Veto Arrangements - Merged Threads, General Discussion
Good morning, fine folks!
I hope your Saturday morning (or whatever day you read this on) is treating you well.
This thread regarding re-opening a mono relationship back to poly status after having set a solid footing, inspired me to write this post.
Personally, I'd love to get into some kind of circle where I can meet people who are already poly involved and have already worked out some of the fundamental details to a level that I agree with and appreciate.
In specific, regarding VETO agreements... there's a big part of me that doesn't want to have to negotiate their entire parameters. I'd like to find someone with parameters already established that I'm comfortable with and agree with.
It may be a dream, however.
I'd love to hear from those more experienced about your VETO agreements regarding relationships that your significant others wish to or have already gotten involved with.
Also, I'd like to hear about how well these discussions and agreements helped relieve some of your anxieties about the quality of person your poly partner was going to bring into the mix (whether casually or seriously).
Are there examples of people who were highly anxious before the veto agreement was put into place that felt noticable relief with the agreement being in place, and even more relief as the agreement was put from theory into action?
What about those of you who do NOT have a veto agreement - why don't you have one? Do you wish you did? Does it not matter to you if you do or do not?
What is a VETO agreement? Is that an acronym, or are you use it in it's typical "override" sense?
I'm sorry - I can't relate to such a thing at all. There's something about even the concept that smells of power play. No one has the right to have any "veto" over another human being unless they are a child or otherwise incapacitated.
In a good, caring relationship there should be no need. As long as people are talking beyond hello-goodbye.
To me a preferred method of handling possible disagreement or conflicts is simply to express my/your feelings and concerns, provide facts to substantiate where the concern comes from and let the other person make their choice based on this. If they choose to ignore the concern - they are responsible for the outcome - including deterioration or destruction of the relationship.
By way of an example............
You want to do X
I'm uncomfortable with that. I tell you why. It may involve safety etc. I may have insight you are not aware of. YOU may have info I am not aware of.
One we have all the facts in front of us so both are at the same level - you still choose to do X
I lose respect for you, our relationship and may develop real concerns about your judgment.
You proceed to do X against my recommendation
It turns out well
I learn something, about myself, about your judgment etc.
I'm big enough to admit I was mistaken, have learned something, and we become closer
No power dynamics required.
There's been some mentions of people having veto agreements on the board which can of course be found with a search on the term.
Such as found here:
First Poly Relationship, Need Advice
Regardless whatever parameters you want for veto, they'll involve some serious thought into why you'd want them, what function they're trying to serve, and they'll need to be Negotiated.
Negotiations and re-negotiations
The short version of Veto context, purpose and some shortfalls can be found on Xeromag's Poly Dictionary.
From what little I've seen, Veto power seems far more common amongst swingers than poly's. I think sometimes however it may seem a necessary evil for a time, particularly with established mono couples that are just starting to explore opening their relationship to any non-monogamous form.
Here's an article that talks to how such power should be wielded very carefully.
Poly Power of Veto & an associated review. Veto Power: the Nuclear Option
There's also a good thread on some of that thought process here:
Relationships without prescriptions
Although some of it can be fuzzy for some people looking in from the POV of an established relationship, it's well worth looking into.
I'll take the possibility of fucking up a relationship of mine by crossing a boundary rather than the CERTAIN possibility that I'll destroy it by assuming I have any claim over my partner's choices.
I don't get involved with people who have veto agreements with their other partners. From my point of view, I don't wish to explore relationships that have pre-set limitations that are set by people outside the relationship. I can still respect the boundaries and needs of an existing relationship without rules telling me I have to do so. I also wouldn't want to get involved with someone who needs such rules in order to behave in ways that honor all relationships.
Franklin Veaux wrote a great post about veto agree that really gels with my way of thinking.
i agree with the above but i am currently questioning whether its a valid option to ask a lover/partner to not begin any new relationships for a while, like a temporary closure, while certain issues are worked through.
each of us has another lover, and i would never ever ever seek to veto or limit their already existing relationships, but am less clear what i think about asking for a temporary break in new explorations (for us that would need to include one-night stands).
it doesn't entirely sit comfortably with me, and i just can't tell yet whether that is because i find it extremely hard to ask for anything from a lover, even to admit to having needs (!) or whether its uncomfortable because it is controlling in a way i don't want to be.
any thoughts? experiences?
edited to add: not sure the etiquette here, apologies for the tangent i'm now not sure whether i should have just started a whole new thread or whether its ok to go tangential like this?
I think that "veto" may be necessary for some that are just starting out and don't want their relationship to implode before they get used to their poly way of doing relationships... make it their own so to speak. I know I was big on "veto" when we started out and my husband decided to date a woman that was completely not going to fit our family and didn't respect his emotional way of being. I left it in his court, but reminded him that he has a responsibility to his family first and that she was jeopardizing the balance by being in his life. He was a crazy man on NRE.
He decided to end it because of my concern and she just shrugged and said, "oh well, I don't get to fuck him anymore." He was heart broken, but saw that she really was no match for him or us and was far too casual with sex and "love".
Needless to say, we have learned tons and there is no need for us to "veto" anymore. I think "veto" is replaced and becomes "boundary negotiations" as time passes and we become more trusting a confident.
I think it's important to remember that people need to start somewhere and that they have a need to protect their "primary relationship" at the beginning.... by calling it "primary" and having "veto" power sometimes. That is fine with me... whatever works for you. It doesn't mean that you are in someway bad or doing it all wrong at all. Just that you know what your relationship needs are and working it all out for yourselves.
Everyone I think, needs to figure out their way in poly. What kind of people they want in their lives, what their poly means to them and what works for their lives and the lives of those they love. There is no wrong or right way. It is YOUR way that is important.
If everyone is mature and well balanced I don't think there is a need for veto at all. If an unhealthy situation is arising I think it will be recognized by logical people. In the case of a person becoming involved with people in an established relationship, I think they will be strong enough to step back if they sense their presence is disruptive and/or destructive provided they are self sifficient and self confident.
The danger lies in the case where one or more of the participants is not self sufficient or self confident and will remain in an unhealthy situation because they see no other way to have some one.
We're all adults I presume; I expect we will act accordingly and make healthy choices even if they are the ones that hurt us temporarily.
I often forget we are veterans of these trenches and how we see things and operate would be quite beyond those who are just getting their feet wet. I generally pass advice off as "go slow - don't hurry", but in hindsight that's pretty general and doesn't include good tips like RP offered here in regards to a specific topic.
Just realize that these early boundaries & rules need to be subject to growth & change. Hopefully they don't outlive their usefullness and become a liability.
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