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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:06 PM
Greendaze Greendaze is offline
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Unhappy May not poly after all

I need some help. Here my story.

I have never been mono, I lost my v-card (along with my first kiss and well first everything) in a threesome when I was 20 years old and I began a threeway romantic relationship with them. After about a year and half, it ended and we still stayed friends.

When I was single, I only slept with couples at clubs or those looking for a threesome. I only recalled two nightstands that I had sex with just one person and those were quick and dirty ones that ended in about half an hour without numbers or names. I was in another poly relationship that lasted for about four months and it ended since the couple moved and none us wanted to travel between two counties.

About another year later, I met D and I have been in a mono relationship with him for about ten months today.

Now, I am a mono relationship with a wonderful guy,D, and I never felt this happy in my other relationships; but I don’t understand why. I was taught that mono relationships never work out, that most if not all of the mono people will cheat. I saw this happened with my family, friends and coworkers. I have been told over and over the horror stories of failed mono relationship that yet here I am in one.

The things is I am thinking that while my mental and physical needs were taken care of, my emotional needs weren’t. I think I might have been using poly as a way to keep myself safe having to deal about my partner cheating on me or switching me out for someone better and younger since if I was in a poly relationship with them they won’t feel the need to leave me nor cheat on me.

I mean, I know poly relationships can and will fail just as mono relationships do. It took me a long time to understand that. Not all mono people are cheaters and I was deeply wrong to think that, also not everyone is made for a poly relationship.

It became clear to me that I have issues that I need work out about who I am and try to understand what I want from myself and from my relationships. At this point, I think I might what to talk to someone about this and maybe it will help me.

Does anyone here dealing with the same issues?

PS. I’m sorry to dump this on you guys, but it been boiling like mad for a while and just needed to get it out. I hope don't hurt anyone by posting this.

Last edited by Greendaze; 10-16-2012 at 11:07 PM. Reason: mispelled
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:26 PM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Being in a polyamorous relationship isn't a guarantee that you won't cheat or get cheated on. Cheating is about lying. Anyone can do that, monos don't hold the monopoly on deceit.

When a person in a cheats, it's usually a result of the relationship already beginning to fail, not the cause. But people don't seem to look at it that way. They blame the cheater, no holds barred.

I think the underlying problem with many monogamous relationships is that most people never learn to communicate. In monogamy, it's easier to get away with not communicating well. You can fake your way through a lot of situations just by following social convention. In polyamory, learning to communicate is sink or swim. There's no social convention to fall back on, so you learn to talk about your feelings or people dump you.

I think it's good that you're taking a step back and looking at your situation objectively. Polyamory doesn't work for everyone, and there's certainly no failure in recognizing what kind of relationships you prefer.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:12 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Default Cheating and Ownership

Cheating requires the assumption of ownership or, at the very least, surrender of independence of something. When we are talking about relationships it is generally sexual autonomy that is surrendered. When this happens, the possibility of cheating is present.

This is why I presume the idea that monogamy is synonymous with cheating, because monogamy inherently (unless I missed a meeting) the surrender of sexual autonomy. This being the case, any sexual activity with someone other than the central partner is considered cheating.

If a poly relationship involves any kind of surrender of independence (sexual, emotional, whatever) then any activity which does not fall within the prescribed rules would be considered cheating. Any predetermined qualifiers about only having sex with "approved partners" or only going on a date "after they meet me" would qualify as the surrender of independence I am talking about.

However, in a poly relationship which does not exchange independence in this way, I don't see how it would be possible to cheat. I don't have any say (nor do I want any) about who my partners have sex with or fall in love with; in this arrangement their actions could scarcely be considered cheating. There are no rules about what they can do with their sexuality or emotions so there are no such rules to lie about.

...just another perspective.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:17 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
It became clear to me that I have issues that I need work out about who I am and try to understand what I want from myself and from my relationships. At this point, I think I might what to talk to someone about this and maybe it will help me.
Sounds like you are making big strides in personal growth and getting to know you better. WTG!

What sort of support do you need from the forum? Just be ears? Is this like a blog thread while you "talk out loud" to process?

What is the problem you are trying to reconcile within yourself? I am not clear. Please clarify.

