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The Platinum Rule is a moral principle related to but different from the Golden Rule, saying that "Treat others in the way they like to be treated." This "rule" was initiated by Dr. Tony Alessandra. It is associated with the Jung Personality Traits. He believes that there are four different personalities and if you can find out which one a person is, then you can have a long lasting relationship.

Came across this business-model oriented PDF and found it interesting in the land of communication and conflict resolution.

I would use "need" rather than "expectation" but still... lots to think about. So I wanted to bookmark it.

My hurt friend is struggling with her soon-to-be-ex partner NOT treating her as she wants to be treated. This manual brought up the platinum rule so it made me think of her.

I WISH she was being treated well and in the way she wants to be treated. Sigh.

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This is an excerpt "being engaged" from this thread.

Engagement to me is a serious time of reflection and discernment and assessment. It is not entered into lightly.

Deciding what is for dinner is one thing.

Deciding a major life change? That's another thing

I feel like some people don't know how to best use their engagement times. Or that there even ARE engagement times beyond the one that comes before marriage.

So weird to me. How could I live my life as I want to live it -- captain of my of life destiny -- if I don't take time outs to engage and plan my life strategy?

Just gonna... wing it? :confused:

Winging it for a day is one thing.

Winging it for my life is another.

1) Relax.

2) Probably NRE and the high of a great weekend.

3) Listen to yourself -- you are worried about being too LOVING? The world should have these problems! *hug* There is nothing wrong with love.

4) This is the crux of your stressy, I think:
  • You are right to consider if you got engaged too young at 21.
  • You are right to consider if being engaged to your first relationship ever is really the guy you want to be engaged to
  • This is what being engaged in contemplating a serious life choice like marriage is FOR.

You know... to ENGAGE in serious thinking about a pending life choice. To commit to talks about it, visiting with each other's people, etc.

You don't have to break it off because you have concern or doubt. So what? You just have to THINK. How long did you set your engagement for? Mine had an initial check point to start (a year) and then the soft limit got adjusted as we learned what we learned as engaged people.

Will you be attending any "before you get married" classes at your house of worship, your county extension office, online, wherever? These are set up to help you engage in serious conversations with your intended -- esp if your family of origin(s) are not especially great at giving young adults guidance.

If it turns out not to be the right fit -- well, then you announce at the end of your engagement period that no, you guys decided together that you do not want to take the next step and commit to marriage at this time. Committing to engagement was as far as you wanted to go right now.

Disappointing, but the engagement is to make space for talks and serious thinking and arriving at a conclusion. People tend to just RUSH on to setting a date for the wedding and don't use the engagement period like it is meant to be used, IMHO. (Are we ready for marriage commitment? Do we understand the realities of being married? Is this the partner I want to be married to? Is this the right TIME to change to marriage?)

I mean, it isn't like you can't keep on dating each other and engage again later if this first engagement period turns up as "No... not quite done baking! Needs more time in the oven! Need to try other recipes!"


Me? My engagement was planned and deliberate. By ME.

I lived with my then BF for a year. We told our parents we wanted to see a lease through and the goal was at the end of the lease announce a formal engagement or not. Other than his dad who lives far away they were "unofficially told" in person that we were "unoffically engaged." In old fashioned words -- "we had an understanding."

His Dad was told by phone because of the distance. We told them that as the parents we let them know first what to expect, what our plan was, but wanted them to keep it quiet. Did not tell siblings or anything like that formally or informally. (Knowing full well the parents would leak it when they felt like it. And siblings are not blind. They see us shacking up. But nobody knew "officially." )

At then at the end of the first year lease I told him I wanted to break up because he was great but not meeting all deliverables. He was great BF material but not husband material. His peter pan ways made me nuts. I was moving out. We could still date. I liked him as a bf, but he wasn't husband.

He told me he had no right to ask, he agreed he did not meet deliverables. Then he asked for another lease and second try. I said ok after thinking about it for a week -- then he really buckled down to it. We were handfasted to mark this point. He really did change his thinking and behavior from bf/to spouse. Goodbye Peter Pan. Hello, Mr Offcial Fiancee.

I proposed to him. He cried. Then I told him to go ask my dad for my hand. He said that made no sense because I proposed. I told him I knew, but throw the elder a bone so he can feel satisfied and included because that is the expectation in my family of origin. So he asked my dad for my hand. Then I asked his mother for his hand because well, I proposed! To her amusement (and satisfaction because while not a custom in his family of origin, I'm the young silverback and she's the old silverback. Who needs to START with MIL issues?) We also drove to visit his father to announce our formal engagement to him in person (his folks are divorced.)

These things can seem silly -- because who does it matter to but the couple in question? But these things help pave the way to good future family ties -- so why NOT? It's a way to pay respect, and it's a way to ease transitions and promote good will. (and you go round to see in your partner's family who is a wacko and how closely they will be in your future life or not. THAT could be a reason to say NO to marriage! You marry your partner and marry into their family. What is the package you are getting here? What does your partner expect from you in participating in their family culture? Is it reasonable? Can you deliver?)

At the end of that lease we were formally engaged, and moved. That period marked with a change in home. All family customs and gestures made, ALL relatives and friends told. Then we spent another 2 years together with relatives viewing us as "the intended couple." They could now stop treating partner as a "guest" or "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" and more like a "permanent relative." Build to it gently. Then finally we were legally wed.

By THAT time people were all "Finally! You guys are getting married! Yay!" Gave ourselves and the relatives plenty of time to adjust to a new relative joining the ongoing party, build relationships, think seriously, etc.

If I ever get to the place of a poly-engagement? It would be same. I am a big fan of looong engagement. :)

When you finally do get married you have seen aaaaallllll there is to see about your intended and your intended's family of origin. Their strengths, their weakness, and you can decide to join that family or not from a place of full information. I've never had an in-law problem. I think largely for that reason -- long engagement wisely used toward building new bonds not just with him but his people. My people like DH in general, his people like me in general. It just like polymath -- call it family-math if you want. ;)


So there is NOTHING wrong going here. All is as it should be.

  • You had a nice weekend with your 2nd guy, you have lots of NRE kooshy feelings for him.
  • You are busy thinking serious questions about a serious life choice with the guy you are ENGAGED to.

If later it turns out you do not want to move, you do not want to end it with the secondary -- well, you do not want to move and you do not want to end it with the secondary.

Have the "what if" talks now with your poly peeps so you all know where everyone stands, what everyone is and is not open to (their limits) and then just enjoy the experience of the here and now. Get into the habit of monthly (?) talks in trio just to take the "where is everyone at?" temperature. Give both joys and concerns time to be celebrate and aired out. Keep the polyship healthy with maintenance. Take the car in for checks and oil change right? Take the polyship you all fly in for checks too.

You can learn from past and plan some for future, but you do need to spent some of your life living in the here and now too. And your here and now sounds loving. In fact -- you worry you have too much love!

Good problem to have. Just BREATHE. :)

Wrote this today in response to this thread.

No wonder my brain is spaced out. Between dealing with mundane life stupid like laundry, dealing with my abused friend, dealing with eldercare things, dealing with my health things, dealing with house things, I'm dealing with my own clarification and thought processing on this whole "Enaged to Consider OPENING" with DH.

Thank god for long ass engagements! :confused:

Because I don't WANT to do more thinking and processing today. Waaaah! I feel FULL. :rolleyes:

I want to get my kid and dutifully need to visit the grandparents and make sure no elders are runnin' around blowing things up or having any new cows today. :eek:

Then I want to take kid to get a frozen yogurt or something. I want to experience frivolity and kiddie shenanigans to see if my mood lifts. :p

This I now choose to go do. Just try to STOP me from choosing my next behavior (in response to how I currently feel) to change my next reality and see how I might end up feeling next!

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Haha. :D


(Meta Me: Well that worked. I was feeling all arghy and then decided to deliberate think about my next immediate options rather than service to future options and talk to myself in my usual "Lo! Behold! I rule my own destiny! Small destiny it may be but ALL MINE! " way. I got the self assure and the self validate and I feel better. Go me. )

Meta Meta Me: Kid was right when she told me our thinking does not directly influence our feelings but it does have indirect impact on them. (Mini Me talking to me-- argh... to many me's in too many versions.)

Meta Meta Meta Me: Hee hee. Kid learned that at home. Yay.

Meta Meta Meta Meta Me Brain Board of Trustees President and Chair: Yay. We hold our own bag. Yippee. So what do we have to DO to get us a Klondike bar here, already? Meeting adjourned.

The fear with the long term male is that I worry that he and I would not be any more than friends.

And being friends with your metamour (the lover of your lover) is BAD how?

I think the fear is speaking to something else. What does that fear speak to?

