Thursday, July 23, 2015

Emotions Run Wild

While you are making lists, researching about polyamory while talking openly and honestly to your partner, you are going through some very heavy emotional roads.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a married/non-married live-in, or live-apart relationship. It doesn’t matter if your partner says that they’re poly after years of being mono or is poly and says that they want to have a relationship with yet another person; you are having the bombs of Armageddon going off in your head.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross came up with a model that is used to handle grief. It has seven stages:  Shock or disbelief, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Guilt, Depression, and Acceptance. Yes, it has to do originally with death and dying, but I believe that we go through some or all of these stages to some degree in relationships too.  For those whose partner has made the decision to become poly after being mono for many years, you’ll go through that shock stage.  You’ll think that they are joking with you. You’ll probably go through the denial stage too.  You’ll think that this is a “phase”, and that this is not happening.  You may get angry because of their decision.  In your mind you are thinking “how dare they do this to me!”  You may go through the other stages too: bargaining with them to try to keeps things the way they were, and setting up rules/boundaries; guilt by thinking that you did something wrong (you didn’t); depression by wishing that things would go back to the way they were.

For those whose poly partner says that they have an interest in another person, you also go through the stages but (my view) not all of them.  I feel that shock /disbelief and the denial stages are off the table because you already know that your partner is poly.  I would like to replace that with the “here we go again” stage. You are probably going through the anger phase too; but it would be something like “this is not fair”. Probably the bargaining stage too as you would be talking with your partner about reviewing or setting up rules/boundaries.  I also feel that that you would go through the guilt and depression stages as you feel guilty that you are allowing this to happen yet again (monogamy kicking in) and depressed that you are allowing yourself to feel this way.

I feel that we all go through the anger stage no matter what style of mono/poly relationship we are in. We feel that the dynamics of our relationship are going to change because someone new is joining the group.  Our insecurities kick in and we have more bombs going off in our heads. I strongly believe that this is when you need to sit down and talk to your partner about how you feel.  Tell your partner that you feel hurt, upset, angry, and any other feelings that you have.  Talk to your partner about how you and your partner, as a team, can address the issues that are upsetting to you.

The last stage of this model is acceptance. Are you willing to look outside of the box? Like I said before, being poly is who they are; just like being mono is who you are; and trying to change anyone will bring about serious issues. Are you able and willing to accept your partner for who they are?  They are the same person you love only with different beliefs/views on relationships.  I feel that relationships of any type take teamwork, and dealing with emotions is one aspect of teamwork.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Now on Facebook

I have created a page on Facebook for this blog.

I figured that if you have any suggestions for a blog topic,an article that you wanted to share, or questions in general, this would be a good place to meet and talk.

Something to Think About – Both Mono and Poly

This past weekend, I had some friends up at the house.  As we were sitting having coffee, a discussion started about relationships.  My friend, H, was saying that she really doesn’t need anyone in her life on a full –time basis (she’s divorced for some time - mono).  As she was going on about this, I asked her, “When we were younger, (20 -30’s) we all had this mindset of having a partner in order to have kids or to fulfill a family expectation.  Then when we’re all older (40’s), it’s not a big deal to be married; so the thought of having a partner isn’t big on the list.  But when we hit retirement age (55 +), wouldn’t we want a partner to share retirement with and that you and your partner would take care of each other?  She stopped cold, looked at me and said that she never looked at it that way.  As she thought about it, H said that when she had major surgery and was laid up for six weeks, she had to scramble to find people who would help her walk her dog and go food shopping for her. 

The more I thought about this, I wondered how caring for each other when one becomes sick or has major surgery would work in a poly relationship of any type.  I have not seen this topic covered in any books, or blogs (that I’m aware of) so I’m going to tread into the waters.

For the sake of argument I am using the term poly to cover all types of poly relationships: poly/poly; mono/poly; and the like.  It may be a safe bet to say that if you are the primary partner in the relationship, your partner will be there for you.  What I am thinking about is you or your partner’s OSO’s.  What if they become sick, or have surgery that leaves them unable to get about for some time.  Or your partner becomes ill or has surgery and their OSO’s would like to see/help them?  Have you two or all of you together addressed this?

States have living wills and health care proxies.  What if your partner wants their OSO listed on them along, or not along, with you to make decisions if they are unable to?  Will you be comfortable with that?  And as the OSO – are you going to be comfortable knowing that you may not get first-hand information as you may not be allowed to be on the list of people who are allowed information? 

M and I went to a dinner where there was a poly trio there.  The guy had gotten out of the hospital the day before.  His OSO said that when she heard that he was in; she quickly packed a bag and headed over.  Everyone was comfortable with each other so needless to say his hospital stay was fine.  Seeing that we had only just met them, I was a bit reluctant to ask them about this topic.  As we were heading back after dinner, I asked M what his views were on this.  His answer was that he hoped that if the time comes where he is in the hospital, everyone would work together and get along.

Another thing that all you may want to discuss:  If you are keeping the mono/poly aspect of your relationship away from family and friends, how will you handle it when the OSO(s) show up?  The stress level is going to be high enough without scrambling to explain to Grandpa Joe who the other people involved are.  My family knows that M has lots of female friends, so it’s no biggie for them if someone shows affection towards M.

I personally have not gone through any of this, but I know that someday this will happen.  I also know that this topic is usually not covered, but let’s face it, these things do happen.  It’s not always lollipops and roses; and for me, it’s not an easy topic to discuss; but it is something to think about.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I haven't Disappeared

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in a while.  New job and life got in the way.

HOWEVER, I am in the middle of writing something that is thought provoking and hopefully will have it up by this weekend.  I am also in the process of starting a Facebook page based on this blog.  As soon as it's up I'l let everyone know.