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  #31  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:13 AM
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hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
I just think that if you have to go to all this trouble to teach someone basic manners and decency, maybe you're better off being just friends or better off without them altogether. My best relationships (two of which i am in right now) have always been ones where we hardly ever discuss the relationship because we're having a good time HAVING them.
I'm inclined to agree that this "charter" or "code" or whatever need not be a sign-on-the-dotted-line sort of contract, spelled out in detail with each potential partner.

But I would like to make one point about manners and decency. When I teach ethics, I'm assuming my students are already decent human beings, or interested in becoming decent human beings, in some general sense.

The difficulty is that it isn't always so easy to see, in particular contexts, what decency requires, and it isn't always so easy to actually do what ought to be done. That may take some training and some practice; a little bit of ethical theory (not too much!) can help, too, at least in organizing and connecting various values and expectations.

Doctors in training need to think ahead to moments in which they may be torn between two different obligations, and they'd better have their heads straight about the values and reasonable expectations involved, and have developed some basic skills for sorting them out.

I think much the same applies to poly relationships. Because what we're doing is unconventional, there are no conventions (get it?) as to how to behave in certain circumstances. We have to learn to think, clearly and in some detail, about what decency requires in really novel circumstances.

I'm interested in this charter or code or whatever mostly for informing my own awareness and judgment, so I can be more clear-eyed and clear-headed in my various relationships, and more likely to be successful in behaving like the decent human being I aspire to be.

If I do that work up front, it then becomes much easier to navigate relationships - and enjoy them, and celebrate them - because I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about or agonizing over basic ethical ideas, unless some new kind of problem comes along . . . but, then, it's also easier to work through new problems pretty quickly. In other words, if I do the work up front, I don't have to spend a lot of time in my relationships fussing over what decency requires; I can just be a decent guy.

I could introduce an analogy to music here - practicing arpeggios so I can improvise freely when playing music with others, for example - but that would belabor the point . . . even further.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 04-23-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  #32  
Old 04-23-2013, 02:12 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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I don't disagree with that; i probably should have used the first-person pronoun instead:

If i have to teach someone all those things, i'm probably better off without them. If i wanted to do that for someone, i would have had a kid.
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  #33  
Old 04-23-2013, 03:48 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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The shape or configuration of the polyship doesn't matter to me. I think it is worthwhile to know oneself and one's partners well in those areas -- each others values, ethics, way of going -- and co-create the expected personal standard for holding each other accountable so they can remain in right relationship inside the polyship.

It is not just about "basic manners and decency" to me. I get that with a grocery clerk. It is that I expect MORE from close friends and lovers -- I want them not just to "basic polite" me, but "platinum rule" me and treat me the way I want to be treated when we face difficult conversation or major life choices. I want to do well by them too and know how to platinum rule them. I can't know that without talking about it. We teach others how we want to be treated.

I don't have those kinds of intense Life moments with the grocery clerk. I do have those intense Life moments with close friends and lovers. I like having the guiding personal standard to help navigate in times of discernment so everyone is up to par and getting what they need in the way they need it.

Most recent example? My abused friend was living here temporarily. I did not know if her crazy ex was going to show up at my house and act out, or hurt someone or what. He could show up with a gun. Who knew? I didn't have to lay it on the line for her. I didn't have to put myself in the line of fire for crazy. If she chose to accept my aid, she had to play ball. Dude is/was scary. I was willing to shelter her, but she had to agree to my personal standard sheet I gave her or seek aid elsewhere.

We had to talk about a lot of intense personal things -- money, sex, relationships, property, divorce, abuse she endured. So I could help her locate the local resources/lawyers/aid she needed to extricate herself. We could not NOT talk about uncomfortable things. It had to be done. It was draining for all of us, but with that shared standard we were both able to be comfortably uncomfortable telling each other hard shit without it getting cruel or brutal or damaging.

Traversing the interdependent overlapping area of discernment together in our relationship so

a) we could discern what to do to get to goal (keep us all safe while establishing her in her new life and get the ex off her back)

b) we could still be friends through it and after it

It was a delicate balance.

Quote:
I'm interested in this charter or code or whatever mostly for informing my own awareness and judgment, so I can be more clear-eyed and clear-headed in my various relationships, and more likely to be successful in behaving like the decent human being I aspire to be.

If I do that work up front, it then becomes much easier to navigate relationships - and enjoy them, and celebrate them - because I don't have to spend a lot of time thinking about or agonizing over basic ethical ideas, unless some new kind of problem comes along . . . but, then, it's also easier to work through new problems pretty quickly. In other words, if I do the work up front, I don't have to spend a lot of time in my relationships fussing over what decency requires; I can just be a decent guy.
That's pretty much where I come from. It is easy to get along and be ethical when it's sunny days. Don't really need a guiding map when the problem is "What's for dinner?"

It's harder when it comes down to the wire and one has to make tough calls through the emotional curtain that can cloud good judgement. I find it easier to discern in stormy weather if everyone operates from the same standard built from shared values/ethics.

