Posted by: terrapraeta | May 22, 2009

To Anonymous

Seems like I’ve been here before.
Seems so familiar.
Seems like I’m slipping
into a dream within a dream.

Must be the way you whisper.

The sun is setting cool again.
I’m the thinker
and the fisherman
and I’m trying to remember when
but it makes me dizzy.
and I’m sweating,
and breathing,
and staring and thinking
and sinking
and it’s almost like I’m swimming

Tool, Sweat

Last night, I got a comment from an anonymous poster, questioning the polyamorous explorations of my honey and I. Although the comment was not extremely long, there were a whole lot of questions asked that I thought would be useful for me to address directly and in detail. I think all of these topics have been touched on previously, but perhaps I did not do a good job of expressing myself, or perhaps I did not go into sufficient depth.

Anonymous writes:

I’m just not feeling this polyamory thing with your “honey.” Seriously, I spent a year researching the subject, and I’m pretty open minded.

I’m not sure what ‘open minded’ really means, anymore. Some people are open minded about gay marriage, but find abortion abhorrent. Some people cheat on their spouses, yet find polyamory to be unacceptable. I do think of myself as open minded, yet I certainly have some ethical stances wherein I simply can not truly see opposing or contrary views in any positive, accepting way.

At the same time, I too have done a fair amount of research recently, on the subject of polyamory, and I find that there are multiple different ways of perceiving what it means. Some time back, MsDemmie asked me what exactly we mean when we talk about poly, recognizing that there are a number of different value sets within the community.

In answer to that, I noted that we have come to our ideas personally and then recognized that our ideas were not entirely our own and seemed to be shared by parts of the poly community. What we would like to see happen – the goal we are pursuing – include co-habitation, include the possibility of a whole poly-inclined un-intentional community, follow an extended family model and perhaps may even look a little bit like Heinlein’s Line Marriage as described in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Anonymous writes:

I’m wondering why “honey” is not “Dear Husband”.

Open mindedness aside, this is a topic that we have discussed and considered for many years. In a nutshell, neither of us believes that the government has any right to have a single word to say about whom we sleep with, whom we live with, whom we love or with whom we choose to have children with. At the same time, we have no religious affiliation so there is no non-secular authority from whom we would ask a blessing.

At the same time, we both have absolute confidence that no one in either of our families would ever question our financial or parental rights and responsibilities: if something were to happen to one of us, there would be no challenge to our wills, nor our custody of our son. So we do not have to worry about these sorts of issues.

All this being said: to whom would we look to ‘grant’ us ‘marriage’? We have a marriage in every single meaningful use of the word. The meaningless additions to that, however, are really, truly meaningless to us.

Anonymous writes:

I’m wondering why he doesn’t take you to dinners, movies, etc.

In fact, we go to dinner almost every weekend. We go to dinner as a family every weekend as well. Haven’t been to a movie in some time, but that is neither here nor there. Mindless entertainment has simply had little appeal this last year. Much more important and interesting things fill our time.

Anonymous writes:

I’m wondering why you didn’t write about the diamonds (or other wonderful gift) he got you for Xmas.

Diamonds are not a wonderful gift. Diamonds are common, cheap pieces of rock, artificially inflated in value and importance. And they are purchased with the blood of hundreds and thousands of impoverished African peoples. They have driven genocide and even now are creating massive upheaval for on of the few existent aboriginal peoples left in the world. No… thank you.

As to gifts in general, it is true that this year we avoided them completely. We helped our son upgrade his PC, and bought gifts for nieces and nephews, and that was it. Not for financial woes or lack of caring, but because we have embraced many of the ideals of the Voluntary Simplicity community. The last thing we need or want is to add more useless crap to our lives. So when we do buy gifts, they tend to fall into the small category of items that we find useful. Those items may not be ‘traditionally’ romantic, but tough tooties! πŸ™‚

Anonymous writes:

Can “honey” afford two women, financially and emotionally?

That is an interesting question. Financially – we are talking about partnerships, here. I am employed, he is employed, she is employed: if we are able to achieve our goal, our finances will become that much easier to manage, for all of us. Does this process create additional financially strain: no, not really. I have encouraged him to buy her little gifts or take her out, because these are things that she finds value in. However, the actual, tangible costs incurred are still negligible.

