PW 435: Metamour fears

bottle_catWhat do you do when you’re afraid of your unmet metamour? Meet her!

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1:00 Announcements

3:30 Poly in the News

9:10 Topic: Metamour fears

Angie writes in to admit that while she’s monogamous and dating a poly guy, what she’s really afraid of is her metamour, whom she hasn’t yet met. Is she prettier, thinner, more successful? Will Angie be discarded once her boyfriend realizes that she’s not as good as his first girlfriend?

Minx recognizes the difficult situation: new to poly, self-identifying as monogamous and long distance to boot! And recommends taking the fear cycle to its maximum ridiculous silliness by filling in the blanks:

I’m afraid that if ____ is the case, that will mean _____ and I’ll ____  and then ____.

If the last blank isn’t “and then I die alone,” add more blanks until you get to that point of silliness. Remember that your fears come from within you and typically have very little to do with reality.

And on the practical side, it’s OK to reach out to your metamour on Skype or Facebook or whatever in advance of a face-to-face. Skype communication is better than no communication and can help put the chattering monkeys to bed.

20:00 Happy Poly Moment

  • A listener shares a wonderful HPM about coming out to her mom!
  • And another had a wonderful story of a brunch made with two lovers

23:15 Thank you!

Thanks to Sylvia for her donation, and welcome Joe to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

24:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Dealing with a poly breakup

When your metamour leaves, how do you comfort your husband when you yourself feel ambivalent about the loss?

37920142_sMost listener questions that come into the Poly Weekly inbox aren’t unique to polyamory. However, on last week’s podcast, we dealt with an issue that is unique to polyamory: how do you support your husband through the loss of his girlfriend when the girlfriend was kind of unkind to you?

Sarah has been married to David for 5 years, he has a girlfriend Julie for two years. They all lived together. Girlfriend Julie left abruptly, saying that it was because Sarah wouldn’t be in a sexual/intimate relationship with her. Sarah is trying to empathize with David’s loss, but she also feels frustrated and unappreciated because she did offer emotional, financial and professional career support to Julie. Her question: how do I offer support when I feel frustrated and hurt at times by the person whose loss he’s grieving?

This can be a challenging situation. You want to be supportive, but you have your own emotions about the situation that don’t match his. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Own your own shit

Your emotions are yours to own, and his emotions are his to own. You don’t have to feel the way he feels, and he doesn’t have to feel the way you feel. Both of your sets of complex emotions can exist in the same space, and everything that each of you feels is OK. You do not need to come to a consensus or agreement in order to support each other through this time. It’s 100% OK for you to feel ambivalent or resentful or hurt, and it’s 100% OK for him to desperately want her back.

Take care of yourself

If you need a sympathetic ear and your husband can’t provide it, find someone who can. Turn to a friend or a therapist who can listen and provide support. Treat yourself to journaling, a bath, a massage, a mimosa brunch with friends or whatever else will help with your grieving process. Do what you need to do to grieve your loss and cope with your emotions.

Ask for what you want

Tell your husband what you need in terms of support from him and ask him what he needs. If you can’t provide him with what he’s asking for–for example, listening to him figure out how to get Julie back–then provide him support in other ways that you are comfortable with. Make him dinner, give him a ride home from the bar with the guys, get him a new video game. You set your own boundaries for the the support you can provide. If he asks for something you can’t give, it’s OK to say you can’t do that, and it’s up to you to find another way to show you support him.

If you do decide to listen to him during his grieving process, try responding to the subtext of what he’s saying rather than the actual words. If he says, “I have to get her back,” for example, respond to the subtext, which might be something like, “I am hurting because I love and miss her.” To which you can reply, “I’m sorry this is so hard on you. I know how much you still love her.”

Resist dwelling on the given reason

As I’m sure you’ve experience in your life, the reason a party gives for ending a relationship is rarely the full story. It’s entirely possibly that Julie herself may not be aware of the real reasons for the breakup and may not be for another 20 years. So avoid dwelling on the given reason and work to accept that the relationship simply wasn’t a good fit for making the people in it better versions of themselves.

