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  #401  
Old 04-18-2014, 03:32 PM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
To be fair, though, some folks do make it sound like having multiple relationships (for their partner) makes it less of a burden on them.

http://ltasex.info/home/what-poly-pe...ips/2013/11/21
True. I reckon that some people very much see things that way. Maybe for some people it is the case.

It seems to me that it's much more often the case that more serious relationships to balance means more work all round.

Plus - I don't see the people in my life as interchangeable in the same way as the people in that article seemed to. If I am missing one of my friends because we haven't seen much of each other, it's because I'm missing that particular person not because I'm lonely and any of my other friends would do just as well.

Having said all of that, I know that some folks have a hard time being alone and would much rather be with somebody than not. Maybe for those people poly does make things easier. Or at least makes it so that they have to spend less time alone?
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  #402  
Old 04-18-2014, 03:32 PM
vanquish vanquish is offline
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Im going to defend spicytictac a little and agree tat not everyone chooses/is drawn to polyamory for healthy reasons. While spicy's initial list is a bit weighted towards the negative, and the analysis of "childhood trauma" is a bit pop psychology, it is only logical to admit that almost any behavior can have both healthy and dysfunctional causes.
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  #403  
Old 04-18-2014, 07:38 PM
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Re (from spicytictac):
Quote:
"Does anyone trace being poly back to
  • experiences from childhood,
  • family dynamics,
  • fear of never being enough,
  • boredom,
  • witnessing cheating parents,
  • fear of abandonment,
  • having lots of siblings, sharing parental love and liking the chaos of a family,
  • liking the endorphin rush of jealousy,
  • working out jealousy dynamics regarding siblings,
  • needing constant stimulation,
  • needing to be perceived as alternative to avoid vanilla status quo,
  • drama addiction,
  • commitment phobia,
  • wanting total freedom and wanting others to have total freedom,
  • liking to live on the edge?"
Can't tell if those are all meant to be childhood experiences; I'll just treat them as past experiences of various sorts:
  • experiences from childhood ... a few,
  • family dynamics ... doubtful,
  • fear of never being enough ... had this experience but doubt it was a factor in preparing me to be poly,
  • boredom ... libido yes, boredom no,
  • witnessing cheating parents ... no,
  • fear of abandonment ... had this experience a few times but doubt it was a factor in preparing me to be poly,
  • having lots of siblings, sharing parental love and liking the chaos of a family ... no I rather grew to dislike "family chaos,"
  • liking the endorphin rush of jealousy ... jealousy never arose (at least not until after I was practicing a poly life),
  • working out jealousy dynamics regarding siblings ... again non-issue,
  • needing constant stimulation ... no I'm actually not a fan of that,
  • needing to be perceived as alternative to avoid vanilla status quo ... eventually perhaps, yes, to a certain extent,
  • drama addiction ... um no I detest being any part of drama,
  • commitment phobia ... if I had this I had a strange way of showing it,
  • wanting total freedom and wanting others to have total freedom ... something to this effect, sure,
  • liking to live on the edge ... I've been known to mountaineer that way but in relationships I'd rather play it safe.
Re:
Quote:
"Anyway, I have been launched into an almost obsession with personality types and alternative relationships and would really appreciate honest soul searching for the steps that led you on the polyamorous path."
Haven't I done so on this thread? Please challenge me on any points where you suspect I might not be honestly searching my soul for the steps that led me on the polyamorous path. I will respond with a renewed attempt to be honest.

I don't consider myself a polyamorist as "who I am." Polyamory is just a part of my life that I picked up along the way. If I have traveled any path in life, it is the one that leads from the conservative into the liberal.

Re (from Post #380):
Quote:
"Some people can trace their origins for preferences and that's interesting to me."
Since I was raised in a strict household and taught to make enormous sacrifices for the church, I guess it could be argued that rebellion fomented in me until the lid blew off the pressure cooker. Which would make polyamory just one of many acts of rebellion.

Any specific questions anyone wants to ask me, I'll try my best to answer. I'm sure I'm not aware of all the reasons why I ended up adopting polyamory into my life, but the above paragraph explains it (read: the less-than-ideal reasons) the best as far as I know.
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  #404  
Old 04-18-2014, 09:58 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I have three brothers and my parents were together the whole time I was growing up (they broke up when I was already in my 20s and had been poly for a while).

