Ok, let's see if I can be clearer. First, I'm not particularly resentful about any of my experiences. I've learned from both the good and the bad and all of them help teach me how to build healthy relationships. And there is still much to learn, as I hope there will be for all of my life. I was talking about what some of my and my friends' experiences have been when rules hinder the building healthy relationships. Yes, I've been burned by couples who have been too insecure to understand how to treat me, but I took the lessons from that and took my own responsibility in letting it happen. The good thing is that experiences like that help me to feel even more secure about choosing who I get involved with.
Second, I agree that the word "rules" isn't always a fair description. However, there are times when it's a pretty accurate description. I think it's pretty important for any relationship to be built on agreements about how they are going to be treating each other. I like having clear agreements for how I would like my partner to treat me and vice versa, but I can't see setting out an agreement for how my partner is going to treat other people. It's not an agreement if the other person isn't even there yet to participate in the making of it. Especially if the goal of those agreements is to restrict the ability of my partner to love someone other than me. I cannot put rules on how my feelings develop, so how can I expect rules to control how my partner's feelings develop?
So it's not fair for me to set rules for how my partner should feel about other people. If those feelings start changing how my partner is fundamentally treating me, then of course there's an issue. But I don't see things like my partner spending a night with another lover as something that changes how he or she loves me.
I do agree that agreements and boundaries are good. I also think we agree that constant checking in around those boundaries is important for all involved. However, when rules are set out between the primary partners and only change in relationship to that and for the security of that partnership without consideration to the newer partnership (whether it's a satellite partnership or a triad or whatever) there's a much larger problem in play.
I'm just saying that I don't want to get involved with anyone who has preset rules about how how he or she is going to treat me and those rules being there for the sake of another person. To me, that means the agreement they have between each other isn't strong enough for me to feel secure in my relationship with one or both of them. This doesn't mean that I expect "carte blanch" or that I can come lording in with all my demands and needs and expect everything to be able to change to fit me. I have complete respect for agreements that exist between primaries and have no desire to force anything on that. However, I want to be able to build my own agreements without having preset rules forced on me too. So far, my experience has taught me that the more specific the rules are about how I'm going to be treated, the less strong the agreements are between the primary relationships I'm involved with or attached to.