How do you do it? How do you manage a poly relationship? I am watching friends fall apart because they tried it and its just hard…even for me because I am friends on both ends.
How is this different than a mono-relationship; isn’t it the same pain?
It’s true that polyamory has its own challenges and learning opportunities. But in my opinion, leading a healthy, successful poly relationship takes many of the same basic skill sets that you need in order to lead a healthy, successful monogamous relationship. In my 20 years of coaching, I have seen many people who just flat don’t have the basic skills to live a successful, thriving relationship.
Here’s one example. When the sh** hits the fan, I often see people make one of 3 basic communication mistakes:
1. confuse stories for observations (ex: she’s mad at me vs/ she hasn’t made eye contact with me today) – we can avoid misunderstandings if we – as Krishnamurthi suggests – seek the intelligence of observing without judging.
2. confuse feelings and needs for thoughts and judgements (ex: i feel like he should spend more time with me if he loved me) – when we separate our feelings (sad, disappointed, unhappy) and needs (because I want companionship) from our thoughts, we have a better chance of asking for what we want in a way others can hear (ex: i’ve been sad wanting more companionship, would you spend 2 hours with me tonight?)
3. not make clear doable requests to meet their needs
These simple, common habits can make or break a conversation.
Now take folks without basic relationship and healing skills, throw them into a poly scenario where emotions are even MORE likely to be stimulated, and where transparent, generative, needs-based conversation is even more vital, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster alright! This is why they pay me the big-bucks to do relationship coaching. *wink*
If you’d like more information about polyamory, or if you’d like a free consultation toward an ongoing coaching relationship, call Gail toll-free 1.877.535.5438.