Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 01-03-2011, 12:07 AM
MindfulAgony's Avatar
MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by erithacus View Post
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.
Based on what you're saying, I wouldn't call your needs unethical - even if they do infringe on someone else's needs. But, you may be running into a core incompatibility - if what you're struggling with is actually a need and isn't masking something else more fundamental.

It seems that when something conflicts with our own values we all too easily accuse someone else of being unethical. When in reality, differences in core values are a relatively common occurance. It is possible, with re-examination, for us to challenge and subsequently change our core values. But, it's a low probability event. I wouldn't bet on such a thing.

If I were in your position, I would try to unravel these issues so that I can get beyond the language of "your needs for certain boundaries are unethical."
__________________
Male, Straight, Poly

OKC Profile

Blogs:
Mind Crush
sloetry

“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
-Pema Chodron
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:26 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindfulAgony View Post
It seems that when something conflicts with our own values we all too easily accuse someone else of being unethical. When in reality, differences in core values are a relatively common occurance. It is possible, with re-examination, for us to challenge and subsequently change our core values. But, it's a low probability event. I wouldn't bet on such a thing.
I like how you have written this. Too many people forget that our values can be changed and not everything we think we need is actually a "need", most of the time it's a want, especially in relationships.

The best way to know whether a boundary or whatever is going to work is to see if it's logical or not. If someone can present a coherent, logical argument on why they don't or do want something then I'll listen. If all they give me is "I feel like this" then I'm less likely to consider it until they have had time to think more about it. This is how you grow, this is how you move past your old childhood issues and reprogram yourself into a better human. And I question myself like this also.

"Feeling" is a weak way to explain something. If they told you "I've just got this feeling that we'll win the lottery next week so let's use the mortgage payment for a big screen TV" you wouldn't be like "ok honey".

Last edited by preciselove; 01-03-2011 at 02:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 01-03-2011, 02:52 AM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

I'm not sure I can go along with that analogy. Sometimes we need something and there may not be a rational reason why. I'm all for being logical and coherent but relationships and human beings can't always be quantified and rationalized. Feeling is not weaker than logic, it's just different. There also is a difference between stupidity and feeling. There is just as much idiotic, incorrect logic out there as there are stupid actions based on feelings. For instance, if you are a musician, and all you have is logic, your music may have great technical proficiency but it will be fairly empty. As a person that primarily is motivated by feeling I am still able to recognize the importance of logic but I think people can be quick to dismiss feeling as weak and frustrating. I think it's perfectly reasonable if a couple is starting out in poly and when they negotiate boundaries one of them says, I know it's illogical, but I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't use the same pet name for your OSO as you do for me. I would imagine as you progress you may find yourself needing less of the 'illogical' boundaries but that doesn't mean they're not valid when you need them.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 01-03-2011, 03:03 AM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 8,441
Default

I will trust someone's intuition/gut instincts (which comes from the nerve ganglion in the solar plexus) more than their logic! Logic is needed for certain situations, to be sure, but in matters of the heart -- such as relationships -- I feel it is very important to honor someone's feelings and not demand that they comply with my system of rationalizing.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 01-03-2011, 05:30 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray View Post
I think it's perfectly reasonable if a couple is starting out in poly and when they negotiate boundaries one of them says, I know it's illogical, but I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't use the same pet name for your OSO as you do for me. I would imagine as you progress you may find yourself needing less of the 'illogical' boundaries but that doesn't mean they're not valid when you need them.
I don't find your scenario illogical though. Using different names for people helps you identify them quicker, that is one thing I would expect my gf to say to me if she has a problem with it. It's also not illogical to want to feel special as that is a basic human characteristic that we cannot change, so if they said this also I would be fine with it in this particular case.

If people can't explain to me why they feel a certain way then they shouldn't be talking to me about it as that's just a waste of energy. This idea that as soon as we feel something we must act upon it or tell them to somebody is about as damaging as you can get for a relationship. If I made sure every thought I had was given to everyone around me I wouldn't have anyone in my life.

Most negative "feelings" that people want to express to you are born from a cultural programming most of us received growing up. Since this culture is on the verge of collapse we do not need to entertain most of those feelings do we?

Of course this is all based on the premise the people involved aren't assholes/selfish/stupid/willfully ignorant/etc, and going from my experiences with people, that's hard to find. I know that most of my advice is probably worthless to the average person.

Last edited by preciselove; 01-03-2011 at 05:33 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:03 AM
ray's Avatar
ray ray is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 819
Default

I'm not sure I follow your use of terms.

You appear to be saying that you feel frustrated when people try to discuss things in the heat of the moment before they've figured out what they're thinking/feeling. And therefore saying you have issues with people acting impulsively?

I can understand that but when you say that you don't want to waste your energy on talking to some one who doesn't understand their feelings I find that to be off-putting. Feelings can be hard to understand sometimes and I know sometimes I can use help sorting them out. Perhaps I misunderstand you.

"Most negative "feelings" that people want to express to you are born from a cultural programming most of us received growing up. Since this culture is on the verge of collapse we do not need to entertain most of those feelings do we?"

I'm not sure I agree with this statement. It sounds like throwing the baby out with the bath water. I recognize that many of us wish to change and reprogram certain cultural practices and feelings. And what do you mean by the first sentence? I can think of lots of negative feelings that have little to do with cultural programming. And I think if you want to have healthy meaningful relationships, sometimes you need to entertain feelings of all kinds. Whether or not they become permanent house guests is another things... Relationships are not all about efficiency. If I had feelings and my partner were to tell me that he didn't wish to entertain them or discuss them because they were antiquated, I would be incredibly hurt. And very likely not to stay in the relationship.

