Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-22-2013, 07:29 AM
theveronica theveronica is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Default I did the veto-ing (gasp, I know)

Hi everyone!

My husband and I have been poly for approximately a year. I have had two boyfriends (including my current one). My husband, started his first relationship several months ago. The woman he started seeing also happened to be a very close friend of mine. WHen we started, we had two rules: No unprotected sex, and the not very popular veto rule. Well, the veto rule was used. Ungh. Details:

1) I explained the veto rule, why we had it and my current partner agreed. My husband never explained this to his partner, and when we had to step back from poly for a bit in order to tend to our marriage, it broadsided her and she was very hurt.

2) After they started sleeping together, I told him that thier sex life was thier business, just like mine is with my partner. I was thrilled that he found someone that he was compatible with in so many ways, but I didn't need to hear about what she looks like when she comes and how naughty she was acting last night (which he totally did, regardless of the boundaries of my comfort level). I am a believer in the privacy that two people have when having sex is what makes it personal and special.

2) It became fairly often that times I needed him to be present for me and for our children, and due to thier fighting, he would not put his phone down, or get irrtated with us because of the spill over.

3) When I was inpatient (I've been pretty ill this year), she went to the house and he asked if she could stay over, and I said I prefered that they don't sleep in the bed together as him and I had not hashed all of that out yet, but if you'd like her to stay over that would be fine. He crawled into bed with her in the middle of the night regardless.

4)One night he got particulary drunk and had unprotected sex with her. Ok, I get being super drunk and making a mistake. However, he did not tell me and I found out inadvertantly. He said that even though it was one of our golden rules, he thought that because it had to do with sex (and i didn't want to hear about sex with her) that he wasn't ever going to tell me.

5) He did alot of telling me one thing and telling her the other.

6) Because I was close with her as well, they would both bitch to me about what the other was doing. Alot.

So, after the constant drama and me feeling like he was emotionally unreliable to me, I told him that I didn't want him to stay with her, as it felt like it was damaging to our marriage. He agreed, but is very angry (to be expected) and I am getting tons of shit for being "bad" at poly.

It took weeks of consideration, but I really feel like I made the right decision in asking for things to end. They still talk, are still friends, but he very very angry that he is "alone" because of me. I feel so awful, I don't know what to do. Her and I aren't even friends anymore. I have tried so hard to be diplomatic and open minded and caring about thier needs, but I admit that I have said things that I believed at the time, but later were not ok with. I know this makes it so that he can't trust me. But i honestly believed every single thing I said as I said it.

I am not looking for a pat on the back. I am ok with you guys telling me that I was wrong. I just need....I don't know, a fresh perspective.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-22-2013, 08:11 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Your problem is that you want to replace the trust you should have in your partner with rules and control mechanisms. The minute you feel you need a veto rule, that should be a sign that the trust between us isn't sufficient for us to have other relationships. There is further evidence of that by the way you are reluctant to permit your husband to do the things with his girlfriend that he wants to do. They aren't allowed an organic relationship where they interact as they would like to, they've always got Wifey looming over them and telling them what they can and can't do.

Did you ever agree on how girlfriend could ever become fluid bonded? Ie hormonal contraception, condoms with everyone else, regular testing for all. Or was it just girlfriend never gets to fluid bond? Don't get me wrong, these rules were probably two way rules that applied to both of you, but they are based on treating other people as if they are inferior to your marriage.

You agreed to things and then back tracked with no thought of how that would affect your husband, his girlfriend or their developing relationship because you think that your feelings are the most important and don't care about how people outside your marriage get hurt. It's only now that you are facing your husband's wrath that you are worried about what you've done to them.

If I were you, I'd apologise wholeheartedly to both girlfriend and hubby and set about working out a schedule that they can have the relationship that they want to. No more veto rule. Each person will maintain the relationships they have built themselves. People who are unable to need to lessen their responsibilities by cutting down how many obligations they have.

Tell them that their relationship is their own and you don't want to hear their issues. At all. Clearly state that they are violating your boundaries when they do.

