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  #41  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:18 PM
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KatTails KatTails is offline
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There are so many great opinions on this. It sounds to me like it really depends on the situation and intent.

The reason I originally posted this thread was because I had just found out that my husband and Morningglory had sex in our house, prior to me asking them not to. He hadn't told me because there was nothing he could do to change that and he didn't want to hurt my feelings just to ease his guilt. It has not happened since I asked them not to. I wasn't upset when he first told me - but it was something that I had thought about for a few days afterwards.

At the same time - I had looked at texts between my husband and MG eventhough I told both of them I wouldn't. I was feeling extreme guilt for betraying their trust and privacy but I was afraid to tell them that I screwed up again. I told my husband the same night he told me what he had done. We have ALWAYS been honest with each other - and we both felt guilt for keeping something from the other. At the time I had posted this thread - MG did not know I looked at their texts. So I did not come out in the post as also keeping something from my husband. He was upset by this - so since I have since told MG - I wanted to clear this up so as not to make my husband seem like the only one who kept a secret. I'm sorry baby! I hope this clears things up.

He kept this secret from me - so as to not hurt my feelings or cause me pain.
I kept my secret from him - so that he wouldn't be mad at and disappointed in me. It was dishonest and self-preserving.

Whose intent for keeping a secret was worse? Mine. And for that, I am sorry.

Kat
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  #42  
Old 05-12-2010, 05:13 PM
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I guess for me the part of establishing effective communication with your partners is the "meta-communication" - the communication about communication.

It is, in my opinion, vitally important for you to get a very clear understanding of what matters to your partners. Don't be in any doubt whatsoever. Without this you are going to have a constant battle with yourself over whether you are doing right or not.

So, for example, if your partner doesn't care one way or another whether you kiss someone at a party, then not telling them when it happens wouldn't be a serious omission. If, however, that is something that is very important to them, then not telling them takes on a whole new meaning.

I really don't think there is a "one size fits all" when it comes to this issue - you have to really understand and know your partners' preferences and needs.

I would suggest that if you can't or haven't had that conversation with your partner(s) yet, then you are asking for trouble down the road.

For the record, I happen to think that this is a lot of what is wrong with "standard" monogamous society - the "rules" are these undiscussed, so-called "commonsense" thing that more often than not gets people into trouble. If couples would just talk about this, it would solve so many problems!
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  #43  
Old 05-13-2010, 01:22 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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I think we can never filter out the situation dependence in this, and there will always be "grey zones". However, omission is _always_ potentially problematic, and openness, maybe rather transparency, is always an ideal. But I don't think concentration on lots of rather irrelevant details may have so much to do with openness, like "you won't even tell me what kind of massage oil you used on her".

The issue is how to approach that ideal. A too direct approach may not always be the best, if that creates misunderstandings or provokes reactions that are not really in proportion to the underlying problems. Dick size comes to mind here as something the other partner is likely to misinterpret, given the "data" Also, if one partner feels very insecure, the "complete truth" about how much another partner means to you, can be rather destructive - even if the insecure keeps asking about it, it may be better not to give out the whole picture at once. Because it is likely to be misunderstood - maybe he loses all confidence in himself and your relationship, backing out. But in such a case, the problem has to be addressed, just shutting up to avoid "hurting feelings" etc is not an option.

To me, the question is: In the big picture, is my action contributing to us approaching openness or losing it? And how do I work on my own reactions, making it easier to be open towards me?
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  #44  
Old 05-13-2010, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorny View Post
However, omission is _always_ potentially problematic, and openness, maybe rather transparency, is always an ideal.
I would caution against using sweeping absolutes in statements like this. Omission, when agreed up, isn't always potentially problematic. I disagree that complete openness is always the ideal, either. I really, really think that it is up to the relationship dynamic to determine how much openness is appropriate and to live by that.

Quote:
To me, the question is: In the big picture, is my action contributing to us approaching openness or losing it? And how do I work on my own reactions, making it easier to be open towards me?
Could I perhaps try to rephrase that, and see if we have common ground, here?

"In the big picture, is my action contributing to us approaching the level of openness that on which we have, or is it moving further away from it."

How's that?

If you and your partners have the goal of total openness then it applies. If others choose not to be that open, it can work too.
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  #45  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:05 PM
capricorny capricorny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CielDuMatin View Post
I would caution against using sweeping absolutes in statements like this. Omission, when agreed up, isn't always potentially problematic. I disagree that complete openness is always the ideal, either. I really, really think that it is up to the relationship dynamic to determine how much openness is appropriate and to live by that.

Could I perhaps try to rephrase that, and see if we have common ground, here?

"In the big picture, is my action contributing to us approaching the level of openness that on which we have, or is it moving further away from it."

How's that?

If you and your partners have the goal of total openness then it applies. If others choose not to be that open, it can work too.
First, there is a vast difference between problematic and potentially problematic. I would like to see ONE example of non-trivial lack of openness that is not potentially problematic. I haven't so far, and through the years I have seen a few cases. If it gives problems in just one out of thousand cases, it is still potentially problematic. This does not mean it might not be the best thing to do, it simply means that it could be counted among risk-taking behaviors. Which most of us engage in, to some extent.

Second, we may have different mental images of "openness". To me, that is not like a room I will have to enter through, but more like an unlocked door, so that I may enter there. I think striving for openness will necessitate the development of tact and carefulness, which to me is one of the reasons for making it an ideal. Ideals may be like the stars: Good for navigation, bad for travel destinations.

I fully agree with your suggestion of "appropriate openness" - I believe that's what it should boil down to in practice. In everyday life, I think most of us have lots of "don't ask, don't tell"s in our relationships - but that is about things that don't matter so much. As soon as there is one thing I should have known and I don't, the situation is radically different, in my view.
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  #46  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorny View Post
As soon as there is one thing I should have known and I don't, the situation is radically different, in my view.
Exactly! So glad we agree on this. The list of things that you NEED to know from your partner(s) to feel open should be communicated with them in a very explicit way so they they understand what is expected of them. If that is not done, then it rapidly turns into assumptions, and a crap-shoot.
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  #47  
Old 05-13-2010, 08:32 PM
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I have to say, I love the term *transparency* I will add it to my personal list of what I want to be and want others to be with me... Somewhere up there with honesty and openness.

Thanks Cap!
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