Boundary Violations in Polyamory

Sometimes, when in an established relationship, we get comfortable with our poly partner. Maybe sometimes, we get a little TOO comfortable, and a boundary gets violated. Even if it is ever so slightly and not even intentional, or consciously chosen to penetrate or explore, it may happen.

What do we do at this point? First and foremost, take FULL responsibility for it, after you acknowledge and apologize for it. Of course, you have to be informed that it happened, first. Hope that you have the type of relationship that is so full of truth and communication, that your partner will let you know when you transgressed their lines.

Once you know that you made a mistake, take action to heal and cure what you’ve done. Actions can be with words or with movements. It could be anything, and it’s essential for it to occur before you try to even kiss or hug your partner again, without them feeling uncomfortable. They may, or have already said to you: “do not touch me” or “we have to talk” or something to that effect, to let you know that you effed up something.

A boundary violation can be an internal-physical transgression such as touching something you were not supposed to touch between you and your partner. Or it can be an external transgression like touching someone you were not supposed to touch, outside of you and your partner. And it happens.

Whether it was conscious cheating or an unconscious accident, the sincere attempt and definite desire to not perpetuate the pattern of pain is primarily vital. Your partner has to know and feel and trust that your words and intentions to stop and take note of your behaviour, and feel your promise to change is real.

Intimacy of any kind may not happen until this happens. They may not want to even touch your skin! A boundary violation can have a variety of effects. So, take care of your steps. Watch your hands. Mind your business. Honor your agreements. And if you slip up and fuck up, make sure you face up to it.

Polyamory is challenging and complex, in that a person may get comfortable with one person’s boundaries, and mistake them for another person’s possibilities. Not even to the point of saying another lover’s name while with one woman, but the chance that an erotic choice made might break the love laws established.

And if the realization comes that both of you can no longer find pleasure inside the boundaries you have negotiated for each other to exist inside, then it’s probably time to call it a relationship and go your separate ways respectfully, without damaging each other’s boundaries on the way out!!

If boundaries of respect and dignity are appreciated during both the healing struggles of mistakes and the grand finale of separation, then reconnecting the relationship has a real possibility in the future because both of you remain relatively intact, emotionally. Maybe it can expand into exploring physical boundaries of bliss once again, possibly? Yes, but only when the bridges of beautiful possibility haven’t been burned!

Everybody has a border and a limit. Even though polyamory is open and the opportunities are endless, there comes a time when a line is drawn in the sand.

In love,
Addi Stewart

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