The journey to myself

Tinwen

Active member
Wow, people, so much writing and ideas! I've read through it, hopefully I can also catch up with answering what resonates with me.

So, first, WhatHappened
I didn't mind being 'secondary.' I'm actually quite happy in my own home, having lots of time to myself. But I had a HUGE problem with disrespect and his wife making SURE I knew where I stood. I had a HUGE problem with being lied to by him, to cover for her games. I had a HUGE problem with realizing there were some ground rules in play that they weren't willing to admit to me--probably because they knew deep down it didn't sound good when spoken out loud in the light of day.
I am sorry, your experience must have been terrible.

I haven't been lied to. I haven't been offered something that cannot be delivered. When Idealist first approached me, he was mainly looking for long-term but occasional kink, and I was considering a short affair or fwb with him. So the relationship has become much closer then I thought it ever could be. We share time and romance, sometimes overnights, we care about each others daily worries, we are partly involved in each others social life, we help each other out, we set little goals for us.
Meta did try to make sure that I knew where I stood at times, but I know that stems from insecurity and not disrespect. Anyway, Idealist doesn't buy that, so with time I could get over (my own) mindset that I am somehow subordinate to their relationship. She's a good and generous person. I can't stand her mainly because she talks a lot, exagerates everything and never notices when the listener doesn't want to listen any more, which I find really draining.

I read some old threads you started, including http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26264 about if it is even responsible of partnered poly people to date (especially mono) single people. I found it somewhat relevant to the discussion and my own thinking.
The posts in that thread seem to put responsibility for knowing their needs and entering the relationship firmly on the single person's shoulder (while accenting the responsibility of the married person to lay out clearly what is on offer). And they are right. Though I would expect the more experienced person to double-check if the newbie is really informed.
I've struggled previously with blaming Idealist for my breakup and "seducing me". Like "He should not have made a move on me! I was partnered and inexperienced! When he saw that we struggled he shouldn't have continued to offer me affection! He was the older and experienced one, he should have foreseen the outcome!" ... no. I try not to fall back to that line of thinking. Facts are, he asked me if I was up for kink, then we talked about polyamory and half a year later he rubbed my back. Usually not exactly a way to take someone from their spouse :)

And yes, I ultimately had a problem with him telling me he was retiring to another state one day aaaaaaand.....yet telling me every man I dated wasn't good enough for me ... Did being secondary HAVE TO mean I was a single mother? I'm not 100% convinced it has to be that way.
... Yes, with poly, WITH HIM, I was a single mother, I was on my own, and that is not acceptable after two years with someone.
I doubt he would let me under a tree, but I sure am still insecure about what help I can ask. I think he is insecure there with me too, I haven't been keen to get part of his duties. The commitment is not there.
Would it be possible for us to take up more commitment, have a child one day perhaps? I know he isn't completely closed to the option, and I suppose Meta would freak out. I'm not going there.
I don't know if I would be ready for more commitment with a mono partner, but that's another story.
I was told upfront what is pretty obvious, that it's on me if I manage to live nearby. There is no way he would move, he has Meta, a flat, a house. It hurt: again, there is a discrepancy with the mono model, where people make decisions about their area together. It's his personal limitation, he could have it if it wasn't for poly, but it is more likely when people are in the picture. It is quite likely I will move some day, so sure as hell am I not going to prioritize him over work opportunities.
I personally believe that most of us have a need to have someone...call it tribal as you did. Most of us want to know we're not going to die alone.
I read and reread that and I realized how ridiculous it is to plan who will be there for my old days at my age. But now, I should be choosing family. That's similar - tribal and secure. Yes, I think thats a very valid need, and very neglected.
This may be one of the core questions: is it possible to be secondary and yet be building a life together?
Yes, that is the question.
So just from this post, I think it has quite a bit of prerequisites.
Equality probably helps, 3 people making decisions, not 2+1.
3 or more sets of goals to alighn and stay alighned... But you sure as hell can set goals together.
Everyone living in the same area, or everyone being very mobile, helps immensely. I think the commitment is possible if people live nearby. It takes generousity with sharing resources though, and a lot of accomodating.
 
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WhatHappened

New member
Equality probably helps, 3 people making decisions, not 2+1

There is far too much to respond to here. At this point, I'm going to say, in MY situation, I came to realize there were two problems.

One was that I did not get what he promised. He promised me it was me and him, that him being married mattered ONLY in that he and I couldn't get married or have children, or get married--neither of which mattered to me then or now. However, the truth was, it was THEM and ME. Not him and her, him and me, as he promised.

I reached out to her a few times, but I guess I didn't do it in HER way; I got a lukewarm response and then was blamed for not magically being BFFs with her. To that, I say, Fuck you. I tried. Someone could have met me half way.

The second problem was, it really always was them against the world. There never was room in his life for a real second relationship. He was not honest with me.

