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Old 01-30-2015, 06:04 AM
Dash Dash is offline
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Default new to polyamory - help!

My partner and I have been together for 8.5 years and have been in an open relationship for most of that time. Until recently, the rules were that we could have sexual encounters with other people and and we agreed to keep these from one another so long as it did not affect our relationship.

However, my partner has recently told me that he would like to be polyamorous and I definitely see the benefit of that kind of openness in a relationship although not sure I can have other partners. I'm not looking for monogamy by any means but am really struggling with jealousy of other partners he has had/may have in the future.

We love each other very much and don't want to break up, we still see each other as long-term primary partners. I just think we need some counselling to help me process my (irrational) jealousy and to get a better mutual understanding of what this new kind of relationship would look like.

Does anyone know of any poly-friendly counsellors in Australia (preferably Melbourne area) or have advice on how to find one?
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:24 PM
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graviton graviton is offline
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you claim you're not certain if you can have other partners. Is that his rule or your uncertainty in yourself?
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:43 AM
Dash Dash is offline
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He would be more than happy for me to have other partners. I'm just not sure if I can do it. Think I may be sexually open but romantically monogamous. That might change if I met someone I really connect with though so it is nice to have the option available. Might try getting out there and going on some dates to see how it feels..
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:35 AM
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Hi Dash,

I don't know if any of these would help, they're links and lists for finding poly-friendly professionals (such as counselors):
You can also, if a counselor is willing to consider and learn about polyamory, ask them to read the book, "What Psychology Professionals Should Know about Polyamory," by Geri Weitzman, Ph.D., Joy Davidson, Ph.D., and Robert A. Phillips, Jr., Ph.D.

That's all I got!
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 01-31-2015, 08:53 PM
Dash Dash is offline
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Thanks Kevin T, that's a huge help!
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:46 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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You can do alittle self-examination, too. I always think it is helpful to drill down to the core issue by asking yourself questions, including some "what if" questions. As in, what if your partner did have another meaningful relationship? What would you be jealous of?

Jealousy is usually to do with a fear that something is being taken away from us (while envy is about wanting what someone else has, or thinking that if they have it and we don't, it means something, like we are less valuable in some way). What, exactly, do you think you'd be jealous and fearful of if your relationship shifted from being open and DADT to poly and more transparent? Nothing has to be rational. In fact, the less rational your fears are, the easier it is to recognize them, test their feasibility, and lessen their impact in your emotional state.

On the flip side, ask yourself what the benefits of poly would be. Has there ever been anything in being open and sort of hidden from each other that didn't work, that could be improved with poly?
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 02-01-2015 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:01 AM
Sentinel Sentinel is offline
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Sorry, I don't have any referrals for counsellors. My wife went to a psychologist when we were talking about polyamory, and he told her to leave me. Pretty poor advice, if you ask me (and I do some volunteer phone counselling, so it's partly a professional opinion, not just a vested interest). We also went to a couples counsellor but found that they didn't add any value over and above us talking directly and honestly to each other.

What I would say is that it feels to me like there's a profound difference between polyamory and a "don't ask, don't tell" open-to-sex relationship. The latter seems to be built explicitly around not having to communicate about extra-relationship activities. Whereas if you are talking about bringing in a third party with equal or similar claims on time and affection, engagement with your partner on a 'familial' level at Christmas holidays and so forth, emotional devastation when relationships break up, etc. it's likely going to ask a lot more from you in terms of communication to understand your partner and convey your own needs. More of a lifestyle change.

There's also a difference in terms of social acceptance. Many people these days are unsurprised by people having sex discretely outside of established relationships; very few people, in my experience, understand how someone can truly and deeply love two or more people at the same time: rather they assume that the love is false, flawed, weak or lacking in some way, i.e. not real love. This may be an issue that you will wrestle with yourself.

Last edited by Sentinel; 02-01-2015 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:13 PM
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FallenAngelina FallenAngelina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post

What I would say is that it feels to me like there's a profound difference between polyamory and a "don't ask, don't tell" open-to-sex relationship. The latter seems to be built explicitly around not having to communicate about extra-relationship activities. Whereas if you are talking about bringing in a third party with equal or similar claims on time and affection, engagement with your partner on a 'familial' level at Christmas holidays and so forth, emotional devastation when relationships break up, etc. it's likely going to ask a lot more from you in terms of communication to understand your partner and convey your own needs. More of a lifestyle change.
This is just one picture of polyamory. There are many, many more choices between the extremes of secret, impersonal sex romps and complete domestic entanglement.
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