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Old 03-23-2012, 12:56 AM
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Default Don't Ask Don't Tell thoughts

I will never, if I can possibly help it, date anyone with a DADT agreement again. I had a relationship I had with a man that ended with his wife calling me up and telling me never to contact him again. A year later she emailed me to see if I would be interested in a threesome with her and him. She asked if we could meet. I declined in a message that let her know that I do not like or seek casual sex and that I had been "in love" with her husband. It had not been exclusively about the sex for me. She wrote back and said she had not known that, wished me well and said that she now didn't want to meet up.

I had a talk with this old boyfriend today (we meet by chance last week and planned to meet and talk) about the DADT policy he had with his wife back then when he and I were seeing each other. I had heard that it doesn't work for most people and keeps people moving further away from one another rather than closer together. They notice that rather than addressing each stressor that comes up in a relationship individually, it causes a tidal wave of many emotions and concerns that almost cost people their marriage's. This man struggled after his wife found out about us. They did for some time, but they are back on track and he has a girlfriend (well... fuck buddy), and she has a LDR boyfriend that she sees occasionally.

At one point he said something along the lines of DADT policies not working because the people involved say they don't want to know and aren't going to ask and then suddenly they do ask, or they find something out, or their partner changes, or comes home with the signs of having sex on them... he asked hypothetically where the line is between knowing and not knowing? How can one ever hope to know what information to give and what not to give? After all, if you have agreed to talk about it, how can you ask what is too much information? At what point does a partner who doesn't want to know all of a sudden care what is happening? The line is pretty thin I think... the tidal wave of information at that point is on the verge of becoming a tsunami.

I thought these really good points and thought I would pass them along to those that are considering DADT policies with their partners or are in them.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:18 AM
Jade Jade is offline
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"he asked hypothetically where the line is between knowing and not knowing? How can one ever hope to know what information to give and what not to give? After all, if you have agreed to talk about it, how can you ask what is too much information? At what point does a partner who doesn't want to know all of a sudden care what is happening? The line is pretty thin I think... the tidal wave of information at that point is on the verge of becoming a tsunami."

With non-spouse or secondary relationships, for me, that "line" is the point at which what I don't know can impact me negatively (affect my time, put me into awkward situations, etc.). It is, unfortunately, a line that the secondary needs to identify and be aware of, because I don't have the information necessary to protect myself. The difficulty I have with "don't ask, don't tell" so far, is that I keep learning things about my main secondary "the hard way," the painful way. Yeah... I don't like "don't ask, don't tell." The only person I can really trust to protect me from the negative impact of things is Me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:51 AM
Jericka Jericka is offline
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I agree. I don't think I could deal with a don't ask don't tell arrangement with a lover or a metamour.

I had a very brief exposure to a guy from OkCupid in an open relationship a bit over a year ago. His wife seemed reluctant to talk to me. My newbie mistake was an email where my intent was to make sure the relationship was actually open....but I didn't do it well, she didn't take it well, and the relationship with the guy never progressed past IMs.

She didn't want to be forced to acknowledge me. She didn't want her husband to actually have a relationship with me. If I had been just an anonymous fuck she'd have been happier, but, I can't do that sort of thing.

So, better to know right off the bat that a DADT situation is a bad fit for me.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:00 AM
strixish strixish is offline
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I couldn't enter a relationship with a DADT policy.

My new love interest invited me in to meet his wife on one of our first dates. It felt a little intense, as we had only just started spending time together, but I was so glad to see that she was very comfortable with the idea of him dating. It turned out that I was very glad it happened.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:53 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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I think that so much of the success of any of this is personality, or personal character driven. The policy is not necessarily at fault but the wack job participants.

I'm sure mature, honest, self aware, loving adults can handle these arrangements. And conversely insecure and immature idiots will fuck it up.

From the example RP gave how does someone in a declared "open marriage" with a stated DADT policy in place flip out when it's discovered that other relationships are actually happening. Then on top of that flip out on the outsider???? Nothing makes sense in that. Sounds more like go ahead have a relationship as long as I don't catch you. How young were these people?
Then to call you up a yr later and want to hire you for a 3some ...some fucking balls.... or wack job
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:10 PM
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Exclamation DADT contrary to Compersion!

To me, if someone wants a DADT policy, then chances are they haven't fully embraced the true meaning of Polyamory, and they definitely have not learned diddly squat about Compersion!

And to me...I just don't want that at all. I want to know what my partners are up to and I want to share their happiness about it. Tell me the juicy details and maybe it'll even give us new ideas on what we two can do together. What's to hide? It's completely against some of the big major points of being poly to begin with!
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:23 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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compersion was never a big selling point for me. In fact that concept seemed like a dream.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:16 PM
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I think there could be two kinds of DADT policies, actually.

One is where the couple say they don't want to know anything about the other's extramarital (or extra-partnershipal?) relationships and sexual activities. One (or both of them) wants to keep up a veneer of propriety and monogamy on the exterior, and pretend to themselves and everyone else that what they have between them is all that's going on, and that the other relationships are meaningless because they don't really exist. "Do what you want, just don't let me or anyone else find out." And sometimes there's an added "...or you'll be sorry" just to make sure everything is hush-hush, and if anyone finds out, the shit hits the fan. It's not exactly consent; it's make-believe. Permission to slink around in the shadows like a cheater. This is the kind of DADT I find most troublesome because it's steeped in such denial, pretense, and most likely is an attempt to camouflage deep sadness, regret, or unhappiness.

