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Old 03-16-2011, 04:40 PM
LovingLove LovingLove is offline
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Default Open Communication vs. Trust

Hi there, I just registered for this forum and have been poking around reading it for about a week now. I am finding a lot of great information and relating to much of what is said. I have especially found myself nodding along to the lessons we’ve learned thread.

I do plan to write up my situation in length to give all more history and information, but things are going really well for me right now and I find I don’t have the drive to write about much when it is not worrying me. But when I find the time, I will get it all down.

So, ignoring the history, here is my brief current situation: My partner (A) and I are dating a married couple. I have a great connection and am very much in love (and, NRE) with one of them (B) as is my partner with the other (C), although to a lesser extent. My partner is also very close and somewhat intimate with B. I am on good terms with but without much connection to C. I will try to describe it all better later, as it doesn’t have too much bearing on my question.

After a talk with A last night, what has been frustrating me today is how to negotiate the effect that relationships on each other. When I tell A something that was said to me by C regarding their relationship, I feel I may be breaking some type of trust and/or confidentiality within the relationship of myself and C. A does not want to feel in the dark with things and is also currently concerned with the status of the relationship with C.

So: To what extent am I expected to share? How do I negotiate someone else’s trust vs. honesty with my partner?

I do not like talking about what other people said. It feels like gossip. I may have an impact on a relationship I am not a part of directly. The other person is not there to clarify (I have a horrible memory and can rarely even remember what ALL was said, let alone word for word). I do not want to be a source of miscommunication between two other people. I do not want people wondering who I have told regarding what they have said to me in private. I am also not super strong with communication when it comes to either A or C… as often find we have very different perspectives and interpretations.

To make matters worse, I am comfortable sharing everything with B, in fact I love it. I am not worried about reactions and we often see eye to eye. It is a great way to vent. I feel though maybe I am over sharing and should be telling as much if not more to A.

I do want to be more open and honest with my partner, and stop holding back information/feelings because it may not be exactly what A wants to hear and may react poorly to it… I know this is wrong.

All input is appreciated!


Still to come: time management, WTF
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2011, 06:33 PM
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I don't think there's any one way to arrange it. I would find out what each partner expects/feels comfortable with and work from there. It is important to respect privacy but at the same time other partners do need to know important information. In terms of sexual details, so couples really enjoy sharing in great details. As long as your other partners are comfortable with their experiences being shared, I think it's fine. Everyone's a bit different in terms of what they do/don't want to know. Another thing to think about is why some one does or doesn't want to know something. Do they want to hear details because it turns them on or because they feel a need to control everything you're doing so they don't feel threatened?
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:07 PM
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Gossip is tricky, if that is what you are talking about. To me, if conversation occurs whereby the people in it are coming from a place of support, trying to understand, venting by means of finding a way to get through something in order to cope or find patience then that isn't gossip. That to me is being responsible in my communication. I guess the difference to me would be in the intent of the conversation. If its to de-fame or harm someone intentionally or passive aggressively then that to me is gossip.

It is important to check out what is okay to talk about. Generally speaking sex is off the table really, but not always. Its kind of a bonding thing I find to know about the connection my loves have with othes. I don't need to know details about the sex, but that they enjoyed themselves and were and are happy. I would always listen if something comes up though. Listen and keep it between us. Its not my business to pass any info on.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:49 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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If what gets shared in confidence is of interest to all parties in the mix, it should not be kept a secret. At that point you let it be known you're not comfortable keeping that confidence you feel it should be shared with all involved.
If it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things to everyone in the mix, it should be kept in confidence.

[A, B], [C, D]. example:

D bought C a sweater that she secretly hates and tells you she secretly hates it. Whats the point of sharing that?

C tells you she feels marginalized by D's relationship with B - you all need to sit down and talk that out even if C intended to only vent it with you and stew silently over it there after because it could end up a problem for all four.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:38 AM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I would ask each person "for future reference, is it okay if I repeat things you tell me?" Or if I want to share everything with all my partners, I would say "I don't want to keep secrets, it makes me feel wrong, so you can feel free to talk to me about anything you want, but don't tell me things you don't want repeated".
Doesn't mean I'd repeat things verbatim, mind you. I could go and tell A "I was talking with D, and they seem a bit frustrated, I think you two should have a talk" or tell D that directly ("tell, A, not me!")

I've never been in that kind of configuration before, but I work on the model of open dialogue, I don't want to ever feel like there is something I can't tell one of my partners.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:55 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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You sit down and start a dialogue about what each persons expectations are in regards to privacy and talking about what they say/do.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:12 AM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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To each their own. With a friendship triad, we have a 'everything you tell me, the other one will eventually hear, too' agreement. I'm not a hugely private person and tend to stick to the rule 'if there is something I don't want someone to know, I won't tell it to anyone'. In practise I find it exhausting to try to remember what was okay to repeat and what wasn't, so I try to tell people not to share something with me that is truly off-bounds from being told to anyone else.

As to gossip, if it's one-way only, that's potentially an unhealthy sign for me. I mean, you and B keep on talking about the personal life details of A, but you never share any of B's stuff with A (this is a rhetorical question, I honestly got confused with the letters :P). That would border on gossip, for me.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:19 PM
LovingLove LovingLove is offline
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Thank you for all your replies.
I agree with the everything open and share everything idea and I know everyone needs to be kept in the loop with anything pertinant to the relationship(s).
I think though that there is a lot of comfort in venting to someone else and that it can often make someone feel better instantly, or see things in a more simplified verbalized form that makes it less of a big deal, if that happens, then why run to the other and make them worry that something is wrong?

There had been a bit of discussion on this between myself and A as well as myself and B (I emailed C on my f-up to give them a heads up, but haven't really discussed it yet).

What I have decided is to refrain from sharing what has been said to me in private conversations, if I think someone else needs to hear it I will either say the two of them need to talk, or we need to have a group talk.

I get misunderstood easily (especially by A and C) and cannot remember most conversations in detail, I therefore believe that more times than not, turning around telling someone something someone else told me will just do more harm than good and put a chip in not only thier relationship but also my relationship with each of them.

I trust everyone in the group to talk to others when they have a problem instead of letting it fester and build, if they do not, then I think we deserve whatever blow-up comes out of that.

I may have time here today to post my nice little (haha) confusing story for all interested in the indroductions section!!

Thanks again and I look forward to chatting with you all more.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:37 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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I know we've had a couple of good threads on this topic ...

One with almost the same title as yours :
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4470

And this one has a lot of opinions on what people feel is appropriate in their own relationships:
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3763
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:55 PM
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Since everyone involved knows each other if something comes up that you feel 2 of the parties need to discuss with each other why not suggest just that? It's more complicated if people don't know each other (or don't know each other well). I see your role as working with the person who is talking to you to come up with the best way to respectfully approach the other party.
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