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Old 04-28-2013, 04:39 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Posts: 1,640

Here is a fine new example of taking "couple privilege" for granted.


Although it may be "not nice" to use this real person as an example, don't all our "examples" come from real people?

Now, I can imagine someone might say, "but this couple has the RIGHT to manage their relationship however they WANT. The "secondary" needs to be sensitive to that just as the couple should be sensitive to her! No one person's needs are more important than the others."

But really, there ARE now three people involved, and no one person's needs are more important than the others. So how is it that it's ok for a couple (married in this case, but not always) to say, "ok we're opening our marriage. Let's see other people." Then when it happens for one of them, the other is all "OMG I'm jealous! You have FEELINGS for the other person! FEELINGS, I say! But i guess I can "let" you be "friends" since she's moving away... you'll get over it, she'll meet someone else, life will move on and you'll both forget... wait WHAAAT? You made plans to visit each other? At HER place? FINE. It's her or me, you pick: your wife of 20 years and the mother of your children versus your new girlfriend. Me and the kids and never see her again, or her and leave me and the kids." Etc.

This is bad. This is an example of "couple privilege" being used in conjunction with emotional blackmail. It is from the perspective of the person who is trying to foist responsibility for their own choices onto their partner, using their idea that marriage and children is the "trump card". NEVER SEE HER AGAIN or LEAVE ME AND THE KIDS. This is not even a triad/unicorn situation and it's happening! It's not even about "you make the choice that's right for you and I will choose what's right for me, and if our choices bring us together, then good, if not, so be it." This one is textbook "couple privilige" - "I am the wife. I was here first. I let the genie out of the bottle and can't put it back in, so you do what I say because I'm the one you're married to. Your feelings and your other relationship and the other person's feelings are not as important as ME because... I'm your wife and I was here first."

I realize that the person who posted that is on a "journey" and that everyone needs to make mistakes in order to grow as a human being. But the reality is, this IS where this person is at RIGHT NOW on their "journey", and where they are at has a big sign that reads "Couple Privilege Depot".

It is a little daunting to try to find these examples in retrospect, digging through the archives, tag-searching, and so forth. But while a discussion is current and/or on-going, it is easy for me to recognize these examples when they appear. It isn't about tearing the author of that post a new asshole. It's about pointing out thought processes that form the basis for certain assumptions, and the choices, actions, and consequences that follow, which may and usually do affect other people who had/have/will have very little say in something that does indeed affect their lives. The "couple" may in fact be the top priority in and of itself, but that does not mean the rest of the world outside it ceases to exist or remains in a state of suspended animation while they work out their precious primary priorities.

However, all of those things do not automatically equal "couple privilege". What makes it "couple privilege" in the sense being discussed here (that is, having negative connotations and/or being used as a "pejorative"), is that such couples fail to recognize it for what it is, and act like they can't see beyond the "protecting our marriage" aspect of it. Guess what, the cat is out of the bag, the genie is out of the lamp. You can't un-ring that bell. Yes, we all make mistakes, but some people are willing to OWN that, and others prefer to let other people suffer for their own poor choices.

Me and the kids and never see her again, or her and leave me and the kids.
^^ I could not do this to my partner. We don't have kids, but we live together and share certain things that are important to both of us. If I'd decided that I didn't like the OSO, and I gave an ultimatum like this, I'd have to be prepared for them to choose the other person, and I'd have no excuse to be whining about it. <--this is the opposite of "couple privilege".

"Couple privilege" in this context is simply another way of not taking responsibility for one's own choices, and hiding behind the benefits of a sanctioned societal institution. Usually, this is taken for granted in mainstream culture because it's the default - monogamous marriage/preserve status quo. But nonmonongamy falls outside of the status quo. You can't have it both ways. You can't say out of one side of your mouth that you're "opening" your marriage, then invoke the original terms of the marriage just because your partner found someone to date and you didn't, and now you wish you'd never opened that can of worms.

OK, this is a good place to pause and wait for other people to respond. I have to go pick up some new rescue-cats anyway.

Last edited by BoringGuy; 04-28-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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couple privilege, first world problems, gratitude, manifesto, pie-fight, privilege

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