SO wants to open relationship, i don't - and feel guilty about it

teselef

New member
Hi all,

First time on the forums.
Significant Other of 7 years wants to open our relationship. not because she is unsatisfied, mostly because she is curious, since she has quite a few polyamorous friends and would like to know how that works/feels.

I am not interested in opening the couple to other individuals. On one hand I agree with her argument that life is fleeting and one should try all that he/she finds interesting. On the other, I feel mentally and physically ill at the thought of her """"cheating""" on me. Rationally I am quite fine with the idea I think, but concretely I feel sad and angry and I don't want this relatively minor issue to strain what by all means is a good and healthy relationship.

She is not going to go ahead with it without my consent to the whole thing, and on the one hand I feel bad for not letting her do what she wants to due to selfish reasons, on the other I kinda hate her for putting me in this position and being, indirectly, the cause of my ongoing suffering.

BTW we will be going to counseling I think, but I wanted to know what the polyamorous community makes of our situation.
Am I in the wrong for acting selfish? Is it a common reaction for monogamous partners to feel this bad when the Significant Other wants to open the couple? how did you cope with it?

Thanks for all responses,
F.
 

VanillaIceCream

New member
Greetings 🤗 First of all, I think you should understand the difference between open relationship and poly relationship /love. In a couple with open relationship partners can have fun with other people from time to time in different ways : one partner can go out and have sex outside the couple and their partner knows about it and OK about it. They can invite a guest or a few into their bedroom. They can have fun with others once or meet the same people a few times. But in any scenario of open relationship it's nothing but sex and no long term connection or deep feelings involved. On another hand, in poly relationship /love more than 2 people are deeply connected and have feelings to each other, they're involved into each other's life in more than just sex part. So what exactly does your woman want?
 

teselef

New member
Thank you for your reply and explanation!
I am not sure what -precisely- she wants and, crucially, neither does she. AFAIK She wants to try to have sex with other people because she is curious.
That would be an open relationship then. She is fiercely making a point that these experiences would not 'take away' anything from me, neither in terms of personal nor sexual attention.
She does not expect me to partake in this, although she'd like me to.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Rationally I am quite fine with the idea I think, but concretely I feel sad and angry and I don't want this relatively minor issue to strain what by all means is a good and healthy relationship.

Is it minor though? Because if she now wants to do open/poly and you don't? That is a major incompatibility.

She is not going to go ahead with it without my consent to the whole thing.

That's good. She's not into cheating on agreements.

I feel bad for not letting her do what she wants to due to selfish reasons

You don't have to automatically be into open/poly just because your partner has interest in it. It is not selfish to have your own preference for how you want your romantic relationships to be. There's nothing wrong with wanting monogamy. Why are you calling yourself selfish?

Plus you don't "let" her anyway. If she really wants to go there? She's free to end it with you and go there without you.

I kinda hate her for putting me in this position

What position? Being up front and honest with you and asking you what you think? Do you not wish to be treated this way in a relationsip? She's supposed to be a mind reader?

and being, indirectly, the cause of my ongoing suffering.

What is your suffering?

You are not able to do her the same courtesy back? Be up front and honest and say something like

"Thanks for being up front. I appreciate it. But no, thank you. I don't want to participate in anything open/poly. Might be ok for other people, but it is not for me."

BTW we will be going to counseling I think, but I wanted to know what the polyamorous community makes of our situation.

Counseling is probably a good idea. Don't let your soft feelings for her tempt you into going against YOUR grain though, and getting sucked into doing stuff you really don't want to be doing.

Am I in the wrong for acting selfish?

I don't understand why you keep going on about being "selfish." Where are you being selfish? Is she calling you that?

What's so selfish about being honest about where you stand on things?

You can tell a partner "no thanks" if they ask you if you want ice cream, want to move apartments, want to do poly, get a dog, have kids, etc. You just give your honest answer. That's not being selfish. That's giving clear communication.

Is it a common reaction for monogamous partners to feel this bad when the Significant Other wants to open the couple?