PW 414: Meeting L!

lolcatpodcastA rare chance to hear L, LustyGuy’s wife and my metamour, speak on her brand of non-monogamy, jealousy and relationship longevity

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

2:35 Poly in the News

5:10 Topic: Meeting L

LustyGuy’s wife and my metamour L is persuaded to take the microphone to talk about her brand of non-monogamy, jealousy and her secrets for non-monogamous relationship longevity.

24:50 Feedback

  • Lillian calls in a caveat to the Discuss, Distract, Do model of dealing with jealousy in episode 398
  • Steve calls in an asterisk to handling freaking out

29:30 Happy Poly Moment

  • Sarah calls in to give advice on how to name two Sarahs that you are dating
  • KR gives an update on a crowded house living situation that is chaotic but still happy

32:45 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 404: Is he poly or just chicken?

89-Lolcats-FUNNY-EASTER-cat-WITH-CHICKEN-hat-DISGUISEDWhat do you do when the point of your vee isn’t communicating with your metamour?

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

5:35 Topic: Is he poly or just chicken?

S writes in to ask what to do. She’s been dating a guy for five months who has another girlfriend of 10 months. But S has found that she wants to move in with the guy and be his primary, and he purports to secretly agree with her plans but hasn’t disclosed anything to the 10-month girlfriend. What to do? Does he really want to move forward with his polyamory with S or is he just using the 10-month girlfriend as an excuse to keep things on hold or secret until he sees how things shake out?

Minx recommends:

  • Insist on honestly for all parties involved It’s the rare relationship that can build a foundation on a lack of honesty. Currently she is the target, but what if there is something he’s afraid to discuss with you later on? There is no excuse for a lack of honesty.
  • Insist he own his shit The point of a vee has an additional duty to be aware of the needs of the two other parties, and he is failing at that. He really needs to own his shit, face it, and get honest with both you and her about what he is afraid of and what he really wants. Even if he doesn’t know what he wants, this conversation simply must happen with you, him and her.
  • You can be honest If he won’t talk to her, you can be the brave one. You can talk to her honestly about what you want, even if it seems confrontational. You can step up and have the integrity that he doesn’t have and tell her what you want for yourself, with the understanding that just because you want it doesn’t mean you’ll get it (and the same is true for her desires, but isn’t it better that you hear them directly from her?).

15:30 Happy Poly Moment

  • Rowan shares a happy poly moment about having the bravery to hear about a metamour she didn’t she she was brave enough to hear about
  • Kris shares a happy poly moment about a sectional couch!
  • Benny shares a happy poly moment about meeting his boyfriend’s wife

23:30 Thanks

Thanks to John for the fun $69 donation!

24:30 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 393: How to treat your metamour

lolcatnotrealmomHow do you deal with your metamour when things aren’t going well?

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1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

3:30 From the Front

SisyphusUp gives the report from the front from Boston Metro Area Poly (read by LustyGuy) 

6:00 Topic: How to Treat Your Metamour

A listener wrote in to ask how to treat your metamour in a series of very specific questions covering several areas of interpersonal communications. Fortunately, LustyGuy and I got answers!