If your husband is unable to be trustworthy and/or maintain boundaries and responsibilities, that is his problem and your problem because you picked him to marry. I wouldn't stay married to someone who proved they were that way inclined. It isn't good for the kids to believe that is tolerated. Controlling who else he is in a relationship with won't solve that.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-22-2013, 08:44 AM
KyleKat KyleKat is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 284
Default

I don't know that I can agree with you on this, London. He lied, he broke a rule about the fluid bonding (whether or not they ever discussed ever fluid bonding, the rule was still in place when he broke it), he wasn't going to share information with her that could have potentially run health risks, he spent his time with his wife being mentally away from her, and he did things she specifically asked him not to do because they hadn't talked about it yet.

I don't see where she backtracked at all. Could you point out what you're referring to?

It seems to me like he isn't ready to be in a poly relationship if he's going to spend more time doing instead of talking and make sure everyone is on the up and up.

I think she acted appropriately given the circumstances.
__________________
"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is the regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." - Sydney Smith

Kyle: 27 year old male
Katie (rymmare): 25 year old female
Kids: girl: 5 years old, boy: 3 years old
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:00 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,114
Default

We don't really have a veto rule - but we agree to share our impressions of someone as things are "ramping up" so to speak - and those impressions are taken into account. Once a "relationship" is established however...well, we still make our feelings/reactions known but no one has the right to "pull rank" as the case may be. So I'll let others have their say about that and just give my comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
1) I explained the veto rule, why we had it and my current partner agreed. My husband never explained this to his partner, and when we had to step back from poly for a bit in order to tend to our marriage, it broadsided her and she was very hurt.
Regardless of whether a "step back from poly" is a good idea (or even possible - since our experiences change us). Not communicating the agreements that HE has made with an established partner and therefore "broadsiding" someone - this is bad communication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
2) After they started sleeping together, I told him that thier sex life was thier business, just like mine is with my partner. I was thrilled that he found someone that he was compatible with in so many ways, but I didn't need to hear about what she looks like when she comes and how naughty she was acting last night (which he totally did, regardless of the boundaries of my comfort level). I am a believer in the privacy that two people have when having sex is what makes it personal and special.
This is something that I ascribe to as well...and Dude totally does NOT get. It took a few instances of "oversharing" for him to see (although he still doesn't understand) that I REALLY do not want to know intimate details and that all I want to know is IF something happened THEN were appropriate safer sex practices used (as per our agreements).

As a side note: I have found that I don't care as much if he shares intimate details with people that I am also close to (MrS, VV, Lotus) but I am uncomfortable with the idea of him sharing details with people that I don't know intimately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
2) It became fairly often that times I needed him to be present for me and for our children, and due to thier fighting, he would not put his phone down, or get irrtated with us because of the spill over.
Having upset from one relationship spill over into another is fairly common, and may be unavoidable. (If I am in a bad mood from a rough day at work, it spills over into my relationships as well...) But if this is a regular occurrence or is eroding your fundamental relationship then it certainly needs to be addressed. It is not unreasonable to have times/circumstances where a person needs to have their partner to be WITH them when they are with them. Setting a "phones off" time is not unusual. (" I am not available from 5-6 because that is family dinner." shouldn't be different than "I am not available from 8-9 because that is our daily staff meeting.")

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
3) When I was inpatient (I've been pretty ill this year), she went to the house and he asked if she could stay over, and I said I prefered that they don't sleep in the bed together as him and I had not hashed all of that out yet, but if you'd like her to stay over that would be fine. He crawled into bed with her in the middle of the night regardless.
This sounds like you stating a preference and him not agreeing...as opposed to a rule/boundary that had been established and agreed to by all parties. (Which really should have been hashed out before the subject came up.) Since he knew your preference he really can't be surprised if you are peeved/hurt - but I wouldn't see this as a reason to veto...

