Poly 101

Info for those new to poly and the poly curious

When faced with a situation that puts us on the defensive, we sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion.  Sometimes a "jealous" response is prompted by more than the other person's insecurities.  The reaction could be based in injury from a breach of trust.

 

Jealousy sucks, period.  While the process of acknowledging and overcoming the root of one's jealousy can aid in personal growth, the in the moment experiences can be painful for all involved.  We tend to focus on the pain that the jealous person is feeling, and forget that there are (at least) two others that are coping with the situation:

  • The partner of the jealous person
  • The focus of the jealousy - who could either be a (close) friend or non-monogamous partner/lover.

A person that is feeling jealousy has a lot of resources available. In addition to being able to rely on social support, there are books and websites that provide advice ranging from strictly monogamous to open-relationship points of view.  There are significantly less resources available to help the partner of the person feeling jealousy cope with the situation. Most of the professional advice and literature is monogamy-centric and focuses on removing the "trigger" rather than helping the partner overcome their inner demons. This translates to cutting ties with the "outside" friend or partner for the sake of the relationship. The social pressure to break off social ties increases if there's a suspicion of infidelity.

Where does that leave the close friends and companions?  For those that are in nonmonogamous relationships, there's an underwhelming amount of information about coping as a secondary (the label itself makes me cringe).  I'm not aware of any resources for someone who has a friend in a monogamous relationship where that friend's partner is experiencing jealousy.

I doubt that I'm the only one that has experienced this, so I'm writing my own guide. :p

 

For the last chapter in this series, I am going to move beyond the basic concept of an "open relationship" to that of a family of choice that shares expenses and responsibilites.  The members of your family can choose to live within the same household, or they can live in different physical locations (depending on space issues). In a traditional family arrangement, the couple has a limited amount of resources available to take care of household obligations. One or both members need to earn an income in order to maintain their lifestyle.  The need for income and financial stability may cause either partner to work in a job that may not be the best fit for them. In addition, the birth of children not only bring joy but also additional needs upon the household, most significantly that of constant supervision and care.
According to a news release posted in mid-March, 2009 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, American families spend nearly 60% of their budget on housing and transporation.  While transportation costs are a large household expense - partly due to rising fuel costs and people living in a different city than the one they work in - at most it takes up 20-25% of a household's total expenses (leaving housing to take up the remainder of that 60% chunk) If you take a look at the family budget calculator on money-zine.com (which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics), the average household spends over 30% of their income on housing expenses. When banks determine how much mortgage a household can afford, they typically assume that no more than 28 percent of a household's pre-tax income should go towards the mortgage payment. In other words, we spend a LOT on housing costs.  The question is - do we need to?
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me" ~ AJ McLean Before we delve further into this topic, I want to take a quick moment to divert your attention towards an online fortune cookie generator - because we all know that the fortune cookie sayings are 100x funnier when you add "in bed" at the end ;)