Are You Sure?
Accusing your partner(s) of sabotage is a serious accusation that can easily lead to a loss of trust, further damaging behavior, or a breakup. Even if something looks sabotaging, it could be a misinterpreted action. If you decide to call out what you believe is sabotage, be conscientious of time and place and your safety. sometimes sabotage is not "harmless" and could unearth possibly violent motives, as some victims of DV are well aware of. Always proceed with caution.
Why would your partner(s) sabotage your polyamorous experience?
A desire to control your relationships.
Dislike of a metamour.
Dislike of you.
To see you in a vulnerable place / to isolate you.
To make themselves look better.
Sabotage IS intentional, and it may hurt to realize it is coming from someone you trust and value. For the saboteur, sabotage may be the best option to get what they want out of a situation.
the saboteur is the person engaging in sabotage. The saboteur may not just be one of your partners. Partners who are metamours may join together to ruin your experience. Partners who are also dating each other can be saboteurs to you as well. Having more than one saboteur can be overwhelming, especially working together. If you are receiving various acts of sabotage from different people working together, it can be challenging to isolate the incidents to prove what is happening to you.
They Hold You Up
whenever you have a date or opportunity to be around others in the community, it seems like your partner has something to come up that either makes you late or prevents you from attending. Whether it be a long-winded conversation or a conveniently timed disagreement that requires your attention, if you share a vehicle, maybe they take their time returning it or don't put gas in before handing you the keys. Being held up could also look like something missing whenever you are ready to go. Your keys, phone, wallet, or other necessities are always lost at that time. If you share a space with a saboteur, some may purposely misplace things that can prevent you from leaving or leaving on time. If they are responsible for relaying the message received from your date, they may not tell you. Being late to date or having to cancel and reschedule constantly can lead to a bad reputation with a potential or current partner. Your date may not be interested in meeting again.
They Tell Lies
they may tell lies to discredit you around your partners or potential interests. Sometimes you may never find out they are doing this; you may notice relationships where the saboteur has access and start to degrade over time for no reason. These lies could be subliminal messages that slowly but surely impact how your other partners or potential partners view you. Those lies may affirm their insecurities, gaining strength without your knowledge. the lies could also be direct and expedite the destruction of new and prior connections. This method works well because sometimes the lies are so toxic that lost partners do not want to speak to you about what they heard. Even if they don't believe the lies, they may not feel comfortable being with someone who dates someone who lies about them.
They Degrade You
a great way to sabotage your polyamorous experience is to make you believe you are not good enough. Some saboteurs will utilize degradation, gaslighting, and verbal abuse to make you rethink your decisions and yourself. Your self-esteem can take a blow from a loved one and send you into a cycle of self-sabotage.
a saboteur may be excessively competitive, especially with an audience (usually a potential or shared partner you all have). They will make irrelevant things a competition and/or pick activities they can win in to compete in. if you push back on wanting to turn a simple activity into a competition, they may use that as an opportunity to degrade you in front of another person. You may then feel obligated to join in to stop their "teasing" and not be a bad sport. They also tend to be sore winners and gloat.