  1. Amount of interaction with your metamour. The only people who can answer how much metamour interaction is appropriate are you, your hubbie and your metamour. Some people like more interaction; some prefer none; some like minimal. Each one of you should state your needs and wants, why those needs/wants are important to you, and then just talk it through. (I tell a story in the ebook about how I really fucked this up one time!) Seriously, if your metamour wants more interaction with you and you’re willing to give it, do it. If you want more interaction with him/her for your own health and happiness and she/he is willing to give it, do that.
  2. How to manage conflict. Conflict management is best done with the person with whom you are having the conflict. If your partner isn’t that person, it’s best to go directly to the source. Be brave, bring up the issue, state how you feel and ask for help negotiating a solution.
  3. Coping with increasing demands. I recommend weekly relationship check-ins (mentioned in the ebook) for y’all. Every week, meet with your sweetie and/or his lover and talk about how you feel about the relationship, bring up any new issues and catch up on old ones. The great thing about check-ins is that when things are fine, you get good positive reinforcement, and the check-in takes like 30 seconds. But it’s also there for when someone is starting to get a twinge of unhappiness, so you can deal with it before it becomes a big deal.
  4. The best way to foster respect is to give it. The more you appreciate and respect your partners, the easier it is for them to respect and appreciate you and your relationships. We are fond of giving verbal reinforcement on a daily basis. I often tell LustyGuy and L what I like and respect about their relationship, and they do the same for me. I know it sounds all hippie dippy, but I’ve had great success with telling a metamour what I like and respect about her and how I value her relationship with my partner.
  5. Embracing give and take. It’s very important to know what YOU need in order to be happy and healthy in the relationship, and you should tell your partner and your metamour that. What do you need to be happy and healthy? If you have that, great. If not, it’s time to sit down and talk with your partner(s) about how to get it. And remember, it’s always OK to say “no.”
  6. Dealing with a nasty metamour. I think this is covered in #1, 2 and 4, but it’s really important that you talk with your metamour about how you respect her and that you want the same type of respect. Remember that entering an existing couple can be terrifying, knowing that you can be dumped at the drop of a hat if your metamour suddenly decides you’re a threat. If there is nastiness, set up a time and a safe space to talk about how you want to interact and treat each other, and how you two can help support each other’s relationships.
  7. Responsibilities. Everyone is responsible for owning his/her own shit. You get to own your joys and your failings, and it’s everyone else’s job to own theirs. If there is conflict, everyone involved needs to own their part of it, listen to what the others have to say, and say what he/she can do differently next time. It’s no one’s job to moderate a conflict between any two others; the people in conflict are the ones who work that out and report back. Just as you shouldn’t be moderating conflicts between your partner and metamour, he shouldn’t be moderating conflicts between you and your metamour.

31:20 Feedback on “they”

A big thank you to everyone who wrote in and asked why I didn’t want to use “they” to refer to a single person. LustyGuy and I chat about changing grammatical rules, but Minx still refuses to use “they” to refer to a single person until it’s recommended by an accepted style guide. Of course, the exception would be when a specific person requests the use of “they,” in which case Minx gladly submits.

43:00 Happy Poly Moment H shares a happy poly dating moment.

44:15 More feedback

  • Gina writes in to appreciate episode 390 How to Date a Girl
  • Another listener writes in to suggest swing clubs if the woman in 390 isn’t necessarily interested in a romantic relationship with a woman but instead simply on sexual exploration

Thank you!

Thanks to Annalisa, Alan, Benjamin, Alan, Doug and James for their generous donations this week! You make for a very happy Minx!

Wrap up Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 380: Advice from your secondary

42-lolcat-funny-images-of-cats-with-toy-roboA few things your secondary wants you to know

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1:00 Announcements and HostChat

Want better poly matches on OKCupid? Be sure to answer these poly-indicative questions!

4:30 Topic: Five things your poly secondary wants you to know

Blogger Ginger wrote up a short but sweet post on five things your secondary wants you to know: (paraphrased by Minx)

  • The time we spent together is limited, so please value it like we do
  • We sometimes need extra reassurance; this is normal
  • You still need to be reliable
  • It’s important that your primary partner be comfortable with us
  • The fact that we love and value you keeps us going

Listener GreedyPaul called in to ask what changed in terms of metamour relations between Minx’s last long-term poly relationship and this one? What did L do to welcome me into the relationship and/or how had I changed?

Amanda wrote in to share a story of metamour relations: while she’d always believed that it was the new partner’s job to reach out to her, she came to understand how scary that can be for a new partner, so she chose to step up and reach out, with wonderful results!

20:45 Feedback

E wrote in to thank us for covering Asperger’s and poly and how very valuable the clear and explicit communication required in poly is to those with Aspy’s.

