Poly Lessons We've Learned

redpepper

New member
do you think he has done this? regurgitated what others have said? I didn't think so, it sounds like he speaks from experience to me.. his ideas are very complete and reasonable no?
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
do you think he has done this? regurgitated what others have said? I didn't think so, it sounds like he speaks from experience to me.. his ideas are very complete and reasonable no?

He's got great ideas actually in my opinion. I'm just tainted by his anti mono rhetoric...it's a sore sport for me no matter how he wraps it in the concept of abundance versus scarcity. As soon as a person slams another outlook I shut off to them. I could go to town on the poly community to further my argument for monogamy but why would I have to? What would be my motivation? Because poly ideals threaten or cast judgement on my own? I don't feel that way and so I have no reason to speak about poly in a negative way. Like I said..great advice to make a poly relationship work :)
 

redpepper

New member
After much discussion and reading, this is what I have come up with.

Poly is about building a foundation of empathy, respect, integrity and honest communication.

Without one of these pillars, the whole thing falls.

If I look at every situation I find myself in, in regards to my partners and discover that I am operating from all of these pillars I know it's a good move. If I don't then I need to move towards how I can make get back to these four.
 
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Tonberry

New member
I would argue that this is true of any relationship, actually. Possibly moreso with poly because miscommunications are more likely, though.
 

Derbylicious

New member
I originally posted this in my blog. It seems appropriate to share here too.

I've been doing a lot of reading on the forums for the past couple of days and it struck me how far I've come in my journey. There are things that I see people struggling with that not long ago I was struggling with too. So what have I learnt over the past 8 months?

1. Being happy with what you have is far easier than wishing for a life you think would be perfect.
2. There is enough love to go around.
3. You don't have to be best friends with a metamour but being friendly with them is a definite bonus.
4. If you don't talk about it don't expect your partner(s) to know what's going on in your head.
5. If you're coming from a place of caring and respect your instincts are probably right.
6. Jealousy has a reason behind it, it takes self work to get to that reason, but understanding yourself is so worth it.
7. Communicating things in more than one way has it's benefits.
8. My partner's other relationships and what they do in the context of those relationships have nothing to do with my relationships with my partners.
9. All the turmoil was temporary. Knowing that now I expect all future turmoil to be temporary as well.

To all of you who are in the midst of the struggle there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Once you've embarked on this journey your life isn't likely to return to the normal you used to have but you will find a new normal with peace and joy and love.
 

redpepper

New member
Had to repost this as it is a shining example of lessons for a mono/poly relationship
What have I gained from my husband going poly?

1. Firmer identity and understanding of my own relational needs/style. I'm very much mostly mono.
2. Openness- Notice I now say "mostly mono". That is my preferred, natural, comfortable mode. However, I suddenly find myself feeling more open to all sorts of relationships. I think this is due to two things 1) my husband's role modeling as a poly and the joy he exemplifies 2) lack of fear that other relationships will somehow mess up my marriage.
3. Better communication.
4. Better sex (even when his SO has stolen the bone- we just get more creative:)
5. More trust- every time my husband honors my boundaries without batting an eye, I trust him more.
6. A Happier Husband
7. Seeing aspects/sides to my husband that come out in his other relationships.
8. Sense of Independence and Personal Strength.
9. Learning to ask more for what I want/need. Standing up for my own relational needs.
10. More experiences to write from:)
 

redpepper

New member
I don't believe making yourself get over jealousy or any emotion is the way to go. You need to work on yourself to get over strong emotions.

Finding yourself a lover is not the way to do it either. You can't make yourself be poly. If you are you are, and if you aren't you aren't. End of story... Finding a lover so that your husband and you can be equal is just adding more drama to the situation...more separateness, less togetherness.

It isn't a competition either. Just because he has a lover, doesn't mean you have to be equal. You are you and he is himself. You are different and unique in your own way. Respect that and love each other for that. That in itself is a way to get over your jealousy... learn to love you and learn who you are. That way when you are jealous you can rely on yourself to get through it and not him. Walk through your feelings and learn not to fear them but welcome them and embrace the lessons they bring.
just wrote this on another thread, but thought it was worth remembering.
 

Ragabash

New member
Some hard earned advice for those considering polyamory

As someone who has recently had a mono-turned-poly relationship fall apart, I thought I'd give some advice to those people on, or just joining, the forum who are thinking about introducing polyamory to their existing relationship.


Introducing poly

Don't lie to yourself

If there are already problems in the relationship, polyamory is either going to temporarily distract from them or make them worse, but it won't fix them. If you think it will, you're lying to yourself. If you think your relationship will be the exception to that, you're lying to yourself even more.