This is, of course, my experience. They were swingers first I am left with the feeling that she expected he was bringing home a play toy for her, too, and didn't like it when that didn't happen. And that she couldn't really handle her husband having a real relationship and real feelings for another woman, but that she merely wanted, at the very least, a bone to keep her dog occupied while she went out with her boyfriend.

I will say again: this is MY experience.
 

Tinwen

Active member
Blogpost - a date

So, unplanned, I went out with Joker yesterday. The weather war really georgeous, so I asked him if he was up for a walk, and there we went. The walk was great. I originally wanted this to be rather friend's encounter, but I soon realized the attraction is far too strong to say just "friends". So after some thought we decided to continue at his place (with pretty much everything besides intercourse). This was all very new to me, previously I either had intimacy with people I was in love with, or to a limited extent at tantra workshops, so deliberately visiting a man with the intent to try the "benefits" part of our friendship made me rather nervous ;)

I find without love, it's not all that interesting. It wasn't bad either. The anticipation and newness of it all gives me a thrill, so I am aroused and satisfied easily, but I feel very little desire to give (while I am probably kind of expected to "return the favor"). I didn't feel particularly connected when we parted, actually he left my thoughts within half an hour. Which is kind of weird, because even after brief erotic encounters the people often stay on my focus. I remember some previous encounters with Joker at tantra more clearly then yesterday. Makes me wonder, if anything was wrong, even though I enjoyed myself.

In every case this was an experience I needed. It seems to indicate an occasional hookup or fwb relationship may not be very fulfilling to me. I am pretty sure I will want to try a few more times though, with Joker and/or someone else. But despite what I felt before (a very strong urge to act on the attraction), I may very well eventually arrive at the conclusion that I don't need this.

Idealist? Our agreement after the fight in March is currently no DS in this; I've told him I need to try this out on my own terms and he said ok. So I took him by his word. I wanted to check in before I went to Joker, but it was not possible to call, so I just send him an sms what I'm up to, and that I will call him afterwards. I don't expect it to work so easily long-term, but there is really no other way to see the problems, so I figured I go with it. He reports to loose motivation to meet me and work on us, which I'm kind of puzzled over, because I cannot relate it to my experience. But I think we can reconnect.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I don't have any advice or words of wisdom, but I wanted you to know I have the exact same feelings!
...
Because the truth is, I can't see myself ever being happy with a 50-50 share of a husband, or living with a metamour, or really any of the possible outcomes of his wanting an entangled relationship with someone else.
Wow thank you, it is always reassuring to know that someone else has similar wishes. Does Andy have a similar attitude towards you being poly?
You seem "successful" in the sense that you need some kind of hierarchy, but you are not jealous and you have partners which are happy with it too. I really might like something similar.

Regarding the bit about solo-poly being too much like being on your own: I am solo-poly and I get that. Going from an 18 year mono marriage where I felt like (even if he was sometimes not the best partner) I had someone whose energy, income, and skills I could put to use in the running of our household...now I am on my own with my youngest son and it is scary. Yet I feel that it is necessary.
It must be scary, in my imagination it sure is. But maybe this gets easier with experience?
As for primaries and secondaries, I understand that I'm secondary to Fire and Hefe since they are married. It kind of goes without saying, and so no one needs to say it, and so...it means pretty much nothing to my perspective. I just expect and assume a different level of connection and obligation and commitment between those two, than I expect with the other relationships going on. But we've all got such an easy way of being with one another...it doesn't feel much like a thing that matters.
This also sounds nice. Another example where hierarchy doesn't matter. I very much start to dislike the meme that anyone who does hierarchy is somehow not doing ethical poly. I don't like my position in the structure, but... relationship like your's reveal it doesn't have to be that way and they point at the oversimplification.
I can see more sense in letting people define themselves as whatever makes the most sense to THEM. If a person knows that they don't ever want to try to be polyamorous, then they would probably say that they are mono by nature. If one knows that they are happiest in polyamorous relationship styles, and has no intent to be monogamous, then they might I.D. themselves poly. Whether by "wiring" or by choice, I don't think it matters that much.
Great point here :) Don't try to put people in a box if they are not happy with it.
I think we get hung up in our culture on this notion that we have to strive for this set of life goals and if we achieve them, then we can just settle into a nice relaxing vacation with no more striving, until we die. Like you have to work and save for retirement, and you have to breed and raise the kids, and you have to have a partner, and you have to have a home, and if you check it all off then you have the permission of the universe to die content. If not, then you failed! I really just don't agree with that stuff on some pretty fundamental levels. And I feel like trying to ask "how do you succeed in this way, if you are poly?" is kind of a square peg/round hole proposition for me. My poly is about the journey. Not the destination.
I might be doing exactly that, then.
Spork, you are solidly off the escalator, and that's probably good. But... is seems, aside from the "growing old together" bit, you have had your escalator. You already have kids, you have a home, I don't know about your work situation but I suppose you've figured it out for the time being. I am tempted to just dismiss your ideas because of this, although I know I shouldn't.
Your writing seems to imply poly is not suited for anyone, who wants the escalator stuff, is that what you say?
 

icesong

Member
Tinwen,

I have what is *currently* a clearly hierarchical situation, and have been in others. The first (HipsterBoy) was very much like WhatHappened described - he never actually had room in his heart/life for a full second relationship with me, AND his primary relationship was structured so that that room couldn't be created. (Pink!Girl and HipsterBoy against the world, as it were...)