Sometimes yes, because it can come as a shock if you didn't know this about your partner and it's been several years together. Not like it was coming up during the first few weeks of dating.

Like feelings of "Who ARE you?! This is not who I thought you were all this time!" and "Why are you even asking me? Don't you even KNOW who I am after all this time?" and so on. It can feel pretty discombobulating.

how did you cope with it?

I suggest you stick with speaking your truth and being super honest. That you feel ill at the thought of it and just don't want any part of open/poly relationshipping for yourself.

If this is something she HAS to do? Then you need to get off this bus before she drives it over to Poly Town because that's not a journey you want to make. Maybe fine for other people, but NOT for you.

She is fiercely making a point that these experiences would not 'take away' anything from me, neither in terms of personal nor sexual attention.

Ok. From HER point of view, changing to open/poly would not take anything away from you.

From YOUR point of view, it would. If you value exclusivity with her? Changing to open relationship means no longer being exclusive with each other. You'd no longer have that any more. That's losing something you valued. Is she able to see that?

On one hand I agree with her argument that life is fleeting and one should try all that he/she finds interesting.

And if YOU don't find this at all interesting? You don't do it. You state your position plain.

And then it's on her to figure herself out. Whether she wants to give up the want to experiment in this way and continue with you as it has been. Or she wants to give up the relationship with you and pursue open/poly.

Galagirl
 
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teselef

New member
Is it minor though? Because if she now wants to do open/poly and you don't? That is a major incompatibility.
Well. It is a major issue. But we overcame worse issues in the past (won't get much into it but these included living on different continents for a while). I fail to see this as a make-or-break issue. If it were forced down my throat I might consider leaving...but I don't see that happening.
That's good. She's not into cheating on agreements.
I read some stuff on forced consent, as I try to get more and more informed on the issue. She could very well force me to consent to this by, for one, telling me to choose between allowing her to do this or breaking up. We both know what I would choose. Luckily, she doesn't want to do this (for now, things might change in the future who knows)
You don't have to be into open/poly. It is not selfish to have your own preference for how you want your romantic relationships to me. There's nothing wrong with wanting monogamy.
Isn't it selfish to deny her an emotional/sexual fulfillment? Isn't this going to make her miserable in the long run?
Plus you don't "let" her anyway. If she really wants to go there? She's free to end it with you and go there without you.
I agree to what you said. However she says without my agreement the point is moot. I trust her. So it kinda boils down to me giving her permission to act on her desires.
What position? Being up front and honest with you?

What is your suffering?

Just tell her "Thanks for being up front. But no, thanks. I don't want to participate in anything open/poly" and do her the same courtesy back. Be up front and honest with her.
that's the conversation we had and prompted me to run for online advice haha. She understands, and hopes i'll reconsider. I said i'd look into it as it's a topic I have very little previous exposure to and like to make informed decisions. For one, I do not know why I feel bad considering the idea, nor why I care so uch about having a monogamous relationship. Might be something for a psy to unpack, but I have a dissonance between what I think (open couples seem fun for all involved) and what I feel (opening my couple would be ruinous for me).
You could be honest. You feel ill at the thought of it and just don't want any part of open/poly relationshippig for yourself.

If this is something she HAS to do? Then you need to get off this bus before she drives it over to Poly Town because that's not a journey you want for you. Maybe fine for other people, but NOT for you.

I don't understand why you keep going on about being "selfish." What's so selfish about looking out for your own well being and being honest about where you stand on things?
Well, looking out for MY well-being instead of OUR well-being is selfish imo. valuing my well-being over hers by deciding not to grant her a permission she feels she needs is quite selfish
Ok. From HER point of view, changing to open/poly would not take anything away.

