Poly Or Not?

Ostrich

Member
I did some research on a few sites regarding the definition of poly. I did not see any information which answered my question, so I want to put this to the members of this board.

DAG and I are having a discussion about who is involved in a poly relationship. As a direct example, I am not involved in any romantic relationship, other than DAG. DAG, of course, was involved in a poly relationship with both Bruiser and Fisticuffs. I was not thrilled (understatement) with his relationship with Bruiser, but was OK with his relationship with Fisticuffs. Overall, I am OK with his exploration of poly relationships.

The question is this: As the husband of DAG, was I also involved in a poly situation by extension? Or does my monogamous relationship status dictate what kind of relationship I am in? I've read articles about poly/mono relationships/situations, but nothing I have read so far addresses this question. The closest I've seen is the definition of a Vee (which seems to fall under the umbrella of the poly definition, but I am not an expert).

I realize this question has probably been addressed elsewhere, so I apologize in advance for the laziness of my research.

I also realize the definition of poly is fluid, depending on the person, but I am open to any and all feedback/definitions on this.

Thank you in advance!!
 
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Ostrich

Member
Never mind, I have my answer. I was not in a poly relationship (not even by extension). I can't delete the original post, but wanted all who read this that I have my answer, so no need to respond.

Thanks!
 

AlwaysGrowing

Active member
I would actually disagree. To me, a poly relationship is one in which one or more of the participants has or is open to multiple connections.

So you are in a poly relationship with dag. Even though you personally may not be poly/open to multiple relationships for yourself (I'm not familiar enough with your previous threads to know if you are or not), HE is so your relationship with him still has a poly element. None of the extra responsibility is really on you. Dag has all the extra work of being a hinge/keeping multiple relarionships healthy and you just have to keep your relationship with him (and yourself) healthy.

But this is one of those lovely semantic arguments that we can agree to disagree on so you define it however works for you and your network! ☺️
 

Ostrich

Member
I would actually disagree. To me, a poly relationship is one in which one or more of the participants has or is open to multiple connections.

So you are in a poly relationship with dag. Even though you personally may not be poly/open to multiple relationships for yourself (I'm not familiar enough with your previous threads to know if you are or not), HE is so your relationship with him still has a poly element. None of the extra responsibility is really on you. Dag has all the extra work of being a hinge/keeping multiple relarionships healthy and you just have to keep your relationship with him (and yourself) healthy.

But this is one of those lovely semantic arguments that we can agree to disagree on so you define it however works for you and your network! ☺️
In your opinion, would I still be in a poly relationship, even if I did not approve of his relationship with others? In other words, be in denial/rejection of said relationships?
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
To me? You consented for DAG to explore with Fisticuffs and be in DAG's poly network. You were an endpoint in the network since at the time you didn't want to see anyone else. But you are still participating in a poly network.

To me a monogamous relationship means just those two people.

To me monoamorous means wanting one sweetie.

It is possible to be monoamorous (want one sweetie) and then be "relationship shape flexible" -- like you are ok participating in monogamous shape or poly shape relationships as an end point.


So it started like an N shape with DAG as Fisitcuffs as the hinges.

There's a sketch here.


Like...

(you + [ DAG ) + ( Fisticuffs ] + Bruiser)

Then it became a triangle over there when Bruiser started seeing DAG too. With DAG still as the hinge to you. You did not agree to the model changing like that from the sound of it.

You starting to think about seeing your old friend. So now you could exercise the choice to see someone else or not.

So you became a hinge between DAG and your old friend, and then through DAG as the hinge to Bruiser and Fisticuff it was like a V attaching to this triangle. A larger network.

Through all these permutations? To me you were still participating in a poly network of some sort. Because you did not say "Nope. Not for me. I'm out." You are in charge of your consent to participate in things.

In your opinion, would I still be in a poly relationship, even if I did not approve of his relationship with others? In other words, be in denial/rejection of said relationships?
It depends on the agreements at that point in time.

If at this point in time you have said you are DONE doing poly and you don't want to be doing it? And DAG continues to poly date?

Then it's one of two things.

