March 17, 2011
Does the Secondary get the Shaft?
My husband and I have a primary relationship. Period. But there is the possibility, eventually, that someone will come into our lives and become so important to both of us that they become a third primary in our relationship(s). Until then, no one has the priorities, the considerations, or the power in my life that my husband does.
That’s not to say that I don’t respect secondary relationships. In fact, I was a secondary (an interesting experience for me!) in my brief relationship with Matt. Okay, his primary relationship was wobbly and damaged, and it ended up costing me a potential relationship with him (and him one with me). But other than his wife’s super-special-crazy-sauce, I found the secondary relationship comforting. I didn’t have to be the primary source of love and affection in his life (okay, turns out I did, that was one of the many problems – but I shouldn’t have had to be), I didn’t have to commit tons of my free time to the relationship since we were both busy, and I still got plenty of affection and support.
BUT… I already have a primary partner. I can see how these things – which I thought of as so wonderful – can be a big downer for someone who is single. No attentive primary relationship, competition of a sort with the primary (for time, for attention, for affection), and possibly worst of all, the power that someone else may have over your relationship.
What do you think? Do secondaries get the short end of the stick?