Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Last weekend MS, HC and I embarked upon a new chapter in our lives: We moved HC in with us and we are working on an intentional family. It is something we’ve been talking about since last fall and actively planning since the beginning of the year.

The discussions about this started last Fall after a fire in the town-home adjoining HC’s. Her unit had extensive smoke damage and MS and I offered to let HC stay with us while her unit was clearing out. She stayed with us about 3 weeks and overall it was a positive experience. Then around Christmas we all began to talk about what it would look like if it were permanent.

And we all sat down right after New Year and talked about it. Then talked about it some more. We discussed living arrangements, date night arrangements, and general household rules and boundaries. And we talked some more. We’ve also been to several counseling sessions with a poly friendly counselor. Oh, and we talked some more.

One of the items we discussed is around success and failure criteria. In a more traditional monogamous relationship paradigm, a couple might consider cohabitation as a precursor to marriage. Or, that couple may go from dating and living separately to married life and living together. It seems that under that paradigm, the success/failure criteria are

  • It works and they live happily ever after, have children, grow old together, and live together until one or the other dies (The relationship escalator)
  • It fails and the couple breaks up, separates or divorces

For us, we’ve identified that the most likely cause for contention and conflict in our mini community will be personality differences. Knowing this ahead of time all three of us are going into this as a trial period. It’s not necessarily permanent and therefore we’ve set a timeline for 60 a day test.

And knowing and talking about potential issues ahead of time, during the next 60 days, we’ve set up some boundaries and general living guidelines.

  1. We have a weekly check-in. During this time we’ve chosen the breakfast nook area as our neutral corner to sit down and discuss things that may be bothering each other, to see how things are going, what worked, and what didn’t. The purpose is to try to derail potential issues that could build up over time and create meltdowns or crisis. For example, one person may have an issue with how someone leaves the bathroom after brushing their teeth. So rather than have it build up for weeks with a “God I’ve been walking into the bathroom for weeks and seeing toothpaste and makeup all over the sink, how can you be such a slob”, we bring these up in a non-confrontational manner using non-violent communication skills. “Hey, during the week I noticed every time I walked past the bathroom that I saw toothpaste splattered all over the mirror. It bothers me a little and I was wondering if maybe you could be more careful or wipe down the mirror afterward”. Since any two people living together are bound to have these types of issues, realizing and understanding them, and having a tool to meet them will help minimize them becoming major issue
  2. Privacy and alone time are other areas we are experimenting with. When a couple decide to marry or live together, often times it is under the assumption that “We’ve met our soul mate so everything will be perfect”. However, prior to that each have led a rather autonomous life with some periods of alone or downtime. An assumption is that once a couple has married, that their partner will fill all their needs or they become the joined-at-the-hip couple and do everything together. Therefore we’ve talked about respecting each other’s needs for alone time and or privacy. As such, we all decided that everyone gets their own room. MS and I rearranged the house and turned the office into a bedroom for HC. I upgrade the guest room in the basement and it is my room (I am writing from there now). MS keeps the master bedroom. This is each person’s private space and the agreement is that owner of that space, we invite people into it.
  3. Have flexibility and respect. All the boundaries we’ve discussed are just that: boundaries. They aren’t hard and fast rules that are made to be strictly followed and met with harsh punishment if broken. If something needs to change, we all discuss it. We make requests. We ask and talk about what we need and why.

Officially now, we are closing out day 2 of the experiment. HC moved in Saturday so Sunday was the first full day. However, that was spent finishing unpacking, last-minute shopping for needed items, and cleaning. Today we all got up and went to work, came home, ate dinner and watched a movie cuddling on the couch. Now it’s bed time. Last night I was invited to HC’s room where we slept together. Tuesday’s are typically MS and my date nights and nights where I sleep with her. Wednesday is HC’s and my night. Those are followed up by Friday date nights for HC and myself, then rounding out the weekend with date night Saturday with MS. By progression it seems Tue/MS, Wed/HC, Th/MS, Fri/HC, Sun/MS which means Monday night is everyone’s alone night. (see item 3 around flexibility).

