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  #141  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:13 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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"Contribution = commitment
Commitment = impact
Impact = importance
Importance determines primary or secondary"

Thinking more about this primary/secondary thing. This is a quote from Mono, posting in the General Discussion board about a year ago. It makes a lot of sense to me. It also makes me wonder.

If I'm committed to my relationship with Gia (not wiling to compromise it or let it go unless it radically changes or unless I have some compelling reason to move far away), if I'm contributing to childcare, if I think of her and her family as my family... am I becoming something more like primary to her? And does SHE think of it in at all the same way, or even see that as a remote, far-future possibility? I don't think I really needed one more thing to chew over, and this is pretty damn academic right now, but it's got me thinking.
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  #142  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:24 AM
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And another thing... it seems like people don't expect secondary relationships to be strong and healthy. Is it just that so many aren't? Is it really so unusual that even though my gf is married, she's never tried to hide our relationship from our friends, she told her parents when it came down to that or us hiding from them, and that she's even shared it with some of her coworkers? Is it so unusual that her husband has never tried to limit our expressions of emotional or physical intimacy, that he welcomes me?

Is it just that I ask for so little that I never bump up against boundaries that would wound me? I don't insist on much of anything in particular... I make my needs and desires known when I think they can reasonably be fulfilled, and generally stay quiet about them when I realize they can't.

I'm a naturally giving person, assertive yet submissive (a sexual and relational tendency that Gia particularly brings out in me and that I find delightful when I can indulge it), and independent. Without those qualities, would this relationship model work?
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  #143  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:34 PM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Still working my way through the ginormous Primary/Secondary thread in the Gen section. Interesting thought on the issue of a new person getting involved with people in an existing relationship from CielDuMatin:

"While I don't feel that it is to be avoided whenever possible, I think it's like buying a used car - you need to look at things very very carefully, and with a skeptical eye to make sure that everything is as it truly seems."

I bought a used Chevy pretty quickly several years ago and it caused me regular problems that were really annoying. I was much slower in picking out my next car, a used Honda, which has served me extraordinarily well for the last two years. Gotta be picky.
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  #144  
Old 08-26-2011, 09:22 PM
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Ok! I think I found a piece of writing that succinctly and pretty fully covers my thoughts on the question of the utility of the idea of secondary relationships... it focuses a lot on how to handle secondary relationships so that they're healthy and validates that they're real, important, not disposable... and yet still different from primary relationships.

I find that way more useful than just trying to throw out definitions entirely and say that all labels are bad. We think in words, so having definitions helps us talk and work through things. I also find it way more useful than saying that all relationships should be equal. In my experience that just isn't the case for most people, even if it might be a long-term goal. Preexisting commitments and relationships that involve significant life-entanglement (marriage, house, kids) end up taking precedence, so whether you call them primary or not, they're different from newer relationships (whether you call those secondary or not!).

I want to feel proud of my relationship, proud of the definition that seems to fit it best, and proud of the name of this blog, even if I end up picking a new name eventually. This essay helps me do that.

http://www.polyfamilies.com/polysecondary.html
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  #145  
Old 08-27-2011, 06:45 PM
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Damn it. The babysitting plans for tonight have been canceled due to hurricane, and, because of various scheduling issues, now I won't see G/E/B for at least 11 days, possibly as much as two weeks. Boooooo. The scheduling issues are basically all mine -- I've got rehearsals for a play that'll go up in late September and I'm going out of town with friends. So it's not like I'm going to be sitting at home moping, quite the opposite. I'll be out in the world being busy and moping.

I just miss them. I feel like I ought to be there with them, even though that doesn't make sense for the ways our lives are structured.
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  #146  
Old 08-27-2011, 07:21 PM
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I had another dream about Jay last night. I don't remember it very well, but I know we were talking... finishing up the conversation that got cut off when I woke up the other day?

Normally my dreams are a non-stop smorgasbord of craziness with just occasional mundane stuff thrown in, so when I dream about my mundane life, especially with any consistency, I pay attention because I assume my brain is trying to tell me something or trying to work something out.

Interesting.
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  #147  
Old 08-28-2011, 08:09 PM
MichelleZed MichelleZed is offline
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Hi Annabel--

I've enjoyed reading this whole thread and your experiences. I'm pregnant myself, and I have a loving husband and also a guy on the side. Things are uncertain with this guy and it's been interesting to see how your relationships are working and changing as you add a baby to the mix.

I don't think it's going to be easy and I admire what you're doing.
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  #148  
Old 08-29-2011, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZed View Post
Hi Annabel--

I've enjoyed reading this whole thread and your experiences. I'm pregnant myself, and I have a loving husband and also a guy on the side. Things are uncertain with this guy and it's been interesting to see how your relationships are working and changing as you add a baby to the mix.

I don't think it's going to be easy and I admire what you're doing.
Thanks, Michelle. And yes, workable, worth it, but definitely not easy.
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  #149  
Old 08-29-2011, 05:42 PM
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I've been on here a lot the past few weeks, reading other people's stories, re-reading my own story, and writing a lot, almost obsessively. A few nights ago it all sort of came to a head. I had a jumble of thoughts come together and I sat down and wrote what turned into a 2 and a half page (when pasted into Word) email to Gia and Eric. It covered:

What might being a family look like for us long-term with me not living with them and not co-parenting but staying involved?
The fact that I do think of us as family, or at least I see it as a goal, and I need to know if that vision conflicts with theirs.
How Davis fits in, as the one other person I'd bestow that term upon.
The fact that I love all three of them, in different ways, explicitly including Eric, and want that to be out there.
The fact that even though, yes, we could end up moving apart, that doesn't change things for me.
That it's ok if they're unsure but if their first reaction is "um, she's crazy" then either I need to dial my expectations back or they need to decide to dial theirs up.
That I don't want to disrespect my relationship with Gia by addressing the letter to both of them, but that this is a group question.
That I'm not asking for any change in day to day operations.
That I know it's a weird, uncertain time to be opening this question.
That I'm asking anyway because I just see myself going deeper and deeper in internally and need to know if I ought to pull back.

I hit save instead of send and decided to sit on it for a little while.
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  #150  
Old 08-29-2011, 05:58 PM
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My decision to hold off came mainly from this.

Looking at things objectively, I can tell that I'm feeling more connected and intense about things than Gia right now. And I specifically told her, during one of our long conversations at the camping event, that I didn't see us doing a lot of heavy bonding and growing right now. She seemed relieved. I said that, and I meant it in the moment, because she's in such a crazy place right now... just going back to work this week, just figuring out childcare, just changing her meds back, anxious and scared a lot, not having sex with her husband yet, just trying to keep it together. Knowing that when it comes to this mom thing she CAN'T fail, no matter what she has to sacrifice.

She doesn't need this from me right now. I know that.

I talked to Davis about it at length. He gave me good, nuanced advice which basically boiled down to the idea that I was making this all about me, that parents in our society are trained to see themselves as a little, nuclear unit, healthy or not, and that me trying to step into that could be really intimidating to them. They could be scared that I'll jump into their child's life in a big way and then hurt him when I leave. Joining a family, he said, is a big, big deal, and it needs to be offered, not asked for.

I asked him if it was hard for him to talk about all that with me and he said no. He really is an amazing man. Bringing it up to him at all should have been scary, but it wasn't. It's like, what's the absolute worst that could happen if he doesn't like something I say? We could break up? Been there, done that. I know from experience that I'd rather split up with him than go on while feeling wrong. It makes everything easier.

So I'm holding off on the family conversation, at least for now. Being strong, giving space. This SO goes against my nature, but I think it's right...
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