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  #21  
Old 04-23-2012, 01:40 AM
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Re:
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"I hate it when people call it the poly bible."
Yeah, it doesn't really seem to be deserving of that moniker. Although I've read it, and came across many passages I liked, there were other parts that just seemed so flippant about the oodles-of-sex type thing.
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  #22  
Old 04-24-2012, 02:46 AM
km34 km34 is offline
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I have yet to make it through the entire book. After about 6 attempts. There's just something about it that bothers me. I don't relate to it at all, I guess. Maybe someday I'll make it through and find something wonderful in there that I've missed...
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  #23  
Old 04-28-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I hate it when people call it the poly bible.
Its not a poly bible at all. Its a non-monogamy bible if you are on the other end of the spectrum in the open/swinging/casual sport sex area of the non-monogamy spectrum. It can be useful in poly to move ones head to think of things differently however.
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  #24  
Old 04-28-2012, 05:55 PM
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Hi there. I read your first post, skimmed your others, and didn't really read the other replies so I apologize as I'm sure I'm going to repeat things that have already been said.

First off, it CAN work. My gf and her husband have been married for 7 years and together longer than that. She and I have been dating for 2.5 years. In 2.5 years of dates, sex, "I love you"s, romantic presents, etc, our relationship, as far as I can tell, has never once caused her husband to feel like he's not secure in their relationship. They were married before. They're married now. Even if she and I someday (unlikely but possible) developed a primary relationship and had a handfasting and I moved in with them and he and I were on equal footing in terms of our relationship with her -- he would still be JUST as important to her as before.

This is a tired analogy, but it's like with kids. You have one and it's the most important thing in your life, you'd die for it, you make all decisions with its best interests in mind. Then you have a second kid. And now there are two most important people in your lives, two people you'd die for, two people you build your world around supporting. And yet, if you're a good, conscientious parent, loving the second doesn't take away from the first. How does that work?? Simple -- love isn't a finite resource.

Time, of course, IS finite resource... so what about the time issue? My relationship with my gf has not once, as far as I've been able to tell, taken away time that she and her husband *needed* together, any more than her other friendships or her hobbies do. If she spends a night at a dance class, or a night out on the town with her sister, or a night out with me, how does one take her away from her husband more or less? Everyone should have a life outside their partner.

There are a number of things that make this all work. One is that he and I get along great -- we're all friends from college. So the three of us can hang out happily. This isn't the same as a date between just she and I, but it lets us spend time together and continue to build our connection and rapport, to feel like we're in a real relationship, while not taking her away from him as often. These three-person hangouts also help ensure that he and I continue to trust each other and support each other. If he ever DID start to feel insecure about my relationship with his wife (unlikely, but let's imagine), that would probably be mitigated to a great degree by hanging out with me, watching cartoons, listening to music, etc.

Communication, honesty, mutual support, respect, trust, transparency -- all of this makes it possible. Clarity is important, for me. I have no illusions that Gia is going to leave Eric for me (nor would I ever ever want that!). I trust that if I really needed her, she would be there. But if she and I were planning a date and an emergency came up with her husband or her child, we would reschedule. Now, if that were a regular occurence it would be a problem... but that would be true even if she were just a friend... I actually had a friend once who was always canceling our planned hangouts. I don't bother trying to hang out with him anymore.

All of that said, it seems like you and he have a ways to go before you're ready for poly.

So, he said one thing at the beginning of the relationship and is now saying another. Let that go, it's no use saying "that's unfair!", the situation now is what it is and you have to deal with it. BUT, especially since this was sprung on you, he has no right to rush you. You should have as much time as you need to digest this, read things, talk it out with him, etc.

His lack of transparency is a MAJOR problem. He needs to deal with this before you guys go forward. Maybe couple's counseling? Maybe a list of types of things that a) you need him to disclose immediately (ex. interest in a new person, a problem that he's having in his relationship with you, etc.), and b) a list of things that must be talked about and mutually agreed upon with you before he acts upon them (ex. going on a date with a new person, initiating sexual contact with a new person). Of course, no list can ever substitute for the right intentions, so he needs to demonstrate to you that he WANTS to honor your feelings and be forthright with you more than anything else.

