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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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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 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
Cleo Cleo is offline
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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 11-23-2012, 02:46 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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For me, what I would find most upsetting is not the trash talking by others but the lack of defense by your primary. Obviously give trash talkers the boot. Maybe a warning first if so inclined.

I also do not enjoy confrontation. Makes me nervous and sweaty. But I do it when necessary because well, being a grown up. Your primary partner needs to step up and shut down that kind of talk about you. It doesn't have to be loud and aggressive. Usually a quiet 'That comment is unacceptable. Stop.' is enough to halt almost everyone in their trash talking tracks.

Also I am a little amazed this seems to happen kinda frequently to folks. When I was with my ex, no one trash talked her in my presence ever. Is this common?
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:53 PM
MeeraReed MeeraReed is offline
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My college boyfriend would accuse me of trash-talking or criticizing his primary partner every time I tried to talk to him about her. I would say something like, "Is she mad at me about something? She seemed jealous of me today and it felt awkward for me. Can you talk to her about it?" And my boyfriend would stare at me like I had murdered his best friend and tell me that his primary was never jealous of anything, she was wonderful and awesome and he would break up with me if I didn't like her. End of discussion.

Obviously, my boyfriend had major issues and my relationship with him was totally messed-up. This was way before I even knew anything about poly. Or how to stand up for myself. Or how to dump losers.

This might not be relevant to your issues, but it's what popped into my head.

The funny thing was, my friends and even my mother DID trash-talk my college boyfriend's primary. This upset me because I really liked her. I always defended her--even after her behavior did become manipulative and unhealthy.

I think there's a strong societal perception that any sort of "other woman" is someone who deserves trash-talking. She must be an evil, manipulative, controlling slut. This is obviously an attitude that should not be tolerated. But, it's so deeply rooted that good people whom you care about might spout this attitude on occasion. Point out to them how wrong it is.

However, in your case it seems like the real issue is, Why does your husband choose women who trash-talk you?
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:04 AM
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rory rory is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Also I am a little amazed this seems to happen kinda frequently to folks. When I was with my ex, no one trash talked her in my presence ever. Is this common?
This is what I was thinking... A totally strange phenomenon, why on earth would people do this kind of thing... That makes it difficult to answer this question even, because to be honest if somebody started trash talking about my partner to me, it would feel pretty absurd.

What do you mean by trash talking, just generally bashing somebody? I understand (constructive) criticism, but I don't think I would really want to spend time with somebody who felt the need to say offensive things to me about anybody I care about.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Also I am a little amazed this seems to happen kinda frequently to folks. When I was with my ex, no one trash talked her in my presence ever. Is this common?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rory View Post
This is what I was thinking... A totally strange phenomenon, why on earth would people do this kind of thing... That makes it difficult to answer this question even, because to be honest if somebody started trash talking about my partner to me, it would feel pretty absurd.
I am also stymied by the entire concept of putting down a partner's SO or OSO. It's so... immature and High School-ish. I would never do it and couldn't imagine anyone tolerating someone else doing it for a second! Not rational, mature adults, anyway. I mean, why would anyone who does that even want to be in a poly relationship? Doesn't make sense at all.

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Last edited by nycindie; 11-24-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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