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-   -   is it ok to judge people on their past? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22783)

polypenguin 04-01-2012 04:17 PM

is it ok to judge people on their past?
so here's the scoop: the girlfreind has a problem with a couple i'm interested in. She feels they aren't trustworthy because of something which happened in the past. But also because she knows* she heard the male (mr D.) saying the female in the relationship (we'll call her z) should sleep with me so she (my gf) wil leave.

in other words, Mr. D told Z she should fuck me until my girlie leaves, this what she over heard.

now, earlier I put a * behind the word know in her over hearing. She "knows" what she heard. And I don't deny she did. But, I feel that there is at least a possibility that there was she perhaps did not hear the entire sentence, and it was perhaps taken out of context.

I have since talked/hung out with the couple, though I have not confronted them on it as i've asked her to do that. And they showed no signs of being that sexually aggressive by any means. Everything they've said to me has been very much respectful towards her.

I guess what i'm asking is what could I/we do?

Icewraithonyx 04-01-2012 04:41 PM

I would think people's past actions have at least some bearing on my opinion of them.

Based on the few posts I've read on the situation (aka keyhole view filled in from my own experiences), it seems like you're leaning more towards their "side" of the story. Yes, there's at least a possibility that it was a misunderstanding. But maybe not.

Perhaps you, GF, Mr. D and Z should ALL get together and discuss this. That would be my suggestion.

polypenguin 04-01-2012 06:32 PM

i agree. i have been asking my gf to talk to them (with or without me). she promised she would, but still hasn't done it. i am trying to be objective about this situation, but it's hard to believe either side completely.

After hanging out with them this weekend, i'm at a loss, because Z told me straight up i need to slow "opening up" our relationship, way down. And that i need to go at the gf's pace. I agree, and i know i need to slow down. i think that really negates the idea that she has about them.

i guess i'm frustrated for two reasons: i need to slow down, and i don't know how without it being at my expense. and i feel like she tries to come up with any excuse why i can't be with anyone.

nycindie 04-01-2012 06:35 PM

Who do you want to align yourself with, support, and make sure they are happy? Your girlfriend who loves you and is struggling, or some couple you've just met who just want to bang you and her for the fun of it with no regard for her feelings?

polypenguin 04-01-2012 07:32 PM

i don't think that is quite fair. we have been friends with the couple for more than a year. secondly, i need not align with anyone, we must align together, as well as agree and disagree together.

i do not deny my feelings about the couple, but that also means that i am very hesitant on doing anything sexual with them. I always ask my girlfriend first (given the answer has always been no, and i always comply with her wishes), and they have always asked me if i want to, and if my gf is OK with it.

For example: two nights ago, i had the opportunity to have a sum of six with them and a few other close friends. Mr. D asked me if i wanted to, and if my lovely gf was ok with it. i called her (as she was somewhere else) she said no, and i did nothing sexual with them.

Unfortunately, my honesty and openness doesn't seems to matter to her. I feel like the only thing which matters is that i even considered the sexual activity at all. i feel as though rewards are not being granted, nor is honesty being rewarded. only negative consequences, honest and open or not.

nycindie 04-01-2012 07:44 PM

It sounds like your approach has been to say, "I am poly. I want to have poly relationships," and when an opportunity comes along to have sex with someone else, you then say to your girlfriend, Genebean, "You know I am poly now. So is it okay if I go and fuck these people?" and when she says "no," you get upset about it and feel like she's not making any effort. But what effort have you made to make sure your relationship with her is healthy and happy? It sounds like you really want to swing or be open, not poly, because you're very focused on sex, which is not the sole focus of polyamory.

If you truly want to live polyamorously, there is a whole lot of work to do between first stating that you are poly and fucking other people. And that work starts on yourself and your primary relationship, NOT on figuring out how to get permission from her to stick your dick into new holes. There has to be a strong, mutually supportive, healthy, and loving foundation, and that just doesn't seem to be there with the way you are going about it. Genebean has shared here just how upsetting this is for her, how insecure she is, what she sees as your impatience, and how much she feels like you just want what you want and get pissy about not getting it.

