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  #41  
Old 12-03-2010, 02:40 PM
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I think what I'm still struggling with is the concept that other people have that much impact on our couple rules. I know that sounds horrible and unfair but I think that's where I am and honesty is a big part of me... so I have to be honest here... I never considered how other people would be able to impact on our rules and boundaries for THEIR comfort level... so complex here...
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  #42  
Old 12-03-2010, 03:38 PM
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Well, there is much more merging in poly than swinging (I started a thread on merging once, I wonder if that would help). The emotional component is a much larger and important component than sex. The depth and connection is perhaps more as a result, I don't know. Swinging doesn't involve love; in fact saying "I love you" is quite often a firm rule. In poly love comes first. Its not a friendship with sex on the side, its a romance, a love affair. Its partnership. Much different.
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  #43  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Well, there is much more merging in poly than swinging (I started a thread on merging once, I wonder if that would help). The emotional component is a much larger and important component than sex. The depth and connection is perhaps more as a result, I don't know. Swinging doesn't involve love; in fact saying "I love you" is quite often a firm rule. In poly love comes first. Its not a friendship with sex on the side, its a romance, a love affair. Its partnership. Much different.
I think the thread on merging would be good I will go try to find it.

its the emotional component that's wrecking my husband. His stability and his comfort is sorely challenged at this point.

Again, what has led me here is that I have started to have feelings for J... feelings that I did not expect... feelings that I am not sure of what they are or where they are going.... and I don't know how to deal with that...

our rules are now having to change. we never had to have the "I love you" rule... we never had to have the "no overnights" rule... none of those things were ever issues...

everything is so UNSETTLED right now... and all I keep hearing is
"rules are made to be broken"

emotions are running high in all aspects of our lives right now...
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  #44  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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Its great you are doing so much work. Trying to remember there is no rush might help. Get used to each step before moving forward, there is lots of time and adjusting will make things a lot more comfortable I think.
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  #45  
Old 12-03-2010, 06:03 PM
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Its great you are doing so much work. Trying to remember there is no rush might help. Get used to each step before moving forward, there is lots of time and adjusting will make things a lot more comfortable I think.

and that my dear redpepper is one of the best things i've heard. I guess I do tend to rush things... slowly every so slowly...

I did find your thread on merging... and it did help! you are very very kind and helpful and I truly appreciate it.
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  #46  
Old 01-02-2011, 06:05 PM
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Default boundaries - when are they ethical, when aren't they

Hi everyone,

I'd like your opinions on a major discussion point between my poly wife and mono me. The question is about boundaries:

When is it acceptable to unilaterally set a boundary? Where does this change from 'asking for respect for a personal preference/problem/value/issue' to 'denying the other person to fully express his- or herself'?

Opinions?

robin
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  #47  
Old 01-02-2011, 06:15 PM
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and to answer my own question:

When setting a boundary, I think you need to balance the comfort you give up for yourself with the freedom you take away for the other. Very important is that these things should be valued by the persons to whom they apply. E.g. when setting a boundary for my partner, I should be the one that values the comfort I have to give up, but my partner should be the one to value the freedom that she has to give up. Only after communicating very clearly can you ensure these are balanced.

As long as there is balance, the boundary is ethical. When I try to take away too much freedom, or when I have to give up too much comfort, one of the partners gets an unfair deal.

(Since this answer is not working for the relationship I'm in, I'd like to hear others, so I can learn something.)

Thanks!

robin
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  #48  
Old 01-02-2011, 06:50 PM
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As long as there is balance, the boundary is ethical. When I try to take away too much freedom, or when I have to give up too much comfort, one of the partners gets an unfair deal.

(Since this answer is not working for the relationship I'm in, I'd like to hear others, so I can learn something.)
This^ I would suggest that if its not working then you aren't finished negotiating... of course NRE can get in the way for a good long time so that boundary might have to be negotiated constantly. No biggy, just sit down and get comfy with that.

Relationships in general are a series of negotiations. Poly isn't different just more intense and negotiations happen more often. It seems like too much at the beginning I think, but in time, and with practice, the communication flows. Comfort comes when there is a solid foundation to work from. To me this why poly foundations are so important. We wrote a thread on that, but to me they are respectful communication, integrity, empathy and honesty.
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Last edited by redpepper; 01-02-2011 at 06:53 PM.
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  #49  
Old 01-02-2011, 07:32 PM
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This^ I would suggest that if its not working then you aren't finished negotiating...
Thank you redpepper. This is very true. The reason I started this thread was that we have trouble negotiating. I have the feeling that whenever I ask for a boundary, or demand one, I am being accused of unethically holding back my partner. I hear arguments like 'This is just the way I am', 'I want the freedom to express my feelings', 'You are controlling my life' whenever the subject of boundaries (or even just taking things slow, for that matter) comes up. I have one big need that is not getting met, and that is time to adjust. I don't mean time where nothing happens, but I do mean time where not everything is happening all at once.

But to get back on the topic: the fundamental difference in our (my partners and mine) opinions is the question of when a boundary is ethical and when it isn't.
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  #50  
Old 01-02-2011, 11:55 PM
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In my view, not everything is negotiable. Those things that are not negotiable - I tend to call those things "needs" - are what I use to set boundaries. Those things that are negotiable - I call them "wants" - are used in the give and take to complete whatever the contract is.

I work hard to separate my needs from my wants. The only thing that would make my needs unethical is if they were generally unethical (e.g., called for murder, inflicting intentional harm, etc.).

So, if my needs themselves aren't unethical with respect to setting boundaries, then it is how I handle those needs that might make them unethical. For example, if I hid them while acting upon them and used those needs as an excuse for breaking the rules of a particular agreement.

The trick to remain in your integrity is to communicate those needs as early as reasonable and set the relationship on that solid ground. Selfishness doesn't come into the picture - as if our respective needs are incompatible, the relationship never starts or develops beyond the initial exploration stage.
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