Guidelines & Boundaries vs. Rules: Merged Threads, General Discussion


Active member
OH Yes!! These ramifications definitely have to be worked out with any live-in. Kids, grandkids, roommates, friends, lovers. Doesn't matter.

But- i have noticed that sometimes non-live in metamours fail to consider that just as they have detail specs for their home, we have them for ours And no ONE of us can change them.
Of course these ate in our home things. So my towels are mine doesnt translate to Maca cant go to their place to shower and use their towels. Lol. Why do i care? Its about my safety in my sanctuary. Not about him and what he does with his time outside of that sanctuary.
*yes we each call it our own sanctuary and we uphold the rules and agreements that make it a sanctuary for each of us. But I am speaking only for myself. ;)


Well-known member
Why do i care? Its about my safety in my sanctuary. Not about him and what he does with his time outside of that sanctuary.
*yes we each call it our own sanctuary and we uphold the rules and agreements that make it a sanctuary for each of us. But I am speaking only for myself. ;)

I can't imagine how that would work, but I'm glad to hear that at least your rules apply only to your home (sanctuary) and not to how your "lovers" behave in other peoples homes.


Active member
LOTS of imagination Marcus! :)
It helps that we have a large room, so we all have our own personal space-including the kids.
Even with the kids-bedrooms are personal space and everyone else knocks before entering. The kids aren't required to allow guests in their rooms either.

So-it works less awkwardly than it sounds-we just don't take guests into bedrooms that belong to someone else. The only 'complication' is that Maca and I choose to make one room 'ours' in use, so noone else is allowed in. But-he has another room to use as personal space if he has a guest and of course, if I want to be with my bf, I just go to his room. ;)


New member

For us there are very few deal breakers.
Breaking the safe, sane and consensual code.

-unprotected sex (having fluid exchange with untested or known promiscuous persons who are not willing or able to produce clean test results)

- sex with someone who is compromised emotionally or can not consent especially kids, animals, dead people, mentally compromised or vegetative or coma state people (the deal breaker)

-intentional omission or fabrication of pertinent information.

-cheating on someone even if I know or the guys know the other spouse must also know and consent

-addicts and anyone who does hard drugs, (coke, crack, heroine, lsd, x, meth, or anything built in a lab, chronic irresponsible use of weed, alcohol, or shrooms). Moderate Responsible use of weed, alcohol or shrooms are ok.

-non consensual violence or abusiveness


New member
How do we make rules?

I've been trying to read up on making rules, but have had a complete blank in where to begin.

I'm looking to write rules (with my husband) for ourselves as a couple as well as rules regarding a secondary partner if/when both or one of us has one or more.

Can anyone just let me know what kinds if rules you have and how they've worked for you?



New member
For my husband and I, the rules have grown with our relationships

At the beginning, our rules were:
-One night stands only
-Person must respect that we are married
-No overnights
-Kiss and Tell

After 5 years, our relationship has matured and so has our rules:
-person must respect that we are married
-no more than three nights a week with another partner (This one may change)
-communicate during long dates
- no kiss and tell


Active member
You may also want to do a search (Advanced search feature or Tag search) for the word "boundary" and/or "boundaries." Many polyfolk prefer to agree on boundaries which can be more flexible or personal to oneself, rather than having rules to follow "or else." So there are lots of juicy discussions here, which center on the concept of establishing boundaries, that may give you good ideas.

Also, I do think that is more reasonable to agree to rules or boundaries for yourself and your husband, and let your additional partners know what those rules are so they can choose whether or not they can live with them. But it is a bit harder to make rules for other people who are not part of your dyad. Also remember that most people will have their own rules or boundaries - so be prepared to ask yourself whether you can abide by theirs, not just that they have to abide by yours.

Good luck!


New member
Also, I do think that is more reasonable to agree to rules or boundaries for yourself and your husband, and let your additional partners know what those rules are so they can choose whether or not they can live with them. But it is a bit harder to make rules for other people who are not part of your dyad. Also remember that most people will have their own rules or boundaries - so be prepared to ask yourself whether you can abide by theirs, not just that they have to abide by yours.

Good luck!

Thank you! Boundaries is more of a word that I was looking for! I also agree with you very much. My husband and I are new to this (obviously, lol) and I think using boundaries instead of rules suits us much better.


