is it ok to judge people on their past?

polypenguin

New member
so here's the scoop: the girlfreind has a problem with a couple i'm interested in. She feels they aren't trustworthy because of something which happened in the past. But also because she knows* she heard the male (mr D.) saying the female in the relationship (we'll call her z) should sleep with me so she (my gf) wil leave.

in other words, Mr. D told Z she should fuck me until my girlie leaves, this what she over heard.

now, earlier I put a * behind the word know in her over hearing. She "knows" what she heard. And I don't deny she did. But, I feel that there is at least a possibility that there was she perhaps did not hear the entire sentence, and it was perhaps taken out of context.

I have since talked/hung out with the couple, though I have not confronted them on it as i've asked her to do that. And they showed no signs of being that sexually aggressive by any means. Everything they've said to me has been very much respectful towards her.

I guess what i'm asking is what could I/we do?
 

Icewraithonyx

New member
I would think people's past actions have at least some bearing on my opinion of them.

Based on the few posts I've read on the situation (aka keyhole view filled in from my own experiences), it seems like you're leaning more towards their "side" of the story. Yes, there's at least a possibility that it was a misunderstanding. But maybe not.

Perhaps you, GF, Mr. D and Z should ALL get together and discuss this. That would be my suggestion.
 

polypenguin

New member
i agree. i have been asking my gf to talk to them (with or without me). she promised she would, but still hasn't done it. i am trying to be objective about this situation, but it's hard to believe either side completely.

After hanging out with them this weekend, i'm at a loss, because Z told me straight up i need to slow "opening up" our relationship, way down. And that i need to go at the gf's pace. I agree, and i know i need to slow down. i think that really negates the idea that she has about them.

i guess i'm frustrated for two reasons: i need to slow down, and i don't know how without it being at my expense. and i feel like she tries to come up with any excuse why i can't be with anyone.
 

polypenguin

New member
i don't think that is quite fair. we have been friends with the couple for more than a year. secondly, i need not align with anyone, we must align together, as well as agree and disagree together.

i do not deny my feelings about the couple, but that also means that i am very hesitant on doing anything sexual with them. I always ask my girlfriend first (given the answer has always been no, and i always comply with her wishes), and they have always asked me if i want to, and if my gf is OK with it.

For example: two nights ago, i had the opportunity to have a sum of six with them and a few other close friends. Mr. D asked me if i wanted to, and if my lovely gf was ok with it. i called her (as she was somewhere else) she said no, and i did nothing sexual with them.

Unfortunately, my honesty and openness doesn't seems to matter to her. I feel like the only thing which matters is that i even considered the sexual activity at all. i feel as though rewards are not being granted, nor is honesty being rewarded. only negative consequences, honest and open or not.
 

nycindie

Active member
It sounds like your approach has been to say, "I am poly. I want to have poly relationships," and when an opportunity comes along to have sex with someone else, you then say to your girlfriend, Genebean, "You know I am poly now. So is it okay if I go and fuck these people?" and when she says "no," you get upset about it and feel like she's not making any effort. But what effort have you made to make sure your relationship with her is healthy and happy? It sounds like you really want to swing or be open, not poly, because you're very focused on sex, which is not the sole focus of polyamory.

If you truly want to live polyamorously, there is a whole lot of work to do between first stating that you are poly and fucking other people. And that work starts on yourself and your primary relationship, NOT on figuring out how to get permission from her to stick your dick into new holes. There has to be a strong, mutually supportive, healthy, and loving foundation, and that just doesn't seem to be there with the way you are going about it. Genebean has shared here just how upsetting this is for her, how insecure she is, what she sees as your impatience, and how much she feels like you just want what you want and get pissy about not getting it.

