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  #21  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:15 PM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by seventhcrow View Post
and if that care of "us" isn't happening as a constant, then no amount of rules or boundaries is capable of saving it. I do believe it really is that simple. You either nurture your relationships or you don't. The former protects them from essentially everything and the latter means they're unlikely to prosper regardless of any props or crutches.

And i swear my reading glasses are not rose-colored....
exactly!
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:15 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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The established couple may have rules that apply to THEIR relationship, but they shouldn't have rules that pre-emptively dictate how their OTHER relationship(s) unfold and evolve.

The same thing re: the "prospective third". "They" may want to have rules about the relationship(s) THEY are in, but they don't get to dictate, "You two need to be / cannot be [a certain way] when you're together so that I can feel secure."
Exactly!
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  #23  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:16 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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exactly!
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Originally Posted by SeventhCrow View Post
Exactly!
You two sure are eloquent this afternoon!
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  #24  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:17 PM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
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You two sure are eloquent this afternoon!
Exactly!
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  #25  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:14 AM
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Except when you don't know someone that well it can be hard to tell if down the line they will continue to behave well and honour the relationship.
And sometimes what is not an issue for one couple might be a boundary for another couple - and no one realizes it until you're smack in the middle of it and it's too late.

Honestly I would rather go into a relationship where there are rules from the start, than find myself blindsided by "this doesn't work for me" when I'm already emotionally committed.

When my husband and I moved cross country, we lived with a relative and his wife for 6 months until we got stabilized, found jobs, and figured out what part of town we wanted to live in. I had asked about "house rules" up front and was told that there was no need for "house rules" because we were all adults and we were family and we'd deal with things as they came up. Except that as things came up, no one wanted to deal with them for fear of seeming ungrateful (our side) and resentment and feeling taken advantage of (their side). What were really little issues that could have been avoided by having a set of rules in place up front, wound up seriously damaging a family relationship that took many years to be made whole again.

I can only imagine how much more devastating that has potential to be when extrapolated out to intimate relationships, sex, affection, love and families.

IMO, I'd rather people say "these are the rules" to start with - with the understanding that there is a willingness to adapt and adjust as the relationships develop, than to leave things so open ended. IME, open ended = hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and ultimately, damaged relationships in the long run.

I'm much more comfortable knowing where I stand from the get-go.

IME, of course. Everyone is different.
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  #26  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
And sometimes what is not an issue for one couple might be a boundary for another couple - and no one realizes it until you're smack in the middle of it and it's too late.

Honestly I would rather go into a relationship where there are rules from the start, than find myself blindsided by "this doesn't work for me" when I'm already emotionally committed.

When my husband and I moved cross country, we lived with a relative and his wife for 6 months until we got stabilized, found jobs, and figured out what part of town we wanted to live in. I had asked about "house rules" up front and was told that there was no need for "house rules" because we were all adults and we were family and we'd deal with things as they came up. Except that as things came up, no one wanted to deal with them for fear of seeming ungrateful (our side) and resentment and feeling taken advantage of (their side). What were really little issues that could have been avoided by having a set of rules in place up front, wound up seriously damaging a family relationship that took many years to be made whole again.

I can only imagine how much more devastating that has potential to be when extrapolated out to intimate relationships, sex, affection, love and families.

IMO, I'd rather people say "these are the rules" to start with - with the understanding that there is a willingness to adapt and adjust as the relationships develop, than to leave things so open ended. IME, open ended = hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and ultimately, damaged relationships in the long run.

I'm much more comfortable knowing where I stand from the get-go.

IME, of course. Everyone is different.
Exactly
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  #27  
Old 12-15-2009, 03:48 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
And sometimes what is not an issue for one couple might be a boundary for another couple - and no one realizes it until you're smack in the middle of it and it's too late.

Honestly I would rather go into a relationship where there are rules from the start, than find myself blindsided by "this doesn't work for me" when I'm already emotionally committed.

When my husband and I moved cross country, we lived with a relative and his wife for 6 months until we got stabilized, found jobs, and figured out what part of town we wanted to live in. I had asked about "house rules" up front and was told that there was no need for "house rules" because we were all adults and we were family and we'd deal with things as they came up. Except that as things came up, no one wanted to deal with them for fear of seeming ungrateful (our side) and resentment and feeling taken advantage of (their side). What were really little issues that could have been avoided by having a set of rules in place up front, wound up seriously damaging a family relationship that took many years to be made whole again.

