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  #41  
Old 10-03-2013, 11:21 PM
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Re (from Murasaki):
Quote:
"Yes you can view my questions this way. However if I remember right you are one arm of a V with a married?"
Precisely. I am the "unmarried fellow" in the equation; my two companions are legally wed.

Re:
Quote:
"So consider the questions from that perspective. Do you live with them? Do you have shared monetary responsibilities? What expectation do you and your current partner(s) have with you?"
Well, let's just start by saying I have a *really* easy life. I'm essentially retired. My companions go to work and pay the bills. I think the only expectations they have of me is the sharing of companionship; that is, that I'll spend time in the evenings with them, share my thoughts and feelings, and watch some favorite TV shows with them. Did I mention that I have an easy life?

I do live with them. I had my own flat for a year or two awhile back, when the three of us were trying to get our "poly sea legs" with each other, but I can't even remember when's the last time I stayed at that separate flat. (We're currently in the process of selling it.)

I get a modest payment each month for disability and the like. (I've been diagnosed with bipolar and depression and a few other things.) Whatever funds I do bring in, automatically join the pool of whatever the two of them make. The three of us have a very much "shared finances" type of arrangement.

Might be worth mentioning that we're a "childless family." Both of the men (the arms of the V) are snipped. So this helps us all to not have nearly as many jobs/responsibilities as a family with kids.

Interesting question: If I started dating someone new and they wanted kids with me, what would I do? Heh, well to say the least, a family discussion would definitely ensue. To say nothing of the physical hurdles. Would I get my snipping reversed? More likely, I'd just have my sperm extracted and implanted in my new partner. But wow, we are venturing into the realms of extreme unlikelihood here.

I agree that a single (poly) person living without kids or other strings attached, would probably not be as strongly affected by a new relationship with, say, a married couple, than that couple would be. But I always want to hear the details of each situation before drawing conclusions about it.

If I were dating, I suppose I'd be really conservative about what I asked of my companions to facilitate that date. I'd mostly feel like I should date the new person without affecting my long-term existing companions. Ahem, I might actually be driven to get a paying job so I could pay for my own dates.

I think I relate to you in the sense that I'm really reluctant to ask for financial help, but not so reluctant to refuse if help is offered.

Re (from Murasaki):
Quote:
"Actually you might consider the sharing of emails with your V as a form of couple privilege. (Or triad privilege? )."
Agreed. It is a type of couple/V privelage.

Re:
Quote:
"Its a decision made without the input of the new person, and from your wording it sounds like they may not get to negotiate for changing this requirement."
Yeah, ya got me. That's one aspect of the "new relationship" that I can't imagine being "re-negotiated" from the established V side. Hmmm. I guess all established dyads/trios or what have you have at least a handful of non-negotiables.

Is it self-defensive of me to say that this "rule" is mainly the idea of my "hinge lady," and that I mostly just agreed to it? On a deeper personal level, I'm probably capable of being a considerably more "liberal" person, a relationship anarchist or something along those lines. But I'm also easy enough to go along with "what the others want," as far as my established companions are concerned.

Re:
Quote:
"Say I was willing to consider dating someone in your V. Id be asking a lot of questions in an attempt to find out why this particular requirement is there, and if the ability to have a private chat online exists (sms, or IM/PM)."
FWIW, I think private chatting would be "allowed," however the content of such chat would also be "open game" for discussion at the dinner table and such.

You have to keep in mind that all three of us were raised to be conservative. So we we're all challenging our comfort zones by living as a three-person poly unit. Thus, we tend to have more "rules" than perhaps your average V or triad would have. Guess it's an outgrowth of conditioned insecurity.
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  #42  
Old 10-04-2013, 04:03 AM
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We don't share each others emails per se.

But-I have access to both the guys emails and they have access to mine. It's not an often used access (in any direction). But-sometimes for financial email stuff or if one of us isn't at a computer and needs info from our email and another is at a computer we will get into each others emails.

That said-
Anything said to any one of us-is fair game conversationally over the dinner table.

We're very tight.

I should also note-that anything said to any one of us is fair game to be shared conversationally with my sister and best friend as well as Maca's dad (who we all four trust with our lives).

The nature of our family (not just household but extended family too) is very open.
I don't see that changing.

So people who are REALLY private people wouldn't likely be comfortable in our family dynamic.
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  #43  
Old 10-04-2013, 03:00 PM
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Yes, relationships affect one another.