That’s all for days 1 and 2. More to come as we start this new chapter in our lives.

Love is...image used with permission: (c) loveiscomix.com)

love is… or Poly is…

We’ve had some great poly moments that last few weeks. The other night was no exception and it made me think of the old “Love Is…” comics (http://loveiscomix.com/).
But instead, I thought “Poly is…”. In that night’s case MS and I were both in bed, ready to call it a night. I was texting with HC who was at a meetup, MS was texting with a new guy she just started seeing and they were planning a movie date. Since I have the Fandango app on my smartphone she asked me to look up movie times for several movies near us.

So in short, “Poly is…” helping your wife and her new fling find a movie for date night. Feeling good!

 

(Love is image used with permission: (c) loveiscomix.com)

Hello my Fellow Fuckers! I hope everyone is doing well this afternoon.

So if it’s not clear yet, after reading previous entries, I am in a “different” relationship paradigm. Some call it open, some call it “an excuse to cheat”. I call fucking BS! I, and the people I am in various relationships with, call it polyamory.

  • It’s all about relationships
  • It’s all about not limiting one’s ability to love
  • It’s all about expanding one’s ability to love
  • It’s all about everyone being in the know
  • It’s all about fucking communication folks

But, that is another fucking topic, for another fucking day. Today, it’s all about what makes this a fucking amazing relationship paradigm and dynamic!

A PolyculeI’ll start with our current relationship diagram. I am the orange dot in the middle (no, I’m not THAT egocentric that everything revolves around me! I could have said “I’ll start with my wife, the pink circle to the right and above my orange circle”). Also note, numbers do not represent nor indicate a hierarchy. They are just for labelling purposes to provide anonymity and clarification.That’s the first relationship: Me and my wife (or my wife and me, it’s all about perspective).

The other 2 pink circles (2&3), connected to my orange circle, represent girlfriends (refer to Everyone Should be this Fucking Fortunate for definitions).

My wife is dating girlfriend 3’s husband (those are the other pink and blue circles connected by the “Primary Relationship”)

Girlfriend 3 is dating someone 3b (also married to 3c).

Girlfriend 2 is someone I am seeing locally along with her boyfriends (1a and 2a), and boyfriend’s partner (1b).

As far as communication goes, I talk to my wife frequently about who I am seeing. In fact, she introduced me to the girlfriend 3. I’ve met, had dinner with, the other girlfriend 2’s boyfriends and their partners.

Clear as fucking mud yet?

Soooo…. It’s been raining all fucking week here. We’re talking rain of epic fucking amounts! And, I had a date with girlfriend 2 last night. When I got up yesterday morning, I heard reports that the roads were either washed out, flooded, or covered with mud and rock slides and debris and therefore closed and everyone should just stay the fuck at home!

Well fuck that! I have a date. On top of that, I am headed down south the see the wife (and girlfriend 3) this weekend. So there’s no fucking way I’m “staying the fuck at home”.

So I pack all my stuff in my fucking suitcase, somehow make it to work despite floods of biblical fucking proportions and go out on my date who, knowing the fucking situation, tells me “Why don’t you just stay the night?” Well, fuck yeah! I talk to my wife on the way to the date and she’s all concerned that I’m not packed, that I can’t get home, and that I’m going out on a date. I just calmly reassure her that

  1. I AM packed
  2. I don’t HAVE to go home
  3. I have “alternate” arrangements for the night

She then proceeds to tell me to tell gf2 that she said “Hi”, “Have fun tonight” and “Tell her thanks for providing ‘alternate’ arrangements”

It’s a win-win situation my Fellow Fuckers and everyone is fucking happy! Now, I’m heading to the airport to see wife, gf3, gf3’s husband, potentially gf3’s bf (3b) and another weekend of depravity and debauchery.

Have I mentioned there will be drunken gummies, jelly shots, and margaritas cupcakes? Fuck yeah!

 
What is a Polycule?