While I don't believe I was neglected or anything like that, I can see how growing up in a situation that required sharing and learning to deal with jealousy, as well as loving several people in the same way (two parents. Three siblings) could be considered good preparation for polyamory.

I don't think it made me polyamorous, but I think it probably made it easier to deal with the aspects of polyamory that are usually considered the hardest.

On the other hand, my husband in an only child raised by a single parent. You'd think it could "prepare him for monogamy" to have grown up loving just the one person and having a strong bond with just one person, etc. But he's poly, so people might be more likely to say "it's because he didn't get enough love as a kid so he's compensating" or whatever.

People can find retroactive explanations to pretty much anything, even if they're opposite. I think people are shaped by their experiences in ways that are not always clear. Even if you think "this probably is the cause" you might actually be completely off the mark.
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  #405  
Old 04-18-2014, 11:53 PM
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I had quite a few siblings (four brothers, two sisters), so one could suppose that that taught me how to share, process jealousy, etc.

But I am convinced in my mind that the rebellion thing had much more to do with why I ended up practicing poly than anything else I can think of -- except the positive reasons, such as the desire to take hold of an opportunity to live in a new and enlightened way. It's not like I was trying to say "Screw you" to monogamists and the monogamous establishment, I was just trying to live in a way that I myself found more exciting and satisfying.
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  #406  
Old 04-19-2014, 10:17 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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You could flip that question on its head: what childhood or environmental experiences cause most people these days to be MONOGAMOUS?

We all share the experience of living in a monogamous culture. Until recently pretty much the only examples of non-monogamy were cheating (which is dishonest) and swinging (which is generally meant to be lust only/no feelings allowed).

So, it does take an act of rebellion, as Kevin said, to be polyamorous today. But sometimes there are compelling reasons to rebel about anything. For example, I rebelled against the parenting idea that feeding a baby formula is better/easier and just about as healthy for them as human milk feeding from the mother's breasts. And mainstream culture tells us, certainly no child should be fed from the breast past 6-12 months of age! However, I was exposed to evidence to the contrary. I know the worldwide age for weaning is 4 years. I went on to breastfeed my 3 children to 2 1/2-4 years of age.

So, I know humanity was not always monogamous (read the book *Sex at Dawn*), and in fact, monogamy and nuclear family life may not be the healthiest way to form relationships and support one another. The feeling of attraction I might have for more than one person at a time is natural, not bad, not caused by negative aspects of my childhood. On the contrary, I think my previous try at monogamy was somewhat unhealthy and unnatural.
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  #407  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:49 PM
sweetersong sweetersong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
For example, I rebelled against the parenting idea that feeding a baby formula is better/easier and just about as healthy for them as human milk feeding from the mother's breasts. And mainstream culture tells us, certainly no child should be fed from the breast past 6-12 months of age! However, I was exposed to evidence to the contrary. I know the worldwide age for weaning is 4 years. I went on to breastfeed my 3 children to 2 1/2-4 years of age.

So, I know humanity was not always monogamous (read the book *Sex at Dawn*), and in fact, monogamy and nuclear family life may not be the healthiest way to form relationships and support one another. The feeling of attraction I might have for more than one person at a time is natural, not bad, not caused by negative aspects of my childhood. On the contrary, I think my previous try at monogamy was somewhat unhealthy and unnatural.
Good on you for BF'ing till they self weaned. I didn't manage BF with either child (a combination of my health and issues on their end making feeding harder) but am very pro BF and advocate of BF rights xx

And I wholly agree with your second paragraph. I wonder how much post natal depression (which I have had both times)would be lessened if there were more adults in the household than the traditional family, and come to think of it, if there were multiple women of child bearing age and one of you had a problem with BF, the other woman may possibly be able to BF , at least some of the time, giving rise to health benefits there too
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  #408  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:00 PM
KC43 KC43 is offline
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My reason for "choosing" to be poly is pretty similar to why someone might "choose" to be gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.

It isn't a choice. It's how I'm wired. Always have been. Back in middle school when I read the "teen romances" with love triangles, I never understood why the girl couldn't have both guys. In high school, I watched friends do the serial monogamy thing (date a guy for a week, break up wtih him to date another guy, lather, rinse, repeat) and couldn't grasp why they didn't just tell the guys "Hey, I want to be with both of you, let's see if we can make that work." Same thing when I saw people--especially in my ex-husband's family--cheating on each other. If you can't commit to one person and stick with it, maybe there's an alternative to going behind their back and lying to them.

