Primary and secondary (polyamory) - Wikipedia
But sometimes couples open their relationship and allow their . is the primary partner and who is the secondary or third or even fourth, then no. Being a secondary also means that the relationship can focus on pleasure, and When it comes to major holidays, birthdays, or vacations, my. Secondary Relationship Card General Poly Discussions.
Secondaries The Challenges of Being a Secondary In my last blog post I wrote about the benefits of dating married people. Being a secondary also means that the relationship can focus on pleasure, and not on parenting, finances, housekeeping, and other mundane obligations that married couples have to tend to. Also, you can have a wonderful relationship with someone you would not want to live with or be married to.
Polyamory enables us to have rewarding relationships that would not be allowed under conventional circumstances. The secondary does not have the luxury of a marriage bond to help them feel secure in a relationship. I am talking about situations where a secondary is nearly a primary partner, or would like to be if circumstances allowed.
The Challenges of Being a Secondary – Conscious Polyamory: A blog about loving more than one
People who do not want to give their partner inferior status sometimes use the term co-primary. But on a basic level, a secondary is someone who enters a relationship with the mutual partner after the primary. So from now on, I am going to call this person, the second, or 2. I am not able to enjoy everyday life with my partner, such as going grocery shopping, cooking dinner together, or waking up together every morning. I am not able to see my partner or talk to him anytime I want because his availability is constrained by obligations to his spouse.
Research concerning consensual non-monogamy has grown recently but has just begun to determine how relationships amongst partners in consensually non-monogamous arrangements may vary. The current research examines this issue within one type of consensual non-monogamy, specifically polyamory, using a convenience sample of 1, self-identified polyamorous individuals who provided responses to various indices of relationship evaluation e.
Measures were compared between perceptions of two concurrent partners within each polyamorous relationship i. Participants reported less stigma as well as more investment, satisfaction, commitment and greater communication about the relationship with primary compared to secondary relationships, but a greater proportion of time on sexual activity with secondary compared to primary relationships.
We discuss how these results inform our understanding of the unique costs and rewards of primary-secondary relationships in polyamory and suggest future directions based on these findings. Although the term polyamory indicates permission to engage in sexual or romantic relationships with more than one partner, the nature of these relationships and how individuals approach them can vary from one person partnering with multiple people, to members of a couple dating a third triadto two couples in a relationship with each other quadto networks of people involved with each other in various configurations [ 8 — 11 ].
Polyamory includes many different styles of intimate involvements, however, most polyamorous-identified individuals report having two concurrent partners [ 12 ], and one of the most commonly discussed polyamorous relationship configurations is characterized by a distinction between primary and secondary relationships [ 13 — 14 ].Part 3 The Relationship of Secondary Chord Movements in Major
A secondary relationship often consists of partners who live in separate households and do not share finances [ 9 ]. Furthermore, a secondary relationship often consists of less ongoing commitments, such as plans for the future [ 13 — 14 ].
It is worth noting that much of differences discussed here have been speculated to exist, though primarily in non-empirical sources e. Primary-secondary relationships can occur through circumstance e.
Importantly, not all polyamorists have primary relationships with additional secondary partners, and some polyamorists categorically reject the hierarchical distinctions implied by primary-secondary relationships [ 8 ]. Although much has been said and written about the primary-secondary distinction in polyamory, very little of it has come from empirical research. As such, research is needed to determine whether our most basic assumptions about these relationships hold true.
For example, are there indeed reliable differences between primary and secondary relationships, such that those who identify a partner to be primary are in fact more likely to live with this partner and to report greater relationship duration with that partner? Beyond this, we also seek to assess whether reliable differences emerge on important relationship outcomes, such as commitment, communication, and sexual frequency.
Due to the mixed feelings towards primary-secondary relationships within the polyamory community [ 8 ], and vast differences in relationship configuration, we therefore limited our sample to polyamorous individuals who personally identified one partner to be primary and another partner to be non-primary.
Despite this distinction, most research exploring polyamory collapses polyamory under the broad category of CNM with these other relationship types though it is important to note that forming committed relationships with multiple partners is quite distinct from having fleeting relationships or casual sex partners on the side.
Research shows that individuals in CNM relationships are as equally satisfied with and committed to their relationships as individuals in monogamous relationships [ 4 ].
Additionally, consensually non-monogamous and monogamous couples do not differ in reports of relationship quality e. These studies, therefore, suggest that CNM relationships do not significantly differ from monogamous relationships on a number of relationship quality indicators.
However, as polyamory involves more intimate involvements than other forms of CNM, meaningful relationship processes may extend to partners beyond the initial dyad, a similarity that may not be expected in open relationships or swinging.
More specifically, in open relationships or swinging arrangements, we would not expect substantial commitment or investment to occur with partners beyond the initial dyad because these relationships are typically premised around sex. However, as polyamory extends beyond sexual connection, individuals may report that commitment does exist with partners beyond the initial dyad. Current research is just beginning to explore potential differences in the relationship dynamics an individual has with multiple partners [ 19 ].