So it would probably be better for you two to look at your present relationship and see where it is and isn't working BEFORE you add more people into your life, whether as only sexual partners or for loving relationships. Perhaps, it could even be time for your relationship with Genebean to end. But you need to work on all that FIRST. For some couples, it can take a few YEARS of soul-searching, honest sharing, and very hard self-work for each of you before the relationship can be opened up to others. If you can't or don't want to put that kind of investment into building a strong, healthy relationship with someone you claim to love and cherish, BEFORE taking on other relationships and sexual partners, then perhaps either poly is not for you or your relationship with Genebean is over.
 
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km34

New member
My answer to your title question is: it depends on the circumstances. Judging this couple based on a statement she heard in the RECENT past is completely understandable. Even if the statement was not like them at all, it was still said. So at some point they were disrespectful to her, when they thought she wouldn't know. I wouldn't want to have anything at all to do with them if I were her. That includes being friends, metamours, or anything. Now, if she had heard secondhand stories of them saying or doing something like suggesting one of them fuck someone else to get rid of that someone else's significant other for the time being, I wouldn't say that it's okay to base a judgement on those actions.

Basically unverifiable past = not fair. Verifiable and personal = fair.

Now, I also agree with nycindie that your focus really seems to be on sex, and maybe you should reevaluate what you're really looking for and possibly adjust to a more swinger mindset vs poly.
 

AnnabelMore

New member
"For example: two nights ago, i had the opportunity to have a sum of six with them and a few other close friends. Mr. D asked me if i wanted to, and if my lovelygf was ok with it. i called her (asshewas somewhere else) she said no, and i did nothing sexual with them.

Unfortunately, my honesty and openness doesn't seems to matter to her. I feel like the only thing which matters is that i even considered the sexual activity at all. i feel as though rewards are not being granted, nor is honesty being rewarded. only negative consequences, honest and open or not."

What do you consider a reward in this circumstance, and what do you consider a negative consequence? If the answer is that the reward you're seeking is a "yes" from her, that's just not fair. She may owe you respect and trust for your honesty, but you have to in turn respect her honesty if she says "No, I'm not ready for that" and let her know that it's ok to say "no". If a "no" to you is a negative consequence, then you're misunderstanding what mutual honesty and openness means. Honesty is not a tool to get your way, it's the basis for an authentic relationship.

On the other hand, if you feel like your honesty is met by distrust and withdrawal from her, that's a real problem. If so, you can ask her why she reacts that way, and if there's anything you can do to set her more at ease. For instance, if she feels like her "no" is met with anger by you, whether that's how you actually feel or not, maybe you can figure out what actions or words of yours might be making her feel that way so that you can change them and build better feelings between you two.

As for your original question, well... what do we have to judge people on if not their pasts? Are we supposed to ignore any potential warning signs and just wait for things to blow up in our faces? I'm not saying you shouldn't be friends with someone who has a questionable past, but letting someone new into your intimate life can be a scary thing in the best of circumstances, and I think it's ok to be extra discriminating when sex and maybe even love are on the table. Who you get involved with has a huge effect on you.

And why should they get the benefit of the doubt if she's sure she overheard something so disrespectful? If they really are shady people then of course they're going to show a different face when they know that you and/or she are listening versus when they think it's just them. Confronting them about it wouldn't necessarily prove anything, after all they could just lie.

There are other couples out there. Even if there were no questionable past and no overheard comment and it was JUST that she got a super bad vibe from them it would still probably be best to walk away. When it comes to sex and love, you want to be involved with people you both really trust!
 
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Quite frankly, just based on what she's heard the male of the couple say, Genebean is not safe with that guy.

No man who expects sex or feels entitled to sex, especially with a very new friend/acquaintence who is known to be new and somewhat uncomfortable in a poly or swinging situation, should be considered safe to be around.

Do you sincerely want to date people that are unsafe toward your girlfriend?

