Originally Posted by Ceoli
There are people who have been treated like shit by partnered poly people. In fact, it happens quite often if you're a single poly person looking for poly relationships with people who already have partners and it sucks. And what sucks more is that most people tend to justify that it's ok to treat unpartnered or prospective new partners like that because of the kids or the family or the marriage or the primary relationship etc. To be told that it's ok to be treated like a second class citizen is hurtful and is often perpetrated by people who choose to practice poly in this manner. Sure, it's their poly and works for them. And as long as you don't have to consider the hurtful consequences that it holds for other people then that's fine.
I realize that this does go on, but I see it as the problem of the people doing the hurtful behaviours. If I were a single person who had been treated poorly by a partner who is in a "primary" relationship, I'd FEEL hurt, but my friends and the logical side of my brain would say "It is not YOU with the problem, you can't FORCE people to not be assholes." I have been treated poorly in one-on-one dating relationships (I was going to say "monogamous", but just because neither party is seriously involved with someone else doesn't mean the relationship is monogamous in nature) and I don't consider it something that I need to fix for the other people that might date that person someday.
Once again, I see this as something that falls under the old "mono and poly relationships are no different except for the number of people involved". If you dated an unpartnered person and they didn't treat you with the kind of respect you'd expect, how is that any different from being disrespected by a pre-partnered person? It's not ok for a single, divorced parent to treat someone like shit in the name of "protecting the children" so I guess I don't see how this is really a "poly" issue.
I would venture that if a "poly-couple" is into making prescriptive rules to protect their "primary" relationship, that A) maybe they're not ready to practice a poly lifestyle and B) they are not someone I'd want to involve myself with on that level.
Why are these things not obvious to everyone?