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Author Topic: Polyamory and Me  (Read 3187 times)

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Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2016, 12:49:51 PM »
All -

I am so beyond touched from all of your stories.  Thank you so much for sharing.  I'm laying in bed feeling the effects of a massive sinus and allergy attack and so I'm still in bed half asleep. But I want to respond to each of these personally and will do as soon as I can muster a computer


-hugs for all-

mint

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2016, 09:42:42 PM »
I am still super super sick.   And while I can do basic computer things or bury myself in wow I'm not ready yet for the higher thought required for typing the 10,000 words in my head for this blog.   I promise responses + more are coming.  I really REALLY appreciate the stories left and that you have courage to share with me.   

#failsickmint

Thanks all <3

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2016, 09:48:27 PM »
Get better, Mint, we need you up and kicking.

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2016, 06:51:13 PM »

Quote
A random question - do you have any thoughts on legal issues surrounding poly individuals? Things you'd want to see changed, what consequences or benefits might be involved, etc?

Off the top of my head I had been thinking of how hospitals very recently restricted end of life decisions (or even the right to be in a room to hold a hand) to gay couples under the argument they weren't legally married. I don't know that you personally want to be legally married to multiple people, but it obviously isn't possible in most of the world.

Iím not sure I have a good answer to this at all right now. Itís definitely new territory for me, and something I need to consider.  I could also ask if two people were together for a long time but not married how does that work as well?  My mother and her boyfriend do not live together, thus they wouldnít be considered married, but theyíve been together twenty years.  Damn straight if my mom was in the hospital heíd be there by her side and I wouldnít have it any other way.

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I think that poly people should have the right to marry those that they love certainly, and some people have done legal documents that can give most of those benefits but it takes a lot of time and money. I personally don't want to be married, though I'm incredibly committed to both of my men. All three of us feel the same way about it, so that works for us.

Wisti hit a bit of the nail on the head here. Legal documents can Ďsolve allí but they take time and money.   Equally, there are a lot of rules in place right now for things like 104K and other inheritance.  To put someone as my spouse as the primary beneficiary requires them to sign off that they agree.   I donít know why, as technically Iím earning mine and heís earning his, but thatís the rules as they stand now.  Iím not sure the same applies to other policies and inheritances, because I know relatively little about the subject, but how do you set these up without paying legal fees over and over.

For example, at what point does a person move into that circle?  Even in monogamy, you date, you get engaged and then you get married, but at some point well before marriage you trust them enough to have a future with them, with your future, so is that the point you want them in the hospital with you?  If you arenít married yet, how do you go about that now?  And so if youíre poly, at what point does that happenÖ when you canít get formally married?   There are a host of things that would be interesting to discuss.  And love is love doesnít have some magic time.   

Iíve been with my trio less than a year but if something happened to put myself or one of them in the hospital, 100% we would not only want to be there, but need to be there for each other. 


General power of attorney maybe?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_of_attorney

But how expensive is that?  And how do you give multiple people the power over your decisions if you're incapacitated?  How do you ensure that the decisions made are considering all the people in your life?   Especially if not all your partners really get along?



Giantmutantcrab ---

Yours is coming next.  I'm shot after that typing (Mint is still getting over this virus) and your story deserves me fresh again.  I think your perspective is super important for us poly people to hear and consider when we're with someone who is monogamous. It's easy for us to focus on ourselves and our needs to finally be who we've always felt we needed to be.  But our monogamous partners are still people we love too with needs and emotions.

Admittedly (and maybe other poly/monos will confess this), I had just been hoping my husband had cheated on me, or had been wanting to be with others, or had been poly as well... so that I wouldn't have to feel guilty about who I was.

Anyway, more to come. 



Get better, Mint, we need you up and kicking.


Thanks hun! I need me up and kicking too.  This whole SICK THING SUCKS!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 04:43:47 PM by Blythe »

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2016, 10:10:03 PM »
But how expensive is that?  And how do you give multiple people the power over your decisions if you're incapacitated?  How do you ensure that the decisions made are considering all the people in your life?   Especially if not all your partners really get along?
Power of attorney is just a legal document.  You can probably find templates online, even from your state or municipal gov sites.  Get them signed and witnessed -- that's free.  If they need to be notarized, it's a small price.  I am not sure about the particulars.

As for the rest, if I had all the answers, I would be living the good life.

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2016, 11:31:08 PM »
Power of attorney is just a legal document.  You can probably find templates online, even from your state or municipal gov sites.  Get them signed and witnessed -- that's free.  If they need to be notarized, it's a small price.  I am not sure about the particulars.

As for the rest, if I had all the answers, I would be living the good life.


I'm not great at all the legal stuff to be honest.  Like, I know I SHOULD get a will in case something happened to me so that my kids went to the 'right hands', but the thought of having to even record that all and decide is... ugh.   So I haven't done it.

I suppose the question is this.  If I had two legally wedded partners and I was incapacitated would they have equal say in what happened and my decisions?  Versus, I'm pretty sure that if I make a power of attorney documention, I would have to specify ONE person only?

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2016, 11:52:08 PM »
I suppose the question is this.  If I had two legally wedded partners and I was incapacitated would they have equal say in what happened and my decisions?  Versus, I'm pretty sure that if I make a power of attorney documention, I would have to specify ONE person only?

This is impossible to answer.  At present, bigamy is illegal in the United States.  You cannot legally have more than one spouse.

However, if bigamy was legal, then I imagine that family law would borrow a lot from business entities, namely partnerships, in working out the kinks of polyamorous marriages.  Partnerships are agreements entered into by two or more parties for the purpose of making a profit.  You don't need a contract or anything, but if you don't have a contract, the state will assume a common contract between the parties.  This can have unanticipated and severe consequences.

The reason I mention all of this is that you just kind of stumbled into one of the biggest problems in partnership law.  What happens when you leave a decision up to two parties?  And what happens if those two parties disagree?  You end up with a stalemate.  So, it wouldn't just be enough to leave the decision to two parties:  but you would need to figure out how to resolve a stalemate between them.  That's why lawyers who work in the business entities world recommend having an odd number of partners, so that you can always achieve a majority in decision-making processes.