1) You said you were done. But yet here you are still going. You did not follow through and bow out. So you are the one keeping you in stuff you don't actually want to be doing.

2) DAG made some kind of agreement with you to stop. Misled you to believe he was dropping it. And is now cheating on agreements.

3) You dislike the current dating partner of DAG, said so, and agree to have "a very separate V" for that branch of the tree. Nobody is misleading anyone or cheating. You just don't care to hang out with this meta.

That is not being in denial about you participating in a polyship. You know you are in a poly network. You just don't want to hang out with this meta. And you are not obligated to. You aren't dating them. DAG is. So it's all DAG's problem.

4) Something else.

Really YOU decide "what counts" to you or not.

Galagirl
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi Ostrich,

I would actually see the answer to your original question as being somewhat fluid and subjective. In other words, it largely depends on whether *you* feel that you are polyamorous. I suppose it also depends on whether you would be open to the possibility of an additional romantic relationship for you at this time. If so, I would tend to say you are polyamorous; if not, I would tend to say you are monogamous (but poly-friendly), and in a mono/poly relationship.

And even that, it's just my opinion. The answer also depends on how one defines poly, and there isn't universal agreement on how poly should be defined. So I know you said you have your answer, but I would encourage you to not consider the matter as fully settled.

One important element in poly is consent. If *you* don't consent to DAG's additional relationships (with Bruiser and Fisticuffs), then *DAG* is not poly, he is just "cheating out in the open." And maybe you consent to his relationship with Fisticuffs, but not to his relationship with Bruiser. In which case, he has a poly relationship with Fisticuffs, but he is cheating on you (not poly) with Bruiser. It remains for you to figure out what you do or do not consent to.

We could complicate the question by imagining, what if you were open to (an) additional romantic relationship/s for yourself, but did not consent to additional romantic relationships for DAG -- with *anyone.* In that case, you would be the polyamorist, and DAG would be the monogamist (or the cheater if he conducted relationships with Fisticuffs and Bruiser against your wishes). Unless DAG also did not consent to additional romantic relationships for you -- in which case neither of you could be polyamorous as long as you remained in a relationship with each other.

My 2¢,
Kevin T.
 

Ostrich

Member
You guys are awesome!

GG:

Thank you for the link to the explainer. It helped in some ways, namely that I have the freedom to call it as I see it. As I see it, I gave DAG consent to pursue a poly relationship, even if I did not approve of the one he was dating. So to me, I was still in a poly, because I consented throughout this situation. DAG is saying, since I bowed out of pursuing relationships with Bruiser and Fisticuffs and did not want to know particulars about his relationship with them, my stance on that made me mono, not poly. I still consent to him being poly, no matter who he sees or dates. How I relate to those metas is up to me.
3) You dislike the current dating partner of DAG, said so, and agree to have "a very separate V" for that branch of the tree. Nobody is misleading anyone or cheating. You just don't care to hang out with this meta.
THIS! DAG is definitely not misleading me. He has been open and honest this entire time.

I am not done with poly. I want to pursue it for myself, but there are things which I need to address for myself before I feel comfortable/confident with moving forward. I know from my blog and previous posts, I might sound like I don't want it in my life, but I do. I want to be clear on that point.

Kevin:

And even that, it's just my opinion. The answer also depends on how one defines poly, and there isn't universal agreement on how poly should be defined. So I know you said you have your answer, but I would encourage you to not consider the matter as fully settled.

This seems to be the general gist of what I've found and read online. This will probably be a back-and-forth between DAG and I for the foreseeable future. I thought there might be a more definitive outline of how one is involved in poly. GG provided a really good article which helped me. I'll ask our marriage counselor about what she thinks. She is a very poly-friendly counselor, so I feel she has a good knowledge base from which to provide guidance.

Also, I've never considered DAG to be cheating. We have consented, so in my mind, he's never cheated.

If one hasn't noticed, I tend to be 'black and white' on issues. Poly to me can be very confusing (because it's soooo fluid), even if I think understand it in concept (love is unlimited, so why focus that emotion on only one person?). So it appears I need to do some work on my own definitions of what poly means to me, and how I can move forward with DAG based on some common definitions.

