Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Lying or "stretching the truth" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30556)

cmonkee 10-20-2012 01:28 PM

Lying or "stretching the truth"
My partner is currently seeing someone else (G) and we have had several conversations about limiting the time they spend together. The conclusion of those was that he can have 2 "date nights" /week (usually 6-8 hours) and 3 "coffee dates" (1 hour max). The point of the 3 is to maintain the relationships and make sure they see each other not only for sex, but also regularly enough to catch up, etc. The 3 is a point of contention that he is not totally down with, but agreed to abide by for now. Note: There is currently no limit on the numerous "unavoidable" interactions they have because their offices are down the hall from each other. This ends up being about once per day for a coffee or something.

A day or two ago, he let me know that he had told G about the time rule. Later, he told me that he'd be "naughty" and didn't actually tell her about the 3 rule, only that they were limited to 2 date nights. He admitted that he didn't tell her because "it feels too inorganic."

Today we had a discussion in which I told him that when he said to me that he told G about the time rule, but had not actually done so fully, that constituted not telling the truth. He disagrees and claims that it's fine.

This is already a contentious relationship that I'm working very hard to be ok with, and is resulting in us spending nearly all of our quality time together discussing G or fighting. I don't want to create more problems, but the core necessity for me in this is total honesty and I don't think I'm getting that.

Any advice out there for disagreements about what "the truth" is?

GalaGirl 10-20-2012 02:20 PM

1) Why is he telling H agreements between you? In a way that makes it sounds like you are the "bad guy?" Rather than in a couple way that is "No, I have other agreements to meet with my other partner. I cannot do that." Why is he telling you he tells her? Is he trying to make you jealous?

2) Not telling the whole truth is called "selective truthing" or "half truth" or "lies of omission." Not cool.


I don't want to create more problems, but the core necessity for me in this is total honesty and I don't think I'm getting that.
How are you creating problems? You have your wants, needs, and limits. He has his. That is fair.

He chooses his behavior. You choose yours. That is fair.

You bringing it to his attention that he's crossed a limit of yours? That is fair. He is not a mind reader. And you'd expect to hold you accountable if you stepped in his toes, right? That is fair. You can't mind reader him either.


Any advice out there for disagreements about what "the truth" is?
Don't worry about "truth" -- worry about actions of behavior being done/not done. His behavior is not respecting one of your limits -- clarify the how. What is your preference? What do you WANT? Had he told her EVERYTHING, would you be happy? Or is the crux not so much the telling partial things or telling everything, but the telling things period? Without your knowing it was going to be told?

What do you want him to say next time this comes up?
  • Do not tell your Other agreements between us unless they bump on a limit. If so, tell her simply "I cannot do that. I have agreements with my other partner to keep.
  • Do not tell your Other agreements between us without checking in with me first to come to agreement for how much to tell.
  • Do not tell your Other agreements between us at all.
  • If you tell your Other agreements between us, tell it ALL.
  • Some other preference of yours not yet listed.
  • Some kind of mix and match of the above.

And what is your consequence when the behavior he chooses bumps up on a limit of yours?

In my universe, lies is a 1 strike you are out. Because I cannot know how to trust if I'm being given misinformation in a polyship. Too much hinges on good communication. Everything else I'm willing to work out on 3 strikes. The 4th time on the same issue? This person is not trying. So I'm better off without them.

I'm sorry you are going through this, esp if all your time together is talking about H or fighting. :(


BoringGuy 10-20-2012 03:52 PM

I don't understand why you need him to tell her abut the 1-hour coffee dates agreement BETWEEN YOU AND HIM. As long as he respects the agreement, what difference does it make if he tells her it's something the two of you decided? To me, it sounds as if you need her to know that you are in control and that he listens to you first - sort of like the way a cat or dog marks their territory so that others know it "belongs" to them. (And I'm not trying to offend you by creating a mental image of a dog urinating on a fire-hydrant). It does sound like you need her to know that this is a "rule", even if he has every intention of operating within that rule. Like, "Don't you even TRY to see each other more than this rule specifies." If he "follows the rule" without telling her the rule, that isn't "lying by omission", it's him handling his other relationship the way he feels is best.

From reading your post, it looks as though you are trying to micro-manage his other relationship. I think you are projecting a lot of what is not working in your own relationship onto his other one. BBy focusing your energies on the rules he must follow, you're not getting to the root of why you find these rules necessary in the first place. Is it so that he doesn't develop a stronger connection with the other person and decide to leave you? This CAN happen, even with the rules you have set up. You indicated that there is more to this than meets the eye when you said that you spend what little quality time you have together talking about her or fighting. Putting rules in place and worrying about whether it's "lying" or not if he lays them all out to her or just follows them seems to be just another way of finding something to argue about.

Loving Radiance described what I am trying to say in another thread. I'll just link you to it:




I would be hard-pressed to say that LR is "lying by omission" because she doesn't go over her "rules" regarding Maca with every new person she meets or has coffee with. She simply ACTS in a way that respects the limits of the rules.


This is already a contentious relationship that I'm working very hard to be ok with
So, what is REALLY bothering you about his other relationship? What have she/he/they done in the past to cause you to not trust them?

playswellwithothers 10-20-2012 04:58 PM

This resonated with me, BG. My partner obviously limits the time he spends with me (I'm a secondary, he's the hinge in our Vee). I am sure the time we spend together is a topic of conversation between him and his wife. (In fact, I know it is, since when we plan things out in advance, he usually says he needs to check with her calendar.)

He presents it to me as his choice--and whether or not his choice comes from an agreement between the two of them or not, it IS his choice. In six years, I have never heard anything like "my wife says we can only...." or "I can't come see you because my wife...."

