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Old 10-17-2012, 10:53 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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@JaneQSmythe -- Haha! ORE -- way too much fun!

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Old 10-18-2012, 05:10 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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I endure a heavy heart. My abused friend just left. She asked me to help her organize her things against the speak out loud list to prepare for a counseling appointment.

On the one hand, I am VERY proud of her and wish her continued small successes and she tries to heal and break away from crazy shit things and get a divorce. Step by step.

Wanting an alternative open relationship model is NOT crazy. Wanting to Share in a different way is NOT crazy. But having chosen to go there together? And come to find it is not what they thought it would be because of not having enough education? Enough planning? Enough fitness (in mind, body, heart, or soul)?

That is NEVER a reason to start raining abuse on your partner, blame shifting, causing pain, destruction and I don't know what! NEVER. EVER. And this is what G. meant and I know it. I don't even have to hear what he's witnessed when we chatted briefly this summer and he told me he could tell me "stories that would make my hair curl."

I have witnessed all kinds of freak show in other people's relationships sometimes. I don't think monoships are any less freak show. Freak show is freak show! It takes all kinds and there will be wonderful examples of monoships and polyships and so on. And there will be wacko examples too. Good and Bad. But I swear this one just takes the cake lately. My eyebrows shoot up into my hairline and my mouth hangs open.

I try to hold in my emotion so I can offer judgement free safe space here in my home when she needs to borrow my printer and do what she has to do. I hurt to know my friend has endured this pain so long when she ask for feedback and sounding board time and she reveals intimate details that are Hard to Hear. But I'm her friend. So I sit there and Hear like she asks. I don't have to choose this. But I do.

I hurt hoping she does not perceive me as looking down on her. I don't. I try to gently ask her questions not to be nosy and not to tell her what she SHOULD do. It's to try to get her to think it out and see all her options for where she COULD go. This is her decision making process. She's the boss. I will be her friend no matter what she decides but she has to own her process. She's owning it. I am so proud of her. Trying to own a goddamn HARD.

Ugh. And there's soooo many other things I want to tell her, but don't feel like this is the time to burden her with the information.

This is NOT about me. This is about her, and helping her navigate this Difficult Time in her Life with some dignity.

I don't even hate the guy. I hate his behavior. I still do not care to be in relationship with him -- be HIS friend. But I'm still willing to say "LEAVE if this is what you choose. But pass the baton and alert his next of kin he's all wacko right now. He needs care!"

I am still not saying "Screw him! I wish he was dead!"

I have enough compassion to want him to get better than THIS. (If he is able. Lordy. ) But I so DO NOT LOVE his behavior. Abhorrent! It is TOTALLY wrong and inappropriate. Frightening! Mentally and emotionally abusive! Gives me the heebie jeebies. That is a mind there that is all kinds of broken. Ack.

For myself and my own well being? I just want to keep the hell away from him.

Who knows. Maybe he's evil. Maybe he's Bipolar. Maybe he is BOTH evil and bipolar. Again, I'm not a pro and that's not my job. My job right now is to be a friend.

What is clear? My friend CANNOT allow herself to stay in the line of fire. Something MUST change.

This crazy shit thing is hurting her in all her buckets -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health. She is tired, losing sleep, stressed out to the max, hurting on all levels... She deserves better treatment, a happy life. She's not asking for unreasonable things!


I don't really talk to her much about my own process with my spouse. She knows we're talking. She knows right now we are firmly CLOSED with parenting time and eldercare time on our plates. But that's one of the things I wish I could tell her. Maybe like:

"Oh, honey. If THIS is how you are wired, and this is how you want to live? You have the right to try to live in a way that feeds you well. It can be done. It can be done well.

But slow it down. Really take the time to examine your own fitness, the fitness of your partner, the fitness of the existing relationship FIRST before adding more. Because going there under-prepared and with starry-eyed unrealistic expectations, unreasonable expectations, not seeing eye-to-eye on what you want from the new relationships forged, not having any kind of a code of conduct or map for conflict resolution? Are you increasing your odds of success and happiness going in like that? Success and happiness are not guaranteed. Those things ENSUE after changes in behavior.