23:30 Happy Poly Moment

Heath shared a professional happy poly moment about bringing up relationship structure inclusiveness for intake at his college counseling center in the Kansas City area. AND if you have examples of the language you use in your paperwork for assessing relationship orientation, email him at heath12@ku.edu Thanks!

26:00 Thanks!

Thanks to Steven, Kevin, Elizabeth, Ewen, Violet and Sturley for their generous donations this week!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 368: Metamour cock block

What do you do when your metamour cuts off communications?

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1:00 Host chat with Minx and LustyGuy

9:00 Topic: Metamour cock block

Listener R writes in asking for advice on a situation in which her once-friendly metamour J asked for personal time and space that lead to a six-month communication blockade. The silence adversely affected both R and her partner’s (J’s husband) relationship. Question: how do you reopen lines of communication with someone who won’t talk to you anymore? Minx and LustyGuy suggest:

  • You can’t force someone to communicate with you, so it’s pointless to keep asking.
  • Do your best to take care of yourself and tend your own garden: deal with your own jealousy and insecurities.
  • Do your best to nurture the health of your relationship with R.

18:00 Happy Poly Moment

  • GreedyPaul shares a moment of joy at Camp Perv
  • Timothy shares some fun, snuggly HPMs derived from starting up a regular movie night with his poly family! “THIS is how poly should work, THIS is what I’ve been hoping for. It was a simple moment, but it was memorable.”

21:50 Feedback

  • Our estimable solo poly guru, AggieSez, calls in to respond to episode 364 on being in love and vetoed and recommends that even if your time with your partner is so rare that it seems a shame to bring up tough relationship stuff, ovary/man up and do it!
  • Emma asks about an issue mentioned in episode 365 on meetups: how do you deal with people feeling stuck next to someone they might not be interested in talking to?
  • Isha calls in to ask about how to handle a long-distance poly relationship, and LustyGuy offers some great advice:
    • Never underestimate the power of a distraction. Do something fun!
    • Make dates—schedule phone calls like a date, complete with dinner, wine and dress up for it.
    • Keep a paper journal every day and exchange it with your partner at your next meeting.
  • Southern Poly Gathering is a poly camping weekend happening October 17-20 in Florida—join a great group of polys!

Thanks!

Thanks to Elizabeth and Yani for their donations this week!

37:50 Poly music

Rolling out with a cool poly composition Can’t Help But Fly from Naima Penniman and A McNatt

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 327: Help! I’m rich, and I have a big penis!

What to do when your metamours get jealous of your wealth and well-hung dick

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • Minx and LustyGuy share the importance of owning your own poly shit.
  • Minx tells about a recent instance when the usually supportive LustyGuy asked for support himself, and Minx fell short. Instead of drama ensuing, Minx took the next opportunity to look at her shit and apologize for being an insensitive jerk.
  • Wanna go to Burning Man? We are raffling off a ticket in July as a fundraiser to send Minx to CatalystCon! For every $10 donation here, you’ll get one raffle entry. On July 30, we’ll draw and announce the winner of the ticket to Burning Man 2012! Void where prohibited.

10:00 Topic: Help! I’m rich with a big penis!

Cyotee calls in to ask for help: he’s rich with a big dick. What to do? Well, specifically, what to do when his metamours get jealous of his marathon lovemaking sessions and lavish trips with their sweeties? Minx and LustyGuy give advice:

  • Keep in mind that anyone can have great vacation sex. The new, outside lover is often in a perpetual state of NRE or “vacation sex.”
  • Don’t play the comparison game between you and your metamour, and don’t let your partners do it, either. Instead, find the joy in the moment and in each partner.
  • Show that you support the existing relationship. If you don’t know, ask your metamour how to keep their relationship happy and healthy.
  • Treat the relationship like a birthday party for an 8-year-old: bring a present for the birthday girl’s younger brother. Instead of buying your lover a $500 diamond necklace, buy a $250 necklace and a really nice bottle of scotch for your metamour. Let some of your love and attention for your lover spill over onto the metamour as well.
  • Or when you take your lover on a vacation, invite the metamour along. Or give him tickets to an event he’ll enjoy.

