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  #111  
Old 10-13-2012, 07:37 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I think it's good to have principles, rules, whatever you call them. But I also think that out of this list...

Quote:
Rule 1: Be Honest with one another
Rule 2: Don't keep secondary relationships a secret
Rule 3: Talk about your feelings, especially any jealousy
Rule 4: Maintain an open dialogue and strong communication
Rule 5: Respect each other's feelings and work together towards resolving issues
...rules 2-4 are just rule 1 narrowed down to a more specific context. And it seems to me rule 5 follows from rule 1 as well, although less directly. So I don't see a point in making a whole list that's just one basic principle repeated over and over again.

It's great if it helps you, of course. It's just not something I think is really necessary.
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  #112  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:19 PM
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rory rory is offline
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I find it funny that a thread where a person asks about people's rules has turned into a lengthy debate over whether rules are needed. Why not just skip if you have nothing to add about the topic?

I don't use the word rules, but I do have expectations from my partners, and I aim to act the same way towards them
- honesty
- love; caring about and liking each other
- respect
- communication
- autonomy; space and support for leading happy and fulfilling lives outside of the relationship
- intimacy
- support in hardship
- consideration
- connection
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  #113  
Old 10-13-2012, 11:40 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Personally, I object to having rules, per se, in my relationships, although I accept that others feel the need for them and I have even made suggestions to people here for types of rules to employ. What I prefer is to have my own personal boundaries. This is simply a standard by which I want to be treated. But I don't like the idea of setting rules.

Even if I were in a very entwined, committed primary relationship, as opposed to the more casual intimate friendships in which I currently engage -- I would object to the idea of establishing a list of do's and don't's that my partner(s) must follow.

The reason for my objection is basically along the lines of what AutumnalTone posted earlier in the thread - and that is, as an adult who engages in relationships with other adults, anyone who needed a set of rules dictated by me in order to keep their behavior in check is not the type of person I would ever choose to become involved with!
I mean, come on, man - I have to tell you not to lie to me? I have to tell you to respect me? And if I don't tell you, you will try and get away with all manner of shit because I didn't lay it all out for you in black and white? WTF? How old are you?
So, for me, I would rather state my boundaries: "I will not tolerate lies," "I will not be in relationship with someone who is cheating on their partner," "I will not hold my schedule open for someone who doesn't confirm a date within X amount of time," or "I will always use condoms," RATHER THAN give someone rules: "you must not lie to me," "don't be a cheater," "You must confirm our dates within X amount of time," or "use condoms at all times." In my view, my stance is that I am taking care of me, and this is fundamentally different from laying out rules for another person to follow and then waiting for them to either obey me or fuck up.

And I do feel that everybody in a relationship, whether mono, poly, partnered, solo, secondary, FWB, primary, or whatever, should have their own set of personal boundaries.

Having my own set of personal boundaries rather than writing up a list of rules, as I see it, gives the person with whom I am in relationship his own agency. With regard to how he interacts with me, he has choice. If he knows I don't tolerate lies, and he wants to be with me, he won't lie. Of course, as an example, there may be times when things are unclear and someone might think they have to hide something not to be hurtful, and so I would say, "You don't have to hide that from me, I prefer you tell me what's going on," but telling someone that we have to have a rule not to lie seems kind of juvenile to me. Another example: if he gets back to me very late regarding a date we were planning and finds out I made other plans because I hadn't heard back from him in time, then he knows what choice to make if he wants to spend time with me. It's simple.

As an example, I have a friend (I use the alias Cranky for him in my blog thread) who has a personal boundary that he will not wait more than 15 minutes for anyone he agrees to meet somewhere. I know that if we have plans to get together, I have to be on time or no longer than 15 minutes late if I want Cranky to wait for me. He never dictated to me, "You must not be later than 15 minutes when we meet!" -- he just knows what he will and will not tolerate, and I found out one day when I was 20 minutes late, and he wasn't there. I later asked him why, and he told me his personal policy. So, now I know it's up to me to be responsible if we get together, but he isn't going to get all angsty if I'm too late or bitch at me because I broke a rule -- he simply goes off and takes care of himself. If a few more instances occur where I am over 15 minutes late, he will cease to make plans with me. We both acknowledge this boundary and act in ways that take care of ourselves and each other.

