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  #21  
Old 11-07-2013, 01:10 PM
Neurodiverse Neurodiverse is offline
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Originally Posted by Darkling View Post
Good evening,
I have a primary relationship that I am happy in, and my husband and I have been talking a lot about what it would look like if we weren't monogamous. In some ways I can see a lot of positive things that could come from this, balanced with some challenges as well.

One thing that has been kind of a mental road block to me is, even if we weren't monogamous, I would prefer that our marriage was the primary relationship for both of us. I'm afraid of risking that. I also have lived in the mono-get-married-and-stay-together-for-life model that it seems really strange to entertain the idea of pursuing another relationship knowing that it will end at some point. Maybe mutually and gracefully, and maybe not.

Why would I sign up for a relationship that has a shelf life from the start? It sounds painful. Does this concern make sense to anyone? Does everyone really end up with a loving extended family of ex-lovers? Or do they end up with a collection of uncomfortable exes that pop up periodically to cause problems?

~darkling
Where there is meeting, there is parting.
Impermanence is one of the "three marks of existence" according to the Buddha.
Every relationship has a shelf life- whether it is defined by old age, by unexpected illness, by accident or by a falling out.
Thee is no need to ever stop loving any of your former partners- even if contact no longer continues.
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2013, 01:49 PM
Neurodiverse Neurodiverse is offline
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Originally Posted by Neurodiverse View Post
Where there is meeting, there is parting.
Impermanence is one of the "three marks of existence" according to the Buddha.
Every relationship has a shelf life- whether it is defined by old age, by unexpected illness, by accident or by a falling out.
Thee is no need to ever stop loving any of your former partners- even if contact no longer continues.
Having said this- my current "primary partner' is a real best friend.
I cant imagine doing anything that would hurt her and I see our relationship in terms of mutual support. What can I do to bring her happiness and strength? How could I be happy o]if this relationship died off?

We both stray- but only with those we feel affectionate towards. Kindness is the key.

True love hinges on what we give to our partner(s), not what we take from her/him/them.
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  #23  
Old 11-07-2013, 05:53 PM
BigFrosty BigFrosty is offline
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Just because a relationship ends...doesn't mean that it failed...

Enjoy what you get out of your new relationships. If it ends, don't forget how much you've learned about yourself in the process and use that information to pad any pain the breakup caused.

Then go out and do it again.
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  #24  
Old 11-10-2013, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BigFrosty View Post
Just because a relationship ends...doesn't mean that it failed...

Enjoy what you get out of your new relationships. If it ends, don't forget how much you've learned about yourself in the process and use that information to pad any pain the breakup caused.

Then go out and do it again.
Yes, indeed!
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2013, 07:16 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Funny. Just to give another perspective, when my ex and I split after 30 years, I wanted lovers, I wanted sex of different kinds, kink, passion, new ideas coming from the heads of new people. I did NOT want another serious full time lover.

But the universe had different ideas for me, and soon after I began dating I met a woman I am still with almost 5 years later. However, I kept dating and enjoyed the company of a few dozen others along the way.

We could get married in my state of Mass., but I don't want to. My other partner is already married and has a very good relationship with his wife. We've been together almost 2 years with everything going so well, I see no end in sight for him and me either. I've stopped trying to date. I feel set, basically, unless somehow the universe has different ideas for me once again.

I started my life over at age 54. Took guts, I suppose, but I just needed more than my ex could provide me with. We'd grown apart, and though our sex life together was spectacular, I needed more intimacy. I was soooo tired of his baggage.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)
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  #26  
Old 11-11-2013, 02:37 PM
Polywife12 Polywife12 is offline
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I think your very smart to consider there will more than likely be an end to any additional relationships to ur marriage.

I have known people who are poly their whole lives. And for the most part they manage a secondary relationship well and have made life long partners / friends.

however, I have been into polyamourous relationships and I've been married for 21 years as well. Both of those relationships ended and of course they still say they will always love me then will always be friends, but it still hurts. It also does take away from your primary relationship.its not supposed to take away from your primary relationship, however if there are problems with your secondary relationships who are you going to turn to? Probably your primary relationship which will put a strain on that.

currently, I am reconsidering if I should go back to a monogamous marriage with my husband. Being poly is very exciting and a lot of fun but you have to wonder if it's worth the pain. I'm sure many people on the site will disagree with me but it is a reality. If you're willing to be hurt and take a chance on losing faith in love then maybe it's worth it for you? You have to be the one to ultimately make that decision. Since you're already questioning that there may be an end to a secondary relationship maybe you have enough wisdom to not get too involved with people and risk getting hurt. If you can clearly separate you are feelings and set boundaries then maybe it is worth it for you.
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2013, 02:43 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by Polywife12 View Post
I think your very smart to consider there will more than likely be an end to any additional relationships to ur marriage.

