PolyLiving- Discussing Polyamory and the Poly Life
Brutal Realities => Ethical Scenarios => Topic started by: Administrator on June 26, 2012, 10:54:01 PM
What do you do when one of your metamours hate, greatly dislikes and/or mistreats one of your other metamours?
This is a difficult situation to be in. I think first and best is to let them work things out between themselves and avoid being put in the middle. I can't imagine any partner hating another, but I am sure it happens in some relationships. I can see how one might greatly dislike another, and that is very unfortunate. Again, I would encourage them to work things out between themselves and try to avoid being pulled apart by the two of them. Sometimes, especially if one or both, are mistreating the other/one another, I would think that is the time to step in and say "whoa, hold on there" as not stepping in, this "mistreating" is, in my opinion, abuse, which is NOT o.k. at all..
If the two cannot work it out, then I would suggest family counseling. One partner trying to mediate between the two having the problems with each other could really make the situation worse. There is the possibility of the mediator taking sides, or the other partners feeling the mediator is taking sides. I believe it is best to handle this straight forward and nip it in the bud...as I think mistreatment might lead to actual feelings of hate, which is destructive to all involved. Airing things out with a 3rd party who is not vested in the relationship can greatly help. Anger, resentment, jealousy, dislike and hate can be vented in a safe place and left in the counselor's office, rather than having it spewed in the home. Especially if there are children still living at home, regardless of their age...minors or adults.
When we were in a poly relationship, we had a "Head of Household" (HoH) relationship, so I had the final say/word in any matter if there were to be a deadlock. I know this is not the ideal for some, and may not work if even one partner chooses not to follow the guidelines agreed upon for the relationship; ie, one partner having the final say. But I could not just say, "Stop hating or disliking one another"....it just doesn't work that way. I could however say, "There will be no more mistreatment of one another" and expect that to stop and then work on ways of communicating in a positive manner.
Maybe others will disagree, but I feel "mistreatment" is a form of abuse, they are not seperate and different things. So it is extremely important to NOT let the situation fester and go unaddressed. It will only get worse. My thoughts here are just that, my thoughts...so if anyone else has some other ideas, please post, as this is a serious matter in any relationship.
May we all live in love and not tolerate hate or mistreatment/abuse of anyone.
I agree with Bud that actual mistreatment should be addressed immediately. We would not stand by and watch a partner mistreated by anybody else, so why would we stand by when the person doing the mistreatment is our own other partner?
In a situation where a person's two partners do not get along, I think it is probably best for everyone concerned if they live separately (if they are not doing so already). Living together can only add to the stress they are already experiencing, and a bit of space may give them an opportunity to get past their anger and reassess their relationship. It may be that living together worked very well in the past, but that was then and this is now: it's important to accept that relationships evolve and that what suited then will not suit now. It may well work out well again in the future, when the hurt has had time to dim, but it's best not to count on it, or set a time limit.
Once they are apart, everyone needs to consider how they will manage the relationships that remain in a way that meets everybody's needs. This is likely to be a painful process. To be successful, it will need everybody involved to be adult enough to be fair - and even generous - about what is needed to meet the needs of the other people involved, even when they are hurting and feel disinclined to be fair. Remember, this is not a competition about who can grab the most benefits from the situation. Being rigidly fair from the start is important: if time or resources are divided unfairly, the issue will keep coming up and needing to be dealt with over and over again, which can only increase the stress on each individual and on the relationships. Giving it your best effort right from the start, no matter how painful and exhausting it is to continue to negotiate, will save a lot of trouble later.