But rules -- egad, how many threads we have here are devoted to "He/she broke a rule - what do I do?!! I'm so hurt - how can we heal?" Blecch.

I do not wish to police anyone I'm in a relationship with, nor hang all my expectations on them to be what I want him to be. Cross my boundaries, and you're either out of the picture or we discuss it and move forward, depending on what the boundary was, but setting down rules for a grown-up to follow in order to know how to behave? Hell, no.
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 10-14-2012 at 02:49 AM.
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  #114  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:25 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Actually, I just thought of a rule that my domestic partner has with their other SO. That rule is - the topic of myself and Spouse breaking up is not up for discussion. This is OSO's first "serious" non-cheating relationship with a person who is already in a relationship. Spouse made it explicit to OSO that this is not some "transitional period" such as people sometimes do when they're in the process of becoming un-involved. OSO is "not allowed" to badger or suggest to Spouse that Spouse and I ought to break up.

However, this is not something I required or asked Spouse to do. It is something Spouse did of their own accord because that's how it is.
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  #115  
Old 10-14-2012, 02:30 AM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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ooh ooh, i thought of another one!

When I was seeing someone else (still am) and Spouse did not yet have an OSO, I made a personal rule that I would not make plans with my OSO on weekends when Spouse was not scheduled to work. I discarded that when Spouse acquired an additional relationship. I never even told Spouse that I had made that rule and discarded it until it transpired as relevant in a conversation.
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  #116  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:17 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Our "rules" have flexed and loosened over time - aside from the basic tenets of honesty and openness (which I think are crucial to any relationship) our only real rule is "Condoms with anyone other than the three of us."

As a result of some misunderstandings we have a couple of "mock rules" (more like "reasonable requests") - MrS requested "Don't have sex in the bed while I am sleeping in it." and I requested "Don't chase me out of bed to have sex with your ex-girlfriend because you thought I wanted a threesome that you never asked me about." MrS also jokingly requested "Don't have anal sex with Dude if you won't have anal sex with me" (which doesn't actually come into play because anal sex is a complete no-go on my end ).

Initially, MrS requested to be informed that there was going to be sex happening if there was a chance he could unexpectedly walk into it (we all live in a really small house) because he wanted to be braced for it (or choose to avoid that area). After a few months this was lifted as it no longer bothered him .

I do think that it is important to actually spell out what people mean by certain boundaries they have - because sometimes they are not clear about what would bother them, even to themselves. For years I thought that MrS and I were on the same page - we had had many conversations after all. Then when I started misbehaving with Dude it became clear that it was not at all clear where MrS's boundaries were - and because he couldn't articulate them and I was blinded by NRE I managed to convince myself, temporarily, that I was following "the rules". Painful details in my "Journey" blog here - the /Jackassery/ section...

I also wrote a lengthy post about a misunderstanding about boundaries in my "Notebook" blog. To quote myself from that post:

Quote:
Some things I see as “couple” decisions – things that are decided within the multiple dyads that our V consists of. MrS and I get to decide what is ok within the confines of our relationship. Dude and I get to decide what is ok within the confines of our relationship. Actually, MrS and Dude get to decide what is ok with the confines their relationship as well – as best friends and metamours. Additionally we three together get to decide what is ok within the confines of our Vee - things that we all have agreed to or feel as axiomatic – for instance, keeping all members of the Vee “in the loop” if one of us is developing a romantic/sexual relationship outside of the Vee ...OR condoms with anyone other than the three of us (safer sex/contraception agreement). Underlying all of this – each of us individually gets to decide what is ok for each of us individually. So for a given decision we have to pass through the “filters” of – is it ok for me personally?, is it ok for the relevant dyads?, and is it ok for the Vee as a whole?
JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (22+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 10-14-2012 at 03:28 AM.
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  #117  
Old 10-14-2012, 03:48 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringGuy View Post
Actually, I just thought of a rule that my domestic partner has with their other SO. That rule is - the topic of myself and Spouse breaking up is not up for discussion. ... OSO is "not allowed" to badger or suggest to Spouse that Spouse and I ought to break up.

