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-   -   Whose privilege is it to say "GET OFF MY FOOT" (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52825)

LovingRadiance 08-19-2013 06:31 PM

Whose privilege is it to say "GET OFF MY FOOT"

I think something that gets missed (a lot) in these conversations is a detail.

WE have a rule/agreement/boundary.

As in-we talked and agreed that we all feel xyz is important to all of us and we agree to uphold it.

That doesn't mean "I" make Maca enforce xyz with other partners.
That means we all three back each other up with anyone else who tries to press any of us to break these agreements.

I got SO MUCH SHIT from the local community when I set my foot down with a woman who flat tried to tell me that I would let my daughter go socialize with her and her daughter-because she was a potential date for Maca.
He had tried to tell her no-she was walking over him.
He is soft spoken. He didn't want to offend her and he was in a quandry with himself over the fact that he liked her, was attracted to her, was caught up in "omg this might be the only woman who will date a married man in the whole state".

But-that is all irrelevant-the bottom line is-WE already have agreed to what is in the best interests of our children and THAT IS NOT IT.
We re-discussed in in light of the person in question specifically (as we do with all new people) and were MORE certain that it wasn't in their best interests. So the answer was NO.
I AM more vocal and when she stepped up to me on the topic-hell yes I did tell her NO I WILL NOT ALLOW IT.

Which got interpreted by teh community as "LR is controlling Maca".
No. No I'm not. He can see anyone he darn well pleases.
But he doesn't want to break agreements that ARE important to him also. Just because he chooses to just walk away silently and not look back-doesn't mean I am dragging him on a leash.

I don't need a "rule" to tell me that I am not going to go out and screw someone I met today.
I only have an agreement-so I know what is meaningful to my current partners and what doesn't matter-that way I can decide what my priorities are.
IF I don't know what matters to them-I can't consider their preferences in my decisions.

So-yeah-the whole anti-rule thing is annoying. rule/boundary/framework/understanding/agreement.

Call it what you will. It IS important that people identify what their hard and soft limits are AND KEEP THEIR PARTNERS AWARE. If they choose to do that in writing or verbally or whatever-who gives a shit?

Yes London it would-and if he then tells her to bug off-and she refuses and continues to meddle in any way she can-such as following me to every single social event I plan or attend-
then it would become my privilege to tell her to fuck off publicly.

The point is-that just because something looks reasonable at first glance-doesn't mean it's going to continue that way.

On this board-people get all wired up over "omg you/you or you have no right to "make rules" over xyz blah blah blah because.....

when they read that people have rules or agreements.

As Mag noted (while I was writing my post) she didn't even SAY SHE HAD A RULE. They have an agreement.

If I and my partners agree that we don't want anyone doing handstands around our family-
And ANY OONE OF US is free to tell ANYONE ELSE that they need to knock it the fuck off.

Who is fucking who doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if the handstand person is only fucking GG.
I can still say "knock your handstands off or get off the property".
Because it's OUR home and it's OUR family.

I think way way way way way too much focus is put on "who is the sex partner".
Who cares?

IF you have totally segregated lives that can work fine. (much like Nycindie has outlined her lifestyle).

If like us you have completely integrated lives-it doesn't work. Because whose having sex with whom is completely irrelevant. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO BE INVOLVED IN ANY WAY (friend, lover etc) with our FAMILY in any way that means they will be hanging out in OUR space is subject to OUR rules and expectations for OUR family in OUR home.

IF someone becomes PART OF OUR FAMILY-then they get to participate in the creating/changing/updating of OUR family rules (which has happened on numerous occasions as various people move in and out of the home over the years.

But someone doesn't get the privilege of only being subject to ONE person telling them the rules because that's who they share sex with. I don't give a hot damn whose screwing who. We have had adult children living here with their spouses-STILL have to function within the family dynamic of expectations & ANYONE is free to point out when that is not being done. Not just their spouse.

Same with kids. If joe blows kids come over to stay for the night-they are subject to OUR rules and they will follow OUR rules and they will be told by WHOEVER IS HERE AT THE TIME-not just THEIR parent.

