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  #111  
Old 09-09-2010, 10:48 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by jkelly View Post

If it happened that a partner of mine was unhappy about a new relationship I was in, that would definitely make me think twice about that new relationship. Someone I am involved with is someone whose judgement I have a lot of respect for! They may well be picking up on something problematic about that relationship that I'm not seeing. If instead they treated every new relationship I was in as a threat to them, I'd lose that ability to rely on their opinion, which I really value. We really are discussing two different things here.
I think this is what redpepper is talking about when she says she used "veto" on a relationship her husband was in. It wasn't "veto" at all, it was just pointing out something that the other partner wasn't aware of as being problematic.

Correct me by all means if I have it wrong.
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  #112  
Old 09-10-2010, 10:37 AM
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RatatouilleStrychnine RatatouilleStrychnine is offline
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My partners' relationships with their metamour(s) is not in reality a potential danger to me... What's the threat?
You really can't see how relationships can potentially damage or threaten other relationships at all? Not even hypothetically? I've known friendships to end over someone's choice of partner, let along long term relationships! To give an example, my husband was briefly involved with another woman who was rude to me on a few occasions, so he ended it. Good decision, yes? If he had not had ended it, I would have asked him to. If he had stayed with someone who lacked respect for me, then that relationship would have threatened ours, because I would have questioned his respect for me, his judgement and his commitment to my happiness.

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With that in mind, if I'm involved with someone and they are preventing the relationship from developing because some third party thinks about relationships as dangerous, that's not a good relationship for me to be in. Other people might very well like to be in a relationship with prescribed boundaries, but I know that... it's not a situation I'm likely to enjoy.
Who is talking about anyone who sees "relationships as dangerous"? I'm talking about specific relationships that have the potential to cause actual problems. That's a long way from a general view that all new partners are a threat to the primary partnership.

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You're conflating "makes someone unhappy" and "is a threat to them". Those are two different things! Plenty of things make me unhappy that aren't going to damage me.
No - I see "threats" as a subset of "things that make someone unhappy". (So threats to my relationships are always things that make me unhappy, but things that make me unhappy are not always threats.)

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If it happened that a partner of mine was unhappy about a new relationship I was in, that would definitely make me think twice about that new relationship. <snip> If instead they treated every new relationship I was in as a threat to them, I'd lose that ability to rely on their opinion, which I really value. We really are discussing two different things here.
Well of course those are two different things! You can't compare someone who is unhappy about one of your relationships with someone who sees every new relationship of yours as a threat! You're conflating a partnership that is threatened by a new relationship with a partnership that is threatened by EVERY new relationship! Those really are two very different situations!
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  #113  
Old 09-10-2010, 12:07 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
If he had stayed with someone who lacked respect for me, then that relationship would have threatened ours, because I would have questioned his respect for me, his judgement and his commitment to my happiness.
What JKelly and Ceoli (and others such as myself) are saying is that a case like this is not a function of the "other" relationship being a threat. It's a function of YOUR and YOUR HUSBAND's relationship having its own issues that need to be addressed.

Can you not clearly see that it's the part that is underlined that is the "real threat", NOT the fact that there happens to be a girlfriend? It's not the relationship with the girlfriend that is the fundamental issue, it's your husband's questionable judgment, respect, and commitment. If you get rid of the girlfriend, how exactly does that change your husband's lack of respect and commitment to YOU? It's like turning up the car stereo so you don't hear the mystery sound coming from under the hood. If you don't get the sound diagnosed and fixed, you have no business taking other passengers for a ride.

Last edited by NeonKaos; 09-10-2010 at 12:10 PM.
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  #114  
Old 09-10-2010, 01:29 PM
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RatatouilleStrychnine RatatouilleStrychnine is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
What JKelly and Ceoli (and others such as myself) are saying is that a case like this is not a function of the "other" relationship being a threat. It's a function of YOUR and YOUR HUSBAND's relationship having its own issues that need to be addressed.
If I don't like my husband's girlfriend being rude to me, then there is a problem with my marriage? How can addressing my relationship with my husband stop her from being a bitch?

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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
It's not the relationship with the girlfriend that is the fundamental issue, it's your husband's questionable judgment, respect, and commitment. If you get rid of the girlfriend, how exactly does that change your husband's lack of respect and commitment to YOU?
By "getting rid of" the girlfriend, my husband proved his good judgement, respect and commitment to me. It's not getting rid of the girlfriend that would have changed my opinion of his commitment, judgement, etc! The girlfriend situation was a threat because it was a situation that needed to be dealt with. He had several ways he could have dealt with it, and after talking to me, he chose the right one for us. A threat is sometimes just a threat - not an actual problem at all. Like when the smoke alarm goes off because of burnt toast.

