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Old 06-20-2011, 04:31 AM
beautifulthings beautifulthings is offline
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Default minimizing hurt in a poly arrangement & other basic qs

This is my first stab at poly done the right way.

So far, so good, but then the rest of the truly poly side of it hasn't quite manifested yet. The second person in the V has only recently started moving us toward that, and as I prefer for the other party to set the pacing in the beginning, I have some time to strengthen my skills.

The second person is fully aware of the situation, and I gave him a choice to think about whether he wants to connect with me in those circumstances before he decided he wants to do so. I am non-exclusive with someone else, at my request. Current partner is accepting of it but really wants me all to himself until we must part ways. We've both been quite open, honest, communicative and caring toward each other. I admit I'm very proud of myself for being that open with him.

Setting aside the voice in the back of my head that wants to say this is all just a clever way to avoid my commitment issues (sometimes it feels exactly like that, other times it feels like I'm actually living the values of what I consider to be a beautiful relationship model), I have a couple of questions.

I'm trying to minimize hurt. Anyone got ideas for this? Being honest, negotiating boundaries, asking others involved what they want to know and don't want to know, taking their feelings into consideration - all a given. That last thing is also what leads to my post - it is very clear that my current partner isn't happy about the openness of our connection. It's clear to me in how he answered when I asked about how much disclosure he wants about my choices outside our connection.

What if you can tell one of the people involved feels a sting about it? I guess you can't take on others' feelings, or it would overextend your responsibility to do so. I'm just frustrated at how all my efforts to make it as harmonious, tender, honest, genuine, and considerate as possible aren't making it perfectly harmonious.

Am I reaching for the impossible with a goal like that? It's just kind of lame to feel like I'm approaching this as consciously as possible, communicating tons of care, and seeing that all my efforts aren't making it as lovingly positive for a person. I'm planning to visit this directly with my current fella but in the meantime, tips for minimizing hurt would be appreciated. I do care deeply for him. I want him to get as much joy as possible from our connection. Unfortunately, our attempt at win/win doesn't seem to be working as smoothly as I'd like. He seems to feel like he's losing, but if we created our arrangement closer to a win for him, I'd feel like I was losing. He recognizes that, and has been wonderfully accommodating. How can I show him that I care deeply even if he doesn't have all of my time, and minimize the unpleasantness for him in this?

Oh yeah, tips for managing your time would be awesome too ^_^
And reputation concerns, as well. What are some basic tips for ensuring your private affairs and private approaches to relationship stay private?

Thank you much

Last edited by beautifulthings; 06-20-2011 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:27 AM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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Time management=google calendar! I put everything on there including new movie releases! lol You can colour code it, put symbols beside things, have many different calendars for different things (personal, partner a, partner b,, etc.)

Reputation concerns: if you don't want it known don't tell it. The only sure fire way to not have a secret get out is to keep it to yourself.

As far as minimizing the hurt......there will always be some hurt if it's something the other person doesn't want to hear. Just be as kind as you can in having your say. Be available for reassurances and hugs when ever possible and make sure they know how you feel about them is all I can come up with.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:57 PM
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My husband feels the "sting" every time I go with my bf (he calls it a "wave.") But he always reassured me that it will pass, and it does.

Time management works well for us because my bf has a flexible schedule during the weekdays, while my husband is at work. We get together about twice a week, for a couple of hours at a time. When my husband is home in the evenings or on the weekends, my bf and I do not contact each other. Our time together is limited but it makes it something we cherish. We also feel we are respecting my husband, which makes him feel cherished, too.

We are very discreet. No one in our community knows our arrangement. I would love to be more of a "crusader" for polyamory, myself -- but my men are NOT interested in being a public spectacle.

I have only had to explain to a few people close to me who have asked. I had to make the choice of how well I wanted these people I love to truly know me. I had to take the risk to trust that they would still love me if they knew the truth. Luckily, they do. Only one person has cut off contact with me over it -- which hurts, but I am hoping she will eventually come around. My arrangement does not affect her life in any way -- but she was concerned that it would jeopardize my marriage and thus the stability of my 4 kids at home. From my standpoint, it was the secret feelings I was fighting that were causing great strain on the marriage. Our honest poly arrangement is actually rather stabilizing. My husband and I have had to show our love and commitment to one another even more whole-heartedly. We re-commit every day. It's been very bonding. And the bonus -- I am showing love to my bf and we are enjoying a love affair free from the everyday drudgery of finances and laundry and step-parenting and all the other things that challenge a traditional marriage. I am truly having my cake and eating it too -- and I'm worth it!!!
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulthings View Post
Setting aside the voice in the back of my head that wants to say this is all just a clever way to avoid my commitment issues (sometimes it feels exactly like that, other times it feels like I'm actually living the values of what I consider to be a beautiful relationship model), I have a couple of questions.

I'm trying to minimize hurt. Anyone got ideas for this? Being honest, negotiating boundaries, asking others involved what they want to know and don't want to know, taking their feelings into consideration - all a given. That last thing is also what leads to my post - it is very clear that my current partner isn't happy about the openness of our connection. It's clear to me in how he answered when I asked about how much disclosure he wants about my choices outside our connection.
Just because you are attempting poly doesn't mean there is no commitment. There IS a commitment at a certain level in any relationship, just maybe not necessarily like a mono co-dependent one (not all mono relationships are co-dependent, mono co-dependent relationships are what I would consider at the opposite end of the spectrum to poly dating relationships).

Your level of commitment to others is your choice. No one can expect more than that. They could ask for more, but you can only give what you can give. Poly means they can still have you in their life and go out and find someone who is willing to be more commited also.

As to hurt? Ya, well, hurt is enevitable and very healthy. I think that its better to invite it in and look at it rather than to avoid it. Pain in relationships should make people curious about themselves and what they are ivolved in. It should be used to advance the relationship to the next level rather than destroy it. Of course there are exceptions such as abusive situations and ones where the match up isn't a comfortable one. If you think and feel a relationship is right, it is, therefore the pain that comes with finding a way to create a life involved with each other is worth it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:56 PM
beautifulthings beautifulthings is offline
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Thank you all!

redpepper, you're right. Exclusivity and commitment are different things. I appreciate the reminder of that.

I appreciate your idea about hurt as an opportunity, as well. Inspiring stuff

I think I just keep hitting social conditioning in my head about it, is all. I feel selfish to date two men (there is already a romantic and emotional vibe with the other party, just not a physical one), even though it's also rather luxurious. It's strange but I feel more balanced about being open, and feel less like my super-emotive affectionate nature is going to become overwhelming for someone knowing that I can spread it around.
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