From YOUR point of view, it would. If you value exclusivity with her? Changing to open relationship means longer being exclusive. You'd no longer share that exclusivity any more. That's losing something you valued. Is she able to see that?
she does see that. Which is why she wants me to agree to the thing before she even decides how to go about it or takes unilateral action.
And then it's on her to figure herself out. Whether she wants to give up the want to experiment in this way and continue with you as it has been. Or she wants to give up the relationship with you and pursue open/poly.
She has no wish to hurt me nor to strain (or end) the relationship. Neither do I. Any way I look at this someone will have to sacrifice his/her happiness for the other. I guess my question is: should I be the one to sacrifice my happiness? if I decide to give her this 'permission', how do I cope with it?

thank you SO MUCH for your response! I have no one (besides my SO) I feel comfortable to talk this with and this is really nice :)
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
I read some stuff on forced consent, as I try to get more and more informed on the issue. She could very well force me to consent to this by, for one, telling me to choose between allowing her to do this or breaking up. We both know what I would choose. Luckily, she doesn't want to do this (for now, things might change in the future who knows)

My consent belongs to me. I decide what I will and will not participate in. So I don't resonate with that "forced consent" thing. I'd say no thanks. And if my partner wanted to still go there? I'd break up so it could be clean. They can go do whatever without me and I don't have to be involved in it.

Isn't it selfish to deny her an emotional/sexual fulfillment? Isn't this going to make her miserable in the long run?

Not to me. I don't think anyone "owes" anyone else sex. Or "fulfillment" or whatever. Do you believe her emotional and sexual fulfillment is a job she does or you do?

If she's miserable in the long run? She doesn't HAVE to stay miserable. She can change her situation, right? Do you believe her emotional management is her job or yours?

I believe a person is responsible for creating their own happiness. They also take care of their own self first, then can help other people with reasonable and rational requests from a full tank of gas and not like burning out.

I don't help children find shoes or socks or breakfast BEFORE I pee and brush teeth. My basics come first. I'm peeing! Afterward, then I might be willing to help others with reasonable requests.

I agree to what you said. However she says without my agreement the point is moot. I trust her. So it kinda boils down to me giving her permission to act on her desires.

She just said it would be moot. A matter of no importance. That sounds like she's willing to let it go. Why aren't you?

She understands, and hopes i'll reconsider. I said i'd look into it as it's a topic I have very little previous exposure to and like to make informed decisions.
For one, I do not know why I feel bad considering the idea, nor why I care so much about having a monogamous relationship. Might be something for a psy to unpack, but I have a dissonance between what I think (open couples seem fun for all involved) and what I feel (opening my couple would be ruinous for me).

I'll be honest. If doing X would be ruinous for you? Don't do it then! Seems kinda obvious.

I love my spouse a lot. But NO. Not even for him will I do stuff that is hurtful to me. Nor would he want me to.

If this would be ruinous and hurt you, you could say "No. I love you a lot, but not even for you will I do stuff that hurts me. So if you really need to be doing this, it has to be without me and best we disband. Then you are FREE TO pursue open/poly things you want and I am FREE FROM open/poly things I don't want."

Is it a hard limit with you? Like NO, not ever in a million years would you want to go there? Cuz that is how it sounds. Could just say so.

Well, looking out for MY well-being instead of OUR well-being is selfish imo. valuing my well-being over hers by deciding not to grant her a permission she feels she needs is quite selfish

You are not able to look out for both your own well being (individual person)?

She looks out for her own well being (individual person)?

And you both tend to the shared job of looking out for the well being of the couple?

she does see that. Which is why she wants me to agree to the thing before she even decides how to go about it or takes unilateral action.

And what if you don't agree even after talking to a counselor? Is she able to let this go?

She has no wish to hurt me nor to strain (or end) the relationship. Neither do I. Any way I look at this someone will have to sacrifice his/her happiness for the other.

Nope. Someone "sacrificing" like that "for me" would not make me happy. Cuz I don't ask people to do that. I rather they not hurt themselves.

I guess my question is: should I be the one to sacrifice my happiness?

Why would it be ok for you to ding your own self doing something you find ruinous? What would that do for you? Would that cause strain for you and for the relationship? Cuz just a second ago you said neither of you wants to strain the relationship

Do you believe "love has to be proven" or something? So you have to keep doing these sacrifices so the beloved will appreciate or value you?
Or do you believe love is simply shared?