New member

Your responses to me feel very one-sided. I entered this relationship monogamously and she knew she wanted an open-relationship but didn't tell me. I only found out because she cheated on me with someone. That to me is unacceptable. However, I am willing to try this to make her happy, but also not be hurt in the process and still be respectful.

As for some of your other responses you are basically describing a different kind of relationship than we/I want. Im not looking for a relationship where Im just there to give her a place to live while she runs off screwing everyone or we have free roam.

From your responses I take it as though you are the type of person that simply wants to do whatever you want without restriction and consequence. She indicates she wants to have a primary relationship with me. Well a primary relationship whether it be monogamous or open should have boundaries.

I'm going through a similar situation only mine is worst because it is long distance. We started a monogamous relationship for seven months until he had to move to the states (we both lived in Puerto Rico, I still do) that's when everything got out in the open including the fact that we are in an open relationship which I was kind of forced to be in because he told me after he was with his so called "friend with benefits" which I considered cheating. i agree with you and I'm having the hardest time accepting this. Ultimately I think I do because I love him and haven"t been with anyone else, which as a monogamous find very hard to do if I'm in a relationship. Any advice is more than welcomed!


New member
I hope I'm not repeating anything anyone else said!

The way to ask someone to get tested for HIV or STD is to say during a regular conversation, O by the way, when is the last time you were tested? How did it work out? Have you slept with onyone since then? Sure, people LIE But I would not sleep with someone, or allow my husband to sleep with someone, who could not have this conversation. If anyone is too nervous or immature to talk openly about their status- It's a huge red flag.

I don't know how different my relationship is: I would say our only rule is being honest. We know everything. I complain/talk about my lovers to my husband and vice versa. But I would never pick or veto someone he could date... I feel like it isn't my business (although there are some exceptions as described above). We have separate bedrooms. We are both allowed to have people over when the other (and our child) isn't home. I encourage my husband to invite his girlfriend to spend the night when I'm out of town, and if our son is out of town, he'll stay with her. A primary element is our son as he doesn't know (exactly and we have to nogiatoe child care and chores). My husband has never met my current love and may never. My husband gf and I are not close but on good terms (she has dinner here every few weeks).
The only other rules we have is no sex parities for my husband. Because two of my friends were sex addicts, its too much for me to berar, although he does do s/mplay parties.

Other than that, it's nice, Kind of like best of bother worlds, we have our own space and activities and lovers, but we work domestically well together and our good friends. I do miss having an intense romantic partner, but that might not be in the cards for me. I also don't consider myself poly because I primarily want freedom!! Not two husbands!


New member
Although W and I are still negotiating some of our rules, here is pretty much what we have so far:

1. We (meaning myself and the kids) always come first. Although this is a very vague statement, so far what we've meant it is we will always have more face time with her than her guy does, we'll always be considered first in case of scheduling conflicts, and the like.
2. No mixing of finances. This means no paying bills, buying expensive gifts, etc. for her guy.
3. No stays over 24 hours (although we're still negotiating this part).
4. Kids are not exposed to our lifestyle. They are not to know he is anything other than a good friend. No romantic gestures towards him while they're around, no having him over to our home while they're there and I'm not, and no referring to him as a boyfriend, lover, father-figure, etc.
5. We only expose our lifestyle to those people that we've all three agreed upon.
6. Any three of us are welcome to persue other relationships without getting consent of the others.


New member

I've read a couple of threads now regarding rules. I understand, as I move through my relationship that rules become less important BUT, there is an understanding of a few things that he and I have that we will maintain.

I'm wondering what guidelines, rules, understandings you have or choose not to have and why between you and your partners.



The only rule i am aware of is that my spouse told their other partner that there is not "allowed" any suggestion that Spouse and i break up. Spouse's other partner is "not allowed" to say, for example, "why not get a divorce and be with me only?" or else Spouse will... I don't know, get mad? Break up with Other Partner? Do a three strikes and you're out? I do not know what. What i DO know is that is SPOUSE's "rule"; i did not tell him or her to say that to their other partner.