Thank you both!!
 
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MeeraReed

Active member
To me it sounds like you're a mono person in a poly relationship. That's pretty common on here.

Some of the struggles you have with DAG seem to be coming from your mono mindset. Which is fine, because you're mono! It makes sense that you have a monogamous perspective. But I think you're definitely in a polyamorous relationship, because you have consented to DAG exploring non-monogamy/poly.

For a mono-poly relationship to succeed, it seems that the mono person has to willing to work past their mono perspective somewhat, and the poly person has to be willing to understand the mono perspective too (and perhaps to tone things down or compromise/limit their behavior for the mono person's comfort). Both people have to compromise.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for the link to the explainer. It helped in some ways, namely that I have the freedom to call it as I see it.

Glad it helped you some.

As I see it, I gave DAG consent to pursue a poly relationship, even if I did not approve of the one he was dating. So to me, I was still in a poly, because I consented throughout this situation.

That's how I would see it. You have agreed to participate in a poly network of some kind and DAG is poly dating people.

(While you are taking your time to educate yourself before you start poly dating on your end from the sound of things. )

DAG is saying, since I bowed out of pursuing relationships with Bruiser and Fisticuffs and did not want to know particulars about his relationship with them, my stance on that made me mono, not poly.

TBH? That's DAG's opinion on what he thinks "counts." So? How does that affect you really? You could just let him have his thought for now:

"I think Ostrich is really mono because he won't pursue the same people I date and Ostrich doesn't want to hear about my poly relationshp with Bruiser and Fisticuff. He won't do poly like I want him to so do it I'm not gonna count Ostrich as true poly."

Then when you start poly dating? He's going to have to update his thoughts then at THAT point in time.

Because RIGHT NOW? How is going down rabbit hole conversations with DAG actually useful? What are you trying to achieve?

FWIW?

I think you actually do NOT have to pursue the same people he does to "count" as poly.

I think you do NOT have listen to the particulars of his relationships with them like a "free therapist" or "life coach" person to "count" as poly.

I think your stance on not wanting to hear deep details about Bruiser and Fisticuffs has nothing to do with poly and more to do with not wanting to be around certain people.

Couldn't DAG just put it on the calendar that he's having dinner with them and when the day arrives and couldn't you just be "Ok, have a nice time" and call it good enough? Why do you have to be like some kind of poly security blanket to DAG with these people? He can't just go poly date on his own without a woobie person?

I could be wrong in my impression. But I think DAG might consider doing some detangling work. Because it is ok for you to give consent to be in a poly network WHILE AT THE SAME TIME setting a personal boundary of "You date who you want to date. I don't want to be hearing deep details about ____ person. I just want health and calendar."

Because isn't that the bottom line? All you really need info about is is basic sex practices/hygiene/labs info that is relevant so you can look out for your own health well, and then calendar because of time management.

Anything past that is optional and only if the people involved want to be doing it / sharing that info. Talking about their other relationships, hanging out with the other people all in a group, etc.

There is no poly law that says metas HAVE to hang out together. *shrug*

Just like one cannot force a triad, once cannot force a kitchen table poly situation if the people don't want to be doing that.

I still consent to him being poly, no matter who he sees or dates. How I relate to those metas is up to me.

I think you mean "I consent to practice a poly model" with DAG.

You do not consent to him "being poly" -- he is who he is. With or without your permission or consent. You don't consent to someone being hispanic or gay or a blonde from Norway or whatever it is they are.

How you relate to your metas IS up to you. Basic polite is good enough.

Just like friends and family. I like some of my spouse's friends. I don't like others. I like some of his relatives and I don't like other relatives. Shoot, I like some of my own relatives and dislike others! I am basic polite to these people, but I don't have to be super tight or best friends with them.

My spouse is free to hang out with any of his people, but don't assume *I* want to go along to everything that his friends and family do. We are not joined at the hip. And it goes the other way too. I don't expect him to come to my family and friend things just because we're married. He only goes to the ones he wants to participate in.

Same goes for metas. Just because your partner dates them, doesn't mean you HAVE to hang around with them.