But do not RUSH. Spend a good while ALONE post-divorce. Get to know yourself again as you heal. Don't jump into a new thing just to run away from the old crazy shit thing. Wait. Heal. Wait some more. Wait to have something really good to run TOWARD. Life is long. It will come. But only if you let it."

I watched her get in her car and drive off feeling like the Ancient of Days. My heart is heavy and burdened. I just hope for the best outcome. I keep on hoping. That's all a friend can do, I guess. Be supportive in appropriate ways and keep on helping you to hope for better days ahead?

I do not base my own relationship on how other people are doing/not doing. But at times like these I take great comfort in being with DH. Knowing that my partner gets me, and knowing I get him. He told me earlier today he has to give her props and tonight before he took off for sleep I asked him to tell her so directly. So he did. I think she needs to hear feedback from other MEN too that this is just not right. Abusive behavior is just NOT cool.

DH and I have seen a lot go by in 20 years. Friends getting falling in love, married, having babies, breaking up, getting remarried, coming out, exploring alternative models, battling illness, changing jobs, changing homes... just lots of life stuff.

What is life but change?

I reflect on how I want our first Openings to be like and how I hope they might come to pass if we choose to go there. If we choose to make a new Change and choose each other again in a new shape. Knowing that should there we choose to go? We strive to go in there prepared and prepared to pay the price of admission.
  • Should it blow up, and go crazy? Conflict resolution plan first.
  • Should it circumstances dictate a split? Then let's have an amicable split then. Break out the split up sanely plan then.

Do I want to split? Hell, no!

But let's not be ostrich about it. The ultimate price of admission is a split. That price tag is ALWAYS there. Even in monoship, even in closed polyship of 2. That price tag is always there. If you stop tending to your partner's well being in the way you agreed to sign up to tend it? Watch that relationship wither and die on the vine. Your partner may exercise their right leave and choose to go. They do not have to choose to stay in a place where they are not fed.

They may even still love you and wish it could work. But loving you doesn't automatically mean staying with you. Feelings are separate from behavior. Perhaps it's healthier for them to love you from a distance.

I'd like to think if DH and I have to split for some unforseen reason we could manage to do it WELL.

I think we could. Sigh. Let's hope it doesn't go there. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. It's in the playbook, dude.
Ugh. Worrying for friend and being sick is making me not be able to sleep.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-18-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:29 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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On Abuse: Wearing Down

Ugh. So tired.

Other friends are asking about Abused Friend and what they ought to do. I said to go straight to the source and ask Abused Friend how she would like to be treated right now and how she would like them to be.

Because I'm not a mind reader.

I also do not have the energy. My own brain feels swimmy. Abused Friend was over here for a short visit -- homework (needed my printer) and then a quick board game to decompress after come venting. The counseling appointment was what it was.

She said she's all fuzzy/cloudy. I hope she doesn't get sucked back in. I am hoping that means coming to terms with the fact that this relationship really is over.

I hope that doesn't mean she's still emotionally and mentally captive.


I worry she may be.

Such a long and arduous process to endure. I hope she makes it.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:57 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I'm so proud of you for owning your own shit AND helping your friend, while simultaneously watching your self to be sure you aren't pressing into her stuff.

Hard work.

It sounds like she's got a handle on what she needs to do, and it sounds like she has a great friend supporting her in doing it.

I hope she finds things calming down sooner than later.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:08 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Thanks, Loving Radiance. I needed that virtual hug. It is the longest 2 months of my life enduring this rollercoaster with her.

This I choose to do. I can choose to check out if I want to.

Every time I visit this place with some friend who has fallen victim to abuse I think "My god, this place makes NO FUCKING SENSE!"

