New to poly

Mark1npt

New member
Hello everyone......I'm looking to see if anyone has experience with our type of setup.......my wife and I have been married for 27 years, kids are out of the house but not out of the area. Wife's best friend of 25 years and very good friend of mine is now divorced living with us in a poly relationship. It is strictly one man/one woman (at a time). There is no desire on anyone's part to make sex a three-way.....or to ever have any other partners in our triad. I guess you could say we all have a great deal of love for one another and embraced the idea of a monogomous triad. Does anyone have similar experiences to share? My wife is still having a difficult time for moments here and there but generally is very supportive. It's just so new to all of us. We try to communicate as much as possible but there are still times we don't do enough. Does anyone else live this way and survive healthy and happy?
 

River

Active member
I guess you could say we all have a great deal of love for one another and embraced the idea of a monogomous triad.

The word "triad" (also, "triangle") is generally used by people within the polyamory "community" to refer to a situation in which three people are each loving, "romantic" and sexual partners with each of the others in the grouping of three. A grouping of the sort you described is known as a "V", with the top two ends of the V shape indicating your two women lovers and the point of the V being yourself. A triad (or triangle) would have a line crosing at the top, indicating that all are "romantically" involved with one another.

When more than two people practice "fidelity," it is known as polyfidelity, rather than monogamy of any sort. "Monogamy is the state of having only one husband, wife, or sexual partner at any one time." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogamy

Are the two women in your arrangement free to have other partners if they wish? That's something to consider, since you are uniquely the beneficiary of the multiple partner situation you have--at least in some respect. I'm all for what you have so long as everyone is truly happy with it. But I can't say much from experience on your situation, because most of my loverly relationships have been with other men, and the dynamic is just different -- mainly due to gender enculturation and issues. Example, men together as lovers don't have any trouble worring about sexist attitudes manifesting as power issues based on who has what sort of plumbing.
 

Mark1npt

New member
Thanks for the input. I guess being new to this alternative lifestyle, I was bound to use the wrong terminlogy somewhere. I totally understand the "V" now. Yes, the women are free to find another male partner, but it appears neither one of them is all that interested. I used the "monogomous" wording because each of the women here are monogomous in their relationship with me.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
This comment is with all due respect, JRiverMartin,

I find your resistance to the word monogamous interesting. I understand the politics to some degree but find nothing wrong with the word monogamous and use it with pride when I speak of my own polyamorous relationship. The same pride is invoked when I speak of my polyamorous Lover. Wikipedia even states and I quote your own quote
"Monogamy is the state of having only one husband, wife, or sexual partner at any one time"

That is my case and the case of his two lovers to him. I don't see the ambiguity.
With all respect.
 

Quath

New member
I think it is good to work out the terms. It avoids so much confusion when people are saying something and it sounds like something else.

I commonly hear poly/mono couple to imply that one of the people is open to outside relationships while the others is not looking nor desires one. It doesn't mean that the poly one is really dating someone else and it doesn't mean that the mono person will never date someone outside the relationship.

At least that is the way I have heard it portrayed.
 

Mark1npt

New member
Thanks for the input Mono....that's really about how I've felt with this lifestyle. We are all monogomous at that moment in time. One of the issues we're going thru now in this "V" is my wife can't help but wonder if the 2 of them (women) are going to be enough for me going foward. I have assured each of them, they are, however I guess my wife's insecurity in dealing with this arrangement after 27 years of having me to herself, leads her to think this way. I can't blame her and have reassured of this numerous times in our open communication sessions. I guess with the passage of time this will get easier for her to accept, enjoy, deal with? Any input?
 

River

Active member
I find your resistance to the word monogamous interesting.

I have no resistance to the word at all when it is used to designate a situation or thing that resembles the dictionary definition--or how the word is generally used. A man is monogamous only when he has just one lover or spouse. If he has two or more lovers and spouses at the same time, with whom he practices 'fidelity', that's not monogamy he's practicing, but polyfidelity. My saying so is not "resistance" but merely pointing out a fact found in dictionaries. Facts are not mere opinions and my pointing them out is not a personal ... preference.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
JRiverMartin,
I think we are agreeing on this for the most part.."A man is monogamous only when he has just one lover or spouse" This is in fact my case.

To be clear this is the dynamic of my mono/poly relationship. I have and want only want one lover. I am not open to sharing that intimate love for anyone else but her because that is how I love. My lover is polyamorous and intimately loves more people than me. She has the personal choice to consider adding more.

It does mean that I will never date outside of this relationship unless the intimate nature of it changed...that's a part of my monogamous nature.

Mark1pnt,
I too had similar concerns about the addition of new lovers and the uncertainty of wondering if any number of lovers would ever be enough for her.

I have chosen not to worry about this issue any more and just enjoy her to the fullest, with abandon. This took a lot of communication and allowing myself to be vulnerable.