I could be wrong but you sound kind of enmeshed. Kinda sound like you feel pressured to consent to something you don't really want from fear of her leaving you to go do it without you. Is that the suffering? Inner conflict between ugh 1 and ugh 2?

Or more like... you feel pressured to consent to something you don't really want from a sense of obligation that "good partners" are supposed to be "sacrificing their happiness" for each other somehow? Like stuck between ugh 1 and ugh 3?

If I decide to give her this 'permission', how do I cope with it?

Only you can answer that. How will you cope if you go against your own grain and do ruinous things to yourself to try to please partner? And over time... will doing this breed resentment? Cuz you already kinda hate her for just bringing it up. But you are gonna go make it WORSE?

While not straining the relationship.

Do you hear how you sound?

I think you may need to sleep in the short term. And in the longer term? Not rush any of this. Talk to your counselor.

thank you SO MUCH for your response! I have no one to talk this with and this is really nice :)

Here are some links.

http://www.kathylabriola.com/articles/are-you-in-poly-hell and other articles at http://www.kathylabriola.com/system/app/pages/subPages?path=/articles



I'll be honest though. Learning links don't matter if you already know deep down you don't want to be doing this.

If you have a gut wrenching feeling... you could listen to your feelings.

I don't think going along with it just to please her when you find it super ugh is self respecting or self honoring behavior. There is such thing as being too selfless.

I get neither one wants to break up.

But this isn't some minor thing. "Curiosity" one can go "Oh, well" and put it away and not go there. If this is NEED for her? Then you may have grown in different directions over the years.

I hope counseling can help you sort some stuff out.

Esp feeling guilty for saying "no" to stuff that doesn't interest you. It's not a crime to be uninterested in doing open/poly. It's not a crime to tell your partner what you are and are not willing to do. You are allowed to take up the space you do in this world. You are allowed to have your own thoughts and opinions.

Galagirl
 
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HaloOnFire

Active member
My consent belongs to me. I decide what I will and will not participate in. So I don't resonate with that "forced consent" thing. I'd say no thanks. And if my partner wanted to still go there? I'd break up so it could be clean. They can go do whatever without me and I don't have to be involved in it.


I completely agree with this assessment. And while I realize that forced consent may be a thing for some people, that absolutely would not fly with me.

I also agree with going with YOUR feelings. Your feelings are not invalidated simply because you feel that this may not be for you. I have heard polyamory described as relationships on hard mode. This isn't for everyone and that's ok too. It is what it is.
 

teselef

New member
Thank you very much for the advice and for the reading links. they were quite enlightening.
I think I need to not rush this and talk it through, in details. and then
She just said it would be moot. A matter of no importance. That sounds like she's willing to let it go. Why aren't you?
Definitely a mistranslation on my part. not a native english speaker. The point is of significant importance, because it is her freedom to experiment and seek happiness that is at stake. She does not even know if she would like to have an open couple, but she does not like the fact that that option is denied to her due to my aversion to the idea.
Is it a hard limit with you? Like NO, not ever in a million years would you want to go there? Cuz that is how it sounds. Could just say so.
idk. the idea wakes some nasty jealousy/sadness. i guess without trying i'd never know for sure but the idea definitely does not sound good to me.
And what if you don't agree even after talking to a counselor? Is she able to let this go?
i don't know and I think neither does she.
I could be wrong but you sound kind of enmeshed. Kinda sound like you feel pressured to consent to something you don't really want from fear of her leaving you to go do it without you. Is that the suffering? Inner conflict between ugh 1 and ugh 2?

Or more like... you feel pressured to consent to something you don't really want from a sense of obligation that "good partners" are supposed to be "sacrificing their happiness" for each other somehow? Like stuck between ugh 1 and ugh 3?
these are both correct, and wonderful written representations of vague feelings I had.

Thank you very much for the advice and for the reading links. they were quite enlightening.
I think I need to not rush this and talk it through, in details. and then go from there.
 

Evie

Mod
I agree you don't need to rush.

