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  #191  
Old 06-28-2012, 04:37 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Passive aggressive vetoing, ya, that's like going at the pace of the one who is struggling the most and them never moving forward. To me its not a veto, unless its intentionally meant to cause a stop to moving forward. Some people just are too paralysed to move forward. But that's different I think. Thing is, how do you tell if someone is being passive aggressive or just struggling... A lot.
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  #192  
Old 06-28-2012, 05:06 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Passive aggressive vetoing, ya, that's like going at the pace of the one who is struggling the most and them never moving forward. To me its not a veto, unless its intentionally meant to cause a stop to moving forward. Some people just are too paralysed to move forward. But that's different I think. Thing is, how do you tell if someone is being passive aggressive or just struggling... A lot.
The thing is, passive-aggressive behavior (in the context that is being discussed here) and "struggling a lot" are interchangeable / the same thing. (And often even in other contexts, too, actually).

I doubt any women just feel fine about the other new woman but decide anyway, just for fun: "I think I'll make things unpleasant if he sees her. Just to amuse myself and to see how he reacts" *giggle giggle*

If the woman behaves in an unpleasant way if her man sees his new girlfriend, it's coming from her feelings and her struggling.

So...I would say you don't really need to discern whether the behavior is one or the other (passive aggressive or struggling). They're the same things and/or kissing cousins. The former naturally follows the latter.

It's sort of like this: it may come from struggling, but it manifests in passive aggressive behavior. It may not be intentional, and the woman may even hate that she feels it and wish that she could change it, but it's still her NOT saying "THIS SITUATION MAKES ME REALLY MAD, and I HATE YOU SEEING HER. AND I HEREBY VETO HER. AND IF YOU DON'T GET RID OF HER, I'M GOING TO BE SULKING AND/OR ANGRY AT YOU QUITE OFTEN" (aggressive) but clearly allowing those unspoken words to come across through behavior and attitude in subtle ways (passive).

In other words, being passive aggressive about things doesn't mean you're a bad person or want to be mean to anybody. It's just how your feelings / struggling are manifesting. And it's a version of a veto. An oblique one.
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  #193  
Old 06-28-2012, 06:53 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post
If she hadn't told him she couldn't handle you dating her, and then her insecurities caused issues for all of you, you'd be judging her for not being honest. Which would you rather have? Honesty that creates a veto or hidden issues that create drama? I'd go with the veto to save myself long-term issues.
I see. So it's black and white, right? Either she vetoes me because she is being true to her feelings and saving us all a lot of grief OR doesn't veto me and a lot of drama and issues ensue, and it's a mess anyway?

You asked which I would choose -- A or B?

I choose C. She doesn't veto me, she and I become friendly with each other, downright sisterly with each other, and support each other and are not rivals but respectful friends who value each other and him.

But that's not allowed, I guess, because if that's on the table then it would make a Veto seem a questionable choice, at least, and wrong, at most.

It's also not allowed because it would mean working at polyamory.

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I don't consider vetoes inherently right or wrong. I don't consider telling someone that I am not comfortable with them being friends with someone wrong if I have a good reason for it. I don't consider it wrong to tell my husband that I am not comfortable with him dating someone who is also struggling with some of the same issues I am struggling with if he only has the time/energy/ability to deal with one person with those issues.
I was struggling the first time around. The second time around, I was all "We need to go shopping together, girl! Let's totally bond."

I know intent doesn't always translate perfectly into smooth flow of actual relationship, but...I think with all the good intentions there and willingness to work on things *together*, I was surprised she wasn't willing to give it a go.

And of course you "don't consider it wrong to tell your husband...etc., etc." I mean, how many wives of husbands who are in a poly situation are going to say that they think there's anything wrong with having a say in who their husbands see?

It's not that I think any of you wives or long-term girlfriends are wrong to want to have a say in who he sees in the form of "I'm not comfortable with..." and "That crosses my boundaries" statements. [Polite indeed. Vetoes, nonetheless.] I just think it's not the most evolved form of polyamory when there's not any compelling reason for him to not see her other than that you're struggling. Polyamory takes emotional work, and you don't exactly get that done by routinely saying "let me put off working on things...let's see if the next woman will work out."

It's more like you're just in a selectively permissive open relationship.

For any one who feels like responding to this with an "Oh you're just bitter. He liked her more than you anyway, so there!" -- I'm okay with that. I've actually acknowledged that long ago, long before I ever wrote a post on this board. It's solidly true.

Heck, I knew that even as I was trying to get back together with him. I wanted to date him and for him to show feelings for me and for us to create a reasonably equal situation. I wasn't worried about who, deep down in his heart of hearts, he loves more because I actually have a true polyamorous spirit that wasn't trying to measure everything and hold him to exact 50/50 ness. I didn't want to be subordinated blatantly, but I wasn't gonna hold him or the situation to 50/50 or bust. That said, it doesn't faze me much to hear "well he was more loyal to her."

I wanted to date him, regardless of his loyalty to her, because I understood it, and there was a veto that I thought was unnecessary.

