Compersion: Merged Threads, General Discussion

vandalin

New member
Being new to the Poly lifestyle and ideas, although they seem to be coming rather naturally to me, I was curious how everyone deals with and achieves compersion, besides communication that is. Communication is the cornerstone in all relationships but even more so in poly and open relationships. But sometimes you can talk to a person until they are blue in the face and they have yet to understand what you are saying and meaning.

So how do you or your S.O.'s achieve compersion?

*I hope this makes sense*
 

foxflame88

New member
For me personally, I didn't have to "achieve" compersion.... it just IS for me. Compersion actually comes as easily to me as breathing.
 

Sunshinegrl

New member
I feel Alot like Alli.. It comes naturally. I love the fact that those I love and desire also love and desire each other. I feel a complete forfilment.
 

vandalin

New member
Thanks for the replies.

Ok, let me add on... I know that for some it comes naturally. I feel for me it might although it hasn't come up yet. But how about those who it doesn't come naturally for? Say the S.O. who agrees to open their relationship up but not partake in the "openness". They need to "find" compersion and although we'd love to believe that it comes as easily as "I want you to be happy" would, it probably doesn't.

So was it just as easy for your partner(s) to feel compersion? For the non-poly side of a poly relation, does it just "come naturally" or did you have to work on it and if so, anything in particular that helped you/them?
 

Mark1npt

New member
Compersion is not an issue for me. Earlier in life it may have been, but at this stage whatever pleases my spouse is fine with me. But then again, I'm more easily the poly one in the house! My mono wife was unaware of the word and it's meaning til I recently gave her info on it. A book is also on the way to her, too!

To strictly trained, society molded monogomists, tight control over one's spouse is very ingrained. My wife has always given me the freedom in our life together, to make decisions, undertake challenges, travel extensively and live freely, within the confines of our marriage (monogomy), knowing she was completely secure in her place. Going poly however, has really challenged her. I am hopeful that as we discuss the topic of compersion (living with my other love in this "V" with her secure) that she will be able to experience this 3 way love in the same way, that she has with other topics at other times in our marriage. She really wants me to be happy. I want to be happy. Our 3rd loves seeing both of us happy and we complete her life. It should be a "win-win-win" for everybody. I hope so.
 

vandalin

New member
What's compersion, please?

According to http://www.lovemore.com/terms.html

Compersion n 1: taking joy or pleasure in someone else’s joy, pleasure or happiness 2: feeling joy in the joy that others you love share among themselves, especially taking joy in the knowledge that your beloveds are expressing their love for one another, the term was coined by the Keristan Commune in San Francisco which practiced Polyfidelity, Kerista disbanded in the early 1990's.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I don't know if this is compersion or not, but I sort of wish that my husband would "experience" more relationships of an intimate nature because I'm the only really serious relationship he has had so far. Maybe he is more like Mono and he doesn't want to be with anyone else besides me... so I wouldn't want him to do that unless it's what he wants for himself.
 

vandalin

New member
YGirl: I think compersion would be when you are happy whether or not he is having other relationships, as long as he is happy. Also it might depend on the type of relationships you have/share. Compersion would be when he is happy when you are happily with someone else and he is ok with it or vice versa. So the last part of your post would fit well with compersion.

Of course, please tell me if I'm getting this wrong. I am new to the concept.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
It sounds right; it's a new vocabulary word for me too.

My husband and I have an eerily effortless relationship and sometimes I take that for granted. The rest of the time, it's like, "if it ain't broken, why break it just so you can fix it".
 

Mark1npt

New member
YGirl, you stated it and you're playing it right. He may already be in complete compersion with you and your other lover. He may be accepting and happy for you, but he may, like Mono or my wife, have no desire or inner need to explore any further in an intimate relationship, with anyone else other than what he has with you. It's what works for him....and apparently it's worked ok for you, too. That's great.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Well... I don't have an "other lover" (just so we're all clear on that point). I re-met someone and "fell in love" but we saw each other twice and held hands and spent the night together but we didn't even kiss or get naked. The "other guy" couldn't deal with the concept of "sharing" someone in this context, so eventually he decided that he "needs space" so we haven't had contact for a couple of months, which is longer than the time we were speaking after 21 years of nothing. But I digress.

