Barak Article

Poly Discussions...
Thursday Jun 25, 2009 8:47 am

So recently I received a letter asking me about poly - as they were trying to wrap their head around it. They were coming from a monogamous experience and their partner was asking to open up the relationship. He was quite unsure about it, and the way he felt - so began our dialog. I have been asked these particular questions by others who were new to Poly, so I thought I would share -

Dont you think this is a way of cheating with consent? lol - Cheating implies, by the very term, that there is some deception going on. That someone is being dishonest in some way. However, in ethical polyamory this is not the case. Everyone involved is informed to the extent of their desire. As I may have mentioned previously, there are people who are of a monogamous heart, and cannot ever be comfortable with poly. There is nothing wrong with this.

Are you afraid of someone taking Sheba from you? Not in the least. No one can take her, Sheba can only choose someone else to be with. That is a risk we all run, monogamous and poly. That someday, somewhere, our partner will choose, for whatever reason to move on and away from us.

We have to be realistic in the fact that everyone changes as they live their lives. Sometimes we change in ways that are compatible with our current primary partner, and other times we change in a way that is incompatible and there is divorce, separation, et al. This is quite obvious with the US divorce rate being over 50%.

The important part is open and honest communication. We are always upfront and honest with our feelings for other people. If there is jealousy (and there always is - especially in new poly relationships) we talk about it. Normally the reason for jealousy is that we are not getting a want met by our partner. So when I feel that ugly green monster sneaking up in me, I pull Sheba aside, and honestly communicate my thoughts and feelings to her - using "I" statements (such as "I am feeling a little jealousy, when I am sitting alone, and this is happening") Also, I do my best to stay away from accusatory comments, or from letting it build.

Aren't you uncomfortable with the thought of her with another? Not normally. We have specific agreements regarding safer sexual contact and we all have gotten together to have "the Talk" describing everyone's sexual history and health prior to her engaging sexually. Furthermore, I am quite the voyeur - so imagining her with another man or woman, and me "watching" in my mind's eye as she describes it - is totally HOT!

So, perhaps if you are considering poly as a lifestyle, you may want to sit with your partner, and open a space for all kinds of feelings to be discussed. Do your best to hear what they have to say, and to allow yourself complete honesty. If the conversation heats up in the wrong way and you start to feel anger, resentment, etc.. take a moment to calm down, and look at your triggers. Then come back to it when you both can be calm. Poly isn't for everyone, but when you and your partners can make it work? It brings a huge amount of juice into your lives.

Hope that gives a little help to others who are discussing or experiencing their first steps in poly?

Peace and well wishes!

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