Online Al Terego

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2016, 12:19:41 AM »
Perhaps you could leave the decision to your dear friend #1, unless they are unavailable, in which case it goes to dear friend #2.
I hate to say it but... consult a lawyer.

Offline KieraJade

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2016, 11:03:46 AM »
First off Ė I love reading this blog. And the reactions and stories or thoughts that are placed within it. Comments, etc. Itís all interesting and I love that you are putting it out there for everyone, darling. It might help others with their journey and decisions.

Big Picture Comment: The whole ďpower of attorneyĒ and legality issues raises a bigger, broader question that is usually the not-fun part of relationships: The Nitty Gritty, Down and Dirty, Life Responsibility Issues. What happens when your partner, or partners go into the hospital? What happens when there is a car crash? Who has to go where? What if someone has to go to court, or gets arrested, or gets sick? Money problems? What about the kids? Who is taking out the trash? When the ďhoneymoon phase,Ē fun of the sex and the love stops, the real world starts, and then what happens? And who wants to stick around for that work?

Specific Comments:
-In the United States, the laws and rules of who can be where, who gets what, and what gets taxed when someone passes varies from state to state. So does who gets Power of Attorney, or who is the First Executor of an estate, trust, will, etc. Sometimes, doesnít matter, itís the spouse. Sometimes it is whoever is notarizedÖ So it doesnít always have to be the spouse.

And depending on the state and their estate laws, there can be more than one executor.

Example: For my motherís will, I am the First Executor of her estate, and my sister is the First Executor of all medical decisions. (Please take the next part as a joke, because it is how my family jokes about it. We really love each other very, very much, my mom is really healthy and not going anywhereÖ) So I get to divvy up the goods and my sister gets to pull the plug. Because that is what is already notarized and stated in the will.
Life Insurance is also something that you can dictate who gets how much, usually. Or who the beneficiaries are. Usually, it is automatically the spouse or next of kin, but this is also something people can purchase and name whoever they want as a beneficiary.

I think every serious relationship, whether monogamous or poly, should have those types of conversations. Those are never fun conversations to have, but it could help with decisions down the road should the unfortunate occur. 

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2016, 02:49:12 PM »
Giantmutantcrab ---

Again I want to thank you for sharing your story. I think itís easy for the poly person to get so caught up in having their needs met that they can easily forget their monogamous partner has needs to.   I also believe a number of things that fit your situation:  that some of us are hard-wired poly or monogamous and simply canít be happy Ďbeingí one or the other, that if we are unhappy we cannot function to create happiness for others, and that we must ensure that our own needs are met.  Self-sacrifice for someone else at the expense of our needs might work in the short term, but eventually bitterness creeps in and that -need- for the needs to be met overcomes. 

And there isnít anything wrong with needing our needs. It isnít selfish at all, as much as people might feel their needs are selfish, most of the time they are not.   In your case, in your SOs, in mine, we all had times we were sacrificing our own deeper needs for someone else and in the end it leads us to make choices that donít benefit anyone at all. 

I did want to go through these, because Iím certain my husband went through them again, and maybe talk about them from the poly side.  Iím addressing these things for the monogamous community in general, not to you specifically, and not assuming that you do/donít know these things already or that you need to know them.  Iím addressing them because there may be other monogamous readers out there who are in one of these stages and I want to provide some understanding of the poly side of those feelings.   

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First came the self-blame. What did I do wrong? How did I mess up? Maybe I wasn't attentive enough, or maybe I didn't make her feel cared for correctly. So I tried different approaches. Being more careful, more kind, sweeter, more understanding. Saying yes more often, saying sorry more often, trying to be "better". That didn't work.

Most definitely the monogamous partner needs to know they didnít mess up.  They didnít do anything wrong.   That itís no different that if your partner ends up bisexual and you cannot suddenly become the other sex. You canít be multiple people. You canít provide that need to form new relationships, build new bonds, share the self with more than one person because you canít be more than one person.

I feel like because monogamous people struggle to understand what a poly person is thinking/feeling/needing, because itís so foreign to them, there is a misconception that if they do a better job at the relationship, the poly person will Ďcome back to being monogamousí.   There is a thought that itís a phase because the partner isnít meeting their needs, and if they met needs better things will Ďreturní to their Ďnormalí state. 

Except that for the poly person, they are finally experience their Ďnormalí state and once experienced, poly people finally suddenly feel complete and happy and able to express themselves and there is no Ďgoing back.í  I could say that if a gay person finally felt free to express that need and be with a same sex partner they wouldnít Ďget over that phase and go back to being straight.í  They werenít ever straight.  Itís the same with poly people.  We werenít ever monogamous.  We were Ďactingí in a monogamous fashion because we either didnít understand or didnít feel free to openly express our true nature.   We hide in our closet as well, burying our needs and feigning our outward happiness because we are supposed to be happy in monogamy. 
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Second came the paranoia. The creeping, needle-in-the-back-of-your-skull sensation of what is she doing... right now. Where is she? With who is she? What are they doing right now? Is she safe? Is she happy? Is she... making love to him? Or her? ...Is she even thinking about you in any way, shape or form?

I think even poly people go through this.  Insecurity in a relationship is common for everyone when things are changing, whether monogamous or poly.  Change is difficult for people because the future is unknown and we dwell on all the things that could happen - usually the bad. Itís like weíre programmed to think about all the horrors in order to plan out our self preservation. 

Was she thinking of you? Do you think of your SO when youíre at work?  When youíre gaming? When youíre eating?  They come in and out of your thoughts throughout the day as time passes and your focus changes and conversations and actions and events spark memories.   When poly people are with other partners itís no different.   We think of our work, children, friends and other partners the same way we always do.   And we want our partners to be thinking of us too, even when weíre not with them and they are with others or working, eating, gaming, driving, etc.   

If your partner is out with her BFF or at work you think about them, hope they are safe and maybe wonder if they are happy or having fun, but because we assume that we know the outcome of going to work or hanging out with friends isnít going to change our partnerís relationship with us, we arenít insecure about and we donít worry about how it will affect our future, even if everything will affect our future.   