Don't lie to your partner

Tell your partner exactly what you're feeling and exactly what to expect. If you have different roles in mind for each partner, be honest. Lying by omission is still lying, and in this case one of the worst forms.

Don't use emotional blackmail

“I don't want to cheat on you, but I'm worried if I can't date other people I will” is not something you should ever say. By saying that you're attempting to force your partner to accept something they might not want for fear of losing you, and it will hurt the relationship and their ability to trust you.

Your partner's fears are legitimate

This is the one I cannot stress enough. Even if the fears seems outlandish and paranoid to you, they are legitimate because that is what your partner is going to be watching for as the signs that something is wrong. Your partner might never lose them fully, so you'll have to be prepared to do whatever you can to calm them, very likely for the duration of the relationship.

Always remember that this is something your partner didn't want

If you are introducing polyamory to an existing relationship, keep in mind that you're changing the relationship right in the middle of it, and drastically so. You're asking your partner to accept something huge that they will have to justify to friends and family, and potentially alienate or lose them over. Someone willing to do that for you clearly loves you very deeply and you should always try and show your appreciation for it Being the mono in a poly relationship is not easy, it's frequently very lonely and painful, and poly people need to show that they are thankful for their partner accepting that, even before a second relationship begins.


After you find your second relationship

Remember that NRE is like a drug, so treat it like one

In the glow of a new relationship, it will be all too easy not to see the problems that are cropping up with your older one. Your judgement will be clouded and off, so you need to keep in mind that you might not be thinking clearly and things might not be as rosy with your older relationship as you think they are. Find ways to give yourself the occasional reality check.

Give both relationships 110%

It will be all too easy and tempting to focus more on your new relationship, and you won't always know that you're doing it. You might not be able to give both relationships equal time and attention, but both partners need to feel loved and appreciated. Try your hardest to make that happen, and watch for even the most subtle clues that someone is feeling neglected. If you think they might be feeling that, they probably are.

Your partner bending over backwards to accommodate is a very bad sign

Your partner might show signs of feeling neglected by trying extra hard to make you happy, giving up on previously established rules and such to what you wanted. This might seems like a good sign, that they're opening up to the poly lifestyle, but more likely than not they're trying to make you happy in hopes of getting some of your attention. They might not even know that they're doing it, either.

Never give you partner cause to compare your relationships

If your partner notices you'll do things with one partner and not with them, this is a very bad sign. That could be a sign that one of your partners is becoming a secondary, and if that person is your older partner that will be a very painful experience, especially if they are mono. If both partners show an interest in some activity, take time to do it with both, and separately.

Don't push your mono partner to find another relationship

If you do this, someone, and possibly more than one person, it going to get hurt. That's just the way it is.

Don't cut off your partner

If all the sex you're having is with one partner, you're hurting the neglected partner very deeply and harming the relationship. This cannot be stressed enough.
 
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redpepper

New member
I moved this post here and modified it because I thought it a really valid way of looking at mono poly relationships.
I think it is harder for mono people because mono is everywhere, it's expected, and they might not even know about poly until their partner talks about it.

I think most of the time, the poly partner is the one who tries to be mono, because that's "the way things are". I don't think many poly people manage to face their spouses and be open about who they are, how they work, and what they need. I would bet that cheating is much more common than honesty, at the very least, and I wouldn't be surprised if polys who stay mono for their partners were also more common than polys who are poly while in a relationship with monos. (I think more polys date other polys. It's just simpler).

Who is expected to change? ........ the only time a partner is expected to change is when a poly has to be mono. Polys usually don't force monos to become poly and date other people. What changes isn't the mono person. What changes is what they can expect and require from their partner.
In my opinion, it's a bit different, because polys who are with a monos also have to deal with them differently than with a poly partner. They have to dedicate more time and attention to them because they're their only partner. They have to be as comprehensive as they can about their being mono. They have to try and understand their point of view, understand the boundaries they have, etc.

Often, you will end up with a compromise where both people have to adapt to the relationship. The poly person might find they have a lot more limitations than they did/do with poly partners. The mono person, of course, will have to deal with their partner having other people in their lives. It's undoubtedly hard.

........To me, being poly affects my relationship with my partner to some extent, but leave the rest of his life his own. My partner being mono and wanting me to be mono affects my life even outside of him, outside of the range of our relationship. It feels much more intrusive to me.

