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Polyamorous relationships

topic posted Thu, June 5, 2008 - 4:33 AM by  trinsic
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This is so interesting, I was getting ready to post about this topic, but noticed that it was discussed a bit in another post by Big John. I thought there were some interesting themes in that discussion that help me form my thoughts and I wanted to continue the discussion with out bogging down that other thread. At the same time if you feel that enough has been said about the topic please by all means ignore this thread.

I mentioned I am now in a very loving relationship, in the begining before I met Pauline, I was condering getting into a poly relationship with two women. I was thinking along the lines that I wanted to share my love, and i kind of felt like being monogamous was selfish because my love was only shared with just one person, when there are also other women out there that might need my love as well. I have met girls that have shown an interesting in sharing my life with me, along with the current relationship I am in. When I expressed this to Pauline, she was supportive of my decsion to choose to get into a relationship with two women, but felt she didnt have the ability to be apart of it. She asked me that if I met someone to let me know so we can talk about it and I said that I would. Over time she really has deomstrated that she wants to be part of my life and she has the very most important things that I want in a relationship so I have since declined those offers.

1. She is committed first to her own spiritual journey as I am, the relationship compliments this. As we both compliment each other in very good and different ways. We both work towards bettering our own personal lives without getting bogged down with drama.

2. We dont try to change each other into people that we would rather be with.

3. We give each other space and time to be our selfs.

So its been 10 months now and as we talked about the poly thing, with input from her and from my own thoughts in the subject, i realized that I would be too complicated to try and make it work with my life being the way it is now, and I dont really want to hurt her nor do I need a poly relationship to make me happy. As a man, I admire the idea of having sex with more than one women, but as Andrius said in the other thread, practically I dont think its going to be possible with out some serious work.

Another thing on my mind is that I really like everything about Pauline, but one thing that is not really working for me so well is the sexual chimistry with her specificaly, which is another reason why I wanted to have two women in my life. (I know this sounds really selfish and I hope i dont get blasted by all the women on this tribe so let me finish) Recentley we both came to the same conclusion that our sex isnt that great. I suggested that we get some books on the subject and talk to a sexual theripist. (if anyone has any suggestions on this that would be a real help) she agreed that we needed to work on that as she was feeling the same way. So now we are doing some work on this part of our lives, as we both are not so experinced, and our sex is getting better.

For some reason, I still feel like have sex with other women from time to time. It seems a bit frustrating as I would really just like to not make my life more complicated than it is by having sex with someone else. But ever time I see a really attractive women I think to myself that It would be really nice to have something physical with her... I dont want to sound like a person that cant be in a committed relationship, but at the same time I dont want to lie about my feelings either, so I am asking for help on the subject. Women or Men. Do any men her find that its worth the trouble? Do women feel ok about this? Pauline seems interested in supporting me in any decision I might make as she does want me to be happy and I want the same for her which is why i am talking about this now..

One thing that I want to ask is if you could look deep inside yourself before you respond, please make sure its coming from a place of unconditional love and not from a place of fear or past hurts. Also Im not really interested in turning this into a debate about semantics on ideas that dont really connect to the main theme of the topic which is about the feelings of being in a poly relationship, or having sex outside the relationship. Thank you.
posted by:
trinsic
SF Bay Area
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  • Unsu...
     
    I think that if I were going to consider either me or my husband having a physical or intimate relationship with someone else, the only way to know if it was going to work would be to try it and see. With that being said, I also think that we would both have to be very clear about realizing that it is a trial and that if things didn't work out, that the experience wouldn't be held against the other.

    I don't have any direct experience with this and I hope you get some responses from someone who has. Good luck and thanks for a really clear posting :)
    • You said try it and see. Of course that means you would tell your husband first, right? Or that your husband would tell you first, right? Do you think it is possible that people in a traditional, long marriage could do this without feeling betrayed or without destroying their love or their life?
  • I think its funny that you expected to be blasted by all the women. Don't assume women don't have a high sex drive or don't think its important in a relationship. Though I'm innately monogamous, I couldn't stay with a guy if the sex/chemistry wasn't huge. If everything else was there, it still wouldn't be enough. I don't think I could be physically/emotionally intimate with multiple people either. I'm not telling you to dump Pauline though. Relationship dynamics are much like religion: - what works for one, isn't always the answer for another.
    • I tend to think that in a perfect world polyamory would work. That we could all love with abundance . I wish I could do that. I know I get jealous. And in a biological type way, I want the full committment of my man, for me and our children. I think sharing a lover would be ok. But sharing my husband and the father of my kids ( which is the direction I am going in ) would be more than difficult. I need him to be available at the moments notcie for us.
      But that does conflict with loving other people. I don't know what the right balance is.
    • I am glad that you are speaking up about this. I am monogamous too, I guess. In my first long term relationship I had sex with another person in the beginning of the relationship, and the other person and I had a three some with another man (no sexual intercourse involved, I was the object of attention).
      I also was emotionally intimate with other people at the end of my marriage, and came close to becoming physically close with another person at the end of the marriage...
      I agree about relationship dynamics, and I have found freedom in telling other people that my understanding of relationships is different from theirs and that is ok.
  • Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I wanted to clarify that I am not looking for advise from people so I can change relationships. I am interested in hearing if anyone else had an experience like this and if so what was it like. but also any other thoughts and ideas are welcome too :) My belief is that once you find someone who has similar goals as you regarding the relationship, everything else can be worked out or improved on. I was wondering if any of you shared that same belief as well?
    • I have not had any experience with this, although I have been in a three some in the beginning of my relationship and have been emotionally close to other men while I was married. Now that I am divorced, I find myself being on the other side of the fence, but I have not been physically close with another man.