You're also currently in the very first stage of this and that includes your knee-jerk emotional reaction of jealousy and sadness at an imaginary change in the status quo. I say imaginary because nothing other than a conversation has happened yet.

You mentioned that you may unpack your feelings of jealousy with a "psy" but since you seem open to a bit of reading, try the links here in case anything resonates with you first. https://polyamory.com/threads/new-t...l-in-a-polyamorous-dynamic.154137/post-476338

It is possible to change your perception and overcome jealousy. Plenty of people have done so and you could be someone who can. It's too early to tell right now, but it's worth knowing that it's not impossible.

One way to get the most out of this forum is to read widely, not just this thread of yours. Use the search function and see what other discussions are out there. Read blogs such as this one https://polyamory.com/threads/the-jealosy-diary.153782/ or this short thread that connects the idea of jealousy to love languages https://polyamory.com/threads/jealousy-and-love-languages.154063/

All the best with your journey. I hope it turns out positively for you.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for explaining you are not a Native English speaker.

The point is of significant importance, because it is her freedom to experiment and seek happiness that is at stake. She does not even know if she would like to have an open couple, but she does not like the fact that that option is denied to her due to my aversion to the idea.

I think you might mean "She does not even know if she would like to have an open relationship. She does not like that she chose to limit her freedom to experiment and seek happiness however she pleases without considering anyone else when she chose to get married."

Is that true?

idk. the idea wakes some nasty jealousy/sadness. i guess without trying i'd never know for sure but the idea definitely does not sound good to me.

You don't know what? How to make hard limits? Or you don't know your own self? Or you don't know how to be firm of purpose?

You don't sound especially willing to consider changing to open relationship. You sound like "No, thanks. Not for me" but having difficulty saying that to wife without guilt.

And merely being willing to consider does not automatically guarantee it will be successful.

People sometimes skip talking about whether they actually have all the skills to open/poly well.

Detangling is a needed step and being ok on your own sometimes is a needed skill. If you are super enmeshed or codependent, that's going to be a big one.


Emotional management, conflict resolution, emotional articulation, communication.... those are more skills.

Another thing I notice people sometimes skip is considering "What happens if the experiment goes wrong? What are the expectations? Are we prepared if this ends up at everyone single?"

These are both correct, and wonderful written representations of vague feelings I had.

Glad it helps you articulate some. Maybe it helps you describe your feelings when you are at the counseling appointment.

I think I need to not rush this and talk it through, in details. and then go from there.

Glad to hear you will SLOW DOWN and take more time to really think this out with a couselor.

Because from your perspective? A spouse who wants monogamy? The idea of open/poly is UGH and feels like something ruinous?

It might be like...
  • I don't even want to do this, not really.
  • Now I have to do all this work -- reading, preparation, counseling etc. in order to get LESS of my spouse's time and attention?
  • While grieving that this is just not how I envisioned my future and it is just not what I signed up for when I got married
Those are heavy things to process. Not to mention navigating poly hell and other pitfalls.

I hope your counseling is helpful.

GL!
Galagirl
 
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HaloOnFire

Active member
Another thing I notice people sometimes skip is considering "What happens if the experiment goes wrong? What are the expectations? Are we prepared if this ends up at everyone single?"

This, I think needs to be added to the "Most Skipped Steps To Polyamory". While I completely understand that folks might feel squeamish about focusing on anything negative, this is a hard reality and one that my DH and I have spoken about frequently.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
We are all socially and/or religiously programmed to be monogamous, but actually, humans have only lived monogamously for an extremely short period in our history. If humans as a species are over a million years old, and we've only lived monogamously for about 2000, that's just a blink. Prior to the patriarchy (which began around 3500 BCE, give or take), even women could have multiple male mates.

I'm a bit biased, haha, but I suggest not writing off polyamory just because it seems strange or alien, or because you're afraid or jealous in advance. Besides reading here, I recommend books! Opening Up and Sex at Dawn are great. The first is a how-to manual for formerly mono couples. It covers all forms of ethical non-monogamy. The second one is sociological, and explores the polysexual/romantic leanings of humans, which are built in to our hormonal systems, our sex drives, even the shapes of our penises.