In a successful mono/poly relationship, I feel that both partners are themselves. The mono partner is mono, the poly partner is poly.......A real equivalent to a poly person having to be mono would be a mono person having to be poly. My being poly doesn't change my partner's identity as a mono person. They have to make concessions and so on, but I strongly feel it's not the same as requiring me to be mono.

This being said, I do feel that requiring someone to be poly is worse than requiring them to be mono. I feel that when one person wants something and the other person (directly involved) doesn't, the person who doesn't want it should be the one who "wins". I think so for sex (so one person stays frustrated or has sex elsewhere instead of one person raping the other) for children (no forcing a child on someone who doesn't want to be a parents, do without or have a child with someone else) and so on, so I would also say, no forcing partners on someone.

So if the choice was between forcing the mono partner to become poly and forcing the poly partner to become mono, I definitely think there is less harm in forcing the poly partner to become mono (or leave the relationship).

Each partner can be the way they are, and adapt to the other being different. The mono partner needs to walk more than halfway, but that's only because the poly partner has had to adapt to mono lifestyles all of their life already, so they've already walked part of the journey towards middle ground.
 

Tonberry

New member
I can't help but think Raga's whole post was addressed to me, considering how specific it seems, but I do also think it offers everyone opportunities to learn from mistakes Raga and I have made, and it provides basis for an interesting discussion.
So I am presenting advice from the other point of view, the point of view of the person who opened the relationship, giving advice to the mono partner.

Don't lie to your partner

This one remains the same for the mono partner. Honesty and communication are fundamental.

Don't use emotional blackmail

Do not go along with something for fear or losing your partner, and don't lie about being okay with a relationship when you are not. If you are honest with your partner, they might indeed leave, but that will save you both some trouble, as if you're not comfortable with the lifestyle to begin with, it will end badly.
Don't assume your partner is trying to manipulate you, either. If they tell you they don't trust themselves not to cheat, they might simply be following the previous rule. They might say it from experience, too, having tried hard to be mono for years and being constantly tempted to cheat, resisting because they don't want to betray their partner, but feeling like they won't be able to resist much longer and trying to find an ethical way to go about it.

In my case, I felt it was more fair to give Raga all the data, so that he knew what to expect. I realised it meant risking to be dumped over it, but I was willing to take that risk for the sake of honesty. I felt it would have been despicable of me to lie ("oh, if you don't want to try, it's fine, we'll go back to being mono") and then cheat. I felt he deserved better, and I wanted him to make a choice with all the information in mind, so I didn't hide any of it.
At no time did I feel I was manipulating him to force him to accept poly. Quite the opposite, I felt I was giving him a clearer choice, that he knew it was A or B, there was nothing grey about it, and I was willing to get dumped over it because I wanted to be true to myself and honest with him. We all have deal breakers, you need to be honest about them, both to yourself and to your partners.

Your partner's fears are legitimate,
Always remember that this is something your partner didn't want

Remember that while it is scary, new and weird for you, it is also new, weird and scary for your partner. They took a chance when coming out to you, they risked losing you and alienating you. They also risk alienating their friends and family if you refuse, leave them and give it as a reason, and being labeled a cheater even though they tried to do the right thing. Even if you stay, as the poly partner they will be seen as the bad guy to everyone you come out to. They took a big leap of faith and that means a lot about how much they trust you and how much you matter to them. You didn't choose for them to be poly, but they didn't choose to be poly, either.

Also remember to state your mind. Don't fall into the trap of "if they really loved me they'd realise I'm having a hard time". People aren't mind readers. Tell them how you feel and what you think would help. Be constructive about it. Saying "I feel like crap" is one thing (and it's better than bottling it up) but it accomplishes little more than making your partner feel terrible. Try using sentences such as "I would feel better about X if..."[/QUOTE]

After you find your second relationship

Remember that NRE is like a drug, so treat it like one

Same thing. Your partner, not you, will be on that drug. Remember it's NRE and doesn't mean anything about you. Let them enjoy it without feeling guilty (it's a necessary part of any relationship), but tell them if they're going too far and neglecting you.
Don't feel that the other person is "better" or makes your partner happier than you do, remember it's NRE, and you most likely had it too.
Think back to your own NRE with your partner, and realise that it isn't fair to expect restrain if you didn't show any. For instance, if you wanted to shout your relationship from the roofs, it isn't very fair to ask for your partner's second relationship to remain a secret from anyone who might know you. If your partner and metamour are willing to go trough secrecy for your sake, remember it was a lot to ask of them.

Give both relationships 110%

The flipside for this one is the same as previously: communicate. Your partner is under NRE, which is a drug. There is no way they will notice that you're feeling neglected if you say nothing about it. They will be in their own world. Make sure to tell them how you feel and be assertive. Communicate it talking about your own need instead of sounding accusing, that is, say "I would like to spend more time with you" rather than "you're spending more time with X than with me!".