      I do not think it is so bad to want to have sex with another person, I think it is natural. It all depends on your mentality and your ideology. If you think it would be a betrayal to have sex with another person while in a significant relationship, then you shouldn't do it, for you wouldn't be able to live with yourself. Not everybody thinks this way. The thing is would it betray the other person? And if it would you should not do it. It is a very difficult situation and my heart goes out to you. At least you are being honest about it, and open, and I congratulate you for your courage.
  • We've basically landed on some wisdom from Gracie Allen: "Only if my partner comes along."
    • I hear you trinsic. I get into this on ask a sexy man anything and other tribes often. I don't ask for advice, I don't offer advice ( unless someone seems in trouble and that's what they are asking for ) I'm looking for opinions. And who in their right mind would take advice from strangers on the internet.
      • Good point. Its interesting, even though i dont nessasarily take advice from people on the internet (unless its people I really trust) Positive responses, when coming from the heart, tend to influence my bad behavior either way with out me realizing it until its too late :)

        I have to be tricked into doing the right thing sometimes.
  • When you are fully in love & passion & melding, (etc) with your partner,
    you 'probably' don't want or need another...

    I know that when a relationship 'is limping',
    then, of course, I'll have 'serious' 'eyes'/"needs' looking elsewhere,
    to 'fullfill' what is leaking/broken.

    signed (now single),

    ML.
    • >I know that when a relationship 'is limping',
      then, of course, I'll have 'serious' 'eyes'/"needs' looking elsewhere,
      to 'fullfill' what is leaking/broken. <

      I've come to the same conclusion. I do have an attachment to what I think I deserve in a relationship, and if my partner were looking elsewhere, I'd want to do some inquiry around what needs weren't being met.
    • I agree with this. The thing, is what does the other person do when someone who is married comes to them looking for something?
      • mi: what does the other person do when someone who is married comes to them looking for something?

        What do you want to do?

        Married people come in pairs. If you don't have the full set, send what you have back.
        • What if you are not interesting in protecting marriage, one man one woman. What if the topic of a second wife came up, even in an argument? Then what? It indicates the thought occurred.
          • mi: What if you are not interesting in protecting marriage, one man one woman.

            That has nothing to do with it. If some one is in a committed relationship you need to be involved with both people from the git go. If you aren't the odds are about 100% that it will not be happy for any one in the long run. If the other person is wanting out of the old relationship they need to do that first and then get back with you.

            Its only polyamory is everyone is involved (not necessarily sexually) with every one else. If its you and him and him and her, that's either cheating or an "open" relationship and generally mistresses don't far well for long term happiness.

            Don't have arguments at a level beyond simple disagreement with your spouse. Once you get past simple disagreement, every one needs to take a break and cool down.

            Second spouse isn't something one can decide in abstract. It all depends on who they are and how each of you feels about the other. If every one is forthright and easy going it can work, but remember humans suck at long term relationships. It would be a good idea to be clear about how things work and re-evaluate now and then to help keep grudges from forming.

            Nothing kills a relationship faster than holding grudges.
  • I think it's really important to be who you are. We have all been told and taught to be a certain way. Me included. My husband and I are just at the beginning part of our polyamory relationship. We have a girlfriend that has become a part of our family. He sees her maybe one or two times a week. All of us get together maybe once a week. We each have a relationship with each other. Right now the sex hasn't happened yet. Just having someone else as in your relationship takes effort. But, marriage takes effort. I've enjoyed our journey so far. I think I've really grown from the experience. I haven't met anyone for myself yet, but I'm keeping my options open. You will find that being involved with two or more people is very enjoyable. It creates a loving family. I hope that helps.
    • Unsu...
       
      I'm not going to knock Polyamorous relationships---because I believe in live and let live.....but it seems all too often its the man who gets to enjoy more than one, or in some cases he gets off watching his wife with other men. The idea sounds cool, like sharing love, but because of insecurities and jealousy it doesn't work that way.