I see you are still working out your thoughts. That's great! Keep going! :)

I like to work out my own in terms of wants, needs, limits so I can better see where I might chose my next course of action. Below I chopped up your original post so you can see what info seems missing to me, what you might need clarificaiton on, where you could grow. You are you guys -- you know your own reality better than me. Maybe seeing the information organized in a different way helps you in your continuing conversation.

I do not expect you to answer ME on the questions I raise. Your answers are to each other. It is not any of my biz.

I just want to lift up that before you go there, know where you are going TO. And know HOW to go there so you are in right relationship to each other. Everyone figures that out for themselves. DH and I work with our playbook.

You and your Sweetie are busy writing your own life story here -- and your own way of going. Kudos! Keep on living and thinking together. Don't ever stop. Life Shared is a trip of a journey. :)

I just offer it in the spirit of "hey, maybe this organization of it could help you organize and clarify your thoughts when you talk to your sweetie some more."

Do with it what you will.



  • to be the female hinge in "V" shape polyamorous relationship. She would be the Shared Sweetie. (Heirarchy? Not? What type open relationship V is this that she wants?)


  • to be free of fear I will cheat again (She will do___ to address her fear. I will do __ to help on this one.)
  • to be free of fear that I will drift away toward another partner. (She will do ___ so I have no reason to feel my reasonable needs are not being met "at home." I will do ____ to help on this one and give her a list of my needs. Are my needs negotiable? Realistic? Reasonable? )

  • drop the whole idea if I am not willing to go there without acting out at me for exercise my right to "no" she has given me. (Am I willing try opening up? Am I prepared enough to if so? Do i know clearly what I am signing up for? Does she? )
  • if my feelings develop for her other, and it is returned by him, she is willing to consider ending the "V" and negotiating it to a new "triad" shape polyship

  • ?


  • I do not get another partner because of my cheating past. (Soft limit (it could change in time?) Or hard limit? (no way, EVAH!) Am I happy with that limit if it is hard?)


  • to know her reasonable needs that are actually meetable by me are being met by me. (I think that is what you mean by "I want her to be happy." But actually you cannot control her happiness mood meter. You can only do /not do actions. So she will help you by giving list of actions she expects you to do? Not do? And you will do? Not do them? Is this list negotiable? realistic? reasonable?)


  • to be free of worry that I am not right/enough for her. ( I will help do this by___ . She will help do this by ____.)


  • To tell her NO. I am not going along with something I'm not 100% for or not prepared well for. (I'm not hearing this loud and clear. Are you willing to say NO in the interest of perserving your own best healths? Mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health?)
    [*]To go there, and not act out at her later if it turns out my choosing to go there is not what I thought it would be like. (I'm not hearing this loud and clear.)

  • To have sex with a man with her (AND be situational bi?) even though my default is not bi. (Is that what this means? "I have not actually found myself sexually attracted to a man, but I would not be against the idea")
  • I am accepting of her wanting to be ethically non-monogamous, should she choose to have different partners (Am I polyamory educated enough? Swing educated enough? What she want?)
  • Willing to think about a triad? Threesome? with her and her Other if it grows that way naturally. (Get vocabulary with her down pat so you both are talking about the same thing. I get lots of mixed messages in your post.)
  • I would be fine with my love at home and various flings outside of it. (again, what is the open relationship model(s) here? Is she talking poly? And you are talking swinging? or some kind of combo? Where is the saturation point? 2 others? 20? 2000?)


  • ?

  • lacking knowledge of vocab. (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • lacking knowledge of polyamory and swinging (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • could work on my articulation skills and asking my partner for the clarify skills (not criticisim, just pointing places you could grow)
  • I don't know if I can be happy in a long lasting polyamorous "V". (A threesome hard swing is one thing but a life relationship is another. Is THAT what you mean?)
  • She must be open and honest about everything that happens in her other relationships. (poly? or swing?) (To what degree? Full disclosure? What if the OTHER partner does not want to share their private personal details with her with YOU. Then what? You expect her to betray other's confidence to enlighten you anyway? Could sit to determine what is MUST have info and what is NICE TO HAVE info from your hinge. What info do you want going or not going the other way? Hinge is responsible for defending the TMI wall.)

  • to assess terrain well before choosing to open?


  • ID common pitfalls to polyamory/swing/whatever model it is they are trying to pick for themselves
    • in the mental health bucket
    • in the emotional health bucket (jealousy issues?)
    • in the physical health bucket (sex health?)
    • in the spiritual health bucket
  • ID how they could cope
  • ID couple strengths/weakness in communication/conflict resolution skills
  • ID human and non-human resources required for success (time? money? willingness?)

  • offer the newbie?
  • offer themselves?


  • [*]not yet done talking?
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I am experiencing ORE drunkenness.

People know New Relationship Energy (NRE) drunk can cause poor judgement.

Well, hello! So does ORE drunk. I am drunk.

DH and I are in a kooshy space -- been making time for each other daily, talking a bit more on poly/opening issues. Getting more comfortable and less vomitous on the things that wig me out. Then there's awesome sex hormone highs. :cool:

So while the agreement is at least a year of deliberation and Engagement? (And I will honor this of course.)


Ms Emotional: This feels good! Wheeee! It's all wheeee! Let's go do it NOW! Get more wheeee!
And then the entire Brain Board of Trustees turns to stare at the crazy committee member suddenly shooting rainbows out of her nipples. Some of them even speak out at once while rest just STARE all agog.

Ms Logical / Record Keeper : Not in keeping with "Engage in Discussion" agreement. Not the TIME either. Previous agreement of "Not during The Parenting Time" exists. To change records there will have to be paperwork shown to me noting changes in agreements.

Ms Diplomatic: I see you feel happy, dear. I am glad for you. Enjoy it. But let's get everyone else to that level, first. Within and then DH's Brain Board of Trustees people too.

Ms Chronic Patient Guard: Oh, god. There goes fruitcake Emotion again. One minute "YAY!" Another minute "Doom!" Does this person HAVE to serve on this committee? We cannot have anxiety and stress, people. We emotionally flood. This is part of our chronic patient make up. We just had a minor panic attack flare up with the parent elders you know. Let's keep it down to minimal slosh. I have a patient to look out for here.

Then of course Ms Emotion is seeming to ignore everything and everyone because her only job is to emote and report the emotion of the moment. She serves as the CURRENT mood meter only. (It's Ms Logical / Record keeper that reports PAST emotions felt.)

"Whee! I am invincible! DH and I are invincible! Yay! Wheee! Let's go! Happy! Happy!"

That's called feel good. Going on her input alone? That's called impulse/react. And it's good. To motivate oneself to react.

And for "I'm hungry! Impulse! Get banana!" that works out find food without a repass.
And for "Argh! My kid is in the street! Car coming! Impulse! Get that kid! " that works to push kid out of way without a repass.

But I'm talking Opening a Marriage. A major life choice change.

I want to feel that emotion loud and clear several times, not just once. That is pass and repass. ME acting with intention. I also want to get the pass and repass on DH's side. And I want to have agreements in place. That is US acting with intention.

So I expected the "yippee skippy." Prob will happen a few more times on the journey. Prob at various times, even prob various volumes.

But the Brain Board of Trustees Chair and President?

"Alright, people. Chill. Ms Emotion, we're glad you have rainbows to share today. Please tone down the joyness and shoot rainbows from your nipples out the window outside and not all over the Board Table in here making it hard to read. We have lots of other thinking paperwork to do today -- errands, dinner for the family makin', mapping out house repairs next week, bills... how about we call a break for lunch? Resume in an hour? Let's adjourn for eats."

So... lunch break. I will aim all my happyjoyjoys at other people in my life -- spouse, kid, friends. Steam valve it OUT.

Get my inner world back down to a humming along 5-7 range on the Emotional Guidance Scale. Too much happyjoyjoy makes it hard for the BOT to see clear and make good judgements in the business of Coping with My Life.

My best childhood friend tells me she has never experienced such thing as "too much happy." I told her I'm sorry to hear that. But why not? It's the flip side of having shitass days from hell.

We live amidst and within science here. For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.

For every feeling, there's an equal and opposite feeling.

That's just sense.

And good emotional balance? That's getting it BALANCED. Hello?

I don't choose how I feel. I only get to choose how I behave. If I'm feeling too much happyhappy the antidote so I can settle down to bearable volume? That is to share the happiness abroad to unload in my Outer Universe, and then busy myself with less fun things to settle down within my Inner Universe.

Hello, stupid house things. Like never ending Laundry Mountain. Thppt.

But I'm on lunch hour now.

