Originally Posted by Ceoli
For me, it's like being told, "I would love a relationship with you, but bear in mind that no matter what happens between us, I will always place this other person ahead of you and regardless of what feelings develop, our relationship cannot grow in ways that might possibly threaten my other partnership."
Sorry to go back to old posts (and I really don't mean to harangue you, Coeli!) but I don't see what the problem is with this. I wouldn't allow a new relationship to grow in a way that threatened any
of my current relationships. Why would this be a problem? The opposite (I will
allow our relationship to develop in ways that threaten my other partnership) seems far more problematic to me, because it suggests a lack of commitment to existing relationships. I would be very uncomfortable dating a married or similarly commited person if I wasn't sure that they would put their primary partner ahead of me. That's what primary means to me - comes first. (And yes, I totally agree that you can have two primaries!)
So if a relationship developed to the point that it became another primary for me, then this would obviously change - they would be in joint "first place". But I wouldn't allow it to get to that point if it threatened my marriage in any way. That's what my commitment to my husband means to me. I'm open to the idea of a second, equal commitment, but until that time, any one I date has to be okay with my marriage coming first.
And doesn't this, and the quote that victorearose used ("I have no desire to enter into a relationship where my feelings of love are assessed in terms of what threat those feelings could pose to the other partner
.") also contradict something else that you said?:
Originally Posted by Ceoli
It definitely sounds entirely reasonable to want to end a relationship that is making your husband unhappy.
If ending a relationship that makes your primary partner unhappy (and therefore threatens the partnership) is okay, why is it not okay to assess new relationships in terms of how they threaten existing ones?
I get the feeling that we're actually talking about a far subtler distinction than the posts here acknowledge.
Victoriarose, that sounds like a very difficult situation to be in. I think that "not structuring your new relationship based on the insecurities of your other relationships" is only really a solution if the insecurities are trifling, or don't exist, and then, of course, they can't inform new relationships at all. If the insecurities are there, you have to work with them, find a way to ease them, give up poly, or give up on the relationship.
And I think that just as good communication, negotiation, and considering your partners' needs might make a veto unnecessary for some, these qualities should also ensure that for a couple who give each other veto power, that veto is used judiciously, and with care for everyone's feelings, if at all.