Now, at first, though I would have been comfortable with giving the female of the couple the benefit of the doubt (even though I personally would consider her off the table just due to her relationship with the unsafe male), after now learning that the female has a past history of lying and cheating.... Think about this critically for a moment. The female has a history of lying. The male has encouraged her to "fuck the shit" out of you, specifically to make Genebean leave. You really want to be involved with folks like this?
 

polypenguin

New member
well, I see all of your points. I know I probably shouldn't give them the time of day. I talked to them both this weekend, and Z told me I need to slow way down with my girlie, which is sort of surprising.

I understand it's a sketchy situation, but I believe in giving people second chances. (please answer honestly, as this is a real question) is giving them a second chance wrong? Is being just friends with them ok? Is just sex ok? Please, tell me what you think honest and true.

I know there are other poly couples out there somewhere, I guess I'm just having issues waiting. But we've come to a compromise that I think I can deal with. I really apreciate your comments, though they are difficult to hear. It seems everyone is pretty much unanimous in what they think.
 

AnnabelMore

New member
Well, you've never told us what that "something which happened in the past" is. I don't see how we can say whether or not it's a good idea to look past it if we don't know what it is.
 

km34

New member
Well, you've never told us what that "something which happened in the past" is. I don't see how we can say whether or not it's a good idea to look past it if we don't know what it is.

Genebean has mentioned a few things that would be issues for me if this was a couple in my (or my partner's) life:

1. The man of the couple made a comment about getting the woman to fuck polypenguin so that Genebean would leave. This occurred AFTER she had told the guy that she was not ready for polypenguin to have a girlfriend and while she was in the very next room and could hear him talking.

2. The woman of the couple slept with another chick's husband - i.e. cheated or helped him cheat, depending on your perspective - and this other woman was supposedly her (best) friend.

3. (and this one is not mentioned anywhere, it is just my personal thing) In general, this couple doesn't seem very respectful of boundaries that they know exist. I don't know how long you two (polypenguin and Genebean) have known this couple, but in the span of the last month or so that you've been posting, I've read multiple instances of them propositioning one or both of you with sex. If you are consistently saying "no, we're not ready" or "no, Genebean doesn't approve" or whatever, WHY DO THEY KEEP BRINGING IT UP? You need to set some serious boundaries with these people if you want them in your life at all or they are going to keep pushing you to have sex with them which is going to keep upsetting Genebean (rightly so, if you ask me) which is going to keep causing tension in your primary relationship which is going to keep slowing down the progress towards a more fully opened relationship (which you're already complaining about being slow) which is going to make you more and more frustrated which is going to cause you to be even more frustrated, etc. etc. This is NOT a good path to go down.


Anyway, back on point...

I don't think giving second chances is wrong. I think it is possible to salvage a friendship here IF this couple works on their issues and you work on setting boundaries. I would NOT ask Genebean to even be in their presence. Ever. They have made statements that make her feel unsafe (once again, rightly so in my book) so there is no reason for her to ever have a relationship on any level with them. I think you need to forget having sex with them, because they have very warped views of it. He should not EVER believe he is entitled to sex or expect it from anyone - this is an issue I would consider necessary for him to work on in order to remain my friend. She should examine why she thinks it's okay to proposition her friends' SOs all the time and work on that major issue - this happening first with this instance in the past and now with you. Repeatedly. Who knows if this has happened more and you/we just don't know. No, I do NOT think "just sex" with them is okay.

I'm still confused about your focus on sex, by the way...
 

AnnabelMore

New member
It might be best to reframe this. No one can say for sure whether or not it's right for you to give them a second chance. Clearly, you think you should and if you were single that would be the end of the discussion because in the end it's a subjective question. We can't really know whether they've changed their ways, maybe they have.

But your actions affect more than you, so I think the REAL question is -- is it right for you to get involved with them even though your gf has valid concerns about them? I think that, if you really care about her, the answer is no, it's not right. It would be one thing if her concerns about them were baseless and she was just being paranoid, but that's just not the case. It's very, very reasonable to not want your bf to be involved with a cheater and with someone who's disrespected and frightened you.