So here is the thing. Will a new relationship affect your current one?  Yes.   It will.  Because everything new affects the current.  If your partner gets a new job, joins a new club, picks up a new hobby (Mint plays Wow nowÖ and thatís a time sink I swear!), thatís going to affect the time they have spend with you.  That doesnít mean it changes how they feel about you.  Just because I play Wow now and have less time to focus on other activities doesnít mean I love my husband any less.  Or my children.   And just because I have a boyfriend and girlfriend who take up my time, doesnít mean I love my husband or children any less either. 

And that is the uncertainty - the insecurity - that as poly people we have to ensure we let our monogamous partner know.  Thatís the part they have to understand.  That meeting and being with someone new doesnít change the fact that we love them.   And I can openly say that when my partner talks about flirting with someone new that it does shake that same paranoia tree, and those fears fall like apples and I have to pick them up and deal with them.  And thatís ok because thatís normal because change is uncertain.  But change is also a part of life.  Everything changes.  And we are adaptable creatures who can face that change head on, pickup our apples, keep the ones that have purpose and toss the ones that donít. 

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Third came the anger, which is often in the passenger's seat of the paranoia. She dosen't care. She's just using this "polyamorous" bullshit as an excuse to go cheat on me. To go fuck around with whoever she wants, however she wants, and get away with it. And I'm sitting here, on the couch, stupid weak little cuckhold that I am, while she's out wining and dining and doing whatever she damn well pleases.

I definitely think my husband went through this and it wasnít a fun time for either of us.   And Iíve mentioned before the stigma to poly that people give it, ďItís just an excuse to cheat.Ē 

Poly isnít cheating.  Poly people can cheat, but poly itself isnít cheating.  Cheating is being with someone else without your partner(s) knowing about it.  Cheating is hiding things because you donít want to tell your partner.  Cheating isnít the act of being with someone else, itís the act of lying about it.   Itís the omission of information that could change your partnerís decisions about being with you.   Thatís what cheating is. 

If you have been given all the information and still choose to remain with your partner while they are out with others, youíve made that choice and your partner isnít cheating.   I want that emphasize that strongly, because the poly person most definitely felt like they were honest with you about what they were doing (and trust me, that isnít easy for us at all. In fact Iím going to talk about that in the future, that fear of opening up and whatís that like for us.)

For the poly person, we donít understand your anger.  We donít understand why youíre mad at us when we told you what we needed and what we were doing and you accepted it.   I highlight that here because:

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She immediately countered herself, trying to defend herself. She told me that I had accepted this, and that I had accepted her all that time ago. That this was a part of her as much as all the other parts of her that I had accepted and chosen to love. In mid-sentence she choked up and stopped speaking, moved to sit down next to me and told me she was sorry, that she didn't mean to hurt me. But that this was who she was, deep down inside. That she loved me but that she loved him. And her, too.

When weíre told weíre accepted and then we have anger thrown at us, we donít feel accepted anymore and we donít react well too it.  That isnít to say that the monogamous person shouldnít/canít get angry, because feelings are feelings and we must acknowledge our feelings, but this stage ends up feeling like a betrayal to the poly person.   ďI was told you accepted me and loved me for who I am andÖ basically you donít.Ē  And it can hurt the poly person to feel unaccepted for who they are.   Itís not an easy time for poly/mono relationships and I can promise you I both said those words and felt those betrayals many times. 

We end up feeling like you love us for who you want us to be and not who we really are.

And I understand you feel betrayed because

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I told her that when we met and began to be together, there had been a tacit understanding between the two of us. That it was the two of us. Her and me. No third party or fourth party involved. That we were together and this was our relationship

And the sudden need for others in the relationship feels like a betrayal of that understanding.   

The problem for poly people is that we often enter monogamous relationships because we donít know/understand weíre poly, we donít even know the option is out there, society tells us we must find our one true love and marry them and live happily ever after and that we arenít good people if we donít commit ourselves to that one person.   We enter these relationships denying who we are from the start.  We betray ourselves first and foremost, often unintentionally, placing ourselves into a situation where we are doomed to never be happy.   Some point we are Ďenlightenedí - someone talks to us about poly, we see it on the internet, we figure it out - and we start to understand our needs better.

But weíre already in a monogamous relationship.   With someone we love.  With someone we donít want to not be with.  We donít want to replace them.  We donít want to end and start over.  Weíve put time, feelings, blood, sweat and tears into building this castle and making it beautiful, and we donít want to tear it down.  We want to build ANOTHER castle right next to it, as wonderful and amazing and the castle we already have. And the maybe a third or a fourth, or maybe our second castle will just really expand and be a multi-queen-king castle! The possibilities are endless to our castle expansion.

But our first castle is still special. 

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I once told her that she spent so much time with him and with her that she barely spent any time with me.

New castles take a lot of effort in the beginning to build.  Just like any new monogamous relationship, people often dive in and have that Ďhoneymooní period, where they are really getting to know each other and spend time with each other and build that foundation.   I think new poly relationships end up being the same.  We have new people, and itís new and exciting and we also have a LOT of foundation to build and a lot of growth to work out and the original relationship does get sidelined a bit.  For a monogamous person this probably feels like abandonment and for the poly person we have to focus ourselves to maintain our original castle as well.  Canít let it fall into disrepair while weíre building.

For an experienced poly person this is probably second nature.  But most people in poly/mono relationships are building their new castles for the first time and have relatively little experience in managing multiple relationships.  Itsí new for them too.  We donít come into this as pros and there isnít a rulebook to follow  Equally, there isnít some guideline on how much time you spend with each partner, just like we donít have rules around how much time you have to spend with all your different friends and if you spend more time with one friend than another youíre doing the other a disservice. 

Because life isnít like that way. Life isnít about Ďkeeping it even.í  And what and who you need now isnít always going to be the same.   And typically, people first discovering poly really need those new relationships.  And the monogamous person really needs the security from the poly person.  That balancing act ends up landing on the poly personís shoulders most of the time, and they do end up very torn about it.   In addition, when the monogamous person is angry, insecure or unaccepting in their stance, the poly person is likely to run away from them toward the new partner who is open and accepting of who they are, which exacerbates the issue - the monogamous person becomes more angry and feels more betrayed. 

Itís not a good cycle.  I know because I was definitely in this one as well.   And finally I was blunt - when you are like that I donít want to be around you. I am not attracted to you.  I can understand your emotions, but when you fling them at me Iím going to retreat.   