However, this is not something I required or asked Spouse to do. It is something Spouse did of their own accord because that's how it is.
I would put that under my "personal boundary" category. Dude would occasionally make teasing comments about having me to himself. I asked him not to do that because it made me uncomfortable - and he stopped. (MrS never expressed any discomfort at this teasing - he knows I am not going anywhere.)

The boys have both expressed that they have no privacy requests/expectations when I am talking to the other. That being said, I, personally, don't tend to share intimate details of conversations/disagreements/sex unless asked (said asking has only ever happened in the context of helping me process something that was bothering me, or helping iron out wrinkles in our dynamic - never out of prurient curiosity) - on the other hand, I don't care if they share such details with each other (I talk to my best friend about details of my life, why shouldn't they?)

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (22+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 10-14-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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  #118  
Old 10-14-2012, 04:14 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Nothing to do with poly but it occurs to me that there are also de facto "rules" about other stuff in relationships besides sex/attachment. I think that things run smoother if these are actively discussed and agreed upon as well.

For instance, I am in charge of our finances, so they consult me before making major purchases to make sure the budget can stretch to accommodate them. (Unless they are paying for them out of their "play money" portion of the monthly budget - MrS handles that).

There are also agreements as to who is "responsible for" making certain that certain things are taken care of (cars, pets, home maintenance, etc.), and other household "division of labor" crap.

I am an introvert and don't tolerate "other people" (i.e. anyone but the three of us) in my home very well, the boys are generally very good about respecting this but do occasionally invite friends over. The, fairly recently negotiated, understanding is that if they invite people over then they are responsible for playing "host" - I will, of course, be civil to their friends but can remove myself from their presence if I need to (by "taking a nap" or "reading in bed"). If this became a regular occurrence we would probably need to negotiate a "frequency" clause about how often they could bring people over. I can suck it up for a day or two here and there but having my routine upset on a regular basis would be dangerous to my mental health!

Jane("OCD-much?"Q
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (22+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS (1+ years)
TT: poly male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs here:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #119  
Old 10-17-2012, 04:23 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Default Rules are for strangers

My rules with my lovers are about disease safety. We discuss this openly and clearly.

If I need to set up rules about being honest, decent, and non-destructive then I have clearly not put enough time into this person.

My hope is to get to know someone well enough to realize that they have an appropriate world view and general code of behavior to me before I welcome too deeply into my life. If I find myself coming up with rules to apply to someone, that means I don't know them well enough and don't trust them, or that I *do* know them and distrust them (which is not something I have the energy to do).

My lovely Isa has the enviable ability to take from people what they want to give; what they naturally provide to a relationship without provocation. This is all she requires, that a lover and/or friend be themselves... she will take the positive and leave the negative. When she decides that someone has an overwhelming degree of positive traits ("cool enough") she then welcomes them into her life. If they become a drain and prove that their mental, sexual, and/or emotional method of relating are antithetical then she cuts them loose.

Personally I love this kind of relating to people and I am trying to incorporate it into my own outlook. If we only take from people what they are willing to give then what is the need for rules? What is the purpose of putting restrictions on someone if we already know their form of behavior?
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  #120  
Old 10-17-2012, 04:36 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Marcus-that is how I am with those who don't live with me. It has worked VERY well for me in that venue.

However, I am quite the demanding lerson in regards to my children. That has the effect of exerting a great deal of control over my home.
For most people this has seemed an obvious and expected fact. But, since entering into a poly dynamic, there have been a few who felt that because Maca ang GG live here then my rules shouldn't be 'the bottom line'. That has backfired nastily in terms of their welcome in my home.
As far as I am concerned, its my castle and they are both welcome to live elsewhere. But, until the children are all grown, this is my domain to run as I se fit.
Ironically-that hasn't been an issue with ANYONE who has lived here as my rules are very basic. But, a few potential partners of Macas wanted their desires for rrules here to be foremost to him (they have their own homes) and found that themselves quite offended that there was no option for that.

Jane-I agree. The rules regarding sex, outside of safety, aren't hardly significant to me compared to finances (which I manage), household chores, kid responsibilities. But those I classify as agreements more than rules. However, when a new comer gets snippy-we have all been known to say 'sorry-against our rules' and continue on.
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