As I’ve said in the past, polyamory is for the privileged. In a world that values economic productivity over personal growth and relationships, most of us are programmed to spend more time keeping up with the Joneses than we are connecting with our loved ones.
At the end of a long day or week of work, the last thing we have energy to do is “emotional processing” – sorting out all of the intense emotions triggered by sharing your romantic partners with others.
We want to spend the little time we have off in the evenings, or our one day off at the end of the week, finally letting loose with our immediate families. We might wish we had time to connect with people outside of our immediate families, but we barely have time to connect with them, so when we form new relationships it feels like we are robbing the ones we’ve already committed to.
Not only does it take us away physically from our original partners, it takes us away mentally and emotionally when we return to their physical presence. Instead of spending our little time together having fun, we spend it dredging up all the insecurities created in our childhoods and triggered by our partner connecting with someone else.
Working through all our fears of abandonment and inadequacy is important inner work, spiritual work, that we all need to do to live fully satisfying lives, but it is still work… and polyamory tends to speed up that work to a pace that can be outright torturous to people who are still bogged down just trying to get their basic physical needs met.
This is what I realized was happening in my own primary relationship to the father of my child in recent months… I was torturing him.
He was carrying the bulk of the responsibility and stress of getting the bills paid on time each month, of getting our physical needs met. As if that wasn’t enough of a burden, I was trying to force him down the painful path of self-discovery and spiritual awakening that is polyamory.
It’s a path I still want to go down, someday… but one I’ve realized I can’t go racing down full-speed ahead, dragging the man I love along for the muddy ride.
So I’ve slowed way down and decided to let him set the pace. Because I trust him. And I trust the Universe. I trust that it brought the two of us together for a reason. I trust that deep down he and I want the same things. We want adventure and novelty and mystery and a tribe of lovers and friends to rely on and enrich our lives. But first and foremost, we want to stay together, for our daughter’s sake and ours. As Brad has said, we want to build something together, to create something together. And that starts with a solid foundation between he and I.
So I have committed – with more detail and clarity this time – to an indefinite period of sexual monogamy – except in cases where he and I both agree to make exceptions – so that we can focus on strengthening our bond.
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