Saturday, August 16, 2014

Polyamory is Hard

I was talking to my therapist the other day.

Actually, it was couples therapy.

And, actually, I brought this up twice because, in all honesty, I have two sets of therapists: one I see with my partner/girlfriend and the other I see with my wife.

Polyamory is hard ...

... which, I think, should be pretty obvious in that I'm seeing two therapists but that's not the point.

I opted for this lifestyle because it offered such a range of possibility. It challenges conventional thoughts about love and marriages, pushes my boundaries, and forces me to routinely think about feminism and masculinity, commitment, and love in a myriad of ways. I chose this lifestyle and I'm fully committed to it.

Still, it's damn hard.

Sure, open relationships and sex with multiple people - right on, sounds pretty cool to you, right? - until you have to sit down and do the work.

There's the routine stuff:

  • Constant (endless) communication
  • Questioning assumptions that you have about love and relationships
  • Calendaring and scheduling
  • Expectations management
  • Emotional processing - sex, love, jealousy, guilt, regret, etc.

I mean, all of that takes a great deal of energy amongst multiple partners but these are just the surface, the most obvious things.

Then there's the long-term, extended stuff:

  • The legal differentiation between partners (example: a "wife" affords a legal distinction over a "partner"), leading to a whole rats nest of issues concerning wills/probate, medical care, rights over your assets, etc.
  • Re-thinking the roles of "husband, wife, partner" - and the promises those titles imply - in the context of multiple people.
  • Break-ups and ending/transitioning relationships that've lasted for years.
  • Challenges surrounding space, distance, travel, and cohabitation. Not everyone wants to live together; not everyone likes the same kinds of personal space. Those are some tough compromises.
  • Embracing inequity. Poly's inherently unfair. My wife has made sacrifices that enable me to spend time, energy, and resources on my partner, which often excludes her. Meanwhile, my partner isn't around me as often as my wife, and, doesn't attend family travel, and I'm not always around, which excludes her, creating her own set of sacrifices. Resolving those inequities is a full-time preoccupation.
  • Retirement and security. Our social systems are setup to benefit a spouse. I worry about guaranteeing financial peace-of-mind to my partner and helping build her own security, nest-egg, medical and insurance and investment portfolio, etc. 
  • Combining or separating the finances of multiple people, how to communicate and work with cash flow shortages, new financial expectations, etc.
  • Realizing that you can't ever make everyone happy. Instead, poly is a lifestyle of compromises where everyone doesn't get exactly what they want: there's only so much time, so much space, and so much of you to go around.
  • Getting along with extended connections (metamours, partners of partners) and intentional family for long periods of time.

So poly is hard. Personally, it hurts that I can't give everything to both of my partners and make both of them 100-percent happy at the same time. It's a constant process of compromise, learning, re-tooling my skillets, and managing expectations.

And I think anyone just getting into polyamory should know that it's hard. In fact, just last week, I was at a bar on Mississippi Avenue just last week with a bunch of enthusiastic poly-newcomers. I was kind of a Debbie-downer in that crowd, but I think it's real. Poly looks pretty good on paper, especially if perceived in the context of short-run but everyone should be prepared for the long-game, and what that means in their lives.

R

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. That isn't how I manage my poly relationships-- everyone gets more or less everything they want, as much as anyone gets in any monogamous relationship-- but it does sound stressful!

I just entered poly life, but hope things are better for you now!

Anonymous said...

Am so excited that my ex husband is back into my life after we had a serious argument which led to him leaving me, my life was a mess without him because he was my source of happiness i tried calling him but he didn't answer my call but everything came to an end after i contacted this genuine and powerful spell caster called DR Padman who cast a love spell on my ex husband to make him realize how much he loves me and that we are meant to be together forever, since then we have never had a quarrel again and our love for each other has continue to grow each day. contact him now for urgent love spell at info@padmanspell.com or padmanlovespell@yahoo.com or add him up on WhatsApp +19492293867 web site https://padmanspell.com

SIMON PATCHIN said...

How To Get Your Ex Lover/Partner/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Wife Or Husband Back

I was married for 16 years to a loving mother and wife. We had 2 children together who are now 11 & 13. I reconnected with an old girlfriend from college on Facebook and we began an affair and I left my wife. The woman I had an affair with is a wonderful woman and I love her too and our kids had begun accepting the situation and my wife has kind of moved on, but not in love with the man she is seeing. I thought I fell out of love with my wife and I felt terrible about what I did to her - she is a good woman and I don't know what came over me. I decided to try and get her back and I was recommended to Lord Zakuza for help to get reunited with my wife and within 48 hours after I made contact with Lord Zakuza my wife decided to work things out with me and now we are back together with our children living as one happy family. I really don't know the words to use in appreciation of what Lord Zakuza did for me but I will say thank you sir for reuniting I and my family back. For those in trying times with their marriages or relationship can communicate with LORD ZAKUZA through the below informations.

Website via: lordzakuzaspells.com
WhatsApp/call/text: +1 740 573 9483
Email: Lordzakuza7 @gmail. com

Liliana moore said...

REAL AND EFFCTIVE LOVE SPELL CASTER TO BRING BACK EX LOVER URGENTLY
My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly cares about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the Internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Jumba can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Two days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promised never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. My family and I are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Jumba . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works, I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you. This is his Email : 

wiccalovespelltools@gmail.com

WhatsApp +19085174108
Website  :  https://drjumbaspellhome.wordpress.com

Shannon Mackle said...

HAPPY TO HAVE MY EX-BOYFRIEND BACK________________________________((R.BUCKLER11@GMAIL. COM)),

unknown said...

Good day to you reading this, I don't know what brought you here but if you are having any difficulties in life, I want you to know you have found the solution to your problems today. I never thought I would ever write something like this online but Dr Ajayi, the man blessed by his ancestors with spiritual powers, worked wonderfully for me. I was having problems in my marriage because my husband chased me and our 2 children out of the house after I confronted him about cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend. I saw some text on his phone which confirms my claims. I lived with my mother and was looking for ways to reconcile with my husband, he was a caring and loving man but I was surprised he changed all of a sudden. I was looking for solutions online when I read several testimonies of how Dr Ajayi has helped restore peace in many homes, so I decided to give him a try. I contacted Dr Ajayi and explained to him, he told me what is causing the problems and what has to be done, I followed all his instructions and today I am back home living with my husband, this is after separation of 8 months. If you are facing any kind of problem in life be it health or social Dr Ajayi is your last stop. Don't be shy, contact Dr Ajayi on Whatsapp or Telegram : +2347084887094 or Email : drajayi1990@gmail.com