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Old 03-23-2012, 08:16 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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I think there could be two kinds of DADT policies, actually.

One is where the couple say they don't want to know anything about the other's extramarital (or extra-partnershipal?) relationships and sexual activities. One (or both of them) wants to keep up a veneer of propriety and monogamy on the exterior, and pretend to themselves and everyone else that what they have between them is all that's going on, and that the other relationships are meaningless because they don't really exist. "Do what you want, just don't let me or anyone else find out." And sometimes there's an added "...or you'll be sorry" just to make sure everything is hush-hush, and if anyone finds out, the shit hits the fan. It's not exactly consent; it's make-believe. Permission to slink around in the shadows like a cheater. This is the kind of DADT I find most troublesome because it's steeped in such denial, pretense, and most likely is an attempt to camouflage deep sadness, regret, or unhappiness.

The other kind of DADT, I think, is where they consent to one or both partners having relationships and really are fine about it, but just don't want details. Don't want to know when or where the dates are, but knows the dates are happening. I think in this case, they also have agreements to be primary to each other and that any need of the partner or spouse will automatically override those of the additional partners'. So they have a sense of security, and that's why it doesn't matter to them who their partner is dating. Or perhaps they make concessions in their schedules now and then and are aware that there's someone in their partner's life, but have no desire to meet or know anything about them. I think this approach could stem out of each partner just feeling secure in their autonomy, or they each have very busy lives (perhaps traveling a lot) and when they do come together, their relationship operates more like a business partnership than anything else.

I have been contacted on OKC and PMM by guys in both types of situations. I don't have as much objection to the second sort of arrangement because I can understand it better, but it still makes me queasy. One guy who had that did offer to have his wife contact me when I said I would want "proof" that he's not cheating. I appreciated that offer, although I turned down the opportunity to further the conversation and see where it might have gone, for a sort-of related reason.

I could never live with the first pretending-to-be-blind DADT type, because that would seem too nutsy koo-koo for me. From a recent convo with a guy who has that in his very, very unhappy marriage, he said:
"I am not trying to hide anything from her that she would want to know. I'm not trying to keep secrets; she doesn't want to know about any activities. If DADT is mutual, then it's ok."
I replied, "I get that. BUT how would someone know you aren't just cheating if we don't get some sort of acknowledgement directly from your wife that it's okay to date you? I can't take one spouse's word for it that both spouses consent to having relationships outside the marriage."
And he responded, "If you develop trust with someone you trust them. How do you know that someone you meet isn't just a great flat out liar? I should get some credit for laying out my situation on the table. If I was just looking to get laid I probably wouldn't put as much energy into my correspondence on these sites as I do."
So, I'm supposed to take his word for it and develop trust by getting to know him, all because he has gone to the extreme trouble of writing long thoughtful messages. And then keep everything a secret. Err, no thanks. I prefer to be with men who go to the lengths and work it takes to be honest and healthy in their relationships.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 03-23-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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