As you are doing all this work to improve yourself and figure out YOUR kind of poly and how YOU want to poly date on your end of things...

I wonder if DAG (who likes you being around as "his rock no matter what") is feeling something amiss because you are saying "no" more and asserting yourself more. Because now it might be more like "I love you, but no. Not even for you am I gonna do stuff that hurts me or stuff I don't like." While healthier for you, it might feel like "abandonment" or "loss" to him.

And maybe DAG is discovering that some of his assumptions and expectations of you? Should actually be talked out.

If DAG assumes or expects that you will go along with whatever just cuz you are married? And you say "No, thanks. Not my cup of tea?" It is not you being mean or unreasonable. It does mean his assumptions and expectations were wrong and need updating though. I might mean DAg learns not take you / your answer / things for granted so much.

Sometimes long term couples slide into doing that to each other -- assuming, taking for granted, etc.

FWIW, I think you could carry on as you are doing in your poly education and only get around to poly dating when YOU decide you are ready.

Hopefully eventually you and DAG finish the "poly storming" and get to the "poly norming" so both can pursue poly dating and participate in your shared poly network with less upheaval.

So it appears I need to do some work on my own definitions of what poly means to me, and how I can move forward with DAG based on some common definitions.

Maybe the Opening Up worksheets help you?


Galagirl
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
That's how I would see it. You have agreed to participate in a poly network of some kind. DAG is poly-dating people, while, from the sound of things, you are taking your time to educate yourself before you start poly-dating on your end.

That's DAG's opinion on what he thinks "counts." So, how does that affect you, really? You could just let him think his thoughts for now:

I think Ostrich is really mono because he won't pursue the same people I date, and he doesn't want to hear about my relationships with Bruiser and Fisticuffs. He won't do poly like I want him to, so I'm not going to count Ostrich as "true poly."

Then, when you start poly dating, he's going to have to update his thoughts, at THAT point in time.

Because RIGHT NOW, how is going down into rabbit hole conversations with DAG actually useful? What are you trying to achieve?

I think you do NOT have to pursue the same people he does to "count" as poly. I think you do NOT have listen to the particulars of his relationships with them, like a "free therapist" or "a life coach," to "count" as poly. I think your stance on not wanting to hear deep details about Bruiser and Fisticuffs has nothing to do with poly, and more to do with not wanting to be around certain people.

Couldn't DAG just put it on the calendar that he's having dinner with them, and when the day arrives couldn't you just say, "OK, have a nice time," and call it good enough? Why do you have to be like some kind of poly security blanket to DAG with these people? Can't he just go poly date on his own, without a woobie person?

I think DAG could consider doing some detangling work. It is OK for you to give consent to be in a poly network, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME setting a personal boundary of, "You date who you want to date. I don't want to be hearing deep details about ____ person. I just want to be assured of good sex health practices and and an up-to-date calendar." Isn't that the bottom line? All you really need info about is basic sex practices/hygiene/labs, so you can look out for your own health, and then get the calendar info, for time management.

Anything past that is optional, if the people involved want to share such info, talk about their other relationships, hang out with the other people all in a group, etc. There is no poly law that says metas HAVE to hang out together. *shrug* Just like one cannot force a triad, once cannot force a kitchen-table poly situation, if the people don't want to do that.

I think you mean "I consent to practice a poly model" with DAG. You do not consent to him "being poly." He is who he is, with or without your permission or consent. You don't consent to someone being Hispanic or gay or a blonde from Norway, or whatever it is they are. How you relate to your metas IS up to you, though. Basic politeness is good enough.

It's just like friends and family. I like some of my spouse's friends, I don't like others. I like some of his relatives and I don't like other relatives. Shoot, I like some of my own relatives and dislike others! I am basically polite to these people, but I don't have to be super tight or best friends with them.

My spouse is free to hang out with any of his people, but he doesn't assume *I* want to go along to everything that his friends and family do. We are not joined at the hip. And it goes the other way too. I don't expect him to come to my family and friend things just because we're married. He only goes to the ones he wants to participate in.

The same goes for metas. Just because your partner dates them, doesn't mean that you HAVE to hang around with them.