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
4)One night he got particulary drunk and had unprotected sex with her. Ok, I get being super drunk and making a mistake. However, he did not tell me and I found out inadvertantly. He said that even though it was one of our golden rules, he thought that because it had to do with sex (and i didn't want to hear about sex with her) that he wasn't ever going to tell me.
I'm all for understanding that people make mistakes (I've made plenty myself!), even though this one is pretty big in my eyes. But not telling you? - see my response to #2. This can actually materially affect you, in terms of health and safety - and would be the one exception to the "don't tell me details" rule (again, which should have been explicitly agreed to from the beginning).


Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
5) He did alot of telling me one thing and telling her the other.
Careful with this one. Often comes down to "He said. She said." People hear what they want to hear and put a spin on their own actions based on their revised memories of what they think was said...eyewitness accounts are notoriously full of errors. (i.e. "You said x but I knew you meant y." = "You said Y.") Unless you have emails (or some other objective record) where you/someone can point to where something may have been misinterpreted...meh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
6) Because I was close with her as well, they would both bitch to me about what the other was doing. Alot.
This is a difficult position and up to the person doing the listening to decide what they can tolerate and stop the discussion if it gets to be too much. ("I care about you and I care about her - but I am too close to the situation to hear this. Please stop talking to me about x/y/z. I encourage you to find another support person to talk to if you two can't work this out amongst the two of you.")

MrS is very, very good at providing objective observations and support without "taking sides". Dude isn't good at realizing when a situation doesn't need his input (so MrS and I will tell him to BUTT OUT! ) When Lotus talks to me about Dude I find it is easier if I put my "professional" hat on while listening, then take it off again and go into "friend/confidante" mode when I am giving her advice based on what I know about Dude personally.

(Both Dude and Lotus have volunteered that anything that one of them shares with me or MrS may/should be shared with the others - this was not asked for/requested, but something that they independently desire...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
So, after the constant drama and me feeling like he was emotionally unreliable to me, I told him that I didn't want him to stay with her, as it felt like it was damaging to our marriage. He agreed, but is very angry (to be expected) and I am getting tons of shit for being "bad" at poly.
"He agreed." I think is the important bit. I would not want drama/emotional unreliability in my life either. Whether or not a veto was the best solution - he "agreed" that staying with her was damaging to your marriage. No?

As for being "bad at poly". Sounds like there are a few areas for improvement all around. Clarifying "hard limits" (like "no sleeping in the same bed until everyone is on board" and "I don't want to know details EXCEPT those - like safer-sex "fails" - that could impact my health) seems vital. Working on recognizing NRE and minimizing its effect on ongoing relationships by setting aside "NO phone" time would be another area to work on. As well, his tendency to be a "leaky hinge" when it comes to information and emotions could be tightened up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theveronica View Post
...but I admit that I have said things that I believed at the time, but later were not ok with. I know this makes it so that he can't trust me. But i honestly believed every single thing I said as I said it.
I've done this as well. I react to something and say something that I mean at the time but then realize later that it doesn't reflect my true self - or my reactions don't match up with my expectations. (I know that I have posted here about this before - no idea what tag to search to bring up the threads related to this).

The best thing that I have figured out to do is to say..."I'm sorry. When I said p/d/q I thought I would be OK with x/y/z...BUT turns out that I was wrong...I find that I feel a/b/c instead." ...and to do it as quick as possible! (i.e. as soon as I realize it). Holding on and letting things progress because I think I should feel or act a certain way doesn't help - it just seems to escalate my response.

I realize that this got fairly long, I apologize - take the useful bits and disregard the rest...

JaneQ

PS. looks like it took me so long to compose my post that others got in ahead of me...more reading to catch up on.
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 12-22-2013 at 09:33 AM. Reason: added PS, spelling/editing corrections
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:15 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
but I admit that I have said things that I believed at the time, but later were not ok with
This is backtracking. This creates confusion.

People make mistakes. Their communication wasn't clear. The trust was damaged before they even started.

Using a veto is never appropriate. It is the marriage that is damaged and needs vetoing. Not the girlfriend.

