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-   -   Newsflash: Poly practitioners can still lie for the same reasons as mono people! (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69616)

Devirajni 04-12-2014 08:59 PM

Newsflash: Poly practitioners can still lie for the same reasons as mono people!
 
Hello everyone,

So, Hinge and I had our first conflict this week (it's our first anniversary in a fortnight). Things have been really good - we've been seeing each other 4-5 times a week, lots of affection, intimacy, laughing. Our conflict stemmed not from him being poly, but because he lied to me. I am confused because I really thought the point of poly was not having to lie. I am mono; but I have educated myself, used this forum and others to work through issues using the wonderful advice I have received here, I haven't bothered him and his husband when they've been together, I've tried to be generous and compersive. But sometimes people still feel like they have to lie to you, and it sucks.

I have to take my son to Europe for visitation with his father for six weeks this summer. After I drop him off, I am moving on to another country to run a program and do some research, then back to get my son and home to the US for the rest of the summer. Hinge has a four-week gig in Italy in the middle of the summer. When he got the gig, I was ecstatic as I knew I could come and spend time with him before picking up my son. About a month ago I asked for specific dates that would work for me coming to Italy. He replied "Visitors aren't allowed." I said, "Really? That seems harsh." He said, "I know. But nobody is coming to visit." I was surprised, because I had assumed that his husband was going with him, but I accepted what he had said and began working out dates and routes for the first week of July to meet in Prague or Vienna instead.

On Wednesday he made me dinner and I brought up summer plans as I'll have to get my plane tickets soon. He was being weirdly cagey, in a way that he has not been for months. I looked at him across the table and said "Is Mike [his husband] going with you to Italy?" There was a pause and then he said "Yes." I said, "You lied to me. Why?" He said he hadn't wanted to hurt me. I said that I had understood that the point of polyamory was that you tell everyone the truth so that they can make decisions about what was best for them. He said he had been trying to negotiate with Mike for a weekend in which he could be away from the place in Italy they will be at in order to see me, and would have presented me with that as an option once it was decided. I pointed out that no matter how well-intentioned he had been, he had still withheld information from me that I would have liked to know. Then I started to cry, because this wonderful man who had made a point of explaining that he lived his life on the principle of honestly and truthfulness, had turned out to be no better than the cheating monogamous boyfriends I had had in the past.

He was apologetic and kept saying that he hadn't wanted to hurt me by making me feel like I was "second" - spouses are allowed to go, "visitors" are not. I said I knew exactly what I was - a secondary - but I had rights too, and keeping this information from me was putting me in my place in a way I had never expected from him. He said he had never wanted to use that term with me because it would be hurtful. I said being lied to was more hurtful that acknowledging what I was, and that I had no problem stating here and in other places that I am his secondary. He was surprised that I knew the term. I then proceeded to tell HIM that secondaries have rights, and one of them is to know information that affects them. I offered to send him the secondaries' bill of rights from Poly101.

Like all conflicts, this one brought up issues that needed to be addressed. I had the opportunity to ask him if he saw me as permanently being secondary, or whether co-primary status was possible in the future. He said yes, absolutely. He said he didn't want to lose me, but he was worried that I wouldn't be happy in this situation forever because it was inherently unfair to me. [His previous girlfriend had made him choose between her and his now husband; he wouldn't, and she left. She also had a DADT policy in place regarding his other relationship. I, on the other hand, would like to know my metamour and be involved in planning, especially the schedule.]

He said he wanted us both. I said I would never ask him to leave his husband. But I expected him never to lie to me. He promised he wouldn't, ever again. He said he really appreciated how I had embraced who he was, and how I think of Mike's feelings (for example, I said that leaving Mike alone in Italy to go and see me for a weekend was not cool). He asked me to come and visit him for a week before he goes to Italy, when he is in another country and Mike is back in the US. Then when we went to bed, he initiated fluid bonding for the first time.

Sometimes you have to be really uncomfortable in order to provoke a move to an ultimately better place.

Ariakas 04-12-2014 09:29 PM

Absolutely true. Lying isn't a monogamous thing.. its a people thing. All people are capable of it :)

Glad it got sorted though

Marcus 04-12-2014 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devirajni (Post 264527)
I said I knew exactly what I was - a secondary - but I had rights too... I then proceeded to tell HIM that secondaries have rights, and one of them is to know information that affects them. I offered to send him the secondaries' bill of rights from Poly101.