Frankly, I'd be hurt and pissed off if he did. He has free will. He may choose to agree to whatever limits they set between themselves--but I have no need or want to know about those agreements, which are between them.

I know my partner works hard to advocate for BOTH his relationships, and also to have enough time for himself. And that's all I need to know.

BoringGuy 10-20-2012 05:20 PM

Indeed, my spouse is the same way with their other partner. I am friends on facebook with Other Partner and sometimes i'll tell them when we have made plans for a certain date so that they can plan around it. It isn't meant to mean "I get first dibs and you need to make do with what's left over." as far as i am concerned, Other Partner could make plans and let me know what they are as a courtesy the same way. it embarrasses me to some extent when Other Partner says "i am happy to spend whatever time i can with [your]Spouse" because it reminds me that they think of themself as "second" in priority, like a scavenger bird that waits while the "real" predator finishes eating the carcass in order to have their own dinner. While that's fine for vultures and hyaenas because that's the role of those species in the food chain, we are human beings and i don't think of our importance in [my]Spouse's life as diminished by the reality that we are both present in it. Of course, Spouse is an extraordinary individual who is held in high esteem by everyone i know of who comes into contact with them. However, Other Partner has no previous experience with "sharing" and is trying to not offend or alienate me. I just don't want them to think they have to walk on eggshells or sell their own needs short out of fear or ignorance.

Oh well. It's getting a little hijacky and i'm trying to watch out that i don't do that too much. It has been brought to my attention that i have a tendency to hijack, and i rub folks the wrong way even without intending to do so.

playswellwithothers 10-20-2012 05:32 PM

I can't assess hijacky nature; too new here. But I'm grateful for what you have to say, BG. I think maybe my partner's wife DOES get first dibs. I am wondering if that can be okay with me.

opalescent 10-20-2012 06:25 PM

Context is queen
What is the context of limiting his time with H? Without that, you do come across as controlling. He comes across as not being truly on board with those decisions and is passively aggressively undercutting you by presenting the decisions as yours alone to H and by lying to you about when he sees her. (Lying by omission is still lying. That is not acceptable.) The limits themselves do not appear unreasonable on the face of it - 2 date nights a week and 3 coffee times are more than many secondaries and couples can manage.

You may well be controlling and he may well be passive aggressive. But I suspect more context will paint a different or at least a more complex picture.

Also how long had he been seeing H? Do you have a friendship with her? Any contact with her at all? Are you seeing others? Sorry for the barrage of questions but I am again seeking more context.

If this is new, then the boundaries are going to be in very much in flux as you and he and she sort things out. Secondaries - aware ones anyway - realize that they are not the first priority - they may not be 2nd or 3rd even. Couples have to set priorities. But there is an important difference between setting priorities and understanding limitations - of time, money, energy, etc. - and dictating to a secondary what the relationship dynamic will be. The first is hard from a secondary's point of view but manageable. The second treats the secondary poorly and denigrates their value as a person and as a person in relationship to one or more individuals in a couple.

BoringGuy 10-20-2012 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by playswellwithothers (Post 160438)
I can't assess hijacky nature; too new here. But I'm grateful for what you have to say, BG. I think maybe my partner's wife DOES get first dibs. I am wondering if that can be okay with me.

Hmm... I probably do get first dibs too. I have made it clear that i require Spouse to take care of things around the house that require a second person ( such as division of labor when it comes to chores, or finances, errands, health/medical things, etc.) and that social/recreational things are subordinate to those. I would extend the same expectations to Other Partner, except they don't live together so i assume they wouldn't pay each other's bills. Also, Spouse and i are legally married and we depend on each other for certain things, such as health insurance and legal next-of-kin in emergencies. But we have been together for almost 13 years, and married for 10, so we obviously (well maybe not obvious to people reading this and have no clue about the difference between the persona a choose to project online and the person i am in real-life) we like each other and do things for each other without needing to be browbeaten into it or making it out like some sort of burden we must endure as the price to pay for enjoying the things we like about the other. But i digress. Next i wanted to add that Spouse has only been involved with Other for just under 8 months. So their relationship is still in the NRE stage (it's fun watching their nre progress. The beginning of the end of it has just begun. I can see signs of normalizing, and little things being taken for granted - in a good way of course). But you've been with your boyfriend for 6 years, you said? I should think that if you've been at it that long, and have good communication all around, then you are well within reason to expect yourself to merit similar priority to hers, depending on the details of the situation. This "i must always be first no matter what just so i feel like i'm first" doesn't seem necessary.

BoringGuy 10-20-2012 07:49 PM

Wait a sec. I re-read the OP and i think what she's saying is that her partner didn't tell HER the whole truth ABOUT telling the girlfriend. I thought the OP was worried about whether he lied TO the GF about not telling the gf about the "3 rule". Still, it sounds like it's a red-herring for some other issue, and this whole business with micromanaging other people's relationships means that some other issue or dynamic is needing to be dealt with.

Now if that is so, a lot of the stuff i said earlier doesn't really apply to your situation. It does, but not as to your question.

Marcus 10-20-2012 08:05 PM

Rules, Rules, RULES

Originally Posted by BoringGuy (Post 160425)
To me, it sounds as if you need her to know that you are in control and that he listens to you first - sort of like the way a cat or dog marks their territory so that others know it "belongs" to them.

Good stuff BG. I find that most of these rules discussions go at it entirely the wrong way. The focus is about all of the different rules (seemingly inexhaustible litany of rules) and how hurtful people are when the rules are not followed. There seems to be very little concern put into discussing (honestly discussing) why these rules should even be considered.

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:48 PM.