I'm not a professional. This is not my field. I'm just a friend. And it's a hard leash to hold. Even knowing what I do know about the cycle of abuse? I still guard really hard against the feelings that bubble up. I guard against the feelings and watch out for inappropriate expression of them. Feelings of ugh, disgust, horror, dismay, annoyance, fear, worry, etc. All kinds of yucky feelings. Feelings that make me feel

enraged and GRRRR

I can't go around spilling that yucky stuff at my Abused Friend. She's already been getting abuse. You don't fuck with fragile. She is not a well person yet. It's too easy to perceive her as the source of my ughness. But *I* chose to be here. So the source is MY choosing to sit in a line of fire. On purpose. This I choose to do. She's endured with me on my eldercare dramas. Why would I bail on her when it's her turn to have a life drama thing?

But I have to steam valve it elsewhere so that I can stay level and keep on keepin' on. Mainly to DH. I have to keep reminding myself that I am NOT her. It is NOT about me.

Sometimes I slip or feel in danger of slipping and I try to catch myself and I apologize to her and tell her that I made inappropriate commentary in my frustration with the SITUATION. (Not her.) I own it. Or I try to. I want her to see that too -- that even I can lose my cool here and the appropriate behavior is what? Blame HER? No. It is to apologize to her for blowing my stack. Give her back that dignity. Cuz her abuser blames it all on her. Anyone can color outside the lines from pressure -- the correct next behavior is to make apology and get back in line. Not blame shift my bad behavior on to someone else.

Some of our friends in common have been turning to vent at me -- "WHY!? WHY does she stay!?" and I just point them to speakoutloud.net. It could be cognitive disonance.
It is not codependence
all the time -- it could be the reality of leaving being dangerous and not ready with a safety plan.

It could be the victim is at a stage you do not realize and needs different things at Stage 1 than at Stage 5. I have yet to find a better website for abuse/domestic violence issues that lists what the friends and family can be doing at each stage. I've pointed so many people there. Abused Friend and I visit it together. I really do ask her point blank "What do you need me to be right now? Just an Ear? An Ear with Feedback? How can I best support YOU today? What stage are you at so I know what volume to put it at? I can go look it up and see my role to you and what you need."

And this comes after ages of saying "Are you being hurt? If you are being hurt you can tell me. My door is always open" and not taking it personally when she denied wrong doing or hurtness. Even though I knew something fishy was going on over there.

Sometimes it takes a while for the victim to be ready to own "Yes! Yes! I am being hurt!" so the correct thing to do it plant a seed there. For the day in future when they are ready to run -- they have you to run toward. She doesn't have to come here. She can go away. She keeps coming back for support so I must be doing something right in being up front and radically honest about where I'm at here. And she can tell me to buzz off any time.

But how does it feel? To me? The Meta Feeling umbrella over top all these smaller yucky ugh feelings?
  • I can't control how I feel. It is imperative that I control how I behave.

In "High Fidelity" the Joan Cusack character sums it up so well --
Liz: You're really upsetting her, and him!

Rob: Like I care about him.

Liz: Well, you should.

Rob: Why?

Liz: Because all you're doing is forming a little unit. Them against you! Before you started all this psychotic madness... there was no unit; there was just three people in a mess.
I think it makes one of my other friends crazy watching me say NOTHING about the abuser. I keep it on the abuser's behavior.
"I do not approve of this behavior. This behavior is NOT appropriate. You do not deserve to be treated like this. This is not loving behavior."
(And it sure as hell isn't loving!) My other friend has called me out and said "Well DUH that is bad behavior! Why do you keep DOING that?! He's a jerk!"

I explained SHE can see that... like "DUH! So obvious!" But she assumes it is obvious to the abuse victim. Is anything I'm saying untrue? Nope. Totally not appropriate. Is the volume I'm saying it at being heard? Yup. Why would I want to shout it at a volume that overwhelms the victim?

I'm not going to touch a personality. I'm not going to create a "little unit" here -- where the victim has to defend self and abuser from all comers. That blocks the victim from help. That's not the goal. Move it FORWARD to the goal of the victim choosing to stay with CHANGES MADE SO ABUSE STOPS or choosing to leave.

My other friend goes nuts "She should leave!"

I point out -- "She could pick BEING SAFE either way."

I want her free to choose for HERSELF what she wants her next future to be. I want her eyes free of clouds to be able to SEE what she's got here for HERSELF. She cannot see clear yet? I hold up lamp then. No judge. Just shine light on behavior done / not done.

