My sweetie Shelly has written another blog post over at More Than Two. I hope one day to be as wise, compassionate, and insightful as she is.
This post is called “Winter Is Coming,” and it’s about how entering relationships that disempower us can destroy us, even if we knew the conditions when we signed on. There’s a good deal of stuff about the relationship history between her and I in there, and some of that was painful to me to read.
I think there are warnings in here for anyone contemplating a prescriptive polyamorous relationship. We often say that any relationship structure is A-OK as long as the people involved consent to be there. I am not entirely sure that’s true. There are some arrangements which, by their very nature, are not only thickly sown with the seeds of coercion, but almost guaranteed to allow those seeds to germinate…and the cost is very high.
You can read the essay here. Here’s the teaser:
But primary/secondary structures tend to leave a special kind of emotional wreckage. While I freely admit that it is often a mutually beneficial model for all involved, there is a hidden trap. Because sometimes we walk into this structure, with heart in hand, and sometimes our partner meets us there. And then the structure becomes a maze of slamming doors and booby traps. When your partner meets you with real intimacy and love within an externally enforced and non-negotiable framework of limitations, the emotional experience of the relationship is of being simultaneously pulled in and violently shoved out. The cognitive dissonance is even worse. Self-advocacy is often interpreted as homewrecking, and disruptions to the status quo are seen as a hostile act. Remember, you signed up for this, you’re breaking the contract, you’re the bad guy. But don’t be cruel and break his heart, don’t be disruptive and speak for your own. just… just want something else, feel something else, BE SOMEONE ELSE.
So, there is a special place, at the bottom of all of that, where you realize that the only truly “right” thing you can do is just… find a way to disappear. But not with an explosion (you drama queen). Just find a way to disappear quietly so that no one notices. Do the right thing and just…go away.