May 2, 2008


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 6:42 am by Kathleen

The word “Primary” is one that is bandied about very casually in the poly community. “This is my primary parter.” But what does that really mean? I mean, it kind of sounds like “This is my first, my best, my favorite partner.” I have to admit to the use of this term myself, and I do feel that it has a place in poly life, but is that place assured because we truly need it as humans (and as poly people) or because we have been conditioned to need it.

Do I feel the need to be someone’s “best”, even if I am not his “only” because society has told me that my life doesn’t really have meaning until I am attached to a man? Ouch, that’s a tough thought to swallow. Then again, as a wife who is proud of being a wife and as a submissive woman, both, I am happiest when I am at home taking care of my family. Would I be just as happy if I was a co-wife, or even the “other wife”?

I like to think that I would be, but then I think about something much simpler: a simple date between my husband and another woman. Isn’t it true that as he drives away, I console myself with “At least I know he loves me most, and he’ll be back soon”? I am my husband’s primary, and he tells me that no one will ever be able to take my place as his soulmate and the love of his life.

Which brings up another interesting term. If you have a soulmate out there, then how can another person, no matter how much you love them, ever be equal in any way? Not possible, right? Not every person considers their primary parter their soulmate, though.

So what does “primary” really mean? That you love them the most? That you two live together? That you spend the most time together? For me, at least, being primary for my husband serves the important function of reducing my need (and therefore the instances of) my jealousy and allows me to open my heart to this new idea with a sense of trust and wellbeing. In the future, I really don’t know what will happen, but perhaps even if he never finds a woman to equal me (because, let’s face it, I’m quite the catch πŸ˜‰ ), maybe, just maybe, I won’t have a need to think of myself as “primary” anymore.





  1. To be honest, I’m not even certain that one’s spouse has to be one’s soulmate. In my head at least, there are different definitions to the word “soulmate.” I don’t really know how to explain what I’m saying other than that, but I’ll give it some thought and get back to you.

  2. rosemerry said,

    Just out of curiosity who’s idea was it to become poly? Was it his, yours, were you both poly before you met or was it something you decided to do together? I understand if this is an inappropiate question and if it is feel free to delete it.

  3. Kathleen said,

    I consider Michael to be my soulmate… and I know some people don’t even believe in that kind of thing, but he is, I feel, a part of me and I of him.

    Rosemerry, it was my idea to open the marriage to a threesome, and he stated that he would be more comfortable with a relationship than with a fling. I can’t remember whose idea it was to see Becky in particular, though I think it was mine, and it was also my idea to let go of the attachment that I had to us dating TOGETHER and to let him be with her. I think it was a good decision. Thanks for asking!

  4. Jerry said,

    Your question has its own flaws in the way that you present it, and it makes a lot of very brazen assumptions that paint the concept with a big fat brush.

    First off, why are you Michael’s wife, or he your husband? If the love is strong and you two perceive yourselves as (if not immune to but) above petty jealousy, why not live your lives together as communing adults, who create and raise a child in a loving, title-less relationship? Surely the very thought of two individuals married to one another and succumbing to a puritanical lawful ethic of one man, one woman contradicts the lifestyle you are attempting to espouse?

    But that’s just me playing devil’s advocate. For my part, I married my wife because I couldn’t think of any single good reason not to. She’s a good woman, supportive and patient, and willing to grow and continue learning. If I never spend another night in bed with another woman for the remainder of my days, I have her, and she has me. She is my primary. My one, but not necessarily my only. Her needs DO come before all others. She is the one who has pledged the rest of her life to me. She has earned her stripes. She has proven herself.

    Acknowledging that not all poly’s would necessarily feel the same way, and could likely (and well within their own reasoning) discredit my intentions, it is what it is. Sometimes that’s all that needs to be said.

  5. Kathleen said,

    Not sure what you’re going for, Jerry…

  6. Jerry said,

    I was attempting to make the point that sometimes the question need not be asked. By being married, not to mention using the term ‘primary’, you’ve already determined what personal societal norm you are adopting in your relationship with your husband.

  7. Auria Cortes said,

    β€œThis is my primary parter.” But what does that really mean?

    I thought you defined that in previous posts (you and your son come before anyone else).

  8. Kathleen said,

    Auria, I know the book definition of primary… I guess I was asking about a deeper meaning. More general, and not specifically applied to me and my household.

  9. Rori said,

    As always, I have to remind anyone who may read this that I am not in a poly relationship. That said, to me, “primary” would mean commitment. You’re committing to love this person and that you always will. Girlfriends come and go, but wives are forever. At least in my book.

    And I know that can’t be definite. I mean, there are poly relationships in which people are primaries but not married. Still, to me it means commitment. I guess I can’t explain it any better than that, and I’ll give up at the sake of being misunderstood!

  10. Kathleen said,

    Rori, commitment is a good way to put it, but then there are also people who have a deep commitment to someone other than their primary. I guess maybe it means your ‘deepest’ commitment (like the wife) πŸ™‚

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