The other kind of DADT, I think, is where they consent to one or both partners having relationships and really are fine about it, but just don't want details. Don't want to know when or where the dates are, but knows the dates are happening. I think in this case, they also have agreements to be primary to each other and that any need of the partner or spouse will automatically override those of the additional partners'. So they have a sense of security, and that's why it doesn't matter to them who their partner is dating. Or perhaps they make concessions in their schedules now and then and are aware that there's someone in their partner's life, but have no desire to meet or know anything about them. I think this approach could stem out of each partner just feeling secure in their autonomy, or they each have very busy lives (perhaps traveling a lot) and when they do come together, their relationship operates more like a business partnership than anything else.

I have been contacted on OKC and PMM by guys in both types of situations. I don't have as much objection to the second sort of arrangement because I can understand it better, but it still makes me queasy. One guy who had that did offer to have his wife contact me when I said I would want "proof" that he's not cheating. I appreciated that offer, although I turned down the opportunity to further the conversation and see where it might have gone, for a sort-of related reason.

I could never live with the first pretending-to-be-blind DADT type, because that would seem too nutsy koo-koo for me. From a recent convo with a guy who has that in his very, very unhappy marriage, he said:
"I am not trying to hide anything from her that she would want to know. I'm not trying to keep secrets; she doesn't want to know about any activities. If DADT is mutual, then it's ok."
I replied, "I get that. BUT how would someone know you aren't just cheating if we don't get some sort of acknowledgement directly from your wife that it's okay to date you? I can't take one spouse's word for it that both spouses consent to having relationships outside the marriage."
And he responded, "If you develop trust with someone you trust them. How do you know that someone you meet isn't just a great flat out liar? I should get some credit for laying out my situation on the table. If I was just looking to get laid I probably wouldn't put as much energy into my correspondence on these sites as I do."
So, I'm supposed to take his word for it and develop trust by getting to know him, all because he has gone to the extreme trouble of writing long thoughtful messages. And then keep everything a secret. Err, no thanks. I prefer to be with men who go to the lengths and work it takes to be honest and healthy in their relationships.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-23-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:02 PM
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If someone approached me telling me that they had a DADT arrangement with their partner I don't think I could help but be skeptical as to if it really was a consensual open relationship or if it's just a line I'm being fed. At the very least I would want to be able to contact the other partner(s) to confirm that this is really the arrangement they have. But by contacting the other partner you've already broken the DADT. I can't imaging actually pursuing a relationship with someone who tells me that have a DADT arrangement.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dingedheart View Post
I think that so much of the success of any of this is personality, or personal character driven. The policy is not necessarily at fault but the wack job participants.

I'm sure mature, honest, self aware, loving adults can handle these arrangements. And conversely insecure and immature idiots will fuck it up.

From the example RP gave how does someone in a declared "open marriage" with a stated DADT policy in place flip out when it's discovered that other relationships are actually happening. Then on top of that flip out on the outsider???? Nothing makes sense in that. Sounds more like go ahead have a relationship as long as I don't catch you. How young were these people?
Then to call you up a yr later and want to hire you for a 3some ...some fucking balls.... or wack job
Yaaaa, no, this has not been my experience at all. It has been my experience that people that are mature and been together forever are just as likely to loose it when they find out that the policy they agreed to means they have not known that the beer that their husband went out for with his buddies one night was actually his way of saying, "I'm going to a fuck party with some people I met off the internet." I doesn't seem to matter one way or the other, DADT's just don't seem to work. DADT policies don't keep people together in healthy relationships. There is no end to DADT's that is safely going to keep people from either thinking or knowing what their partner is doing or done. There is no future in DADT's that is happy, healthy or keeps people ignorant. Not that I have ever seen anyway.

The people I am talking about have been married 20 years this year. He is 47 and she is 42. They have an "open relationship" to them its all about sex, not love. He didn't tell her that he said he loved me and that I loved him because he didn't want her to loose it even more as far as I know. Then when she wrote, she found out that there was an emotional connection she didn't know about. They had to deal with that afterwards... I don't think they have quite worked that out together actually as far as emotional connections go. I don't think she gets the emotional connection part.

Those that use DADT policies are skirting on the edge of danger, unable to put their brain in the space of their partner having sex with someone else. Really, I think everyone would do better to give the whole "sex with others" idea WAYYYY more time instead.

When Mono was dealing with me going out with someone new he purposely put his head their. He forced himself to imagine me fucking someone else so that he would get through it. It made for some challenging sex.... but he swears it works.

For a time we had a DADT because he really could not handle me having sex with others at all. When it came down to it, it was worse what his head did to the situations I was in than what was actually going on.

I did nothing actually. On purpose. I wanted to be able to say that nothing happened and have him go through it with some respite at the end in finding out I hadn't. Now I still don't trust that he will be okay if I find another partner... he swears up and down he will be though... that is whole other story.
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