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Old 08-06-2014, 05:03 AM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Default Seeing the Other Side?

I saw this story and, while not exactly mine, resonated very strongly with me. The comments were all...well, I'd like to see opinions here first.

"Hi. This is a very long post and I apologise that I can't keep it shorter, but I don't want to generalise too much. If you don't feel the long bits, my short question is: when you and your primary partner become pregnant, is it common to let go of other relationships for the time being?

"My husband and I recently opened up our relationship in order to explore our conflicting kinks. I found a dom and my husband found a secondary with him he developed a very loving relationship. However, after my dom broke up with me a few months ago, I realized I actually want monogamy. However, since my husband had originally agreed to open the relationship for me (and because I had developed strong feelings for my dom that had me considering leaving my husband) I kept quiet about wanting monogamy in couples counseling. I did mention that wanted to explore D/s with him (he is more of a sadist) but he never took me up on that.

I liked her and I especially liked to see him happy. So I tried hard to be supportive, invite her to our place, visit her when she was sick etc. I ticked out a few times when jealousy hit too hard, but my husband chose to brush those off as me having episodes and I was happy not to go any deeper.

We'd been trying to conceive for several years but told him that I couldn't continue with it because I didn't feel the support from him that I would need to become pregnant because he divided his attention between his girl and me. But a few months after that I discovered I was, in fact, pregnant. In my naοvety I trusted he would stand by my side, given that we had made an agreement that if one of us can't cope with the poly situation anymore, we would stop. And that our marriage would always be above everything else.

At first he agreed to stop seeing her JUST during the pregnancy and a few months after, but after talking to her he reversed his decision and said he would not stop seeing her. She sent me a nasty and pretty judgmental email about what a horrible person I was that I didn't care about my husbands happiness and didn't bother to talk to her in person. Things escalated from there and at one point my husband moved out for a week. After that, I went into such hysterics at the thought of losing him that I promised to try and let him do everything, which is when he came back home. But I couldn't cope. I asked him to compromise and only see her once or twice a month , but he insisted on twice a week. After many sessions with a therapist and much fighting I have realized that if he can't make me and the baby a priority for a year, he's not the type of man I want.

I am now 4.5 months pregnant and looking for a new place to live and a chance to be happy at least the second half of this pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, if he wanted to change his mind tomorrow, next week or next month, I would be so glad and am certain we could work things out - so I guess I haven't given that hope up yet.

My question to those of you who have seen more of the poly world for a few months - is this just the price you pay when you get involved in poly whilst you are not really cut out for it? I have a few friends who went back to monogamy during the first 1-2 years of their kids life, but I don't know if that's common or if I only know exceptions. And, if you were pregnant and had a hard time coping - how did you manage?"

Please tell me your feelings about the OP.

Last edited by PolyinPractice; 08-06-2014 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:21 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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I sympathize with her distress, but she is treating her metamour as if she were a mere plaything for her husband to be easily discarded rather than human being with actual feelings and needs of her own.

It doesn't seem to be uncommon, but I am shocked and appalled by the way some people progress down the poly road seemingly believing that if they change their mind their partner can simply stop loving the new partner, pretend she never existed, and things magically return to what they were before.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:46 AM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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I have to agree that it's unrealistic to expect your partner to go back to being monogamous when he/she has another partner already in the mix. Closing off to NEW relationships during pregnancy and infancy? Sure.

I think that limiting the date time to once a week or so with no overnights while the baby is super young would be understandable. Wanting to have the support of your co-parent during all of the middle of the night issues and all of that is completely understandable and, in my book, reasonable. I would expect Dad to take an evening a week to let Mom get out of the house, too, if she was interested, though.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:46 PM
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Inyourendo Inyourendo is offline
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Pregnancy can be hard. New horns and toddlers can be hard. If I need my partner to be there for me while pregnant, if I need him there as a coparent to help with night parenting then he needs to be present. Not saying he has to dump a girlfriend, Nate had multiple lovers during my pregnancies but he was there when I needed him to be.

I think closing the relationship when all other relationships have run their course is fine but I would never expect my husband to dump his girlfriend just because I was pregnant. He may however need to spend less time and most likely no sleep overs. I know the first several weeks nate and I were inseparable, we literally spent 2 hours apart those first 2 months.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:57 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
I sympathize with her distress, but she is treating her metamour as if she were a mere plaything for her husband to be easily discarded rather than human being with actual feelings and needs of her own.
Exactly. I see it over and over again. There seems a belief that it is possible to put the marriage/spouse first, and yet not put the outside relationship second/ultimately disposable if push comes to shove.

