Monday 18 October 2010

Dear Santa


New child for expanding family. Must have average build, curly (but not hard to handle) hair, large eyes and a pert nose. No chubbies or bad skin please. My husband and I are really easy going and would like you to be also, we worship regularly at the Jedi Knight Temple and expect you to do so too. We are outdoorsy and we go camping every summer so you'd better get used to it for the next 18 years! :o)
If you are a boy, please be aware that you will be required to attend ball games as and when requested. If you are a girl, please be prepared for being dressed in a manner that I feel is 'cute' regardless of age and also having your sexuality controlled as long as you are under my roof.
I can't wait for you to arrive, I know it will be hard but I can cope."

Seem a bit on the unbelievable side does it? Well compare it to this:-

"Hello everyone my name is 'JohnDoeswife' I am 30 years old and have been married for 10 years, we have two beautiful children and live in 'Everywhere, USA'. We are Christians but don't belong to any particular church. For some time I have felt that something was missing and now I realise that what I actually want in my life is a Sisterwife, my husband and I are looking for a Sisterwife to join our family. My husband is very handsome, a good provider and the very best husband a woman can ask for (If I do say so myself). I know it will be hard sharing my husband but I am fully prepared for it . Also, I am bi, so ideally we would want a woman who would have an equal relationship to us both"

Have you seen this profile?
I have, dozens and dozens of times, perhaps there are slight variations, ages, how long married, how many kids, more or less religious and sometimes not bisexual, but the basic message is the same. I want me a woman, now please!
I don't want anyone to get offended by my generic 'Seeking' post if it seems to be familiar because I am NOT picking on you. This is actually the most common seeking post there is, almost every wife or husband posting a seeking ad in the poly-fi world has written this or one of its many variations.

I have seen people in their 50's requesting women under 30. Couples saying that they want someone who doesn't want to work, they believe in quiverful and want lots of children. I have seen couples saying we HAVE to share a bed because that is the best way to dissipate jealousy.

What I feel by all these statements and many more is, you don't want a new family member, you want a new fantasy. This goes beyond the horror of the Unicorn Hunt (for more details of unicorn hunting and why you should not, categorically NOT do it, click here) this is about how people, whether they are unicorn hunting or not, are looking for someone to JOIN their family, without any sort of expectation that they are actually CHANGING their families. They focus on the superficial (albeit important in their own way)  things and seem blissfully oblivious that it has nothing to do with 'sharing' what is 'hers' with another woman, it is being prepared to have a completely different life and relationship to that which you had before.

When Jack met Jill, they had a totally different relationship as young newlyweds than they will have after Baby JJ is born. People expect a new baby to be a game changer, true, some parents do have expectations, sometimes unreasonable ones but hopefully when they realise that little JJ doesn't want to play ball or be a ballerina, they will back off and let JJ be who they need to be, they realise that Baby JJ is their own unique person whom they will have to adjust to, they don't consider sending JJ back to sender with a big red 'Defective' stamped on his/her forehead.

Why, when so many seeking couples post ads, they don't take it to account, that like baby JJ, any adult woman wanting a poly relationship has hopes, dreams, history and a lifestyle of her own, if you understand and respect that, than you would have to understand that you are blending your families, not having someone JOIN your relationship, She will have her own unique relationship to each of the other adults (and the children, a fact that is very often ignored) of her own. This will affect the whole dynamic of the family, it will, like the birth of a child, destabilise the home, there will be a long period of adjustment and then when you come out at the other side, your family and your family relationships will be different than before, sometimes drastically so.

So can someone explain to me why when Jenny meets Jack and Jill, neither of them seems prepared for any game changers, they want someone that fits into their lives seamlessly, it is something that extends beyond 'having shared interests and goals' and becomes needing someone who will be exactly who the couple want her to be, including in some cases, having a sexual and romantic desire for each other adult in the house equally (and any deviation from this is a no no and is considered a threat) and having their own relationship dynamic repressed to fit into the familial norms.

Similarly, Jenny might have a fantasy of this great family who will be exactly what she wants, she might expect and want certain things out of it without being considerate of what they can realistically do. If she heard that Jack took Jill to Miami for a long weekend, she might want the same, disregarding the fact that with the added expense of supporting her and her offspring, they might be strapped for cash. She might not expect that Jack's dynamic with Jill is different and it is also being destabilised by her arrival, instead of feeling sensitive to the destabilisation and want things to be easy and well between Jack and Jill, she might be resentful of the dynamic and the care and attention that Jack might be giving Jill while she tries to adjust to the new changes. She might get insecure and consider them to be uncaring of her feelings, totally disregarding the fact that she isn't the only one who has it hard (and not necessarily the hardest).

If you are established couple JJ or single person J and you want to have a Poly relationship you have to become person centred, not issue centred, it is not about 'wanting someone who fits in with you' it is about loving someone and then finding out how you three (or more) can work together to have a successful relationship. If you want a good relationship than you have to stop thinking of what another person can do for you but what you can all do together.

The myth of the Perfect Poly relationship is that there IS such a thing. Every relationship takes work. Every Good relationship takes a lot of work, to have an Excellent relationship however, takes lots of hard work that most people just simply aren't prepared for, they want things easy, they want the benefits without the work, they think love conquers all and they believe that by staying quiet and keeping the peace, they are bowing to a higher authority, they believe that by screaming and shouting they are making themselves heard, they believe by emotionally manipulative they are getting things on track. They feel that by keeping secrets they are promoting intimacy.

When are people going to realise that these practices will destroy their relationships?