Ms Emotion : Wheee! Wheeeee! Luuuuuunch! We love lunch happies! :D
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DH is sick. He's rarely this sick. He's hiding in bed trying to sleep through it. Poor baby. :(

I'm still feeling all kinds of kooshy toward him. He's so sane. So solid. A little snotty right now, but ok... It happens. I love him no less snotty than when he is well. We had a low key weekend but lovely all the same. Family date on Saturday to air everyone out as especially fun. But then Sunday he suddenly got really feverish.

Me? I'm feeling sane and solid. I don't feel sick so maybe I escaped it? (Kid was sick last week.) But I do feel a bit short on patience for shenanigans.

Overly dramatic depressed friend? Wish she's just get appropriate health care already. Sigh. I'm not sure I can stay friends with her. Starts to get too emotional vampire and does NOT want to own her own bag. I can't be having with that.

My abused friend? That's taking a lot of my energy. She endues and continues to move it toward a break up. But the ex-to-be is still behaving in all kinds of weird and scary ways. She asked me for moral support while she made some hard calls. I didn't know what that meant but I told her sure -- come over and if you need me to LITERALLY hold your hand while you call, hand I will hold. She laughed and said she just wanted moral support not actual hand holding.

She wanted to make some serious calls to relatives and alert them to the situation and then make a checklist for divorce stuff when person you are trying to leave is being bizarre. Hard calls to make and she just wanted some "you can do it!" type support while she was making them. Was glad to give. She's facing a hard situation and trying to hold her own baggage. Good for her!

It's frustrating to deal with people sometimes who appear to lack maturity. The histrionic friend, the weird abusive ex to be. My abused friend? She's taken hit points man, and she's had outburts of emotion and UGH and GRR. And she STILL is trying to own her own baggage and move it forward with her shit. I give her props every damn step of the way. Her? I'm willing to endure her process with her. It's not fun for ME to endure wacky but she's not shirking her duty to herself here. Props to her!

I'd been meaning to copy it over, so today's a good a day as any. My most fav and succinct description of the (6) maturities.

If all the polypeeps aren't relatively solid on those? I don't think a polyship has the best chance it otherwise could.

And out of all of them? Emotionally immature is the one that gets my goat. Two you get free just by not being dead (chronolical, physical) rest you could learn in time (intellectual, social, philosophical) if desire is there. But dang. Emotionally immature? That's a hard one to overcome if your emotional development got arrested somewhere along the line.

I do not want to sign up to align self with an emotionally immature person. That's headache I can avoid by just saying NO.

pg 22-24 "Homemaking Skills for Everyday Living" by Francis Baynor Parnell.

Types of maturity

People grow more mature each day. Full maturity is not reached until late in life. Some people may never fully mature in all aspects. They may be mature in some ways, but immature in others.

Chronological maturity refers to a person’s age. This is the only type of maturity in which all people grow at the same rate. Each birthday adds another year.

Chronological maturity is easy to measure. It is convenient for legal use. People have to prove they are old enough for a drive's license, a marriage license, or other legal rights. Elective positions often have age requirements. To be a member of the United States Congress, you must be at least 45.

Physical maturity refers to the growth of the body. It if influence by hereditary and health habits. The way you choose to eat, sleep, and care for your body will influence your physical development.

Chronological and physical maturity are certain. You mature chronologically simply by being alive. You mature physically through normal growth process. The remaining types of maturity are not so automatic. Each persona matures in a unique way.

Intellectual maturity is the ability to reason and develop complex thought patterns. It is influenced by your heredity, environment, and desire to learn. When your environment offers learning experiences, you are stimulated to think and look for new solutions to problems. If you have the desire to learn, you can grow intellectually throughout your whole life. Many elderly people are still enthusiastic about learning new things. If your environment lack stimulation or if you lack the desire to learn, your intellectual maturity will be delayed. You need many challenges and success to reach full intellectual maturity.

Emotional maturity refers to the way people express their feelings. Emotionally mature persons can balance their personal needs and the needs of others. This is a key to making and keeping friends. People enjoy friends who help fill their needs. On the other hand, one sided relationships seldom last.

Emotional maturity has been described as learning to give and take. This opens a relationship to a two-way communication. Emotionally mature people can give and receive honest compliments. They enjoy doing special things for others and they allow other to do special things for them. As people reach emotional maturity, the find more satisfaction in life. They learn to accept themselves for what the are. They can accept the individuality of others as well.

Social maturity is being able to get along with other people. Children grow social maturity as they learn to take turns and share. By playing and working together, people learn to get along with others. They learn first hand what others like and dislike. They also learn that different people like different things. A socially mature person had good times with other people and enjoys life.

Philosophical maturity is looking at life with understanding. To reach this type of maturity, persons must understand themselves and their values, goals, and standards. The must also understand their environment and other people. Philosophically mature persons know what is important to them in life. They set goals for themselves. They are willing to give up immediate pleasures as they work toward important goals.

Concern for the people's well being is another aspect of philosophical maturity. The concept of “being more” becomes more important than “having more.” “Being more” places stress on relating well to people. Being a better person, a better parent, a better employee and a better friend are examples of “being more.” “Having more” places stress on material things such as clothes, cars, boats, and houses. This often stresses work to the extent that people may be neglected in the process.

All six types of maturity influence a person's behavior.
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Excellent share!

Definitely agree with you on it being easier to swallow someone and their drama when you can see that they are claiming their crap and working on it.
It's SO frustrating when someone shrugs their crap off on others!

I am pleased with self. And with friend. Got got through a minefield moment ok.

Far Away Friend was going off on a touchy subject. Usually I let her go on but I take umbrage when she uses her words all weird. You can't sit there and complain to me about how "people behave in ways that are crap and wreck it for others with their bad behavior." And then be using language at me that DOES THE SAME THING. It pushed a button.

Ms Emotion: I am pissed. Hypocrisy!

MS Logic: This is your friend. Do not aim stupid emotion at her when clearly she is in fragile state. Control thyself.

I took a breath and let that initial GRR pass. I chose to assume positive intent. Maybe she did not mean it the way it sounded? I tried to get the clarify.

Me: Slow down. I am not understanding.

Friend: Yammer.

Ms Emotion: Dammit. Stop yammering. LISTEN. Am I am Ear here or Ear with feedback?

Ms Logic: You did not ask for the clarify FIRST before conversing. Own it.

Ms: Emotion: Dammit. I am pissed at me for not getting the clarify.

I try to get the clarify.

Me: Listen. I am a logical person and I need to hear this information in step by step chunks with breaks in between. You are going much too fast. I cannot understand like this to reply.

Friend: I am insulted! You are saying I am stupid! ... yammer on in other direction about how people suck assuming she's stupid.

Ms Emotion: She pisses me off assuming negative intent when I assume positive intent and try to get clarify. Will not GIVE clarify at start. Will not GIVE clarify when asked. Why does she get to be brat? I want to be brat. I am mad too! Grrr!

Ms Logic: Fragile person behaving all stupid ass flooded. Do not aim ugh at Best Friend. Try again, other angle.

Ms Emotion: I resent having to be all mature. I want to be a brat!

Ms: Logic: Try again, Other angle. Not about what YOU want here. It is about what is needed in situation if goal is understanding. Is understanding still the goal?

Ms Emotion: Sulky. Yes. (Still wanna complain tho.)

Ms Logic: Complain later elsewhere. Try other angle.

I choose to take a deep breath and try again. Reframe and restate my position, give her some reassure even tho she was pissing me off, give her specific directions for WHAT TO DO so she can latch on to it and do it, end on what I want most. Please hear me! Basically do what I want done to ME when I am flooding.

Me: No. You are assuming. Hon, I've been your friend for years. I am trying to communicate MY weakness here. I had abused friend drama this weekend. So I am depleted. I lack sleep. I am not sharp. Now you are telling me new information in a too fast speed.

I am telling you I feel the need to hear information presented to me in a slower speed, one step at a time logical format. Like 1, 2, 3.

I am not saying you are stupid. I have been your friend for decades. Why would I be your friend this long if I thought you were stupid?

Please tell me your information in bite size chunks. 1, 2, 3. Please do not assume. Please hear me.

Friend: Oh. (long ass pause of silence. ) Chunk 1.

Me: Ok. Got chunk 1. I'm ready for next chunk.

Friend: Chunk 2.

Me: Alright. I got it. Chunk 2. Next?

Friend: Well, then chunk 3 happened.

Me: And did you ___ ?

Friend: Yes. I did ___. I also did ____.

Ms Logic: Note her excited voice there. She's close to wigginz again. Avoid! Do not press on the ouchie place!

Ms Emotion: Nrgh. Wanna push the ouchie place. She was pushing mine. Grr.