      I have friends who've tried it and it was a disaster for one marriage the other it worked ok for a duration. I think both of the partners really need to be on board and it's not just the woman doing it because the man wants it. Frankly if it were the only game in town, I'd rather not play. I'm selfish that way......Haaa~! *S*
      • personally l have never been able to have two lovers, or sexual partners at the same time, l am sure that it brings up a lot of stuff, how one deals with that stuff and uses it in relation to the bigger picture, unconditional love if ya like, is another story, havnt seen many success stories myself regarding the matter.

        My last partner did a therapy group and ended up having a little affair with some guy, and actually it was a valuable experience regarding some of the things that came up in myself that l was confronted with, we are not together anymore, friends though.

        Unconditional love? no conditions.Unfortunately the mind is conditioning, and there is a tendency to use that mechanism as a reference point to assimilate the validity of the situation, then it can get sticky, especially with sex, as that opens a whole new door of reference, the emotions,, can be a tricky dancing arena with one person, with two? more than l can handle, but for everyone it must be different, good luck, in relation to the bigger picture of course.
  • You remind me of Carla, trinsic. She always had to be on top. She always sought conflict even when there was none. May she rest her soul.
    :)

    Respects,
    GOD
    • Unsu...
       
      I have experienced a situation VERY similar to this. I'm just going to ramble about it....

      When we met we immediately bonded. It was such a special relationship. From the moment we met we were inseparable. By two months, we had moved in together. We traveled across the country together, three times. We were best friends.

      But the sex was lacking. For both of us. It seemed I wanted to have it more than him and we just weren't on the same wavelength sexually. Also, it wasn't very satisfying. We obviously had different styles.

      Unfortunately, I was much younger then (around 25) and didn't know how to handle this at all. I tried talking to him, suggesting books/classes, etc., but he was also young and I think we just both felt that something was lacking within us to make this happen. He didn't want to address it because he felt I was blaming him and I began thinking he didn't find me sexually attractive. Also, I didn't know at that time that it wasn't really the sex that was the problem, but there were other issues related to loving, confidence, trust, etc. - that affected our relationship.

      I can only say that in hindsight.

      To make a really long, really juicy story short - I wanted to open the relationship, he didn't, I did it anyway (with a couple), we eventually broke up.

      The reason I share this is because in hindsight these issues were an opportunity for us to go deeper, become more vulnerable and really open ourselves up to our subconscious issues and face them, together. I believe that if the sex is hot, there will be something else that needs attention (different communication styles, different belief systems, etc. etc. etc.). If the relationship is great, but the sex is not great, then that will be the platform for growing. I just think that in every relationship there comes a time when you need to work through something extremely challenging --- something that makes you want to walk away --- something that is so overpowering that it seems much simpler to just "go where the getting is good", whether that is finding someone with better sexual chemistry, finding someone who communicates better, finding someone, finding someone, finding someone ELSE. Usually it is actually an opportunity to grow and navigate new waters.

      And let's face it...if the relationship isn't meant to be, in the end it won't be, but I do think that when these issues come up it is usually an opportunity to go deeper than we've ever gone before - in an attempt not only to save our relationship, but to know our selves and our lovers better and to touch upon something profound and new in ourselves.

      I had a great experience with the threesome. In fact, it was one of my greatest sexual experiences even if it was because it was my first time sharing myself with more than one person. But after ten years hindsight, I truly was just searching for sexual validation. Validation is a wonderful thing, but so is finding someone you connect with deeply. In my experience, I was using the idea of polyamory to take the spotlight off the true issues that were shining so brightly in my face.

      Maybe I would have left eventually anyway. Maybe if the sex isn't good, it never will be. But in my personal experience, sex can be great with many people, but finding a great loving connection is a little harder to come by.

      My .02.

      But you might not want my two cents - I've been single for three years. :) :)

      It sounds like you care about her, but are really craving a great sexual experience. I believe you can either choose a new lover or work toward a great sexual experience with your current lover.

      In my experience the only thing poly is after a good bout of sex is the same exact thing: a relationship with issues that need to be worked out. Only in a poly relationship there are more people, more issues and you have be more vulnerable and more aware and more honest to make it work. If you think a two person relationship is challenging, try being poly. :)

      I have my own personal opinions about poly that are probably best not expressed here. :) A poly relationship is just a relationship with more than one person. For myself, I've finally decided that I'll learn how to successfully love myself and one other person before I go adding more wood to the fire.

      Daiva



      • Unsu...
         
        Daiva: But you might not want my two cents - I've been single for three years. :) :)

        Hehe, that made me smile, well I've been with the same man since I was 18. AS a matter or fact I've only had one sexual partner, via the most intimate definition......and some might find that unusual. I don't regret it for a moment. I can't say I haven't been curious at times or attracted to others, but after all these years I'm happy to say I've been true blue. NOW that's not to say my way is right, but it's been right for me. I feel life is an adventure and we can't draw up blueprints for ONE SIZE FITS ALL~! That's the beauty of living.