If I continued to play the "what if" game or saw a new relationship forming around every corner, I could not stay in this relationship because I would honestly go insane LOL!! I did feel comforted when my lover told me there actually was a cap..I'm not saying I am it but it felt good regardless.

There are things she does not have and I understand those and want her to have them....I would step back if that is what it took to make her happy to the fullest extent.

I know how important I am; she knows how import she is, we both know how fortunate we are..all of us, everyone in her and my life.
 

River

Active member
MonoV...,

Mark... said "I guess you could say we all have a great deal of love for one another and embraced the idea of a monogomous triad."

By definition, a triad is a polyamorous relationship, and Mark... is practicing polyamory (and is, himself, polyamorous). My comments were in no way disparaging of anyone who considers himself monogamous while also involved with a polyamorous person, such as yourself.

What Mark... has and wants, according to his words, is a polyfidelitous "V".
 
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Mark1npt

New member
JRM, I do appreciate your clarification.....again, is there anyone or any resource out there that I can turn to for guidance regarding this polyfidelitous "V" relationship? Thanks
 

River

Active member
Mark,

I think most of the useful advice concerning polyamorous relationships and their unique challenges, etc., is universally useful. But some of it concerns unique or particular situations or conditions. I don't have enough experience with heterosexual loving relationships to feel that I'm familiar with the nuances of those which differ from my experience as a queer man. (I'm bi-, and although I had a brief loverly relationship with a woman, all of my long term loves have been male.) So, I'm hoping the poly heteros in here will chime in with guidance for you and your two women lovers.

Anyway, there is tons of stuff on polyamory to be found on the internet. Try a www.google.com search of polyamory, polyfidelity, V.... Also, there are a bunch of books on the topic, and some of them are mentioned and discussed in our topic in here on books, magazines, websites....

I'd be happy to answer any particular questions which you may have about polyamorous practice -- though it will all be uniquely from my perspective. I think most of the insights I have on the subject probably apply to all sorts of configurations and gender mixes.

Do your lovers experience any jealousy toward one another, or fear of loss, insecurity..., related to your non-conventional lovestyle? Are there particular problems which need addressing?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I agree JRM; he is in fact in a polyamorous relationship as am I. I may have got hung up on identifying the monogamous nature of myself and his partners and did not focus on the larger polyamorous nature of both relationship structures.

I also recognize your accurate description of his "v" relationship which reflects my own. The difference being in " The word "triad" (also, "triangle") is generally used by people within the polyamory "community" to refer to a situation in which three people are each loving, "romantic" and sexual partners with each of the others in the grouping of three. " Which validates sex as a core component in polyamory. Thank you for this clarification.
 

River

Active member
MonoV,

Things are actually just a little more complex than you may realize. This is because it is NOT the case that all "romantic relationships" or even "passionate bonded relationships" have a sexual component, per se.

While it is less common, and less commonly understood, today in America and in the world/west...-- as contrasted with, say, the 19th century --, there is a tradition of "romantic friendship" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_friendship . This tradition makes me wonder whether it is at all proper to call people "lovers" simply because they have a sexual relationship. After all, many sexual relationships aren't all that damn loving.

So sex, again, isn't the most central or core thing in polyamory. Love is. Whether a group is a V or a triangle, I suppose, depends more on the quality of love than the quantity of sex between the participants.
 

Mark1npt

New member
JRM...Do your lovers experience any jealousy toward one another, or fear of loss, insecurity..., related to your non-conventional lovestyle? Are there particular problems which need addressing?

Wife has some issues...she's trying to figure out why I'm so happy now and she's feeling a little badly that after 27 years she was not able to be everything and more to keep me totally happy and fulfilled all by herself. My (our) best friend is still trying to figure out how she fits in, feels alone sleeping by herself most nights, even if I make love to her and sleep with her part of the night before going back downstairs to the master bedroom and wife so that I can get up on time and off to work in the AM.......she says she can live with 1/2 of me as that's better than all of any man she's ever had, but she still struggles......we are trying to communicate our needs and wants but obviously there are some gaps, struggles, etc......
 

Mark1npt

New member
So sex, again, isn't the most central or core thing in polyamory. Love is. Whether a group is a V or a triangle, I suppose, depends more on the quality of love than the quantity of sex between the participants.

I must say there is definately love amongst all 3 of us......and we have all been friends for more than 20 years.....this should be the most fulfilling situation in the world for each of us.....I hope we can make it work for the rest of our lives.....is that being too optomistic?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Of course it is possible! Me, Redpepper and her husband are living it and it is amazing! It's worth working for if you are all genuine and open. Think positive and communicate lots.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
"So sex, again, isn't the most central or core thing in polyamory. Love is"
Love with sex/sexual components is a different type of love. It does not relate to any other. Generally the only thing that would preclude sex from an intimate relationship is age or medical condition.

Without the intimacy of sexual energy/contact, I don't think there would even need to be a term for these relationships we have. Sexuality is integral to the relationships formed in polyamory. It is the defining difference that separates it from deep friendships.