In my case, I sometimes wonder if my relationship with BF affects his marriage more than his marriage affects our relationship.

I believe that in the beginning, there has to be some weight given to the established relationship. The problem I see is as a second relationship becomes longer lasting. How long do you expect that other person to be subordinate, the person who follows the rules set by others, the person who will likely not have the benefits of marriage, who will be expected to continue to care for themselves while the married couple has one another for mutual support.

For some, the living together works. It would never work for me, BF, his wife.

I would take exception to the e-mails. He had mentioned months ago that his wife has the passwords to all his accounts. I had been sending him personal e-mails totally unaware she had access to all of them.

Perhaps it's that no one bothered to tell me that I really take exception to, along with the double standard--I suspect she would object to me being shown her personal conversations with people. Sorry, but I'm not a toy. I'm a person, and I consider a modicum of privacy fundamental to the dignity and worth of being a person. I don't do one way streets, and I don't do double standards. Either she and I both get privacy in our personal communication, or we both have full access to each other's private conversations. That she and he have an open marriage does not entitle her to MY personal thoughts and feelings.

My solution was simple. I stopped sending e-mails. This wasn't a threat or ultimatum or anything like that. I just quit. He wanted to hear my thoughts, he wants those conversations, so he came up with a solution.

To me, this is fundamental, the ability to have personal conversations without them being shared with people who are not my personal friends, people with whom I did not choose to share my deepest thoughts and feelings.
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  #44  
Old 10-04-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
How long do you expect that other person to be subordinate, the person who follows the rules set by others, the person who will likely not have the benefits of marriage, who will be expected to continue to care for themselves while the married couple has one another for mutual support.

I don't do one way streets, and I don't do double standards. Either she and I both get privacy in our personal communication, or we both have full access to each other's private conversations. That she and he have an open marriage does not entitle her to MY personal thoughts and feelings.


To me, this is fundamental, the ability to have personal conversations without them being shared with people who are not my personal friends, people with whom I did not choose to share my deepest thoughts and feelings.
This all makes perfect sense to me.

For the first one, I would only keep someone in that "outside" role as long as I would if they were a new relationship and I was single before starting it.
Which is somewhere around 6-12 months. It has little to do with my current partner, and everything to do with my family dynamic (which existed before I was married, because I already had a child).
When I dated before marriage-I had the same type of lifestyle, same level of openness and the same expectations for becoming a functional part of my life with my child-not just wanting "me". I am not available as an individual package.
So effectively-any new partner has to jump the same hoops that Maca had to jump. GG actually jumped those hoops BEFORE Maca did-which is confusing for some people, but true none-the-less.

Also-as noted, we've all called and asked one or another to access something from email on our behalf and the passwords are known. But we aren't digging around in each others emails randomly. So there is privacy. But-if one of them died, I'm the one designated to deal with their stuff-so I would be the one going through all of that. If I were psycho interested I could go digging-but really? I don't have that kind of time or interest in life.

It's also true that we completely share finances. We each have our own bank accounts but on every account, the other two are listed as signers. So if anything came up-any of us could access any of the accounts. But-all of the payroll checks are direct deposited to my account-because that is the account where the bills come from. Generally I handle divvy'ing the extra money out to the personal accounts on a weekly basis. I ensure all of the bills are covered and groceries and gasoline etc.

We did live apart a few different ways. GG lived in an apartment for a year after Sour Pea was born. Maca lived apart for 6 months on two different occasions and for a year the last time. All four of those times, things in my life continued to operate the same. The person who chose to live elsewhere spent more time away and often took kids for sleepovers. But I remained here and lived my life always inviting them for dinners and hangout times.
Shrug.

It's also clear for me. I could never date someone who wasn't going to be friendly with my so's. It doesn't matter how perfect a match. I'm not a "keep it separated" kind of person.
My closest friends are welcome to wander through at any time, no invitation needed.
Thinking communal living in a lot of ways.

