I would love to say that I figured this out without the bumpy road of drama coming before it, but that would be an outrageous lie.
But aha, for I have at least finally figured it out, and maybe experience is a very efficient and direct teacher.
It's definitely a learning process, and I don't think it ver stops completely.
Here via nounsandverbs. I'm in custardfairy's camp as well, but at least I learned something from my dramastorm! Well said and done, hope you don't mind being crossposted?
Hi! Crossposting is always welcome!
This is so good. You rock!
Being able to 'check in' in a calm, adult way is a huge key to avoiding poly drama. If a partner fires off an email or a phone call to me saying, "Hey, where've you been, is everything okay?" and I can send back a "Yes, sorry, just swamped this week with XYZ, love you, I'll make time for you this weekend after my deadline." then two things have happened - my partner has let me know that s/he is feeling neglected and that's my clue to try to shoehorn in some time without having a fit because I've been busy and that's just mean and also my partner has been able to express their feelings without me going "Well, DUH, I'm BUSY and you are CLINGY and ARGH."
Communication is frightfully important in poly, and not everyone is good at letting their needs be known in a way that's helpful - going too far into either extreme is not likely to work. But being able to say "Hey, I know you've got Stuff, but I miss you" and then being able to accept that it may be a day or two before time can be cleared for you is a really important poly skill.
(And one I have had to work hard to develop. But as with most things, if it doesn't involve effort, it's rarely as rewarding.)
Definitely important, and one of the things where you are quite good. It's both a matter of checking in, and a matter of having enough self-confidence that you assume that the other person is having issues rather than it being about you. It's really great. Love you!!!
It seems like that sentence could apply to any sort of relationship. Perhaps it is merely magnified by the quantity of partners, as a monogamous person could only have one drama at a time (well, when restricted to relationships).
Oh, it's definitely just magnified by poly. It's good advice for anyone.
Relationships are wonderful things, but in order to be successful at them, it's important to have a good sense of self. Without that, it's easy to either lose oneself in the relationship or to become so insecure and demanding that one drives a wedge into the relationship.
Can you repeat this to me every day for about the next month and a half?
(Not really, but that was meaningful to me right now. Thank you.)
It definitely applies to every relationship. And I mean it; if you need to bend my ear, I am here for you, dear.
I have a naive question. How do you handle privacy among partners? Is it all open, or compartmentalized?
Let's say X is feeling neglected. How do you prevent him or her from feeling like you're not only neglecting him, but not talking about it with other partners? Or is that avoided with a "strong sense of self"?
I guess that my position is that I don't talk smack about my partners to my other partners. If I feel like I'm having a communication problem that I need an opinion on, I go to Ferrett for feedback, but there is no "cross-pollination" among the partners, and I pretty much have a policy of not discussing relationship issues outside the relationship when they are still in flux.
That being said, I am aware that this is not always everyone else's policy, and that sometimes partners feel the need to talk about me with other people - I am not always the easiest person to live with, after all. I'm busy, and I'm pretty self-contained, so when things get busy and stressed I tend to be less available. And some people have a bigger need to talk about things than I have.
This could be a problem if I felt a need to "control my P.R." I've seen friends get really bent out of shape at the idea that a lover or an ex was talking about them in a way that they can't control. That's crazy making, and it's not fair - I don't own my partners and it's wrong for me to want to control them.
My policy instead is one of intentional ignorance. I don't think about the things that people might be saying, and I don't try to track down the people they've talked to if I found out they've been talking about me to someone. I trust that once they work through an issue they will either bring it to me or get past it themselves. I can't change what I don't know about, and finding out before the thought has been really worked out can lead to overreaction.
So I just assume I'm doing fine until I get indications to the contrary.
I hope this answers your question!
You're right...that should be obvious...and it's sad that it's not.
I'm so happy to get to state the obvious and have it be regarded as wisdom! ;-)
You're just ignoring me, I can tell! ;-)
If you can both respect each other and know what you're getting into, then the work can be worth it. But oh man, it takes a lot to make it work it!
Everyone else has said it already, but this is a wonderful post. As someone new to the poly situation, and learning as I go in a MFM triad, I've learned not to expect absolutes, always be flexible, and listen, and talk, and listen! So far we haven't killed one another!
I had the option of a poly relationship when I was married. But I knew our marriage wasn't stable enough, nor was I happy enough, for me to want to bring anyone else into that mess. So, I was monogamous for 15+ years. My ex and I were toxic to be around and lost a number of good friends along the way. I can't imagine how awful trying to add another partner would have been on that person. I'm just glad I didn't.
If the primary relationship is a mess, poly is just going to make it a bigger mess, no doubt. You made a wise choice.
This is all common sense to me, too. But so many people go "ooh, I wanna be poly!" and leap into it without thinking about what it means.
Compromise, communication, and cooperation are all MUSTS with poly relationships. And too many people are all about ME ME ME.
Ego has no place in poly.
Actually, I think ego has a very important place in poly. You need to have a strong one to deal with the bumps.
Solipsism has no place in poly.
And this, boys and girls, is how I figured out that I'm not cut out to be poly. Now the challenge is to figure out how to live with a man who is.
good luck. seriously. i mean that.
I want to send this anonymously to at least three people.
We are monogamous because that is what works for us. He had been in an open relationship before, which loosely translated meant - I picked up a guy at the bar last night and am now telling you that we are in an open relationship so you can't cry foul. Not what you want? Too bad, this is what I am doing. And this is makes sure that EVERYONE is unhappy.
We had someone try to insinuate themselves into our relationship as a third. It was so hard to explain to them that we are still trying, even after 8 years, to find our feet as a couple. New kids, jobs being lost and found and lost again, moving, family problems - and not the least issue - depression. These are all things that if we even WANTED to add more people to our circle, we would have to figure them out. And at the time I had no idea, even after a year and a half, that these thing would continue to unroll at our feet and keep going on and on and on. And you are so very right. Neither of us are confident enough in ourselves to try to add to our relationship. Not then and certainly not now. And this statement of yours - Poly is not the place to prove that you are the sexiest, most fascinating, most amazing person in the world. Poly is not the place to salve one's pride. makes me want to hug you so hard. Yes. Because this is where I would be right now, trying hard to make ME ok when I am not. And when I see other people doing just this, it makes me want to weep. Literally. I have a friend who's blog I stopped reading and I just took her off my news feed on Facebook. I cannot, and will not, watch her try to fix herself, again, in a triad/open/poly relationship and watch it fail so miserably. I love her to death, but you summed it up right there.
HEY, I RAMBLED. Sorry about that. You rang true with a mono? How strange is THAT? Thank you for the mirror. Some days I need to be reminded that I need to be ok before I start new stuff. And I am not even talking about new people.
The notion that poly is for everyone is just as ridiculous as the notion that monogamy is for everyone. When people treat their monogamous friends as if they are somehow less enlightened, I just want to smack them. And I also suspect that they are in the "poly cuz the cool kids are doing it" camp (where drama and disaster reign supreme!).
I feel the same way when I see people scrabbling for poly because they want to prove something in their lives. It's tragic.