514: How do I tell my partner no?

How do I tell my partner no?

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Today’s cohost is Kevin Patterson

1:30 Announcements and host chat

Multilinking conference

3:45 Topic: how do I tell my partner no?

Eva writes in to ask how to tell her partner no to a request. Her partner Lisa wants an additional date night each week, but Eva doesn’t feel she can give that and wants to take time to settle into her nesting relationship with Denise. How does she say no to Lisa?

9:15 Feedback

Vir Modestus took issue with our advice in episode 507 How do I get control of my fears?, and even wrote up a blog post about his frustration with “you’re insecure” being used as a way to dismiss someone else’s emotional reponse.

23:15 Happy poly moment

Kevin shares a happy family poly moment

24:45 How to make this podcast better

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  1. Vir Modestus April 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm · ·

    Hi Minx!

    Thanks to you and Kevin for engaging with my post so deeply. It was great to hear you two spend as much time as you did getting into the nuance of the question.

  2. Hi,

    Great podcast and interesting discussions on the topic, the letter and the blog post. it does, however, raise an intersting though in my head …

    Rules versus boundaries … ?

    You can only see someone 1 night a week is a rule …

    I have a need to be with you 6 nights a week? Is that a boundary? Are we arguing semantics?

    I have a boundary of this relationship being the focus … is that a boundary?

    Just seems more vague and more prone to issues? Yes, perhaps it means communication comes into it but maybe it’s better to say … 1 date night a week rather than say “this relationship is the focus” and end up in the same scenario of having to communicate on a weekly basis when I feel the boundary has been over-stepped because you’re having more than 1 date a week … i.e. I feel that my boundary for me, this relationship is not the focus, has been over-stepped …?

    I do agree that the last scenario does give more freedom but also requires more work … so i can understand why a “harder boundary” (rule) might actually work out to be more effective for some people … yes? no?

    • A rule is something you impose on other people in order to control their behavior. So saying “this relationship has to be your focus” sounds like a rule to me, and a really vague one at that! Not only is it trying to regulate someone else’s behavior, but it’s also unhelpfully vague and subject to a tremendous amount of interpretation. What does that mean, “the focus”? No one else can get a weekend date? Or PIV sex? Or does that just mean that no one else gets a kiss goodnight?

      A boundary defines the limits of YOUR behavior. So a boundary might sound more like, “I am happiest when I can sleep in my own bed and wake up with you.” Note that it’s about a personal preference and primarily focused on one’s own needs rather than on placing limits on someone else’s behavior. However, you’ll notice, too, that the “waking up with you” preference does ask for a specific behavior from someone else without requiring it.

      One of my boundaries is expressed simply as “no surprises.” It covers a wealth of issues, but basically, it means that I want to be in the loop with full communication from all my partners. I don’t want to read about your having sex with someone else on your podcast or blog, and I want to be in the loop for everything from major events to changes in your weekly schedule. I know from experience that I become unhappy when I feel out of the loop, and this is the most direct way to give my partners the opportunity to support my boundaries.

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