Stand Up for Your Partners
I understand that being out and open about your polyamory is a matter of circumstances. I get and I’m sensitive to the fact that it’s often a privilege to be completed free with your relationship status(es). That being said, please keep the security and stability of your partners in mind. ESPECIALLY if you’ve got partners outside of a pre-established relationship.
A lot of times, if you’re married or if you’ve been with someone a long time, you start presenting as a unit. People in your life always acknowledge the two of you together like one of those portmanteau celebrity couple names. At that point, anyone else you date is gonna look and feel like an outsider. It can’t be easy to trust the stability of your relationship if you’re always viewed as the odd man out.
So, make sure to stay cognizant of this. Be aware of couple privilege and how it can manifest itself. Talk about your partners. All of them. Acknowledge them all AS your partners. Post pictures of them and with them on social media. Give them the same respect and visibility as you do with your anchor/nesting/spousal partners. Stand up for the individual dynamics that you crafted with each of the people in your life…especially if one partner tries to influence or manipulate the relationship you have with another.
Fight for what you’ve got. Fight for who you love.
When mono/poly relationships hit hard times there is a unique dynamic in mono/poly that kinda sucks. The poly person has multiple lover/lovers to turn to for support that differs from friend/family support. The mono person has no one to hold, to hug, to be listened to…or wipe away the tears like only a lover can do. The poly person has the physical and emotional distraction/support of their other partners. The mono partner does not have this. And while the poly partner may be hurting just as much as the mono due to the tough time they are having…it might not seem that way to the mono…who is on the outside looking in. Who only has one love. Who hurts alone.
like right now. life – love can turn up and down quickly. i know i am loved, but i impose expectations on others to make me feel better…if they loved me they would ____. and that is wrong. but oooh sooo hard not to wish for…someone you love to make it all better, or at least want to.
as a mono who loves a poly you will spend time alone (without your only partner) when they are with another partner of theirs. that time will vary depending on how many partners he has or how open you are to spending group time vs. one on one time w/them.
pay close attention to when you feel alone vs. lonely. lonely tells you a need is not being met. alone does not feel lonely.
I understand the need for privacy or preservation of other peoples privacy which is why bcc: in emailing comes in handy. I use it often when emailing parents and students.
However when my poly partner places my address in the bcc: in an email that is for “friends and family” I do not quite understand why I am not supposed to be “seen” by friends and family…perhaps there is a logical reason on his end…and if I’d ask I’d probably here one…but I’m not sure it would change my feelings of being less right now or “secondary”.
So I will just sit w/my feelings until I can move forward. But mono/poly can hurt when it feels like you need to be hidden.
As emotional person dating a very logical one, i’ve had to learn to incorporate more strategies into my emotional tool box that allow me to analyze my “knee jerk” reactions before I communicate in an unproductive, over emotional, sometimes hurtful way.
I have been (and am) dealing with what I call the “too many syndrome”. When I’m emotionally low, not getting enough time w/my poly partner I have this knee jerk reaction (less of one now) to blame it on “too many” and think that more time w/him would just fix everything. And, sometimes it does. However instead of crying out “too many” and having a long, draining, emotional conversation that eventually leads to the “real issue” I sit with me feelings, write some, and wait until I can articulate what I want/need w/out focusing on his other partners.
Last night when he asked me again if I wanted to talk about how I was feeling (he’s asked a few times over last week but I’m not ready), I simply thanked him but said “no”, that i wasn’t ready because I didn’t want to have the “same ol’ conversation” we’ve had in the past. The one where I couldn’t figure out why I was upset, or even what it was that is bothering me, and immediately blamed it on his multiple relationships. I do know I am anxious about the increasing numbers of relationships he is building. I am also in need of more of his time. But there is something else…
He thanked me for being mindful of wanting to have a productive conversation and I felt some relief in him recognizing my struggle and not being upset with me for not being able to discuss it yet.
Today I slept. I’m less stressed and more able to deal with life. Get some…sleep 🙂
From this mono’s perspective, the best way to learn of/highlight weaknesses/cracks in your romantic relationship is for your partner to “go poly”. When your partner loves someone else, and spends time committed to building romantic relationships with others, you watch, and possibly envy and/ or become jealous over what “they have” (or the perception of what they have)
Major weak points discovered:
-We had/have communication weaknesses and we speak different languages at times…especially emotional times. We’ve managed to learn each other’s language and communicate more clearly.
-I did not feel secure in our relationship. I was afraid of what most monos experience when their partner goes poly…that I wasn’t “enough”.
-We have different levels of face to face time needs…we had to adjust to meet in the middle(sometimes life and sometimes right). Meeting needs is the goal. Doesn’t always happen, but it’s the goal. (notice I didn’t say “wants”).
We’ve managed to strengthen those areas of weakness. Some have disappeared like my feeling insecure in Us/us. And the best part of this poly pressure is that it has made me analyse myself and my needs more quickly and efficiently in order to change/adjust actions/thoughts in order to keep our relationship strong.
Know your boundaries. I had a difficult decision tonight. I need to talk to and see my poly partner. I’m low, things are piling up (life in general) and I need to talk. He has plans with an “other” tonight but I didn’t think until later. I asked to meet for a drink before his evening plans. Seems she’s there already. He said he could meet me but only if it was “both” of them. Some people might think I should have gone…I get to see him right?! Technically yes…but I know my boundaries when it comes to being good company or being able to “manage” my own feelings about his other loves/lovers. I’m disappointed. I also still need…but if I had just “sucked it up and met them both” I would come away from it feeling worse. I’ve tried this before. Have to be in the right frame of mind to be “that strong”.
Know them…boundaries. Everyone will benefit.
I can always tell when a “new” person is coming into the fold for him (poly). He talks about her a lot. I prefer he talk to me about “others” in lieu of springing them on me when they become “something more than a date”. He says things like…i was talking to so n so about ___, or so in so said this and it was interesting…or what do you think about ___ ? So n so and I were talking about that and…
He seems energized about topics that seem familiar to me but he sees them as “new” or maybe “different”… from her perspective. I get the impression he is listening intently to what she says when they are together. Perhaps even sitting on the edge of his seat keenly listening to her “take” on some topic. He is a good listener. But wait…
I think of our recent conversations, and his often distracted rapport when we are talking, and his forgetting what I’ve told him (2 or more Xs) or asking me more frequently than normal “Was it you I was talking too about…?”
And for a moment I am jealous of that NRE “listening” he does. For a moment I feel less interesting, a bit worn, and not so shiny…are you listening to me even thought I don’t bring you NRE?