So, instead of asking yourself if they deserve a second chance, ask yourself if your gf deserves someone who's willing to respect her legitimate feelings.
 
Do people deserve second chances?

Depends, I say.

On what? Well, that's up to you....

But for me.... There are plenty of things that will remove someone permanently from my list of friends, and my list of close friends, sex partners, and lovers is progressively more strict.

If a lover of mine commits a rape, do they deserve a second chance with me? Would I have sex with them again? Consider them as a close friend? A "regular" friend?

If a lover of mine commits a murder? Threatens me or a family member? Assaults or exploits a child? Peruses child pornography?

Those would strike people from my life permanently. No second chances. I think most rational people would agree.

So, what about "lesser" offenses? What if I overhear someone talking when they think that I'm asleep, and say something disparaging or exploitative about me (like, "Oh, V.A. is such a tease, I can't believe V.A. is withholding sex when obviously V.A. wants it and owes it to me"). Would that person deserve a second chance with me? Hell no. If they say to their significant other "Oh you should totally fuck the shit out of V.A.'s lover so V.A. leaves"? No second chance from me, nope. If they cheat on their best friend with their best friend's husband? Umm, no.

See, if someone is a *threat* to me or someone I love, I don't want them in my life. Ever.

As far as "just sex" goes, it's never "just sex", it's a bond of trust. By having sex with someone, you're trusting them to be honest and safe with you. You're trusting them not to pass you a disease without informing you that they have it. You're trusting them to use suitable birth control so that you don't reproduce unexpectedly. Especially as a man, you're trusting any woman you sleep with to act in a manner according to your mutually agreed-upon decision of what to do in the case of an unexpected pregnancy - and if she chooses to keep and raise an unexpected child when you don't want to, that's her right and prerogative. So you REALLY have to trust things like birth control, or you're stuck with the MOST major involvement possible to have in life, that of raising and rearing another human being. So, it's never "just sex". It's an extraordinary exercise in trust.

That said, I have sex with friends. I have "just sex" with "just friends". But NEVER, not EVER, with someone I don't trust completely. If the person gives me any indication that they do not deserve my trust, or, worse, if they actively have a *history* of damaged or misused trust, then, no, I don't have sex with them. I never place my health and well-being and future with someone I actively know is not worthy of my trust.

My point in all of this?

Polypenguin, you have other options. There ARE other fish in the proverbial sea. ESPECIALLY if what you want is "just sex", there are tons of people out there who are actually worthy of trust. Why settle for someone who you already know doesn't deserve your trust? Why not hop into some poly (or open/swinging, if that's more what you're after) discussion groups in the nearest major metropolitan area? Why not actively look for more people that are LIKE you, and also worthy of your trust?

Once you find more people that you CAN and DO trust, you'll look back at the people in your past that were not worthy of trust with a different perspective. Taking off the rose colored glasses is not easy, and sucks for a while, but OH MY GOD, is it ever rewarding. Take it from me.... I've been there, done that. Now, I look back, and I wonder why I wasted time on so-and-so, when I deserved SO much better, and I thank my lucky stars that I opened my eyes and found people who really DESERVE my time and love.
 

Arrowbound

New member
well, I see all of your points. I know I probably shouldn't give them the time of day. I talked to them both this weekend, and Z told me I need to slow way down with my girlie, which is sort of surprising.

I understand it's a sketchy situation, but I believe in giving people second chances. (please answer honestly, as this is a real question) is giving them a second chance wrong? Is being just friends with them ok? Is just sex ok? Please, tell me what you think honest and true.

I know there are other poly couples out there somewhere, I guess I'm just having issues waiting. But we've come to a compromise that I think I can deal with. I really apreciate your comments, though they are difficult to hear. It seems everyone is pretty much unanimous in what they think.

I just want to understand: WHY them in particular? Do you HAVE to engage sexually with these people?

