Saturday, April 11, 2009
Is it polyamory -- or polyagony? (My response to the responses to "Single (again) during the holidays.
Are we evolving to a new, openly loving society? Or are we a culture full of shallow, self-centered pleasure seekers who don't want to do any of the difficult work it takes to maintain families and deep, committed relationships?
In theory, ideally, polyamory means you have the best of both worlds -- and multiple partners who are committed, adoring, present, helpful, and there for you in sickness and in health, during the fun times AND the downturns.
Awwww....wouldn't that be nice?
Polyamory, in my experience, and the experience of other friends who have agonizingly endured it, means instead of having two lovers remember you on Valentine's day, your birthday, Christmas--nobody remembers you on holidays.
Instead of having a lover to pick you up at the airport, you're taking a cab home alone.
Instead of being able to freely call whenever you want, or just pop by to visit, you're on a strict schedule and have to set appointments (lest you embarrassingly stumble in on a tryst.)
For the polyamorist in the driver's seat, it's all the fun with none of the commitment or responsibility.
Who's there when you get sick, when you need cheering up, when it's "that time of the month" or when it's time to move? The polyamorist is off having fun with someone who is having a good day-- and his menagerie of partners are stuck with a fair weather f*ckbuddy who only shows up when it's time to hook up and party.
Interestingly, since this was posted, "Bozo" has told me that "Mr. Poly" still sees many other partners on the side. When I see the twisted agony in her face as she says that, I can tell that her heart isn't into this sharing, and it still causes her a lot of pain. Would she dye her roots and dump this guy if she had better self esteem? Of course.
I now have moved from anger towards her to empathy. I was there in her shoes, and I remember how miserable I was.
I have now accepted that I was in a relationship with a sex addict who hid his addiction behind a groovy urban community that promotes and endorses "polyamory."
My own lack of self esteem (going back to early experiences in childhood) enabled me to put up with this and be a co-dependent to his addiction -- because the person I was then did not truly feel that I deserved deep love and caring.
Through the 5 years of growth I've gone through while writing this anonymous blog I've changed now. It was a journey, and I survived. Doormat? Moi?
It makes me absolutely sick now to hear other people beam at their public relationship performance art and say things like: "Oooooh! She's so good for him!" Well, yes, she is so good for him!
Excuse me, but when he takes her to a party, his typical behavior is to ditch her immediately and run off with someone else?
Excuse me, she continues to look the other way and call herself "polyamorous" while HE is the one who carries on with other people, while she is never seen dating anyone publicly but him?
Excuse me, but the two of them are never seen out unless they are going to a sensual or cuddle party when he can roam around and indulge himself in front of her while she winces and undoubtedly feels unworthy?
I call that tolerating a self-centered, narcissic cheater, if you ask me. Yes, she's "good" for him. (Loved hearing her post little Twitter feeds from his bedside while she was in the hospital nursing him to health after his surgery!)
This particular woman (and my ex) engage in this behavior in the name of 'polyamory' -- which is the new buzz word for having multiple simultaneous relationships.
My therapist says: "Oh, polyamory? In the old days, we called it "adultery." Just a new word for the age old act of dishonesty and cheating.
It's not polyamory if you're lying about it--it's cheating. Polyamory means "many loves" -- not "many f*cks." Some people call it "polyf*ckery."
If you're not showing up for the real work that it takes to be in an intimate relationship, or you're spread too thin with too many partners, then it's polyf*ckery -- which leads to polyagony. Which ultimately leads to polyangry.
In all of my 30+ years of relationships, they were almost always faithful and monogamous, until about 5 years ago when it seemed like the whole landscape tilted in favor of men and the polyf*ckery craze began.
(Coincidentally this is right about the time that those fabulous tools for cheating, online dating, online banking (no more receipts for the wife to find!), text messaging and cellphones, became so ubiquitious.)
Were we suddenly openhearted and loving everyone -- or is the polyf*ckery craze because we all now had web access, and cellphones and text messages and Craigslist and Online Bootycall and FWBs and NSAs and cheating suddenly became cheap, easy and technologically feasible?
Sorry, call me old fashioned, but I'd rather be a perpetually single woman with self esteem, ethics and values, than the new modern woman who "gets" to have a partner only because she's willing to swallow her pride, look the other way and tolerate a fair weather f*ckbuddy. A