Who said anything about a veto? A veto agreement grants partners the right to end relationships or disallow activities. That's completely different from when the partner specifically asks you how you feel about something that could potentially affect a friendship that pre-exists the marriage by a decade. I call that respecting one another's wishes. It's not just semantics. One is "I'm allowed to do this, only if you say I'm allowed." The other is "I love you and I trust your judgement. I believe that you will not behave selfishly just to avoid having icky feelings."
This thread was about me getting to the bottom of my feelings and whether or not I approve. You can't tell me that you never disapprove of any choices your partners make. Well you can, but I'll call you a liar.
My husband is a free man with his own agency. I wouldn't be with him if he wasn't. And he wouldn't have married me if he thought I was a petty and jealous bitch. So when I say that I have a really bad gut feeling about something, he trusts that it's not a manipulation or avoidance of icky feelings. I've experienced plenty of icky feelings throughout our journey, and have grown from them every time. I don't shy away from icky feelings just because they're icky.
I also know the difference between icky feelings and gut feelings, though sometimes I'm stubborn about actually listening to myself. As I've evidenced here, I tend to err on the side of assuming they're just icky feelings that I can deal with. Only after much deliberation did I realize it was more significant.
As for why we're friends, like with all my best relationships, there's no quantifiable reason. We met in high school and have always been close. It's one of those friendships where you can just pick up the phone after months and it's like you haven't missed a day. And although it's taken 15 years and this ordeal to realize it, we really can tell each other anything. Our communication has already started to improve. I do agree that our relationship needs some work, and this experience has actually ignited that process.
I don't walk out on my friends just because they have issues. Isn't that exactly the thing that makes it friendship? Had she been a mere acquaintance, I wouldn't have given two shits about her potential broken heart.
I thought I'd addressed the therapeutic angle, but I probably wasn't clear. They never denied that they just wanted to fuck. They both admit that it's primarily a matter of convenience. My husband also felt that she could benefit from the release with someone safe. My friend denied any therapeutic benefits that she could think of, except possibly proving to herself that her ex was full of shit when he said no one else would want her.
“As I am sure any cat owner will be able to tell you,
someone else putting you in a box is entirely different
from getting into a box yourself.” —bisexualbaker