On the other hand, Sunshine and DinoActivist actively made space for DinoActivist to have a near-primary relationship with his other partner at the time (never nicknamed her in my blog), and, had there not been other incompatibilities, the two of them, or Sunshine and TheKnight, might have been a relationship where secondaries DID turn into co-primaries. The difference there, throughout, was that "sense of possibility". (And for what it's worth I don't get that sense from your descriptions of Idealist and meta.)

I mean, honestly, I feel I do have the best of both worlds on that front - I have the very *definition* of an escalator relationship with TheKnight, given the whole high school sweetheart thing, and all the joys and challenges that that brings. (And we have both - I don't know that I reflect that enough in my blog.) And I have something... special that hasn't resolved into a permanent configuration yet with AnotherArtist. If primary eventually feels right, we can figure out how that might work - certainly he did that with his wife, who now lives half-time-ish with her other partner.

I don't think hierarchical poly is un-ethical, if it meets everyone's needs. The only thing I find unethical is forcing one or more relationships to take shapes that don't suit them. I know you asked Spork this, but I absolutely think you can have both the escalator thing and poly - it's just a question of finding the right person / people / situation. Whether or not Idealist is that right person is a different question.
 
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Spork

New member
You are right in that I did the escalator thing with a man who was like...the King of the Escalator. (For some reason I'm picturing him with a tinfoil crown riding the escalator up and down at the mall, and now it's making me giggle...)

*cough*

Srsly tho.

Yeah, did the kids, marriage, life, house bit. I don't think I was cut out for that. It was NOT what I wanted. I forced my square peg to live in that round hole for a lot of years, and eventually it really fell apart. Some good came of it...some bad. I don't have the house, he has the house, though if he loses it and does something stupid (could happen any time) that may change. One of the kids lives in my apartment with me, and I do have a decent career...if not the one I hope to have one day.

I cannot really say if my non-escalator/solo-poly needs right now are a permanent "this is how I am" or more a matter of needing to find my own healing and equilibrium after what I've come through.

But every situation is different. I like to believe that part of embracing the concepts behind polyamory is acknowledging that there can be some flexibility in relating that can allow for people to need and want different things than what is assumed to be "normal" in our culture. What exactly those alternatives might optimally look like for any of us will depend on what we need...and perhaps far more importantly, how well we know ourselves in seeking fulfillment of our needs. I really think that the biggest real challenge for most people is being self aware and honest with ourselves...and we cannot really negotiate relationships fairly if we're not. I look at some of my failed relationships and I can really point at places where I, or my partner, was not "playing fair" because they weren't coming from a place of awareness and comfort and honesty with their own needs.

A great example with the ex...he tells me in the last few months how hard he and his second wife (prior to me) tried to have kids. I was shocked. I'd never known. She miscarried a LOT of times. Having children was a HUGE part of his life needs...and he did not tell me this. When we initiated our relationship, I absolutely DID NOT want to have children. Our first was an accident due to a failure of our contraception. He basically had a background program running the whole time that would include me becoming his wife and birthing his children, and it didn't matter one bit that I was absolutely and vocally opposed to those things when we met, and did not consent to change my life goals or views until I was actually pregnant. He did not play fair. He did not negotiate in good faith. But he was "in love" and all swept up and not being self-aware or honest with himself or with me.

So yeah, probably for any set of hopes or expectations you may have, you could find a person or set of people to do that. But you've got to know what that is, and you've got to negotiate in good faith. And it's my strong opinion that merely having been part of a poly forum/community enough to embrace some of the self-work, self-awareness culture of it, can really help, whether you wind up doing poly in the long run or not.

I tell ya this...maybe one day I'll do mono again. Maybe one day I'll remarry. No telling what the future will bring. But I betcha I'll be more "successful" at it in the future for having done the poly thing...because I've learned a TON about myself and how to "play fair" ideologically in relationships. So that's pretty neat.

Anyhow...
It's YOUR life, YOUR world...build to suit!!
 

GirlFromTexlahoma

New member
Wow thank you, it is always reassuring to know that someone else has similar wishes. Does Andy have a similar attitude towards you being poly?
You seem "successful" in the sense that you need some kind of hierarchy, but you are not jealous and you have partners which are happy with it too. I really might like something similar.

Yes, luckily Andy and I are on the same page with this. He doesn't post here but I do share posts and discuss them with him, and we've talked the "can you have multiple escalator relationships?" topic to death. Our answer is, maybe some people can, and good for them, but we can't see any way that it would work for us.