Not to make this thread all about ME, but I have been struggling more with this "compersion" and "empathy" with respect to the "other guy" than with respect to my husband. However, it's a good thing over all because if one of us ever falls in love with someone else again we'll be somewhat prepared to deal with it, and it doesn't mean we'll have to choose one over the other.

Edit:

I notice 2 types of "married" people here: one, those who have a challenge integrating poly with their existing relationship, and two, those whose "other" relationship is challenged by their existing one.

This isn't a sweeping generalization; it's more like a fun thing, what I just wrote. I'm not trying to judge or pigeon-hole any "married" folks here or elsewhere.
 
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Mark1npt

New member
YGirl, I'm sorry I didn't clarify, I was speaking in generalities and not regarding your current situation. Anywho, I guess it can be said that the guy you "re-met" and fell in love with had no compersion at all. Compersion should be about accepting the situation we are in....and....enjoying it, for our sake, for our partner's sake. I would rather have half of my wife in my life than not have her at all. I would hope that she would feel the same way about me.:)
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Well, I cut my "other" guy some slack on not having compersion... Maybe he just didn't feel the same way toward me. That, and the fact that he wants kids and someone he can bring home to his conservative uptight parents... We'll just leave it at that, shall we.
 

redpepper

New member
I feel for me it might although it hasn't come up yet. But how about those who it doesn't come naturally for? Say the S.O. who agrees to open their relationship up but not partake in the "openness". They need to "find" compersion and although we'd love to believe that it comes as easily as "I want you to be happy" would, it probably doesn't.

So was it just as easy for your partner(s) to feel compersion? For the non-poly side of a poly relation, does it just "come naturally" or did you have to work on it and if so, anything in particular that helped you/them?

I hate to say it it but I suck at compersion when it comes to my husband and the others he has had. They are never good enough for me and I often feel very certain that he needs no one else but me, so why is he looking. His success has not been good when it comes to women that are actually capable and willing to love him as much as he expects and he often ends up hurt and disillusioned. Perhaps this has something to do with my hesitancy to be happy for him?

Maybe I am not very good at not being jealous? In fact this fits better for me. Jealousy indicates that there is something a miss in my life and I need to get in touch with what that might be fast before I go crazy.

My husband is incredible with his compersion. He has put up with so much in me. I am somewhat of a free spirit and have had many adventures that other men would simply not put up with... he has struggled but has always known that the freedom he gives me keeps me loving him and staying in our relationship. In being happy that I am living my life to the fullest he is gaining his own happiness and living his life to the fullest as I am able to offer him what he needs.
 

Mark1npt

New member
Redpepper, it sounds like you're a little protective of your hubby and his feelings! I get the message my wife is worried about me being hurt, too, should things ever go south with my other life-love. It's wonderful that we have such loving concerned spouses. We are indeed lucky. Am surprised to hear yourself be so critical of your own compersion abilities though. I bet you really are better at it than you think.:)
 

vandalin

New member
he has struggled but has always known that the freedom he gives me keeps me loving him and staying in our relationship. In being happy that I am living my life to the fullest he is gaining his own happiness and living his life to the fullest as I am able to offer him what he needs.

I think this is the kind of idea and info I was for. How or what does it take for one to achieve the feeling of compersion.

I also happen to be lucky with my spouse. He has been doing everything in his power to find compersion, but I have a feeling until something happens between my friend and myself (or some other guy if that is the case) then he will always have that slight feeling of "what if she doesn't come back". But he also is afraid of me being hurt, as I have been already, but I don't think that means he can't be happy for me at the same time.