I have known people who are poly their whole lives. And for the most part they manage a secondary relationship well and have made life long partners / friends.

however, I have been into polyamourous relationships and I've been married for 21 years as well. Both of those relationships ended and of course they still say they will always love me then will always be friends, but it still hurts. It also does take away from your primary relationship.its not supposed to take away from your primary relationship, however if there are problems with your secondary relationships who are you going to turn to? Probably your primary relationship which will put a strain on that.

currently, I am reconsidering if I should go back to a monogamous marriage with my husband. Being poly is very exciting and a lot of fun but you have to wonder if it's worth the pain. I'm sure many people on the site will disagree with me but it is a reality. If you're willing to be hurt and take a chance on losing faith in love then maybe it's worth it for you? You have to be the one to ultimately make that decision. Since you're already questioning that there may be an end to a secondary relationship maybe you have enough wisdom to not get too involved with people and risk getting hurt. If you can clearly separate you are feelings and set boundaries then maybe it is worth it for you.
Well said. I'm in full agreement.
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  #28  
Old 11-11-2013, 03:35 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I didnt lose faith in love when I dated so many guys without finding one who really worked for me, and vice versa. Yes, it was very frustrating. Yes, there are a lot of weirdos and horny jerks out there. I just kept at it, and though I was so lucky to find miss pixi when I was just starting out, I finally found Ginger after 3 years of looking and working at the job of dating.

I just don't get the idea that my primary relationship with miss pixi is secure and will never end, whereas my relationship with my married bf has a short shelf life. I feel quite compatible with both, and we all have a good handle on time sharing, etc. Ginger is in my age bracket and we've both BTDT with having kids, so we don't have disparate life goals.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

There's no lying in polyamory!

I'm a 58 year old woman with 2 partners:
miss pixi, my live-in gf, 36 (together since Jan '09)
Ginger, bf, 61, married, lives nearby (together since Jan '12)

Last edited by Magdlyn; 11-11-2013 at 03:38 PM.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2013, 02:38 PM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Okay, this may be a thought from way out in left field, but there seems to be something odd going on with the term, 'relationship' here.

It seems to me that people have "thingified" relationships, maybe as an accident of grammar: "She and I have a relationship," as though the relationship is some fragile thing that two people might bring into existence . . . and which might blink out of existence again at any time, after which there's just nothing at all.

In conventional terms, there are two, off-the-shelf varieties of relationship: romance and friendship, and each is carefully defined in terms of roles and expectations, particular degrees and kinds (and limits) of intimacy and commitment.

A life-long, committed, monogamous romantic relationship is widely supposed to be like the rarest and most precious of gems that two people might have. (I suppose they should keep in a safe-deposit box along with a copy of the deed to their house.)

Doesn't that idea seem just a little bizarre and, when you look closely, kind of offensive? What seems to get lost is that the parties to any given relationships are persons and that, while the ways in which they relate to one another - the scope of what they share and the boundaries they set - may change, sometimes quite drastically and abruptly, they remain two persons who connect to one another in their own way.

For me, part of the delight of becoming poly is the opportunity to examine all my expectations and habits of thought about relationships, and especially unbundle the two, off-the-shelf models of relationship and, above all, to de-thingify them.

It has been helpful to me to think of the possible ways of relating to another person as a wide field of possibilities - or, if you want to get all math geeky about it, an n-dimensional space of possibilities. Off-the-shelf conventional friendship and off-the-shelf conventional romance are tiny little corners of that space.

Any two people can negotiate their own ways of navigating those possibilities together . . . and may renegotiate and renegotiate as they go.

The point is that they do not have a relationship, but that they relate to one another. If one or another or both of them change the terms of the relationship, drastically and abruptly, they are still relating to one another, in a sense, if very differently.

