In recent post Polyamory, I outlined intended topics:
- Thrive, accept or tolerate
- Communication, communication and MORE communication (with strong doses of awareness of self and others)
- “Don’t ask, don’t tell”
- Room for changing and growth
This philosophy of consenting nondisclosure is something with which I struggle. My partners outside of my marriage know of each other. They know of my significant friendships and attractions. Why is nondisclosure so difficult for me?
One partner is intensely private, shy and so very considerate. He values the integrity of secrets and autonomy of individual relationships. I absolutely see his point of view as beautiful.
Another partner is very open to the idea of complete disclosure. I am not talking about details of other partnerships that are secrets, or smutty details of other intimacies, but of the interactions and the meaty substance of another partnership. We are experimenting with very radical transparency, and that is also beautiful.
What hurts when we hear of other relationships? What is at the heart of the feels? Perhaps it is perceived inequity or insecurity. Perhaps it is our own baggage and feelings of not being what our partners need. Mostly, I think we want our partners to be happy, and we shy away horribly from even the safe edge of causing pain for our people.
Is the pain nonexistent if we don’t know? Or is a different pain still present because we know that we do not know? For me there is a void left by nondisclosure.
My void isn’t of more importance than the need for privacy for my partner’s other relationship(s), but the pain of my void matters too.
Am I hurt by what I don’t know?
Am I hurt by what I do know?
Am I hurt by fear that my disclosure will hurt someone I love?
Am I hurt by the actual pain I cause by disclosure or nondisclosure?
Yes, but it isn’t present as much as I fear it will be.
I think we exercise the music of hearing our partners by listening and reacting with grace. I think we build trust in that successful repetition. I think disclosure is my preference.
Can I learn consenting nondisclosure?
I can learn anything…
Will I ultimately be able to live in that as a permanent way of being?
I don’t think so. I think I would choose monogamy over consenting nondisclosure.
What choices will I be given?