Also remember that your vision might be skewed. You used to have your partner's full time and attention. You might get double the time and attention the second partner is getting, and yet believe you are getting much less, because you assume your partner is with your metamour every time they are not with you. They might spend most of their time alone.
They might also consider time spend with both of you to count for both relationships while you might feel it doesn't count because you weren't alone.
If you feel neglected and resentful when you're getting more time and attention than your metamour, you can't expect your partner to figure it on their own. Be open and you might realise from what they tell you that they're only spending together a fraction of the time you thought they were.

The bottom line remains, communicate! Whether you are getting the short end of the stick or not, your partner won't know you feel that way if you don't say so.

Your partner bending over backwards to accommodate is a very bad sign

I'm sorry, but I simply cannot agree with the advice above. "If your partner looks happy and looks like they're embracing the poly lifestyle, assume they're actually feeling neglected and don't know it, so you have to guess for them! Also, they're still mono but they don't know it either!"
I'm sorry, but if the mono partner doesn't realise it themselves, it is completely unrealistic to expect the poly partner to be the one realising it. So, be honest with yourself and your own feelings. If you aren't, you will suffer from people treating you like you're showing yourself instead of treating you like the part of you you are hiding.

Never give you partner cause to compare your relationships

Try hard not to compare relationships. If you feel your partner is doing something with your metamour they're not doing with you, tell them you'd like to do it with them, too. If in the end they do not do it with you, talk to them about it. Is it a deal breaker? Why is your partner treating the relationships differently?
Ultimately remember, though, that different people call for different relationships. Maybe you're a lot of fun to play tennis with but you're not so good with card games and your partner is the opposite. Or maybe the nature of the relationship makes things different.

For instance, to use a personal example, when I had a live-in relationship and a long-distance relationship, it became crucial to do things in the long-distance relationship that could help us feel more "together". Things I wouldn't necessarily enjoy doing with my LDR partner in person but that I did online because it gave a sense of stability, regularity and closeness the relationship otherwise lacked.
In this case, it wasn't the partners who were different, but the relationships. If they had both been live-in relationships, it would have been different. Sure enough, now that I live with my former LDR, I don't do these things anymore. They're not needed anymore.

Talk to your partner to figure out if things of that nature exist, as otherwise you might feel you're being treated as inferior when it might means your relationship already has the closeness and stability the other relationship lacks.

(To be continued)
 

Tonberry

New member
Don't push your mono partner to find another relationship

Don't try to be poly if you aren't. Especially if you talked so much about how mono you are, it will be very confusing for your partner when you start talking about someone else you like. But more importantly, they will then assume that you are poly, and therefore will treat you as a poly and not as a mono.

I am going to be honest here: this advice makes me think Raga is actually mono. Prior to it, I had no clue. He talked about someone he liked before I even met my boyfriend, tried to court her, I helped him, I saw how crushed he was when it didn't work out (up to the point of commenting that he had "zero luck in love" which was the most insulting thing ever said to me by a partner), etc. Had I known he was actually mono, I would have dealt with things in a different way: a mono and a poly partner just have different needs.
So be honest with yourself and with other people.
I would also add... If you do pursue a second relationship and are rejected, or if it fails, don't assume that means you're actually mono.

See, that's the problem here. Now I'm not sure if Raga is poly and went back to claiming he's mono because things didn't work out, or if he's mono and pretended to be poly for over a year. I am not trying to blame or accuse him here, because either way, I'm sure it wasn't intentional. But I see it as a good lesson to learn: be very in touch with your own feelings, be honest with yourself and with your partner. Do not try to change yourself for someone, be true to yourself, or you will get hurt, and people you love might get hurt too. I feel that's definitely an important lesson here.

Don't cut off your partner

If your partner isn't having sex with you as much as you'd like, don't assume it's a sex bonanza with their other partner(s). They might have much less sex with them than with you, comparatively (only compare the new relationship to your relationship when it was at the same stage, otherwise, it's apples and oranges).
And if your partner never had much sex with you, don't expect for it to suddenly change when they have another partner. Why would it? You're still the same person.
Ultimately, we're back to "don't expect the new relationship to solve problems in your old one". Similarly, don't blame problems that already existed before on the new relationship, either.
 

WonderingAbout

New member
Love this post and just wanted to say that this line

Chances are it will be a long trek of unhappiness where as if you just hung out and waited until you were sober you could of taken the car.

