Loving More Than One

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

Grieve the Fairy Tale

on April 13, 2010

Disclaimer: I could just be in a bit of a confrontational mood or a contemplative mood so you might should keep that in mind while reading this.

I’ve been reading some threads on the forums I frequent about established couples–originally mono–who in some, way, shape or form have come to be considering polyamory. Whether they both discussed it before exploring or one partner found someone else and asked the other half of the couple to try poly, or one half of the couple cheated and was caught and now wants to be poly.

Usually, the half of the couple that is being asked to make the adjustment to poly feel that their established relationship should be “primary” in every sense of the word. Not just finances and things like that. The person wants guarantees that no one will harm the core/primary relationship. That it will always be first, etc., etc. I get that, I do. I understand wanting the reassurances. I’ve been there at one point. I really have. But, truthfully, what are those reassurances worth? Particularly depending on how you came to be trying poly out.

For example, we can use Dirk and I.

I won’t go through the back story as it is recorded already. Take into account that the promises given to me from Dirk for 20+ years basically amounted to nothing when it came down to it. So, what good is it to me for him to give me similar promises and reassurances now? Are they going to mean more this time? I very much doubt that. Bottom line is, no matter what promises he may utter, and actually believe, he really can not guarantee me anything at all. That’s the end of it. There are not guarantees at all.

Now, because I’ve learned that the fairy tale is not true, I have to face reality. The no guarantees thing. Where does that leave me? Deciding what risks (mostly emotional) I am and am not willing to take. I now know that there are more deal breakers for me than I was aware of as a mono person. What deal breakers am I going to go with? What can I narrow them down to? I have to re-evaluate my life and my beliefs in light of what reality is and not want I was taught to believe. That’s at times a difficult thing to accomplish.

So, for those who I come across that feel as if the reassurances are the answer, should I tell them that I don’t believe it is really doing much good to receive those promises and reassurances they are asking for? To let them know that I feel the reason they may be having trouble getting past some things is because, deep down, they know they are getting worthless reassurances. That to become really ok with things they, themselves, have to get into a different mindset. They have to go through the grief process for the fairy tale. And then decide if they can live/embrace poly or not. If they can’t, I do not feel that they can live happily with someone who identifies with poly.

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4 responses to “Grieve the Fairy Tale

  1. LetsEatCake says:

    I agree that anyone who asks for assurances is only getting false ones, but that’s true for monogamy as well as poly. I think we all want some sort of reassurance that our partner won’t leave us, but even marriage is not a real promise. People get “left” all the time. Even if , like you said, the person truly believes in the promise they are making at the time.

    Now in the case where poly people expect “primary” to mean you are assured love? I agree that’s unrealistic – but really no more than a mono person confusing monogomy with longevity 🙂

    Speaking of which, how long have you and your hubby been together? And your quad? Just curious, seeing as you have grandkids 🙂

    • oneof4 says:

      You’re absolutely correct. It doesn’t matter if it’s poly or mono.

      Hubby and I have been married almost 26 years and together 28 years now. The quad has been together a little over 3 years now and we are getting close to the 3 year mark where we exchanged rings.

      Hubby and I got grandchildren early. Our son had his first when he was 16. We are 46 now and our oldest grandson (we have 2 but the first one isn’t really allowed to see our family) will be 6 in a few weeks. The youngest is 21/2 and we see him regularly. He will, in fact, be with us this weekend. 🙂

  2. IntrigueMe says:

    While I understand that promises mean nothing if you don’t back them up… I still understand why people would want a “primary” relationship (they’d feel more reassured). I do however, find it hard to believe that having a relationship designated “primary” would matter much when things started to go sour, which is when it’s going to matter most anyway.

    • Yes, I was in a but if a funk when I wrote this but still hold by what I said. Maybe I could have stated it better. Claiming a primary status really doesn’t mean much if both don’t feel the same way or the trust isn’t there.

      The truth is, if the relationship goes south, mono or poly isn’t really the issue for the most part.

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