        Daiva: I have my own personal opinions about poly that are probably best not expressed here. :) A poly relationship is just a relationship with more than one person. For myself, I've finally decided that I'll learn how to successfully love myself and one other person before I go adding more wood to the fire.



        I think that is great advice.....loving ourselves, is the best gift we can give anyone regardless of the relationships or how many involved.
      • Wow thats a great story Daiva, sorry it took so long for me to respond to this as I have not been active much on tribe. I wanted to say I really appreiciate your candid nature, and you know what? I feel exactley the same way you do about this. I want to stay in the relationship because it has so many things that are the most important.
        1. Love.
        2. Great communication.
        3. Both are willing to work out differences no matter what.
        4. We both have a similar background, personal history.
        5. We both give to the relationship.
        6. we both give each other space to be our own persons.
        7 we both give each other support when we need it.

        All of these things are exremley hard to find in just one person. I consider myself lucky that its happening. But then again maybe i have reached a point where I am creating a space for that to happen as well. either way I want to go deeper because that is what my mantra is about. I want to go as deep as I can in my life and in our life as it points to embracing the meaning of life. With out a deep understand of my self and others I dont have power to make my own choices and I want to be able to make informed choices and have the resources to do that. Im coming to find its not so much the person that I have chosen, but that Im choosing, more and more, to embrace life as it is, and not the way I think it should be.
      • Unsu...
         
        Tena: Your insights contributed beautifully to this post.

        I will start this off by saying I am not poly, nor do I seek to become so. That being said, I have been in relationships which could have been considered poly. The reason I came to this thread was because the topic had come up so many times over the last several weeks that I have been giving it a lot of thought, both as I see the relationships around me and look to my own views on relationships. Even more then poly, I have been thinking about unconditional love and sacred sexuality.

        There are no absolutes in this vast spectrum of relationships, but one thing is certain, there are recipes, as it is all chemistry and communication. With all the levels of intimacy a human can experience, it is easy to get caught up in one or two areas and neglect other areas, which involve personal, inner work as much as partner work. There are so many ways to connect with an individual, through touch (delicate caress, scratch, deep, soft, rough, smooth, vigorous, gentle), voice (the whisper, the moan, the breath, the sigh, the scream, etc.), then there is the energy, (whether it is hot, warm or cold), Sexually - the goal is connected, disconnected sex is dead, thus inner work must take place to ensure the highest degree of mutual presence. The sex can be any combination of (passionate, loving, slow, fast, deep, hard, cosmic, connected, disconnected, heated, cold, dirty, pure, rough, soft, etc.).

        How sensual is it, how romantic? How creative are you? Is the atmosphere created or is it just "in the dark". How much foreplay is there? What does foreplay mean to you? Some mistakingly think that it just means oral/manual stimulation. That is not true, it can range from a full body massage to body kisses, to feather touches, to scratching, to taking a bath together. I don't think all couples curiously explore each others bodies enough. I think they get too caught up in the way they have done it before or some formula which no longer works. The key is that there is no formula, that changing a few aspects each time can make all the difference. If sex is a creative act, then be creative about sex.

        I have several friends in polyamorous relationships. Some have great success, some always hit the same walls. The wall that people hit in poly relationships are related to communication, as it is difficult enough to align with one person, let alone multiple people. So often one partner wants monogamy, but submits passively to polyamory to make the other partner happy. This is self-sacrificing. The flipside is the partner that wants to have it all and pursues it manipulatively. The reason people choose poly is often that there is something lacking which another can provide. Sex is the only thing which makes people 100% have to call themselves poly rather then pursuing other friendships. As one who has been the third person, I know how the jealousy can get with one of the parties. They submitted, even though they didn't want to and they feel bad. It is easier to blame the third person then it is to say "I made a mistake, I chose something I wasn't comfortable with".

        How evolved are you? How much inner work have you done? Your partner? These scenarios can become extremely dysfunctional really fast. The amount of communication it takes to maintain a mutually agreeable poly situation is greater then the amount required to work something out with someone you care about. Some do wonderfully, but often I find poly primary couples spend more time finding others who are okay with the situation and ensuring their relationship works then they do in mutually agreeable poly scenarios. Poly people who are individuals with multiple partners / relationships, (minus primary relationship), may have it easier, because it is like casual dating. I feel that sooner or later, the drama hits the fan and as one who is not particularly fond of drama, I leave it to others who enjoy cleaning up messes.

        I have seen relationships where the third person fell in love with one of the primary members and had to go because there was an imbalance. There are so many different dynamics, it is crazy. That is why at this point, I'm content to continue my mission for one person which resonates, minus the drama. A relationship is a work in progress, something which must evolve, grow, develop, be nurtured, tended to, etc. Just as one must do the same on an individual level. To bring a third person into all of that means at least twice the work. If it is just a casual one time thing, then the third person must also know that. All parties have to be evolved communicators and mature enough to deal with something which can be a clusterfuck to say the least.