Just to clarify, you have what rights to knowledge of his life exactly? You have the exact same right to information about his life that every other human being has to every other human beings information... the rights they give you. Just because you want to know something doesn't mean you are entitled to it, even if they have a romantic relationship title (boyfriend, primary, secondary, whatever). The fact that there is a made up bill of rights out there on the internet is unless he chooses to constrain himself to those rules.

I understand that it is disappointing that he didn't feel comfortable enough to be forthcoming about the situation in Italy, but there is no such thing as one person having the "right" to another person being transparent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devirajni (Post 264527)
Sometimes you have to be really uncomfortable in order to provoke a move to an ultimately better place.

Totally true. Most people seem to try to deal with change by making rules to avoid the issue prompting the change... instead of actually addressing it. I hope that you are able to get more out of this growing experience than "he lied but promised never to lie again"... because it's never quite that simple.

Devirajni 04-12-2014 11:51 PM

He tells me when he is going to his husband's city to see him and when his husband is coming here to our town or they are going elsewhere in the US together. Lying about Italy was not only unnecessary but uncharacteristic, and made me think that our relationship was not as trusting and open as I had believed, and that all the time we had spent together had meant nothing.

Do I ask about their sex life/conversations/cats? No. That is their stuff. But, I think I have the right in my relationships to be told information that affects me; while he is in Italy for a month, I will not be able to Skype with him, for example. His husband being in Italy for the whole time will affect my level of interaction with Hinge, and ultimately how emotionally connected we are during that time. That is important to me, and to him, and therefore it is something I need to know about.

nycindie 04-13-2014 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devirajni (Post 264527)
. . . I really thought the point of poly was not having to lie.

Well, not exactly. To most, probably, the "point" of poly is to have multiple loving relationships with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved. That is not the same thing as having a goal of never lying. People are imperfect, and sometimes people lie, which has nothing to do with being poly or mono. One can be in a monogamous relationship and be totally honest, never hiding what's going on from one's partner, or in a polyamorous situation and sometimes feel the need to lie. Living polyamorously does not mean a switch gets flipped on that makes it impossible for people to lie.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Devirajni (Post 264527)
Then when we went to bed, he initiated fluid bonding for the first time.

Hmm, really? Without discussing it first? He just suddenly decided to go bareback after you expressed being upset? Did he feel guilty and think that would make it up to you, or did you want that? Did he say anything about discussing with his husband that you two would now be fluid-bonded? Just wondering. It seems odd to me that it would happen immediately after a tearful, difficult conversation.

Devirajni 04-13-2014 12:18 AM

Thank you for bringing up about the fluid bonding, because I am not sure what to make of it... We had a discussion about six months ago during which I suggested I go on the pill if he was concerned about pregnancy (we have been using withdrawal and occasionally condoms) and he explained that he felt that it was just easier to never ejaculate anywhere "dangerous". About ten days ago we had been speaking about intimacy and I said that I felt closer to my partner when fluids were involved, but I understood that not everyone was like that. So, having him suddenly initiate it straight after the difficult conversation did make me wonder whether he was "making it up to me" by giving me something that he knew I wanted, or trying to show me that I am indeed trusted and important to him, or maybe both. He hasn't done it again. I don't know what his practices are with his husband as their sex life is none of my business.

copperhead 04-13-2014 06:55 AM

I was drawn to this thread by the title. I was lied to and cheated in a polyamorous (well… transitioning from practical mono to poly) relationship. And yes. It is very much possible. Lying to me is telling untruths or even half truths and intentionally misleading someone. From what you tell me, this incident falls under the half truth category. He told you "visitors" are not allowed, but didn't specify the meaning of the word. I had these kinds of lies thrown at me too. Finding out about them hurt just as much as finding out about the bigger lies.

After I ended the relationship, I've been thinking about reasons for lying. I have a hard time lying, I'm just not good at it because it makes me so uncomfortable. The best I can do is to not correct a misunderstanding, stay silent. Reasons I've come up with (not including positive ones): shame, fear, not knowing one-self, wanting to hide something. (Really? That's all I've come up with?) It sounds to me like Hinge really was afraid of your reaction. But the fluid bonding made me wonder if it is more similar to my situation, where Salamander repeatedly disrispected things that were important to me and then tried to make up for it with beautiful words and closeness. Now if this is the first time such thing has happened, then there's nothing to worry about. We all make mistakes and life moves on. But if there is a pattern of neglect and closeness, I'd watch out.

In my case the situation led to cheating, witch was the biggest no-no in our relationship. I had also told Salamander if he ever cheated on me, our relationship would be over. (I assumed there would be no point in cheating, because we had talked about polyamory.) I had asked to be told how things are progressing and Salamander had promised to do so. But he didn't. There actually were two women he slept with. And after both those incidents he told me that "we don't really need STD tests, because we haven't slept with others".