But regardless of my particular situation, I still speak on principle (and not for my own sake; I need a poly situation again like I need a hole in my head; I'll be dating mono guys from here on out) when I say to some of you primaries out there, that ya gotta work on your acceptance and level of security. It's not about "well my husband or boyfriend just likes me more than everybody else and that's just the way the cookie tends to crumble."

That's not the point. He does love you, I'm sure. But he is capable of loving other women as well, close to as much as, as much as, or even more than he loves you. You just believe he loves you more than he loves anybody else or could love anybody else because you never let him know another woman long enough -- or cultivate a relationship with her long enough -- to really know what could happen.

That's reasonable though. It's reasonable not to want to lose someone's love. That's why mono people operate the way they do. They don't let their lovers even "find out" how it might be with someone else. So when you don't let your boyfriends or husbands even "find out" how good (or bad perhaps) it could be with someone else, or limit it when it starts to happen, you're essentially acting like a mono person.

You're in some kind of mono-poly limbo.

Last edited by mercury; 06-28-2012 at 07:15 AM.
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  #194  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:23 AM
mercury mercury is offline
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Also, why do you some of you love talking about his "free will" when it comes to him (after your "I'm not comfortable statements") disappointedly abiding by your wishes/ preference that he not see a certain woman, but you're against and actively restrict his "free will" to date the woman in the first place? I mean, 'cause you know darn well that if he truly had "free will" in that context, he'd be seeing you *and* that woman.

These are his choices:

a) see you and the other woman
b) see only you
c) see only her

When you tell him (whether explicitly or implicitly) that "it's her or me," his choices are B and C. Between B & C, he may not be ready to see only her (and he may never want to because he's been with you way longer, or he may just always like you more). He'll choose B if he must choose. You're happy to give him free will here because his true free will choice is B, and you suspected that would be the case.

But between A, B, and C OR just A & B, OR just A & C, believe me, his true "free will" choice is A. But you don't want him to have free will here. So you purposefully limit his options (by saying that you won't participate in an A, therefore there is no A) so that you can pat yourself on the back for giving him "free will" in a choice between B & C in which he very conveniently chooses B. And you're totally innocent because it was his "free will." But the thing is, you cheated.

As a poly couple, "A" should ABSOLUTELY be an option for him.

All that talk about vetoing people who are toxic. Ever thought that maybe you're just a little bit toxic yourself? Just a little?

P.S. I know I'm being hard on primaries. Some of you are genuinely struggling, and one can't always put logic on emotions. Just telling you...to think about it all. Relationships are emotional, and well they should be. Doesn't mean you can't also use some of your head in there along with your heart, or keep using your heart but extend it beyond yourself. Balance usually leads to good things. You could make your lives a lot easier by being mono. But you chose to be poly, and that means a lot of introspection and self-evaluation. But most of you don't really do that. You're really just serving yourself and not trying hard enough to face the challenges of poly; a lot of you, also, are just paying lip service to poly and justifying it with "well, I'm within my rights..." types of statements. Keep thinking about your individual rights if you want, but know that it rather goes against the more communal spirit of polyamory, and you're making your lovestyle of choice look way, way bad.

Last edited by mercury; 06-28-2012 at 08:35 AM.
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  #195  
Old 06-28-2012, 08:57 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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Originally Posted by km34 View Post
If she hadn't told him she couldn't handle you dating her, and then her insecurities caused issues for all of you, you'd be judging her for not being honest. Which would you rather have? Honesty that creates a veto or hidden issues that create drama? I'd go with the veto to save myself long-term issues.
That's exactly what I was trying to say, thanks for phrasing it better than I did.

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Originally Posted by mercury View Post
But the thing is, it didn't "not work out" because of lack of attraction between him and me, or any "values clashing" between him and me, or he and I "not getting along." There was nothing about me and him that clashed.

The reason that it didn't work out was this:

We (she and I) were both feeling a degree of jealousy.
That's what I meant, though. In my opinion, she shouldn't have a say on whether you date him based on whether he liked you enough before: that's his feelings, his decisions. I wouldn't understand a veto if the reason was "you were not that much into her last time". It would make no sense to me, as he's the one who knows what he feels and what to do with it.

However, "I don't feel comfortable with this person because she tried to break us up before, so I don't trust her" seems like a good reason to me. If she starts with a new person, the relationship will still probably be hard on her, but she can start with a neutral or positive amount of trust, and work on the issues. But if it starts from the get go without someone she doesn't trust or like, someone with which poly has history of not working out (that he ended up staying with her and not with you might seem to you that it should make her feel more secure. But in my opinion, she has no reason to want something that's just going to end in a breakup and be hard on him), then I understand her hesitations.
Having baggage with someone can lead to that kind of thing. You might like them, but think the relationship would be so much work, so much effort, and there are so many fish in the sea, why torture yourself by picking someone that doesn't already fit most of the bill? I see this as a similar thing.