        Someone once wrote "Sex is the desire to connect". There are so many ways to connect with another person which doesn't involve sex. So many people feel like the only way they can gain a meaningful connection is through sex. The energy of sex is creative, it is sensory, it is electric, it is heat. When these elements are lacking, it is cold and dead, disconnected. This disconnection is what causes disharmony in relationships. This connection is what partners ultimately seek in sex, along with total union but it is impossible if each individual is not connected, integrated within. So instead of blaming another partner for the problem, each person really needs to look within. For all that can be found outside of oneself can be found within and if it is not achieved within, then that is where the problem lies. What gets you off when you are alone? What gets you off in the company of another? Do you really know? Do you know how to ask for it? Women need extra coaxing to get them to talk about their fantasies, their pleasures, what they want.

        Connections with people outside of a relationship which can be extremely fulfilling are deep meaningful conversations, various outings, hugs, making art together / working on projects, etc. Some partners feel threatened when their other do these sorts of things with outside parties, but then it becomes a matter of trust. Do your trust yourself? Do you trust your partner to make the right decision? If not, then that is what needs to be looked into. Yes, sometimes the harmless activities above lead to deeper connections, it is because of the intimacy, especially if it is a type of intimacy a person is not usually exposed to. They believe that these types of intimacy can't be had again because their partner doesn't usually go into those modes. They sexualize it. The truth is, all forms of intimacy can be achieved, from the sexual to the non-sexual, it takes work, but the rewards are vast.

        What is lacking in the sex for you? What is missing with her? Is it passion, warmth, presence, communication, honesty, sensuality, pace, desire, chemistry, gentleness, firmness, roles or power plays, etc.? Get to the root of it, so many problems can be solved, but people don’t take the time to work through them, they just give up and move on. I appreciate your willingness to make an attempt to work through it, that is admirable.
        • Unsu...
           
          Well I am poly and kinky and spiritual. The map of the various relationships, sexual and non, within my family is amazing. The various arch-typical relationships enjoyed within my family are incredibly rich.

          My wife and partner of 37 years and I had a woman in our relationship when we married. She lived with us on and off over the years. 8 years ago we opened it further as we found the crazy, kinky, poly, queer, world here in San Francisco.

          Poly takes communication. Massive amounts. It takes being extremely honest about what you want and WHY.

          It needs unconditional love even when we fuck up. Its easy in the early stages of a relationship to screw up and not fully consider your primary. This is the main reason things go badly and the primary relationship gets hurt. When it happens, forgiveness is very tough but critical. Rarely does the responsible party intentionally dishonor her/his primary relationship.

          It is not always men who get more. My partner has, as she says, "lots of men in her life". We share a man in a triad. She also has a boyfriend and a D/S relationship with a woman I have a sexual relationship with. Along with that she has a number of guys she plays with.

          Of course its not one sided. I have a number of sexual and non-sexual relationships as well.

          Sacred sexuality.
          This seems to have been missed in this thread.

          I've had sacred sex with my primary partner. It is a space we treasure and work very hard to insure we journey to on a regular basis. It is an intentional space.

          We've had sacred sex with others too. Again, it is an intentional space, a ritual space, a place where the connections between us, ALL of US, is incredible.

          Trinsic
          If you're still listening to this thread.
          You should be able to find this space with your partner. It is not really the sex part, it's the connection part. It's being in the moment and feeling where your partner is and being there with her/him and understanding what will make the experience more intense both physically and psychically and your partner being able to do the same for you. Its the connection made, the verbal and non-verbal communication, the sensing the body responses and responding to them without thought.

          More to Trinsic,
          about your feeling of want for women outside your partnership. Normal and OK as far as I can see. Poly is about open and honest, it's about being able to get needs met when those needs don't get met inside the primary relationship. It's about TRYING things safely knowing, both of you knowing, that your primary relationship is PRIMARY and that's the way you want it.

          Poly is tough. When we fuck up, its VERY tough but we must trust that we are each others primary and once there, the rest works out with communication.
          Poly is rich. The various types of relationships, the various needs that get met, the diverse journeys we take are incredible.
          Poly is not "fair". What's good for the goose doesn't have shit to do with the gander. We need to understand what each person needs and wants and work to get those needs met and the wants fulfilled if possible.

          Hugs,

          Rig Daddy
  • my bf and i talked about polyamory relationships. id like to ask some ppl a question about polyamorous relationships. i was reading in another poly forum site that this person (i think was a guy) was saying he wants to do poly because he didnt have a family meaning he came from a broken family. he said he needed to experience what love was like since he never really experienced it as a kid, that reminded me of myself. the question is is using poly an excuse to find a "family u never had" to get love from someone?
    • The only reason to be in a loving relationship is because you love each other.