It's truly truly ridiculous-because if we are really talking about adults-as everyone keeps pointing out-then the truth is we also are capable of realizing that all adults have moments when they have a need or a failure or a weakness or they are busy or what the fuck ever.

So if my boyfriend is being a dickhead and my hsuband is the one standing there-he's going to say "GG-you are being a dickhead and need to back off". If I'm standing there I will say it.

If I am in the hospital and find out I have some rare and highly infectious disease-my husband and boyfriend will notify whoever needs to know-including any other people who were potentially exposed-regardless of who was sleeping with whom etc.
And reverse.

And then there is the whole "privacy thing".

I have herpes. Maca and GG do not.
WE ARE FLUID BONDED and have been for 15 and 20 years respectively. We will continue to be until we decide not to be.

TECHNICALLY it's not their place to share about my herpes because of all of the various "privacy" privileges of metamours. THEY don't have it. THey are responsible to share that we are fluidbonded.
BUT I HAVE a responsibility to share.

EVERY POTENTIAL except the one I met first; Maca has EVER dated in this poly community has been disinterested in meeting me, hearing about me, knowing ANYTHING about me & thought sti testing could be tossed to the wayside "because they knew they weren't exposed to anything". IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ANY OF THEM to give a shit if he was! NOT ONE.
EVERY SINGLE ONE was offended when he insisted that sti testing was a REQUIREMENT and they ALL brought up the expense.
They all figured it was reasonable to "just use condoms".
so you are ok with the risk of getting whatever sti's HE could have at any given point???

Every time-he tried to tell them about me-they went on a trip over not wanting to cross boundaries of privacy-everything about them is private between him and then-everything about me is private between him and I.

UM NO YOU FUCKTARDS-I have an sti and by your own idiocy if he sleeps with you (or kisses you or a half a dozen other things you aren't realizing as you try to crawl all over him in my kitchen with your hands down his pants and tongue down his throat) YOU COULD GET TOO.
He hasn't gotten it-but he could at any time because we DO NOT avoid each other sexually or use protection.

So they don't become lovers and they are pissy.

It's asinine.

Yeah there's a theory that all adults are mature and should act xyz way. But we do not live in utopia.
Yeah there's a theory that in some situations having no contact and no info works. But not in a family environment.

And yeah I've heard the theory that in relationships each person should be individually responsible for all of the "boundary crossing monitoring" of their own relationships & in theory its great.
But in reality-that's not always great.
The same rule is applied to stepparents. Guess what? I was the stepparent who had a child 24/7 while BOTH PARENTS WERE GONE FOR WEEKS AT A TIME. So the kid has no fucking rules because the bio parent should always discipline? No. That's asinine.
Same kind of asinine as suggesting that if someone is crossing over OUR boundaries and in doing so is stepping on MY FOOT that I should not be free to say "GET THE FUCK OFF MY FOOT". Then his/her partner can discuss with them what the hell ever they need to discuss. But if they are on MY FOOT it just became MY business that they get the hell off it.

Off rant.
No, no I'm not off my rant.

The reality is that relationships criss cross.

LovingRadiance 08-19-2013 06:31 PM

If you envision a circle is any given relationship between two people-and then you start letting those circles around each other.

IF someone is dating Maca-they have a little red circle together.
Maca and I have a little blue circle cause we are dating.


So Maca and I share a square with each of our children in it. In the case of our youngest-GG and I also share a SEPARATE square because she is ACTUALLY his bio child.

As a family-Maca, GG and I share a half a dozen squares that are our shared financial obligations, shared child care obligations, shared household responsiblities etc.

WHEN Maca's little red circle of love wanders into a space where their circle is crossing any circle or square that I am in-
they are now in a space that IS MINE. It is his-but it is ALSO MINE.

Any person **regardless of who they are or are not having sex with**
who steps into one of my circles or squares is subject to dealing with me.

I have the right as an individual to speak up for myself about ANYTHING that happens in my circles or squares that isn't acceptable to me.
I have the right to do that directly (direct communication) TO THE PERSON who is involved in the activity I find unacceptable.

THE FACT THAT SOMEONE DOES NOT HAVE A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH ME does NOT remove my right to take care of my needs myself.


