Last month, my sweetie Eve and I celebrated our one-year anniversary with a trip into Oregon’s desert. I took many pictures, which I may one day find the time to post and write about, but I particularly like this one: the sun setting over the John Day Fossil Beds.
On the More Than Two blog, we’ve written about a question asked by one of our backers: “What do I do if two of my partners don’t get along with each other?” We’re certainly getting a workout with our backer questions!
This blog post is a dialog between Eve and me. Here’s the teaser:
Franklin: I’ve been in this situation from every angle: having a partner who doesn’t get along with one of my other partners, being the person a partner’s other partner doesn’t cotton to, and having a partner who’s involved with someone I don’t particularly like. […] When you’re the one who’s in the middle, caught between two partners who aren’t getting along…well, it kinda sucks. It can be easy to end up feeling pulled in two directions. I don’t have a magic solution, though I certainly admire the problem.
Eve: In my experience, it can be hard to hold multiple relationships together without the active support of all your partners for the other relationships, especially if you live with one of them. Situations where partners are just tolerating each other may have a steady undercurrent of stress that can be damaging and hard to manage. But it can be done, and whether you can or want to do it depends a lot on your own coping, communication and boundary-setting skills; your emotional health; and how important both partners are to you.
I don’t have a solution, either, but I think we can offer some management strategies.
The whole post is here. I’d love to hear from folks who’ve been in this position! Experiences? Thoughts? Strategies? Feel free to reply here or over there.
I’ve written a guest post on Greta Christina’s blog about ethics in a poly community. Here’s the teaser:
It’s difficult to talk about polyamory without hearing the expression “ethical non-monogamy.” There’s a bit of a sticky wicket, though, in that we rarely talk about the definition of “ethical,” beyond the obvious “don’t lie to your partners.” That’s a good start, sure, but it’s not enough to construct an entire foundation of relationship ethics on. When we’re living in a society that proscribes everything except heterosexual marriage between exactly two cisgendered people of opposite sexes, how do we even start talking about what makes an ethical non-monogamous relationship? Where do we turn for ethics? What distinguishes an ethical relationship from a non-ethical one? Are ethical relationships egalitarian, and if so, how does that align with BDSM relationships that are deliberately constructed along the lines of power exchange? If two people make an agreement and then present that agreement unilaterally to a third person, who is given few options other than accept the agreement as-is or walk away, is that ethical? What happens when people make relationship agreements, and then their needs change? What are ethical ways of revisiting and renegotiating previous agreements? How do we even define “ethics” in the first place, without resorting to religious or social conventions? What does it take for a person to make ethical relationship choices that aren’t aligned with a religious tradition or a cultural norm?
These are some of the issues we intend to address in our polyamory book, More Than Two, which is going into its last week of crowdfunding now.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can read the entire blog post on Greta Christina’s blog here.