Things fall apart

2013 didn’t start well. The triad of awesomeness collapsed in a painful and spectacular fashion to be expected of three people breaking up. It hadn’t felt right to any of us for a while. I got out first. 

I’m still with my live-in partner. We’re still healing. I’m pretty much there but he’s still angry. 

It’s funny how after you’ve left someone you see the problems and the warning signs with more clarity. You wonder why you put up with the bullshit for so long. You start seeing the wood for the trees. 

So now I have two male partners and one interested (male) party. The only constant is change.

Time management: not waving but drowning

I knew it would happen. So often, so so often poly literature, advice and the general rules of sanity advise against starting more than one new relationship at a time. See ‘kid in a candy store’ info here (Section 3 of Practical Polyamory).

I have reached polysaturation (via Modern Poly).

As well as my main partner, my other male partner and the triad of awesomeness I am also seeing two other women – one of whom is introducing me to her male primary this week as she thinks we’ll hit it off. I know. I am INSANE.

I did not want it to be this way but I’ve made my sordid sex festival bed (tent? yurt?) and now I’ve got to fuck/sleep on it/in it. I didn’t seek out to accrue as many partners as possible, it just sort of happened. And now they’re here, in my life, and I like them and I don’t want to not see people simply because I don’t have time. That seems cruel and unnecessary to me.

I am also aware that my main relationships, the three most important to me, need time and care and attention (not to mention that I want to see these people A Whole Lot) and I’d kick myself if I neglected them. And the newer people and I need time and space and effort to get to get to know one another. And I only have so much free time. And money. On average I work a 50 hour week and I don’t earn a huge amount, so I have to ration money spent on travelling to see people/eating out/visiting galleries etc too. It feels like such an impossible situation to manage.

On top of that, as several people have mentioned, I need some damn me-time or my head truly will explode. 20 mins after a 12 hour work day or a nap on a train doesn’t count. True to form I didn’t even consider me-time, because I am an idiot. Also, I’m crap at self-care.

So, my current solution: I don’t want to lose anyone so I’m going to try being organised. More organised than normal. Super organised. I’m going to prioritise my three main relationships, see them most frequently and see my other dates when time and scheduling allows. I’ll be open to everyone about my scheduling issues and make sure they know where they stand. And if this doesn’t work I’ll build a time machine.

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Your cheatin’ heart…fidelity and polyamory

No doubt Newt Gingrich’s latest revelation that he asked his wife for an open marriage will have bloggers rubbing their hands with glee; eager to decry open marriages as equivalent to Mormon multi-wife households, sexual debauchery and a 60′s hippy commune throwback (OK, that last one is true for some members of the poly community, see Trad Poly in my Glossary)

What is often missed is that polyamory isn’t cheating. I’m going to say that again:

POLYAMORY ISN’T CHEATING

Polyamory is about openness and honesty. It’s a multi-relationship setup whereby all partners know about and consent to what is going on. There is no cheating, no lying, no hiding. It is about mature adults communicating their desires and feelings openly, negotiating and discussing boundaries and having everything out in the open. It’s scary, it’s difficult and it can often get messy. If you are hiding things from your partner in a polyamorous relationship there is something badly wrong.

Polyamory is not an easy way out of cheating, you can’t fuck someone behind your partner’s back and then when they find out say you want an open relationship. That is Grade A bullshit peddled by liars and cheaters, and there is no room in polyamory for lying and cheating. If you’re the sort of selfish, emotionally immature fool who cheats on a partner rather than dealing with your problems you will not cope with the grown up emotion wrangling that successful polyamory requires.

I’m pleased that many of the articles responding to this news story are trying to look at polyamory even-handedly, and making it clear that Newt’s attempt to conflate his cheating with open relationships does not represent polyamory. This article by the BBC (ignore the comments, they’re the usual idiotic rants from clenched arseholes) even invokes Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up, to give a balanced, mature view of open marriages; and FearlessKnits has penned this neat article in the Guardian about her open marriage and how it works.

Who knows, perhaps the comment surrounding this news story will increase awareness and understanding of poly relationships as they increasingly enter public consciousness.

EDIT: Maxine at Polytical did a waaaay better job than I did of exploring this story

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