Let the actions speak for themselves:
  • This is the loving and respectful TALK.
  • This is the abuse BEHAVIOR.
  • Do they match? Yes or no?
  • Is it loving and respectful to present you with abusive behavior after promising you loving talk? Yes or no?

Keep holding up the lamp to light the way. It is the cycle of abuse. Round and round. They may not be ready to trying jumping out of the cycle to escape safely yet. Person may not even be ready to ANSWER questions inside their own head yet. First they may need to learn to think on their own again. That's another thing abuser's steal. Your ability to think on your own, make decisions on your own. They have to leap over the cognitive dissonance first.

She sometimes calls me to ask "Am I being crazy thinking this here?" and I look at the thing or hear the story and I honestly say "Um, my reaction is __. Same as you. I don't think your reaction of ___ is not normal or weird. Could ask ____ for their opinion. But I'm going with NO. You are not crazy to want/feel/think that."

Because abusers steal that too -- tell you what to think, what to feel, what you are allowed to want. You cannot trust your own self any more with your decisions and your thinks. Giving back the trust in their own capability -- that's where I want to park it.
  • No. I will not create a "little unit" keeping her stuck with her abuser.
  • No. I will not make her value judgements for her.
  • No. I will not make her choices for her.
  • No. I will not steal her adult-ness from her.
  • No. I will not run her show for her. She is the boss.
  • Yes. I will tell her she does not deserve this treatment.
  • Yes. I will verify that her feelings and thinks are not unreasonable (when they are not unreasonable.)
  • Yes. I will encourage her to make her best healths decisions from a place a full information.
  • Yes. Change is fucking hard.
  • Yes. Thinking is fucking hard.
  • Yes. I believe she can choose for her own damn self what she wants in her own damn life!

Hard Conversations and navigating them with some kind of Grace.

(pause to think)

Sigh. Life! So bizarre. So horrible. So wonderful. THIS place I do know. I don't know about being abused -- I fortunately have not been. But I know about the enduring place and the "I can get through this" place. I may be experiencing pressure from the side here. But there I chose to go. I may be feeling all kinds of yargh. But that's all been felt before.

I don't want to LIVE here. But I've been here. Here I am again. I know I make it out the other end. Always. I'm still here, aren't I?

I live to tell the tale. Over and over. Confidence is grown by doing. I know I can get through tough times. I can endure when the situation calls for endure.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-24-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:22 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I like that last line, confidence is grown by doing. so very true.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:26 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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(Meta Note: Older entry -- from 10/9/2012. My own life is chugging along swimmingly but then I got all distracted in Abuse Land and had to stop chasing Shiny Thoughts in my own head and tend to hurt friend. So back to THAT conversation already in progress....)

I've always found it curious that people don't seem to be engaged for all that long. Not like I'm some big expert on being engaged to consider a marriage. I only did it once, and I only plan to do it once!

I always told him I was not interested in being his first. I am interested in being his last. I already know the places he's my last. Like I'm not having more bio children. He's it. Genetic monogamy.

Having a kid is a Major Life Choice.

We engaged to think about having a kid for um... 10 years? It was on and off conversation taken in stages.

1) That we both wanted to go there. Engaged to determine the reality test our fitness in our healths and as a couple.

2) We agreed to planning on general time and general mission date. Engaged to determined the WHEN. Not during college. Too stressy to add newborn then. Not during early career building. Window time chosen somewhere around THERE would be good.

3) Then the date rolled nearer and here came the trying to conceive period. Engaged to execute the mission. If we want to catch the train? This is it! Window is here!

She came almost for the exact 10th year anniv. Right on target. Smug.

Don't tell me I can't control my own destiny.

New Major Life Choice. Opening a Marriage.

We're engaged on "Opening Up - Repass." It isn't like we haven't touched on it over the years along the way here and there. Like we used to touch on the baby thing here and there before it was time to really get on with the Baby Making Talks.

This feels similar to me. We've had the polyship talks here and there along the way. It's feeling like time to get serious and really get on with the Polyship Making Talks. So this period of engagement is set for a year and a day minimum.