Are we "successful"? Who knows :rolleyes: I think we are very successful at maintaining the Claire+Andy relationship. But is that the same as being successful at poly :confused: Andy and his friend-girls are always happy, but I think that's because the only way our "non monogamy" changed those relationships was to add sex to an existing, stable friendship. My poly experience has been stressful and honestly there are times I want to say, fuck it, and go back to just spending all my free time with my dogs.

I read a blog on another site recently where the author proudly listed all of her friends who are open/poly, and noted that almost all of them are still together and happy. "See? Poly works!" But there was no discussion at all of any *other* relationships, whether they were able to have healthy partnerships outside the couple :cool: Successful depends on your criteria.


On the other hand, Sunshine and DinoActivist actively made space for him to have a near-primary relationship with his other partner at the time (never nicknamed her in my blog), and, had there not been other incompatibilities, the two of them, or Sunshine and TheKnight, might have been a relationship where secondaries DID turn into co-primaries. The difference there, throughout, was that "sense of possibility". (And for what it's worth I don't get that sense from your descriptions of Idealist and meta.)

I mean, honestly, I feel I do have the best of both worlds on that front - I have the very *definition* of an escalator relationship with TheKnight, given the whole high school sweetheart thing, and all the joys and challenges that that brings. (And we have both - I don't know that I reflect that enough in my blog.) And I have something... special that hasn't resolved into a permanent configuration yet with AnotherArtist. If primary eventually feels right, we can figure out how that might work - certainly he did that with his wife, who now lives half-time-ish with her other partner.

I think this is where I am really different from most happy poly people. There is zero possibility of multiple primary relationships for me. Don't want them, don't want to be with anyone who's trying to juggle them. I'm not ok with half or even two-thirds of my nesting partner's time. I'm not open to living with metamours. I don't want to rely on a Google calendar to know my partner's schedule.

I like just knowing that Andy will come home to me after work by default, and that if there's a night he's got other plans - with work people, or a girlfriend, or whatever - he'll give me as much advance notice as possible and tell me when he'll be home.

I think of us as allowing relationships to develop naturally - but really we're only open to things developing in a narrow range. A new person could be a casual friend with benefits like Anna-Louise, or a super close, romantic, much loved friend with benefits like Stephanie. Not a ton of "possibility" there.

Our definition of a friend is pretty broad, and we don't place any extra limits on FWBs. Want to go on a week long vacation together? Be their plus one at weddings and work events? Take care of them when they're sick? Sure... That's all stuff we do for platonic friends, so we do it for the not-platonic ones, too. But the escalator stuff, living together, mixing finances, planning retirement? No. Andy and I have thought and thought, and we just can't find any way to do that - not without forcing each other to rearrange our lives around people we didn't get any choice about.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
I read some old threads you started, including http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26264 about if it is even responsible of partnered poly people to date (especially mono) single people.

Here is a link to a post I made in response to a similar conversation and question from WH in the "Online Dating" thread - regarding "commitment in secondary relationships":
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?p=187800&highlight=legal+marriage#post187800
-- basically, I don't need every relationship that I have to be an "escalator" type, but I am not ruling it out - it is just not a requirement.


So just from this post, I think it has quite a bit of prerequisites.
Equality probably helps, 3 people making decisions, not 2+1.
3 or more sets of goals to alighn and stay alighned... But you sure as hell can set goals together.
Everyone living in the same area, or everyone being very mobile, helps immensely. I think the commitment is possible if people live nearby. It takes generousity with sharing resources though, and a lot of accomodating.

I think this is a fair assessment. I am the only one who really cares where we live. MrS would like to live someplace warmer, Dude would like to live someplace drier. I bought my ForeverHome here and plan on dying in this house, dammit!:rolleyes: Once I retire, I think that we will travel but keep this as "home base". It helps that whatever goals MrS and Dude have are rather amorphous - and don't require a specific location. But I could totally see the two of them going off and living elsewhere for months at a time.. oh well, they will know where to find me.:eek:
 

Tinwen

Active member
I am quite angry today. Actually I got angry yesterday. We finally got to scheduling. We had been talking about comparing calendars for quite some time, but it kinda didn't happen so we had to sort out some things over the phone.
Conflict over the workshops next weekend. Yes, the ones I have been talking about for a month now. Obviously she wanted to go too. We split the time. I have some events before and after, so it should be perfectly fine, but it isn't.
Why the hack am I told now that there is conflict and not when it first revealed itself? (I know why, he's unable to remember it's the same workshop. Besides he has not promised me anything. But meh, I already started looking forward to it.)
I know I know. Get that damn google calendar.
That's not going to solve this issue. If he can't remember, he won't write in. And it doesn't solve that I have trouble wishing her well anymore.

edit: I hate being this negative. We got a really amazing Monday together. We may have a great today's evening if I don't ruin it now.

The angry moments call for "get the fuck out". But I know I won't, cause once I try... I'll remember the good. I know it's nonsense to beat myself up about it, but... why can't i sustain a little stability?
 