I can only imagine how much more devastating that has potential to be when extrapolated out to intimate relationships, sex, affection, love and families.

IMO, I'd rather people say "these are the rules" to start with - with the understanding that there is a willingness to adapt and adjust as the relationships develop, than to leave things so open ended. IME, open ended = hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and ultimately, damaged relationships in the long run.

I'm much more comfortable knowing where I stand from the get-go.

IME, of course. Everyone is different.
I second Derbylicious. Exactly!
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  #28  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
Or you can chose partners that you trust will make choices that honor the relationship and behave well. Even in the midst of NRE.
I am in total agreement with you here. I know there have been times in our relationship where issues have arisen between Sea and Tommy that had nothing to do with me. From an outsiders perspective, it could be said if I wasn't there, those issues would be moot. I have been a sounding board for both of them, and a mediator if that's what the situation called for. They have done the same for me in my respective relationships with each of them. Sometimes we hear what our partner(s) can miss.

At the same time, if I was a different personality, I could have taken advantage of those problems. I instead choose to step back and allow the two of them to work it out. If that means not physically being in contact for an "x" amount of time, then so be it. They are the core relationship, and for whatever reason that core becomes unstable, then it is much my responsibility as their's to give them time to work it out.

Having said that, Sea has also given Tommy and I time to work out our differences, and Tommy gives Sea and I time to work out ours. We are in this relationship together, so it's up to us to establish a way to make it work.

The only "rule" we have is complete honesty and open communication. We don't have to agree with each other, we do have to listen to how the other is feeling, and respect those feelings.

Asking for something, doesn't necessarily mean you will receive what you are asking for, but being able to ask and not worrying if someone in our relationship will be offended is huge. If we can't give what the other is asking, we say we can't, and state our reasons why. Again, it doesn't mean the others agree, but at least it's out there on the table for all of us to discuss, and eventually find a middle ground.

Like any relationship, it's about respecting each other, and not allowing issues to become the be all to end all of our relationship. We have found that if spend all our time discussing our relationship, we forget to live it, and appreciate it. But that just my HO.
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  #29  
Old 12-15-2009, 04:52 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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Originally Posted by crisare View Post
And sometimes what is not an issue for one couple might be a boundary for another couple - and no one realizes it until you're smack in the middle of it and it's too late.

Honestly I would rather go into a relationship where there are rules from the start, than find myself blindsided by "this doesn't work for me" when I'm already emotionally committed.
For me, that issue isn't about not having a boundary, it's about not knowing what may come up. All the more reason to deal with that instead of setting up boundaries around it so that it doesn't need to be dealt with. Sure people may not always know what will come up when emotions develop, but people can certainly know how they handle such feelings when they come up. If I start feeling threatened by the developing feelings my partner has for someone else, I don't see setting up a boundary to not let that happen as actually solving the problem. If my partner is developing feelings that are uncomfortable for me, I'm going to let my partner know. And if he or she is a good partner, we would be able to work through it. If I'm setting up a boundary that sets limits on another budding relationship in order to preserve my sense of security, then I'm probably not secure enough to be letting my partner have other relationships at all.

Quote:
When my husband and I moved cross country, we lived with a relative and his wife for 6 months until we got stabilized, found jobs, and figured out what part of town we wanted to live in. I had asked about "house rules" up front and was told that there was no need for "house rules" because we were all adults and we were family and we'd deal with things as they came up. Except that as things came up, no one wanted to deal with them for fear of seeming ungrateful (our side) and resentment and feeling taken advantage of (their side). What were really little issues that could have been avoided by having a set of rules in place up front, wound up seriously damaging a family relationship that took many years to be made whole again.
That situation seems to be more of a communication issue than a rule issue. Of course people who live together are going to have rules that enable the smooth running of the house. If those aren't explicitly agreed on or explicitly communicated, things come up. But I don't see that type of reasoning applying to a relationship my partner may be having with someone else. That would be like saying that a person who lives in someone else's house has to abide by the rules of my house even though I'm not there.