As you are doing all this work to improve yourself, and figure out YOUR kind of poly and how YOU want to poly-date on your end of things, I wonder if DAG (who likes you being around as "his rock, no matter what") is feeling something is amiss, because you are saying "no" sometimes and asserting yourself more. Now it might be more like: "I love you. But not even for you am I going to do stuff that hurts me or that I don't like." While it's healthier for you, it might feel like "abandonment" or "loss" to him.

Maybe DAG is discovering that some of his assumptions and expectations of you should be talked about. If DAG expects you to go along with everything, just because you are married, but you say, "No, thanks. Not my cup of tea," this is not you being mean or unreasonable. It means his assumptions and expectations were wrong and need updating.

It might be that DAG needs to learn to not take you so much for granted. Sometimes long-term couples slide into doing that, assuming things and taking each other for granted.

I think you could carry on as you are doing in your poly education, and only get around to poly-dating when YOU decide you are ready.

Hopefully, eventually, you and DAG will finish the "poly-storming" and get to the "poly-norming," so you both can pursue poly-dating and be able to participate in your network with less upheaval.

Maybe the Opening Up worksheets would help you.

Poor Ostrich. DAG thinks Ostrich is hiding his head in the sand and wanting to do a DADT thing. Ostrich is (or was) somehow assuming that DAG knows what "true poly" means, and that Ostrich is doing it all "wrong" and "being an asshole" to boot.

Hopefully Ostrich can see from hanging around here, that DAG is just jumping to conclusions about the "right" way to do poly, assuming his way is the highway, when that's not actually the case at all.
 

Ostrich

Member
Just like friends and family. I like some of my spouse's friends. I don't like others. I like some of his relatives and I don't like other relatives. Shoot, I like some of my own relatives and dislike others! I am basic polite to these people, but I don't have to be super tight or best friends with them.

Mags:

Poor Ostrich. DAG thinks Ostrich is hiding his head in the sand and wanting to do a DADT thing. Ostrich is (or was) somehow assuming that DAG knows what "true poly" means, and that Ostrich is doing it all "wrong" and "being an asshole" to boot.
I think I might have mis-communicated my point. DAG doesn't think I am doing poly 'wrong', he thinks I did not consent to practice a poly model, therefore, I wasn't in a poly 'relationship'. Unless that's what you mean by 'wrong'. My discussion point is since I DID consent to him practicing some type of poly, (but did not necessarily consent/accept to whom they were with and I let him know it), therefore, I was indeed in a poly relationship. The additional point to this is I supported his exploration by not telling him I forbade him to date. I didn't forbid anything. As a matter of fact, I wanted him see his two paramours anytime he wanted. Again, his point is: 'Since you removed yourself from the scene entirely, you weren't part of a poly relationship'.
So from what others have posted, based on what I think my level of involvement was, that indeed I was in a poly relationship, even though I was the mono in the relationship.

GG,

I think you mean "I consent to practice a poly model" with DAG.
Duly noted, and corrected in the immediate response above. As always, thanks for the clarification!

Just like friends and family. I like some of my spouse's friends. I don't like others. I like some of his relatives and I don't like other relatives. Shoot, I like some of my own relatives and dislike others! I am basic polite to these people, but I don't have to be super tight or best friends with them.
As background, I was very upset at how the situation started and played out. I'm not upset at DAG (not anymore), Fisticuffs or Bruiser, because they didn't do anything against me. However, Bruiser comes across (to me) as a pompous ass and I always got negative vibes from him. I know he felt the same towards me, as his actions around me always changed, once I entered the room. Fisticuffs is another story. I actually like him. To me, he's far more approachable. If we had met outside of this situation, I think we could have been friends. Hell, I think we could have been friends no matter. I let him know I was interested in pursuing a friendship. He let me know he had no interest in pursuing a friendship with me. This discussion happened this past February. That's when I gave up on the whole thing. Now that both Bruiser and Fisticuffs have cut themselves off from DAG, there is no going back to pick up the pieces (at least for me). It appears that all involved are done. We'll see.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Mags, I think I might have miscommunicated my point. DAG doesn't think I am doing poly 'wrong', he thinks I did not consent to practice a poly model, therefore, I wasn't in a poly 'relationship'. Unless that's what you mean by 'wrong'. My discussion point is since I DID consent to him practicing some type of poly, (but did not necessarily consent/accept to whom they were with and I let him know it), therefore, I was indeed in a poly relationship.

