Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   General Poly Discussions (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=2)
-   -   The unfortunate truth about truth and honesty (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2191)

bagomase 02-22-2010 09:02 PM

The unfortunate truth about truth and honesty
 
Hi all - new to this forum, and needed someplace to vent. Hope you don't mind too much ;)

Quick background: Wife and I have what we consider an open-marriage - she has a steady boyfriend, I've been dating and have a quasi-semi-relationship with a woman in a nearby town.

The woman I've been dating I actually met and knew in middle school, reunited on facebook, etc. She's just coming out of an 8 year marriage and against my better judgment, I decided to pursue a relationship since things just seemed to be going so well. We just clicked. This was her first experience in a poly relationship, and she seemed to take it in stride. Her friends were more skeptical.
In any case, I understood coming out of an 8 year marriage the last thing she wanted was another monogamous relationship. We had an understanding that she could date whomever she wanted, especially because there's a bit of physical distance between us. My only request was that a) no one night stands (defined here by not sleeping with someone that you have just met) and b) honesty. If you're interested in someone and want to pursue a relationship, just keep me in the loop. I certainly want to make sure I know where everyone stands.
Fast forward to last week. I'm driving into town for our weekend together and she calls. She had made out with a guy friend who she had been hanging out with recently. "Aww, that's sweet!" I said. She replies with "You're okay with that?", to which I let her know I was, and that if I was jealous for any reason, it was that I wasn't there to steal a kiss too. I said I'd make up for the lack of kisses that weekend. That's when I asked her - "So was that all you did? Just a little make-out session?".

"Yeah", she replied.

You can see where this is going. I read her tone and already knew that she had slept with him before she decided to tell me later that weekend.

Her reasons for not telling me were this - she's wasn't used to being able to talk about other interests, love, or relationships with someone she was interested, loved, or had a relationship with. A bit ironic, eh?

The point to this long, unnecessary story is a question I'd like to pose - why does it seem that monogamy and honesty together are becoming such a rare commodity? I have no problems with monogamy, and I could do it again if I wanted or needed to, but if there's one thing I would take away from having an open-relationship it would be that honesty and communication are what makes ANY relationship work. Why do so many marriages end in a divorce - overshadowed by an affair, a secret kept, or needs unfulfilled with what could have been rectified with a little honesty and communication? I don't really need you good folks to answer these for me, I just needed to get the remnants of an uncomfortable weekend off of my chest. ;)

Ceoli 02-22-2010 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bagomase (Post 22748)
The point to this long, unnecessary story is a question I'd like to pose - why does it seem that monogamy and honesty together are becoming such a rare commodity? I have no problems with monogamy, and I could do it again if I wanted or needed to, but if there's one thing I would take away from having an open-relationship it would be that honesty and communication are what makes ANY relationship work. Why do so many marriages end in a divorce - overshadowed by an affair, a secret kept, or needs unfulfilled with what could have been rectified with a little honesty and communication? I don't really need you good folks to answer these for me, I just needed to get the remnants of an uncomfortable weekend off of my chest. ;)

I think it has nothing to do with monogamy. I've known plenty of poly people who have been less than honest or disclosed after the fact. And I've known plenty of monogamous people who are direct and up front about everything that comes up.

In fact, I've noticed that there is a bigger difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships than there is between monogamous and polyamorous relationships. One style is not more inherently honest than the other.

DrunkenPorcupine 02-22-2010 09:33 PM

Quote:

why does it seem that monogamy and honesty together are becoming such a rare commodity?
My answer? That people, in general, do not know themselves very well. The few that do are further limited by the ability to communicate well.

Those people that know what they want and can communicate it become or at least explore, polyamory. This might be based on my own PERSONAL bias because my friends are so fuggin awesome, but every one of the greatest communicators is poly.

The few that are great communicators and are NOT poly are honest enough to have those "If I weren't married, I'd so do you" moments. They recognize their values and chose to be monogamous but don't pretend that there are no sexual temptations or interests outside of their mono relationships.

It's really, really hard to be honest with your partner when you don't even know what you mean or want as an individual. It's just that many people default to monogamy so you see people who are all bottled up also often defaulting to monogamy. I don't think it's a "monogamy thing" itself. :)

bagomase 02-22-2010 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ceoli (Post 22750)
I think it has nothing to do with monogamy. I've known plenty of poly people who have been less than honest or disclosed after the fact. And I've known plenty of monogamous people who are direct and up front about everything that comes up.

In fact, I've noticed that there is a bigger difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships than there is between monogamous and polyamorous relationships. One style is not more inherently honest than the other.

I definitely see your point. I'm sure it's just my experiences that color my outlook. I certainly agree that healthy vs. unhealthy is probably a far better indicator of honesty. My blanket statement was partially fueled by my less-than-perfect weekend ;) Thanks for the reply

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine (Post 22751)
My answer? That people, in general, do not know themselves very well.