I think I tangented enough with this oneÖ. so

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Fourth came the sadness. She saw this more than the other aspects. She was so happy and free, like a beautiful little butterfly fluttering about freely. Free to do whatever she wanted, free to truly be herself.

This one makes the poly person feel guilty.  As your SO said, we donít want to hurt you.  We arenít trying to hurt you.  We arenít out doing these things thinking I hope this hurts my SO, because I want them to suffer while Iím with someone else.   

At least for me, as I said, I had hoped my husband was poly. I had hoped he dreamed of other women.  I had hoped he wanted other relationships too.  Hell, I would have even been ok if heíd cheated on me so that I could forgive him and hug him and tell him I stilled loved him and it was ok and we could talk about it and work it out and the see other people.  I felt this way even before I really understood I was polyamorous.   And we feel that way because hey - if they want other people too, then I donít have to feel guilty about it.  And it will be easy.  And I donít have to hurt them.  And they will accept me and understand me. 

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She seemed saddened by this and asked, innocently, if I would like to spend time with him, or with her.

I said that no, I did not care to meet these two other people. I knew of them. She did not hide their identities from me. But I did not want to know who they were or where they lived or what she did with one, or the other.

We would love to know that our monogamous partners - all our partners - accept the other people we are with.  And while, I donít expect that every partner ever like, spend time with, or get along with every other partner, there is a hope in a poly personís eyes that they will.   That we could all chill in a room as one big happy family where everyone got along and sang kumbaya.   #pipedream

That being said, our other partners are part of who we are too.  When you are out in life, you talk about your SO - boyfriend or husband or wife or life partner - to others.  They come up in casual conversation.  ďOh you like hiking? My boyfriend does to!Ē   But when our partner(s) doesnít want to hear about our other partners we have to clip our conversations, watch our words, walk on those eggshells, be careful how we bring things up, and conversations become a source of stress because of this added tension. 

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I was once that person that the polyamourous person opened up to. I was once that individual who tried to be the understanding one, the open-minded one, the one that loved this other person and wanted that person to be happy... But who ended up unhappy in the process.

I suppose one of the things I take from your story, is that just like I feel there are poly people who are hard-wired poly and cannot be happy any other way, there are also monogamous people are so hardwired they cannot be happy unless their relationship is monogamous.  Throughout your story, you never mentioned trying to date other people or forming your own new relationships, which leads me to believe in the theory that for some people, monogamy is a must. That they themselves cannot form multiple romantic relationships. From that, there are people who likely could accept their partner being poly, even if they themselves cannot do it.   And there are people who need their partner to be monogamous as well, and they cannot be happy in a relationship where their partner is not monogamous. 

And from that Iíll throw the axiom from More Than Two out. 

ďThe people in the relationship are more important than the relationship.Ē

Keeping the relationship at the expense or sacrifice of one person or the other is not worth it.  If youíre unhappy, you canít make others happy.  You can try. You can fake it. But over time youíll resent that they are happy and you are not.   And when you resent, you make bad choices and do things that ultimately hurt everyone involved.   I say that from experience.  I did that. 

ďForcingĒ the poly person to be monogamous is equally as hurtful as forcing the monogamous person to be poly.   In the end, someone will suffer and the relationship will suffer.  I donít think you should ever feel bad for ending a relationship if you cannot be happy in it, because we must always as people ensure our needs are met and having our needs met is not selfish. 

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I hope this commentary was not seen as negative, because it was not the goal.

It wasnít! I enjoyed everything you wrote, am honored your shared your experience with me, and hope that my replies will help shed light for the monogamous people (and plenty of poly as well) as yours shed light to me on what my monogamous partner was going through. 

Thank you <3
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 03:04:25 PM by Mintprincess »

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2016, 02:31:03 PM »
ďComing OutĒ

The LGBT community is extremely familiar with the term coming out, but I often feel it applies to myself being poly as well.  Double tie that with coming out as bisexual and I have to open myself up twice to judgement, questions, or whatever else people want to throw at me.   When it comes to E, coming out is so easy. People here are accepting, attempt to be understanding, and at the very least, I have faith in the staff to quelch any negativity that might emerge from someone who doesnít agree with my way of life.  I would say I came out on E before I really knew I was out at all, stating that my E personality was bisexual and poly, that she was my other personality, because Iím a Gemini and therefore automatically have two anyway. 

Real life, however, is an entirely different picture.  Even internet life beyond E is different.  Places where you donít know how someone will react result in a fear that disclosing who you are could have adverse consequences that you arenít ready to face.   Those consequences could be against you or those you love, most specifically your spouse.  Because how could they just let you get away with being poly.  Isnít that just a glorified form of cheating? Isnít that hurting them so you can be selfish and do whatever you want?  Do they even still love you if theyíre out with other people? 

Those are the questions you fear and those are the questions that keep you holding back.

But the first person you have to face is your spouse.  Coming out to your spouse is the scariest of all of them.  I said before that just because we are poly, doesnít mean we donít love our SO.  It doesnít mean that the thought of living without them or losing them or hurting them doesnít fill us with a sort of dread.  And how do you face the fact that if you come out with them, they could reject you for something that is at the core of your being?  The fear that upon finding out you are not who you and they thought you were, your entire relationship could end is enough to keep those words tightly guarded behind closed lips.

Which means living unhappy, living a lie, or hiding the little things weíre doing to keep ourselves sane.  None of these are good options.

I would love to say that I was strong and brave and came out because I knew it was the right thing for me.   But I wasnít. I had my internet relationships in secret, my flirty nights, my writing partners, my forbidden feelings all hidden behind the wall of roleplaying.  It was roleplaying, even though I knew what it really was.  I didnít admit to being poly until my spouse saw some of those flirty emails and asked, angrily, who was so-and-so?   Truthfully, someone I didnít even have romantic feelings for but flirted with, because there were many of those around as well.   It was in that moment I realized that I couldnít keep hiding who I was.  That it was hurting me.  It was hurting him.  It was causing me to hide things that ultimately would not stay hidden, that I didnít really want to hide either.   So I replied that I was polyamorous and  the internet was my place to express that Ďsafelyí. 

