Common Problems that arise in Poly relationship

Problem: Not knowing yourself

Know yourself and take time to discover who you are and what you need and want. Think about what issues do you carry from your childhood or your last relationship. Are you a jealous person? Do you have insecurities or competitiveness? Also think about what things push your buttons or get under your skin and ask yourself why they do. Try to organize your thoughts on what do you need and what do you only want. Think of things that you might be willing to find a middle ground on. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Remember when learning things about yourself to account for all your good points, sometimes we tend to see all the “bad” things and let them overshadow the good. If you do that, also make note of it.

Try to be as honest with yourself as you can. If you know who you are, it will be easier to build a solid long lasting poly family.

Problem: Communication

Communication in poly is the essential key, just like in any relationship. If you do not talk/communicate then the relationship will not get very far. I believe that if you have even a nagging little problem – like someone forgot to put his or her dishes in the dishwasher and you ended up doing it. If it is bothering you, talk about it. I think weekly meetings at the beginning within a poly household are very good because talking and getting to know each other more and more will only help your poly family become stronger – have a stronger bond.

Problem: Jealousy

Jealousy or insecurities is the number one poly relationship problem. There are very few totally non-jealous people around. If you are not jealous you are at advantage to help the others by being patient and adaptable to help the other get through their jealous issues or insecurities, but this does not mean you should not be so patient or adaptable that your needs are not being met. I personally can back off and have a lesser degree of a relationship for the other person, but I cannot do this long term.

Jealousy cannot just go away. It is something that has to be verbalized and out in the open. It is not something that goes away just because you love someone. Just because a Dominant wants a third (or forth or fifth) and their partner is a “slave” does not mean that that slave can magically have all his/her insecurities and emotions go away saying “I’ll just do this for my Master (or Mistress)” does not work. You have to deal with the issues causing the insecurities.

I am not sure where I got this but I thought it was interesting. If you know the source please let me know so I can give credit to them.

“Jealousy occurs only when one’s needs are not being met”.

The above quote, I believe, is absolutely true. However, jealousy can occur by ones own issues as well – things that are unknown sometimes are hard to accept, understand and be open too. It also can be a symptom of a lack of self-confidence and self-worth. All of which take time to learn or heal. Unfulfilled needs can be one cause, but really, jealousy is just is a symptom to a larger issue.

I do think that jealously and insecurities can be worked through with communication. If all parties are open and honest that is the way to deal with fears and issues.

Problem: 3 people makes 3 one-on-one relationships

3 people makes 3 one-on-one relationships that have to work. This is not an easy task, if you realize how much work one good relationship takes. Individual relationships – in a D/s poly household are needed. I think it is good if the Dominant has individual love and caring for each submissive or partner. And also that the submissive or partners get to know each other and have separate individual relationships with each other.

My former Master would take a new submissive and I went out of my way to make sure that submissive had quality time with our Master. Also submissives that were in a long distant relationship with him I made sure had time with him. If I saw them online, I would sign off to give him time with chat with them online, especially if they only got to talk for a couple of times a week online. If they called, I made sure to free him up so that they had time to talk without being interrupted. But I also took time for us – the submissives – to get to know each other also.

It’s my opinion that private time is a MUST for any poly relationship I am involved in. We all need our space and each of the relationships deserves some space. I want to have time together with my sister for us to go shopping and have “girl time.” If that involves sexual interaction, I think its can be negotiated that the Dominant have a say in when, where, how, etc., but that the time belong to us and I feel that time is important. I feel that time will help the bond of the family be stronger. I feel it is important in developing a relationship, whether there is sexual interaction/intimacy between all of the family members or not. Any sisters that aren’t bisexual does not mean that there should not be bonds and alone time created. There are things they can do as “Friends or Sisters.” For me, I love this time with my sister submissive not matter what form the relationship takes is very important.

I also think that two people need time alone, whether my Owner and myself, or my sister and my Owner, or my sister and myself. Time to talk/do whatever we want. Time to bond. I can respect and be secure in this, because that is what I would like to have also.

Problem: Lying

Tell the truth. It is very important in all relationship to tell the truth. If you think that you could hurt someone’s feeling by telling him or her the truth and lie instead, please re-evaluate that. Lasting relationships have a foundation of trust and that trust can only grow with honesty. And honesty is the best policy. If you do not think you can tell the truth in your relationship then I would say you are in the wrong relationship. I would say don’t ask one submissive or partner to lie or keep secrets from others. Secrets might not be lying but it can encourage lies. Secrets can build walls and discourage the family bond to grow – that intimacy that is needed to keep the family close. I believe you should have private things between each other but know the difference between private and secrets.

Problem: Not taking responsibility

This means a few things. If you were the one who forgot to unload the dishwasher the third time in a row because you plain forgot or did not want too do it or even other reasons that stem to bigger problems, own up to it. Say you did and try to be clear in your communication why you did not do the whatever the thing is that has become a problem in more then one way.

The other meaning is just to own your feelings. If you are feeling sad, angry, happy allow yourself to feel it and better yet express it. Also own those feelings know that others cannot “make” you feel that way. You react and you are the one who can control those reactions. You always have choices. Accept that sometimes you will feel good or bad for no reason at all – not because of what people are doing to you or your life.

Because of issues or baggage from your childhood or past relationships you might play the victim or martyr as a way to manipulate people. In doing so you are letting the past control you. Take charge of your own feelings and actions and life here and now. You are responsible for seeing that your own needs get met.

The more responsibility you take over your own life, the more freedom you have. Even in a D/s relationship as a submissive. Because you will submit from strength and that is a very freeing feeling.

Problem: Not giving respect to each other

Treat your family members, as you want them treat you – with respect. They are not strangers – they are family. So remember they deserve the politeness we often give to neighbors, co-workers and others acquaintances.

Respect each relationship as well as people. Each relationship will come together forming its own shape and should not be forced to be like yours. Each person brings something to the individual relationships and those things will combine with the others and probably not be like the things you bring to the relationship. So each relationship will be different. Try not to project your own expectations onto other people – on what you feel “their” relationship should be like. It is hard at times not to do that.

I know it happens in some families where a parent treats one child better or loves one more. But try to love each member of your poly family equally. If you are giving all your “good stuff” to one partner and take the other for granted that is not showing each other respect. Try to treat each evenly or someone will feel slighted. Competitions start when comparisons are made, forcing one to be the “loser.” In a poly family all should win.

There are other problems that can occur but communication with all, in my opinion, means you can work them out. Through communication you will build trust and an open and honest relationship. And through those things you will build a poly family that works with each other to create a strong bond through communication and lots of understanding and hard work.

© within Reality: danae 2001 – all rights reserved