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-   -   Don't respect my partner's partner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39799)

target 02-02-2013 01:32 AM

Don't respect my partner's partner
Hey all,

Newbie here! (and relatively new to poly too...just a couple years)

So, I need a bit of guidance in my relationship. I'm one of the ends of a poly V (pretty much) and I am totally in love with my partner and he's awesome. His other partner, however, is someone I have some problems with. It's been three years, and we've made it work thus far but circumstances are changing and we need it to get to a point where she and I more than just tolerate each other. We will be much more present in each others lives, so I really want to try to make it better.

The problem is that I have absolutely no respect for her. She lies...a lot. To be fair, I don't think she does it maliciously - she exaggerates things in her head, or lies out of insecurity or fear, or whatever. But every time I talk to her, I find out later that something she said was a lie. To me, that is a huge deal, and after this long, I just really don't respect her at all. She's a nice person and everything, but I don't trust her as far as I could throw her.

The thing is, I don't know what to do about it. My partner really wants us to get along, but when I bring up that I don't trust her, he just says to not really take anything she says as truth until I talk to him about it. But I can't do that...I can't try to learn to respect someone while trying to train myself to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I would really love some advice on how other people have grown to respect their partner's partner. Did it come naturally, or did you have to actively work at it? If so, what did you do? Did you ever have to deal with someone who isn't often truthful? If so, how did you handle that?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice!!! Can't wait to meet and chat with people on here!

Anneintherain 02-02-2013 02:04 AM

Well uh... you can pretend she's a relative, one you tolerate more from because of family ties. Or you can choose to just not spend more time with her, even if it means you see him less. Is them them moving in together in some situation that means seeing him there involves her being around all the time?

I haven't spent time with somebody like that for decades, I'd never do so again. I've never had respect for somebody "grow on me" with time, people seem to learn to tolerate metamours if they don't get along, or stop spending time around them. I've never seen anybody say "I disliked my metamour but after 5 years of making myself spend my weekends listening to their idiocy I didn't notice it anymore!" I bet the best way you could learn to respect her, is remove her from your life conversationally so you stop getting reminded she is a chronic liar, and can enjoy the other positives about her from afar.

Pyuvii 02-02-2013 05:07 AM

Have you tried talking to her about it?

Let her polity know how you feel, being sure to emphasize that you really want to get along with her and want to get to know her genuinely. Make sure to keep it very polite, especially since you stated you don't consider her to have an malicious intent when she lies.
Maybe you guys can work it out and legitimately be able to get along! :D

If that doesn't work, Anne's suggestion to treat her like family, like a sibling, we don't always like our siblings, but we make it work because we have to >_<

Also, just curious, how does your partner feel about her truth-stretching habits? o=

Vinccenzo 02-02-2013 09:11 PM

Do you find out the things she tells you are, through a source other than your shared sweetie, actual lies? Or do you just relay to him something she says that you find unsettling about HIM, take it to him and HE tells you its a lie?

Those are two different things. One is her lying and the other is HIS truth which may or may not indicate she lied.

He is telling you to not believe anything she says and that is pretty disrespectful. I've known some master liars who play everyone they know to their favor even at the expense of the people they want to think highly of them. You should talk with her. You might find some of the things you've said to her are not HIS truth when she takes it to him later either.

MeeraReed 02-02-2013 11:20 PM

Why is your boyfriend in a relationship with a liar? Doesn't that make you respect HIM less?

target 02-03-2013 12:43 AM

@Anneintherain - That is a good way to look at it. If I can't resolve it, I will definitely try to shift my attitude like that and see if it helps. Thank you!

