Compersion: Merged Threads, General Discussion

"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.

Do you mean he doesn't feel he can be a full part of the relationship between you two or he feels he would be taking something away from it? You should be happy he is so respectful of your relationship. If he does manage to open up you will get a very caring partner in my opinion. Is he monogamous in nature like me?

Take care
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He is not sure he can be a part of a poly relationship. He, as he puts it, has had problems with jealousy in past relationships. I feel that if he can talk about it, we can really figure out if this is something he can do and is just afraid, or something that just isn't part of him. He is truly happy that I am happy in my marriage though and is even accepting that I am poly.

When poly was first brought up and a relationship was proposed, he was very interested in learning more and even trying to date and see where it led. Then "something" happened. He says that after meditating and thinking, he "can't picture himself in a polyamourous relationship." But he then admits that things can and may change. He says that what I offer would be ideal, but he's not sure if he can be a "poly-husband" and I think that covers boyfriend as well.

He is sexually monogamous in nature, although as he admits to being in love with me for all of these years, including through his marriage, he knows that he can love more than one person at a time and he knows that polyamory is actually possible and not just an excuse for multiple partners.

I am very happy and lucky that he is so respectful of my marriage relationship. He has never met my husband (that changes this weekend) but he still holds him in very high respect. I know that if he does open himself up to what we are offering, that I will be a very very lucky woman on both halves...with a lot of work cut out ahead of me. ;)

I suppose I could ask how you, Mono, got past the conditioning of "it's wrong to be with someone who is married to someone else, you will only cause harm" if that was an issue for you. That's what I mean by him still being caught up in the conditioning. I'm hoping that meeting my husband and hopefully having a word or two from hubby, as we won't be in a private setting, will help him see that, "maybe this can work...I'm not hurting their relationship." If that is not the case, then I'm going to probably have some pieces to pick up from my broken heart. :( But I've done it before, I'm sure I can do it again, and this time I will have the wonderful support of my husband to help me get through.
At first I simply had to meet Redpepper's husband. You are on the right path!

That was the moment I knew it was possible. In seeing them together I knew they had an immense love. That enabled me to open up. I trust that people speak the truth and have been opened up to a world of love and chosen family. I would have walked away otherwise. Even now Redpepper knows I will pull back from this to better her primary family, she doesn't understand how I can deny that aspect of love for her but knows it is true. I have never loved someone so much that I would sacrifice everything else simply to maintain her friendship.

Her husband and me have also had talks where I expressed my concern over hurting his relationship and we reaffirmed each other in our commitment to the health of everyone involved.

Spend casual time together as a group and get to know each other. This won't work unless they are very good friends in my opinion.

Are there other men involved? This is a huge aspect that he may not want to discuss for fear of sounding possessive. That was always more my concern for sure...that is where jealousy would rear it's destructive head for sure!

Take care
Thank you Mono for your reply and honesty.

Starting from the end and working up, There are no other men involved. If it weren't for "Elric" I probably would not have even looked at this aspect of myself. He is the first person I have ever had feeling of more than friendship for as long as I have been with my husband. And although one cannot tell the future for certain, I don't think I would want anyone else in our lives. I feel that I would be happy with a V relationship as both my men have given all signs of being sexually monogamous.

We do want to spend casual time together, although it is difficult as we live 400 miles apart and weekends are short. Perhaps if this coming weekend works out well and "Elric" and I decide to try and see if this might work, my husband and I can take a weekend away and visit him again. It is easier for us to travel than for him. That would be the only way we could have any privacy to discuss and get the men to know each other at all.

(I hate starting a sentance like this but...) I will be honest, there are other details on his side that I am leaving out that do have some effect on his decision. These details make it even more important for us to take it slowly but do not make it impossible for a relationship.
I will be honest, there are other details on his side that I am leaving out that do have some effect on his decision. These details make it even more important for us to take it slowly but do not make it impossible for a relationship.

That reads as "there is somebody else involved who doesn't know".
Not exactly, without to much detail, a soon to be ex-wife who wants full custody.

edit* They've been separated for over a year.
I am relieved to see that there are still some issues of jealousy among people who are poly, that it IS something that can be worked on - me NOT being poly, my bf is, I have had major struggles with feeling so hurt and jealous of his other ladies, I thought maybe there was just something wrong and immature with me.

Myself having not been with anyone else while I've been with him, he states that he is not jealous at all but that hasn't been put into practice yet. He has told me of other relationships he has been in in the past where the only thing that bothered him about a gf dating someone else was when they started to spend more and more time with another guy and eventually went mono with them, thus breaking up with him. I find it hard to believe that he is totally unjealous (or is it non-jealous?), but perhaps he really is.

This compersion thing seems to be a very enlightened, happy place to be in and I hope that one day I can achieve it (or something close to). At this point, I am far, far down on the bottom rung of that accomplishment. On the positive side, I have nowhere to go but up.
I have not ever felt jealous in relationships I have been in. However, I also have never been in a polyamorous relationship, so it is hard for me to tell how I will feel when ouroboros gets romantically or sexually involved with someone else.

What I think about is how love is freeing... for yourself and for the person whom you have feelings for. I think about how I would want to be treated and how I would want someone else to feel for me and show this through supporting me in my endeavors so long as they are healthy and beneficial to my life and thiers. Then I try to treat them in this way...

It is easier said than done, that is for sure!!!
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.


This would be my concern with a person incapable of jealousy or who hasn't felt it before. Jealousy is normal, human, and manageable. It is as real and valuable as any other emotion; being able to direct it is the key, similar to utilizing fear positively.
Mono - That is so true.
I have been in that situation before - not understanding how someone could be jealous when they were feeling so.

