably go away, but would probably continue their HBB search. But at least Polyamory.com wouldn't be helping them do that, right?
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