Originally Posted by monogamishSF
Would it be fair if I told her another strike (this last one was strike two) and we will cease to be primaries? Or are ultimatums not a healthy thing? I get the impression the severity of her behavior didn't occur to her until it was too late. And I know nothing I say or do will ensure 100% that she won't pull this again. But I have faith that she's sorry. I just know I won't be able to handle another lie. And I need to find a way to make that as clear to her as it needs to be so she will understand the decision she is making the next time she's faced with a choice like that. WITHOUT me being a witch about it. You know?
I'd really think about the questions opalescent raises, they are good. I was also raised by a cheater (one who sadly thought the correct response to me telling him my husband had cheated on me (I included the detail it was with an older woman) and we were breaking up... was to unburden himself and tell me he'd had an older mistress for a couple of years instead of showing any empathy...I know far too well how that behavior in a parent can shape our ideas and cause difficulties about making our own boundaries)
You say you know you _cannot_ handle another lie. Whether you tell your partner this or not, it likely wont have a result on her behavior, unless she is trying to self destruct, then she might act out badly in a hurry to prove she's un-loveable. A rational person will know that they cannot hurt you repeatedly, and you don't need to tell them one more strike and they are out. It wouldn't do much good, and would probably cause more baggage (for you, not her) if you end up having break up because of another issue.
I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "I wont accept you breaking agreements we make together again, I love you and I want the best for you, but I want the best for me too, and if our relationship isn't going to be good for both of us, it doesn't seem to be a smart place for us to be." or whatever it is you want to convey. As long as you are prepared to go through with whatever you say - as it wouldn't be too useful to cut her slack again and ending up screwing your own well being in the process.
I don't see that as an ultimatum so much as making sure they know you love yourself enough to look out for yourself - and to look out for them, as you don't do her any favors if you enable her to self destruct. I'll just project myself onto you though and say - if telling them this wont do any good except for being another chance to "tsk" them into behaving, its a good growing experience to keep it to ourselves if its not productive.
Sorry for all the babbling, I just got back from seeing my ex and this subject came up in our discussion tonight!