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Old 11-23-2012, 02:50 AM
persephone persephone is offline
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Default Trashtalking by partners and potential partners: What are your rules and tolerances?

I am realizing that, while I have never had a partner who said an unkind word against my primary partner, my primary partner has been in several situations where partners or would-be partners of his were not nearly that respectful towards me, to put it mildly. I am also realizing that I have a huge problem with how he deals with those situations. Primary partner tends to be conciliatory and conflict-avoidant by nature, and tends to try to make peace between me and assorted volatile others. I told him today, I feel we need a zero-tolerance rule of trash-talking me, of any kind, by other partners or would-be partners.

I am wondering what people find acceptable and unacceptable in these situations.

What kinds of things have you said to partners or would-be partners who treated your partner with a lack of respect, insulted them, or engaged in trashtalk? Do you automatically break it off with such people, or do they get a warning?
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:34 AM
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LilacViolin LilacViolin is offline
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Originally Posted by persephone View Post
What kinds of things have you said to partners or would-be partners who treated your partner with a lack of respect, insulted them, or engaged in trashtalk? Do you automatically break it off with such people, or do they get a warning?
I think, because emotions are involved, a person gets a warning. Something along the lines of "You may not like my primary, but you are with me and need to respect my partner(s)." I'd say it with kindness but I would say it. If the trash-talking continues I would tell the person that I was not comfortable continuing the relationship.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:09 AM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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To me, I can't imagine why someone would ever allow another person to trash-talk the person they love. When I love someone, I value them, care for them, and think the best of them.

My ex-husband, on the other hand, routinely told me the negative things others were (supposedly) saying about me, and backing them up and defending them in saying those things. We're now divorced. It's only one of many reasons, but it's definitely a factor. That simply is not love and I never would have allowed anyone to say such things about him, much less go back and tell him that.

There are people in this world I don't care for. Nothing in the world would make me go say negative things about them to the people who loved them. If I did and that person allowed it, I'd assume they didn't care all that much about their partner, and agreed with me.

I can see a warning to the other partner. But to allow it to go on...no. I can't find anything respectful or loving or caring in that.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:21 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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One warning-then goodbye. I have zero tolerance for it, especially after a year of being patient with it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:28 AM
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I'd be one warning and then goodbye too - unless the initial stuff they said was more than mildly idiotic or offensive, and then that would be enough to be the end of it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:29 AM
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yes, 1 warning, then goodbye.
I have big, big issues with trash talking in any relationship.
In fact, I had a huge fight with my best friend earlier this year, because she was trash talking my husbands GF, who she had never met, and who I don't even like.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persephone View Post
I am realizing that, while I have never had a partner who said an unkind word against my primary partner, my primary partner has been in several situations where partners or would-be partners of his were not nearly that respectful towards me, to put it mildly. I am also realizing that I have a huge problem with how he deals with those situations. Primary partner tends to be conciliatory and conflict-avoidant by nature, and tends to try to make peace between me and assorted volatile others. I told him today, I feel we need a zero-tolerance rule of trash-talking me, of any kind, by other partners or would-be partners.

I am wondering what people find acceptable and unacceptable in these situations.

What kinds of things have you said to partners or would-be partners who treated your partner with a lack of respect, insulted them, or engaged in trashtalk? Do you automatically break it off with such people, or do they get a warning?
I would not be happy someone new or where I stand with A who I have been with for nearly four months saying anything mean about my primary partner, I wouldn't break it off but I would talk to them and say that I don't want it happening again.

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Old 11-27-2012, 07:30 AM
Nudibranch Nudibranch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persephone View Post
What kinds of things have you said to partners or would-be partners who treated your partner with a lack of respect, insulted them, or engaged in trashtalk? Do you automatically break it off with such people, or do they get a warning?
I have a zero tolerance rule on this, and so does my H. Many years ago he tolerated someone trashing me, being conflict avoidant just as you say. He hated it, but didn't set firm boundaries about what kinds of communication were and weren't acceptable. He realized much too late what he'd done/enabled.

By the time it was necessary for him to break that off, the other party thought she had established a standing with him (i.e., discarding/trashing me as a communications pattern indicating intimacy/relationship privilege/status) that was not the case. He was shocked to learn this, and shocked to realize that his failure to set firm boundaries had contributed so strongly. I was even more shocked. It was a painful, devastating lesson for both of us, and especially him. I went through a period of fury that I had to be the one to set those boundaries and hold his feet to the fire. I found just how strong my sense of justice was: that above all we must be loyal to those we love. That was the real hurt for me, that he didn't stand up for me, that he wimped out.

The example I used with him, in the fury of our working this through and out, was based on his military experience with top secret security clearance. (He often processes things like an engineer...being an engineer.) I pointed out that if he had blabbed in his military service the way he blabbed in his relationship, or gave away privileged information, he would have been court martialed. Or terminated.

That woke him up. He was shocked to see what a violation of loyalty he'd allowed and contributed to. He could see that, although he was not trash-talking me with her, she had strategically and tactically deployed certain facts (such as that he and I were working through a dense period of conflict over decision making) and built a gradual and escalating pattern of disrespect on that. When he confronted her on that, she showed her hand, and he ended it 100%.

My point there is that the "trash talking" isn't always clear at first. The disrespect can start in more subtle ways. For instance the criticism of the non-present party might not be calling her a bitch or him an asshole, but putting them down more subtly.

These are ploys for relationship power and leverage, and if they are not nipped in the bud, eventually they will get ugly. So zero tolerance is, IMO, the way to go, and by the time the real trash talking has begun, there is probably a long established tradition of other disrespect, shaming, jockeying for power, bullying, etc.

There can be absolutely no tolerance in intimate relationships for vicious speech; it is a form of violence. Anyone who does that against a third party is asking others to conspire in it. They must be brought up firmly and quickly, and if they cannot control their feelings and speech, I want nothing to do with them.

Last edited by Nudibranch; 11-27-2012 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Clarifying
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:51 AM
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SisterLauren SisterLauren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persephone View Post
I am realizing that, while I have never had a partner who said an unkind word against my primary partner, my primary partner has been in several situations where partners or would-be partners of his were not nearly that respectful towards me, to put it mildly. I am also realizing that I have a huge problem with how he deals with those situations. Primary partner tends to be conciliatory and conflict-avoidant by nature, and tends to try to make peace between me and assorted volatile others. I told him today, I feel we need a zero-tolerance rule of trash-talking me, of any kind, by other partners or would-be partners.

I am wondering what people find acceptable and unacceptable in these situations.

What kinds of things have you said to partners or would-be partners who treated your partner with a lack of respect, insulted them, or engaged in trashtalk? Do you automatically break it off with such people, or do they get a warning?
Good question! I would think this happens to the best of us, sometimes I even find myself doing it. I think unless the trash talk is a legitimate concern, its coming from a place of jealousy or insecurity. We have to look within ourselves, or have a discussion with the disgruntled partner to see what is the root cause of the lashing out and work on it at the source.
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