I'm glad you came to the forum with the issue because I don't get a good vibe about any of this from genebean, and her feeling safe should be of utmost importance to you, above and beyond the involvement you see with this couple.

For me they have presented a few red flags, bright and glaring, and I'm not sure if you're purposely overlooking them in pursuit of what you want, or if they just seem so insignificant that to you they're not really red flags.

:confused:
 

Jade

New member
It sounds to me like Mr. D. thinks he exerts a LOT of influence over you. The words and manipulative actions he's used don't speak well of his boundaries or of his perception of yours. They also reflect zero respect of your girlfriend. He sounds, to me, like he's playing some alpha male game and making you a beta male in his pack. That's fine in certain social situations, but when it comes to your life, your goals, your decisions about who's important to you, You need to be alpha male.

I'd be interested in hearing what compromise you've come up with.
 

polypenguin

New member
these are all difficult things to hear, but I know they are true. I guess my desires are clouding my judgement. Thank you all.

I guess I always try to only see the "good" in people, and never the bad. Wether I have intentions with them or not. Many people say I let others take advantage of me, but I guess I believe in turning my cheek.

is it wrong to see only the good in people?
 

nycindie

Active member
You don't need to ask others what is right and wrong all the time, because then you put other people in a position of authority to tell you what's right and what's wrong. You know the truth, so just open your eyes to see it. Yes, your judgments have been clouded, so much so that you have not seen just how deeply you have hurt your girlfriend. Start being your own authority figure and act with integrity and good intentions. Don't let yourself be tossed about by people who want to use you.

Instead of asking, "Is it so wrong that I want to give people a second chance? Is it wrong to want to see the good in people?" I would say you should ask yourself, "Do my actions bring me satisfaction and also support and nurture the ones I love and care about?"

Look at what kind of mess people leave behind when they act to only satisfy their urges without regard for the impact they have on others. Do you want to do things that leave the loved ones in your life, and specifically Genebean, feeling damaged, broken, upset, betrayed, and wondering why she ever loved such an asshole? Or do you want her and anyone else who you care deeply about to feel like they have a true friend and ally, someone who acts with integrity and caring, and to know they can count on you when they need your understanding and compassion?

The best thing you can do for this couple that you've been so focused on is to turn them down and not have anything to do with them, because hopefully (in some small way) that will teach them something about how they treat people. They need to get the message loud and clear that you're not a doormat who tolerates shitty treatment and that you stand by and value your girlfriend. Your love for her should override anything they are tempting you with.
 
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StarTeddy

New member
these are all difficult things to hear, but I know they are true. I guess my desires are clouding my judgement. Thank you all.

I guess I always try to only see the "good" in people, and never the bad. Wether I have intentions with them or not. Many people say I let others take advantage of me, but I guess I believe in turning my cheek.

is it wrong to see only the good in people?

I wouldn't say it's wrong, but it's certainly naive. Ignoring the bad parts of people is dangerous and can land you in worlds of hurt. There's being optimistic about someone, and then there's willingly putting your personal safety in jeopardy because the other person "deserves a chance". It can only go so far before it's practically a type of masochism.

EDIT: Not to mention how much your carelessness would also affect the people close to you.
 

opalescent

Active member
There is nothing wrong with assuming the best of people. I try to do that myself and I find that assuming the best saves me a lot of psychic energy.

However I have really good bs detectors. If there is a whiff, a hint of maliciousness, of drama for drama's sake, or just crazy-making tendencies, I get skeptical. I rarely give second chances at this point because something is not right. I may not know what exactly but I trust my instincts. They have rarely failed me in seeing and getting myself out of potentially bad situations with scary people.

This couple has done more than give you a hint of maliciousness or drama seeking. They've waved the red flag under your nose for some time. Use this experience to develop your own bs detector. It will serve you well.

Also I applaud your willingness to talk and listen here. That takes guts. Good on you. I was skeptical you would be able to do that. I like being wrong sometimes!
 
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