We have heard people lie about their expectations for a poly relationship when courting/dating others, and the lies have caused many issues within the relationship because these same people never felt happy in the relationship. Why were they not happy? Because they lied to their partners about the expectations in order to meet their partners expectations to be a good match. They may have even thought they could live happily within these lies, but soon found out they could not be happy because it was never really what they wanted.
A few examples of some of these lies:
I don't know if all of the following can be considered lies, after all, sometimes you never know anything until you experience it and many of us have gone into Poly relationships without having significant experience so don't exactly know how we will feel about something. Some of these 'lies' are situations I can relate to in many ways as life changes related to growing experience.
-Women have claimed to be bi-sexual even when they were not because they loved the male of a couple when the couple were looking for a bi-sexual female
I think this is only something that could happen in real life though, I am worried at this idea of a couple seeking a woman, husband goes out one night to a Poly event and meets up with a woman, they have great chemistry and he gets to know her over the following few days so she starts to fall for him, that might give rise to a lie, but why would a couple seeking a bi woman (say, online) who state that clearly in their profile ever be contacted by a straight woman?
I have issues anyway with people dating as a couple, but even more so if someone turns up at a Poly event on their own but goes about with a couple mindset looking for the 'two of them'. It is the worst aspect of the Unicorn Hunt really and to be honest I find it hard to garner any sympathy.
-People have claimed to want to all live in the same house even though they would rather not because that is what the others wanted
I know that personally when I started this Poly journey (I think you may remember) I thought the idea of separate homes as pointless, after some experience though I definitely began to see the point. I did not lie, I experienced and learnt more about myself. This could happen and it not be a lie.
-People have claimed to want to share a bed and a room even when they did not want to because the others wanted to share a room and a bed
Ditto to the above, experience can change things, even just being plain experimental. I was certainly adamant that I was not going to share a bed with a husband and my sisterwife. I could never imagine doing something so intimate with a non partner sharing a bed. I was openly judgemental about it. Of course then I tried it and ended up having a very unexpected relationship structure that I had not really seriously considered. Was I lying at first? No, I wasn't. Would I do it again? No, never. It probably was not the best thing for me. I think we are far too quick to call things lies when it is growth and growing awareness of what is best for you.
I have had a long history of ignoring intuition and second guessing myself though so it does not surprise me that I now realise that my impulsive feelings about bed sharing was probably the right one for me, but then I take issue with the idea of not giving something a chance though so it make make decision making for me very complex.
-People have said they did not want anymore or any children even though they did because their partners did not want more or any children
-People have stated they wanted children even though they did not because the partners wanted them
These things do change also, my cousin was adamant he never wanted kids, even after he was married. Several years later he is the most doting father. I also have an ex who lost his wife after changing his mind. Was he lying to her when he married? No, he just wasn't sure what would happen in the future, but when the future came he decided against it, his wife wanted kids though and left him. He was devastated.
-People have claimed to love or even like every partner in the relationship even though they did not in order to please the others in the relationship
I am sorry but I find this really hard to imagine, even pretending to like someone is hard for me, I could never pretend to 'love' someone.
Some of those things seem to be retroactively applying behaviours due to disappointment in a failed relationship rather than truly appreciating that people's feelings change, or that a possible breakdown in communication could have led to changed feelings.
It seems very easy to say 'that person lied' because then you are casting the blame all on one person and therefore you don't have to examine one's own destructive behaviours that could have contributed to a bad outcome of that particular relationship. Or perhaps assume they lied because you cannot imagine how someone's feeling have changed when yours have not. This can be especially the case in Poly because if you have one person who experienced the same behaviours, but have not had the same adverse reaction, it can be taken as validation of said behaviour, but you have to always keep in mind that individuals react to things differently, what may sound reasonable to one person, might seem like terrible behaviour to another.
-People have stated they wanted poly when in reality they really wanted monogamy with one person with the poly relationship
This is something that is documented in the Poly community, I am not too sure how common the 'Cowgirl/boy' phenomenon actually is but I know that experienced Poly people put in certain dating practises to avoid this, for example they might only date other experienced Poly people or only date those who have other partners. Of course those who seek partners who specifically
do not have other partners (Unicorn Hunters/Polygamist) or chat up monogamous people are far more likely to fall into a cow trap than more open forms of Polyamory.
-People have said that they agreed with their partner's beliefs even though they did not
-People have told their partners that they agreed with their ideas on parent even though they did not in order to maintain the relationship
To be honest these could just as easily happen within monogamous relationships, my ex husband lied all the way through our courtship to 'get' me, my best friend experienced it too....and you know, books like 'The Rules' encourage women to pretend to have interests that they do not have to 'snag' a male. This is not Poly deceit, this is relationship deceit, borne out of desperation for the relationship. Of course in these cases the truth will always out, because you can only pretend to be someone you are not for a set period of time.
It is annoying, it is dysfunctional but it isn't a specific Poly issue.