Originally Posted by Vinccenzo
I agree. That does sound like a crisis, but not what I was getting at. It isn't anything but selfish to serve only you when people you claim to care about ask for.you to be there for them. It's not enlightened. It's not evolved. It's being a fair weather lover. It would be different if both of your partners we're going through a crisis, wanting your time and one expected you to choose them over the other. But that wasn't the case. You had plans with one and felt it wasn't serving YOU to be there for the one in need. Sure one option sounds more fun but life isn't always going to be fun. If you can't be there when someone needs you, what kind if a partner are you to either?
Vinccenzo, have you read Cleo's story for the full context of the event she is describing? I don't think you're giving her a fair interpretation.
Cleo had been struggling for months to accept her husband's relationship with a girlfriend she didn't like. The girlfriend was dishonest with her other boyfriend (cheating on him with Cleo's husband) and Cleo had a lot of misgivings about that. Her husband was pressuring her to be more accepting of his girlfriend as their relationship grew more serious, while he also seemed to be struggling with the drama of his relationship with the girlfriend herself.
From what I read, it sounded like Cleo did a lot of personal emotional work to distance herself from the situation and allow her husband the freedom to conduct his relationships in whatever way seemed right to him. That (in part) led her to a more individualized approach to poly, rather than a couple-centric approach.
Then the girlfriend did in fact cheat on Cleo's husband with someone else, and Cleo made a huge effort to be supportive of her husband, including (I think?) breaking plans with her boyfriend to stay home with her husband, even though he kept changing his mind about whether or not to break up with the girlfriend.
For even more context, I think Cleo's boyfriend lives far away so that plans with him cannot easily be rescheduled.
I don't think it's fair that you assume Cleo was choosing "fun" over someone who "needed her." Her husband has the freedom to conduct his relationships the way he wanted; that also means he has the freedom to deal with his relationship drama in a way that does not impinge on Cleo's other plans.
I'm sure Cleo would break a date to be with her husband if he actually
needed her, as in a true emergency or a problem that needed immediate, urgent attention. But is "I feel sad tonight" enough of a reason to ask to your spouse to stay home with you?
What if Cleo's other plans had not been visiting her boyfriend? What if she'd had a conference, class, or business trip to go? Or a trip to visit friends or family scheduled? Would her husband have expected her to cancel those plans to stay home with him?
And from the point of view of Cleo's boyfriend--I can certainly imagine that he might have felt Cleo was being very selfish to break her plans with him just because her husband was having his own relationship drama.
It is way too simplistic to claim that someone is "selfish" if they don't automatically stay home with the "one in need."