Ms Logic: Not constructive or productive. Back off. Keep main goal in mind -- reach understanding.

Me: Alright. Next chunk. (tense, holding breath, hoping to avoid ouchie)

Friend: Well chunk 4 then. (she kept it short this time instead of blow up)

Me: Alright. (breathing sigh we avoided the minefield place now that I knew where it was hiding.)

Is it feedback time? (ask permission first so she cannot bitch at me later about me giving unasked for advice.)

Friend: Yes.

Me: While I agree with you in the GLOBAL sense that it was a crap thing and I see where you are feeling all argh about it? And justly so? (Validate, affirm because I actually did agree on that part.)

Ms Emotion: Even if she's being persnickety.

Ms Logic: Cope. You've had your turns at fusspot. This one is not your turn.

Ms Emotion: sulk

Enter Ms Dipomatic.

I do not understand why you expose yourself to this. Why choose to go there? Esp when you come BACK from exposure you snap at your loved ones. (Focus on BEHAVIORS and ACTIONS. Not TALKS OR FEELS.)

I mean, you just got all "rrrrrraaaawwwrrr!" at ME like a cat with claws out.

How do you help create and achieve your goal of a climate of non-fear? (hold up goal)

How can you take away from the problem by your actions and behavior to help create that climate of compassion you want to create?

How can you use your action and behavior to not add to the problem and create a climate of fear? (Hold up logic -- the testing of "reasonable" and "realistic" has to happen.)

Could you pace yourself better and take breaks? Not work yourself down to nubbins? (Offer possible way to go.)

I am not saying your cause is not just and your feeling is not correct or that your goal is not worthy. All are good. (Re validate and reaffirm because I heard some dragon snorting happening over the line.)

I am concerned, as your friend -- that your PACING on this is gonna run you ragged and damage your health. Maybe damage relationships. Is your goal of creating climate of non-fear and creating climate of compassion achieved most effectively then? For the situation AND for your life/health?

Friend: Oh. (long ass pause.) Yeah. I am sorry. That was bad.

Me: Yes. Forgiven. But as your friend, I have to hold up a mirror to your behavior -- if the goal really is to create a new climate of non-fear? I do not think the approach of "GRRR! DO WHAT I SAY!" is the best approach. That is all I am trying to say. I know you feel frustrated. But focus on what you want here. Protect your OWN health buckets too -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health while you are going after it.

Ms Emotion: Damn tootin' -- I can't be having with this. You acting all poo poo at me.

Ms Logical: Chill. Let her digest information..​

Friend: (long ass pause.) Sigh. You have no idea what a relief it is to be understood.

Ms Emotion: Yay. Maybe she will stop poo poo!

Ms Logical: I think goal of understanding has been achieved. Good job. Stand Down. Logic function no longer needed on high alert for minefield avoiding.

Me: I do know. I do understand. (there, there.)

But PACE yourself here, hon. You are gonna blow! And I need YOU to understand that I am your friend, and I will always be your friend. But don't assume things with me. Do you wonder what you assume of other people? If that helps or hinders your understanding of them? Or they of you? (New things for her to think about.)

Keep doing this work you love even if it is taxing -- but could consider thinking about your communication skills. Could look up Non-violent Communication online... are you taking all the tools you need when you go out there to do that job? The best tools to aid you? Are you pacing yourself to endure and make it to the end? It's not about speed here. It's about getting there. (Offer more suggestions for how to meet her goal better.)

Friend: Yeah. I could think on that. Thanks.

So we talked some more and enjoyed the phone chat and she felt better for the vent and I felt better for calling her into account when she got all persnickety. Covered the kids and fam and had a nice phone visit. In the Global Macrocosm Sense? We are all good. In service to a long term friendship I'm willing to endure some poopoo with my friend. We all have those moments. She's endured ME being all poopoohead sometimes too. I love her dearly.

In the specific Individual Personal Microcosm sense?

Ms Emotion: Miffed! I no likey poo poo things! :mad:

That speaks to me being depleted over the weekend. It's like telenovela time, man. And not even a funny one. I had hoped this phone visit would bring me relief not more poopoo, even if minor poo. I need to do some self care and go look at funny stuff or watch a funny movie or read a funny book. Because yeah. Holding MY own bag sometimes sucks too.

In my Mind's Eye I went all Telenovela and indulged my inner toddler. Just smacked smacked stuff up with a broom. Smack! Threw all the crayons out of the box. POW! Went all "No soup for you!" unreasonable rather than being patient. I should get a Juliet hat to wear and stand on boxes and just scream at random too. "Ay! Ay! Ay!"

Behave all kinds of wacko. Just for the hell of it. LOL. :D
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Me: Tell me again. Tell me that if the right person appears and its feeling like the right time under the right conditions. I can ask you if I can go there.

Him: Under the right conditions at the right time with the right person? Yes. You can ask me. I will consider going there.

Me: Tell me again. I'm not asking for your answer to be "yes" or "no" -- you get to choose what you will choose. I am asking you to let me ask.

Him: Yes. Under the right conditions at the right time with the right person. Fucking ask. Always, you can ask. You can ask me anything! Tell me anything. Ask.

Me: Yay. Tell me again.​

So he told me. Again and again.

After the doc's where we were both seen? (Thanks, kid. Cootifying both parents! Now even I have a sore throat!) We popped over to lunch and had a lovely talk and then home for more talking on the couch. He's been feeling so digusting and hibernating like a bear I haven't talked to him, really talked, in a few days. It was fun to catch up. He said it was good to eat real food finally.

He cannot get his head around the fact that some folks want to put a limit on emotion. I can't either -- emotion just IS. So freakin' what? It doesn't mean you have to act upon whatever it is you feel or not not feel or wish to feel.

(We had covered abused friend and their poor Opening -- it blew up. It isn't the Opening really, it's that things were long broken there way before. He says he's got to give her major props for handling all this wacko that's the fall out. It is horrible that ex to be is behaving this way, but she's coping and owning her own bag. Her only faux pas was being not educated enough. His problems? Long laundry list!

I'll be curious to know if after the dust settles and she has a time alone, if she will carry on seeking multiple partners or not. They just did not do enough talking things out before hand.)

Us? We don't spend a lot of time on safer sex talk. That's a given. We also don't spend much time on you can/cannot do this or that. That's micromanagement.

We actually spend a lot of time on breaking up well and just owning and demystifying the greatest risk. Because if you cannot do that? Well, why bother with the rest? You have to be willing to pay the ultimate price of admission.

Communication. Conflict resolution and time management. But the most time on breaking up well.

Safer sex, what the Partner is doing with the Other -- none of that is online yet.

What IS already online is our own communication and conflict resolution skills here.

If we cannot come to agreement/compromise on this Opening Up thing, we're not going there. Plain and simple. Not willing to pay the price of admission.

I want to be Open to the Unfolding of a new Share but it isn't just that. It's the Deepening of the Share I already have with DH. I want to it be at a pace that keeps all people feeling good enough, fed enough, and happy enough.

If there must be uncomfortable along they way -- let's aim it to the comfortably uncomfortable then that can pass in time rather than the UNCOMFORTABLE UNCOMFORTABLE at high extreme volume.

Me: Mmm. I love getting to ask. I love getting to tell you anything.

DH: I know.

Me: You know it flips the other way too. If you want to ask, you just ask.

DH: Yes. It's about the getting to ask, really.

Me: I love that you get me.

DH: Your toes are going all squidgy and hiding under that couch cushion.

Me: Ugh! Stop looking at my toes! Horrible man!

DH: Hee hee.

Me: Stop it. Knowing all my tells. Ugh! (Stuffing feet further into cushion)

DH: You can't hide your tells.

Me: Mmm. Wouldn't want to try. Way more fun to be bold and open and honest and in yo' face.

DH: I've always loved your boldness.

Me: And you love me moth to flame. So tell me again.

DH: Yes, yes, fucking ask!​

Still way more talks to go. Not in any hurry to get there either. I'm enjoying the Deepening here on THIS Share. And we will get there. He says he's enjoying it like foreplay. Actually, so am I.

Me: Yay. Asking! (pause) You know I want it the way I want it or I don't want it at all. I'm not missing anything here.

DH: Yes, I know. (laughing) Cupcakes for you. Either way, you always play to win.

Me: I always win. I mean, I want YOU to win too. But I know *I* always win. (sitting in his lap)

DH: Yup. I know you. (amused, waiting to see what's next)

Me: Aye. That you do. There's no secrets or surprises here. (kissing ears)

DH: Mm. Nope. (enjoying being messed with)

Me: I sell bad candy. (nibbling)

DH: Oo. You don't even sell. You give it away. (gropies)

Me: This is true. I give it away. It just costs you your Soul. (devil horns popping out)

DH: Mm. Yay! (more gropies)

Me: Mmm. Hi, Fly! (grinning)​

I laughed. A million years ago in that particular banter exchange he used to go "Mm. Yay! Take ME! I'm free!"

