My own road


How do you handle a partner who has, wants, or is welding veto power over other relationships?

What is veto power?

I suppose veto power varies from couple to couple. I most often hear about veto in married or long established couples opening up for the first time. Where one or both people in the coupleship/diad have veto in some form over the other partner and what they can do with another lover. Perhaps they can veto a new person at any moment, veto certain activities, or can veto an established or burgeoning relationship from continuing.

Everyone has the right to dictate how their relationships progress. I’m not the type to want veto or to grant veto to one or more of my partners. I’d prefer they come to me, ask for what they need/want and for us to find a way that doesn’t negatively impact anyone else I love. I want each of my lovers to feel valued and special, however I do not feel that any one of my loves has the right to reduce how much I value another. I’m ok with other poly people choosing to have veto options in their relationships, that’s their choice, it’s just not for me. My issue with veto is when it is used to control what is allowed in my relationship. I prefer not to get involved with a love who has a partner with veto power. However one can’t always know that such a thing exists, until it’s felt.

There are a lot of examples out there, I recall reading in a poly forum about a couple. The female half was uncomfortable, but trying to be accepting of poly. The male half and his gf out of town made plans for a few days maybe a week long visit. The female half requested after the planning was set, no sex the first night or two of the out of town visit. I don’t recall if the male half agreed or not at this point, either way this is where I don’t understand veto. The trip is planned, he’s leaving the female half pulls veto at some point after plans have been made. What is the female half thinking? What is the male half thinking? Does the out of town gf have any say in what can/will/might happen in her relationship? What kind of relationship is the out of town gf in when her partner and her don’t have full control of the direction of their own relationship.

I get that only two people in a marriage, and that a lot of poly folks aren’t ok with children outside of their primary relationship. I’m not talking about those things. I’m looking at veto more from an experience I’ve had.

My experience.

Two+ years established relationship, no titles

New relationship of my partner less than a year, bf/gf titles, talks of marriage, kids. Poly is known, other partners are known of and often meet.

New relationship tells partner no deeper intimacy than cuddles and kissing over an issue with something happening 24-36 hours after I’m meeting our mutual partner, an event I will not be present for. Partner accepts this veto of intimacy, tells me. I tend to roll with whatever is presented to me, but I’m also not ok with this. My partner and I had both expressed before hand looking forward to having couple time together after not getting such for several weeks. I end up not feeling certain that I have a relationship with my partner worth calling us lovers, it now seems more like friends then lovers.

My view of course.

I like my relationships, and my time with my lovers to progress naturally to wherever they will go. Having a third person saying here is a line in the sand you can not cross with this person, or that you can not cross on these days; that’s just not something I can accept.

I’m a human being, I have wants, desires, thoughts, feelings, and needs of my own. If my partner and I are not able to fulfill each other’s needs and wants with each other then we aren’t in the right relationship to each other.

So I have a boundary I am now working to find wording for.

This is where I’m starting:

Should a time come when my mate is restricted by another mate in the intimate things we can participate in together (dating times and location, sex or sexual things, sleep overs, dictating social media postings, PDA=public display of affection), I may reduce the over all level of intimacy, and restructure the relationship to fit something other then the type of relationship that was between us before such a restriction came about.

I can not tell you how to handle veto power yourself, I can only tell you what I might choose should veto come up. There’s a big difference in saying “should this happen, this is what may change between us” versus saying “You can not do this thing right here”


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