If I could change one thing, itís that I would have admitted it to him years before, after admitting it to myself.   That I would have accepted that it wasnít some ďE personalityĒ but really me, and what I really needed, and that the thoughts and cravings I had to truly be with the other people I had formed bonds with in life were real.  I would have braved that storm rather than been swept away by it.   And while I canít change that now, my advice is to accept who are you earlier rather than later. 

I donít regret the mistakes I made, because making them got me here, to a place where I am happy and thriving and growing in my polyamorous nature.  But given the opportunity to do it again, Iíd have made different - better - choices.

That leaves the rest of the public life for coming out.  Which I havenít been brave enough to do. Itís one thing to be surrounded by strangers and giving your boyfriend and girlfriend a kiss. If they judge, you wonít see them again the next day. Itís another to consider your friends and family and wonder how they will feel if they knew.   I dropped all those questions before, because those are the questions that keep me from saying anything.  And then there is the really big question:

How does the spouse feel about their partner openly coming out as poly?  Telling the people he or she is friends with that hey, my SO has a boyfriend and/or girlfriend.  I havenít even had the courage to ask about thatÖ

 So I suppose the other things Iíd like to say is that if someone comes to  you and trusts you with this piece of them, understand that opening up about being poly in a society that espouses ďone man - one womanĒ and is transitioning to ďTwo people - man or womanĒ but is still not very open about the idea of ďmany men - many women in many configurationsĒ, isnít easy.  It takes a huge leap of faith, courage and trust and once admitted needs acceptance and support.  Just like LBGT, I know poly people who say they will never tell their parents or siblings they are poly because despite the fact that family loves them, they wouldnít accept the personís poly nature.

I hope that I wonít have to always hide who I am. I hope that as time passes and those in my life become more and more comfortable with who I am that slowly I can step out of my Ďclosetí and into the world and openly exclaim that I love multiple people and they are all important to me. 

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2016, 01:36:51 PM »
Donít You Get Jealous? (intro)

This morning on the radio they were having people call and text about their unusual relationships.  The host said she received a text from a woman about the MFF relationship sheíd been in for ten months and how it was the best thing sheíd ever had.  In my head Iím nodding in agreement at that feeling because I know well how wonderful MFF can be.   And then the host says, ďI just donít understand how that works and how jealousy doesnít creep in.Ē

And it leaves me wondering why jealousy is considered this emotion that YOU JUST SHOULD NOT HAVE EVER!  Does anyone ever say ďI don't know how you have can have a relationship! Donít you ever get angry?  Donít you ever fight?  Donít you ever feel sad?  Donít you ever FEEL???Ē   Jealousy is just an emotion like anger, hurt, emptiness, hopelessness, unhappiness, rage, sadness, doubt, fear, worry, and frustration.   All of these emotions are part of being in a relationship and all of them can be addressed in a healthy and productive manner.

So can jealousy.

The next chapter in my book, More than Two is about jealousy. I havenít read it yet, although I plan to this week.  But the fact that when poly came up on the radio, the first thing to be zeroed in on was jealousy just had me rolling my eyes. 

Jealousy like any other emotion has Ďgood applesí and Ďbad applesí (I use apples since I used apples a few posts ago.)  And when you look at the apples you have to decide if your jealousy exists for unfounded and insecure reasons or if youíre feeling it for a very specific reason. 

Just like anger is often a secondary emotion because we were hurt, jealousy so too is an indication that something deeper is going on.  If weíre just being insecure, then the solution is simple: recognize the insecurity and address it.   If itís because you were hurt, or are feeling neglected (Ie your partner is spending a lot more time with a new partner and you arenít having your needs met) address it. 

Like all emotions there is a RIGHT and WRONG way to address them.   You all know those people who when they get angry are passive aggressive - or just aggressive - and release their anger in unhealthy ways that result in someone getting hurt.  And you know those people who when they are angry, go to the source and openly state ďWhen you did this, I felt angryÖ.Ē  Itís addressed and itís over and done with and the relationship moves forward.  Jealousy is no different.

Anyway, I plan to write on this one a lot more of course, but I couldnít help but feel a bit frustrated that poly is always associated with JEALOUSY as if people cannot handle this emotion and so it canít possibly work.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2016, 01:48:56 PM »
What I've discovered is there are those who are hardly touched by jealousy (who hardly seem to experience the emotion at all) and those who are affected by it in a major way (or degrees in between). My experience of people I know who are naturally polyamorous is they don't experience jealousy in the same way that more naturally-monogamous people do. It touches them more lightly, whereas those who are prone to jealousy or territoriality can be taken into much darker and more painful places by it. I've also discovered that the person you're with can influence those feelings of jealousy, depending on how secure you feel in the relationship and with your partner/s. It's not just a reflection of your own feelings, but the aspects of your personality that your partner brings out in you.


Offline Lrrr

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2016, 07:16:52 PM »
After reading your comments MintPrincess, I have to agree with almost everything you mentioned.  What I'm really interested in are the practical ways of coping with jealousy.  And yes, I know I may just have to wait for the next installment, but I wanted to see if there were any thoughts you or anyone else on E had before that next part was posted.

Let me use another emotion as a counterpoint to hopefully shed more light on what I mean.  Like everyone else, from time to time I get angry.  The last time I can remember being angry was with my wife for leaving the garage door open when rain was predicted.  That evening, I spent about three hours carefully drying and cleaning up several thousand dollars worth of woodworking tools after they got soaked that afternoon.

I must admit that I didn't talk to her at all until late that evening for fear of my anger causing me to say things I would later regret.  The intervening hours did, however, cool my emotions enough that we had a civilized discussion and she apologized and promised to do her best not to let it happen again.  All was forgiven and we moved on with the episode nearly forgotten.

Now let me lay out another example but this time the subject of jealousy is the prime emotion.  Some months ago my wife and I visited a married couple who were old high school friends.  We hadn't seen them in literally decades and the visit started off being a very happy occasion for all four of us.  Keep in mind that I'm looking forward to my 50th high school reunion in a couple of years.  I'll call the husband Mike and the wife Chris just to make this easier to write.

