PQ 11.7 — Will the term secondary be applied to my relationship, and if so, do I understand how the primary couple is defining the word? Am I comfortable with the definition?
A new thread appears in one of the poly discussion groups I’m in. Asking people for their input on what the terms “primary” and “secondary” mean when applied to relationships.
I have thoughts but hold back. I want to see what other people want to say.
And when I check back later in the day, I’m not disappointed. Plenty of folks have replied. And I’m shocked to find one of them is my boyfriend CC:
I guess I fit a bit of this definition, being in a relationship where I’m somewhat secondary to a partner who has a husband (shares house, finances, etc.). I know, for instance, that if her husband were to fall incredibly ill that I would likely have to step aside if she no longer had the time/money/emotional bandwidth for secondary relationships. And that wouldn’t happen the other way around. That doesn’t mean it’s less fulfilling to be in a relationship with her.
Secondary doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re just some fling for a couple in an open relationship. It could, but there’s a lot of variance between what secondary means for a lot of people.
I don’t agree with everything CC has said. Because if my husband Skyspook fell seriously ill? CC would probably be a real boon. If anything, CC would be the type of person who would step in and help me. I can’t imagine setting things with CC aside for that reason.
Now, I imagine that I’d be preoccupied and our time together quite different. But even as a caregiver, I don’t think I’d shut down the rest of my life. If anything, I’d need those other social supports more.
The biggest primary/secondary split for me in reality is this: If Skyspook had to move far away for work, I’d go with him. And if CC had to move far away for work, I’d miss him.
But I get what CC means by his post. And I’m happy that I’ve never made him feel less than.