So it would probably be better for you two to look at your present relationship and see where it is and isn't working BEFORE you add more people into your life, whether as only sexual partners or for loving relationships. Perhaps, it could even be time for your relationship with Genebean to end. But you need to work on all that FIRST. For some couples, it can take a few YEARS of soul-searching, honest sharing, and very hard self-work for each of you before the relationship can be opened up to others. If you can't or don't want to put that kind of investment into building a strong, healthy relationship with someone you claim to love and cherish, BEFORE taking on other relationships and sexual partners, then perhaps either poly is not for you or your relationship with Genebean is over.

km34 04-02-2012 12:33 AM

My answer to your title question is: it depends on the circumstances. Judging this couple based on a statement she heard in the RECENT past is completely understandable. Even if the statement was not like them at all, it was still said. So at some point they were disrespectful to her, when they thought she wouldn't know. I wouldn't want to have anything at all to do with them if I were her. That includes being friends, metamours, or anything. Now, if she had heard secondhand stories of them saying or doing something like suggesting one of them fuck someone else to get rid of that someone else's significant other for the time being, I wouldn't say that it's okay to base a judgement on those actions.

Basically unverifiable past = not fair. Verifiable and personal = fair.

Now, I also agree with nycindie that your focus really seems to be on sex, and maybe you should reevaluate what you're really looking for and possibly adjust to a more swinger mindset vs poly.

AnnabelMore 04-02-2012 01:48 AM

"For example: two nights ago, i had the opportunity to have a sum of six with them and a few other close friends. Mr. D asked me if i wanted to, and if my lovelygf was ok with it. i called her (asshewas somewhere else) she said no, and i did nothing sexual with them.

Unfortunately, my honesty and openness doesn't seems to matter to her. I feel like the only thing which matters is that i even considered the sexual activity at all. i feel as though rewards are not being granted, nor is honesty being rewarded. only negative consequences, honest and open or not."

What do you consider a reward in this circumstance, and what do you consider a negative consequence? If the answer is that the reward you're seeking is a "yes" from her, that's just not fair. She may owe you respect and trust for your honesty, but you have to in turn respect her honesty if she says "No, I'm not ready for that" and let her know that it's ok to say "no". If a "no" to you is a negative consequence, then you're misunderstanding what mutual honesty and openness means. Honesty is not a tool to get your way, it's the basis for an authentic relationship.

On the other hand, if you feel like your honesty is met by distrust and withdrawal from her, that's a real problem. If so, you can ask her why she reacts that way, and if there's anything you can do to set her more at ease. For instance, if she feels like her "no" is met with anger by you, whether that's how you actually feel or not, maybe you can figure out what actions or words of yours might be making her feel that way so that you can change them and build better feelings between you two.

As for your original question, well... what do we have to judge people on if not their pasts? Are we supposed to ignore any potential warning signs and just wait for things to blow up in our faces? I'm not saying you shouldn't be friends with someone who has a questionable past, but letting someone new into your intimate life can be a scary thing in the best of circumstances, and I think it's ok to be extra discriminating when sex and maybe even love are on the table. Who you get involved with has a huge effect on you.

And why should they get the benefit of the doubt if she's sure she overheard something so disrespectful? If they really are shady people then of course they're going to show a different face when they know that you and/or she are listening versus when they think it's just them. Confronting them about it wouldn't necessarily prove anything, after all they could just lie.

There are other couples out there. Even if there were no questionable past and no overheard comment and it was JUST that she got a super bad vibe from them it would still probably be best to walk away. When it comes to sex and love, you want to be involved with people you both really trust!

ViableAlternative 04-02-2012 02:10 AM

Quite frankly, just based on what she's heard the male of the couple say, Genebean is not safe with that guy.

No man who expects sex or feels entitled to sex, especially with a very new friend/acquaintence who is known to be new and somewhat uncomfortable in a poly or swinging situation, should be considered safe to be around.

Do you sincerely want to date people that are unsafe toward your girlfriend?

Now, at first, though I would have been comfortable with giving the female of the couple the benefit of the doubt (even though I personally would consider her off the table just due to her relationship with the unsafe male), after now learning that the female has a past history of lying and cheating.... Think about this critically for a moment. The female has a history of lying. The male has encouraged her to "fuck the shit" out of you, specifically to make Genebean leave. You really want to be involved with folks like this?

polypenguin 04-02-2012 10:07 PM

well, I see all of your points. I know I probably shouldn't give them the time of day. I talked to them both this weekend, and Z told me I need to slow way down with my girlie, which is sort of surprising.

I understand it's a sketchy situation, but I believe in giving people second chances. (please answer honestly, as this is a real question) is giving them a second chance wrong? Is being just friends with them ok? Is just sex ok? Please, tell me what you think honest and true.

I know there are other poly couples out there somewhere, I guess I'm just having issues waiting. But we've come to a compromise that I think I can deal with. I really apreciate your comments, though they are difficult to hear. It seems everyone is pretty much unanimous in what they think.

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