A tentative date for execution of the mission? After HS grad. We're not at "all systems go!" -- this is more the stage of reality testing of the people's fitness. Are we fit? Do we need more training for this mission? Is the missions scheduled for the right time of life?

In polyship you ARE your own ground control. You get to play both sides. Launch a mission and it sucks because the engineers designed a poor craft? You were the engineers. It sucks because the crew is not flying right? You are the crew. It sucks because there's no tether to ground control? You are the ground control. You are it. Kit and kaboodle.

You are on your own mettle.

I just don't want to co-parent with anyone else. I accept Life is weird and while my intent is thus, it could change. He accepts that and agrees. He has no desire to coparent either.

But Life being Life what if it is a case like he was? The Right One. Not at the Exact Right Time but VERY close? As opposed to the Right One at the Wrong Time?

Reasonableness window being what? 10th grade the Other enters Orbit? Rather than 12th grade grad? Discard possibility or renegotiate as close enough? Additonal conversation required. That's where we left it for now. Sometimes we just kick out a number just to get a handle on something to the good enough for now place. Then come back and jiggle it around some more later.

That's what being engaged in a time of discernment is FOR. To think about making change(s), figure it out, then nail it down. Sometimes move the post over a little bit. Before you change the boundary fences you do the perimeter walk to take notes what chunks need repair first or total replacement or are doing just fine where they lie.

Navigating through Stages of Change towards the mutual goal of Opening Up, dating well, then settling back down into some polyfi shape of something.

Configurations convo pending I like being the hinge in a V best, but am open to small shapes like Ns and triads and quads. I know I have a low polysaturation point and I cannot, at this time of my life, deal in a tangle. I would have enjoyed that more as a single pre-motherhood. He's deliberating what his favs are.

We could Open Up and hang a shingle and... nobody ever visits the store. And I'd be alright with that. I'm not missing anything here in the closed polyship of two. I wouldn't be missing anything in the open polyship of 2. I'm not even missing anything without him.

I'm me. Whole. Complete. Person. I'm not a broken half person needing another broken half to complete me. In partnered relationship, you cannot have it without a PARTNER. Partnered relationship requires a partner somewhere. The partner is there to complement you in partnered relationship. Partner is not there to complete you.

A partnered relationship does not mean either partner is NOT already a complete, whole person able to stand on their own two healthy, whole, complete feet. Partners are choosing to come together interdependently weaving the fabric they wish to make of Life Shared.

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:26 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The Stages of Change?

So right now to me it feels like we are in this Contemplation/Prepartion line straddle place.

Sometimes I feel vomitous. That's my anxiety. I breathe. Back away from the idea that is bugging me. I note that topic area is going to be a vultured one. Circle around closer and closer circles before I can do the thought pounce on the fucker and pin it down and own it.

I'm not going to avoid it. But I can't take that one on board straight on. I cannot walk over to the Thought and think it all out in a direct way. I need to sniff it out a bit. It's not avoiding. It is hunting.

I like to hunt. Sometimes I chase Shiny Thoughts around in my head for pleasure in a meandering way. Sometimes I know what I want to think about and how I'm going to think about it and I know I am not going to have fun thinking it out because it is vomitous. But oh, am I going to have fun hunting it down and owning it. Because on the meta-level? It IS fun. I like owning my own mind. Even the dark corners.

It's like being a huge Meta Project manager. And the Meta Project consists of many Large Projects inside it.

If at the end of the year it's time to show work to date? I'd be content with WHAT work to date?

Nnnnrgh. I have to ask him now and I have to ask myself. WHAT work to date? The specs please!

See? I'm engaged.


This is hard. Gives me a headache. And it makes me laugh. Because my friend G. told me -- he feels same. Like horrible-wonderful on the one hand. Whee. Other times he sometimes wonders why he bothers with it all. So much work. Such a drag. But then... yeah. The irresistable ding.

He said he could tell me stories to make my hair curl and then stories to make my chest explode. I laughed and agreed. Did we tell the stories? Nope. No need.

Those who need to know, know, Those who don't? Don't.