ETA: whilst I think it is quite normal to misjudge how you'll feel about something, I think it's unreasonable in a polyamorous relationship to permit your partner to interact with someone in a certain way, then take that thing off the table. The OP doesn't explicitly say she did then forbid those things, but there is a fine line between being forthcoming about your insecurities and indirectly pressuring someone to change their behaviour due to your insecurities. This is something I've dealt with myself recently. Being so open about my insecurities around a certain issue influenced my partner into changing his behaviour to his detriment. Even worse, him changing his behaviour and pandering to my insecurities meant that I had no way of ever overcoming them. I wasn't able to exercise them, so to speak.

Last edited by london; 12-22-2013 at 04:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:20 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Quote:
Holding on and letting things progress because I think I should feel or act a certain way doesn't help - it just seems to escalate my response.
I do agree with this to an extent. You see, I think if you consent to polyamory, you're letting your spouse have other romantic relationships that will often not involve you at all. You can't agree for your husband to have a girlfriend and then control how she is his girlfriend. If you have insecurities that are going to affect how they relate to each other, but you still want to be poly, you have to fake it till you make it. But do remember that is super important to me to have organic relationships that arent paced or controlled by anyone other than the people in them.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:39 AM
Emm's Avatar
Emm Emm is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 726
Default

This looks like a good time to remind everyone that judging the validity of another's poly based on your own preferences is not welcome here. If you have constructive suggestions to make, make them. If you're just going to throw blame and judgement around then do so elsewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:45 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Nobody is doing that. I gave feedback the OP asked for. Of course, in a veto thread, people are going to give their opinions on vetoes. That's what happened in every other veto thread. I don't see what the issue with saying why I think vetoes are a bad thing is against any posting guidelines. I gave my perception of the situation, I gave suggestions. I didn't say their poly was invalid, I said they had trust issues in their relationship. I don't appreciate anyone trying to silence me because they disagree with my views. Vetoes cover up flaws in the relationship, they disguise contention between couples and they are a bad thing. That's the stance I will take in any veto thread.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-22-2013, 09:58 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pennsyl-tucky
Posts: 1,114
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
I do agree with this to an extent. You see, I think if you consent to polyamory, you're letting your spouse have other romantic relationships that will often not involve you at all. You can't agree for your husband to have a girlfriend and then control how she is his girlfriend. If you have insecurities that are going to affect how they relate to each other, but you still want to be poly, you have to fake it till you make it. But do remember that is super important to me to have organic relationships that arent paced or controlled by anyone other than the people in them.
We don't disagree.

I'm fine with being "uncomfortable" until a "new normal" is reached. But hiding my reactions, letting them ferment and stew, is counter-productive. For me, it is better to voice my discomfort and ask for things within OUR relationship that are "do-able" to assuage my perceived needs. For instance: "don't have sex with your crazy ex-GF in our bed...while I am trying to SLEEP in it..." does not seem unreasonable to me.

I'm not saying that he can't have his ex over. I'm not saying that he can't sleep with her (condom rule in place). I'm not saying that he can't sleep with her in our/his bed. What I am asking is that they not have sex in the bed while I AM TRYING TO SLEEP IN IT.

This (being uncomfortable and asking for a change) is, for me, a rare occurrence - I can recall the few times that it has happened. On every occasion the "issue" was resolved within 48 hours.
__________________
Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3+ yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS
TT: poly bi male, married to Lotus, FB with JaneQ
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

Last edited by JaneQSmythe; 12-22-2013 at 10:00 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-22-2013, 10:14 AM
london london is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK - land of the free
Posts: 1,635
Default

Hmm, yeah, agreed. Though your extreme example makes it clear how what they do and when they do it directly affects you. You'd be in bed with them humping away. I think it becomes more complex when how it is affecting the metamour is sort of vague or the extra protection it offers, non existent. Like allowing your husband to have a girlfriend but prohibiting them from certain sexual acts. You are opening yourself up to all you fear plus the likelihood of betrayal when your spouse gives into their urge to express their affection for someone they've bonded with in the way that they want to.
Reply With Quote
Reply

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 04:31 AM.