Yes, I can accommodate change, even the not-so-fun type. And it’s a good thing, too.
Because I don’t get a say.
None of us do.
Change is going to happen, no matter what we do. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.
The sensible thing to do then, given this, would be to endeavor to accept it gracefully when it comes. Maybe even embrace it, even if it shows up in a form that makes us uncomfortable at first.
One question I’m often asked by people new to poly: How can we open up an existing monogamous relationship without additional partners changing anything?
The answer is that you don’t. Your relationship will change. Introducing new variables fundamentally changes the equation.
But what you can affect? Whether those changes are positive or negative.
Remember: The grass is greenest where you water it.
Take care to maintain your old relationship while you’re forming new ones.
Besides, we never know where unpleasant change will ultimately lead us.
As Rilke writes in Letters to a Young Poet:
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises up before you larger than any you have ever seen; if a restiveness, like light and cloudshadows, passes over your hands and over all you do. You must think that something is happening with you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand; it will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions? For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.