There are many things that are reasonable to ask for in addition to those I began to list out above. That you get to meet his potential partners before they start dating. That he run any potential date nights by you so you can make sure it works with your schedule and even make other plans so you're not at home alone. That he spend X number of nights at home with you, so you don't feel neglected, that he and you continue to do special things together, that he only date ONE new person to start, so you all can feel out the dynamics time management, energy, etc.

There are also many things that are reasonable for him to ask of you. That you honestly tell him your problems and fears so he can address them, that you not try to force him to choose between you and a new partner once they've begun dating if at ALL possible, that you not invent emergencies to make him cancel dates or do other passive-aggressive things to keep his other relationship(s) from flourishing (not that you would, but some people do...).

These agreements/understandings/rules/boundaries/what-have-you will be unique to the two of you, of course. And, again, I favor good intentions over good lists any day. But since clarity has been a problem thus far, these sorts of agreements might be helpful.

Poly doesn't have to be, and indeed never SHOULD be, a way to avoid dealing with problems in your existing relationship(s), a way to run away or avoid commitment. In fact, if done well it can do quite the opposite. It can force you to drag any issues with communication and trust out into the open to be dealt with, and can help you clarify why you're important to each other (if "exclusivity" is the only answer, well, doesn't sound like much of a relationship to me!).

A time when you're having other problems in your relationship (I believe I saw the words "bad weird" above) is NOT the time to open up to poly. Deal with those problems first. Be as strong as you can together. THEN open up. That is like Rule #1, and it's as much for the benefit of any new people as for you guys... anyone he might date deserves to enter a healthy situation, not a powder-keg of drama.

Phew! This DOES sound like a lot of work and extra complication! Why do it? Well, for one, if he really does need it, then he will grow resentful and depressed in the long-term without it. Personally, I find the extra support and love that multiple relationships provide to be immensely useful and awesome. We each have an expanded network of support, even Davis, my mono bf who's not involved with the other two beyond the level of acquaintance -- if he badly needed help I know they would come, for my sake.

Good luck!!!! Maybe your bf should read this thread?
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  #25  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:19 PM
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A couple more thoughts I had after hitting "post" about the benefits of poly.

1) Our partners get to know us better than anyone. As such, they can help us see things about ourselves that we never saw before, can help us be things we never thought we could be. Partners help us grow. Obviously this doesn't apply if new relationships are superficial or interchangeable, but I don't think of that as poly, I think of that as fucking around. Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, as long as everyone understand what' s going on and is treated with basic human dignity.

2) If your bf is capable of loving more than one person at once, which had better darn well be the case if he wants to be poly, he might fall for someone even if you guys are supposed to be mono, without even meaning to. If monogamy is the only option and he's madly in love with someone else, he might leave you out of desperation, to find out what could be with the other person. It happens all the time to mono couples, that or just plain old affairs. With poly as an option, you don't have to kick one partner out of your heart/life, or live a double life, in order to let in someone new.
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  #26  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:44 PM
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I'm officially not giving anyone poly advice since my own life is on the rocks, and you have had plenty of really good advice already. However, as to why do poly if you can be a happy mono?

1) My gf and I share many interests and passions, but not all. Both have individual interests that the other can sympathize with but not really share. These can be so important however, that sharing them with someone feels really exhilarating. If feelings of exhilaration turn into something else and there is a negotiation system in place for such occurrances, it feels a lot of safer to venture outside of the primary relationship to meet new people and make friends.
2) We have very different sexual needs on a very basic level. I'm primarily attracted to women, she craves male energies. BDSM is very important to her core identity, I'm sympathetic but don't really feel the itch. While I am mostly responsive to other's sexual ardour, she is very sexual and craves sex and sexual variety more often than I can reasonably provide.
3) We both have a disabling long-term illness, but she has it to a much greater degree, and the diagnosis is much more recent. She needs considerable time and energy just to manage basic life functions. I work two jobs, go to school, volunteer on multiple levels and have several hobbies. It does us both good not to have to fit ourselves into the other's rhythm, but to be able to seek companionship outside and alongside our life together.
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