So yes. Poly doesn't protect from lies. I don't know what does. Watching out for lies? Wouldn't that make one untrusting? I really hope this was a one time mistake on Hinges part and that you can work it out. On the other hand, if he does lie often then...

Marcus
Quote:

I hope that you are able to get more out of this growing experience than "he lied but promised never to lie again"... because it's never quite that simple.
… it's not going to be simple, because a habitual lier will lie when saying he's not going to do something again.

Wishing you well, and sorry for rambling about myself so much here.

london 04-13-2014 08:36 AM

Don't make the mistake of conflating your "rights" as a secondary with the reality of living in a mono normative culture.

If everyone can take a +1 and he isn't out about being poly, of course, his primary partner is going to go. Even if he was out, why should he get a +2 because he is non monogamous? He could alternate partners every trip, but that might make others uncomfortable and they might treat one of his partners badly. That's because society endorses monogamy. Rightly or wrongly. It isn't as simple as he should just be honest and proud. Being out can have repercussions.

He probably lied to you because he feels bad about mono normative society and knows that you've become inclined to this solo poly thinking which isn't necessarily bad but can become unhelpful when you stop considering reality and become deluded by this fantasy of being out and proud with no consequences whatsoever.

If I went to a work thing with my partner, whether we were out or not, him leaving me there for a weekend with his colleagues and friends to spend a weekend with another lover would be inappropriate, at best. It's very important that we recognise the limitations of our different relationships and understand that although love is not finite, resources such as time, money, physical space, physical energy and those types of things are. This means that in some relationships, you will not be able to facilitate some things that you can in others. Accepting limitations very much helps you enjoy relationships for what they are rather than what they could be.

InfinitePossibility 04-13-2014 08:49 AM

Of course poly people can lie, cheat and do all the same unpleasant things that mono people can.

I know that it's an often stated thing about poly that if relationships are open then everybody is going to be honest, stop lying and cheating will become unnecessary.

That way of thinking is utter bollocks. A relationship structure can't prevent any of these things.

Whether or not they happen is in the hands of the people in the relationship.

IP

Devirajni 04-13-2014 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility (Post 264562)
Of course poly people can lie, cheat and do all the same unpleasant things that mono people can.

I know that it's an often stated thing about poly that if relationships are open then everybody is going to be honest, stop lying and cheating will become unnecessary.

That way of thinking is utter bollocks. A relationship structure can't prevent any of these things.

Whether or not they happen is in the hands of the people in the relationship.

IP

That was my original point - sorry if the sarcasm didn't come through well on the web. Many poly people, some of them on this forum, DO seem to think that poly means not lying ever, about anything. A frequent poster here has as their signature line "There's no lying in polyamory!" for example. On another forum I frequent, the poly partner in a mono relationship sometimes uses the beautiful absence of lying to make poly seem like a more attractive proposition to their hardwired mono spouse, something like "Hey! If we're poly, then I won't HAVE to lie to you anymore! Everything will be open and above-board!" Which is, as you and others have pointed out, is against human nature. People lie, from fear, from shame, out of self-preservation.

Of COURSE he should take his primary as his +1. That was why I was surprised he said he wasn't going when I asked months ago, and why I was surprised that he had found it necessary to lie about it. I know it was from fear - fear of losing me. Which is ultimately reassuring, he just went the wrong way about trying to keep me.

Some of the posters here have been asking why I thought I had rights to information about my boyfriend and what he was doing over the summer. Poly is about juggling multiple commitments with few resources; planning is important, especially when Mike the husband is long-distance and I live in the same town as Hinge. People set precedents about what you can expect in relationships. So far, we have planned out when we are going to see each other three months in advance for the past year; I was doing this for the summer, and information that I needed to know in order to make my air travel arrangements had been withheld. (This is aside from finding out that he will essentially be out of communication with me for a month, as he does not Skype me when with Mike, and does not Skype Mike when traveling with me.)

Had I known that he would NOT be able to see me for the month of July, I generally would have been in a position to make better decisions about my plans - a cheaper airfare based on not having to go through Rome or Paris, for example. I'm a bit puzzled as to how else this would work - I should drop everything, organise childcare, and rush from another country at the peak of summer airfares when he says "Meet me in Germany for 48 hours on July 18th"? because I'm the secondary? Not practical. I don't think I have the right to know intimate aspects of his relationship with Mike, and vice versa; but when something affects my ability to make informed choices for myself, then I do have a right to know, in any sort of relationship.


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