Mike was a good friend of mine and Chris was a good friend of my wife's, and we were all friends of each other.  Mike had been my wife's boyfriend for about six months in high school before I began dating her.

An hour into our visit, my wife got up from her seat and walked past Mike who was seated on the couch.  Mike reached out and guided her to a seat on his lap.  I don't want to focus on whether this was appropriate behavior or not, only on my reaction and how my wife handled it.

As someone who is quite far toward the "extremely jealous and possessive" end of the spectrum, the feeling of possessiveness immediately came to the front of my thoughts with quite some force.  I expected my wife to get up and end the situation, but she didn't.  For the next half hour the four of us continued to carry on the conversation although I was saying less and less as the feelings inside grew in intensity.  Finally, I mentioned that we had to get going and my wife got up before we said our goodbyes and headed for the door.

You might think that would be the end of it, but despite my best efforts, I could not rid myself of the strong feelings that continued, although they did abate a little over the next few hours.  That night, I finally brought up the subject with my wife and her response was that she couldn't think of a way to get off his lap without being rude.  Seeing as how that was patently ridiculous, anger toward her was now added to my emotional load.  After all, how hard would it have been to say "Hey, I need some water (or any of a number of other things).  Excuse me Mike."

As an engineer, I am quite rational and logical by both nature and training.  But as most of us know, reason and emotions often don't talk to each other.  Yes, it had been fifty years since my wife and Mike were boyfriend and girlfriend and, even knowing there was zero possibility of anything else happening between the two as a result of her sitting on his lap for a half hour, that thought made little difference in how I was feeling.

My anger toward her was fairly short-lived, being gone late that evening when we talked and she apologized for not ending the situation more quickly.  And eventually my feelings of jealousy and possessiveness died down so that after a couple of weeks it didn't bother me even a little bit anymore.  Even now though, after months of occasionally thinking about the incident, I still haven't figured out what would have been a positive way of dealing with the jealousy and possessiveness.

What should I have done?  Tell Mike that his behavior wasn't appropriate?  Tell my wife to get off his lap?  The problematic emotions were mine, not theirs.  Clearly the best solution would have been for me to accept the situation and not feel jealous.  But simply telling myself that the jealousy was irrational would have been futile as most of us know.  Reason usually has no control over emotions, especially base emotions like fighting to keep your mate.

I know I have a problem with possessiveness and I've had it since I was a teenager.  I've brought it up several times in marriage counseling my wife and I have had as part of our wish to be proactive in heading off marital problems.  It has become a non-issue as we've aged since there aren't that many situations where a sixty year old woman gets advances from a male admirer.  And that seems to be the best solution as I look to the future ... try to avoid situations that produce those emotions in me.

I'm open to comments and even criticism of my actions and reactions.  Truly I am.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2016, 08:41:57 PM »
Clearly the best solution would have been for me to accept the situation and not feel jealous.  But simply telling myself that the jealousy was irrational would have been futile as most of us know.

I have to disagree with you there. As friendly as you all were, it was a line that Mike shouldn't have crossed. I would have genuine grounds for being annoyed, mainly with him for not respecting my relationship and my partner (he would have no right touching her), but also my partner for staying put. In that situation, I would've acted to change things so my partner no longer remained on his lap (one way or another). That's unless there was there was a pre-existing comfort level in place or this was something agreed in advance.

I'm not sure there's necessarily a right or wrong answer. It depends on both parties and your relationship.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 08:43:48 PM by AmberStarfire »

Offline CuriousEyes

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2016, 04:29:53 PM »
So here are some questions...

When/how do you think is the ideal time to identify yourself as polyamorous to a potential romance? Assuming of course you didn't meet in a situation where that status could be assumed. I have to imagine it's a fine line to balance.


Unrelated, have you had any experiences or reactions to outing yourself that have been unequivocally negative? And looking back at them do you think there's a way they could have been handled that would have been better?

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2016, 10:09:44 PM »
What I've discovered is there are those who are hardly touched by jealousy (who hardly seem to experience the emotion at all) and those who are affected by it in a major way (or degrees in between). My experience of people I know who are naturally polyamorous is they don't experience jealousy in the same way that more naturally-monogamous people do. It touches them more lightly, whereas those who are prone to jealousy or territoriality can be taken into much darker and more painful places by it. I've also discovered that the person you're with can influence those feelings of jealousy, depending on how secure you feel in the relationship and with your partner/s. It's not just a reflection of your own feelings, but the aspects of your personality that your partner brings out in you.


That applies for every emotion though.  My point was more that jealousy is no more or less a valid emotion when it comes to a relationship than any other emotion.   Some people feel anger stronger. Others get emotionally sad or distant or whatever else.   While I agree with what you are saying, jealousy isnít the defining characteristic of people, yet itís the one most often associated with poly relationships.

My opinion is that jealousy is tied to security.  I donít think itís that poly people feel it more or less than monogamous people.   Iím sure there are plenty of monogamous people that donít experience uber strong jealousy either.   Jealousy is usually considered a secondary emotion that I feel is tied to fear of loss, uncertainty, insecurity.   Not necessarily in oneself, but in the relationship or the status of, or simply that whatever one is seeing or hearing about is filed into the Ďunknowní category and thus opens up the natural can of fears that humans seems predisposed to turn to the moment they donít have all the information right in front of them.

I wouldnít stay Iím any less prone to jealousy when Iím in the same situation.  When I donít -know- whatís going on with my partner.  But I also know that the better choice is to have faith in them and our relationship, to lay my fears aside and later talk to them about the situation so I can gain the information I need to put those fears to rest, rather than let my imagine assume the worst.

So I think it isnít so much having the emotion or not having the emotion. Itís learning to handle it the same way you would expect someone with anger issues to learn how to manage their anger.  You wouldnít go around and expect the world to change so that they didnít always fly off the handle, but for them to learn to manage their emotions and deal with the issues in a healthy fashion.

To me, jealousy is no different. 

After reading your comments MintPrincess, I have to agree with almost everything you mentioned.  What I'm really interested in are the practical ways of coping with jealousy.  And yes, I know I may just have to wait for the next installment, but I wanted to see if there were any thoughts you or anyone else on E had before that next part was posted.