As for vetos and who really made the decision...
My boyfriend has a boundary with me dating his coworkers. I know that and I've known it forever. I understand and respect it.
I like one of his coworkers. I would say I'm falling in love with him, if I'm not in love already.
I know nothing can happen, and if he asked me out I'd have to say that I can't date Seamus's coworkers, and it would sound like I'm saying "Seamus won't let me" and blaming him.
But that's not true. Seamus has been clear that it makes him uncomfortable but that ultimately it's my choice, and that he'll support me either way. With all the information in hand, I made the decision not to make him uncomfortable. It's too high a price to pay for me. That doesn't mean I like Seamus more than T, it just means that we have much more at stake. If I was in a relationship with T and met Seamus and fell for him, it would be the same thing in reverse. I like both of them, but if drama follows from my dating Seamus's coworker, the consequences and backlash are going to be worst for Seamus, for whom I'm a life partner, than for T, who has no such life link with me.

Ultimately, I don't want any hierarchy. I would want to date T, for everything to magically be fine and not affect work for either of them, and then consider both of them my husbands. But reality kicks in, and the choice is mine. His opinion matters to me, yes. If he said "to hell with the consequences, if it goes sour I'll change jobs!" then I would ask T out. But he loves his job, he loves his coworkers, and he can't reasonably find that elsewhere. So it's just a price I'm not willing to pay. It's still my decision.

As annoyed as you are with the girlfriend not being fine with you, you need to understand that it is still his decision not to date you. You can think she told him she'd leave him if he dated you, you can think she would actually do it. But unless he told you that, it's probably not true, and only a way for you to make yourself feel better. It is likely she said she wasn't comfortable with it, and for him it was too much at stake when he has so much less invested in you than he does in her. That doesn't make you less of a valuable person or friend. It's just the way the circumstances happened.

If she didn't object to you being friends, I would suggest becoming friends with both of them. Make your peace with it not going further, don't do it with ulterior motives. But there is a chance that at some point, she will feel comfortable with you if she is your friend by then. But it's not something that can be forced.
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  #196  
Old 06-28-2012, 09:53 AM
km34 km34 is offline
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This whole post was snarky. Never mind. I'm out.
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  #197  
Old 06-28-2012, 04:57 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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For someone who has only been considering poly for less than a year, and only had one poly relationship which lasted less than two months, you sure seem certain about how things should be and what the "best" (or in your words, a more "evolved") form of poly is.

Struggling but doing the work and communicating is not the same as being passive-aggressive.

YOU don't get to choose your Option C FOR HER. That's the point you seem to keep missing. Yes, what you wanted was for everyone to work together. She didn't want that. And being new, despite your protests to the contrary, DOES matter. Very few people do this poly thing perfectly from the get go. It would have been great for you if she had decided differently, but really the only thing that "should" have happened is HE should have communicated to YOU that his decisions about who to date are contingent on her acceptance. As long as they are both content with that arrangement and TELL the people they are considering dating about it ahead of time, they can practice whatever form of "non-evolved" poly they want. Not everyone wants to get to a place of perfect equality for all relationships, and that's their choice as long as they COMMUNICATE that to potential partners.

That's why I continue to see this as more his issue that hers. It doesn't sound like his communication is good with either of you. Maybe he didn't realize before that her acceptance would be a condition of his dating life, but he does now, so hopefully he'll treat the next person more carefully than he treated you. Being told ahead of time would have given YOU the power to decide if you wanted to let the question of dating him be her decision, or if you wanted to back out before the question even got asked.

It totally makes sense that a lot of people would not like vetoes. It's not comfortable having your relationship affected by an outside influence. But they're a reality in many relationships, so the responsible thing is to communicate about them so a potential partner can make an informed decision rather than being taken by surprise if/when the hammer falls.
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  #198  
Old 06-28-2012, 06:21 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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I am not a fan of the arbitrary veto at all. Initially I thought I was, but as time has gone on it has evolved into something else...

Since my partners are such important parts of my life, and since the group dynamic (even though we are in a "V") is very important to me, I most definitely expect my partners' input on a new person that is a potential new part of the group. I ask that of those with whom I am involved, too.

Similarly, when I meet someone, they very quickly know that I am poly, who I am currently in a relationship with, that we would need to meet everyone before we really made any sort of relationship commitment, and that if any of my partners have serious (i.e. valid) issues that they bring up, it's probably not going to work, so no point starting it and then getting hurt by it.

So, openness and honesty are there right from the start of anything.
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  #199  
Old 06-28-2012, 11:39 PM
Mudita Mudita is offline
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Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I am not a fan of the arbitrary veto at all.
CielDuMatin, if you met somebody whose partner had power of veto, would this be enough to prevent you from attempting to form a 'more-than-friends' relationship with them?
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  #200  
Old 06-29-2012, 12:50 AM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Wait a minute. He said on his profile they are open? That is vastly different than poly for some people. Its about sex and casualness not about love and commitment. Perhaps this is something to ponder. Perhaps you were to close for comfort.
This isn't a fair comment. OK Cupid profiles don't have a category for "poly," only open.

Also, out in the real world (i.e. not this forum), the distinction between "open" and "poly" isn't black and white for most people. I know a lot of people who use the term "open" to describe the process of seeking other partners. Once they have those partners, they might slide the label toward "poly," but while they are dating around to find other partners, they call it an open relationship.
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