@Pyuvii - I have tried talking to her about it a bit, but she denies it all the time. If we have actual proof of her lying, she blames me, and says I must have misunderstood or misheard. For the first little while, I felt like a horrible person, because I thought I was always misunderstanding her, and that has never happened to me before with anyone. But, the more time I spent with her, and the more I got to know other people around her, I realized it wasn't me. My partner is less than thrilled with it, but he doesn't put the same value on honesty that I do. He just ignores it when she lies, whereas I have a really hard time doing that. :(

@Vinccenzo - Most of the time I find out through an actual source. For example, she was going somewhere once, but didn't want to have to go, and then told us her flight got cancelled, so she would have to go a different day. However, we got a call from the airline later wanting to just confirm the new flight because she had missed the first one. So, things like that. Some of the stuff comes filtered through him, and as much as I love and trust him, he has his own biases too, so I try to take those into account with second hand information.

@MeeraReed - All people have flaws, and we decide which ones we can put up with, and which ones we can't. This is something he is ok with, I guess. I could never accept that in a partner, but I have different values than him. It doesn't make me respect him less at all, although I must admit that I have asked him a few times to try to explain to me what he likes about her because the majority of things I see are things I don't think I could accept, and I really really want to try to like her.

BoringGuy 02-03-2013 01:13 AM

Well? What does he say he likes about her? What does he say are some of her good qualities? I totally understand people not being perfect, as i am one of those people. But if someone goes around being a lying bitch, they better have some awesome fucking shit going on somewhere else. At the very least, they better have a lot of money they are willing to share, or have a tongue faster than Mohammed Ali and sweeter than Dolly Parton in their twenties.

ETA: bonus points if you can identify the quote in the last sentence.

nancyfore 02-03-2013 06:11 AM

Hi Target..

Lately I have had the same issue with my husbands girlfriend.. She also has been less than honest about a few things that I have found out about this last week, and we have had much the same type of conversations. I am not thrilled at all and having some trouble trusting her and he says he doesnt like it either but can understand why she has said the few lies she has. But I have told him I dont trust her and I hope she can straighten up because trust is everything to me and I dont trust her much right now.

He says he has no problem telling her that he will not talk to her again but also seems to give her more lee-way.

For the moment I am waiting it out for a bit and watching closely to see what happens and if she isnt more honest he will break up with her.

I've had much the same trouble as you have, with wanting to like her and wanting to get along with her, and I know this puts my hubby in a tough position.

Emm 02-03-2013 04:15 PM


Originally Posted by target (Post 182364)
I have tried talking to her about it a bit, but she denies it all the time. If we have actual proof of her lying, she blames me, and says I must have misunderstood or misheard.

That sounds a lot like gaslighting, which can be a form of psychological abuse.

SchrodingersCat 02-03-2013 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by target (Post 182200)
Anyway, I would really love some advice on how other people have grown to respect their partner's partner. Did it come naturally, or did you have to actively work at it? If so, what did you do? Did you ever have to deal with someone who isn't often truthful? If so, how did you handle that?

I can't think of a single person in my life that I have ever grown to respect, metamour or otherwise. Actually that's not 100% true. My step-daughter has matured as she passed into adulthood and thereby earned my respect... But the key there is that SHE changed. I did not "grow" to respect her for the same stupid shit she was doing when she was a typical 16 yo. She stopped doing the stupid adolescent shit, and started doing grown-up stuff that deserves respect.

Lying is disrespectful. Why would you choose to grow to respect someone who disrespects you?

I have had to deal with compulsive liars, and I do it by believing nothing that comes out of their mouths and exposing myself to them as little as possible.

I don't think you should try to respect her. Your bf has rose coloured glasses with her, he has emotional reasons to look past her dishonesty. You don't. I would simply tell him, "Honesty is an important value to me. I can't control whom you date, but I have the right to limit my exposure to someone who disrespects me by lying to me. I will not grow closer to her, and I need you to accept that."

I get really irritated by these people who pressure their partners to be friends. It's selfish. It's one thing for him to wish for it, but quite another to try and force you to do something you're not comfortable with.

The last point I'll make is that there's a difference between "showing respect" and "having respect." I've had to work under people who were complete dicks. Office politics dictate that you can't just be rude to them, even if they're dicks. So I would "show respect" in the work place... but I did not "have respect" for them. So in your situation, the grown-up thing is to behave respectfully around her. But that doesn't mean you have to be sincere.

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