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Tinwen

Active member
I think that when it comes down to it, it's mostly about how they have treated me and my feelings. Some women seem to have a certain empathy for how hard it CAN (not necessarily WILL) be to share your most-of-the-time partner. Even if we all understand that it's not ideal to harbor those difficult emotions, we also can all understand that they do realistically happen. It can be hard! That's just the way it is! I've heard over and over that even "seasoned" polys are not immune to jealousy and struggle. These women understand that, either through instinct or contemplation, and they choose not to step all over the triggers. They only engage with him if they want what he already has to offer, not what they think they might be able to eventually pry from me. That's the difference.
Reverie, sorry if I am being a little to harsh or direct today, see above.
I might be such a bad metamour to you.
I think in the beginning I had that "empathy" you describe. I did approach her to ask. I was willing to wait and don't touch a thing from what they had going. I didn't necessarily want a friendship with her, but I had no problem either.
But after two years? I still understand. But I don't want to be on the backseat any more.

But somehow his time with me is somehow on the table, in her mind, for him to cut from. Why should I ever be the disposable thing, the thing sacrificed, rather than the new person who is coming into the situation being willing to work around what already exists, like she would for a job, etc.?
That's not necessarily true. Whatever previous commitments there are, they are on the table. Someone taking on a second relationship, or even a first one, while working too much to even save energy for the partner? They better cut that.
It's not like I work around just anything in partners life. Their choice how they make time but they better should.

Why doesn't the new person just pick someone else if she sees what his life looks like and doesn't see space for herself in it in the way that would make her happy without having to turn it into a competition and advocate for getting what I already have? If honoring what you've already built with someone, which has been working so far and making you both pretty happy, is "couple privilege"...I guess I just don't see why that is wrong. It's wrong for the person she has started dating to mislead her into thinking that he has more available than he does. But IMO it's not wrong for him to only make a certain slice available as long as he's up front about it.
Yeah, why don't I just pick someone else? I guess I wrote it somewhere already.
There is nothing wrong about making available just a certain slice, only - it works until it doesn't. IMHO couple priviledge is, if you cling to the idea after it stopped working.

If a guy has one woman already closely bonding with him, she's going to want to take up a lot of his time and energy with that, so he has less bandwidth available for bonding that closely with another one. So then if he takes on another partner, then SHE still needs to find someone with that bandwidth...

What do you guys think? Does my armchair hypothesizing sound plausible?
"Women need to bond closer then guys" may very well be on the same level as the "women are more insecure" stereotype you rejected in the beginning of your post. Both may be statistically true (or not), and very wrong for the individual.
It seems to hold for me though, that I need close bonding. (And so do most women and many guys I know.)
 
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Reverie

New member
Reverie, sorry if I am being a little to harsh or direct today, see above.

...

"Women need to bond closer then guys" may very well be on the same level as the "women are more insecure" stereotype you rejected in the beginning of your post. Both may be statistically true (or not), and very wrong for the individual. It seems to hold for me though, that I need close bonding. (And so do most women and many guys I know.)

Aw, I don't think there was anything there that was too harsh. In my rambly post, I was simply tossing out ideas to be bandied about re: the FMF topic, and you're offering your own perspective, on your own blog.

And, yeah, statistically it may be true or not; it's a hypothesis I came up with after some thought, but I certainly have no research to back it up. I know that I have that need for close bonding, and if you do too, well, that's only two data points...

ETA: Sorry you're having a rough day, though. I hope you feel better soon!
 

Tinwen

Active member
It got worse and then better yesterday. There was one more issue of similar kind to be cleared out: I asked a month ago if he was up for a particular summer vacation, and didn't have an answer yet. To skip the details, there's some wedding in Meta's family he's expected to attend, and he's not going. We'll take some other week off and we probably can figure out a nice way to spend a vacation, and that's not a given and it's great. But I am pretty bummed about this one. Some friends of mine invited us (a couple who would be happy to share the other room of an apartment), and there's some program in the evening, so it would be the perfect mix of organized and disorganized for me. I am not sure if I want to go on my own, I don't know who could be my roommate then.
I was already out of equilibrium so I had kind of a meltdown. He was understanding. I was really jealous too. I said it sucks that I can't even plan a vacation with my partner, and but said it's not easy for either of us three. That brought me a little back to the ground. Those things happen in monogamous relationships too. But just now they seem omnipresent in poly.

Afterwards we went to the club as planned and we reconnected. It was really good. I mean like, we had a really great scene, the kind you can only have in a long term relationship with a loving partner.
Still bummed though.
edit: ...and I just learned we've switched roles and now she is jealous because of yesterday. What a mess. It's not always that much of a mess.

Idealist didn't answer his phone today, which I am not used to. I got really nervous with all the thoughts like "oh he finally get fed up of me yesterday, so he cut me off now" and "he doesn't care", which, once again make me want to cut him out of my heart. I get that a lot when he's unavailable - I nearly left when he was away for a week. I know that if he was here he would want to be with me offer me support, but.
I think this is an issue of mine and I would like to work on it, to be more independent and secure. I cannot be getting all upset if he is not answering for a few hours, and I can't be missing him to the point of feeling like it's better to break up then miss him if he's away for a few days. But really, I don't know where to start. Who's had this experience?
 