I have to ask him if he noticed he dropped the end chunk because he's already been taken and he's no longer free? But then neither am I. Opening as Marrieds. Such an interesting experience to navigate.

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He spends a lot of time wooing me with song lyrics because he's Audio Boy.

I spend time wooing him with eye candy and reads because I'm Visual Girl.

Me: "Welcome to my parlor," said the Spider to the Fly.

Him: Hi, Spider.

Me: Hi, Fly.​

That's an old banter exchange. I can't even remember when I started that one. I have to ask him if he does. It's origins? Come from the poem. Thing is, when I do the inviting? You get what you see. This is it here. Choose or not. That's up to you. In fact, I always warn the risks of choosing. Better for you NOT to choose -- and I say so if I think the person is better off in another arrangement. I don't want to be unhappy. I don't want the other person to be unhappy either. What sense in there is THAT?

If people don't believe me about the risk, about the cost of admission, about what it is that is here? Their problem. They did not have to choose me. I will still try my all, but don't come crying to me if it's not what you thought -- like I'm supposed to change integral parts of me just in service to you!

Me: Do you think I'm difficult?

Him: Oh, yes. (drinking his coffee) Soooooooo difficult. It's just so horrible and difficult here on me for 20 years. That's why I hang around. Difficulties.

Me: Shut up. (amused/pleased.)

Him: Haha!

Me: You know what? Even if it WERE really difficult for you?

Him: I know. You warned. I chose anyway. MY problem.

Me: Correct.​

(DH -- hey there, Fly. Love you. :* )


The Spider and the Fly (1829)
by Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show you when you are there."
"Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
To prove that warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say;
And bidding good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, -
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
Thinking only of her crested head - poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er heed;
Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.
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Oh yes! - MrS and I have this one too: >giggle grins @ GalaGirl<

Me: Do you think I'm difficult?

Him: Oh, yes. (drinking his coffee) Soooooooo difficult. It's just so horrible and difficult here on me for 20 years. That's why I hang around. Difficulties.

Then Dude and I groan in unison "POOOOOOR MrS...Everyone feels soooooo sorry for him...:rolleyes:"

Then, Dude says that HE'S in it for "all the drama"...(Everyone say it "POOOOOR Dude":p)

What about me?! I have to "put up with" TWOOOO Boys!:eek: >wiggle giggle grin< - POOOOR JANE...everyone says so!

(Ummm...wait - NOBODY says that! :D)


I endure a heavy heart. My abused friend just left. She asked me to help her organize her things against the speak out loud list to prepare for a counseling appointment.

On the one hand, I am VERY proud of her and wish her continued small successes and she tries to heal and break away from crazy shit things and get a divorce. Step by step.

Wanting an alternative open relationship model is NOT crazy. Wanting to Share in a different way is NOT crazy. But having chosen to go there together? And come to find it is not what they thought it would be because of not having enough education? Enough planning? Enough fitness (in mind, body, heart, or soul)?

That is NEVER a reason to start raining abuse on your partner, blame shifting, causing pain, destruction and I don't know what! NEVER. EVER. And this is what G. meant and I know it. I don't even have to hear what he's witnessed when we chatted briefly this summer and he told me he could tell me "stories that would make my hair curl."

I have witnessed all kinds of freak show in other people's relationships sometimes. I don't think monoships are any less freak show. Freak show is freak show! It takes all kinds and there will be wonderful examples of monoships and polyships and so on. And there will be wacko examples too. Good and Bad. But I swear this one just takes the cake lately. My eyebrows shoot up into my hairline and my mouth hangs open.

I try to hold in my emotion so I can offer judgement free safe space here in my home when she needs to borrow my printer and do what she has to do. I hurt to know my friend has endured this pain so long when she ask for feedback and sounding board time and she reveals intimate details that are Hard to Hear. But I'm her friend. So I sit there and Hear like she asks. I don't have to choose this. But I do.

I hurt hoping she does not perceive me as looking down on her. I don't. I try to gently ask her questions not to be nosy and not to tell her what she SHOULD do. It's to try to get her to think it out and see all her options for where she COULD go. This is her decision making process. She's the boss. I will be her friend no matter what she decides but she has to own her process. She's owning it. I am so proud of her. Trying to own a goddamn HARD.

Ugh. And there's soooo many other things I want to tell her, but don't feel like this is the time to burden her with the information.

This is NOT about me. This is about her, and helping her navigate this Difficult Time in her Life with some dignity.

I don't even hate the guy. I hate his behavior. I still do not care to be in relationship with him -- be HIS friend. But I'm still willing to say "LEAVE if this is what you choose. But pass the baton and alert his next of kin he's all wacko right now. He needs care!"

I am still not saying "Screw him! I wish he was dead!"

I have enough compassion to want him to get better than THIS. (If he is able. Lordy. ) But I so DO NOT LOVE his behavior. Abhorrent! It is TOTALLY wrong and inappropriate. Frightening! Mentally and emotionally abusive! Gives me the heebie jeebies. That is a mind there that is all kinds of broken. Ack.

For myself and my own well being? I just want to keep the hell away from him.

Who knows. Maybe he's evil. Maybe he's Bipolar. Maybe he is BOTH evil and bipolar. Again, I'm not a pro and that's not my job. My job right now is to be a friend.

What is clear? My friend CANNOT allow herself to stay in the line of fire. Something MUST change. :(

This crazy shit thing is hurting her in all her buckets -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health. She is tired, losing sleep, stressed out to the max, hurting on all levels... She deserves better treatment, a happy life. She's not asking for unreasonable things!


I don't really talk to her much about my own process with my spouse. She knows we're talking. She knows right now we are firmly CLOSED with parenting time and eldercare time on our plates. But that's one of the things I wish I could tell her. Maybe like:

"Oh, honey. If THIS is how you are wired, and this is how you want to live? You have the right to try to live in a way that feeds you well. It can be done. It can be done well.

But slow it down. Really take the time to examine your own fitness, the fitness of your partner, the fitness of the existing relationship FIRST before adding more. Because going there under-prepared and with starry-eyed unrealistic expectations, unreasonable expectations, not seeing eye-to-eye on what you want from the new relationships forged, not having any kind of a code of conduct or map for conflict resolution? Are you increasing your odds of success and happiness going in like that? Success and happiness are not guaranteed. Those things ENSUE after changes in behavior.

But do not RUSH. Spend a good while ALONE post-divorce. Get to know yourself again as you heal. Don't jump into a new thing just to run away from the old crazy shit thing. Wait. Heal. Wait some more. Wait to have something really good to run TOWARD. Life is long. It will come. But only if you let it."​

I watched her get in her car and drive off feeling like the Ancient of Days. My heart is heavy and burdened. I just hope for the best outcome. I keep on hoping. That's all a friend can do, I guess. Be supportive in appropriate ways and keep on helping you to hope for better days ahead?

I do not base my own relationship on how other people are doing/not doing. But at times like these I take great comfort in being with DH. Knowing that my partner gets me, and knowing I get him. He told me earlier today he has to give her props and tonight before he took off for sleep I asked him to tell her so directly. So he did. I think she needs to hear feedback from other MEN too that this is just not right. Abusive behavior is just NOT cool.

DH and I have seen a lot go by in 20 years. Friends getting falling in love, married, having babies, breaking up, getting remarried, coming out, exploring alternative models, battling illness, changing jobs, changing homes... just lots of life stuff.

What is life but change?

I reflect on how I want our first Openings to be like and how I hope they might come to pass if we choose to go there. If we choose to make a new Change and choose each other again in a new shape. Knowing that should there we choose to go? We strive to go in there prepared and prepared to pay the price of admission.

  • Should it blow up, and go crazy? Conflict resolution plan first.
  • Should it circumstances dictate a split? Then let's have an amicable split then. Break out the split up sanely plan then.

Do I want to split? Hell, no!

But let's not be ostrich about it. The ultimate price of admission is a split. That price tag is ALWAYS there. Even in monoship, even in closed polyship of 2. That price tag is always there. If you stop tending to your partner's well being in the way you agreed to sign up to tend it? Watch that relationship wither and die on the vine. Your partner may exercise their right leave and choose to go. They do not have to choose to stay in a place where they are not fed.

They may even still love you and wish it could work. But loving you doesn't automatically mean staying with you. Feelings are separate from behavior. Perhaps it's healthier for them to love you from a distance.

I'd like to think if DH and I have to split for some unforseen reason we could manage to do it WELL.

