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-   -   Problem with partners first relationship (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68480)

jbonjovi 01-15-2014 05:12 PM

Problem with partners first relationship
 
My partner and I have been discussing being non-monogamous after a few rough months and some issues of infidelity. I was excited when they decided to try poly with me, but there first choice for a secondary relationship was with another married person, and there is no consent from that persons spouse. After expressing my concerns about what this could do to this other family if my partners relationship goes south, my partner became very sad and upset about not getting my full approval and thinks that I need to be open to the possibility it could work. It makes me feel bad because I want my partner to have this positive feeling from this relationship but it feels wrong to lie to my neighbor about what's going on if they are not okay with this relationship. HELP!

nycindie 01-15-2014 05:47 PM

Cheating is not polyamory. It's cheating, period.

Cheating requires hiding and lying, which makes it unethical, while one major aspect of polyamory is the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved, and that makes poly ethical.

It's a shame that your partner feels it should be acceptable to you that they are deceptive and dishonest in his or her relationships. That kind of terrible betrayal can be a deep wound that causes irreparable damage to people's lives. It isn't only about your neighbor and the awfulness being done to their partner - it means you will also have to live with the lying and sliminess of it all (even if you and your partner don't live together), and who needs that kind of energy around them all the time? Ecch, it will feel like the crud and mess your partner creates in that entanglement will rub off on you and make you feel as dirty and dishonest as he or she is being. That is not a nice thing to do to you. Besides, if your partner is okay with such dishonesty with this other person, how can you be sure they will ever be honest with you?

From the statement you made about having had to deal with infidelity in your relationship, it sounds like your partner has had a history of dishonesty with you, and you were hoping poly could be a way to heal from that. I would say that unless your partner is willing to examine this need they have to be covert and dishonest, and to dig deep into the underlying issues about that, he or she is definitely NOT ready to embrace polyamory AT ALL. Some couples take a year or two discussing and examining and dealing with deep issues like this before opening up their relationship to having others, simply because doing so helps to build a strong, honest foundation. And a strong relationship that really works well, one in which the partners are willing to shine a bright light into the darkest corners where fears and insecurities and old belief systems reside, is what is needed to practice polyamory.

Some poly relationships start with cheating and there is a possibility that they can succeed after everyone comes clean, deals with the betrayal, and the cheaters rebuild trust again, but it is an extremely hard and gut-wrenching road to take. It is unkind of your partner to push his/her agenda on you and say that you need to change your thinking about it and be more accepting. That is hogwash. You don't approve and you don't have to. You can't stop your partner from behaving like a shit, but you can draw the line about what you will tolerate. Do you stay with a cheater? Do you keep their secrets? These are questions you need to ask yourself and confront your partner about. Maybe after a few more responses, you can invite your partner to read this thread for some other, eye-opening perspectives.

I am sorry you've been put in this situation.

WhatHappened 01-15-2014 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbonjovi (Post 257453)
My partner and I have been discussing being non-monogamous after a few rough months and some issues of infidelity. I was excited when they decided to try poly with me, but there first choice for a secondary relationship was with another married person, and there is no consent from that persons spouse. After expressing my concerns about what this could do to this other family if my partners relationship goes south, my partner became very sad and upset about not getting my full approval and thinks that I need to be open to the possibility it could work. It makes me feel bad because I want my partner to have this positive feeling from this relationship but it feels wrong to lie to my neighbor about what's going on if they are not okay with this relationship. HELP!

Can you clarify? Are you a secondary to your partner? Who is the first they? Your partner and his/her primary? And did this person cheat on his/her primary with you? And if their first choice was a married person, then at what point did they decide to try with you?

I second that the plan to try 'poly' with someone whose spouse did not consent...and I'm guessing doesn't know? This is cheating, end of story. You are right to be concerned about what this will do to another family. Why should your partner have positive feelings from a relationship that is harming another individual and family? This isn't kindergarten. He (she?) is an adult and doesn't get a gold star smiley face to make him feel good just for showing up. You don't owe anyone approval for them following a harmful course of action that will hurt others.

jbonjovi 01-15-2014 06:49 PM

To be clear we are married, and have both cheated. I wanted to have a poly relationship and things have been messy. This would be there first relationship outside of our marriage. It's happening so fast, I don't feel ready for it, but I feel some guilt for my infidelity and things have been better since we talked about becoming non-monogamous but I agree that we need more time before really opening up. My partner is sweet and sensitive and really longs for this attention, but my partner is more interested in physical relationships where as I want more emotional relationships, and I am really concerned they won't want to continue in a poly relationship which is what I really want to do. They understand my point of view but there feelings of lust is so strong that they seem blinded by it. I want to be there for my partner so that they can get past this relationship and find a more suited secondary partner. One who is single or in an open relationship.

WhatHappened 01-15-2014 06:55 PM

That helps. Thanks. Is there a reason you don't want to use pronouns? It gets awfully unwieldy trying to talk around them.

jbonjovi 01-15-2014 07:05 PM

I guess I am just trying to avoid pronouns cause it's a practice I am working on, and I guess I was also trying to avoid any gender bias in the discussion. I might let up if the thread continues and if it seems more helpful. Sorry if it was confusing.

nycindie 01-15-2014 07:15 PM

We have a large mix of orientations and genders in the membership here. Most of us here aren't biased gender-wise, as far as advice we give, but it is sometimes helpful to know the genders and orientations of the people involved. One, so we know who we're addressing; two, it's just easier language-wise; and three, it could play into other factors that might add to the problems at hand (like prejudices people might have to deal with). Besides, pronouns are a useful feature of the English language. You could also use aliases or initials, which is what most of us do here.

FarAwayLover 01-15-2014 10:36 PM

Even if you wanted to avoid pronouns, it would be enormously helpful if you used something unique, like initials, or DH, or whatever, to refer to each person. And then explain how the relationship fits together.

Is the "they" your husband plus someone that he cheated on you with?

Does not wanting you as a secondary mean you're not in a sexual relationship with your husband currently? Or are they considering you a tertiary?

I'll admit to being new at all this, but it would seem like you're _in_ a polyship with them.

FAL

--------------------------------

M - Me female, 59 - _trying_ to figure out if I'm poly
B - 56 - my husband for over 34 years
JP - 58 - my high school boyfriend, newly appeared in the picture after 38 years; very long distance; haven't actually seen him
A - 65? - JP's wife of over 30 years, who's not cool with things

Spock 01-15-2014 11:24 PM

Just use the first initial of each name.

So far it sounds like Y (You) and S (Spouse) have both cheated, and S is trying to involve N (Neighbor) in a cheating relationship without telling S2 (Spouse 2), meaning that S and N are both willing to lie, neither a healthy practice for a relationship of any length.

Why should you be comfortable with S's willingness to lie?

Why should S be willing to hurt S2? Is it then tacit acknowledgement that any hurt from past infidelity between you two is therefore okay?

I'm voting that if you're going to involve N and S2 it should be ethical, because regardless of how much S likes N, S2 has no choice. S could give N herpes, and then S2 as well.


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