Of course, your SO should be informing herself too, since she brought it up. Blowing smoke up your ass by saying you will still get the same amount of attention and security no matter what is a bit disingenuous.

I'd suggest informing yourself with links, websites, podcasts and books before you broach the subject to a counselor. Most counselors support the status quo and equate polyamory with cheating. There are some "alternative" counselors out there, who may specialize in more unusual ways of relating to oneself or others, including issues with open relationships, LGBTQA+, BDSM, etc. You'd need to find one of those.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Prior to the patriarchy (which began around 3500 BCE, give or take), even women could have multiple male mates.


Not living past 30 and the high rate of death when hunting sabre toothed tigers contributed to this, I'm thinking. Also, add in being constantly exposed to the elements, such as a couple of ice ages, and now it's a party.

Additionally, it is not "patriarchy" that contributed to this, but biology. Blood testing did not come about until the 1920's and DNA testing was in its' infancy in the 1970's. That was literally only 50-100 years ago. Up until this point, humans had very little indicators that the children that women produced were actually the offspring of the male in question. Humans have always known who the mother is with very little questioning. After all, getting witnesses for the birth is across every country and culture across the ages. Knowing who the actual father is has been a question that has plagued humanity until about 50 years ago.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Not living past 30 and the high rate of death when hunting sabre toothed tigers contributed to this, I'm thinking. Also, add in being constantly exposed to the elements, such as a couple of ice ages, and now it's a party.
I'm not saying life was a party. Sharing your sexual urges amongst several partners was good for genetics, and good for bonding in the tribe. If a woman couldn't conceive with one particular guy, she could mate with others in her tribe (with higher sperm counts, not that sperm was understood) or take part in seasonal festival orgies in the larger population.

An average death age of 30 does not mean that most people died at 30. Many died as babies and toddlers, and sure, you may not have lived until 80, but lots of people lived who survived childhood could live at least until their 50s. Monogamy was unheard of because people lived in tribes, not nuclear units of dad, mom, kids.
Additionally, it is not "patriarchy" that contributed to this, but biology. Blood testing did not come about until the 1920's and DNA testing was in its' infancy in the 1970's. That was literally only 50-100 years ago. Up until this point, humans had very little indicators that the children that women produced were actually the offspring of the male in question. Humans have always known who the mother is with very little questioning. After all, getting witnesses for the birth is across every country and culture across the ages. Knowing who the actual father is has been a question that has plagued humanity until about 50 years ago.
No, not biology, economics. During most of the patriarchy, men were in control, they owned goods and businesses, and wished to keep their businesses within their families, so they attempted to control women's sexualities by enforcing marriages of one man and however women he could afford to protect, feed, house. Women and children were literally owned by their men, their fathers, their husbands, even their younger brothers if the father/husband passed away or left. Women were called chattel, a word which means cattle.

Prior to the patriarchy, goods, food, etc., were held in common in tribes. Pretty much all you "owned" were your basic items of clothing, maybe a special weapon or cook pot. Food was shared amongst the tribe. You all lived in a shared space, a cave or longhouse.

The question of a bio-dad did not "plague" anyone. Children belonged to the tribe, were raised by the collective. If a father or mother died, the child was guaranteed care. The children belonged to the tribe or its matron goddess.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
An average death age of 30 does not mean that most people died at 30. Many died as babies and toddlers, and sure, you may not have lived until 80, but lots of people lived who survived childhood could live at least until their 50s. Monogamy was unheard of because people lived in tribes, not nuclear units of dad, mom, kids.


Well, thank you for proving the first point.


No, not biology, economics. During most of the patriarchy, men were in control, they owned goods and businesses, and wished to keep their businesses within their families, so they attempted to control women's sexualities by enforcing marriages of one man and however women he could afford to protect, feed, house. Women and children were literally owned by their men, their fathers, their husbands, even their younger brothers if the father/husband passed away or left. Women were called chattel, a word which means cattle.