I'm more than willing to agree to disagree..we simply have different views.
With respect JRM.
 

River

Active member
Wife has some issues...she's trying to figure out why I'm so happy now and she's feeling a little badly that after 27 years she was not able to be everything and more to keep me totally happy and fulfilled all by herself.

I think there is a powerful false myth afoot in our culture which says that one person ought to be able, in every case, to provide for all of our loving intimacy needs for a whole lifetime. There are numerous other associated false myths which make polyamory challenging for all of us. One of these is that really deep and satisfying loving intimacy must include sexual expression. My way of thinking is "Why not?" -- which is to say, "Why should it not?", if that's what all involved are open to, okay with. And all involved are willing to "dance" with the challenges involved. "Dancing" with these challenges provides all of us polyamorists with plenty of opportunity to explore what love and intimacy are about--for us. What's wrong with that? Nothing! Love is made possible because of empathy; without empathy, there can be no loving. So it is important for all of us who are choosing an approach to loving which is different from the conventional mode to accept our responsibility to keep openning up in empathy with all with whom we are involved in loving relationship. That means, as I see it, that your wife could benefit all involved, including herself, by exploring empathetically why it is that you're happier now than previously--if such is the case. Ideally, she'd be able to see through any jealousies or fears generated in this arrangement. But it is also incumbent upon you, in your gift of love to her, that you empathize with her challenge in seeing you so happy. She may react with a feeling-thought of "aren't/weren't I good enough?". Let her know that she is and has been more than good enough, and that the additional love only allows you to know more of your capacity for loving, etc. Etc., meaning also your capacity to meet challenges and explore your own depths, etc.

Avoid framing it all in a "lack story" or "lack drama". What's wrong with being even more fulfilled, more blessed, more joyous, and having more love from more people? Nothing! Have a bun dance. What's wrong with that? Nothing! More love is always a good thing.


My (our) best friend is still trying to figure out how she fits in, feels alone sleeping by herself most nights, even if I make love to her and sleep with her part of the night before going back downstairs to the master bedroom and wife so that I can get up on time and off to work in the AM.......she says she can live with 1/2 of me as that's better than all of any man she's ever had, but she still struggles......we are trying to communicate our needs and wants but obviously there are some gaps, struggles, etc......


My first thought is to change the "to" to "with" in the making love. I'm a little petty about word choices, sometimes, but I'm not sure the difference is petty in this case. Never make love "to" anyone! Always make love "with" instead. Nobody with self-love wants to be made love "to". Everyone with self-love who enjoys love-making finds making love "with" much better than "to". But enough nit picking.

My advice is to empathize, again. Open even more to both of these women in empathy and in kindness, warmth. You've accepted the challenge, and that's what the challenge amounts to. They both want your love, and your challenge is to give it fully to both -- which means both need your empathy.

Because you all are good friends, I have complete faith in all of you to meet your challenges. Stay open; love more. Give all you gots!
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
"this should be the most fulfilling situation in the world for each of us"

The important thing here, I believe, is that you accept that what you feel "should be" is not necessarily what other people want or can even understand. This statement is from your perspective.

Have you thought about why it should be the most fulfilling situation? What would be the difference between living in a loving relationship with your wife and friend without the aspects that make it polyamorous between all three of you?

What is in it for each individual? You, your wife and your other lover. You can even go as far as to write it down individually and then compare..see how close they are. Just a thought.

Take care
 

Mark1npt

New member
I really appreciate the input and varied views guys, ty........you have both made me stop and think, and realize from a different angle or two, all that is going on in this arrangement......what a view, different sets of experienced eyes are able to see......and make me see, glass half empty or half full?......like "making love to"...... d'oh! of course!!!!

It makes sense to me now. In the past 10-15 years as work and family pressures/medical worries crept into our lives, I always felt that I was more making love "to her"...right or wrong, that she had become almost entirely passive in the lovemaking process......but it was and is still great with her and I don't want that to end! Our love life meets certain inate needs for both of us, that's for sure. She has been incredibly understanding to take on this relationship so far into our own marriage.

I am a health care provider and it's in my wiring to give......I can't be any other way....on the other hand our 3rd, our best friend is very active in the lovemaking process and it feels as though it is different in that it's more "making love with" her.....because her wants and needs after coming out of her own failed long term marriage were very different....... and very fulfilling to me, to be able to participate in/provide. Not that it's "better" than with my wife, more like "complimentary" and really rounding out my inner soul, if that makes sense. It is also fantastic and meets other needs I seem to crave/have. I am so lucky to have the love of both of these fantastic women.

I need to make sure I can continue to meet all their needs and be the person/man they both need me to be.....I really can't afford to mess this up. And yes, above all the sex and lovemaking.....the comaraderie and freindship we 3 share on a daily basis is very gratifying on many levels. That's living life LARGE.....and it's great!
 
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