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  #11  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:06 AM
northhome northhome is offline
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Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.!
It seems wildly unrealistic to me to believe that you can make a promise never to change / grow / evolve / re-consider in your life. In our case the only thing we promised was that we would stay together as long as we both felt that we were being supported in our personal and mutual growth. Turns out to have worked (34 years) much better than 'till death do us part' stuff...

But I agree, unilateral decision-making is not a recipe for success, and this is probably something that should be sorted out in the beginning before the relationship settles down.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2012, 09:41 AM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
Let me clarify -- I'm talking about the threads where people come here and say, "my spouse is adamantly opposed to open/poly relationships, how can I convince him/her to let me have one?"
I`ll agree that the convincing thing is annoying. That being said, it`s not like it`s a level playing-field out there. I`ve been trying the poly-from-the-bat home run for about 6 years now, with no success.

Prior to that, I lived with someone. I remember sleepwalking through that relationship in college and suddenly waking up to a shared lease, jointly bought appliances, two cats, and monogamy. It`s just what I felt I had to do in order to have relationships and regular sex. But, suddenly, having sex with her sounded as attractive as chewing styrofoam (not because she lacked beauty; far from it).

That`s when I panicked.




-------------

I drank at dive bars waiting for her to fall asleep before walking in the door. I moved to the living room. In my defense, I didn`t get married. Not that it would have mattered. Nor did I try to sway her into open up. It was basically a go-alone thing right then. I`m going to be with other women. Either we open up, or we break up. Anything else would surely have lead to cheating.

The very first thing I did after that conversation was go to a brothel. Rainy day on the West Side of Manhattan. I picked the hooker whose physical perks I fantasized about, but were missing in my wife. It was like a ton of bricks lifted off my shoulders. My lungs opened up again. Indeed, we were open for about 3 months until she could no longer stand the fact I had another girlfriend.

I was engaged when I was very young, at 19. I look back upon that experience as essentially a way to defy and/or substitute my parents. The social symbolism of marriage giving me the false sense of security I needed when leaving my father`s home, without even being fully financially independent. Even then, monogamy issues cropped up since, I had gotten engaged to the woman I lost my virginity to. The thought of being with only one woman in my whole life haunted me. Needless to say, we didn`t go through with it.

I guess it`s all turned out for the best.
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Last edited by feelyunicorn; 06-03-2012 at 10:51 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:12 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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Is someone able to be counted as truly okay with opening the relationship if they:
1. find their partner's gender preference for extra partners to be sexually ineffectual and therefor, non threatening?
2. have their eyes on what they can sexually gain from their partner being sexual bait to the non threatening gender?

I'm seeing this all the damn time in this open relationship exploration. It is annoying when the above situation is what motivates the people involved.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:20 PM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
1. find their partner's gender preference for extra partners to be sexually ineffectual and therefor, non threatening?
2. have their eyes on what they can sexually gain from their partner being sexual bait to the non threatening gender?
These seem to be excellent questions, which I have argued about in this forum. I`m afraid my answers are unpopular here, so I`ll wait and see if others chip in.

In my case, if I understand the questions correctly, the threatening gender for a female partner would be male (unless he were bi). I do not feel threatened by either gender in a male partner. The threatening gender for myself is female (threat of rejection), in reply to question #2. I do not feel butthurt when rejected by a male intererest.
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Last edited by feelyunicorn; 06-03-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2012, 03:58 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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I'm talking about when one person asks for an opening to their monogamous relationship predominantly for them to seek partners of their own gender.
If their current partner only agrees because they don't think the gender the asking partner wants to seek is a sexual threat to them and sees a chance for them to get in the mix - is that person really okay with an open relationship?

As a single person I was not always in a monogamous relationship even if I was sexually active. There were times when I was seeing and being intimate with two different guys and neither of them or I wanted exclusivity to be a part of that at that time. They too were seeing and being intimate with other women at the time.
Those two people could very well not want a committed relationship to be one where I could continue to sleep with other men but they would be fine if I only saw other women partly because they hoped to also be able to have sex with those women. Wouldn't they be doing the same as they were before exclusivity was agreed upon? It doesn't sound like being at peace with the concept of an open relationship to me. It sounds like using someone as bait.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2012, 05:33 PM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinccenzo View Post
I'm talking about when one person asks for an opening to their monogamous relationship predominantly for them to seek partners of their own gender.
If their current partner only agrees because they don't think the gender the asking partner wants to seek is a sexual threat to them and sees a chance for them to get in the mix - is that person really okay with an open relationship?

As a single person I was not always in a monogamous relationship even if I was sexually active. There were times when I was seeing and being intimate with two different guys and neither of them or I wanted exclusivity to be a part of that at that time. They too were seeing and being intimate with other women at the time.
Those two people could very well not want a committed relationship to be one where I could continue to sleep with other men but they would be fine if I only saw other women partly because they hoped to also be able to have sex with those women. Wouldn't they be doing the same as they were before exclusivity was agreed upon? It doesn't sound like being at peace with the concept of an open relationship to me. It sounds like using someone as bait.
Maybe. But, in Woody Allen`s words, "whatever works."

I abhor the idea that a relationship is a bank account with carefully detailed pluses and minuses in blue and red ink, and that the balance between the two columns must never exceed zero, unless you pay interest on the debt.

Things are hardly ever equal. There may be all sorts of variation in the dominant-submissive, poly-mono, bi-straight, spectra between a single couple. And even more changes over time. Some people like doing the cooking, others the dishes.

