Re: Prisoner's Dilemma and Primacy

Date: 2003-06-12 05:36 pm (UTC)
True triads are a very good thing, if you can make them work. It's hard enough to find one person who is right for you. It's much harder to find two people who are right for you. It's damned near impossible to find two people who are right for you, and also right for one another.

I know of only one lasting poly triad, and it's not even a true triad. It's two men who live with one woman, and they're all happy. They've been together around a decade.

I have seen about a dozen triad attempts in my poly experience (since 1992) and barring that one, all have failed.

Regarding the mother choosing between her two children, I think it's a fascinating counterargument. I have to think about it.

One important distinction is that the two children have a very, very close relationship (they are siblings). If your play partners have a very close relationship, live in the same house as you, and so on, then I can see that it might work. That is how the triad I describe above works.

Also, the children would grow up with an expectation of never having being "first" in mom's life ("I love you both equally," they're told from their earliest days). Sure, you can tell your poly partners what to expect, but you're basically telling them to expect to be treated equally, and not as a primary.

Another thing to remember is that, in your example, the mother WILL have to make a decision and choose one child over another. The other child will likely be devastated and fucked up for life. ;) Your analogy does not invalidate that situations will force you to choose one over another, and feelings will be hurt as a result. If both partners are willing to accept that lack of insecurity in their relationship, that's fine. I still argue that they do not have a primary-style relationship with you, because they cannot count on you in certain situations.

I haven't met many people who don't want to be someone's (anyone's) primary. All of my play partners over the last decade have sought a partner who could give them more than what I could offer.

Please don't take what I am about to say the wrong way. I don't mean anything nasty by it... You are about to get married. To one partner, not the other. I don't think your relationships are equal. If you love them both equally, why not marry them both? or (since that's not legal), live with them both? How can you convince your fiance that he's NOT primary when he's married and the other guy isn't? How can you convince the other guy that you love him just as much as the guy who's ring you wear?

The triad I mentioned above did indeed get married. Two are married by law and the other two are handfasted. In their minds, she is married to both men. That works for them, and they seem to be stable in their relationship(s), so I applaud them.
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May 2003

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