For example, Mogilski and colleagues [ 19 ] found no significant differences between relationship satisfaction ratings of monogamous partners and CNM primary partners, however, the difference between ratings of monogamous partners and CNM secondary partners was marginally significant, such that CNM participants reported higher relationship satisfaction with their primary partner than with their secondary partner.
There were some important limitations, however, in their study: In this case, the authors collapsed across the various forms of non-monogamy i. Investigating how polyamorous individuals think, feel, and behave within their different romantic relationships is essential for developing an understanding of the psychological processes involved in the maintenance of multiple simultaneous romantic relationships.
Relationship acceptance and secrecy Approximately While previous research has highlighted the fact that polyamory is not widely accepted and is a socially stigmatized relationship configuration [ 22 ], to our knowledge no research has empirically tested whether individuals with more than one romantic partner perceive a lack of acceptance from family and friends, and further, whether this acceptance varies across relationships. One important source of relationship acceptance is the family [ 23 ].
More specifically, Goffman [ 24 — 25 ] suggests that in an attempt to maintain compatibility between personal and social identities, individuals who are subject to stigma may employ strategies to reduce the possibility that others will notice their involvement in discredited behavior [ 26 ]. We hypothesized that in polyamorous relationships, the mean amount of perceived acceptance from family for primary relationships would be greater than the mean amount of acceptance for secondary relationships Hypothesis 1.
Additionally, it is likely that the expectations from important peers e. We therefore hypothesized that the mean amount of perceived acceptance from friends for primary relationships would also be greater than the mean amount of acceptance for secondary relationships Hypothesis 2.
While we expect primary relationships to receive greater acceptance from family and friends, contrary to family, individuals can select their friends and may be likely to select friends who are either similar to or more accepting of their relationships.
We thus predicted that family would be perceived as less accepting of secondary relationships than friends Hypothesis 3. Furthermore, the desire to comply with customs and norms, or to avoid stigma, could result in greater secrecy about polyamorous relationships, particularly, when it comes to relationship partners beyond the primary relationship members.
We therefore hypothesized that in polyamorous relationships, the mean amount of romantic secrecy would be greater for secondary relationships than the mean amount of romantic secrecy reported for primary relationships Hypothesis 4.
While stigma towards CNM has been documented at the general level i. Relationship investment and commitment processes Interdependence theory posits that individuals initiate and maintain relationships because of the benefits of interactions in a relationship [ 28 — 30 ].
As relationships develop, the interaction amongst partners yields outcomes in the forms of rewards e. Commitment, in turn, promotes relationship persistence. In polyamorous relationships, anecdotal evidence suggests primary partners may afford certain rewards because primary partners can share in major life decisions and can help to promote greater levels of interdependence e.
Some experiences and behaviors that are more common among primary partnerships, such as relationship approval and the ability to exist as a publicly recognized couple especially when secrecy in other relationships is salient may be additionally rewarding.
Perceptions of primary and secondary relationships in polyamory
In contrast, other experiences and behaviors that are likely more common among secondary relationships may have relationship deterring effects, such as maintaining a romantic bond in social climates that marginalize and devalue polyamorous relationships. For these reasons, we further expected that it should be more difficult to develop interdependence in secondary relationships compared to primary relationships.
A practical matter to also consider is the degree to which one invests in and is therefore able to commit to a relationship, given that many investments are, by their nature, limited. More specifically, if the primary partner is the recipient of many of the investments typical in traditional relationship trajectories moving in together, getting married, having children, etc.
Additionally, previous research utilizing the Investment Model Scale found that individuals in marginalized relationships invest significantly less than individuals in nonmarginalized relationships [ 34 ].
Taken together, we predicted that the mean amount of investments for primary relationships would be greater than the mean amount of investments reported in secondary relationships Hypothesis 5. Additionally, it has been suggested that denying or hiding a relationship can decrease relationship satisfaction because it can represent a devaluing of the relationship [ 35 ], and creates anxiety about the relationship itself [ 36 ].
Keeping a relationship secret is also linked to elevated reports of physical and psychological stress [ 37 ], another factor that might be expected to lower relationship quality. Recent research has also found that within CNM relationships, participants reported higher overall relationship satisfaction with primary compared to secondary relationships and considered their primary partner to be more desirable as a long-term mate than their secondary partner [ 19 ].
Thus, we predicted that individuals in polyamorous relationships would be more satisfied with primary relationships than secondary relationships Hypothesis 6.
That said, to the degree that individuals have chosen to stay with a primary partner while pursuing other alternatives as opposed to leaving that relationship entirelywe predicted that the perceived quality of alternatives would be lower for assessments of primary compared to secondary relationships Hypothesis 7.
More specifically, individuals in polyamorous relationships should be less likely to desire leaving the primary partner for another equivalent relationship, and somewhat more likely to desire leaving a secondary partner for another equivalent relationship. Lastly, to the extent that the above predictions are true—that primary relationships are indeed associated with greater satisfaction and investments and fewer alternatives—this would be expected to translate to greater commitment for primary compared to secondary relationships, consistent with the central prediction of the Investment Model Hypothesis 8.
Additional reasoning for this hypothesis comes from other research finding that marginalization is a negative predictor of commitment [ 34 ].