(That friend is a Jedi Player I'll always wonder about. And that so satisfies. Having a Wonder person is a good thing. You get to run the tongue over the teeth for a good mulling over what iffing of the pleasant kind when you want to daydream.)

But the Jedi Player I've got in DH?

Last night (10/8) there was a small noteworthy shift in this process. I stopped asking "Could you? Would you?"

I asked "Can you? Will you?"

He said yes. I can. I will.

I asked him why, again. Always again. I keep reality testing.

He said because for me? He'd do it. He'd go there.

I said I wasn't interested in him doing things for me. He's overindulgent and spoiling of me and I know it and he knows it. He's a sucker for the kid too. Kid can wrap her daddy around her finger just like mama can.

Of course, I'm pleased, who wouldn't be? But that's not all tiers and all stages of lift off required for this mission.

I asked if he'd do it for HIM.

He said yes.

I asked him if he'd do it for US.

He said yes.

(Ugh. Horrible man. Yay!)

Then I asked -- is this in the best interest of the relationship? He doesn't know yet.

Now I have to sit here and run the tiers on my own end. Would I do for him? For me? For us? Is it in the best interest of the relationship? Listen to the wheels spin. Rummm....rummmm.....rummmm.... And there it comes. The vomitous.

Do WHAT? What shape? What color? Aaaaahhhh! I don't like not knowing-ness!
I always think he's crazy.

He says yes. And he holds to it. He just trusts me generously. So then I have to rise to the expectation of his trust and deal with it -- being trusted.

Mrs Married to Crazy Person Who Wears Heart on Sleeve: He's mad. Lunatic.
And I rise to the expectation of course. Not like I'd behave any less.
But still. He's mad. Lunatic. Ahhhh!
I'd feel a lot better if he'd be more qualifying at me. Something like "Alright. Yes. With terms."

He says that. "Yes. I can. I will. Under the right conditions. YES."

That's why I pester him. I'm pleased to be trusted. I'm pleased to be trusted generously. Implicitly. But I KNOW that job. The married wife job. That job I can do. I also know the job of being a hinge in a trio of dating single free agent independents.

I don't know the job of being married but open hinge-ness. I can't know the job in advance. It's on the job training, dude. Similar job but a whole other load. Sink or swim. High risk for high highs.

Gimme the job desc. I want to apply for the job. But I'm me. I want the conditions! The spec!
  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where
  • how
  • why

It must be had at some point. It must be mapped out and discerned. But don't give it to me right now. I feel vomitous. And that's a vulture one, not a direct line one.

Last night in the dark. Not in his armpit but in his ear? (My comfort level tells are SO obvious if you know them. Inches could mean MILES in my inner universe.)
Me: Can you? Will you?
DH: I can. I will.
Me: Tell me again. You make my toes curl.
Him: (low laugh, nuzzling my head.) No, I don't, darlin'. I make your heart curl.
Me: Ugh. Make my heart curl is RIGHT. Ack. (More! More!)
Him: Are you after soulgasms through your ears?
Me: More! More! Ears! Yay!
Oo. How I love to hear his laugh.

Hang Time at the Forge. The other one.

There's the negative point on life pendulum swing. Where there's just too much yucky. There's the positive hang time at the forge where there's too much yummy.

Us swinging back and forth spinning and weaving double helix thread of Life Shared.

Life keeps flinging waves our way and we take it and surf it just fine.

I fucking love to FLY with that man.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-24-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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This is an excerpt from this thread.

So, an absence of rules specifying that you respect your partner and treat them well implies that it's ok to disrespect your partner and treat them poorly?
It is never ok to treat your partner poorly.

And, having rules specifying that your partner treat you well and respect you is supposed to PREVENT them from disrespecting you and treating you poorly?
No. I do not control their behavior. I can only control mine. It's not about preventing them from disrespecting me or treating me poorly.

For me? It's about being on the same page and about willingness to be held accountable. Are you willing to hold ME accountable if I step on your toes? Are you willing for me to hold YOU accountable if my toes get stepped on?

If all this is obvious to them -- yay. We share a laugh and trade dating horror stories over drinks.

