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Friday, March 26, 2010

Get even or get real!

Watching a stupid daytime TV show the other day while eating lunch I heard a man say (paraphrased) "Because my wife cheats on her diet, I can cheat on my wife with other women".

Say what????

Forgetting about what he said, it did get me to thinking about some things. I've known people in relationships where when one person cheats the other person feels they then have a 'freebie' owed to them. In other words, they can then cheat as well to make things equal. Interesting concept but not one with which I agree. Two wrongs don't make a right. Right?
But more than that is the idea of leading by example. If your kid spills milk you don't turn around and knock over your cup of coffee to teach him/her a lesson do you? Nope, you have them clean up the mess. You show them how to hold a cup properly. To not overfill the cup. Things like that. Leading by example. I like that one. And that's how I try to live my relationships.
Now, that is an example using cheating. It could apply to poly or mono or other relationship types. But what I'm using it for here is a bridge to a somewhat related concept I've seen in some poly relationships. The idea of equality.
The idea of equality as I've seen it implemented both consciously and sub-consciously is as follows: My SO has an SO so I should have an SO. Or, my SO is dating someone so I NEED to be dating someone too. Gosh, I better go find someone quick and make things even!

Say what????

Why does it need to be even? I'm happy for my loves if they find another love who makes them happy. If at the time I don't have another partner do I wish I did? Very probably. It isn't jealousy, or a need for equality. It is simply knowing the joy they are feeling and wanting to have that same joy for myself. But I'm not going to rush out and grab the first warm body I can find just to 'make it even'.

So what do you think? When your SO has an OSO and you don't, do you feel the need to 'make things even'? What about the opposite? In other words, if you have an OSO and your SO doesn't do you feel guilty or the need to help them find someone?


  1. My SO nearly always has an OSO or two. Usually, his OSOs are women who come to live in the house with us. My SO is ususlly deeply engaged in non stop activites with our current resident OSO. (I use the term "our current residet OSO" even though it is exclusively his sexual partner, but the OSO becomes our house mate and poly household participant.

    I have a regular OSO, who I see briefly once or twice a week, or for a longer date, once a month. He is a married man. His OSO lives in a different city and is a married woman. He prefers to spend more time with her, so he travels most weekends to be at that poly community.

    I have never felt that I needed more OSO time, just because my SO is spending more time with his OSOs. If I'm feeling neglected, then I tell my SO that I need more time with him and request that he not forget about our relationship. Since he usually finds a new OSO to live with us about very two months, he is nearly always wrapped up in NRE with the new OSO. That NRE is usually followed by a breakup, and his feelings of rejection. To abate those feelings of rejection, he quickly goes out to find a new OSO who will satisfy his craving for NRE. He is rarely without an OSO.

    My SO has been without an OSO on several of the few date nights that I've had with my OSO. My SO was so pathetic with feelings of being first abandoned by his last OSO, and by my evening out with my OSO, that I took my SO along on my dates with my OSO. The last time I had an all night date with my OSO, (Shivaratri, a sundown to sun up ritual), my SO found a date to bring into the house. He made an enormous production of planning an evening date for the woman. It involved a thorough cleaning of the house, setting up a romantic space in the guest bedroom, cleaning the hot tub, and preparing a gourmet meal. My SO even requested that I make a last minute return to the grocery store to buy meal items that his date requested. Even though I checked in with him about his attention to detail to this date compared to what he does arrange for romance with me, he claimed that I was trying to start a fight. In my opinion, I believe that he was jealous that I was having an all-night date with my OSO.

    It is important for my SO to have several OSOs in his life. I'm happy and content if he can have good connections with several women, several OSOs. I'm also pleased if within those women, I have friends who are my hiking partners, yoga pals, or find significant ways to help with this big household.

  2. Hi Kameshwari,

    Thanks for your comments. I truly love hearing about new paradigms. They remind me never to think there is only one way, or even one right way. Everyone is different and needs different things from their relationships.
    You have an amazing poly structure in which you exist! Though I’m not sure it is one in which I could exist, it sounds like it works pretty well for you and that you are happy with things overall.

    Your SO bringing home a new OSO to live in your house every few months is very interesting. I’d love to hear more about how you deal with a new person in your life so frequently. Are these people you usually know before they come to live with you? One of the poly ‘dreams’ I have is an extended family living together. That said I see it as a more static structure with the same people together for a long period of time. I just can’t imagine trying to get used to a new person every couple of months, let alone it being someone I was living with. Just getting used to habits like cooking and diet, cleaning, leisure time, finances, etc. would make me feel somewhat chaotic. I prefer things a bit more predictable and reliable.

    It would also be very interesting to hear how you deal with those new folks when you don’t get along with one of them. As you saw from my article following this one, “I hate my SO’s SO!!” that’s something I have seen in the past and it can make a beautiful relationship very ugly very fast. I’m sure there are folks out there who would love to hear how you deal with that situation.

    What amazed me most about your comment was that although you have a few frustrations you ended by very clearly stating that you feel compersion for your SO. That says a lot about your will to be understanding and compromising in your relationship and that you look for the good side of things when possible. I think it is wonderful!

    Thanks again for your comments!