      When "he said he needed to experience what love was like since he never really experienced it as a kid," what he is really saying is "I'm not really in this for the relationship. I'm here for something other than you."

      Relationships are difficult. To work you have to be there for each other first, now.

      Having a difficult past is hard, but you won't find what love is there if it wasn't there to begin with. The people now have to come first. It was you not coming first then that is why the love then was lost and he is still caught in that cycle and will lose what he has now to the demons of his past.

      The family you never had, you never had. Discover what you have now.
      • >The only reason to be in a loving relationship is because you love each other.

        I agree.

        >When "he said he needed to experience what love was like since he never really experienced it as a kid," what he is really saying is "I'm not really in this for the relationship. I'm here for something other than you."

        I've given some consideration to this, and the inevitable drama and hurt feelings that will ensue when such dynamics are at play. When someone is focused on what they will 'get' out of the relationship, it undermines the love, IMHO.

        Pursuing a relationship, be it poly or mono or whatever the circumstances are, in an effort to get complete with one's past is probably not an uncommon dynamic, but what is likely less common is an awareness of it, or actually even declaring it.

  • "When someone is genuinely concerned about our happiness, we feel connected to that person. We feel included in his or her life, and in that instant we are no longer alone. Each moment of unconditional acceptance creates a living thread to the person who accepts us, and these threads weave a powerful bond that fills us with a genuine and lasting happiness. Nothing but Real Love can do that. In addition, when we know that even ONE person loves us unconditionally, we feel a connection to everyone else. We feel included in the family of all mankind, of which that one person is a part."

    Just my opinion...but I see the chances of this lightning striking as greater between 2 than between many....I am therefore, monagamous and dedicated to the one person I LOVE. Truly.

    Free Love and Polyamory...same experiment, different time. Same outcome.
  • It's totally normal to be attracted to sexually attractive people.
    If it were me, I'd be utterly honest with everyone involved, ey? Especially the woman with whom I've been intimate and shared expectations of commitment with.

    I've been married eight years as of Oct. 13th, and my love just gets more intense all the time. I have no qualms or fears when my sexual antenna perks up; it's never made me consider asking to change the terms of our marriage. I enjoy being attracted to people! There's nothing unnatural about it; I'm not "restricted" or limited any more than any other kind of self control limits or restricts me. As with other kinds of self control, it increases me and adds depth to my experience.

    It's easy for me to be confident (finally) in this marriage because I don't feel I'm missing anything. In my first marriage, I felt sexually 'shorted' all the time, and experienced terrible frustration over it. Naturally, the marriage ended, and badly, but not before I'd had the opportunity to embark on a terrible string of really dumb blunders.

    It sucks that I messed up that friendship and betrayed that love; if I'd been honest with myself and everyone else involved I could have had everything I believed I needed and probably kept some really good friends in the process - but I wasn't wise about it; I let myself languish in seven shades of pain, let one pain feed another and so on...

    best to be totally honest, get it all out and up front. The pain of confrontation is nothing compared to the pain of frustration, perception of betrayal, self denial, &c..
    • Also it is good that you did not blame your mistress for causing you to betray your wife. That is too common in traditional men... You said "perception of betrayal". What do you mean by this? I wonder what causes married men to have feelings for another woman other than his wife... I wonder if that is because a man is feeling shorted...
      • >>You said "perception of betrayal". What do you mean by this?<<

        In context:

        >>The pain of confrontation is nothing compared to the pain of frustration, perception of betrayal, self denial, &c.. <<

        Betrayal isn't always implicit nor extant; sometimes people perceive betrayal when the object of the blame didn't intend nor knowingly engage in it. Mainly, I think I used the phrase because I, myself, am quick to assume that I've been betrayed when really all I'm dealing with is a lapse in consideration. I think I'm happier and more loving when I can take the time to really understand what's going on with someone else - especially when I'm pissed off at that person.

        I think there are instances in which a person really intends to exploit the trust of another - but I think those instances are far fewer than we are prone to believe.

        I also think that there are instances of betrayal that a betrayer (so to speak) only realizes "too late". "OMG I betrayed this person" is something I have felt and thought - I didn't set out to do it, but it came down that way. The incremental atom of forgiveness one might deserve is tiny, but significant, I guess.