I suppose my beef is that I feel like you're saying that you don't care to discuss your partner/s feelings if you deem them to be a waste of time. Let me know if I am off.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:21 AM
preciselove preciselove is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 83
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray View Post
And therefore saying you have issues with people acting impulsively?
Yes I don't like people acting on impulse when it comes to such things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray View Post
I can understand that but when you say that you don't want to waste your energy on talking to some one who doesn't understand their feelings I find that to be off-putting. Feelings can be hard to understand sometimes and I know sometimes I can use help sorting them out. Perhaps I misunderstand you.
If someone comes to me with "I want to talk about something I'm feeling" then that is a different thing than "I feel this way so I want you to do blah" with no explanation.

Basically I don't like people reaching conclusions based on crappy ideas or feelings they haven't processed, if they want help to reach a conclusion then I'll do my best. I do enjoy hearing about how people did process things themselves and came to certain conclusions.

"I felt like this when I saw you do X with Jane, but after I thought about it I realize Y".
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 01-03-2011, 06:40 AM
Mohegan's Avatar
Mohegan Mohegan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 756
Default

To me this is something different in each relationship. And one thing I think, that made it easier on Karma was to know these boundries would eventualy change.

Currently our boundries follow our rule of "Happy, healthy and sane". And this is for all parties involved. In the begining the boundries were tight because Karma and Cricket were both trying to rebuild trust with me. I needed to know I could trust them. Individualy and as a couple. So the boundries, or rules as we called them, were tight, no seeing eachother without me there, physical contact was limited, phone calls and e-mails were subject to me being there. No hiding. To me they lost the right to privacy when they had the affair. As the trust grew, I pulled back on A LOT of that. They were allowed to drive her home without me there, they were allowed to go to a friends house without me, I stopped reading every e-mail, I encouraged physical contact even sleep overs (though I had a hard time with that as I pushed it a little too soon), and we instituted the 24 hr rule, as long as I had 24 hr notice, they could have visits without me. Eventualy, it became only about respect and safety.

Our boundries now include honesty, respect (do I have plans, am I feeling okay, and me respecting them and their plans), and safety. Happy healthy sane as we call it, as long as we are all happy, healthy and sane, it's okay. If not, then it's required to sit down and find out what the issue is and how to fix it.



So after that long explanation of where we are, my question is, what boundries are you setting that she feels are getting in the way of who she is?

As it was said by someone else, if they are your NEEDS then they need to be respected, but you also need to respect hers.

Compromise is a huge part of making this work. I believe in compromise, not saccrafice. I think if compromise and communication is an issue, it's time to analyze your relationship as it stands.

Karma and I are far from perfect, but communication and respect of eachothers thoughts and feelings has made all the difference in making this work.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:39 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,677
Default

The thing with negotiating boundaries is that you need to compromise until you find the edge of the boundary; the place where if it goes one step further you will be pushed over the edge. When that compromising feeling is gone, you have found your boundary.

I find I ludicrous to stop negotiating with her saying that she wants her freedom and right to do whatever because its her life. It isn't just about her. Part of negotiating is to empathize, respect others feelings and not be selfish. She is not doing these things it sounds like.
When Mono told me that under no circumstance would he stay with me if I added another man to my life I had some hard decisions to make. He was asking me to compromise, and I did. I thought my freedom was taken away from me, my right to do what I want, all of that "need" stuff, but I decided that I would move forward and offer something that I could live. I asked him to compromise. And he did. He decided that he could live with me finding connections with other men (the underlying "need" to be able to connect with people), but not ones that involved sex. We continue to explore this negotiation and still compromise, we may always do this, I don't know.

The point is that no one person gets to call the shots and no one person gets to say what is ethically "right." it has to be agreed upon as far as I'm concerned. Someone in their NRE whining because it isn't fair that they have a partner that is struggling and asking for it all to go slower isn't the one that gets to call all the shots.... This isn't monogamy. In mono relationships there is no boundary negotiation like in poly I think; you get to spend as much time with your partner as you both decide. In poly you get to spend as much time and have as much sex as EVERYONE decides. Not the one at the hinge. At least not usually anyways.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 01-03-2011, 07:05 PM
MindfulAgony's Avatar
MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
The thing with negotiating boundaries is that you need to compromise until you find the edge of the boundary; the place where if it goes one step further you will be pushed over the edge. When that compromising feeling is gone, you have found your boundary.
^ this is an excellent way of putting it.

My wife and I negotiated boundaries - me trying to deal with the realization that I needed a return to poly and she struggling to manage that return for us. Poly was pre-marriage, pre-kids for us and she viewed it more as youthful experimentation, not a way to make a life (even thought we were both in our 30's lol).

My wife didn't realize this immediately. We tried to negotiate to that boundary. But, she hit that edge - as RP puts it - and hit it hard. Her language was that she felt like she was losing who she was - giving too much of herself. Which I understood completely.

It was hard because she (we) desparately wanted to stay in the marriage. After three years of trying to figure out the right configuration, right boundaries, and ways to maintain respect, safety, and meet eachother's needs, we were both at our edge. Ultimately, you can't destroy yourself in order to save a marriage. Doesn't work. When you're at your edge, it certainly feels like something dear is at risk.

Sometimes are edges are incompatible. It's not unethical or selfish to discover and act upon that. Selfishness and unethical behavior can result if we deal poorly with that discovery (something that I, unfortunately, have experience with as well). But, those are two different things.
__________________
Male, Straight, Poly

OKC Profile

Blogs:
Mind Crush
sloetry

“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
-Pema Chodron

Last edited by MindfulAgony; 01-03-2011 at 07:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boundaries, boundary negotiation, boundary pushing, boundary setting, broken agreements, dating, guidelines, jealousy, managing relationships, negotiation, poly, primary, rules, rules vs boundaries, secondary, trust issues, veto

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:26 AM.