Sure, we all have boundaries. One boundary might be that all partners have to get on. However, expressing your boundaries isn't giving a veto. It might come to a point where someone has to choose between two people because their needs are so different and it's impossible to even try and meet them both. That isn't a veto. A veto is where your partner can stop your other relationships as soon as anything like that comes up. The decision is made for you: if things get sticky, you go with the person who has the veto power.
Another thing that can get in the way is when one or more of the people involved in a relationship can fail to comprehend that your partner can do things in their other relationships that have absolutely no impact on their union whatsoever. Say, for example, Wifey is strongly opposed to anal sex. She thinks it's very wrong for a variety of reasons. Hubby respects that Wifey isn't into it, but found him a nice little anal whore who makes him laugh and loves to let him bugger her. Wifey cannot let go of the idea that what Hubby does with GF has no bearing on her or their marriage and it becomes an issue. A big issue. She sees it as a "fundamental incompatibility" and wants to give an ultimatum/use her veto/force him to stop. The whole issue could be a non issue if she just let go of the idea that her husband is her possession and where he puts his protected penis is her business. It's a situation where a veto could be used or an ultimatum given purely because one partner can't relinquish their attempts to control.
Sure, someone might refuse a veto, ie, give their partner veto powers and when they attempt to use them, refuse to end other relationships but the partner still was given that power and if anything it makes you a bit of a bastard for letting them rely on having a veto. You let them believe that they had ultimate control over your other relationships and now, when they try to exercise that power, you tell them that their power was an illusion. People who need veto power will often only consent to a non monogamous relationship if they have that power. So by not sticking to it, you have gained consent from them under false pretences. Wifey told Hubby that he can veto anyone that has a substance abuse problem, well Hubby thinks that BFs penchant for a joint every evening is substance abuse and wants to veto. Yeah, he never saw that as an issue before he met BF and when his best friend smokes every night, but it is when BF does it and not just because Hubby is insanely jealous of BF, it's about the weed. Swearsies. Nobody can tell hubby that he doesn't feel that way. It's futile arguing that BF hasn't got a substance abuse problem. Wifey can either allow him to veto the relationship, or refuse and deal with all the possible consequences of that.
People in existing relationships often do have the ability to make their partner's life extremely awkward and unpleasant if they don't do what makes them happy, especially if they have kids. Being able to make your partner suffer for wanting, needing or behaving in a way that you don't approve of or that isn't about meeting your needs isn't utilizing veto power. Using that power you have over each other to manipulate them into behaviour you want to see is a terrible, harmful way of obtaining veto power you haven't been given to control your partner's other relationships. It's frightfully common, unfortunately.
Healthy relationships don't need anyone to make a rule saying I'll listen to your concerns, I'll maintain my parental and spousal obligations or I wont date a serial killer.
Last edited by london; 12-12-2013 at 07:37 AM.