PolyLiving- Discussing Polyamory and the Poly Life

Poly Lifestyle => The Poly Mind and Life => Topic started by: Administrator on April 29, 2012, 05:52:13 PM

Title: Poly Mindset
Post by: Administrator on April 29, 2012, 05:52:13 PM
I have seen many a poly family start and then later fail because they did not practice the poly mindset.  I coined this phrase back in the year 2000 when I was desperately trying to figure out Jadez' and my deep seated issues that plagued our poly family of only one year at the time.  Now, we have been a poly family for over 13 years, and we owe it all to the discovery of the poly mindset.

I remember sitting at my computer crying out to the Lord and begging Him for help as I agonized over the extreme jealousy and emotions I felt over being a poly and at the time non-legal wife.  I originally came to Sisterwives, now PolyLiving, looking for the answers, but no one had them for me.  I was even an active member of the TruthBearer organization, but they did not have the answers for me either.  I came across other poly related sites, but none had the answer to fix my inner torment or anguish I felt.  I loved Antony and Jadez tremendously, but the love I felt for them did not make my pain go away.  I sat there typing that night on Sisterwives and TruthBearer, while Antony and Jadez shared some intimate time alone together, begging for someone to please help me and asking God over and over again to end my pain.

At this extremely vulnerable moment, the answer finally came to me...not through people on Sisterwives or TruthBearer, but through God and my own mind.  the answer was and still is the poly mindset. 

At this moment, I realized I had been stuck in a monogamous mindset.  I was fixated on my relationship with Antony alone.  I felt extremely selfish in this moment of realization.  Instead of feeling happy for Jadez while she spent time with Antony, I felt envy and jealousy.  This made feel tremendously ashamed because here this woman gave up her monagamous marriage for me so that I too could have someone who loved me tremendously. 

To be fair, I suppose we, here in America and I suppose other countries as well, are raised with the monogamous mindset.  As a young girl, I remember my parents teaching me to look for a husband who would love me and me only and treat me like a princess.  I grew up learning that I should look for the man who would be my knight in shining armour like in the fairy tales.  I knew many girls who were taught this as well.  The monogamy mindset teaches us to look out for ourselves, and this is exactly what I was doing...looking out for numero uno! It refers to one man and one woman.

Many women and even men enter a poly relationship for the first time with our old monogamous mindset.  With this mindset, each person only concentrates on their individual relationship with their spouse/partner.  Entering a poly relationship using a monogamous mindset leads to destruction and a lot of unhappiness.

What is the poly mindset?  It is when we set our minds to concentrate/focus on each and every relationship within the poly dynamic, and not just our individual relationship. 

For example, in V-relationship, where one spouse is the main intimate partner for two of his/her spice, a monogamous mindset would look like this:
Let's say the husband is the main spouse who is at the V focal point and he has two wives. In this relationship, wife one would only concentrate on her individual relationship with their shared husband, and wife two would only focus on her individual relationship with their shared husband as well. 

This dynamic begins to fall apart though because each of those women individually will begin to feel jealous or even envious when they do not get what they feel they need from their shared husband because he is with the other wife as I would almost every time Antony spent time with Jadez in the beginning. 

A poly mindset thinks about others as well as ourself.  For example, in this same type of V-relationship where the husband is the main spouse of the V-focal point with two wives, each of the wives and the husband would all focus on their individual relationships as well as the other relationships and the whole group. 

It would look like this:
1. Wife 1 not only focuses on her individual relationship with their shared husband, but she also focuses on her individual relationship with wife 2.
2. Wife 1 also focuse on wife 2s relationship with their shared husband, and she cares about and concentrates on the relationship of all three of them together.
3. Wife 2 not only focuses on her individual relationship with their shared husband, but she also focuses on her individual relationship with wife 1.
4. Wife 2 also focuse on wife 1s relationship with their shared husband, and she cares about and concentrates on the relationship of all three of them together.
5. Husband focuses on both of his individual relationships with each of his wives.
6. Husband also makes it a priority to concentrate on the relationships his wives share with one another as well.
7. husband further makes it a priority to focus on how the three or group of them interact with one another as well.

Of course, the more partners that exist in a poly relationship the more this poly mindset extends.  Most importantly though is the fact that NO ONE only focuses on their own individual relationships. 

From experience, I have learned when even just one relationship suffers in a poly dynamic then all relationships suffer.  In order to survive and thrive as a poly family, no one can be only concerned about their own self. 

I need to make sure Jadez and Antony make time for one another, and she needs to make sure Antony and I make time for one another as well.  However, even though Jadez and I are not really intimate with one, she and I need to maintain a great friendship, so she and I need to make time with one another, and Antony needs to make sure this happens for us as well.  The three of us also spend a lot of time together.  We know from a prior lost wife that if one relationship fails in our poly dynamic then we can all fail. 

How could I be happy with myself if I know that Antony and Jadez are experiencing deep sorrow because their relationship is hurting and I do NOTHING to try to help them or if I only thought about my own individual relationship with him?  I could not.

Needless to say, once I started practicing my poly mindset, my life and outlook began to change slowly.  Now, 12 years later, I can say this poly mindset has transformed me.  I am not perfect in this mindset, but I am much better than I was 13 yers ago.  I no longer cry and feel deep sorrow when they are together intimately.  Instead, I feel happy for them. 

What are your thoughts?


Title: Re: Poly Mindset
Post by: DeeDee on April 29, 2012, 08:50:52 PM
I view the relationships as overlapping circles. At the center, all the circles overlap. This is the family dynamic. Then, there are areas where two circles overlap. These are the one-on-one relationships between each partner, whether there are 3, 4, or more partners. Mind you, these relationships may or may not be of a sexual nature, but they should at the very least be cooperative and supportive, trusting and understanding. Then there are areas where the circles do not overlap with any other circle. These are the unique individuals who make up the family, and it is important that they have a voice of their own, space to grow, and the freedom to express themselves.

It is like Steady expressed above. Each area is important, and there is a balance. Sometimes, more energy needs to be focused on one or more areas. Sometimes, it may be the individual portion that needs to grow and be nurtured; sometimes, it is one of the individual relationships that need attention.  In any event, there is a balance and a rhythm.

As my mantra has always been, it takes work. Without it, the family is doomed. To me, the poly mindset is a committment to "tend the garden"--pull the weeds by examining why we feel the way we feel, whether it is angry, jealousy, fearful, depressed. Our feelings are cues to be introspective, and it gives us a chance to work on ourselves and our relationships. It is an ever-ongoing process--the work never ends. The expression "reaping what you sow" is so true.

Title: Re: Poly Mindset
Post by: Administrator on April 29, 2012, 09:04:37 PM
Lovely input DeeDee!
Title: Re: Poly Mindset
Post by: DeeDee on April 29, 2012, 09:10:46 PM
Thanks, Steady. You and Antony are doing a great job building this site.  Blessings to you both!
Title: Re: Poly Mindset
Post by: Administrator on April 30, 2012, 08:49:00 PM
Thanks DeeDee!