Originally Posted by AggieSez
What often happens in the long run when negotiations are handled hierarchically and indirectly is that a "game of telephone" crops up. In any situation where people are speaking and negotiating on behalf of others, and direct communication/negotiation isn't part of the process, errors of interpretation or omission are especially likely. That's not a big deal when things are running relatively smoothly -- but during a conflict or crisis, indirect communication often amplifies problems or misunderstandings and prevents collaborative solutions.
I think of it like any other relationship, including work, family, and friends.
If my husband is feeling lonely and wants me to spend more time at home instead of work, I wouldn't tell my boss that I can't work overtime because my husband is feeling lonely and wants me to be home for the evening. I would just tell my boss "Sorry, I have other commitments, I can't stay late today" and leave it at that.
"Representing" my partners' needs doesn't translate to "playing telephone" because my partners' needs are, frankly, not my other partners' business. All they need to know is whether me or my house are available at such-and-such time, or not. I don't date the kinds of people who would need a full detailed explanation. I don't like people keeping tabs on me like I'm a child. The people I date understand that I have of other commitments.
Not only that, but my husband has no responsibility to meet my girlfriend's needs, nor vice versa. So involving either one of them in a conversation about the other seems pointless. I'm the one married to / dating them, so it's only my own responsibility to try and meet their needs. I wouldn't want one of them to feel pressured to meet the other's needs. Respect my desire to meet them, yes. But meet them themselves, no.