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Old 02-28-2010, 07:28 PM
saudade saudade is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 139
Default How we do it

In my family (I'm the pivot in the V, and we're all open to taking on additional partners), I suppose we all have a veto agreement in place, though none of us have ever used that power per say. In practice, what we do comes out somewhere between what I think of in my head as a veto agreement (in which someone says "I want X" and someone else says "I veto that") and GroundedSpirit's example in the third post on this thread:

You want to do X
I'm uncomfortable with that. I tell you why. It may involve safety etc. I may have insight you are not aware of. YOU may have info I am not aware of.
One we have all the facts in front of us so both are at the same level - you still choose to do X
I lose respect for you, our relationship and may develop real concerns about your judgment.


You proceed to do X against my recommendation
It turns out well
I learn something, about myself, about your judgment etc.
I'm big enough to admit I was mistaken, have learned something, and we become closer
In my family, we do need permission from each other to broaden the existing rules (like adding a new person to the mix). This arrangement works for all of us we tend to give permission liberally, even when we are feeling a little bit wibbly, and because we handle bigger wibbles by doing a lot of work to find mutually agreeable solutions, which are always open to revision.

Our rules also tend to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. For example, we have a friend M who just had a rough (monogamous) break-up. He and I make out occasionally, and it's a comfort/de-stressing/buddy bonding thing. I got permission from Z (one of my partners) before it happened the first time, and then he and I talked afterwards. We agreed that the nature of my relationship with M shouldn't really involve sex, given where he's at emotionally, and that we wouldn't be comfortable if it happened. We also agreed that if that seems likely to change that Z and I would talk again. In this case, setting a rule was more like making sure we were all clear about what was happening and what was not. (For the record, my other partner K has given standing permission for anything; he's been practicing poly for a lot longer than Z and has a more laissez faire attitude toward his partner(s) developing additional relationships.)

On the subject of vetos specifically: while I've never heard a "no" come from any of us, I have heard a "not yet". It was a lot like dakid's idea of a "temporary closure" from the seventh post on this thread; there had been a lot of changes and stressors, both poly-related and otherwise, and Z asked me to give him a little time to process things. I said that was fine, and a week or two later he gave me the go-ahead.

"I was thorough when I looked for you, and I feel justified lying in your arms." - Chasing Amy
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