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Tinwen

Active member
ETA: Sorry you're having a rough day, though. I hope you feel better soon!
Thank you.

As for MFM not working - maybe you are right, and women need closer bonding, and do have more bandwidth to be hinges. That might be biological then - but I don't know.
And maybe they are more insecure too. But I think the insecurity is to a big extent a social thing - while men were expected in previous generations to care for the entire family (and I know that a whole lot of boys do stress about having to have a big enough income), so they have role models in dealing with this issue, for girls it's still like... 3 generations of looking after themselves existentially, and still not a necessity?
And then there's the children thing too. Women are really more vulnerable there, socially and economically. I know there are perfectly independent mothers out there, but I can't help feeling most of us still look for care and security in their partners. So then maybe older women are better with polyamory?
 

assets

Member
Idealist didn't answer his phone today, which I am not used to. I got really nervous with all the thoughts like "oh he finally get fed up of me yesterday, so he cut me off now" and "he doesn't care", which, once again make me want to cut him out of my heart. I get that a lot when he's unavailable - I nearly left when he was away for a week. I know that if he was here he would want to be with me offer me support, but.
I think this is an issue of mine and I would like to work on it, to be more independent and secure. I cannot be getting all upset if he is not answering for a few hours, and I can't be missing him to the point of feeling like it's better to break up then miss him if he's away for a few days. But really, I don't know where to start. Who's had this experience?

I totally get this. There's this little voice in my brain telling me the exact same things. I know it's not rational but sometimes you just can't help the emotions. I just keep telling myself that I'm being silly and re-read some recent messages that my partner has sent me telling me how he feels about me. Eventually the emotions calm down, sometimes it takes all night though. I don't really have any suggestions to help you I just wanted you to know that you are most definitely not alone in this.
 

Tinwen

Active member
I think women (in general) tend to define themselves more in terms of their relationships with others than men do. We focus a lot more of our selves on the role of girlfriend, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Not that we necessarily do more in relationships than men, but it's more central to how we think of ourselves. Is that biology or socialization? I have no idea.
Oh crap, as I am slowly getting on with the whole discussion, I wrote an answer to the whole post, and it got deleted I don't know how :( So I'll just say, that this is an excellent observation :) (And IMHO mostly socialization.)

I totally get this. There's this little voice in my brain telling me the exact same things. I know it's not rational but sometimes you just can't help the emotions. I just keep telling myself that I'm being silly and re-read some recent messages that my partner has sent me telling me how he feels about me. Eventually the emotions calm down, sometimes it takes all night though. I don't really have any suggestions to help you I just wanted you to know that you are most definitely not alone in this.
Thank you :)
 
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Cleo

New member
Idealist didn't answer his phone today, which I am not used to. I got really nervous with all the thoughts like "oh he finally get fed up of me yesterday, so he cut me off now" and "he doesn't care", which, once again make me want to cut him out of my heart. I get that a lot when he's unavailable - I nearly left when he was away for a week. I know that if he was here he would want to be with me offer me support, but.
I think this is an issue of mine and I would like to work on it, to be more independent and secure. I cannot be getting all upset if he is not answering for a few hours, and I can't be missing him to the point of feeling like it's better to break up then miss him if he's away for a few days. But really, I don't know where to start. Who's had this experience?

I do! All the time. And like you I feel I have to work on it and I do work on it. It can still hit me like a very unpleasant ton of bricks though.
I think it's something that's (for me) more likely to occur with a partner I don't live with. With Ren I know I will always see him at the end of the day to reconnect after we both did our own things for hours. Wit Bo, when there is radio silence, I never know HOW long that is going to last. For the insecure person, plenty of opportunity to go in full crisis mode even if there is no realistic reason for it. So, I feel you :)
 