If they hem and haw over such basics -- that's telling me all I need to know. Not a serious player, I can pull out now before I get in too deeply involved. *shrug*

If it is someone in between those two things -- well, let's try it and see. And when conflict comes up, it's easy enough to point to agreement they agreed to when there's a calling into account needed.
"Why are you fussing at me that I went to the concert without you? Did you give me the right to responsiveness? I said tell me you want to come by Friday, and I'll buy enough tickets for the group. You said maybe on Monday. I emailed to be sure Wednesday. Nothing Friday -- come and gone. So I let it go and I moved forward without your input. I buy tix Saturday -- none for you. I cannot mind reader you. So you have to own this one. How is it me being "inconsiderate" to you? Did I check in? Yes. Did you respond and give me the right to responsiveness? No."
That keeps it on the measurable actions done/not done rather than derailing into personalities -- "You are not nice, you are inconsiderate, you are too sensitive..."

If you have ever watched other people or experienced it yourself -- conflict going round and round in circles? Oy. Headache.

So much easier to point to agreement and note actions done/not done. There. Everyone holds their own baggage.

Hell, I'm not perfect. Maybe it is ME that needs to be called into account. It's happened before!

Maybe they have a passive style -- I'm very assertive. But if they can just point to agreement -- "Dude, GG! Where is my clear communication you promised me?" then they can move on to feeling better faster. Because I will own it right away and go "Oops! You are so right! I did not realize it seemed that way to you. My bad! I apologize. Can I make it up to you?"

When we are first learning each other in dating -- a passive style personality could be cowed by my temperment. I'm trying to give them a leg up by giving them a tool to use I know that I will respond to. Print the thing, highlight the one, leave it on my desk (or email it and CAPS THE ONE you are talking about) and I'll come find you and sort it out when I see it. There. Easy passive personality route to STILL get the thing solved. You don't have to be all confrontational if that bugs ya. I still like ya how you are. But we move past this kerfuffle in a constructive way.

Because isn't the goal for both to be in harmonious relationship together?

Continued in next entry....

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-27-2012 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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That was an interesting thread to me because of the diversity of responses. Words have power. And not everyone uses words the same -- rules, limits, boundaries, principles, etc. Isn't it all the same?

I think so. But I think what people are stretching for is the phrase "personal standard."

I have certain core values. For self and in relationship. They are largely intangible concepts like "honesty." Yet my core values influence my behavior and character. If I were going to list what I value? It's a bugger. I value a LOT of things! I could list forever! But if I force myself to "top 10" it? Hrm.

I value:
  • honesty, trust
  • fidelity/loyalty
  • keeping promises
  • respect
  • clear communication & constructive conflict resolution
  • steadfast, stability, order. My healths being honored.
  • humor, practical, intelligence, maturity (all six!)
  • friendly, agreeable, kindness
  • forgiveness, compassion

Yeah... kinda hard to limit it to 10 things. Personal values lists really CAN go on forever. What I value today is different than what I valued as a teen. It's bound to be different than what I will value in 20 years.


I remember somewhere around 25 years old I turned to DH and said "Have you NOTICED how we value a comfy bed much more now than when we first met in our late teens? Sex on the floor, on the stairs, in the cars, freakin' from the bloody trees if we could. Now suddenly we're getting older and comfy beds have increased in value."

I remember he nodded. "Comfy is GOOD."

Later still when I was pregnant both of us suddenly valued LOTS OF PILLOWS like all get out. Foreplay suddenly included loving applications of pillowage upon my person, around my person, under my person as my ever growing pendulous baby belly made itself known in all kinds of ways.
"Stop!" I'd announce.


"We cannot have sex in this position. The baby is now awake and complaining and kicking my guts out!"

"Oh. Well... I have PILLOWS! Here! Let's change and give you more pillows!"

Laugh. One of the first things he did post birth of the kid was to run out to Target and buy her a littly baby monkey toy and buy me a pillow.
Me: ANOTHER pillow? We don't have enough?

Him: Yes. But this one has ARMS. I figure you need all the pillows I can get you. Maybe it helps for nursing? If you hate it I can return it. They have body pillows. Do you want me to get you a long body pillow? There's little neck pillows too.
I stared at him. Laugh. SO much fun. Living life with this man.