How do you think that gap in understanding could be bridged? Would you (not you specifically) want someone to feel jealousy in order to understand the emotion?

And - I take back that I have never felt it. That isn't true. It is more like it is an emotional response that I always manage to talk myself out of fairly quickly. So, it is more of a misunderstanding of why the jealous feelings persist, not that they come up at all.
Would you (not you specifically) want someone to feel jealousy in order to understand the emotion?


Yes I would want someone to feel it. I also would want them to feel extreme love if they haven't. Emotions are human and normal; reaction is where we have a tendency to screw up.

It's like being afraid and choosing to cover your head instead of using the increased mental alertness to look for danger or a safe exit.

This is also about approaching jealousy and adversity in general as challenges vice threats. Challenges propel us forward; threats prepare us for war and close us off.

I am no expert in dealing with jealousy. I suffered from horrible jealousy in this relationship and with others. It's my reaction that enabled me to find a solution and not push away from what I loved. If Redpepper wasn't a natural selection soul mate for me I would never have survived.

If the relationship is strong and based on the connection two people have it can overcome a lot IMO. If it is based on a desire to maintain the status quo or possessions than it will fail.
Compersion and how it is derived

I’m wondering about the definition of compersion. I understand the basic concept of ‘joy and pleasure derived from your partner’s joy and pleasure’. What I’m wondering is how the joy and pleasure is derived, i.e. visually and in person, during an encounter between your partner and their other partner OR more through the mood and actions of your partner after they have an encounter with their other partner? Typing this out seems like it could certainly be both, or just one or the other. I suppose one could also differentiate between the joy derived from love and the joy derived from sex. Sometimes, these two would be highly related, other times perhaps not so much. I’m just wondering what is the typical, if there is such a thing.

Why I’m asking: Very new to a number of things including opening up a very long term, very stable, primary MF relationship. Early on in the journey, my partner indicated it was fine for me to explore my desire to be with women. He adores me and is truly dedicated to ensuring my happiness. Currently this extends to actually being present during any sexual intimacy between me and additional partners.

To those who don’t know us, and assume we are a traditional couple, this may seem as though he is just lurking for a cheap thrill. However, because I know him so well, I have no issue with this at all, I know he just wants to see me happy. I suppose his presence may turn some people off and prevent me from being intimate with someone I desire, although this hasn’t occurred yet. It is also very early in our exploration and journey and we both realize our desire and needs may, and most likely will, change.

So there is currently no issue to solve, I’m just curious as to how the term compersion is used and how others feel about primary partners being present during sexual intimacy, not things like lunch dates or movie dates, etc.
Compersion, like polyamory, is brought out by different things to different people.

You definitely have the basic definition down, and the answer to what you say is, from my perspective "it can be all of the above". Because compersion is that feeling of joy when you partner is happy and they are not doing something directly with you. Often when people see this they feel envious or jealous, because they feel that it is their "right" to have their partner only happy in relationships with them. The concept of compersion is the opposite of that, and so it can encompass many many types of moods and activities.

So if that means joy at your partner having sex, that's fine, if it means joy at your partner being out on a date with his OSO that's fine too - it's all good, as they say.

Oh and one other thing - if your partner gets off being in the room while you are having sex with your OSO, then that's just fine, as long as all are comfortable with it - I don't think many on here would want to dismiss is as a "cheap thrill". :)

And welcome to the forum!

I just like to think of compersion as contagious genuine joy & happiness.
It can be something about a relationship or not. It might be about a great trip they took. Or great sex they had. It's just about deep caring.

I agree that if your lady friends don't have any issues with it, then there's nothing creepy or cheap about seeing the person you love experience a thrill that you cannot give them.

The way I read it, I got the impression that maybe this was the "only" way you were allowed to be with women, and if you're comfortable with that restriction then so am I. Personally, with me, I insist that my husband NOT be present during sexual encounters with other women, because I would be thinking about him too much to enjoy myself with her. At least until I was more comfortable in my relationship with her.
Thank you everyone for your insight. As you probably noticed, I'm new at this forum and have a LOT of reading to do but it seems like a great place. Thanks again.
Compersion and how it is derived

Hi. I hope you don't mind Peachtaboo if I jump in here & ask an additional question to the more experienced members. I've also been wondering about 'compersion' & found the answers helpful. But I'm wondering if there is a difference between 'compersion' & the term I've read somewhere, briefly, called 'erotic voyeurism'.
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I'll admit I'd never heard the term "compersion" but have experienced it. I am one who really enjoys seeing my SO at the "top" of his game. It's amazing to me to watch him when he's with another woman. I LOVE it. Truly love it. We've been together most of our adult lives and made love and have lots of passion. But when I see him with another woman I completely melt. And I've watched and then led to participation and watched and masturbated. All is awesome for me. But I love a woman's body... how can I blame him for feeling the same way? Or better yet, why not enjoy him liking what I like? More in common. :)
Is it voyeurism? Wiki def is
Voyeurism (from the French voyeur, "one who looks") can take several forms, but its principle characteristic is that the voyeur does not normally relate directly with the subject of their interest, who is often unaware of being observed.
Yeah, what I enjoy isn't the least bit "sneaky." So I'd have to say no.
Compersion & how it is derived

I hadn't looked at the definition of voyeurism Slip. Thanks for the reference. Interesting. I seem to recall seeing the term 'erotic voyeurism' from an interviewee who used it to describe how she was turned on thinking of her boyfriend being with his other lady at the time they are actually together. I have a partner who enjoys "sharing me" as he puts it, which, at this point, is the thought of my being with another or knowing I'm with another. Is it compersion or erotic voyeurism?