Tinwen

Active member
It makes me some good to reread the posts, so here we go.
Tinwen,
I have what is *currently* a clearly hierarchical situation, and have been in others. The first (HipsterBoy) was very much like WhatHappened described - he never actually had room in his heart/life for a full second relationship with me, AND his primary relationship was structured so that that room couldn't be created. (Pink!Girl and HipsterBoy against the world, as it were...)
So weird you and WhatHappend use the "two people against the world" phrasing. It's weird, because it resonates -- with my wants and understanding about how couples work. Like, oh yes, I want someone to face the world with. On the second look (or not even that, just half a second later), it's such a nonsense! It's polyamory incompatible, more or less - why should it be two people and not 3 or more? But much more importantly - why would I even want to stand against the world? I mean, I may be very doing just that - protecting what I already have, afraid of loss, against any potential threat - but do I want any kind of this attitude? There seems to be the belief that the world is inherently a bad place coming to get me. Not worth cultivating. Yet I have that very central feeling that I should find someone with whom I can stand against the world.
On the other hand, Sunshine and DinoActivist actively made space for DinoActivist to have a near-primary relationship with his other partner at the time (never nicknamed her in my blog), and, had there not been other incompatibilities, the two of them, or Sunshine and TheKnight, might have been a relationship where secondaries DID turn into co-primaries. The difference there, throughout, was that "sense of possibility".
It's great they could do it, my respect.
I understand what you mean by the sense of possibility. Yes, I think this is really important. I mean, if you are ready to truly build a life with two partners, or grant that freedom to your spouse, than there is no "couple privilege" any more, because once restructured, there is not really a couple to speak about.
Hey, I am usually scared to hell, but for once I really like that idea.
(And for what it's worth I don't get that sense from your descriptions of Idealist and meta.)
Oh well. You're probably right. I realize it goes both ways though. My blockade may be the greater one. Idealist may be more ready to restructure his life. I am hesitant to commit to specific tasks to do together, because... I don't see the goal as really fit to me, or I just don't see the goal. It may as well be some communication/perception problem partly, I keep asking about his idea and the circle basically goes like "So what is your idea?" "I would like you to get involved more with the practical stuff." "Yes, but I don't have the goal. You know I don't want to spend much time, much less live with Meta. I can't think of the end configuration that would work. What's your idea?" "I don't know, but now I would like you to get involved more..."

Anyway. Off to a (hopefully) nice evening. See y'all ;)
 

Tinwen

Active member
I'll have to do some sorting through my life goals, some thinking about the direction for the next few years to come. I've finished studies - so that is no longer an excuse not to take action. And, as stated above, Idealist would like to align more of our lives. I go all the way from thinking it's nonsense to wanting it too; he's kind of convinced me today. Anyway, I don't see the realization. And, if we want to compare direction, I have to first be clear about the direction, right? Or at least vague ;)
So many questions.
First, concerning work/education, which is probably the most clear part, since I've been accepted for phd in my city. That mean 4 years of more or less stable occupation. Still - am I going to apply for at least a semestr somewhere abroad? (When, where?) And will I need to supplement the low phd stipend with some other work? Do I want to engage with teaching?
And that's all relatively easy. The bigger one reads - where am I going to live? Do I stay in my parents house, or do I think about moving somewhere? I am not really willing to cohabitate with unknown people, I would need my own room at least; still not sure it's better. I would be free from parents but..

Heck, I am being too concrete here. I need to dream bigger to sort out the direction stuff; without the need to be very realistic first. I wan't to be a scientist, yes, but I want a life too. I want a lot of happy times with people, and I want to be of use, and I want to have kids someday (probably?), and I have I hopes regarding personal development - I became really curious recently about meditation and how it brings peace, and about understanding our own thought processes- and I want to be the admirable independent woman who is a blessing to be around (and not the insecure bundle of emotions I am now). I want several close loving connections in my life, be it partner(s) or one partner and close friends, be it family. I want a home, a place I feel comfortable and safe, well, at home. (As of now I don't see any way to share this w someone, but sure there are.) I want to leave something behind too. When I once look back I want to see that I did all that was possible with my life, I want to be content with the things I had and the ways I gave myself to the world. I want some money, too, but mainly so that I don't have to care about it much; I really don't want to think twice about if I can afford an extra coffee, or a nice weekend, or to travel abroad once a year. I want to be valued by others on my scientific achievements, but also on how kind I am. I want to be secure in myself. And I want to just rest and be in the moment enough...
(To be continued. Probably.)
 

Tinwen

Active member
Well, the weekend was absolutely crazy up and down ride.
Remember our scheduling conflict last week? The one after which I wrote that I have trouble to wish Meta well? I think this was an afternath of that + Idealist asking me to align more of our lives together. Whenever I think about the future too much it seems to be a deadend. I've been living this relationship moment by moment and there have been plenty of wonderful moments, but I just cannot imagine how it could look like in a few years...

So the plan was, that me+Idealist are going to shibari on Saturday, and the two of them are going Sunday. Idealist asked me to sleep over at their place after the workshop (we never want to split afterwards), which I haven't done in a while (guess why).
I had to tell Meta one more piece of information and also I wanted to try to open communication lines somehow, so I wrote her an email on Friday. I also asked her how she was with the overnight. The answer was along the lines of "you can come whenever to play a boardgame or whatever thing the three of us can do, I just don't like if you two ignore me". (Fair enough. I wouldn't invite that in my home either.) I my mind basically that meant I'm not invited, 'cause as you sure can see the last thing I want to do after a demanding bdsm workshop is play some game with Meta. I don't have to have sex, but I sure want to snuggle, have my peace and fall half asleep with him. She must know by this time.