Basically, I'm down with a lot of the universal values. Thing is, there's a mess of them too. Blobbed into 10 major categories. And I'm not great and articulating them all -- even I have to go looking them up.

You NEVER assume in polyship. It's a lot easier to just calibrate and get on the same page than to assume you value the same things to the same degree and are on the same page.

A short list of Universal Values I like reads like this...
  • trustworthiness -- being honest and reliable, showing integrity, displaying loyalty.
  • respect: being considerate of others, tolerant of differences, and courteous
  • responsibility -- the desire to do the best work possible and keep on trying
  • fairness -- playing by the rules and not cheating or taking advantage of others
  • caring -- showing the qualities of kindness and forgiveness
  • citizenship -- being a cooperative, respectful member of your community and environment

I'd have to spent more time blobbing my values together. Maybe a major category or two would emerge as my Top 3 if I did it that way? Hrm. I'd have to bookmark that.

But I do articulate it to the "good enough" place in my Universe. That playbook is both my "Personal Code of Conduct" and the "Personal Standard for Polyship." A new potential player would be invited to add their things to it and we could negotiate the new form of it. If we all agree to be together, then THIS would be the way we agree to be together and we'd all be accountable to that standard we created. We'd agree to grant those rights and own those responsibilities to the rest of the polyship people in order to face whatever it is Life dishes out next and remain in right relationship to each other.

You honor the flag you choose to fly under.

Here's the thing though -- at work some people get some employee handbook listing the company's code of conduct and standards, policies and procedures. My kid's school sends the school handbook out every freakin' year. For personal standards? Rarely are they articulated or written out, much less sent around to the people it pertains to.

Over the years I learned the value of having it written out. Even for MYSELF.

I could be tempted by my emotions to lollygag around in a relationship that is no good for ME and my healths. Just because my emotions are unwilling to part. Have a clear 3 strikes limit on shenanigans keeps ME honest to ME.

I had to go through my first major break up to learn the value of having that listed out for myself. I spent too long there -- longer than I needed. Trying to leave "nicely" -- rather than hitting the 3 strike limit and taking the agreed limit OUT.

Emotional management is learned. I learned.

So even though the original thread poses the question as
"What are your poly relationship rules?"
If it were me asking it in general or asking it of a potential player I would put it more like this:
"Tell me about your values. What are your personal standards? What's your code of conduct for yourself? What's your code of conduct expectations of your romantic partners? What do you value in a partner? How's that same/different from what you expect from your friends or value in your friends? How did you arrive there?"
Given that I always ask

"So tell me how you like to break up with people... what kind of an ex are you?"
People largely fall into these groups:
  • Those that tell me I'm really scary and intimidating.
  • Those that tell me I'm bizarre and/or really refreshing.

I laugh either way. I'm not scary. Why are they scared to look inward for answers? Is it scary that I want to know the authentic them? I take an interest in people. Certainly would take an interest in people I want to date! There's another thing I value -- authenticity.

A friend of mine tells me I'm like the "boundary queen." I've also been told I have "too high of standards."

I like my high personal standards right where they are at. They've brought me a largely happy and content life. Why on earth would I want to compromise that for inviting all kinds of wacko into my life?

There's stuff I'm willing to put up with.

Then there's stuff that I'm not willing to put up with. If I can't be having with that? I shan't!

I just don't see how much clearer that can be. I give you a LIST! Show me YOURS.

We line up in values, goals, wants, needs, limits? We can fly together in harmonious polyship. We don't? Let's not fly a polyship and keep it at friends then. What's so horrible about having a friend?

I think people make things waaaaay more complicated than it needs to be.

DH told me today he loves my bold/authentic/honest/clear/earnest/fierce.

That's sounding like a values list to me in romantic partner. I have to ask him for the rest of his list. How has it changed since we first met, if any?

Damn. Now I have to think about answering that one myself.

Mmmm.... Shiny Thoughts to chase around in my head. Whee!


Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-27-2012 at 04:08 AM.
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