I think we could. Sigh. Let's hope it doesn't go there. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. It's in the playbook, dude.

Ugh. Worrying for friend and being sick is making me not be able to sleep.

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On Abuse: Wearing Down

Ugh. So tired.

Other friends are asking about Abused Friend and what they ought to do. I said to go straight to the source and ask Abused Friend how she would like to be treated right now and how she would like them to be.

Because I'm not a mind reader.

I also do not have the energy. My own brain feels swimmy. Abused Friend was over here for a short visit -- homework (needed my printer) and then a quick board game to decompress after come venting. The counseling appointment was what it was.

She said she's all fuzzy/cloudy. I hope she doesn't get sucked back in. I am hoping that means coming to terms with the fact that this relationship really is over.

I hope that doesn't mean she's still emotionally and mentally captive.


I worry she may be. :(

Such a long and arduous process to endure. I hope she makes it.


I'm so proud of you for owning your own shit AND helping your friend, while simultaneously watching your self to be sure you aren't pressing into her stuff.

Hard work.

It sounds like she's got a handle on what she needs to do, and it sounds like she has a great friend supporting her in doing it.

I hope she finds things calming down sooner than later.

Thanks, Loving Radiance. I needed that virtual hug. It is the longest 2 months of my life enduring this rollercoaster with her. :(

This I choose to do. I can choose to check out if I want to.

Every time I visit this place with some friend who has fallen victim to abuse I think "My god, this place makes NO FUCKING SENSE!"

I'm not a professional. This is not my field. I'm just a friend. And it's a hard leash to hold. Even knowing what I do know about the cycle of abuse? I still guard really hard against the feelings that bubble up. I guard against the feelings and watch out for inappropriate expression of them. Feelings of ugh, disgust, horror, dismay, annoyance, fear, worry, etc. All kinds of yucky feelings. Feelings that make me feel

enraged and GRRRR :mad:
and UGGGGH :(
and YAAAAHHH! :eek:

I can't go around spilling that yucky stuff at my Abused Friend. She's already been getting abuse. You don't fuck with fragile. She is not a well person yet. It's too easy to perceive her as the source of my ughness. But *I* chose to be here. So the source is MY choosing to sit in a line of fire. On purpose. This I choose to do. She's endured with me on my eldercare dramas. Why would I bail on her when it's her turn to have a life drama thing?

But I have to steam valve it elsewhere so that I can stay level and keep on keepin' on. Mainly to DH. I have to keep reminding myself that I am NOT her. It is NOT about me.

Sometimes I slip or feel in danger of slipping and I try to catch myself and I apologize to her and tell her that I made inappropriate commentary in my frustration with the SITUATION. (Not her.) I own it. Or I try to. I want her to see that too -- that even I can lose my cool here and the appropriate behavior is what? Blame HER? No. It is to apologize to her for blowing my stack. Give her back that dignity. Cuz her abuser blames it all on her. Anyone can color outside the lines from pressure -- the correct next behavior is to make apology and get back in line. Not blame shift my bad behavior on to someone else.

Some of our friends in common have been turning to vent at me -- "WHY!? WHY does she stay!?" and I just point them to It could be cognitive disonance.
It is not codependence
all the time -- it could be the reality of leaving being dangerous and not ready with a safety plan.

It could be the victim is at a stage you do not realize and needs different things at Stage 1 than at Stage 5. I have yet to find a better website for abuse/domestic violence issues that lists what the friends and family can be doing at each stage. I've pointed so many people there. Abused Friend and I visit it together. I really do ask her point blank "What do you need me to be right now? Just an Ear? An Ear with Feedback? How can I best support YOU today? What stage are you at so I know what volume to put it at? I can go look it up and see my role to you and what you need."

And this comes after ages of saying "Are you being hurt? If you are being hurt you can tell me. My door is always open" and not taking it personally when she denied wrong doing or hurtness. Even though I knew something fishy was going on over there.

Sometimes it takes a while for the victim to be ready to own "Yes! Yes! I am being hurt!" so the correct thing to do it plant a seed there. For the day in future when they are ready to run -- they have you to run toward. She doesn't have to come here. She can go away. She keeps coming back for support so I must be doing something right in being up front and radically honest about where I'm at here. And she can tell me to buzz off any time.

But how does it feel? To me? The Meta Feeling umbrella over top all these smaller yucky ugh feelings?

  • I can't control how I feel. It is imperative that I control how I behave.

In "High Fidelity" the Joan Cusack character sums it up so well --

Liz: You're really upsetting her, and him!

Rob: Like I care about him.

Liz: Well, you should.

Rob: Why?

Liz: Because all you're doing is forming a little unit. Them against you! Before you started all this psychotic madness... there was no unit; there was just three people in a mess.​

I think it makes one of my other friends crazy watching me say NOTHING about the abuser. I keep it on the abuser's behavior.

"I do not approve of this behavior. This behavior is NOT appropriate. You do not deserve to be treated like this. This is not loving behavior."​

(And it sure as hell isn't loving!) My other friend has called me out and said "Well DUH that is bad behavior! Why do you keep DOING that?! He's a jerk!"

I explained SHE can see that... like "DUH! So obvious!" But she assumes it is obvious to the abuse victim. Is anything I'm saying untrue? Nope. Totally not appropriate. Is the volume I'm saying it at being heard? Yup. Why would I want to shout it at a volume that overwhelms the victim?

I'm not going to touch a personality. I'm not going to create a "little unit" here -- where the victim has to defend self and abuser from all comers. That blocks the victim from help. That's not the goal. Move it FORWARD to the goal of the victim choosing to stay with CHANGES MADE SO ABUSE STOPS or choosing to leave.

My other friend goes nuts "She should leave!"

I point out -- "She could pick BEING SAFE either way."

I want her free to choose for HERSELF what she wants her next future to be. I want her eyes free of clouds to be able to SEE what she's got here for HERSELF. She cannot see clear yet? I hold up lamp then. No judge. Just shine light on behavior done / not done.

Let the actions speak for themselves:

  • This is the loving and respectful TALK.
  • This is the abuse BEHAVIOR.
  • Do they match? Yes or no?
  • Is it loving and respectful to present you with abusive behavior after promising you loving talk? Yes or no?

Keep holding up the lamp to light the way. It is the cycle of abuse. Round and round. They may not be ready to trying jumping out of the cycle to escape safely yet. Person may not even be ready to ANSWER questions inside their own head yet. First they may need to learn to think on their own again. That's another thing abuser's steal. Your ability to think on your own, make decisions on your own. They have to leap over the cognitive dissonance first.

She sometimes calls me to ask "Am I being crazy thinking this here?" and I look at the thing or hear the story and I honestly say "Um, my reaction is __. Same as you. I don't think your reaction of ___ is not normal or weird. Could ask ____ for their opinion. But I'm going with NO. You are not crazy to want/feel/think that."

Because abusers steal that too -- tell you what to think, what to feel, what you are allowed to want. You cannot trust your own self any more with your decisions and your thinks. Giving back the trust in their own capability -- that's where I want to park it.

  • No. I will not create a "little unit" keeping her stuck with her abuser.
  • No. I will not make her value judgements for her.
  • No. I will not make her choices for her.
  • No. I will not steal her adult-ness from her.
  • No. I will not run her show for her. She is the boss.

  • Yes. I will tell her she does not deserve this treatment.
  • Yes. I will verify that her feelings and thinks are not unreasonable (when they are not unreasonable.)
  • Yes. I will encourage her to make her best healths decisions from a place a full information.
  • Yes. Change is fucking hard.
  • Yes. Thinking is fucking hard.
  • Yes. I believe she can choose for her own damn self what she wants in her own damn life!

Hard Conversations and navigating them with some kind of Grace.

(pause to think)

Sigh. Life! So bizarre. So horrible. So wonderful. THIS place I do know. I don't know about being abused -- I fortunately have not been. But I know about the enduring place and the "I can get through this" place. I may be experiencing pressure from the side here. But there I chose to go. I may be feeling all kinds of yargh. But that's all been felt before.

I don't want to LIVE here. But I've been here. Here I am again. I know I make it out the other end. Always. I'm still here, aren't I?

I live to tell the tale. Over and over. Confidence is grown by doing. I know I can get through tough times. I can endure when the situation calls for endure.

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(Meta Note: Older entry -- from 10/9/2012. My own life is chugging along swimmingly but then I got all distracted in Abuse Land and had to stop chasing Shiny Thoughts in my own head and tend to hurt friend. So back to THAT conversation already in progress....)

I've always found it curious that people don't seem to be engaged for all that long. Not like I'm some big expert on being engaged to consider a marriage. I only did it once, and I only plan to do it once!