Question: If I am happy for a friend because they are "in love" but not really happy with their choice (not being me for example), is it still compersion as I am truly happy for their happiness?
 

redpepper

New member
we talked about this in depth tonight, my husband and I.... Mono was playing with our boy, a nice treat for us as it is hard to talk when he is around.... I asked him what makes him so good at it and I not. He disagreed that I wasn't good at it, just that I saw something in the choice he made with a woman he dated recently and I turned out to be right that is it was a bad match. He also agreed that he wasn't very communicative about what was happening and wasn't telling me what I needed to here, that is that he was in no way interested in her as a replacement of me and that he loved me....

The biggest question answered for me was that he is able to have deep compersion when he has a strong self esteem. He said there is no need to be jealous when he is doing what he wants in life and fulfilling his own dreams. His dreams include my happiness and a common goal in finding people in our lives that seek out similar ideas of poly. I'm sure that helps, but really, he also has the goal of us staying together and really believes that we will. We had a battle this winter that came to a head one day and it was a matter of deciding if we would move forward together or not... that moment of deciding to stay together pushed us off to new depth in our relationship and made us feel stronger so that we could move forward into getting what we need out of life. In essence, these pivotal moments of realization make my love stronger and bring me to a state of energy that is the like of a new relationship, even after 8 years of marriage. I am getting off topic... sorry :rolleyes:

He is able to go and do his own thing and be happy I am doing mine. At the end of the day we come home and wrap up our day with the news that we are getting out of this life everything we want. We don't own each other, but live side by side in our relationship and in our love. This seems to help our compersion greatly in all areas of our lives.

Please remember that I don't push him either. I realize there is only so much he can take before becoming fearful and losing that self esteem. I know that if I am constant with showing him how much I love him in a way that he understands and makes him feel loved (anyone read "the five love languages?"), then he will have no need to fall into jealousy and doubt because I have given him no reason to.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I recently spoke with someone who stated they have never felt intimate jealousy of another partner's relationships. At first I thought, "wow! Sign me up for that!" Can you imagine never feeling jealous and just being able to watch someone you love enjoy other loves without any feeling besides happiness? Could it get any better?! Maybe not..but it could get worse.

Imagine being with a partner who couldn't understand you're feelings because they had never experienced them. Imagine trying to communicate a very real concern that affects your reality to someone who can only approach it from the description of a feeling in a book. Imagine how hard it would be for them to rationalize how anything they did could affect you so intensely. You can't truly understand an emotion until you experience it.

It is like going to a funeral and saying "I know how you feel" to the widow without ever having lost your spouse. You wouldn't really know what they are feeling. You could feel bad for them, but you wouldn't be able to feel like them.

If you are a person who has felt jealousy be thankful. Now you can truly say "I know how you feel" and govern your actions based on your own experiences.

Compersion is great...it's even harder to explain than jealousy because it goes against so much of our conditioning and in some cases our nature.

Mine is derived from my traditional programming to respect primary relationships such as marriage. That is why it was total and immediate for me towards her relationship with her husband. That is why it is solid but less complete towards her secondary who has a long standing relationship with both of them on a less frequent and integrated level, and that is why it is currently unfathomable when considering the idea of her bringing another intimate man into our lives.

Why would I have compersion for the inclusion of a woman into our lives?..because I understand that no number of men can give the uniqueness that a woman can provide both physically and in the associated energy.

There is no magic bullet for compersion...everyone must find their own way to achieve it.

Best of luck and lots of love to everyone:D
 
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vandalin

New member
Thanks for the replies all. They have given me some food for thought.

It sounds like my "Elric" is similar in idea to you Mono as one of his main objections for starting a relationship with me has been that he was afraid of causing trouble in "Cajun" and my marriage. That "Cajun" told me to ask him on a date is probably the biggest reason, if not the only reason, he accepted. "Elric" seems to have compersion to the point of being happy for me in my marriage, but is still caught up in the conditioning that he is not allowed to share or be a part of my happiness...but only time will tell if it is conditioning or nature...I hope it's not nature, that would be so depressing.
 
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