Being ok being happy for the first time? Like you cannot trust it and are waiting for the other shoe to drop? Something else?

You being in a "monoship" or a "closed polyship of two" -- does D know your past relationships? To me that would be the main thing. Because your "polyamorous-ness" is not based on what your current relationship status is. I mean, you can be poly and SINGLE. Does he know your wiring or that you feel you are "questioning?"

I find it easiest to be honest and up front with partner so they are kept up to date on whatever it is.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 10-17-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2012, 07:04 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Cheating requires the assumption of ownership or, at the very least, surrender of independence of something.
No it doesn't. Cheating requires nothing more than agreeing to disclose other relationships, and then failing to actually disclose other relationships.

I guess you could be pedantic and call that surrendering your informational independence. But good luck finding a life partner who will never want to know anything at all about what's happening in your life. Yuck! Who would even want such a partner? "I love you, really I do. But I don't care about anything that you do."

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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
I don't have any say (nor do I want any) about who my partners have sex with or fall in love with; in this arrangement their actions could scarcely be considered cheating. There are no rules about what they can do with their sexuality or emotions so there are no such rules to lie about.
You're blurring the line between "tell me if you fuck someone else" and "don't fuck anyone else." The second infringes on your independence, the first does not. You can sleep with anyone you want, just tell me about it so I can protect myself physically and emotionally. Like, if some crazy person shows up at my door accusing me of sleeping with her boyfriend who happens to be my husband... I'd at least like to know the scoop beforehand so I can handle the situation gracefully.

If we're in the "fuck whoever you want, just tell me" arrangement, and you fuck someone without telling me... then that's cheating. At no point did I attempt to control your sexual or emotional independence. I merely requested, and you agreed (presumably, or I wouldn't still be in this hypothetical relationship with you), that you would tell me if you're in other relationships.

The alternative is "Don't ask, Don't tell." As I see it, that's the only arrangement where it's impossible to cheat. I'm told it works for some people, and I wouldn't even venture to say "that's not poly" because it is a form of it. But it's by no means what most of us are referring to when we come to this forum. I'd even hazard a guess that it's not the arrangement in your own life, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
This is why I presume the idea that monogamy is synonymous with cheating, because monogamy inherently (unless I missed a meeting) the surrender of sexual autonomy. This being the case, any sexual activity with someone other than the central partner is considered cheating.
I disagree. Suppose my autonomous decision is to only be in one sexual relationship at a time, so I seek a partner who's also made an autonomous decision to only be in one sexual relationship at a time. In what way are we "forbidding" each other from having other sexual relationships? I'm merely stating that if you're going to have other sexual relationships, then I'm going to leave you. That's not at all the same as saying "you're not allowed to have other sexual relationships." The first is me having personal boundaries, the other is me trying to exert ownership over you. Now whether you choose to feel controlled by my boundaries, thereby surrendering your own sexual independence, is your own autonomous decision.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:16 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by Greendaze View Post
I was taught that mono relationships never work out, that most if not all of the mono people will cheat.
I felt really sad when I read that. I grew up surrounded by a large number of mono couples - we did a fair amount of communal living when I was a kid. Cheating wasn't something that went on much (there might have been one or two instances but it was very much in the minority).

It hasn't at all been my experience that all or even most mono relationships experience cheating.

Good that you now have the chance to work out what you want and to find ways to treat each relationship you have as an individual that doesn't have to be bound by other people's rules and views on relationships.

IP
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:32 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
This is why I presume the idea that monogamy is synonymous with cheating, because monogamy inherently (unless I missed a meeting) the surrender of sexual autonomy.
This is really interesting. Thank you Marcus. It kind of gets to the heart of many things I believe.

Fundamentally, I see being in any kind of serious relationship (sexual or otherwise) as a surrender of all kinds of autonomy. To me, surrendering sexual autonomy, is far down my list of worries when it comes to relationships.

You surrender time autonomy - rather than organising your own stuff, you find yourself keeping detailed diaries and having lengthy chats about how to fit in doing stuff with the important person. If the serious relationship is with somebody who needs care (child, non-human, elderly parent or spouse) you can multiply that lack of autonomy by a large number.