The additional point to this is I supported his exploration by not telling him I forbade him to date. I didn't forbid anything. As a matter of fact, I wanted him see his two paramours anytime he wanted. Again, his point is: 'Since you removed yourself from the scene entirely, you weren't part of a poly relationship'.

So from what others have posted, based on what I think my level of involvement was, that indeed I was in a poly relationship, even though I was the mono in the relationship.

Yes. So your qualification is that DAG said you weren't in a "poly relationship" at all! Not that you were "doing poly wrong."

Gah. He was wrong! He seemed to think KTP is the only way to do poly, and if you want parallel poly, then you're not poly at all. In fact, we had a very annoying member here, under 2 aliases, who kept trying to tell everyone here that this was the only way to do poly too. All partners in a network had to be sexually/emotionally involved, and preferably living together, or it wasn't poly at all, it was swinging. I think she finally left. She offended most of us regulars a lot.

It's OK to not approve of one's metamours. What can you do? DAG is a grown ass person. He can date whom he wants. Likewise, you can date whom you want. Sometimes we get very protective men here who are so afraid their wives will be hurt by a partner, emotionally or physically, they demand the right to approve any prospective partner. Some poly people even want to go on the first damn date their partner has with a new person. People like that need to learn how to detangle even before starting to date.

Poly people are pretty independent. It's swingers who want to do everything as a borg.
As background, I was very upset at how the situation started and played out. I'm not upset at DAG (not anymore), Fisticuffs or Bruiser, because they didn't do anything against me. However, Bruiser comes across (to me) as a pompous ass and I always got negative vibes from him. I know he felt the same towards me, as his actions around me always changed, once I entered the room. Fisticuffs is another story. I actually like him... It appears that all involved are done. We'll see.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Of course, you are stereotyping here. :)
I've read many blogs of swingers and the huge consensus I read was that swinging is mostly couples-oriented. Sure, there may be some female unicorns... like you. (Traditionally, single men have been only grudgingly allowed in, to prevent hundreds of wankers standing around lol.) If you went to swinger events as a single, my comment didn't apply to you. I was talking about COUPLES and their attitudes.
 

Ostrich

Member
Mags:

It's OK to not approve of one's metamours. What can you do? DAG is a grown ass person. He can date whom he wants. Likewise, you can date whom you want. Sometimes we get very protective men here who are so afraid their wives will be hurt by a partner, emotionally or physically, they demand the right to approve any prospective partner.
A couple of anecdotes. First, I informed DAG I didn't want to go to any functions Bruiser and Fisticuffs sponsored. DAG then said: 'If you keep turning down invites, they won't invite you in the future, and then I'll have to explain to other friends who are there, on your whereabouts'. To which I said 'So?' He then had a very shocked look on his face, like I had just slapped him.

Second, he definitely expects me to listen to his trials and travails with Bruiser and Fisticuffs. I get the negative impression that I am his safety blanket. He goes out with his boyfriend(s), some issue comes up between them, then he comes home and thinks he can unload his feelings on me. I do not want to do that. It truly bothers me that B is giving DAG the cold shoulder treatment. While my heart goes out to DAG (fuck B with a red hot poker, although he would probably like that), I'll be damned if I'll give it more than a 'I'm sorry to hear that, now please drop it'. I might listen (depends on what DAG wants to unload), but he shouldn't expect anything beyond that. I am DEFINITELY NOT reaching out to B for any fucking reason, much less try to help. (did I mention 'fuck him'? I think I might have)(also, I managed to lose his contact info. On purpose. DAMN).

It's tough to come to an agreement on how we should handle the pieces in the second paragraph above. We're working on it.

I'm fine with meeting DAG's potential paramours, but his expectations for us to be friends (or at least on good terms) is just not realistic.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Second, he definitely expects me to listen to his trials and travails with Bruiser and Fisticuffs. I get the negative impression that I am his safety blanket. He goes out with his boyfriend(s), some issue comes up between them, then he comes home and thinks he can unload his feelings on me. I do not want to do that.