Preach on - personally, I just fake it well ;)

SchrodingersCat 02-24-2010 03:20 AM

I think we live in a "do what you want, just don't get caught" kind of society, and that breeds secretiveness. As a teenager, most of my friends lived under the constant threat of being grounded for breaking the rules. So as a result, they learned to do what they were going to do, but to lie and sneak around while doing it. My mom took a more "natural consequences" approach: go ahead and make boneheaded mistakes, but don't expect anyone else to fix them. It taught me that it's ok to fall flat on my face, and it taught me how to pick myself up afterwards.

I feel terrible for my step-daughter, whose mom has raised her to lie and manipulate, by lying and manipulating her. The mom was the child of alcoholics so this is how she was raised herself. We try to do what we can by being open and honest with her, and by rewarding her for being honest, but we're losing the battle. She goes through friends like they're going out of style, and my husband is pretty sure it's because they see through her bullshit and send her packing.

Most grown-ups lie and cheat because somewhere along the way, someone [unintentionally] taught them that it's the only way to do what makes you happy without bringing the roof crashing down on your head. Thank you Mom, for letting me be me!

classycaveman 02-24-2010 04:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrunkenPorcupine (Post 22751)
It's really, really hard to be honest with your partner when you don't even know what you mean or want as an individual. It's just that many people default to monogamy so you see people who are all bottled up also often defaulting to monogamy.

People default to monogamy, to the religion they were raised with, to the eating habits of their friends, to the political opinions of the media... It's a lot of work to figure things out for yourself, and most people don't see the value in it. Then when one of their natural urges comes along that runs counter to their adopted values, they run into trouble. They want to satisfy that urge, but they also want to remain consistent with their values. So sneaking around and/or lying are the only options, outside of changing their values, which usually requires a lot of thought, and possibly some major life changes. Way easier to tell a little lie that they can rationalize away.

GroundedSpirit 02-24-2010 03:33 PM

Yes
 
I think everyone else posting so far has touched on our early habits and how we develop them.
And think this is really key to understand in dealing with others - relationship or not. But ESPECIALLY in relationships.

I think we all have to look each other in the eye and say "I have some less than desirable habits I've developed in the first XXX years living in the conditions I did. If you will help me replace those with better ways - I will help you too !"

Because this is the way humans work. Despite all our education and best intentions, making changes to deep seated patterns and beliefs is not like throwing a switch. It just doesn't work that way. Occasionally we can - some times major traumatic events can drive certain things out of us suddenly. But for most, it's a slow and sometimes painful process.

Me - I promote...........

Be kind
Be patient
Be honest and DON'T let each other off the hook
Repeat process (until you die)

GS

redpepper 02-25-2010 06:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bagomase (Post 22748)
The point to this long, unnecessary story is a question I'd like to pose - why does it seem that monogamy and honesty together are becoming such a rare commodity? I have no problems with monogamy, and I could do it again if I wanted or needed to, but if there's one thing I would take away from having an open-relationship it would be that honesty and communication are what makes ANY relationship work. Why do so many marriages end in a divorce - overshadowed by an affair, a secret kept, or needs unfulfilled with what could have been rectified with a little honesty and communication? I don't really need you good folks to answer these for me, I just needed to get the remnants of an uncomfortable weekend off of my chest. ;)

I think has little to do with mono and poly relationships and everything to do with how we have been raised and the society we live in.

I think we were raised in a society that was built on authority. We had to obey our parents, our teachers, our bosses... what it taught us was to go underground for what we need in this world... to cheat and lie with a big smile on our face (and guilt in our hearts). Learning how to deceive starts at a very young age (something I am experiencing with my son right now). Hopefully kids are being taught to ask for what they need and respected for those needs. Sometimes it is something that they are not going to get, but when people are given every opportunity to get what they need and opportunity to give back to others in terms of their needs... those needs don't get as big. Honesty and openness prevail and become common place and comfortable. just my opinion.

SchrodingersCat 02-26-2010 07:07 AM

My best friend's son is beautifully honest. He'll do something that he completely knows is against the rule, and then tell on himself almost immediately. I have never gotten angry at him breaking the rules when he fesses up on his own. I start a conversation with him asking why he did it, and reminding him why he's not supposed to, but that I still love him and I forgive him for what he did. And guess what? He just keeps on telling on himself!

Windchasers 02-28-2010 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by classycaveman (Post 22837)
People default to monogamy, to the religion they were raised with, to the eating habits of their friends, to the political opinions of the media... It's a lot of work to figure things out for yourself, and most people don't see the value in it. Then when one of their natural urges comes along that runs counter to their adopted values, they run into trouble. They want to satisfy that urge, but they also want to remain consistent with their values. So sneaking around and/or lying are the only options, outside of changing their values, which usually requires a lot of thought, and possibly some major life changes. Way easier to tell a little lie that they can rationalize away.

This! Perfectly said.


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:31 PM.