It's been interesting reading the social psych textbook and doing the various tests. My personality and lifestyle preferences test made it clear I was an anomaly in the class (and according the professor in Western Culture altogether). I'm not "individualistic". I'm collectivistic. The way the book defines this is, identifying ones self by their role in a group usually extended family or work. There's *obviously* a lot more details.
But I found it VERY enlightening in consideration to the conversations here. Because everyone keeps saying I'm so unusual and different in my very integrated social attitudes.
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  #45  
Old 10-04-2013, 04:52 PM
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I have no interest in living with other partners. I'm friends with J but that's because she was living with my bff. My mil lives with her, we've worked together so it was kind of unavoidable. I don't have anything to do with N's other ladies and I prefer not to. I don't even like people in my home, my friends included. I usually go hang out or meet elsewhere. My home has always been open to those in need. We've taken in a couple people who would have otherwise been homeless but that was a temporary situation.
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  #46  
Old 10-04-2013, 10:56 PM
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It has occurred to me to check and see if my prior posts would be tweaked at all by my particular situation, as you intimated, Murasaki.

I guess the biggest question here is, how would my established V (with its "V privelage") affect a dating situation with someone new (especially a single person) on the outside. It's worth noting that if the "new person" had kids, they might actually get the weight of the privelage, because in my V there are no kids.

Oh and for the record, I don't mind if the new person has a partner or partners of their own. We'd just all need time to get to know each other and figure out how we were going to structure our new poly network (if my relationship with that new person panned out). So there it's not so much "couple privelage," as it is "shared privelage" on both sides of the new-relationship equation.

Re: no sex outside our existing V ... I'm afraid that's a pretty solid rule and would not be negotiable. Once we all "joined together" (on the level of handfasting), then of course sex with the new people would be okay.

Also non-negotiable, I'm pretty sure, is the idea that everyone (all new partners and their partners) would need to get along well together before we could consider forming a "joint network." Guess we're exercising "V privelage" again in that sense. We feel strongly about it. We're not a "loosely-connected clan" type of family.

In case it's not yet obvious, I'm unmarried while my two poly companions are married, yet they have no "couple privelage" over me, yet the three of us are poised to exercise "V privelage" over any new people we should happen to date.

In all of this, it's important to emphasize how, to the three of us, we really need to get to know a new person (and their companions) well, before we start forming any kind of intimate (e.g. sexual) bonds with them. We are very sensitive about trust. As the lady of our V (the hinge) would put it, "Trust has to be earned."

Now, in a generic married-couple-dating-a-single-person scenario, it is simple and easy to say that the married couple probably gets *some* couple privelage (especially if the said couple has kids and the single person doesn't), but it is more complicated to ask what rights a V has to privelage, especially if the new person they're dating has in turn partners (and kids?) of their own. Sometimes I think you have to "forget about privelage" and just sit down to talk as adults and negotiate who has the most needs in which areas.

Having said that, I'll re-iterate that Polyamory.com gets quite an influx of "archtypical unicorn hunters." Typically this means a financially established couple dating a not-so-financially-established single lady. The single lady depends on the couple for her room and keep, so she kind of ends up feeling like she is beholden to their rules. If someone in a V is dating someone new, that can throw a monkey wrench into the "unicorn hunters" stereotype.

Coming out, by the way, is a huge subject even before you add any new partners. My V is 99% closeted; just a few very select friends/family know about our poly status. So I guess anyone new that we dated would probably have to "help us out" with keeping the whole poly milieu under wraps. We are of course out to poly forums and the poly social group to which we belong, but that's as far as the information would be allowed to spread. Yet another "V privelage" rule we probably wouldn't re-negotiate.

Consistent with my prior posts is the idea that you really have to judge each situation on a case-by-case basis. Stereotypically speaking, a single/childless "hot bi babe" certainly deserves a say in the rules/procedures and the "established couple" doesn't get to dictate everything even if they have kids. But not everyone is a "new-to-poly bi/hetero couple," and not everyone is a "no-strings-attached unicorn." So you definitely have to analyze each individual situation to figure out who should get "privelage" about which things -- if any. Sometimes everyone needs to work together to agree on a composite set of rules.
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  #47  
Old 10-04-2013, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Also non-negotiable, I'm pretty sure, is the idea that everyone (all new partners and their partners) would need to get along well together before we could consider forming a "joint network." Guess we're exercising "V privelage" again in that sense. We feel strongly about it. We're not a "loosely-connected clan" type of family.

In all of this, it's important to emphasize how, to the three, of us, we really need to get to know a new person (and their companions) well, before we start forming any kind of intimate (e.g. sexual) bonds with them. We are very sensitive about trust. As the lady of our V (the hinge) would put it, "Trust has to be earned."

Sometimes I think you have to "forget about privelage" and just sit down to talk as adults and negotiate who has the most needs in which areas.

