I tried to decide which parts of the quote to trim, and decided to leave it intact. The household that the author writes about had so many things going against it as a polyfideletous arrangement that it boggles the mind.
Being room-mates does not make a poly family. A poly family has a purpose. It is a living entity, in and of itself. It exists and is nourished by its parts, and without even one of its parts, it would be a completely different entity, because all of what it has become is shaped by every one of the people who are a part of it.
This is why things like honesty, common purpose, affection, unity, communication, and genuine respect for one another's unique qualities and contributions is so crucial. In order to be a "family", you must truly desire to be a union with one another. In the same way that a monogamous relationship where one party is always trying to get something over on the other party, and where both parties are constantly sniping away at the other's weaknesses is an unhealthy and unhappy situation, so it is the same, and on a larger scale, for the polyfideletous family.
Sharing a house is -not- the same as sharing a life, and a poly "family" shares a life, no matter where they live. I've been in the same poly collective for over a decade. We've dealt wth the deaths of some of our family, had some of our family have to live apart from us because of work, had others of our family have to move because of commitments, and had some who decided that they needed some time away to grow. At the same time, -all- of these people are still our family. Just like my father, who lives in NY, is still family, though I live on the other end of the continent, so those of us who have to live apart from us, but who are committed to us and to whom we are committed are still family.
On the other hand, we have had people who came and chose to try to divide us--stepped between us and tried to drive wedges, create anger and hostility, and further their own purposes within our household. Even for those who lived with us, it was rapidly apparent that they weren't "family". Watching them leave did not bother us, nor did their attempts to destroy us cause us any heartache among our own family members--in fact, the attempts to drive us apart actually brought us closer, as we closed ranks against the attempts to damage what we had created.
The author asks what makes and breaks a poly family--the same things that make and break a monogamous family or any other family. If the members are dedicated to one another and to the goal of the family, at least to the same extent that they are dedicated to serving their own goals--and if those goals are intertwined where each of us has a part in one another's success, so will the relationship be successful, whether the family is 4 people or 40. If, however, the individuals find themselves to be more important than the group, and are willing to sacrifice the union for the sake of their own egos and desires, chances are pretty doggone good that the union will fail.
I wish you well, and wish you family, in its truest, purest sense, whether it be poly or monogamous.
Wow, i didnt know posts had to await approval.
Well, about the ME time, by way of couple and group, one of the biggest problems there was here was that we paired off in two groups and then it was like one team going up against another team. It was rediculous. There are still so many secrets that the other female is keeping from everyone, yet she gets pissed when we dont tell her everything. The family has broken up now, it is just the other two, and then me alone and looking for somewhere else to go, and the other male alone and looking for somewhere else to go. It is a sad case, but she decided she wanted to divorce the other male and has chosen to stay with the male she paired up with in this venture. She has been a wretched person through all of this spreading lies about me to her friends (which i got to read in a chat between the other male who is leaving also and one of her friends tonight; boy was i infuriated!) and also making the one she is divorcing miserable and dictating to him who he can and can not see other wise she will not let him have visitation with their children. (and she is suposed to be submissive. Yeah right) If i would have known this is what she was planning, and yes i fully believe it was planned, then i would have completely avoided the situation. However, it is done, and now i just need to pick up and move on. I have learned a lot from the information given here, and if i ever feel i am ready for poly-relationships again, i will definately keep this information in mind. Thanks again, to all of you, very much! Good luck in all of Y/your ventures, and i hope that they all go a whole hell of a lot better than mine have.
< Message edited by LadiesBladewing -- 9/2/2005 11:47:25 AM >