25:30 Happy Poly Moment

Charles and Sarah share the story of being married for 16 years with 4 kids and opening their marriage. They starting dating a couple, uncovered emotional baggage and took a break to deal with their own baggage and insecurities.

A few comments: Remember that your first relationship is with yourself. Also, while it’s nice to want to get back together with the couple you started dating, keep in mind that personal growth and appropriate relationships should be the goal, not one relationship in particular.

32:10 Feedback

Tony is a new listener who wrote in about a 90s song that is poly-ish: Three Is Family.

35:45 Thanks

Thanks to Eynstein, Wayne and Chris for the donations this week. Woo hoo!

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 320: I hate my metamour!

Listener M writes in with a dilemma: what do you do when you love your girlfriend but hate your metamour?

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • Welcome to our cohost, LustyGuy. Can you tell which Scotch he is sipping?

1:50 Topic: I hate my metamour!

M writes in to say that he finds his girlfriend’s new partner so repulsive that he hates the guy, which is not helped by the fact that the girlfriend revealed that the partner is trapped in a sexless marriage and believes that M and girlfriend are moving too quickly.

  • A drama queen? Much of the negative information on the partner (“Scary Clown”) came to M secondhand from the girlfriend. Always question why your girlfriend chooses to reveal unflattering information about a metamour secondhand. Is there a need for drama on her part? Relationship management skills are needed here.
  • Open lines of communication there is no line of communication open between Scary Clown and M. Of course he feels uncomfortable.
  • Responsibilities of the point The person at the point of the vee (here, the girlfriend) has additional responsibilities in terms of nurturing healthy relationships and conveying only the most relevant and supportive information to partners. However, this person should NEVER agree to act as mediator between the other two parties.
  • Setting boundaries the people at the edges of the vee need to set boundaries and be careful to express what they need rather than a simple “I don’t like so-and-so.” For that matter, the person at the point of the vee also needs to set boundaries such as “No saying that M and I aren’t good as a couple. That’s not supportive, and I won’t tolerate it.”

19:45 Feedback

Wayne writes in about an NPR piece on breasts. Audio and transcripts are here.

24:00 Wrapup

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 302: When metamours attack

How to deal with a stonewalling and uncommunicative metamour

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements

2:45 Topic: When metamours attack

Joreth, Puck and Minx address a tough situation: J starts dating a guy who is in a relationship with an older man, a respected tantric guru. Upon meeting J, the guru declares that she and the guy cannot have sex. A bit later, J and the guy have sex. She asks the guy if the guru was OK with it and then assumes it’s OK to have sex with the guy. She attempts to contact the guru but doesn’t hear back.

A bit later, she and the guy mess around in the place the guy and the guru share. The guru comes home and bans all communication between her and the guy. She makes more attempts to get the three of them together, but the guru does not accept her invitation.

Where did communication fail and what can we do to prevent this happening in the future? We recommend:

  • Own the communication with both your partner and your metamour. NEVER rely on your partner to communicate with your metamour on your behalf. That’s your job.
  • Trust but verify.
  • Know your own boundaries and negotiate with all parties involved. You have a right to know what the boundaries are, why they are there and when/if they will change.

22:00 Feedback – Episode 299, Poly Professional Woman

  • Gary points out that the poly professional man can have challenges dating the busy professional poly woman!
  • Vir suggests taking a high-level view of the work load, distinguishing work-for-pay (including school and homework) and maintaining-the-home. He suggests tallying the hours spent on all aspects and rebalancing the load when the situation shifts. For example, look at:
    • Travel time to and from work/school
    • Working outside the home (job/classes)
    • Paid work at home (professional work/homework)
    • Non-paid work maintaining the home (cooking, cleaning, shopping)

28:00 Thanks

Thanks to Samuel for his donation this week!

Wrapup


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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