It IS best if we as people take it upon ourself to let new people to our lives know the limitations and lines that pop up "hey-just so you know, this child has three parents and you can expect that we all have equal involvement in their care and upbringing and if you are around them you will need to be able to deal with the other two parents as well"
or "hey-you know I like you, would love you to come over. But smoking isn't allowed in our home"

But if someone starts smoking in my home-no I am not going to go talk to my husband and tell him to tell his girlfriend who is standing in front of me with a cigarette to remove it. I'm going to look at HER and say "we don't allow smoking in our home you need to take that outside".

THAT HE DID OR DID NOT do his duty to enlighten her-is THEIR problem.
It is STILL MY RIGHT TO UPHOLD OUR RULES AND EXPECTATIONS in our home, with our kids and in any circle or square that is mine.
IF someone doesn't want me involved that much-they need to keep the little red circle that they share with him-OUT OF MY circles and square.

nycindie 08-20-2013 02:22 AM

Geez, someone really seems to have flipped your switch! Why such a rant?

MeeraReed 08-20-2013 03:01 AM

I missed the original context of this, LR, but you are coming across as sounding crazy-jealous of any women who want to date Maca.

It sounds like you are viewing them as interlopers into your circle/family who must obey some agreements that they don't even know yet, or else suffer your wrath.

I can understand not wanting someone to smoke in your home or around your kids. But if a friend or random stranger/guest lit up a cigarette in your house, would you "look at HER and inform her that 'We don't smoke in this house!'" which sounds really rude and harsh? Or, would you act like a normal person and politely ask the friend/guest not to smoke?

What I mean is, it sounds like you are holding potential metamours to higher standards than you would any other acquaintance. It sounds like you are judging them rather harshly and cracking down with instant rudeness for no clear reason. Are you horrified if ANY mother wants to arrange a playdate with your kid, or only if they are also interested in Maca?

I know you've been burned by metamours before and that Maca has made poor dating choices, but honestly I don't understand the point of your rant.

MeeraReed 08-20-2013 03:20 AM

Although, I will add that it does seem unspeakably rude for someone to light up a cigarette in someone's house without asking if it's okay first...

GalaGirl 08-20-2013 03:34 AM

You seem like you needed to vent but didn't want to threadjack.

I hope you feel better.


THAT HE DID OR DID NOT do his duty to enlighten her-is THEIR problem.
It is STILL MY RIGHT TO UPHOLD OUR RULES AND EXPECTATIONS in our home, with our kids and in any circle or square that is mine.
IF someone doesn't want me involved that much-they need to keep the little red circle that they share with him-OUT OF MY circles and square.
In the specific -- Is that one lady acting out again and complaining at you that Maca did not make her aware of his other agreements and obligations? Or giving you beef about speaking up about the things that concern you when they leak over on to you and affect you?

You seem like someone's behavior pushed your buttons and you are super frustrated. :confused:

In general -- Do I get what you are talking about? Sure. It's the polymath/familymath thing. What happens in one tier of relationship could affect me another. And if someone's behavior is making itself felt in one of my tiers -- I can speak up and go "Hey! That behavior over there is leaking on to me over here! Could you be willing to stop doing that?" and if they don't, I can remove myself from the line of fire so I don't get new dings from them.

As to your vent? I agree. You don't have to love everyone Maca dates. But just because they date him and he chooses to give them access to Maca?
That doesn't mean they automatically get access to everyone in his life.

That doesn't mean YOU have to play with them automatically. You have your own willingness. Maybe you don't want more than "polite meta" with them.

That doesn't mean you and Maca's kids have to play with them automatically or they automatically get invited to family shindigs. The parents get to choose who the children are exposed to. The hosts invite who gets to come to family shindigs. It's not open invite to the masses. *shrug*

It's not that hard to get -- dating a (married with kids) person like Maca comes with limits. Don't like the limits? Don't date the dude.


LovingRadiance 08-20-2013 05:14 AM

It was a vent.

and actually-I'm not possessive at all of Maca. The woman he settled into a two year relationship with-I adored-for how she treated him AND how she treated her daughter-and my children and finally-how she treated me. We weren't lovers (she and I). We simply both expected that when people have prior commitments (in her case a child, in Maca's case children and other lovers) that it's necessary to find your place without displacing the pre-existing commitments.