No, biology. Economics played into it on down the line and tied into it. But do not act like even the poorest of the poor did not engage in that behavior. I would also like to point out the women such as Bess of Hardwick, Catherine the Great, and Madame de Pompadour who used that "chattel" system to their advantage. There were numerous others of course, but history does not record their names, unfortunately. Hurrem Sultan was a Polish born woman who rose to the rank of Sultan Valide. She became one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history as well as a prominent and controversial figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women.


The question of a bio-dad did not "plague" anyone.

Yes, yes it did. In particular, when land treaties in France and England were concerned. You absolutely needed to know that the heir to your throne/estates/titles was actually yours. The higher you went up in the social scale, the more dogmatic this actually became. This is why large retinues of lady companions where such a thing back in the day. This was to ensure that the Mother of the Heir didn't wander off the marital reservation. There is debate even now where some scholars believe that the last son that Marie Antoinette bore was not actually Louis the 16ths, but Axel von Ferson's, an outrageously handsome man who was in the court at that time.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Prior to the patriarchy, goods, food, etc., were held in common in tribes. Pretty much all you "owned" were your basic items of clothing, maybe a special weapon or cook pot. Food was shared amongst the tribe. You all lived in a shared space, a cave or longhouse.

And maybe one's vagina?... I think your representation of pre-patriarchy tribal communities is perhaps on the optimistic side in regards to egalitarianism... What happened to the women who didn't want to partake in communal sex orgies? Or women who didn't want to fuck the entire lineage of males in the tribe, (including grandpa timber-skin over there)...? What happened to the women who didn't want to be traded to other tribes be be fucked by those entire communities? Honestly I am legitimately curious. I suspect however that tribes didn't tend to be all that tolerant when it came to individual transgressions...
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I feel mentally and physically ill at the thought of her """"cheating""" on me. Rationally I am quite fine with the idea I think, but concretely I feel sad and angry and I don't want this relatively minor issue to strain what by all means is a good and healthy relationship.

Since you are intellectually ok with this change (you sure you are ok with this?) it's possible that you are just feeling ill because you are flexing muscles you've never used before. What I mean is, we are good at dealing with certain types of challenges and we are really lousy at dealing with others. The reason there is such a stark difference between how we handle various types of challenges is our exposure.

  • If you grew up in a house where relationship changes are taken with grace, people never blamed each other for their own emotions, and the sanctity of a romantic relationship was based purely on the merit of the association, you wouldn't have a big emotional reaction to relationship changes. If your parents frequently spent months apart, saw other people, and never had any drama about it, you likely wouldn't have a natural instinct to be sickened by your partner rubbing up against someone else.

  • If you grew up in a household where possessiveness, blame shifting, vindictiveness, and dramatic scenes were the order of the hour, you'd probably have a predictably strong reaction to a relationship change.

Maybe you just need to flex your "I do not own my wife, she is her own person and does not need my permission, she gets to do whatever she wants with her time/energy/body" muscles. Each time you have to deal with the reality of the change you have another opportunity to work through the associated emotions. You've just never practiced the art of letting someone live their life, but that doesn't mean you can't learn it.

She is not going to go ahead with it without my consent to the whole thing, and on the one hand I feel bad for not letting her do what she wants to due to selfish reasons, on the other I kinda hate her for putting me in this position and being, indirectly, the cause of my ongoing suffering.

It's petty, but I get it. She is coming to a point in her life where what she wants doesn't line up with what you want, and you are now forced into a position where you need to learn from the challenge and possibly make some tough calls. Since she is the person who brought the challenge to you it's easy enough to have some resentment about that.

It is just life though, right? Life is just a bunch of events thrust upon us by the world and our job is to enjoy the ones we like, and grow through the ones that we don't like. You might be justified in being resentful of her, but that's not a particularly helpful reaction.

Is it a common reaction for monogamous partners to feel this bad when the Significant Other wants to open the couple?

Feeling crushed under a mountain of emotion is almost exclusively the response of a monogamous person who's partner wants to open up the relationship. So in that regard you are performing in accordance with social contract.