But not everyone is a "new-to-poly bi/hetero couple," and not everyone is a "no-strings-attached unicorn." So you definitely have to analyze each individual situation to figure out who should get "privelage" about which things -- if any. Sometimes everyone needs to work together to agree on a composite set of rules.
LOVED these points!

I am always amazed by the attitude that trust should be inherent just because someone wants sex.
I didn't do that when I was considering who to date, WHY would I do that in poly?
I wouldn't.

And the reality is that different people have different needs. There really is a point where you can, as adults, say, "hmmm, sexy, amazing connection, but different life needs and it won't work."
If someone isn't ok with the limitations that come with my life-they are not required to join it.

And-there has been and will be no effort to find a "HBB" because none of us is interested in sharing a lover. So that is arbitrary too.

Any individual who was a potential for one of us-is going to be held to precisely the expectations that were held for us to become a V.

Maca had to earn my trust and I his.
GG had to earn my trust and I his.
Maca and GG had to earn each others trust.

In all cases, because I had a child before I even became FRIENDLY with either of them-they both had to accept the responsibilities of dating someone with a child, a child whose needs do and will always come before their wants.

This was a reality of my "single dating" life. It's true of my poly dating life. (not that there is much of one but whatever).
It's also true of anyone who wants to date either of the guys. THEY ARE PARENTS. They have full time obligations, to their children and their jobs and their current partner.
It's unreasonable to expect that obligations get dropped in order to increase relationships.
New relationships being an option is only available if current obligations are managed.
Period.
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  #48  
Old 10-05-2013, 12:34 AM
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Thanks, LR.

I suppose one of the most important things is just that everyone knows ahead of time "what the rules are going to be." Then everyone can decide if they can live with the non-negotiables and if not, part in a friendly fashion before everyone gets all involved and entangled and subject to a break-up with broken hearts.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:48 AM
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Absolutely!
If people aren't upfront and honest-that breeds SO MANY other issues later!

I have always been point blank with potential partners (and friends and employers etc) that my kids are my top priority and that means that if they need me, ever-I'm gone. Period. If they call-I answer. If they interrupt, I deal with it and they WILL interrupt.

Some people are shocked when they get the "and what that means" part-because their idea of kids being first priority are much less significant than mine. That's ok-but they need to know what it is to me, because it WILL impact them.

The same is true with poly. I know you guys aren't out. But we are. Primarily because I won't be in the closet. I won't pretend. It goes against the grain of the me I decided I needed to be when I stopped lying and cheating.
It's ok for people to not be out-but it wouldn't be ok for them to date me. So people need to KNOW that upfront. Before feelings get involved. Before dating. Before anything. Cause simply by associating with me, they will be involving themselves at least superficially with someone who is OUT about being bi and poly and whatever else.

There are so many things I find surprising about how people navigating "going to meet a potential" (which I don't do and never have-I build friendships and sometimes they turn into more. I don't ever do dating sights or blind dates etc). I can't imagine even considering going on a date with someone who hadn't already gotten the down low on what reality is to be in my circle. Why waste their time?
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:25 AM
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Sigh. I'd like to be out. My two companions are like no, no way, impossible, so I have agreed to honor their wishes (even though I occasionally mention the benefits of outing ourselves). Much of our families would freak, freak, freak. Some would be supportive. I think my companions are more vulnerable to their families' opinions of them than I am. Yeah, I already left the Mormon church, so I've already done the "worst possible thing" I could do to my family. They already know that if I do something that seems freaky to them, they might as well just deal with with it, because their only other option is falling out of contact with me. I've already been down that route and it no longer bothers me. Heck I'd like to come out and find out who my fast friends are.

I've tried the internet dating site scene, but it never led to anything, and never left me feeling particularly better to boot. Actually one particular scandal grew out of OKCupid, but that's a long sordid tale for another place and time.

Both of the great romances in my life started with platonic friendships. Things of a certain quality don't just form overnight.

As for dating, I guess it's possible for everyone to "lay it all on the line" at the start and say, "Okay, I can live with that," only to find out later (when the rubber meets the road) that their emotions have a mind of their own and they can't handle this or that rule after all. So I mean I'm saying, I know you can't always prevent broken hearts or unhappy relationships. But you can certainly improve the odds of things running smoothly by telling each other, right from the start, exactly what you can and can't expect from one another.
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