You are no longer emotionally autonomous - what happens to the other matters to you and if they are having a shit time, often you are there supporting them.

Autonomy about getting away is also lost - they might be happy for you to go but I've found it hard to fully engage with trips away while I'm missing a loved one.

I think that the only alternative to losing autonomy is to keep connections to a minimum. Jettison your aging family - in fact all of them (my autonomy has been compromised since my sister's husband died).

Keep friendships light - make sure you aren't the go to person if somebody you know loses a job or has a family member get ill.

And do the same with sexual relationships.

I'm in wholehearted support of this way of thinking. Close, committed relationships mean loss of autonomy. I lived mostly in a very detached way for years and was very happy like that.

And yet - now I find that I'm willing to lose some of my autonomy for the benefits of being emotionally close to people again.

While I enjoyed the amount of autonomy I had when I was single, I am loving being much more attached all round - even if it does mean I don't always get to do what I want.

IP
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:55 PM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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And yet - now I find that I'm willing to lose some of my autonomy for the benefits of being emotionally close to people again.
We are looking at autonomy differently, certainly if you think that autonomy is synonymous with being emotionally distant.

I am deeply in love with Isa, and she with me, though we are both independent and autonomous people. We do not live by each others rule in any way. Stretching the term autonomy to mean that one has to have no human contact is a strange application in my opinion.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2012, 10:18 PM
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Default Rules and Independence

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Yuck! Who would even want such a partner? "I love you, really I do. But I don't care about anything that you do."
I have no idea, doesn't sound like any fun to me.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
You're blurring the line between "tell me if you fuck someone else" and "don't fuck anyone else." The second infringes on your independence, the first does not.
That's possible, but they are both basically setting up rule sets to govern my partners... which is my forcing them to surrender aspects of their autonomy to me.

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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
If we're in the "fuck whoever you want, just tell me" arrangement, and you fuck someone without telling me... then that's cheating. At no point did I attempt to control your sexual or emotional independence. I merely requested, and you agreed (presumably, or I wouldn't still be in this hypothetical relationship with you), that you would tell me if you're in other relationships.
Deciding for my partner what they have to divulge to me about their life is not something I'm willing to do. I only date adults who are concerned for their own health and happiness - in that, I feel no need to keep up with their relationships because I know they are going to take care of themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
The alternative is "Don't ask, Don't tell." As I see it, that's the only arrangement where it's impossible to cheat. I'm told it works for some people, and I wouldn't even venture to say "that's not poly" because it is a form of it. But it's by no means what most of us are referring to when we come to this forum. I'd even hazard a guess that it's not the arrangement in your own life, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
I don't practice "don't ask/don't tell". That seems like a very limited way to connect to someone and it isn't something I'm interested in.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Suppose my autonomous decision is to only be in one sexual relationship at a time, so I seek a partner who's also made an autonomous decision to only be in one sexual relationship at a time. In what way are we "forbidding" each other from having other sexual relationships? I'm merely stating that if you're going to have other sexual relationships, then I'm going to leave you. That's not at all the same as saying "you're not allowed to have other sexual relationships." The first is me having personal boundaries, the other is me trying to exert ownership over you. Now whether you choose to feel controlled by my boundaries, thereby surrendering your own sexual independence, is your own autonomous decision.
In my world this is just splitting hairs to justify a belief system.

Saying I will walk out on you if have sex with someone without telling me is closer to coercion than it is to dealing with someone as an adult.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:08 PM
SkylerSquirrel SkylerSquirrel is offline
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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Saying I will walk out on you if have sex with someone without telling me is closer to coercion than it is to dealing with someone as an adult.
I see what you're driving at here, but there's a difference between "I will walk out on you if you have sex with someone without telling me" as a way to manipulate and control, and "I cannot stay in a relationship with someone who has sex with others without telling me" to express what YOU will and will not tolerate in a relationship.

If it's the latter, it's something you've told the person up-front. "This is a condition of you being in a sexual relationship with me. We can have sex if and only if you agree to these terms."

I agree that adults should not try to coerce one another or control one another's behavior. But adults can make mutual agreements with clearly defined terms, and to me, that doesn't fall under the category of coercion.
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