I always told him I was not interested in being his first. I am interested in being his last. I already know the places he's my last. Like I'm not having more bio children. He's it. Genetic monogamy.

Having a kid is a Major Life Choice.

We engaged to think about having a kid for um... 10 years? It was on and off conversation taken in stages.

1) That we both wanted to go there. Engaged to determine the reality test our fitness in our healths and as a couple.

2) We agreed to planning on general time and general mission date. Engaged to determined the WHEN. Not during college. Too stressy to add newborn then. Not during early career building. Window time chosen – somewhere around THERE would be good.

3) Then the date rolled nearer and here came the trying to conceive period. Engaged to execute the mission. If we want to catch the train? This is it! Window is here!

She came almost for the exact 10th year anniv. Right on target. Smug. :D

Don't tell me I can't control my own destiny. :D

New Major Life Choice. Opening a Marriage.

We're engaged on "Opening Up - Repass." It isn't like we haven't touched on it over the years along the way here and there. Like we used to touch on the baby thing here and there before it was time to really get on with the Baby Making Talks.

This feels similar to me. We've had the polyship talks here and there along the way. It's feeling like time to get serious and really get on with the Polyship Making Talks. So this period of engagement is set for a year and a day minimum.

A tentative date for execution of the mission? After HS grad. We're not at "all systems go!" -- this is more the stage of reality testing of the people's fitness. Are we fit? Do we need more training for this mission? Is the missions scheduled for the right time of life?

In polyship you ARE your own ground control. You get to play both sides. Launch a mission and it sucks because the engineers designed a poor craft? You were the engineers. It sucks because the crew is not flying right? You are the crew. It sucks because there's no tether to ground control? You are the ground control. You are it. Kit and kaboodle.

You are on your own mettle.

I just don't want to co-parent with anyone else. I accept Life is weird and while my intent is thus, it could change. He accepts that and agrees. He has no desire to coparent either.

But Life being Life – what if it is a case like he was? The Right One. Not at the Exact Right Time but VERY close? As opposed to the Right One at the Wrong Time?

Reasonableness window being what? 10th grade the Other enters Orbit? Rather than 12th grade grad? Discard possibility or renegotiate as close enough? Additonal conversation required. That's where we left it for now. Sometimes we just kick out a number just to get a handle on something to the good enough for now place. Then come back and jiggle it around some more later.

That's what being engaged in a time of discernment is FOR. To think about making change(s), figure it out, then nail it down. Sometimes move the post over a little bit. Before you change the boundary fences you do the perimeter walk to take notes what chunks need repair first or total replacement or are doing just fine where they lie.

Navigating through Stages of Change towards the mutual goal of Opening Up, dating well, then settling back down into some polyfi shape of something.

Configurations convo pending – I like being the hinge in a V best, but am open to small shapes like Ns and triads and quads. I know I have a low polysaturation point and I cannot, at this time of my life, deal in a tangle. I would have enjoyed that more as a single pre-motherhood. He's deliberating what his favs are.

We could Open Up and hang a shingle and... nobody ever visits the store. And I'd be alright with that. I'm not missing anything here in the closed polyship of two. I wouldn't be missing anything in the open polyship of 2. I'm not even missing anything without him.

I'm me. Whole. Complete. Person. I'm not a broken half person needing another broken half to complete me. In partnered relationship, you cannot have it without a PARTNER. Partnered relationship requires a partner somewhere. The partner is there to complement you in partnered relationship. Partner is not there to complete you.

A partnered relationship does not mean either partner is NOT already a complete, whole person able to stand on their own two healthy, whole, complete feet. Partners are choosing to come together – interdependently weaving the fabric they wish to make of Life Shared.


The Stages of Change?


So right now to me it feels like we are in this Contemplation/Prepartion line straddle place.

Sometimes I feel vomitous. That's my anxiety. I breathe. Back away from the idea that is bugging me. I note that topic area is going to be a vultured one. Circle around closer and closer circles before I can do the thought pounce on the fucker and pin it down and own it.

I'm not going to avoid it. But I can't take that one on board straight on. I cannot walk over to the Thought and think it all out in a direct way. I need to sniff it out a bit. It's not avoiding. It is hunting.

I like to hunt. Sometimes I chase Shiny Thoughts around in my head for pleasure in a meandering way. Sometimes I know what I want to think about and how I'm going to think about it and I know I am not going to have fun thinking it out because it is vomitous. But oh, am I going to have fun hunting it down and owning it. Because on the meta-level? It IS fun. I like owning my own mind. Even the dark corners.

It's like being a huge Meta Project manager. And the Meta Project consists of many Large Projects inside it.

If at the end of the year it's time to show work to date? I'd be content with WHAT work to date?

Nnnnrgh. I have to ask him now and I have to ask myself. WHAT work to date? The specs please!

See? I'm engaged.


This is hard. Gives me a headache. And it makes me laugh. Because my friend G. told me -- he feels same. Like horrible-wonderful on the one hand. Whee. Other times he sometimes wonders why he bothers with it all. So much work. Such a drag. But then... yeah. The irresistable ding.

He said he could tell me stories to make my hair curl and then stories to make my chest explode. I laughed and agreed. Did we tell the stories? Nope. No need.

Those who need to know, know, Those who don't? Don't.

(That friend is a Jedi Player I'll always wonder about. And that so satisfies. Having a Wonder person is a good thing. You get to run the tongue over the teeth for a good mulling over what iffing of the pleasant kind when you want to daydream.)

But the Jedi Player I've got in DH?

Last night (10/8) there was a small noteworthy shift in this process. I stopped asking "Could you? Would you?"

I asked "Can you? Will you?"

He said yes. I can. I will.

I asked him why, again. Always again. I keep reality testing.

He said because for me? He'd do it. He'd go there.

I said I wasn't interested in him doing things for me. He's overindulgent and spoiling of me and I know it and he knows it. He's a sucker for the kid too. Kid can wrap her daddy around her finger just like mama can.

Of course, I'm pleased, who wouldn't be? But that's not all tiers and all stages of lift off required for this mission.

I asked if he'd do it for HIM.

He said yes.

I asked him if he'd do it for US.

He said yes.

(Ugh. Horrible man. Yay!)

Then I asked -- is this in the best interest of the relationship? He doesn't know yet.

Now I have to sit here and run the tiers on my own end. Would I do for him? For me? For us? Is it in the best interest of the relationship? Listen to the wheels spin. Rummm....rummmm.....rummmm.... And there it comes. The vomitous.

Do WHAT? What shape? What color? Aaaaahhhh! I don't like not knowing-ness!

I always think he's crazy.

He says yes. And he holds to it. He just trusts me generously. So then I have to rise to the expectation of his trust and deal with it -- being trusted.

Mrs Married to Crazy Person Who Wears Heart on Sleeve: He's mad. Lunatic.

And I rise to the expectation of course. Not like I'd behave any less.

But still. He's mad. Lunatic. Ahhhh!

I'd feel a lot better if he'd be more qualifying at me. Something like "Alright. Yes. With terms."

He says that. "Yes. I can. I will. Under the right conditions. YES."

That's why I pester him. I'm pleased to be trusted. I'm pleased to be trusted generously. Implicitly. But I KNOW that job. The married wife job. That job I can do. I also know the job of being a hinge in a trio of dating single free agent independents.

I don't know the job of being married but open hinge-ness. I can't know the job in advance. It's on the job training, dude. Similar job but a whole other load. Sink or swim. High risk for high highs.

Gimme the job desc. I want to apply for the job. But I'm me. I want the conditions! The spec!

  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where
  • how
  • why

It must be had at some point. It must be mapped out and discerned. But don't give it to me right now. I feel vomitous. And that's a vulture one, not a direct line one.

Last night in the dark. Not in his armpit but in his ear? (My comfort level tells are SO obvious if you know them. Inches could mean MILES in my inner universe.)

Me: Can you? Will you?
DH: I can. I will.
Me: Tell me again. You make my toes curl.
Him: (low laugh, nuzzling my head.) No, I don't, darlin'. I make your heart curl.
Me: Ugh. Make my heart curl is RIGHT. Ack. (More! More!)
Him: Are you after soulgasms through your ears?
Me: More! More! Ears! Yay!​

Oo. How I love to hear his laugh.

Hang Time at the Forge. The other one.

There's the negative point on life pendulum swing. Where there's just too much yucky. There's the positive hang time at the forge where there's too much yummy.

Us swinging back and forth spinning and weaving double helix thread of Life Shared.

Life keeps flinging waves our way and we take it and surf it just fine.

I fucking love to FLY with that man. :D

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This is an excerpt from this thread.

