PQ 11.2 — Are there specific assets, commitments or people (such as children) I am seeking to protect with a hierarchy? Can I imagine other avenues for achieving that protection?

a castle in the clouds, over an ocean, with a large moon behind it
Image by pumpkincat210 / CC BY

PQ 11.2 — Are there specific assets, commitments or people (such as children) I am seeking to protect with a hierarchy? Can I imagine other avenues for achieving that protection?

*

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

-Gilbert K. Chesteron

Minoring in Anxiety

“I’m happy for her, but there need to be limits on this. Even if polygamy were legal, I wouldn’t want them to get married,” he says. His arms are crossed. I’ve rarely seen him look this uncomfortable.

“Oh?” I say. “That’s interesting.”

He winces. “Interesting?” he says. There’s indignation in his voice. I think he wants me to agree right away, take his side.

But I’m non-committal. And I don’t apologize for any affront. “Mmm,” I say instead. “I didn’t realize that about you.”

He sighs. “It’s just… without the ring on her finger, what do we really have that’s special?”

I laugh.

“What?” he says.

“Really?” I reply.

He looks at me expectantly.

“She adores you. She always has. There’s this way she looks at you. It’s kind of unreal.”

“Yeah?” he says.

“I knew when you two first started dating that it was special. I said to myself ‘those two are gonna end up married, I just know it.’ And that sort of chemistry doesn’t just go away because she’s in love with two people now. That’s not how it works.”

He stares down at his hands.

“I’m not telling you that you’re wrong to feel the way you do,” I say. “It’s scary when things change. I just think it’s kind of an extra credit worry. But I get it. I turn into a regular Hermione Granger when it comes to Anxiety 101.”

“That’s putting it lightly.” He laughs. “You basically minor in anxiety.”

Primaries Without Secondaries

“But I guess what I’m hearing is that you always want to be primary?” I say.

“Yes,” he says. “But I don’t want my metamour to feel secondary. Like ever.”

“But you want them to be secondary?” I ask.

“Yeah, just not feel that way,” he says.

“Because you wouldn’t want to feel secondary, right?” I say.

“Right, and that’s what I’m worried about. That I’d become secondary if my metamour became primary.”

“What if neither of you had to be secondary?” I say.

Two primaries?” he says.

“It’s something to think about.”

*

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.

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