We also had a "rule" that we would not allow drama from our other relationships to get into our relationship, but see the thing is... That goes all ways. That isn't really a "rule", it also applies to me and i have been the one most "guilty" of bringing drama into THEIR relationship. I also have a partner to whom i am not married and do not live with, whom i have known for twice as long as my Spouse, and we happen to agree that bullshit and drama also has no place in our relationship.

I am sure i sound hostile and judgmental, but it is a FACT that if you have a grip on yourself and know the difference between fantasy and reality, you don't need "rules" for other people. Having your own rules and codes of conduct for yourself is fine. But i believe that if you need rules in order to control what someone else does, you are completely off your game.

Word-up, yo.

Rules aren't needed so long as all parties involved are capable of discerning right from wrong, and remember to treat people you care for as if you honestly love or care for them. When applied to polyamory, that would include respect for all their partners.

Because not everyone will have the exact same ideas or needs in regards to what would constitute loving behavior or respectful behavior, it is important to at least talk with everyone involved (or somehow communicate) the things that entail loving or respectful behavior.

Some sort of acknowledgement that you agree with or can at least abide by others definitions of love and respect is generally good, because if it is not understood that things are agreed upon it is only going to mean that eventually someone is not going to be happy with another's behavior. Many times people become stressed about confronting each other about specific issues. Talking about this stuff isn't always pleasant, so if you are going to go through the hard work, you might as well make it worth it by discussing the specific behaviors that hopefully do not need to made made into rules because people are intelligent enough to not do or act in ways that are not considered acceptable behavior by others parties you are directly or indirectly involved with.

Hopefully everyone understands the most basic criteria for love and respect, as sometimes things are left unsaid for manipulative reasons. For instance, most people would consider physically stalking a partners's lover or friends, or hacking into their computer and watching or listening to them through their onboard camera/microphone without first getting their consent as not only disrespectful , but downright abusive.

so depending on the type of people involved with you or your partner, you might want to talk about what invasion of privacy means to you. You'd be amazed how some people might not think gripping someone's house, or hacking into computers and smartphones is just part of a healthy relationship.

ETA- the term I used "gripping" I mean in a completely differently way then boring guy's use of "grip" as I mean things like breaking and entering a house and planting microphones so that one could always hear or see what was going on.

It's fine and dandy to have a security system on your own house, in fact that may even alert to you to when the breaking and entering, but without consent I say it's wrong to "grip" a persons house or vehicle, esp without their consent, extra esp when it means breaking into a person's house, extra extra esp if they are a survivor of previous abuse. I don't want to even begin to explain the level fucked upness that things get into if a person does all of that, and then attempts to post in public, in subtle ways about a person's life where the details are most private in nature.
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Official Greeter
Staff member
The most notable rule within my poly household is that any new romantic relationships will be disclosed to the others, and in particular I and the female hinge of our V agree that if I might get involved with someone new, I'll keep said hinge thoroughly in the loop. This rule doesn't bother me, so I don't fuss over whatever her reasons may be for needing this rule to be in place.
if someone has to fuss over rules

or someone is trying to impose rules that another doesn't agree with, it pretty much spells doom.

With some people it is necessary to be very explicit and clear with them exactly what is and is not breaking the rule. Many people have a tendency to be dishonest with themselves and if you find you have to explicitly spell out the finer details of your household's rule, you'd likely have trouble with such a person eventually. Some people may genuinely not understand disclosure and keeping people informed. But I bet it wouldn't be hard for any of you to discern whether or not the person who broke your rule did so innocently.

In fact that may be an good description of when rules may be necessary for successful relationships:

When problems arise within a household or a relationship, and the offender's behavior is not obvious as to whether or not the violation was done in innocence. When someone does another person wrong, whether they meant to or not is fairly important.

If their are discrepancies about whether or not the action was wrong, then there are issues that go beyond simple formation of rules, and it is likely that those who cannot agree on whether actions are right or wrong, simply do not have compatible ways which set things in order of importance in their lives.

Hierarchy and Consent are often the underlying root to anything and everything that ever appears problematic in this simple, yet complicate life


Well-known member
Pretty much the only rule I have set in stone which my partners must abide by is that my partners don't try to control me with their rules.

If they want to set rules of conduct for themselves that is their business but I'm an adult, I can decide for myself what is appropriate behavior.