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It's like turning up the car stereo so you don't hear the mystery sound coming from under the hood. If you don't get the sound diagnosed and fixed, you have no business taking other passengers for a ride.
I'm really not sure what you are getting at. Taking care of your partner's needs by ditching people who make them unhappy IS getting the problem diagnosed and fixed!

Last edited by RatatouilleStrychnine; 09-10-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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  #115  
Old 09-10-2010, 02:42 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Well, whatever. It's a subtle distinction but it's still clear that it's between you, your husband, and his girlfriend, not you versus your husband's relationship with his hypothetical disrespectful girlfriend.

Another way to think of it is, if the girlfriend stopped being disrepectful to you, would you consider the problem "fixed", or is the only way to "fix" the problem by getting rid of the girlfriend? ARe you talking about dumping the girlfriend as a last resort after trying to communicate to resolve the issue (I mean all THREE of you, not just you and your husband deciding "what to do with" the girlfriend)? Or is it necessary that you have your husband "prove" something to you by doing it a certain "prescribed" way?

There is an old thread about this sort of thing on here somewhere... let me go find it... Here is the post where this kind of situation is being discussed:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showp...3&postcount=26
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  #116  
Old 09-10-2010, 03:49 PM
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I get both sides of this. I think it might be short sighted to not think, when faced with the situation of a girlfriend being rude (I had a similar experience), of both sides.

Does the couple say, "do we have an issue?," or is the issue that this person is not a good match for the man because of his partners issues. Both questions would come into play and be discussed I would think, then addressed accordingly.
If the girlfriend is not willing to work on the issue she has created or has issues herself outside of the relationship dynamic, or if it turns out she is rude because she is being judged by the other partner and its a defense mechanism, and wants to work it out; that would be differing issues. The point would be to get to the bottom of it and address that. Both are valid and both can make or brake the dynamic of the relationship. How many times have we seen marriages end because of a girlfriend coming in who is a more comfortable choice for the partner and how many times have we seen a couple, where the one with the other partner breaks it off because it isn't working anymore? Same thing. We all gravitate to what works for us for different reasons no? What works for the whole is what usually gravitated towards. Nothing to do with marriage or who was there first, or who has the most or least issues.
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  #117  
Old 09-10-2010, 04:43 PM
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RatatouilleStrychnine RatatouilleStrychnine is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
Well, whatever. It's a subtle distinction but it's still clear that it's between you, your husband, and his girlfriend, not you versus your husband's relationship with his hypothetical disrespectful girlfriend.
But she is only a problem because of the relationship, therefore the relationship is part of the problem. But in any case, why is the distinction important? I don't really think it matters, because I doubt it would affect how the problem is tackled or resolved.

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Another way to think of it is, if the girlfriend stopped being disrepectful to you, would you consider the problem "fixed", or is the only way to "fix" the problem by getting rid of the girlfriend?
For me, if she had stopped being a bitch, and made amends, yes, that would have solved the problem. But I wouldn't think anyone would be in the wrong if they had just wanted her gone. I suppose that depends on a huge number of factors including, of course, how rude she was!

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ARe you talking about dumping the girlfriend as a last resort after trying to communicate to resolve the issue (I mean all THREE of you, not just you and your husband deciding "what to do with" the girlfriend)? Or is it necessary that you have your husband "prove" something to you by doing it a certain "prescribed" way?
I think that probably depends on how far the relationship had gone for me. If the rudeness had happened in a reasonably established relationship that had previously caused no problems, I expect ditching wouldn't have been a last resort. But in our case, it was only a few dates, and my husband had no interest in resolving the issue any other way. He lost interest in her because of her behaviour.

For us, there are certain things that are "prescribed" in the way that you seem to be suggesting: for example, it is very important to both of us that we choose partners that respect the other person and our relationship. That's a necessary, fixed aspect of all our additional relationships, and if either of us transgressed that there would be serious consequences for our marriage. That's something we both want and need, which is why having veto power wouldn't have changed the situation I described above. So there are certain aspects of our relationships that are prescribed, but I don't think that they would cause any nice, sensible poly people so much as a pause.

Last edited by RatatouilleStrychnine; 09-10-2010 at 04:56 PM.
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  #118  
Old 09-10-2010, 05:09 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
But she is only a problem because of the relationship, therefore the relationship is part of the problem. But in any case, why is the distinction important? I don't really think it matters, because I doubt it would affect how the problem is tackled or resolved.
I thought the problem was because of rudeness and disrespect, not "because of the relationship". Which is it? And if the relationship is PART of the problem, what is the remainder of the problem?