My spouse told me a long time ago he's fine with poly but he's not fine being "the clean up man all the time" when he didn't even do anything. And if I go around being a sloppy hinge we're going to have problems. Meaning it is my choice to date other people, and if those relationship go awry, break up, whatever? That's largely over there between me and that other person.

I can expect a hug and "I'm sorry that's happening" from DH but not a whole lot more than that. Because it's not HIS relationship. It is not his business. He didn't pick these people. I did. And the (him + me) relationship is about him and me. It's not about him being my woobie person for my other relationship being like a life raft or something. Don't be a sloppy hinge letting too much stuff leak over on to here.

I agree with him. I wouldn't want it in the other direction either. I only have so much bandwidth.

There's being for your spouse and then being treated like an "emotional dumpster." It would not a very fulfilling relationship between us if all I did was talk about some other relationship and its problems. It's like not even being present in THIS one. YKWIM?

I'm fine with meeting DAG's potential paramours, but his expectations for us to be friends (or at least on good terms) is just not realistic.

I expect to do "basic polite." Like I am with the mailman, bank teller, grocery cashier etc. I find that reasonable. Meta can have the same basics everyone else / strangers get from me.

I think if you and your metas want to be friends on good terms beyond "basic polite" that's between you and the meta. Not any of DAG's business and he cannot push that to happen.

Galagirl
 

icesong

Member
Second, he definitely expects me to listen to his trials and travails with Bruiser and Fisticuffs. I get the negative impression that I am his safety blanket.
Maybe you and/or he - probably more he - should read this? A relevant quote:
The polyamorous emotional labour daisy chain occurs any time there’s a problem in one relationship that spills over into the other relationships in a network. The emotional labour pours inward, from person to person, toward the source of the problem—as each person in turn leans outward, toward a partner who has emotional labour to give. (This happens in friend groups, too. But often the expectations are higher in romantic relationships—and boundaries can be harder to set.)
But the whole thing is worth reading.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
I've found that my partner Pixi is great to unload on. We're both girls, we're both wicked compassionate and emotionally secure and adept. When either of us has had issues with other partners, we can use each other for support. We actually enjoy analyzing the issues.

We've both had lots of therapy though, so we aren't really asking each other to be therapists, just friends. And we aren't each other's only emotional support.

I mean, one time in particular, I was really really knocked for a loop by one of my OSOs. He turned out to be a narcissist who had been merely playing a role with me, and when he decided to demote me and replace me, it was just incredibly shocking. Pixi had been friends with him too, and she was almost as thrown as I was. I was in a rough place for a while, and I could not have pretended otherwise.

But I've had lesser issues that she's also supported me with, as she would if I had an issue with a platonic friend, or family, or any difficult situation, illness, job loss, a pet dying, etc. And of course, I provide the same for her.

But I can see if a partner is constantly on a roller coaster with a less-than-ideal partner, and that's all they can talk about, and there's nothing else on the agenda that is positive between the 2 of you, that would feel very one-sided and annoying.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
Thanks for clarifying further, Ostrich. I think I understand your original question better now.

DAG is flat-out wrong if he thinks you're not doing a poly relationship just because you don't want to be involved with his boyfriends/ sexcapades.

You might not even be monogamous--maybe you'll date your own people when you're ready.

My partner of 9 years is similar to DAG--he's super sexual, kinky, extroverted, needs MUCH more stimulation than I do. Super high sex drive. So much energy! Wants multiple sex partners and can maintain multiple relationships. Loves flirting, touching. Is attracted to TONS of people.

I don't like the vast majority of the people he dates. I mostly don't interact with them at all. We don't live together (it's one of the reasons we don't live together--so he can have his own space for dating & sex, and I can be peacefully alone). He doesn't expect me to be involved with them at all.

But he knows that I am poly--even though I haven't dated anyone else in years. I am very rarely attracted to anyone! But I know I have the freedom to date to my heart's content when I do meet someone I like.
 
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