Sometimes, the anti-hierarchy sentiments shared by some people on this forum really frustrate me. It's as if one is incapable of treating another person with respect and dignity just because there is a primary relationship in place.
I'm sorry, but I do not tell a hurting friend that I cannot listen to them because my boyfriend wants me to go out to dinner. I do not tell my dad that I can't help him with stuff after my mom died because he is not primary relationship. And I do not tell Punk (who is a secondary relationship for me, as I am for him) that if he needs me, it depends on whether it's ok with Fly.
But, I don't form relationships with folks who would throw a tantrum about my commitments to people and things I care about. And, if for some reason they did, I would communicate that the behavior is not acceptable, and I would expect the same were the shoe on my foot.
Time, emotions, money, are all resources that can be stretched too thinly, but I don't see why this would be more relevant to romantic relationships than any other relationships in my life.
People do shitty things, and some relationships and people are controlling and abusive. Some people and couples certainly are assholes to their "secondaries." But to paint the whole structure with such a negative light is disrespectful and untrue, in my less than humble opinion
Other people have expressed my point of view better than I probably have, but it's something that really, really bothers me and I guess I needed to say that.