It isn't because of any deep-seated emotional trauma. It isn't because Daddy didn't love Mommy. It's because, to quote Lady Gaga, "I was born this way."

As for why I choose to *live* polyamory... In my opinion, someone can choose to live counter to their "hard-wiring." But it's usually painful and frustrating, and doesn't often end well. I forced myself to live monogamy most of my life because that's what our society expects and accepts. In some corners (e.g. my ex-husband's family), cheating is MORE acceptable than saying "I'm in love with two people and we've agreed to share and play nice."

But it never felt right. I dealt with it during my first marriage by pretty much completely shutting down emotionally and sexually. After I left that marriage, I had some time to explore, and I really liked not being locked in to ONE relationship with ONE person. That was what felt right to me. When I met Hubby, he wanted to be exclusive and I tried to force myself back into that monogamy box, but it wasn't easy and I felt trapped. Almost claustrophobic.

When I finally "came out" to Hubby as polyamorous, and admitted I'd developed feelings for Guy, who was supposed to be just a "friend with benefits", it was after a lot of soul-searching, a lot of reading and research, and a lot of making back-up plans in case he wasn't willing to accept me as I felt I truly was. Bless him, his immediate response was, "You don't love either of your kids more than each other, do you? And loving your kids doesn't take away from how much you love me. I don't think having Guy in your life is going to take away from how much you love me either. As far as I can see, you're bringing more love into the world, and how could I have a problem with that?"
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  #409  
Old 04-19-2014, 06:17 PM
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That husband rocks.
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  #410  
Old 04-20-2014, 09:30 PM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Unfortunately, for most people in "side" relationships, they are not on the side at all, because any loving relationship is an important part or a central feature of someone's life. It's a shame that these human beings who have needs, desires, and issues of their own are just thought of as something on the side - as if you and your spouse are more important than anyone else.
Something about this rubs me the wrong way - and I'm trying to figure out what...

I think this "any loving relationship is an important part or a central feature of someone's life" This seems to imply that any relationship that ISN'T a central feature of someone's life isn't a relationship worth having, and I don't find this to be so in my personal experience. Not every relationship HAS to be "important" to the same degree - if the people in the relationship are happy and satisfied with the relationship as it exists.

My lover-friend(FWB) VV and I have maintained our relationship at roughly the same level for 20 years. We get together (or not) as time/geography/other relationships allow. Currently we live across the state from each other and see each other 0-2 times per year, in the past we have lived together or in close proximity. Either way we are happy to let our relationship be whatever it is at the time without having to somehow make it "more" than what it is. Do we love each other? I don't consider someone even a friend unless I "love" them to some degree - I'm unwilling to expend the effort to expend ANY energy maintaining any sort of relationship with someone I don't care a great deal about (I'm an introvert, if you didn't know )

On another track - I love my family, they are wonderful, interesting, intelligent supportive people. I think that they are amazing...but I don't consider my familial relationships to be a "central feature" of my life. We get together for important events, are there for each other when needed but on a day-to-day basis we don't have much involvement in each other's lives. (If my mom hasn't heard from me in 3 months or so she will give a call or email to check-in and make sure that everything is OK.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanquish View Post
I'm right there with you on the couple-centric priority here. It can be myopic and self-centered. You've got a lot more history talking about this stuff than I do. That said, if these "side" people know and enthusiastically accept this relationship as ok/healthy/all they want for them, shouldn't that be ok? I can imagine that some people might say "I'm not looking for more than a casual thing and being lesser in priority than your husband is fine for me."
I think this was well said. Currently our configuration might be considered Vee-centric to some. Our core Vee functions as a household, we share a home and finances. Does this mean that no one can be as important in the future as the current people are? No. Lotus, a married woman, has been seeing us (as a group and individually) for 6 months. Is her relationship with any of us as "important" to her as her relationship with her husband of 8 years? I doubt it. Could it be in the future? Possibly. Does it have to? No.

For me, personally, the important part is that each individual relationship be "allowed" to evolve into whatever the people involved desire it to be - given the real-life limitations of time and distance and other commitments. That each relationship not be constrained by outside rules or pre-defined parameters of what it can/should be "allowed" to be.
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MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (23+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (4+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi married female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
+ "others" = FBs, FWBs, lover-friends, platonic G/BFs, boytoys, etc.


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