Quote:
It doesn't seem to be uncommon, but I am shocked and appalled by the way some people progress down the poly road seemingly believing that if they change their mind their partner can simply stop loving the new partner, pretend she never existed, and things magically return to what they were before.
I agree. My XBF and his wife agreed, on opening their marriage many years ago, that either of them could call it off for both of them, no questions asked, at any time, and they would close the marriage. I don't think he's fully processed a few things regarding that.

One is that, I believe he would do that for her. I don't for a heartbeat believe she'll close the marriage for him, because when he stopped the lifestyle only for himself (ie, decided to see only me, outside of their marriage), she objected strongly. He's fooling himself if he actually believes she'll honor that agreement.

The other is that, he hasn't processed the catch-22 in his living up to all his values: he values being a good husband who prioritizes his wife and marriage and he also values treating others well, with respect, as people, not as playthings. I don't think he's fully processed that in order to honor his agreement to his wife (if she were to call that agreement in), he would have to sacrifice his value of not treating someone else as a disposable plaything that had value until his wife said, "Get rid of it." But to honor his value of treating others like people, he would have to sacrifice his value of prioritizing his wife and marriage.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:37 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
The other is that, he hasn't processed the catch-22 in his living up to all his values: he values being a good husband who prioritizes his wife and marriage and he also values treating others well, with respect, as people, not as playthings. I don't think he's fully processed that in order to honor his agreement to his wife (if she were to call that agreement in), he would have to sacrifice his value of not treating someone else as a disposable plaything that had value until his wife said, "Get rid of it." But to honor his value of treating others like people, he would have to sacrifice his value of prioritizing his wife and marriage.
Yes. I confess to not understanding how some people function. When I hold a concept dear like the two mentioned above, I run scenario after scenario insuring that it holds up across the board. I would never proceed with two obviously incompatible tenets. And yet many do. I am not sure if they do not know how to think critically, or if their feelings about the situation at hand make them stupid.

It took only one bad experience for me to now vet any new partner's thinking skills.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:06 AM
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SlowPoly SlowPoly is offline
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It is surprising that this always sounds so "reasonable" to the person who got dumped (or had some other less that perfect relationship that ended) and now wants to be mono. Do they not stop to put themselves in their primary partner's shoes? Or those of the secondary partner? Where is the empathy?

I get the idea that setting up the right to unilaterally pull the plug and the complementary obligation to shut down ongoing relationships on demand is one of the little tweaks couples do to reassure themselves that this little poly experiment isn't going to hurt their relationship, isn't going to threaten their couple privilege. But is shortsighted and treats people as things. And it reeks not only of couple privilege, but of the right to possess and control one's partner.

Finally, yes, pregnancy is hard and a pregnant woman needs support. And it sounds like the husband and his girlfriend weren't willing to step up to that. It's impossible to know if they were prejudiced against any later capitulations by the wife's initial move to pull the plug. But quite possibly this wasn't going to be an ideally supportive husband once the poly experiment was underway, or ever.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:46 AM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookbug View Post
Yes. I confess to not understanding how some people function. When I hold a concept dear like the two mentioned above, I run scenario after scenario insuring that it holds up across the board. I would never proceed with two obviously incompatible tenets. And yet many do. I am not sure if they do not know how to think critically, or if their feelings about the situation at hand make them stupid.

It took only one bad experience for me to now vet any new partner's thinking skills.
So you run scenario after scenario which value do you dump or sacrifice ?

And wouldn't the scenario's be tainted by the personalities/ people in the dynamic ? Here we go back to labels but gf or bf could mean casual sex partner or something slightly less than co primary.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:45 PM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
So you run scenario after scenario which value do you dump or sacrifice ?

And wouldn't the scenario's be tainted by the personalities/ people in the dynamic ? Here we go back to labels but gf or bf could mean casual sex partner or something slightly less than co primary.
I can see the confusion. My comment was less than clear. I *personally* do not hold both concepts dear. My point was that if one did, than a litte scenario running would have easily revealed that holding the husband / wife relationship above all others, while wishing to treat all partners with care, dignity, and respect are incompatible.

Me? I do not do the whole primary / secondary thing. All relationships are unique and non-hierarchical.

As to your question about casual relationships, that is up to the two parties involved. But WhatHappened's comment had to do with a situation in which a person held two incompatible concepts as equal in importance, leaving a high probability that a situation could arise where one of the two concepts would have to be betrayed.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:40 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Common? Maybe. But we dont often hear crom people who happily "make life work" because they are busy living it, not runnin to online boards seeking "help".

For me; no. Not acceptable. My relationshipS are sacred. Not only one of them. That said we have as a group put dating new people on hold during medical crisises etc. so if i was pregnant (god forbid) we may all agree not to seek new partners but to buckled down the hathes as a group and put extra energy into the pregnancy.
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