It isn't hard to fathom why a change like this is such a big deal. Traditional monogamy and any form of "open relationship" can be worlds apart, and the idea of letting someone do whatever they want with their own bodies is apparently pretty jarring. Any worldview shifting change like that is likely to cause stress, so that seems pretty normal.
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
And maybe one's vagina?... I think your representation of pre-patriarchy tribal communities is perhaps on the optimistic side in regards to egalitarianism... What happened to the women who didn't want to partake in communal sex orgies? Or women who didn't want to fuck the entire lineage of males in the tribe, (including grandpa timber-skin over there)...? What happened to the women who didn't want to be traded to other tribes be be fucked by those entire communities? Honestly I am legitimately curious. I suspect however that tribes didn't tend to be all that tolerant when it came to individual transgressions...


Thank you for posting this. And I really do mean this and I promise you that I am not taking the piss out of you. :)

This series of questions that you raised has had me looking various things up online this weekend as I know next to nothing in regards to how we lived as humans prior to the invention of the domicile. It's been very interesting research and I have quite enjoyed researching this topic. :)
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
And maybe one's vagina?... I think your representation of pre-patriarchy tribal communities is perhaps on the optimistic side in regards to egalitarianism... What happened to the women who didn't want to partake in communal sex orgies? Or women who didn't want to fuck the entire lineage of males in the tribe, (including grandpa timber-skin over there)...? What happened to the women who didn't want to be traded to other tribes be be fucked by those entire communities? Honestly I am legitimately curious. I suspect however that tribes didn't tend to be all that tolerant when it came to individual transgressions...
From what I understand from having read about the evidence we had of social structures and religious observances in prehistorical times, the sexes had more equality. Men were not ruling over women. In the rare cultures today that are not patriarchal, women get to choose who to have sex with, and no one is "forced" to take part in the orgy aspect of seasonal festivals. Surely children and the elderly, and anyone who is ill or just not in the mood would be exempt. As in any culture, it's the young or younger folk who would engage in sexual rituals (as in any nightclub today).

I'm not sure whom you thought was forcing women to engage in sex with Grandpa Timberskin. Women were and are forced into sex in the patriarchy. But women had more power in pre-patriarchal times. Women were valued as life-bringers and sustainers, as representatives of the great god, who was always female. I am not saying rape was non-existent, but rape would have been less necessary since there was a lesser degree of sexual exclusivity.

Women were not commodities to be traded. That happened in patriarchal times, and still does. Women could choose to go have sex with an attractive person in another tribe, at certain times of commingling and cooperation.

I don't think it's appropriate to go into this in more detail here. You can PM me for my resources if you wish.
 
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Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Well, thank you for proving the first point.
I'm not sure what you mean.
No, biology. Economics played into it on down the line and tied into it. But do not act like even the poorest of the poor did not engage in that behavior. I would also like to point out the women such as Bess of Hardwick, Catherine the Great, and Madame de Pompadour who used that "chattel" system to their advantage. There were numerous others of course, but history does not record their names, unfortunately. Hurrem Sultan was a Polish born woman who rose to the rank of Sultan Valide. She became one of the most powerful and influential women in Ottoman history as well as a prominent and controversial figure during the era known as the Sultanate of Women.
Biological father "plague:"
Yes, yes it did. In particular, when land treaties in France and England were concerned. You absolutely needed to know that the heir to your throne/estates/titles was actually yours. The higher you went up in the social scale, the more dogmatic this actually became. This is why large retinues of lady companions where such a thing back in the day. This was to ensure that the Mother of the Heir didn't wander off the marital reservation. There is debate even now where some scholars believe that the last son that Marie Antoinette bore was not actually Louis the 16ths, but Axel von Ferson's, an outrageously handsome man who was in the court at that time.
I was speaking of pre-patriarchal "civilization." I thought that was obvious. Of course it mattered and matters under the patriarchy. Try to imagine a time when men were not in charge and owners of women. We are not in disagreement; I quite concur with you.
 
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