----------

What if you enjoy picking up women and I don`t? And you`re perfectly happy with having only me as a male partner? Isn`t that all that matters?

The above question is not merely rhetorical; I despise picking up women. It feels tremendously unnatural to me, I grow a tumor and gray hair, I lose sleep and life expectancy over it, even if pussy is being thrown at me.

So, it would be nice if I had a partner, male or female, who enjoyed doing that for me. The difference between me and your example is that I`d be more than willing to let you (or a girl) roam free with other guys as well, as long as I wasn`t consistently sucking my thumb on chilly nights.
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Last edited by feelyunicorn; 06-03-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2012, 06:11 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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The premise of the OP is that at the time we met our partner we had ourselves all worked out and knew exactly what we wanted out of life, never to change.

Not only is this not true in practice, ut I would suggest that it is a very bad thing. We all need to grow and not be stifled by our lives, no?

When I met my longest partner, I had no clue about polyamory, was doing my best to suppress all the feelings that I felt so that I could live a "normal" life. Wife, 2.3 kids, etc. It was wrong, so I was going to do my best to make it work.

As I learned more and more about who I was, I realised that this just wasn't who I was, and that there were a bunch of people out there who felt similarly and that I wasn't some self-obsessed evil person, fearing commitment and wanting to hurt those I care most about. My partner stuck through me with this, even though it most definitely wasn't what she signed up for, but it was highly one-sided at the start, as I was trying to work things out.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2012, 07:50 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyclueless View Post
It seems wildly dishonest to me to enter into a monogamous relationship, sign a contract saying you'll do that forever, co-mingle your lives in a way that makes it very difficult to extricate yourself, and then tell your spouse you want to change the rules.

Are these people really blindsided by their desire not to be monogamous? It never occurred to them before they got married? It seems more likely to me they always had a hunch, and didn't bring it up until all the contract signing was done so their spouse was more likely to try to put up with it.
I think it would be just as useful to ask why there are people who seem to think it's perfectly OK to try to lock somebody into an unchanging state--"we're married and for the rest of your life you can't change!" Seriously, does anybody sign on for a marriage expecting that they aren't going to be able to change and grow for the rest of their lives? Do they sign on with the expectation that their spouse will not change and grow ever?

Your questioning supposes only one "negative" side to the phenomenon. Being part of human experience, there's almost always going to be an other "negative" side to the same thing. Each is as valid as the other.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2012, 09:13 PM
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Vixtoria Vixtoria is offline
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So I agree people change and so marriages change. I'm of two minds on this for a major reason. DH and I were married more than 15 years, mono both of us, when we opened to poly. My main resource was a poly/mono online group that I have left.

See, I was surprised by poly. Sure we look back NOW and see signs of it from dating in high school, but we were caught unawares. So many are when they've been married for a long time. And sadly, what catches them unawares is already falling for someone else. So you don't just have a married couple suddenly confronted with poly. You have a married couple blindsided by an affair and the refusal to give up the affair. That's where the unfair part comes in.

Not only is the person who is blindsided suddenly having to understand there are other forms of non monogamy, but their partner has had an affair. This is really really hard to deal with and for rebuilding trust takes years to work out, if ever.

Personally, my problem is that there is a kind of attitude that the person who cheated is a 'poor poly'. Someone that had no idea they had options so HAD to cheat. Who is somehow the victim and society has done them a great disservice. They do not feel the need to be portrayed as a bad guy in any sense. They do not have to apologize or feel any guilt at all for breaking the trust of a relationship. They really just need to tell their partner (spouse) that poly is okay and show them articles on how to get over their jealousies and have compersion!

This annoys me to no end and is the reason I will never, ever, point someone to that stupid list. Not only are the people that cheated told not to feel guilt or try to restablish trust, they are coddles and patted and told what a victim they are. Then, when they inevitably lose their marriage, it's not their fault. When they then lose their poly relationship they refused to give up in order to repair their current relationship, it is again not their fault. There was too much coddling.

Which is why I prefer this place. Sure sometimes people seem a little harsh and you better believe there are people here who I don't agree with and so who's opinion I disregard. However, no matter how scary it is to the poly person to suddenly realize that they CAN love more than one person, no matter how upset they are at a mistake as huge as cheating is, they are not allowed to keep their victim card and be coddled. People are called out here. It may not always be appropriate or kind, but it's necessary. I tire of being told I shouldn't feel guilt for mistakes I made in my marriage when it comes to falling for someone else. If I don't feel guilt, if I'm not willing to put in the work, then how much could I possibly love my partner?


Long story short, yes, we married people can be blindsided with realizing we are poly. Just as someone can be blindsided with the truth of their sexuality. No, not everyone handles it well in a mono relationship, but not everyone is pulling one over on their spouse just to have the best of both worlds.
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2012, 10:05 PM
Icewraithonyx Icewraithonyx is offline
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Disclaimer: the post reflects my thoughts on the newly "surprise!" polys who seek to suddenly alter their relationship.

Thank you for posting this topic, as I've often thought the same.

I think there are people that are honestly surprised to find themselves loving multiple people at once. I don't see why that gives them the right to unilaterally re-design the entire relationship for their benefit.

I've often thought the "married and now poly" bomb was like going into work and having your boss suddenly announce that your job has been transferred to another country. "You can either move or lose your job. Decide now." rather than having any say-so in the matter.
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