So, an absence of rules specifying that you respect your partner and treat them well implies that it's ok to disrespect your partner and treat them poorly?
It is never ok to treat your partner poorly.

And, having rules specifying that your partner treat you well and respect you is supposed to PREVENT them from disrespecting you and treating you poorly?

No. I do not control their behavior. I can only control mine. It's not about preventing them from disrespecting me or treating me poorly.

For me? It's about being on the same page and about willingness to be held accountable. Are you willing to hold ME accountable if I step on your toes? Are you willing for me to hold YOU accountable if my toes get stepped on?

If all this is obvious to them -- yay. We share a laugh and trade dating horror stories over drinks.

If they hem and haw over such basics -- that's telling me all I need to know. Not a serious player, I can pull out now before I get in too deeply involved. *shrug*

If it is someone in between those two things -- well, let's try it and see. And when conflict comes up, it's easy enough to point to agreement they agreed to when there's a calling into account needed.

"Why are you fussing at me that I went to the concert without you? Did you give me the right to responsiveness? I said tell me you want to come by Friday, and I'll buy enough tickets for the group. You said maybe on Monday. I emailed to be sure Wednesday. Nothing Friday -- come and gone. So I let it go and I moved forward without your input. I buy tix Saturday -- none for you. I cannot mind reader you. So you have to own this one. How is it me being "inconsiderate" to you? Did I check in? Yes. Did you respond and give me the right to responsiveness? No."​

That keeps it on the measurable actions done/not done rather than derailing into personalities -- "You are not nice, you are inconsiderate, you are too sensitive..."

If you have ever watched other people or experienced it yourself -- conflict going round and round in circles? Oy. Headache.

So much easier to point to agreement and note actions done/not done. There. Everyone holds their own baggage.

Hell, I'm not perfect. Maybe it is ME that needs to be called into account. It's happened before!

Maybe they have a passive style -- I'm very assertive. But if they can just point to agreement -- "Dude, GG! Where is my clear communication you promised me?" then they can move on to feeling better faster. Because I will own it right away and go "Oops! You are so right! I did not realize it seemed that way to you. My bad! I apologize. Can I make it up to you?"

When we are first learning each other in dating -- a passive style personality could be cowed by my temperment. I'm trying to give them a leg up by giving them a tool to use I know that I will respond to. Print the thing, highlight the one, leave it on my desk (or email it and CAPS THE ONE you are talking about) and I'll come find you and sort it out when I see it. There. Easy passive personality route to STILL get the thing solved. You don't have to be all confrontational if that bugs ya. I still like ya how you are. But we move past this kerfuffle in a constructive way.

Because isn't the goal for both to be in harmonious relationship together?


Continued in next entry....
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That was an interesting thread to me because of the diversity of responses. Words have power. And not everyone uses words the same -- rules, limits, boundaries, principles, etc. Isn't it all the same?

I think so. But I think what people are stretching for is the phrase "personal standard."

I have certain core values. For self and in relationship. They are largely intangible concepts like "honesty." Yet my core values influence my behavior and character. If I were going to list what I value? It's a bugger. I value a LOT of things! I could list forever! But if I force myself to "top 10" it? Hrm.

I value:

  • honesty, trust
  • fidelity/loyalty
  • keeping promises
  • respect
  • clear communication & constructive conflict resolution
  • steadfast, stability, order. My healths being honored.
  • humor, practical, intelligence, maturity (all six!)
  • friendly, agreeable, kindness
  • forgiveness, compassion

Yeah... kinda hard to limit it to 10 things. Personal values lists really CAN go on forever. What I value today is different than what I valued as a teen. It's bound to be different than what I will value in 20 years.


I remember somewhere around 25 years old I turned to DH and said "Have you NOTICED how we value a comfy bed much more now than when we first met in our late teens? Sex on the floor, on the stairs, in the cars, freakin' from the bloody trees if we could. Now suddenly we're getting older and comfy beds have increased in value."

I remember he nodded. "Comfy is GOOD."

Later still when I was pregnant both of us suddenly valued LOTS OF PILLOWS like all get out. Foreplay suddenly included loving applications of pillowage upon my person, around my person, under my person as my ever growing pendulous baby belly made itself known in all kinds of ways.

"Stop!" I'd announce.


"We cannot have sex in this position. The baby is now awake and complaining and kicking my guts out!"

"Oh. Well... I have PILLOWS! Here! Let's change and give you more pillows!"

Laugh. One of the first things he did post birth of the kid was to run out to Target and buy her a littly baby monkey toy and buy me a pillow.

Me: ANOTHER pillow? We don't have enough?

Him: Yes. But this one has ARMS. I figure you need all the pillows I can get you. Maybe it helps for nursing? If you hate it I can return it. They have body pillows. Do you want me to get you a long body pillow? There's little neck pillows too.​

I stared at him. Laugh. SO much fun. Living life with this man.

Basically, I'm down with a lot of the universal values. Thing is, there's a mess of them too. Blobbed into 10 major categories. And I'm not great and articulating them all -- even I have to go looking them up.

You NEVER assume in polyship. It's a lot easier to just calibrate and get on the same page than to assume you value the same things to the same degree and are on the same page.

A short list of Universal Values I like reads like this...
  • trustworthiness -- being honest and reliable, showing integrity, displaying loyalty.
  • respect: being considerate of others, tolerant of differences, and courteous
  • responsibility -- the desire to do the best work possible and keep on trying
  • fairness -- playing by the rules and not cheating or taking advantage of others
  • caring -- showing the qualities of kindness and forgiveness
  • citizenship -- being a cooperative, respectful member of your community and environment

I'd have to spent more time blobbing my values together. Maybe a major category or two would emerge as my Top 3 if I did it that way? Hrm. I'd have to bookmark that.

But I do articulate it to the "good enough" place in my Universe. That playbook is both my "Personal Code of Conduct" and the "Personal Standard for Polyship." A new potential player would be invited to add their things to it and we could negotiate the new form of it. If we all agree to be together, then THIS would be the way we agree to be together and we'd all be accountable to that standard we created. We'd agree to grant those rights and own those responsibilities to the rest of the polyship people in order to face whatever it is Life dishes out next and remain in right relationship to each other.

You honor the flag you choose to fly under.

Here's the thing though -- at work some people get some employee handbook listing the company's code of conduct and standards, policies and procedures. My kid's school sends the school handbook out every freakin' year. For personal standards? Rarely are they articulated or written out, much less sent around to the people it pertains to.

Over the years I learned the value of having it written out. Even for MYSELF.

I could be tempted by my emotions to lollygag around in a relationship that is no good for ME and my healths. Just because my emotions are unwilling to part. Have a clear 3 strikes limit on shenanigans keeps ME honest to ME.

I had to go through my first major break up to learn the value of having that listed out for myself. I spent too long there -- longer than I needed. Trying to leave "nicely" -- rather than hitting the 3 strike limit and taking the agreed limit OUT.

Emotional management is learned. I learned.

So even though the original thread poses the question as

"What are your poly relationship rules?"​

If it were me asking it in general or asking it of a potential player I would put it more like this:

"Tell me about your values. What are your personal standards? What's your code of conduct for yourself? What's your code of conduct expectations of your romantic partners? What do you value in a partner? How's that same/different from what you expect from your friends or value in your friends? How did you arrive there?"​

Given that I always ask

"So tell me how you like to break up with people... what kind of an ex are you?"​

People largely fall into these groups:

  • Those that tell me I'm really scary and intimidating.
  • Those that tell me I'm bizarre and/or really refreshing.

I laugh either way. I'm not scary. Why are they scared to look inward for answers? Is it scary that I want to know the authentic them? I take an interest in people. Certainly would take an interest in people I want to date! There's another thing I value -- authenticity.

A friend of mine tells me I'm like the "boundary queen." I've also been told I have "too high of standards."

I like my high personal standards right where they are at. They've brought me a largely happy and content life. Why on earth would I want to compromise that for inviting all kinds of wacko into my life?

There's stuff I'm willing to put up with.

Then there's stuff that I'm not willing to put up with. If I can't be having with that? I shan't!

I just don't see how much clearer that can be. I give you a LIST! Show me YOURS.

We line up in values, goals, wants, needs, limits? We can fly together in harmonious polyship. We don't? Let's not fly a polyship and keep it at friends then. What's so horrible about having a friend?

I think people make things waaaaay more complicated than it needs to be.

DH told me today he loves my bold/authentic/honest/clear/earnest/fierce.

That's sounding like a values list to me in romantic partner. I have to ask him for the rest of his list. How has it changed since we first met, if any?

Damn. Now I have to think about answering that one myself.

Mmmm.... Shiny Thoughts to chase around in my head. Whee! :D

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