But since I wasn't quite ok with her due to the previous conflict and I already thought she was no longer ok with me either, I blew it out of proportion in my mind, I took it as evidence she feels hostile and teritorial towards me, and she's trying to put me to "my place" (she is doing that sometimes), and that the relationship is to never ever going to work. I went to bed crying and I woke up crying. I remembered that the "not wishing her well" thing was a boundary which I was feeling when entering the relationship - it is not consistent with my ethics to wish her or their relationship badly, if I ever was to try to break their relationship, it is me who must go. I felt like the future plans must be finally sorted out, or it's impossible to stay. I felt like I've hit the bottom and some kind of action must happen.
But I also knew I won't leave if Idealist keeps telling me how much he loves me and wants me to be his sub. I've already attempted a breakup and I couldn't follow through -- and I don't complain, a wonderful half a year ensued. However I see how it works with me. I understood that this must be a mutually accepted 'solution', that if I really wish to leave I will have to be solid and persuasive enough to tell him that yes, I need to be on my own, yes, despite all the love we have. (I really don't want to lose that connection, it's unlike anything else I ever experienced!) However I also figured that 1) I still want to enjoy some of the things we have and 2) the beginning of the summer may be a great spot to break up since he's going to be away which gives me some time to adjust. Oh hello internal conflict :rolleyes:

That was the morning and I had to take care of my grandma and decide if I go to the workshop or not. I texted how unhappy I was and we called and agreed it would be better to meet before the workshop but can't manage more then a few minutes. Luckily I felt somewhat better after clearing out the practical stuff.

I do not understand how we managed (I must be becomming much better in managing my moods), but we met with great tenderness, we put it all aside and we had a really wonderful day. There was not the slightes trust issue creaping into the bdsm part of the relationship, and it would have revealed itself, because hey... we were putting rope around each others neck ;) I felt so comfortable! It was a sharp contrast to the struggle of the night.

After the ws I still wanted to talk about the problems, so we went for tea. On the way Meta texted that she's immersed into cleaning and that if I wanted one of the Sundays workshops too, I could have it. I originally wanted the one about predicament bondage a lot, but I was also surprised she would offer it and I said so. Idealist called her and arranged it for us, and I thanked her.

And, rollercoaster, in the tearoom I tried to inquire once more if Idealist has some picture of where to head the relationship, and after going through the whole hopeless cycle I was back in crisis and crying mode from the morning. I think I even told him about choosing a good breakup time, and he suggested a break, but when asked if I want it I hesitated. He's assured me he won't be holding me back, but I think he still doesn't believe I mean what I say when I say I don't see any other solution then breakup. We didn't solve anything, but absurdely I felt better about the conversation the next day.

And the predicament workshop was amazing again. We then went for lunch with the group, and briefly met Meta there. It was actually suggested that she come along, I wanted to see her in a neutral place where no territorial conflict will ensue. Those 15 minutes were enough to remind me why I don't want to hang around the three of us, but also enough to reassure me that she isn't holding any hostile feelings against me. I went home dead tired (shibari is hard physically and emotionally) but more optimistic.
And full of love too. We were doing so well at this particular workshop. lt feels like I can't contain all the tenderness we have and it's radiating all around me into the world...

And then, final surprise. Half an hour later Idealist call's Meta is not "functioning" if I still wanted to come. No, I am home already, have some chores to do and all I want is sleep. Yet another half an hour later I get a phonecall from Meta. She's crying and asks if something bad happened on the morning workshop. Apparently they've had a bad fight right there. I am surprised, we don't have that line of communication. So I end up consoling Meta, telling her that no, was nothing on the morning workshop, it was their miscommunication, but we've had miscommunications on workshps previously and I am sure they will do better next time. I hang up half an hour later when she starts to pull out all of Idealist's faults and repeat herself about the fight.
I do sure not need to be in a position where she runs to me if they've had a fight, but I guess it's still better then being overly jealous due to zero communication. I take it as an expression of trust, that she called me, and I hope it won't repeat itself too often.

I don't know where I'll go for now, since once again I'm at a spot emotionally where I feel strong connection to him, I want this tenderness we have and the thoughts may say whatever.
Anyway, wow. That sure was a demanding weekend. I thought it might help a little to write it.
 
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Tinwen

Active member
So it seems I had "success". Idealist made a comment this morning about enjoying the rest of our non-perspective relationship. It was sad and it made me sad.

I seems I got the message through on Saturday. That is hard because he was the one always convincing me that all was ok and we can make it work no matter what. It's extremely sad to hear him acknowledge what I've been telling him, that it can't meet my needs long term and has to end. It's kind of a relief too.
So ... does the decision to leave in the near future stand? I don't know. It feels like it does. I don't want to make plans. But if I contemplate the feeling, it gets often replaced by the opposite. Like, again, I feel perfectly safe and loved with him.
I haven't had enough sleep today and when tired I tend to dwell in sadness even without a reason. So I must take my own thoughts and feelings with a grain of salt. I already change my mind so many times, for better or worse.

This relationship has torn into little pieces and put me together again, ending up in slightly better shape perhaps but having gone through a lot of pain. So many times. It has hurt me and helped me to open up at the same time. It's shown me so many possibilities I could pursue, and took away a few. There's no real stability to be found in this relationship. For a while, that was what I needed to pull me out of my rather emotionally restrained life. But it may be too much already.

I just want a hug. I want to hug him.
I could use a few kind words.
 
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