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Lies, to protect the relationship April 2, 2012

Posted by shaunphilly in Skepticism and atheism.
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I have been actively polyamorous for a while now.  As a result of this I see the world of sex and relationships in a different way than most.  I see the world with polyamorous eyes.

And while I remember being monogamous earlier in my life, I’m not sure if I can exactly remember how I saw the world differently.  I must have seen it differently to some degree, right?  Perhaps not, but I’m no longer sure.  Perhaps I was always saw a lot of what I now see, just not as clearly.  Again, I’m not sure.

If there has been any perspective shift, it is one of a heightened one; a view from above.  It is the result of a consciousness-raising, where I can see many of the assumptions and behavior patterns of relationships. 

It is not unlike how I see religion, faith, and unskeptical thinking in other avenues (such as politics). It is a view from the outside, being able to see much of what happens within and feeling some sympathy for the experience.

It’s not that I see everything.  It is not even that what I do see I fully understand.  An analogy would be to say that I am seeing more sides, or even dimensions, to our sexual and relationship behavior than those caught in the mire of cultural normalcy.  And what new sides I see makes most of our cultural and psychological tendencies just seem funny and sometimes absurd.

Watching monogamous individuals and couples deal with relationship dynamics, for me, is sort of like a comedy where you, as the audience, know something about the play that the characters do not.  The absurdity of their behavior, the obvious conflict of their desires and what they do, and the oversights of simple solutions missed due to ignored needs and lack of transparency in the relationship.

And usually in the name of maintaining the ideal of monogamy.  Yes, people do unhealthy relationship things, like lie about what they really want, what they really do, and what they are really comfortable having their partners want and do, in order to protect the relationship.

I cannot think of any higher ironic comedy than that.  And is see it all the time, and I am convinced that most monogamous people do it all the time, and that they usually don’t even realize they are doing it.

It is, after all, part of the dating world to lie.  So when people commit, either with marriage or just exclusivity, many of those lies are smuggled in.  After a while, they may not even feel like lies anymore.  They become self-deceptions.

To protect the relationship.

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Comments»

1. Michaelyn - April 2, 2012

I agree to some extent. I know exactly what you mean by watching other relationships as a movie from the outside. And yes, most people lie and hide their true wants or feelings to save the relationship itself, which is sad. The thing about monogamy that bothers me most is the weird sense of ownership which causes jealousy. I just don’t get it. My current relationship started out as polyamorous, but now we’ve moved to elective monogamy. That may change in the future, but for now it works for us. I think starting as being poly has helped us with our communication, and we haven’t had any trouble with being honest and communicating our wants and needs and limits.

shaunphilly - April 2, 2012

I think that is the most healthy way to reach monogamy. I don’t know if you saw the post I wrote last week called “accidental monogamy,” but it was about that. And the fact that you recognize that you may go back to being polyamorous in the future is great too. I wish that everyone would approach relationships that way.

I don’t think monogamy is wrong or unhealthy, I think the way most people in our culture approach relationships are unhealthy, and most are monogamous.

2. athenaskallistei - April 2, 2012

I call it losing the monogamy lens.

3. Pyr - April 3, 2012

I know the feeling, and I agree with shaunphilly. I think for us polyfolk it is most important here to remember that we should not become condescending towards others over this.

Being poly (same goes for e.g. atheism) doesn’t make you the least bit of a better person, or someone that has found the full truth and is now a wise person considering relationships. I’m sure you know that: after all, true scepticism means first and foremost questioning oneself.

4. alphalifestriver - April 3, 2012

I, also, know that feeling…
I agree with shaunphilly. I’m still not able to see many new sides, but I had the experience of some of them, which gave me the same feelings and emotions as these described here.
Thank you very much for opening new sides for me and many others. Before I met your blog, I thought that I had some problems because of my wish of polyamory. You opened my eyes and now I know that polyamory is, in fact, the real human nature and the best beginning of a relationship.
Thanks!


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