        I'm thinking of a specific person in my life who's constantly perceiving betrayal where it doesn't exist; he is consumed by rage and deliberately severs friendships as a result. I try to calm him down - he perceives that as me betraying him by not joining him in his rage and psychic excoriation of the people he sees as having betrayed him. It's odd to witness - and it educates me about myself, as well, making me more willing to really think about whether or not I myself am being betrayed, whether it serves any healthful purpose for me to perceive betrayal.
        • >I used the phrase because I, myself, am quick to assume that I've been betrayed when really all I'm dealing with is a lapse in consideration.<

          I've done the same thing. In my day-to-day dealings with others I have a different set of expectations around being considerate, but there have been times when I felt betrayed, gave the situation some further thought, and came to the conclusion that it was yet another lesson in how my feelings were just bumping into someone else's self-absorption.
          no shortage of selfishness in the world, endless opportunities to watch that little mini-drama unfold.
        • Interesting. I like how you use the word blame. If one person could cause another person to betray their significant other, is that that person's fault? Interesting question. What do you think?
          • well, it depends on who you ask in the triangle.

            answers may vary, as it said in the back of the textbook.

            • Well naturally both the husband and the wife would blame the other woman, right? After all its her fault, she tempted the husband.
              • Nah nah nah.
                Everyone is responsible for her/his own behavior unless they're drugged, hypnotized ( science.howstuffworks.com/hypnosis.htm ), threatened into compliance, so forth.

                "Temptation" is mean if used to seduce (as defined: "lead someone astray") but it is hardly an excuse for some dude to be dishonest with / betray his spouse. "The mistress" is a just a person; s/he might have all kinds of strange reasons for doing whatever s/he is doing, but consenting sex is just that. Consenting. Everyone consented, it's assumed.

                >>naturally both the husband and the wife would blame the other woman<<

                No no no; I just can't see it. That's playing right into the husband's hands and rewarding him for lying (or, in some cases, just being weak (or lying about being weak)).

                Subtract all the various and sundry (though no doubt spicy and fascinating) details / stories that could be draped around the situation and simply regard the facts: was there honesty, or not? The question can be applied to every aspect of the situation, and, thus, reveals (I think) the pertinent truths.

                Was he honest? Was she? Were they? ALL the time? Everything else is tertiary; even the "why" of people getting upset over dis / honesty only comes in third or fourth when considering important aspects of the relationship. Did you lie? Did he? Everything else is found, there - all the secrets and causes and feelings.
                • Well why does it have to be a betrayal? I just don't understand this...
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    It doesn't! Honesty trumps the possibility of betrayal, no?

                    After the fact is a bad time to start renegotiating terms, though...
                    • Well the thing is that marriage is not a negotiation. I don't know what marriage is anymore, I just know its not my problem. And I don't want to hear the word betrayal said to me again.
                      • There's something akin to negotiation that goes on though. Call it debate or compromise if you will - there's a hashing out of compatible goals: children, money, physical affection, spiritual expression. There are vows expressed during the ceremony that usually mean polyamory is not a negotiable option. Whenever I see a couple who decided to become poly; and I've attended their wedding and bore witness to them both saying ,"Forsaking all others..." I'm tempted to ask for my toaster back. The conversation would go like this - guy: " Hey, my wife thinks you're hot. Ever consider a threesome?"
                        Me: " No, and I want my toaster back." I've never had the guts to ask for my wedding gift of course, but I HATE vow-breakers. Distrust them to the core.
                        • Why would adding a second wife to the marriage be a breaking of vows? The man is still married to his first wife.
                          • because they vowed to "forsake all others, cleave only to each-other, blah, blah, blah." If the three got married at the same time, or had non-traditional vows, that would be fine.
                            • I've been to a few weddings this year & I don't think any of them used those "old fashioned", standard vows ~ at this point, I think most people are composing their own, which rarely use terms like "forsake" or "obedient" ~ even when the couple is fairly traditional & mainstream

                              love all-ways,
                              mem
                              • Yay for you. ALL the weddings I've been to lately have been traditional. I guess this is really resentment aimed at a couple who had a heavy old-fashioned Christian wedding (for their parents) - later found out they had a separate Pagan ceremony and that the large wedding I had attended was an elaborate sham. I sat through an uncomfortable long service that implied I was condemned for not believing in the Trinity - something I was glad to do to support my friends, until I discovered they don't believe that crap either. They think I have no reason to be angry at them. Really??!! You lied to your friends and family about your beliefs and took vows you didn't mean. I can't think of any justification for such an expensive lie.

                                I'm all for non-traditional weddings. Hope to have one myself one day.
                            • Well not all weddings have vows. Not only that, adding a second wife to the marriage does not forsake the first wife, but any rate, this is only a scenario and is a fruitless discussion, for me. I apologize.
                              • Polygamy is still illegal (in the U.S.)...however - IMO nothing about marriage (or not) or family or personal choice (sexually or otherwise) should be dictated to us by law or government. Ever.
                                The assumption should be on every level that adult human beings know how to do that for themselves.
                                But of course, there would be no profit in that for lawyers or the legal system.

                                The dissolution of my first marriage would have been amicable...until my ex got legal advice and was compelled by state law to stick it to me. So, the fight was on. That was 1992, and the complete resolution has STILL not happened. Our family was torn limb from limb.