Let me put it this way: When my girlfriend broke up with me, just over a year ago, I didn't see it as an end, as throwing away some thing we once had, leaving nothing.

No, there was still and will always be an opening between us, a connection, even if we are never physically intimate again, even if we see one another only occasionally. Whenever I think of her, it is always with affection.

Too long? Didn't read? Well, here's the upshot: Stop thinking of a relationship as a thing that may blink out of existence; stop pursuing any particular, off-the-shelf model of relationship. Instead, invest in relating to other people, and find with each of them your very own way of being open to one another.

EDIT:
I would add that two people may work out their own trajectory through the n-dimensional relation-space as well. How much misery has been occasioned by the assumption that a relationship, to become a thing worth having, must follow a single clear trajectory toward the tiny little corner labeled "romance"? And how many guys have gotten bent out of shape by finding themselves suddenly diverted over to that other tiny little corner, "the friend zone"? Much of that misery and being-bent-out-of-shape could be avoided by just accepting that two people can carve out their own particular place anywhere in that field of possibilities and take any path to get there . . . and it doesn't even have to be a straight line!

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 11-13-2013 at 04:56 PM.
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  #30  
Old 11-14-2013, 06:00 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Originally Posted by hyperskeptic View Post
(I suppose they should keep in a safe-deposit box along with a copy of the deed to their house.)
ooo that's a good idea, I should really keep a copy of our house title in the safety deposit box... But not with our relationship, because then I would have to get a key and go to the bank every time I want to see it. And the bank isn't open on Sundays.

Quote:
Stop thinking of a relationship as a thing that may blink out of existence; stop pursuing any particular, off-the-shelf model of relationship. Instead, invest in relating to other people, and find with each of them your very own way of being open to one another.
I agree with the "off-the-shelf" bit, and with relating to people as people first.

Abstraction is an important feature of human thinking. Without abstraction, there would be no such thing as "the environment." There's just a bunch of plants and animals, rocks and atmosphere, relating. But "protecting the environment" is a very good idea. It's beneficial to all those plants and animals, not to mention the people, to think of "the environment" as a thing that exists. And it does, abstractly. And relationships also "exists" -- abstractly. There would be no such thing as "a family," just a bunch of people with similar DNA living under the same roof or maybe even just getting together at Christmas. Money, companies, universities, governments, countries, laws..... Indeed, human society is built upon abstractions and treating them like they're real things that have objective existence outside of the people who relate to them. But of course, if you take all the people off the planet, then all the paper notes and metal coins are just trinkets, the companies and universities are just empty buildings, governments and laws are just scribbles on paper, countries are just colourful lines drawn on maps. So yeah, take away the spouses and marriage is just a fancy certificate. But the people are there, and marriage is so much more than that fancy certificate.

I do find that in some cases, thinking of "the relationship" as something to nurture also has practical value. No, it should not be treated as the be-all-end-all, a thing to be put on a pedestal above and beyond the people involved. But in so much as any abstract concept has any real existence, certain relationship types absolutely do.

For example, with Gralson working out of town all the time, it's easy to drift apart as we do our own thing in different parts of the world. Absence does not always make the heart grow fonder. Now, I don't need him and I don't need a marriage. I can be perfectly happy without either, with an adjustment period to mourn the loss of course. But I love him and I enjoy being married to him. Thing is, if I didn't make a point of encouraging us to nurture "our marriage," this drifting apart would just continue unabated. Because, by the very nature of drifting apart, the more it happens, the less it bothers you, and the less it's worth the effort to reverse.

I don't want to drift apart, and the only way I can think of to prevent that is to think of "the relationship" as a thing to nurture. Because despite the drift that sometimes happens, we do still nurture each other, we still communicate and connect and ... relate. But the way we relate changes when we don't make a concentrated effort to focus our intent.

In a nutshell, there are features of "he" and "I" that are great, but there are also features of "how we relate" (i.e. "our relationship") that are enjoyable in their own right, and I see nothing objectionable about calling those very real features a "thing." It's important to realize that "the relationship" isn't some thing existing over there, all by itself, with or without us. It's a thing existing between us.
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Gralson: my husband. Auto: my girlfriend.
Zoffee: Auto's husband. Cue: Zoffee's boyfriend. Bookie: Cue's wife.

"Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. " -- Louis de Bernières

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 11-14-2013 at 06:18 AM.
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