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I think that probably depends on how far the relationship had gone for me. If the rudeness had happened in a reasonably established relationship that had previously caused no problems, I expect ditching wouldn't have been a last resort. But in our case, it was only a few dates, and my husband had no interest in resolving the issue any other way. He lost interest in her because of her behaviour.
There are many reasons why people would go on a few dates and choose not to pursue things any further. This reason is certainly as valid as any other. I'm not sure I would consider "a few dates" on the same level as "a relationship", although some people might. It still comes down to choosing partners who will make responsible decisions, as opposed to saying "If I feel threatened by your other relationships I will decide whether you may continue to see that person". Obviously your husband agreed with you, and that's just grooovy. You said yourself that he "lost interest" in her, so he didn't break up with her because of some plan you both had in place before he even met her.

That is what this "Relationships without Prescriptions" is all about: when people decide what is going to happen in their partner's other relationships before the other partner(s) even come onto the scene. I haven't been following your story closely. I didn't realize that you were talking about a specific situation that actually happened, I thought you were talking about what-if this ever happened.

And still, I don't see it as a threat to your relationship with your husband. I see it as the girlfriend and your husband not being compatible with each other.

Take care.
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  #119  
Old 09-10-2010, 05:51 PM
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RatatouilleStrychnine RatatouilleStrychnine is offline
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Originally Posted by NeonKaos View Post
I thought the problem was because of rudeness and disrespect, not "because of the relationship". Which is it? And if the relationship is PART of the problem, what is the remainder of the problem?
What I mean is, if she was rude to me, and she wasn't dating my husband, it wouldn't have been a problem at all. So the rudeness alone wasn't the problem. She (and her rudeness) only affected me (and therefore potentially my marriage) because she was involved with him.

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It still comes down to choosing partners who will make responsible decisions, as opposed to saying "If I feel threatened by your other relationships I will decide whether you may continue to see that person".
This may be what some people mean by veto power, but it hasn't been my exposure to it. The people I've known who have had explicit veto have had something closer to this: "If I am made unhappy or feel threatened by your other relationships, I want to be able to decide whether you may continue to see that person." In a healthy relationship, that right probably won't be exercised often, if at all. And in a healthy, caring relationship the vetoer would not use that power and expect there to be no consequences from their actions. Ending a relationship because your partner told you to would be awful, right? So in a happy, healthy relationship, someone with veto power would want to avoid using it. And if you both trust each other, you trust that your partner won't use that veto power without an excellent reason, and you also trust them to do all that they can to avoid the sort of situations where veto power might feel necessary to you.

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Obviously your husband agreed with you, and that's just grooovy. You said yourself that he "lost interest" in her, so he didn't break up with her because of some plan you both had in place before he even met her.
Well, it was a plan we both had in place before he met her. It's just that the plan was something that we both wanted for ourselves, so when situations that require it come up, our response is natural and pretty swift. The reason he wanted that "plan" is the same as the reason he lost interest in her.

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And still, I don't see it as a threat to your relationship with your husband. I see it as the girlfriend and your husband not being compatible with each other.
That's possibly true, but if I hadn't been in the picture, he wouldn't have seen that aspect of her personality, at least for a while. He liked her fine when they were alone. So although it probably wouldn't have lasted without me there, it definitely would have lasted longer. So the way I see it, the compatibility issues were more between her and me (and consequently between her relationship with him and me), rather than exclusively him and her.

P.S. Yes, this was a real situation, but I was theorising from it, if you see what I mean, so not everything of what I have said pertains to our past situation.
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  #120  
Old 09-10-2010, 06:13 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
I've known friendships to end over someone's choice of partner, let along long term relationships!
My friends don't get to veto my romantic partners either, so I don't see how this is any different. So... what was going on in that friendship that meant that a new romantic interest ended it? Maybe the friend with a new love interest likes to get involved with terrible people to be around socially for the other friend. That's a doomed friendship; these people are incompatible as friends. Maybe the other friend can't handle seeing their friend fall in love. That's also a doomed friendship. So on and so forth.

A relationship that isn't flexible enough to accomodate the kind of changes a new romantic interest brings is a relationship that is based on the particular circumstances that exist in the moment. It's not going to be long term, because if a new romantic interest doesn't change things, something else will.

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Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
To give an example, my husband was briefly involved with another woman who was rude to me on a few occasions, so he ended it. Good decision, yes?
NeonKaos' response to this pretty much covers what I would say. I'd just emphasise that someone being rude to me doesn't threaten any of my relationships. How my romantic partners deal with someone being rude to me tells me something about my relationship to them.

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Originally Posted by RatatouilleStrychnine View Post
Well of course those are two different things! You can't compare someone who is unhappy about one of your relationships with someone who sees every new relationship of yours as a threat! You're conflating a partnership that is threatened by a new relationship with a partnership that is threatened by EVERY new relationship!
I don't really understand the position that there exist threatening relationships, so the above isn't really clear to me. Are you saying that there exists some category of people whose relationships could never be threatening, and that there is some way to identify these people?
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