This was something that was important to me as a parent; when we (Maca and I) got together as well. He had a child and I had a child (both single parents). It was important to me that our involvement not be the cause of one or the other of us neglecting our full responsibilities to our child. Thus-we didn't do "alone dates" unless the kids were with their other parents. We spent time ALL TOGETHER-doing kid-friendly things.

I am possessive of my children. But not my lovers.

I am also possessive of my space and most especially of my right to deal with my life and anything that is in it without having a man do it for me. (yep-some feminist defensiveness)

I am TOTALLY cool with Maca dating whoever he wants.
In fact-I'm ok with him wandering off and being unavailable all week to do so. He isn't-because when he's tried not being around at specified times with the kids (we did live apart for over a year two different times in our relationship) he found that if he doesn't see them daily-it starts to negatively impact his relationships with them. Obviously that is easily fixed if the loss of time is temporary and short lived-but the longer it goes on-the more permanent the damage to the relationship.

So anyway-I am unbelievably strict on myself regarding my time.
But his time is his to do with as he pleases.

AND for frame of reference-cause I know some people don't know the history-the same is true for GG. I used Maca as a reference because it was simpler than continuing to write both names while venting.

GG chooses monogamy at this time. His reason-which he laid out for me explicitly just after I posted my rant (he was reading over my shoulder as I wrote) is that he has too much responsibility with 2 children left at home to find time to date without losing what matters TO HIM in his relationship with the kid. It's not the HAVING of another relationship that he see's as a problem-it's the finding one. If someone were to wander into his life, move in and they were in love-it would be fine. Because he could continue with his current schedule and still easily enjoy another relationship.
But in order to meet someone and create a relationship-he would have to give up some of the time he's devoted as "his time" with the kids-and he's not wiling to do that. He's not even willing to do that in order to have date times with me lol.

So anyway-it's not just me or just Maca. It's all three of us. We are very hands on with our kids (and grand kids). We home school them and we don't use daycare. They are with one of us or a friend all of the time.

The people we've met through the poly community in our area are more involved in dating, bar hopping, going out doing "adult only" activities. This is something we don't usually do more than 5 times a year (adult only activities). We socialize in child friendly activities ALL OF THE TIME-but not kid-free zones.
The lady Maca dated for two years, I met online through a friend and it was a bit of an anomaly. Everything about her was so different from me and SO MUCH like Maca it was bizarre. So I introduced them and within a couple of weeks they were lovers. Within a couple of months they were madly in love. I was out of state for 8 weeks (I left a week after meeting her) and gladly gave them the freedom to use our room, our bed etc in my absence.
The biggest difference between her and that which created this vent-
Is that she and I agree that INDIVIDUALS have a right to express their needs directly to whomever is affecting them. Regardless of who is sexually involved.
This was important to her as well. She needed Maca to know and understand that if she felt that I was stepping on her toes-she was going to address ME as a person and an individual-because he isn't my parent and she doesn't need to go through him to talk to me.
Likewise if I had an issue with her-she wanted it to go to her-not through him.

We both find the "telephone game" bs to be a common thread of poly-where people press that metamours don't have a say so in each others lives. Metamours don't have a say so in the relationship between the OTHER TWO people. But metamours have their own relationship and the lover in between shouldn't be butting into their ability to communicate clearly to one another as needed.

Flowerchild 08-20-2013 05:23 AM

Actually, I'm on LR's side. It doesn't sound possessive, just like she's frustrated. And doing the integrated thing, versus segregated, well, there can be a lot more at stake. Especially as the potentials start becoming involved with the kids. You can't just cut off the relationship the same way as dating on the side.

LovingRadiance 08-20-2013 05:25 AM

The trigger for my rant-was posts on this board. There is no drama in our lives. I just get tired of the endless attitude that talking to your spouse/spice before making a decision; means you are being controlled &
that metamours shouldn't care at all what each other does. THAT MAY BE TRUE if you don't live together. But if a metamour is coming in MY HOME-then we are both adults and I expect that we should be free to address each other directly. If our mutual lover did or didn't "do his job" communicating-is ARBITRARY. We should be free to do our own communicating and create our own relationship and respect for each other without him being our middle man.

Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 223163)

I can understand not wanting someone to smoke in your home or around your kids. But if a friend or random stranger/guest lit up a cigarette in your house, would you "look at HER and inform her that 'We don't smoke in this house!'" which sounds really rude and harsh? Or, would you act like a normal person and politely ask the friend/guest not to smoke?

I didn't put an exclamation point in my sentence and yes-I have told friends and ex-lovers of my own that "we don't smoke in the house-you need to take it outside". Loud? no. Rude? no. Calm-of course. But I certainly wouldn't tell Maca or GG "so and so is smoking in the house and you need to take care of it".
Nor would I expect them to do so. (and smoking was a total example-it's never happened with any woman any of us has brought home as a date.

But "normal" is also in the eyes of the beholder.
Normal to me-isn't smoking in someone's house. Nor does it include expecting anyone-absolutely anyone to be an intermediary between myself and another person I am having an issue with-unless we need an interpreter.
If I have something that needs addressed with my in-laws-I call them myself. If I have an issue with one of the guys siblings, I call them myself. If I have an issue with one of their friends or coworkers or boss-I call them myself.

And-just to be clear I ran this one past the guys too-and they agree. They think it's ANNOYING when people expect that everything needs to go through a third party.
It was annoying for Maca that women he considered dating felt that he needed to pass messages to me for them or vice versa. He, GG and I feel like that is putting the onus of communication on the hinge-which creates a WHOLE other set of issues.
Maca didn't end up in relationships with those women-because their expectations of him were to be single and free in behavior.

He isn't free to make decisions for the children or the household in a vacuum. He has two other adults to work with in making those decisions. (There was three when we had another adult living here). Just as I am not free to make those type of decisions without consulting with the guys.

That said-OUTSIDE of the poly community-with people who simply have open relationships, we seem to find that they EXPECT that we're going to have to call and find out what the plan is with kids-which days will be best for going out and find it totally reasonable that we have an "open door" policy for visitors (including overnight guests) but that we aren't free to run off on demand because we have kids to consider.

I find the whole thing eye rolling and overly dramatic.

LovingRadiance 08-20-2013 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by MeeraReed (Post 223163)
Are you horrified if ANY mother wants to arrange a playdate with your kid, or only if they are also interested in Maca?

I am not horrified by anyone arranging playdates with the kids. I am horrified by ANYONE thinking that once we have said something isn't appropriate-that they can manipulate ONE of us into forcing the others to comply.

In the case of the particular person who did that-she didn't arrange a playdate. She wanted Maca to bring our 5 year old, to entertain hers so they could make out. He wasn't comfortable with that and nor were we.
BUT that was simple enough for him to say "no". Even though it ticked her off.

However-when she started talking shit about GG and I, and flat refused to meet GG at all AND insisting that it "wasn't fair" that our daughter couldn't come hang out with them: Maca let her know that she wasn't going to subject our daughter to that sort of talk about her OTHER TWO PARENTS.
He chose to tell her that the three of us felt it wasn't a good environment for our daughter. SHE chose to tell the world that I refused to allow her to have a relationship with Maca because I didn't want her around my daughter.
Ironically-I wasn't the one who had an issue with our daughter going over there. It was Maca and GG who did. I simply backed them up.

BUT-that is a great example of how leaving communication to ONE person to speak for 3 is asinine.

At any rate-to your question-no, my expectations for metamours isn't different from my expectations for anyone who enters my life, my home, my circle of friends etc.
THAT is precisely my point. It's not different. The fact that SOMEONE is having sex with someone else doesn't in any way change the way I treat them or what I expect of them. I find it annoying and offensive when people think that as a metamour I should stand back and keep my mouth shut about something that directly involves ME, my personal space or my responsibilities (not the mutual lover-that isn't MINE) just because the person who is affecting me shares a lover with me.
WHO CARES if we share a lover or not?
We are both people, individuals capable of speaking for ourselves. We don't need our mutual lover to be an intermediary.

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