Was literary gold!! ^_^
 

polymono

New member
11. perhaps there are several types of poly but the two that stand out the most are:

the single minded, if not single in relationship status people that are able to incorporate several people into their lives casually as far as time goes, but not necessarily in depth. I find it hard to believe that for the long term depth in relationship can be maintained in this kind of relationship, but apparently long term is not always the objective. "Depth" is in the eye of the ones in the relationship. It's not for me to determine, as I am not in it. So therefore I can have an opinion, but it is mute. :rolleyes:

Sometimes the thrill of NRE is the objective in this type of relationship or an arrangement of "self" centered comfort .... These folks tend to not have kids or marriages, at least if they do they seem to find themselves in trouble as this kind of mindset is "self" centered... not in the negative sense, but in terms of lifestyle. No kids, no marriage=freedom to come and go as one pleases so to speak.

The second large group of poly people seems to be those that are married/committed/common law etc.. or involved with married people (or the like) who have a responsibility to the sanction of family in a more traditional sense. These people tend to have a primary partner as they have kids to think about and larger responsibilities than themselves. Other partners are incorporated slowly and the family unit incorporated into the other partners life also... or, not at all and the relationship is more of a open marriage concept or don't ask don't tell concept.

There is no right or wrong way of doing things in terms of poly relationship style, but it seems ultra important to know what someones style is and communicate how to merge the two... otherwise assumptions and expectations arise and people get hurt needlessly...

I'm in a mono/poly relationship which I'm struggling with. I'm the mono. When I started reading about poly I rapidly understood that poly was just a word and that everyone applies it in the way it works best for them. I'm realizing know that I might be involved with, what you refer to as, a 'single minded' poly partner. I'm not sure tho, but it looks like it as I cannot get to that point where I feel that deep connection that I'm looking for. It's there sometimes, but it gets less as the days are passing. Despite my will to communicate about it, she says I'm complicating things and that she is afraid that in the future she might not be able to give me the attention I'm looking for. Thanks for clarifying this one!
 

redpepper

New member
I wrote this on a thread today about the biggest surprises that poly has brought to my life...
I am not an island. What I do and say affects people in ways I don't even know. I have to be considerate at all times of everyone around me. Something that I have grown to see is of biggest importance in poly after communication in terms of needs and information. Empathy/compassion/consideration.... HUGE!
I have realized lately that when all is said and done, and now that we are all settled. This is probably the biggest lesson learned about the success of on going poly tribes as far as I am concerned.
 

koifish

New member
Things that are simply understood between partners in a monogamous relation have to spoken aloud with poly. There's very little guessing what people want.
 

TruckerPete

New member
Things that are simply understood between partners in a monogamous relation have to spoken aloud with poly. There's very little guessing what people want.

I don't know that things are necessarily understood between mono partners. I think a lot of assumptions get made, and while some of these may be correct, they aren't always. The difference is, when an assumption in a mono relationship backfires, it's affecting two people, not a whole network.
 

redpepper

New member
I'm pretty sure I have written this before, but excuse me if I have. I have been thinking today about some friends I had once that I found out were getting together with an old boy friend that was not compatible with me as far as communicating goes. The couple who were my friends had talked to me and sout my advice on communicating at one point and I thought they might like a heads up on how this guy communicates...

I was very hurt by him, but in my telling them about his "style" I was very careful to let them know that it just didn't work for me and that I wanted them to know the info I had as it related to their past issues... I also said I didn't know where they were at with it all now and didn't think that I could presume that they were in the same place with their issues....

Well, they blew up. Told me I was nosy, that I had no business telling them anything and that I should mind my own business; blah, blah, blah... a bunch of other stuff. I asked them if they would like to talk in person about it as I am familiar with how things can go array in text and that I wasn't sure they understood what I meant... maybe if we talked in person it would help. They basically told me to fuck off. So I did.

Now I see them at events and gathering occasionally and its just awkward. I just politely say hi, but respect their space... turns out they went and told the ex I have everything and now he gets to rub it in and roll his eyes and gossip about me behind my back... I used to keep a friendship with him before that. A tenuous one that needed much healing, but a friendship none-the-less... now I have blocked him from everything on FB and don't speak to him either at social gatherings. *sigh* I hate that shit. I don't like the ignore thing when you see someone you know, but its done now, so here we are.

Lesson: keep your nose out of other peoples relationships RP. Even if you "think" you know some shit... just keep out entirely. Eventually it will all come to pass and they will figure their own shit out. Second lesson is that I should of listened to the advice I got to shut up and stay out of it. :eek:
 
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