Thank you for your response to me Lrrr!  I appreciate the honesty in your story, and donít think that I havenít at times been where you are.  While I am going to think a little on it, my first thought was rather than focus on what your wife was doing to you, think about how she might been feeling in the situation: uncomfortable, unhappy, distressed, anxious.   She was put into a situation she was probably extremely uncomfortable with and left to solve it on her own.   Just as she could have asked for some water or to use the bathroom, a joking comment by you perhaps, ďMy wife does look on the lap, I think itís my turn,Ē could have given her the excuse she needed to get up.

Your feelings are valid.  Feelings canít be controlled.   We feel from a place in our mind that is beyond us to tackle.  We can control our bodies, our actions, our thoughts, and thus influence the situation and ultimately our emotional responses can change, but itís ok to feel what we feel and acknowledge that and validate it. 

The other thing Iíve often done is take it as a compliment.  My SO is attractive to everyone else, and yet they are mine.   At the end of the day, they are coming home with me, to love me and hold me and kiss me.   And in my poly case, even if they love someone else, I know they still love me.  So yes, my heart might beat a little bit when I see flirting going on, but the moment those fingers remind me who I belong to and those words are whispered that I love to hear, I remember that we all can flirt and fun with others, but our hearts know where they belong.

Anyway, Iíll write more on this and the other posts soon.   Itís getting late but I didnít want to wait too long!   Keep it coming <3

Offline Piper

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2016, 03:47:12 PM »
If I may, reading your first entry (which made me read more), it sounded a lot like me! I am married but have almost always been in another side relationship. I love my husband. I am crazy about him. He is my best friend and I don't ever want to break up. HOWEVER, I never feel 100% myself without another relationship. He and I have had threesomes (and moresomes) but for me, it wasn't (isn't) just about the sex. I have developed deep feelings for other people while still being married and in love with my husband. One relationship lasted over seven years, and my current side relationship has been over a year. BUT I am NOT open with my husband. I just cheat and oh how I hate that word, but the semantics of it is the truth.

I never find myself longing to be with my side boyfriend over my husband. (Nor does he wish to end his marriage for me). I can, for lack of a better term, compartmentalize each relationship. I can live and love fully inside one relationship and then live and love fully the other. BUT Because I am not open and honest with my husband (primary relationship), I just feel like a guilty cheater :( I know I could never even bring up polyamory to my husband. Not everyone can understand how I can love two people without one being less of something (or more) than the other.

Anyway, I just wanted to jump in here and chime in since it sounds like FINALLY someone understands where I am coming from.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #43 on: October 22, 2016, 02:32:05 PM »
I have to disagree with you there. As friendly as you all were, it was a line that Mike shouldn't have crossed. I would have genuine grounds for being annoyed, mainly with him for not respecting my relationship and my partner (he would have no right touching her), but also my partner for staying put. In that situation, I would've acted to change things so my partner no longer remained on his lap (one way or another). That's unless there was there was a pre-existing comfort level in place or this was something agreed in advance.

I'm not sure there's necessarily a right or wrong answer. It depends on both parties and your relationship.

I do agree with Amber on Mike that it's a line that shouldn't have been crossed, which has nothing to do with poly or mono but respecting personal space, boundaries and comfort zones.   I kinda already covered the issue with the partner and that she might have been uncomfortable, anxious, and genuinely needing help with the situation.  I don't know her, but I know that some non-confrontational persons will accept a situation rather than cause drama, although I know that's something as your spouse in this situation you sould know. 

I do think yeah, there would always need to be a pre-talk about those type of thing before it happened.

Ok must run!  More to come! Thanks for the comments! <3

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2016, 07:17:32 PM »
Mint: You're right that it's possible to feel stuck in a situation like that and not know how to deal with it (and discussing this has made me realise to what extent that's true). Women in particular can feel stuck, especially around someone who they feel they should be polite around. That makes Mike's behaviour even less acceptable/a bit more creepy.

Piper: I can't say I agree with you, but you're the one who has to live your life (not me or anyone else). It seems like this has hurt you in a way, and would hurt or destroy your marriage if your husband knew. When I say hurting you it's not because you're giving free rein to it. It's because you're in a situation where you know it wouldn't be accepted by your husband. That must create a weight on your heart, as well as your conscience. Why is it something you couldn't talk to your husband about (in terms of future possibilities)? I know he might ask about the past but is it just that or is it something you already know he'd be firmly against? Maybe it's not as impossible an option as it seems. In other words, maybe you could dig your way out. If he means so much to you, he doesn't deserve to be cheated on. However, as you've been with other people together, maybe he wouldn't be as against this as it seems.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 07:20:13 PM by AmberStarfire »

Offline LadyKrys

Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #45 on: October 24, 2016, 09:11:51 PM »
Mint, I almost cried reading this. I was told about this blog from a friend of mine that is transitioning coming out as poly, and I can't do anything but agree with you.

As a teenager, I was never single long. I had fairly long relationships, but I always seemed to 'move on' quickly. I always had a boyfriend. What people saw as me being heartless was simply me loving more than one person, and transitioning. If I fell in love with a new person, I would get angry, confused. I had this idea in my head that I could only love one person, and that if I loved someone else I obviously didn't love the previous one anymore. So I would break up with them.

I was 18 when I first said that I was poly. I told my boyfriend of the time that I couldn't stand to be in a monogamous relationship, and we ended up breaking up. It was odd, as we had an arrangement spanning a few months that he didn't mind if I fooled around with my best friend. But as soon as I wanted to make that official, he backed away. I tried to proposition another friend that I was falling in love with, and got rejected and told to go back to my boyfriend. So I did. I went back and said that I would try to make it work. We lasted a little while longer until we both realized that we wouldn't work. I wanted kids, he didn't. I wasn't going to spend 'forever' with him if I couldn't have children. It was a dealbreaker.

Within a month, I was with another guy. I had been getting to know him for over a year, and I just fell in love with him. I still missed the previous boyfriend, and my heart was still aching. But the new one helped me through it. I told him right away I was poly. He said he would work with me on it, and I was so happy! Except for the next year and a half of my life, he secluded me and made me only HIS. I couldn't even go out with friends without him making me feel horrible ("Which one are you fucking now?").