Emotionally, the answer is a little bit more indeterminate. I have written about some of my own difficulties over the last six weeks, but I have not spent any significant time exploring the issues he has had to face. That is simply because this blog is my chronicle and I am not in a position to tell his story in the same way.

Certainly, we are both quite aware of and communicate frequently about our emotional responses to things, and he, no less than I, still has a ways to go to achieve the ideal we seek.

Anonymous writes:

Check out the online polyamory websites. The sucessful relationships seem to be in a communal setting, where the love and the work is shared. Otherwise, polyamorists seem to have a pagan/magick lifestyle.

As I said above: We have checked out the online communities and have participated in some discussions with other members of the community. Likewise, our goal is probably far more communal than is even typical, because our politics and interests also drive us in that same direction. I don;t really see the relevance of paganism or wicca.

Anonymous writes:

Btw, is “Laura” down with all of this, or is she just waiting for “honey” to dump you?

I would not say that she is ‘down’ with this. It is a relatively new concept for her – even as it is for us. However, she does absolutely know how much he loves me, and she is also at least mostly aware that my feelings are reciprocal. Does she have a hidden, subconscious hope that perhaps he will some day leave me for her? Perhaps. We do what we can to make it clear that this will not be the case, and we discuss ourselves how long we can continue to pursue ‘not quite what we are looking for’ in the hope that it can develop it’s full potential (in our eyes).

Point is, that we are each real people with real concerns, hopes, dreams, and failings. So we need to deal with the situation as it develops with honest empathy for each other as persons and do the best we can to make sure that none of us become marginalized as a result of some intangible ideal.

Anonymous writes:

Research shows sexual jealousy is a unifying cross cultural human trait. The average bear is not above this.

Well, first thing: research can be made to show anything. I wrote some time back about my own thoughts on jealousy, what it is, how and why it affects us the way it does, and how we can address that as individuals. Am I right? Are they? Both? Can;t say for certain, all I can do is live my life based on what I see and believe and desire.

Anonymous writes:

Is your “honey” just dippin’ into multiple “honeypots”?

Considering that I drove this pursuit of polyamory, as a direct result of my feelings and interactions with Eddie, that’s a bit of a silly question in my mind.

Is my honey getting a sexual benefit out of this situation? Sure. Is he pursuing this simply to satisfy some insatiable lust? No.

Anonymous writes:

Is he treating you like the queen that you are? Polyamory is not supposed to be an excuse for a cheatin’ heart, it’s supposed to be swingers that all love each other. How come you’re left home alone?

He treats me like the love of his life. What more could I ask?

A ‘cheating heart’ implies deceit. If there is one thing that we are not doing, it is allowing ourselves to deceive ourselves or one another. That is the fundamental disconnect that has driven us to take this step rather than simply discuss it: the realization that the biggest argument against it is, basically, this cultural assumption that ‘cheating’ is okay (so long as you don’t get caught), but open honest, non-monogamous sexuality is not. It’s a load of crap, once you take it out and look at it. Once we did, we knew that this was a path we could (and perhaps ‘should’) explore.

Why am I left home alone? Because my (other) love is 1000 miles away. Simple as that. When I hop a plane and go to visit, my honey will be the one left home alone. Not completely, because he will have Laura to comfort him – if the relationship continues to flourish. But it is no ones fault that she is here while Eddie is not. It’s simply the way it is.

I think the most important thing that we have come to understand through this process is that ideals are fine as a way to choose a direction in life. But they must constantly be modified to take into account real people with real emotions. I have experienced some crisis this last six weeks as I have faced demons from my past that were never reconciled previously. My honey faced his own demons and travails last summer and into the fall. All four of us will have further issues to look at, consider and reconcile before we can begin to create this new thing — if that turns out to even be possible.

But the one thing I have consistently be certain of, is that the goal itself is worth the effort. Even if we end up somewhere totally unexpected in the long run, the process of learning ourselves and one another is valuable in and of itself and we are growing as individuals with each crisis AND each wonderful moment. And wherever we end up, it will be a place that we have chosen for ourselves as a result of that process.

Originally Posted February 11, 2007


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