I (or anyone I have on that standard) can just pull it out and circle the things. "THIS is how we agreed to be together. THIS is what I am not getting/need more of right now that I want to get. Let us discern what can be done here so all can arrive at goal."

I do whip that out for guidance when the fit hits the shan or things get tense/dicey in my relationships. I want to be sure I'm treating them how they wanted to be treated. I want to be treated how I want to be treated.

Platinum rule
, not golden rule.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 04-23-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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  #34  
Old 04-24-2013, 12:51 AM
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If i have to teach someone all those things, i'm probably better off without them. If i wanted to do that for someone, i would have had a kid.
I agree. I just cannot imagine getting into a relationship and discussing a bill of rights, or signing agreements on a dotted line. But all my relationships are one-on-one, so maybe that's why I don't see a need for all this. Sometimes I think polyfolk overthink things, but I guess it depends on configuration and what people want out of it. I would not likely see myself getting involved with a man who is part of a couple that is very... couple-centric. You know, the Holy Dyad - not for me. I just wonder how I'd react if a poly guy I wanted to date presented a thing like this to me.
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  #35  
Old 04-24-2013, 01:06 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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There's another concept that might fit well for a lot of people -- that of the "Read Me". Most software comes with a "Read Me" text file that explains what you're dealing with and how to use it. Similar to an instruction manual that might come with an appliance. The idea of doing a "Read Me" for yourself is to explain to potential lovers/partners what they're getting into when they get involved with you. Your needs, triggers, hard and soft limits, other relational boundaries and communication patterns, likes/dislikes, etc. I haven't done one myself yet, but I've read those of a few other people, and I love the concept.

The Secondary's Bill of Rights was created, as far as I can tell, to draw attention to the way that people in secondary-type relationships with people who have another, primary-type relationship, often seem to be treated as disposable or less-than. You could call it a tool to remind all involved that a person needs to be treated like they're of value, even if they're not a life-partner... which SHOULD be obvious, but which doesn't seem to be, based on a lot of stories you read on boards like these.

I'm not sure whether the same problem exists in reverse... whether people in primary relationships get treated as less-than by the people with whom they're in secondary relationships on a regular basis. There's a power differential there, y'know? But then, I have an unavoidably biased perspective, being a practitioner of solo-poly myself. Still, what I'm saying is that a Secondary's Bill of Rights as a way to draw attention to a set of problematic patterns in poly makes sense to me. I'm not so sure that a Primary's Bill of Rights does. A "Read Me", on the other hand, is probably a good idea for most people.
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  #36  
Old 04-24-2013, 01:12 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
I agree. I just cannot imagine getting into a relationship and discussing a bill of rights, or signing agreements on a dotted line. But all my relationships are one-on-one.


Well, i can see doing all that but i call it GETTING MARRIED! Durrr...

It doesn't even have to be a legal or "dyad" marriage, but hello? That's what people have been doing: "i found jesus" yes, jesus was sitting right there the whole time, now you found him, congratulations.
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2013, 07:55 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post

The Secondary's Bill of Rights was created, as far as I can tell, to draw attention to the way that people in secondary-type relationships with people who have another, primary-type relationship, often seem to be treated as disposable or less-than. You could call it a tool to remind all involved that a person needs to be treated like they're of value, even if they're not a life-partner... which SHOULD be obvious, but which doesn't seem to be, based on a lot of stories you read on boards like these.

I'm not sure whether the same problem exists in reverse... whether people in primary relationships get treated as less-than by the people with whom they're in secondary relationships on a regular basis. There's a power differential there, y'know? But then, I have an unavoidably biased perspective, being a practitioner of solo-poly myself. Still, what I'm saying is that a Secondary's Bill of Rights as a way to draw attention to a set of problematic patterns in poly makes sense to me. I'm not so sure that a Primary's Bill of Rights does. A "Read Me", on the other hand, is probably a good idea for most people.
Well said, it is less a 'Bill of Rights' than just an awareness campaign. I really don't understand people who refuse to address their own privilege.

Natja
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:54 PM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
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I am so starting a thread on privilege
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  #39  
Old 04-26-2013, 03:56 AM
areallyniceperson areallyniceperson is offline
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Talking A Bill of Rights too late!

Thank you for positing a Bill of Rights so well. I really wish I had this before a triad my wife and I were in.....There was much drama in the anarchy of our multiple loves. As I am about to enter a dyad (maybe, I'll know more in a few days) this type of clear and concise writing really helps me sharpen my thoughts. My wife and I have used the term consideration for a number of years to describe the regard and respect that we try to show each other when we embark on poly adventures. It has served us well but thsi Bill of Rights does us one better. Consider it stolen.
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  #40  
Old 04-26-2013, 06:44 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Thank you for positing a Bill of Rights so well. I really wish I had this before a triad my wife and I were in.....There was much drama in the anarchy of our multiple loves. As I am about to enter a dyad (maybe, I'll know more in a few days) this type of clear and concise writing really helps me sharpen my thoughts. My wife and I have used the term consideration for a number of years to describe the regard and respect that we try to show each other when we embark on poly adventures. It has served us well but thsi Bill of Rights does us one better. Consider it stolen.


It's great that this is useful to someone.
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