In November, I started talking to a new group of people online. They were nice, they were open, they were just so loving. I got close to a couple of them and even participated in a bit of cyber sex. In January, my boyfriend found out. There was yelling, there was anger. But he said he would try and let me have my fun online. We broke up in February because he was so abusive and controlling. And yet again, I was in a relationship within a few weeks.

Except this time, I met two guys that were willing to share me. Both were online, and both loved me. And I loved both of them. One in Mexico (I'll refer to him as G.), one in the Philippines (I'll use E.), with me in the US. In July, I spent a week in Mexico with G. These two were my first time trying long distance, and it was my first time actually trying to be poly. And it worked.

Things got complicated in August when I fell in love with my friend here in town (I'll use M.). He knew about my boyfriends online, and he knew that E was going to come and move in with me in late Sept/early Oct. He wanted to try anyways. We spent a month with just us two in person and spent almost all our time together (with me still active online with G and E). Then in mid Sept, E moved in.

M knew I was poly, he had seen me interact with E. He knew I loved E. But that moment that he moved in, it finally clicked. We've been working out the kinks so far (M is sad because I can't spend most night in his arms), but just this last week E asked M if he wanted to sleep at our place more and essentially move in. Now we just need to work on G getting to the US.

Everything in this thread just rings true to me. The idea and feeling that I just can't be me in a monogamous relationship. I still pain for those that I've hurt along the way. Friendships destroyed, possible futures ruined. But I know that people heal, and in the end everything will be okay.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2016, 04:39:32 AM »

Ok must run!  More to come! Thanks for the comments! <3

Hello again, dear Mintprincess!

First, thank you for taking the time, effort, and care to come comment and post to my introductory thread.  I deeply appreciate your being my first, and for being so very gentle with me too.  It was a wonderful first experience indeed, my love.

Second, and with all seriousness, you and I seem to be in a similar place with polyamory, save that it cost me, among other things (and not for simply the reason of coming out full poly at last), a spouse about ten years ago who, it turned out, was hardwired to react in a most irrational and self-destructive way to ideas outside a rigid externally-socialized set of self-imposed bonds and negative self-images from others in a distant past, long before me.

Having since worked on reconciling the expectations of vanilla society and freeing myself from an externally-socialized and externally-enforced hyperconcern about what other people would think, I have finally settled into a system of cautious demisexuality and a structured approach involving shared honesty and emotional connection that permits deep and trusting life-commitments and practical, sane, stable relationships with more than one person at one time.  In ways that maximize the continuing probabilities that those relationships continue to work and that they tend to keep getting richer and more fulfilling over time.

It is expressed in my life as a gestalt type of group relationship, a closed polygon of at least three and no more than thirty carefully hand-picked personality types and body types, with the right mix of commonalities and differences, to both minimize any growth of contempt over time, and to maximize respect and tolerant inclusion over time as well.

It does take effort, mindful care, and thoughtful communications on a regular basis, but nowadays it is an actual and true background aspect of my own real life, as well as an important part of the research I was doing that led me by chance recently to discover elliquiy in the first place. 

In the event you have not had the time to return to that introduction thread since your first post, i posted a requested writing prompt last night as a "story" for Angelicant, and perhaps indirectly for her Animaniac SO too, but in reality it tells all about my own real transition to polyamory without actually saying so. 

if you have time, I would be honored if you did go back over there and take a quick look at it. 

This approach to good and fulfilling, emotionally healthy and respectful relationships with more than one person at the same time, and the discoveries about myself and others it has made possible in the past seven free years since being single again, have almost completely reshaped my own social life and genuine, open love life for the better, in every way.  Plus, pretty much freed myself of any concern or backlash over the idea or fears of what other people may think, about how I now live my own personally-reengineered life and manage to make it all work.

Thank you again, Mintprincess, for your kindnesses and compassion, and I do truly hope to become best friends with you too over time and distance in the near future, here on elliquiy <3

Elyse  :-*

Offline Timeless

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2016, 08:19:21 AM »
Firstly and foremost, I just want to apologize in advance if I offend anybody with my question. I have to admit that I'm definitely not knowledgeable when it comes to polyamory nor would I consider myself to be one. But I am mostly just very curious and would like to ask for anybody's opinion or even experience, but had anybody ever been in a relationship where all the trio, as in like say yourself, your partner and your other partner are actually in love with one another?

I'm mostly curious because I can see that mostly who had posted here are just mainly themselves as a polyamorous person but none who really mention about their partner actually loving their other partner and such?

Once again, I'm definitely not knowledgeable when it comes to this topic. But nonetheless, this blog had been rather enlightening and I give my thanks to those who share their own experience, emotions and their struggles.

Offline MintprincessTopic starter

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2016, 08:27:49 AM »
Thank you all for the comments.   I'm a bit exhausted and busy at work today and I have so much I want to say to all of them. I'm hoping a good afternoon break will allow me time to reread everything (and travel back to that amazing intro!), write down responses to all your stories, and collect all my thoughts.  Let's just say today is a bit of a rough day for this little Mint!

But I did want to address your question Timeless --

The answer is yes.  I am part of a trio in which all three of us are couples and all three of us are together as a group of three.  We do things as couples and we do things as all three of us.   I love my girlfriend as much as much as my boyfriend and they are the same. I do plan to eventually blog about the dynamic when I have a chance and hope I can address all your questions about it.

I will say it was random chance luck I suppose that those feeling all developed that way, and I don't think it works to force it.  It has to feel right and natural.  But mostly definitely it does exist.

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Re: Polyamory and Me
« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2016, 10:24:57 PM »
But I did want to address your question Timeless --

The answer is yes.  I am part of a trio in which all three of us are couples and all three of us are together as a group of three.  We do things as couples and we do things as all three of us.   I love my girlfriend as much as much as my boyfriend and they are the same. I do plan to eventually blog about the dynamic when I have a chance and hope I can address all your questions about it.

I will say it was random chance luck I suppose that those feeling all developed that way, and I don't think it works to force it.  It has to feel right and natural.  But mostly definitely it does exist.

Thank you for the very quick answer! Let me just say, I'm happy for you that you are really happy in your relationship. I would love to read about this dynamic because I am curious on how it works along with the experience in that kind of relationship.