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catwoman980
Dec. 29th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
Marriage is definitely another category of privilege--a federally recognized one, at that.

If a triad begins to dissolve, and the married element is the one that remains, most folks outside of the family unit say hurrah! I'm so glad they got that out of their systems! Things will be so much more simple now!

Excepting unusual circumstances, however, if it's one of the non-married units that survives the dissolution of the triad, folks outside the family unit retroactively call it an affair or use phrases like "homewrecker." That's my observation, anyway. I've even seen that when the surviving couple got together before the marriage occurred.

In general it's weird and arbitrary the dynamics we confer superiority to. Maybe irrational is a better word than arbitrary.
ashbet
Dec. 29th, 2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
*nods* Agreed -- while the individuals involved may be in a completely egalitarian relationship (I'm part of a triad with a married couple, but I'm not their "third" -- we're all equals, and I've been involved since before they got married), outsiders can perceive things differently.

And you're right -- if a triad dissolves, there are basically two ways that the majority of observers are going to react, as you described.

On the plus side, it's nice to know that triads CAN exist without the "third" partner being automatically in a "spice" role -- my relationship, and another triad who I'm good friends with, are both fully egalitarian and there is no assumption that certain dyads are privileged over others *within the relationship.*

-- A :)