Abuse is, unfortunately, common in polyamorous relationships, just as in monogamous relationships. Polyamorous abuse can look different from abuse in monogamous relationships because of the characteristics of group dynamics. In addition, most polyamorous relationship advice assumes non-abusive relationships, but may be harmful when applied to abusive situations, and many resources for abuse survivors aren’t necessarily friendly for polyamorous people.
I believe, pretty firmly at this point, that the foundation of a non-coercive nonmonogamous relationship has to be the ability to drop to zero-sum at any time, for any reason. That’s not just true for sexual relationships in a group, but also for metamour relationships. But more than that, the foundation of consent is a built-in exit clause for every single relationship. Not happy? Not healthy? It’s OK to leave.
I was impressed with how realistically and sensitively it portrayed the reality of being an 11-year-old queer girl trying to navigate her nascent sexuality between two polar extremes that seek to either exploit it or suppress and deny it completely.
What happens to you when you start a relationship apologizing? Apologizing for taking up space, apologizing for wanting things, apologizing for feeling passion and love? What happens when you go into a relationship accepting the premise that you’re doing something wrong?
I don’t think we need another article about how to apologize. I’d like to see an article or two about all the ways a sincere apology is claimed and then used as a weapon against someone. Against a child, against a loved one. I’d like an article about how when that happens we have to build cages around the chasm of shame and self hatred that our apologies dug inside of us.
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