                                Needless to say, I have not thought about nor have I tried marriage through the legal route since, nor do I recommend it to ANYONE. So, it mystifies me a bit why anyone would want that...even though I also think that gays have the right to be just as miserable as the rest of us in every way! Heh! But I think it might be a better strategy to give rights of a legal stature to co-habitating partners instead - and forego the marital misery.
                                • I want it, if only for the illusion of permanence and the ability to have someone officially join my family. Plus, there's tax and insurance reasons, I think. - and cake - don't forget the cake.
                                • I have no interest in trying a second marriage through the legal route either. I am just presenting scenarios, that's all. I am dealing with complicated circumstances, which don't have to do with co-habitating.
                      • Everything is negotiable. Trying to keep your life exactly as it was at some particular point in time is impossible.

                        We decided to forgo marriage all together. We are together because we want to be together. If we want to change the dynamics we can.
                        • Unsu...
                           
                          The Greeks had two definitions of love.. Eros and Agape.. wonderful meanings to reflect and meditate on as February approaches. In February we have St. Valentine’s Day – and on the preceding Sunday is World Marriage Day

                          That love between man and woman which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings, was called eros by the ancient Greeks. Eros is an 'ascending love".. raising love up from acquaintances and friends to an intimate bond, where the desire is to experience and share the ecstasy of life as one in body, mind and spirit.

                          Agape.. is a 'descending' love... which we experience from above... where all relationships are unconditional and loving, that we do not discern our love for a man or a woman as eros, but instead a connectedness that we all share in one universe... we are one with many, one with all, and for those who believe in God.. one with God. With agape, there is no sexual element in 'loving your neighbor" because you already do, and there is nothing to share or explore that is greater than being one.

                          I have often wondered if polyamorous love, is a human effort to push eros higher up than a loving monogamous relationship.. to be more inclusive of 'love thy neighbor'. Is it possible, that by meditating and building the discipline of agape love within ourselves and with our one true mate, that we could truly feel one with all humans, and take our own eros to even greater depths and heights than we ever imagined?

                          • the Greeks had more than just 2 definitions of "love":

                            (besides the 2 already mentioned)

                            Philia (φιλία philía), which means friendship in modern Greek, a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philia denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers. This is the only other word for "love" used in the ancient text of the New Testament besides agape, but even then it is used substantially less frequently.

                            Storge (στοργή storgē) means "affection" in modern Greek; it is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

                            Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means "desire" in modern Greek; it is the desire to do something, to be occupied, to be in prominence.
                            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gree...s_for_love

                            Xenia (ξενία xenía), hospitality, was an extremely important practice in Ancient Greece. It was an almost ritualized friendship formed between a host and his guest, who could previously have been strangers. The host fed and provided quarters for the guest, who was expected to repay only with gratitude.
                            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love

                            love all-ways (there are SO many ways!),
                            mem
  • I'm a big fan of polyamorous relationships (as some of you have probably noticed in other tribes *g*).

    I do not believe that there is any inherent qualities in relationship structures that make them generally better or worse. I believe that the individuals involved in the relationship are what drives the structure of the relationship. For some folks polyamory works wonderfully, for some folks it's a struggle that they feel is worthwhile, for others it doesn't work well or they don't have any interest in engaging in such a relationship.

    And that's a-ok in my book. :)
  • I am polyamorous and I have a lot of poly friends. Here is my experience:

    I'm not married but I am involved in relationships with married people and we have a group that talks a lot about poly. The most important thing for a poly-relationship to work is that everyone be open and honest. Most of the relationships that I, personally, am involved in now don't include sex. We did not make a rule against it, we just discovered that our attraction was not about sex. Often in a poly relationship we simply snuggle while watching a movie or talk together. Finally, I spend as much time with the couple together as I spend with one member of the couple. Fears come up where there is not enough contact or communication between everyone in the relationship, just like in a mono-relationship.

    In my experience when an individual is considering a poly relationship, it is rarely about sex. Even though most people who are new to poly think it is. What you discover, very quickly, is that if a couple is having a problem with sex, then (after the novelty of poly wears off) the sexual problems are amplified by poly relationships. Our society in the U.S. has taught us for generations that the only proper relationships for men are based in sexuality or competition, so our attractions manifest themselves as sexual desire or as an aid to winning, (like in choosing friends who you think have "got your back").

    If you examine your current mono-amorous relationship consciously and find what needs or desires is not being met, without judgments about right or wrong, I'll bet that you find that it's not the desire to have an orgasm with someone other than your current partner. Once you discover the "true" needs and desires, for you and your partner, then you can set about finding ways to fill those needs. Then you may find the desire for a "poly-sexual" relationship will go away, or transform into a desire for polyamorous, (many loves), relationships.

    By the way, Trinsic, I think you give great question. :-D

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