Quote:
IMO, I'd rather people say "these are the rules" to start with - with the understanding that there is a willingness to adapt and adjust as the relationships develop, than to leave things so open ended. IME, open ended = hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and ultimately, damaged relationships in the long run.

I'm much more comfortable knowing where I stand from the get-go.

IME, of course. Everyone is different.


There is certainly a place for rules and I don't deny that. But it is important to examine why those rules exist. If the rule is that I can't go to a particular restaurant with my partner because that restaurant has special meaning to the primary relationship, I'd have serious reservations about how secure that other relationship is, and would probably end up tripping over some unsaid or unspoken or unrealized boundary at some point later. If I end up tripping over some unsaid or newly discovered boundary in a way that creates resentment that poisons the relationship, I would consider that more of an issue of insecurity than an issue of not enough boundaries set in the beginning.
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  #30  
Old 12-15-2009, 05:44 AM
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Joreth Joreth is offline
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What were really little issues that could have been avoided by having a set of rules in place up front, wound up seriously damaging a family relationship that took many years to be made whole again.
I know this is a radical idea and all, but I would have just talked about the issue when it came up instead of letting it build to the point of resentment and anger. Been there, done that, really don't want the t-shirt.

As Ceoli said, house rules are not the same thing as relationship rules. However, pretty much everyone that I am friends with doesn't have "house rules" because they don't tend to invite people into their home that are likely to do things to damage it or disrespect the people in it. If I let you into my home, it means I trust you. Why would I let you in if I don't trust you? If I don't know you well enough to trust you not to track mud onto my carpets or terrorize my cats, I probably shouldn't be letting you into my home in the first place. If it turns out I misjudged you, well, I'd like to think that I'd catch that before you did something like driving a car through my living room and I'll ask you to leave. If it turns out you're a basically decent person but we have mismatched expectations, an open line of communication should be all that's required to solve that. If you don't want to communicate with me about a problem I'm having with how you treat my home, well, we go back to the first solution and I kick you out.

If a person honestly cares about his partner, is considerate and does things with his partner's best interests at heart, rules are unnecessary because he will want to be caring and considerate automatically. If he is not caring and considerate and does not have his partners' best interests at heart, a "rule" won't stop him from doing what he wants to do anyway.

As to the problem of needing time to see if the prospective partner is going to be problematic or not, I like to solve that issue by building a friendship with someone before dating them. I don't always do that, and quite often when I don't, those are the ones that blow up rather spectacularly.

One of the benefits of polyamory is that everyone comes with references. I can build a pretty good idea about how a prospective partner handles certain issues, how he will handle a breakup, and how compatible we might be by getting to know him AND his current and past partners. I can watch him and see how he interacts. I can check out his track record. This is a very good indication of what I can expect from him in the future and tends to answer all those pesky questions that these types of primary-protecting-rules are supposedly designed to protect the primary relationship from finding out the hard way.

With my current partner, we've been together for several years now and he has his own history of being caring and considerate of his existing partners' feelings. He has shown me time and again, before we ever started dating, that he has a very high standard of treatment of his partners. It is completely unnecessary for me to place restrictions on his behaviour with potential partners because I know that he will not get into a relationship with anyone who could "threaten" what he and I have together. He is interested only in women who have an equally high standard for how they treat their partners and metamours. I trust *him* enough to make decisions that will not harm me or his relationship with me, so I do not need to give him any rules as though he were a child who is not capable of deciding for himself who is toxic and who is respectful of his existing relationships.

If my relationship with someone is so fragile that another relationship has to have limits on it, dictating what their emotional entanglement should be before anyone even knows what it wants to be, before even having another prospective relationship on the horizon, then we shouldn't have an open relationship.

And if my new metamour actually has the potential to damage whatever someone and I have together, than she's bad news and we have way bigger problems than a few rules like "don't stay out past midnight" can handle.

As Ceoli has already said several times, this is not the same thing as setting personal boundaries, this is participants in an existing relationship setting up the structure of a yet-to-come relationship without the input of the yet-to-come partner.

Last edited by Joreth; 12-15-2009 at 05:54 AM.
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