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  #21  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:00 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
As a parent, your children ARE entitled to you acting in a particular way (granted, not based on their wants, but based on their emotional and physical needs.) Children do not choose to have you for parents, and thus have no responsibility to respect your autonomy as an independent adult. You have the right to behave as an independent adult only so far as it does not detract from your responsibility to your children. They have every right to expect you to make certain sacrifices in order to provide a safe, loving, and supportive environment for them to grow up in.

Consequently, as a parent (partnered or not), you are entitled to expect your other co-parent(s) to act according to these responsibilities. By choosing to raise children with you, they have forsaken a portion of their autonomy. You have the right to enforce that when the children's needs require it.
Quoted For Truth. Marcus, your response works fine for those who are able to trust their partners to act responsibly and follow through with their obligations. But as we've seen on this forum and around the world, a LOT of adults can be very, VERY selfish, intentionally or not. Sometimes even with the best of intentions, especially if they're swept up in NRE, they need a little kick in the pants that tells them, "No, I do not feel that's acceptable, and here's why-" Your hope is exactly that, a goal to work towards, not something that helps get the day-to-day things done in the Here and Now.

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Differentiating solo-poly vs family-poly misses the point. These kinds of expectations have nothing to do with poly and everything to do with family. The same types of expectations arise in family-mono. "No, you can't go out and drink beers with your buddies. You've been working late all week and our daughter needs her daddy to tuck her in tonight."
Our society recognizes a HUGE difference between a single adult and family. There's a difference in financial resources, time available, and responsibilities. What's wrong with looking more closely at how that difference affects the practice of polyamory?

I have a compass in my head now. Imagine "Solo Poly" at North, "Family Poly" at East, "Family Mono" at South, and "Solo Mono" at West. Rather than a linear spectrum like we use to talk about gender or sexuality, I see a circular spectrum, with "Family Poly" having some things in common with "Solo Poly" and some thing in common with "Family Mono". I don't feel it misses the point, I feel it EMPHASIZES the point that poly isn't really THAT different from mono. There are some differences, yes. And some of those differences are significant. But the things about respect for a partner, being responsible for kids, the need for communication, etc. are the same. So, to bring it back to the original topic of the article, I guess my main issue comes down to, "Why do we have to make such a big deal about the differences between mono and poly in the first place??" But, like the author's rant about the media focusing on attractive people, I suppose it has a simple answer: "Because human nature".
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:10 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
Specifically, it's when people describe a partner as "my primary" or "my secondary" that sounds bad. Even if you're using the labels descriptively, it still designates it as their role.
True. I tend not to use those labels either, because when I try to it turns into, "MC-is-my-primary-we-have-kids-and-a-house-and-combined-finances-TGIB-is-sort-of-my-secondary-but-we're-working-towards-co-primary-even-though-we'll-never-have-kids-together-but-will-live-together-and-have-some-shared-finances." Yeah, not fun to read, even less fun to say a hundred times.

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That being said, "husband" and "girlfriend" are probably more prescriptive and hierarchical than are descriptive primary/secondary labels. My husband and I have obviously spent a lot of time and effort on building our relationship together. I am, without a doubt, more committed to maintaining that relationship. That's not to say I value, as a person, my girlfriend less than my husband. But push come to shove, there are sacrifices that I would make for him that I wouldn't make for her, e.g. moving across the country for a job offer.
Yep. Sucky fact of life that one cannot be in two places at once (TGIB is still long distance. That will hopefully change this year). I wish "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" didn't sound so...high school. I try to use "partner" but then that ends up feeling contrived (because it is) so TGIB and I revert back to "bf/gf".

Slightly off topic, I guess, but related to the whole "primary/secondary" discussion.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:38 PM
EVEMSW EVEMSW is offline
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I'm sorry but I didn't care for the article much... Came off sounding very judgy and better than and all sorts of get in line and do this the right way... No thank you

And mono can be just as good for those who want that...

I would never want anyone I love to feel 2nd or use that term... But my primary doesn't mean better means he is the constant in my life, my rock and my Dom.

Some loves come into our lives for a life time and others for a season... Doesn't make either less meaningful for our lives or that we don't learn from all.

Keep the judginess and let me live life with what works for me and mine... I don't expect others to do it my way nor will I buy in to having to do it their way.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2013, 11:03 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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It's intriguing reading this thread.

My relationship with GG (bf) tends to be more the way Marcus describes. One of us mentions a need-the other figures out what our part in dealing with it may be, including deep conversations at times.

My relationship with Maca (dh) doesn't tend to be that way-we are working towards it. He is a "tell me what you want and I'll do it" person-and doesn't enjoy the "work" of deciding yes or no.

So-for example, with the beer example-
Maca would prefer I just say "no beer night tonight, the kids need daddy."
GG would prefer I say "kids need your attention."

I generally go for the middle ground of "if possible xyz night would be better cause the kids have been missing you."

Something I noticed while reading this thread is that even in terms of trying to outline the differences here-it's difficult to say what is controlling and what is not-because there is no tone of voice shared.
I can use the same words "your daughter needs you" and be controlling and demanding OR simply be passing on info that one of the guys needs...

I think the heart of Marcus' point is valid. I think the difficulty that presents itself is that without seeing/experiencing one another's real life, it's really impossible to define if our relationships are based on respect of individuals working as a team-or if they are based upon someone telling someone else what to do.

This came up recently in a poly group arguing regarding our boundaries (which has also happened on this board actually). The assumption was that these rules were created and no "new" partner would have a say so.

However, the truth is that all of our agreements are malleable. It's a matter of a circumstance arising to warrant it. Maca's and I's agreements have changed drastically in the 15 years we've been together. Likewise, GG and I's agreements have changed drastically in the 20 years we've been together. Sometimes, they change back and forth.
The point isn't to control or limit each other. The point is to be clear with one another about where we are individually, as a couple and as a family at any given time.
As we are all ADD (yes all of us) it's imperative that we write things down-because it's NOT unusual for us to forget what was said 5 minutes after it was said!
So, yes we have a written agreement. But that agreement could change on a dime.

Much like a calendar. Generally Friday's are Maca and I's date night. Tuesdays are family swim night. That doesn't mean we HAVE to do those things those nights or that we CAN'T change them for something else (like a new partners bday or whatever).
It means-that is what works with the current combination of schedules. If a new person is added, then their schedule needs to be incorporated in. But-until there is a new person OR a shift in one of our schedules-this is what works.
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2013, 01:07 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Something I noticed while reading this thread is that even in terms of trying to outline the differences here-it's difficult to say what is controlling and what is not-because there is no tone of voice shared.
Boy, is that the truth. 99.9% of the time, what I "get in trouble for" is not what I say, but how I say it. I'm human and I'm also impatient. If something comes up in my brain, I tend to say it right away. I might think a little about the phrasing... but if I'm grumpy or upset, my tone will tend to be negative. My husband won't even hear the words, he'll just hear the tone. Later, he'll completely distort the intent and wording of my message, and just repeat something to me that's probably an accurate reflection of my tone, but not at all what I intended.
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