Loving More Than One

Polyamory as it relates to my life and written from my perspective only. MY thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Polyfidelity

on May 17, 2011

What does it mean when you have more than one partner and you are asked to be exclusive to them alone?

This has come up for me in a conversation with a friend recently and it got me to thinking. But I’ll use my own situation for the example.

Our relationship with Chane and Arwen was exclusive.

Does that imply anything to you? It did to me. Particularly with things that were said to me. It does to my friend as well.

It implied more than a secondary relationship to me. When we exchanged rings and a little later when we all sat down and agreed we were going to treat this relationship as we would a marriage.

Where and when did that change? Because I was a secondary to Chane. I’m not blaming one person here for this. When the newness wore off what happened? When everyone wasn’t happy, what happened?

For me, I’m wondering if I made the mistake of not realizing that the quad was more important to most than the dyads. The rings I exchanged weren’t to marry a group. I was married to Dirk and I was making a commitment to Chane. The fact that all the rings were the same was significant to me in that I was doing the best I could under the living circumstances to be in an equally committed relationship to both men and that I had made a commitment to support the whole group in whatever way I could.

It could be that more than secondaries was also the intention at the time for everyone. I’m no longer sure if I ever was looking back. But, the long distances and the work schedules and so many other things came into play. Why weren’t these addressed the way they should have been?

Why, when it became obvious to all that this was just secondary relationships, didn’t we end the exclusivity?

I knew that the secondary aspect of things was a real sticking point for me with Chane. I’ve written about it here. I’ve talked with him about it. I’ve talked with Dirk about it. I did not talk much with Arwen about it. I knew I struggled with this. And I know that I couldn’t get it.

I’m realizing that the request for exclusivity implied more to me than I was aware of at the time.

I’m realizing that this isn’t really just a breakup from a boyfriend that I’ve been healing from. For, in my eyes, he was much more than that.

I’m not sure I’d go down the polyfidelity road again.  To me it automatically puts a relationship in a certain category. I just think I may lay cards on the table about what I have to offer at the time and if it changes down the line we can readdress things.

Does polyfidelity imply anything  to you? Why or why not?

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6 responses to “Polyfidelity

  1. Jack says:

    I have major issues with polyfidelity. if someone chooses not to see anyone else, that is fine; that is their prerogative. To tell the others in your relationship that they may not see anyone else seems little different from monogamy only with more partners involved. You are still controlling them.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the entire group agreeing to polyfidelity. I mean yes, we are all responsible for making our own decisions and dealing with the consequences etc, but if standing up and saying “No, I don’t agree with that” may mean the end of the relationship or that of your partner, is it truly voluntary? I recall hearing a while back from a friend that she wanted to see others outside their quad, but one member of the quad was dead-set on polyfi; in order to keep the peace she agreed. That’s not freedom to me, and in turn that kind of defeats the whole point of poly.

    • I think…the only way that i could be in a poly relationship would be polyfi. I’ve had “open” relationships before and that didn’t work out so well for me. So to each their own i suppose. Isn’t any relationship about communication and compromise though? I do agree with you that doing it to please someone else is not okay and not really voluntary…but the real question is why would you give someone that sort of control? (see above … i’ve done it lol though i still don’t know why i did)

      I seem to have gone all convoluted and have lost track of myself. I think the idea of a polyfi relationship is beautiful.

  2. I understand how you feel. I do. And I don’t particularly think you are wrong. In fact, I do see where it can mean the opposite of poly.

    And in our defense I suppose, poly isn’t something we really knew about at the time. We were flying by the seat of our pants I guess. I doubt I agree to it again as a condition for a relationship. Time management make make it a necessity if I’m working in reality in my head here.

    But, I won’t change my opinion that the asking for it did imply something to me. It would always imply that I suppose. And I do believe that was the initial intention of the request.

    Thank you for actually commenting on my blog even though I know how you feel about this!

  3. Jack says:

    I understand that this is all a learning process for all of us; I’m just glad I have such wonderful and thoughtful friends as I form and develop my own opinions and philosophies.

    I think asking for polyfidelity implies the same kind of thing that is implied by asking for exclusivity in a monogamous relationship…and I think that it is left over from our monogamous ways of thinking.

    As far as polyfidelity as a result of time management, I think what we all may run into an issue of polysaturation if we don’t self-limit our number of partners. Even then, I don’t believe that I have the right to ask for polyfi, but only to state my issues/concerns/needs as they apply to me.

    I can say “I feel neglected when you spend almost no time with me. My needs are not being met and I believe that this continued level of interaction is not sustainable. Perhaps the root problem is that you are stretched too thin between too many partners, but how you handle it is your decision.” I do not feel that I can say “You can’t date other people” regardless of the reason.

  4. [...] Polyfidelity (lovingmorethanone.wordpress.com) [...]

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