Cheating vs. Polyamory: Merged Threads, General Discussion

dearprudence

New member
My most important criteria for anyone I'm involved with is for them to be open with any and all significant others. The degree of openness is between them, of course, but I will not get involved with anyone who is cheating on a partner. I accept that everyone manages their relationships as they see fit. Judging people is not what I want to do, and I know everyone makes their own decisions for their own reasons. But I will not participate if someone decides to cheat.

I choose not to condone or participate in cheating because I've been hurt by it, and I can remember that pain very clearly. I believe everyone in a relationship is entitled to a choice to be there. Cheating to me is denying your partner his/her choice so that you can hold onto a relationship on your terms, not mutual terms. I also think that living an honest and authentic life is the most amazing and fulfilling way to live, with all of its pain, difficulty and challenges included. Then there is the other aspect of not inviting drama into my life. Enough of that enters the picture anyway. There are a thousand other reasons as well.

My husband (C) shares this value, but perhaps not as strongly as I do. He believes in accepting people's flaws, and letting people learn things through their own experiences and on their own terms. But he has just finished Opening Up, and I think that has offered a new perspective for him. I want him to have the same boundaries and values as I do, but I can only control my own, and tell him why I hold true to the things I do.

So, his girlfriend (M) of five months is seeing someone pretty seriously, and he does not know about her other relationship with a married man. C & M have a couple of things they are trying to work through at this early stage. She has some jealousy and possessiveness issues, and also really wants to get married. So C has added to their conversation the fact that she needs to tell her boyfriend what's going on, that he deserves to consent to this.

I am not going to tell C what to do, because we don't have that kind of veto power. Well, I should say nothing has happened thus far for us to implement veto power. What I want to say to him is that I'm not comfortable with this for my own reasons - not because I want to tell someone what to do, but because I think it's shitty, and not something I want to be around, even once removed. C & M have to work through their own relationship, but in the meantime, I'm not too cool with M coming over to our house, hanging out with her, and her spending the night in the guest room with my husband. I feel like that is the only boundary I can put up to keep this at a distance. I don't want to tell them what to do... well, I guess I do want that, but I can't demand that. To keep me comfortable and sane, I need distance. I won't be rude to her or confront her. I just want to state my feelings, protect myself and stand up for what I think is important to me.

M lives with her parents, so our house or a hotel are really the only places they can go for intimacy. So then I wonder if this is my way to try to control the situation by limiting the time they may spend together.

I may be jumping the gun because C has only started talking to her about this as of yesterday. But I'd like to hear any advice or objective perspectives that can be offered. I can get irked or angry about things my husband does or doesn't do, but ultimately I can only control my own behavior. What can I put in place to do that?
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Huh, that sounds sticky.

I tend to be more like your husband because (I think) of all the idiotic mistakes I've made that people have allowed me to learn from. Being allowed to learn from one's mistakes can allow you to become SO MUCH MORE then you ever were. On the other hand-so many people don't choose to learn from their mistakes when given that opportunity-and instead they just continue the destructive behavior....

I think due to the sensitivity to the subject for you that it is reasonable for you to not be around M. But in deference to respecting THEIR right to run their relationship on their terms maybe you need to compromise to not saying that they can't be together at the house, but that it needs to be coordinated for you to not be around until they come to a conclusion??
I don't know HOW you would make that work-it's just the thought that popped into my head.

:confused:
 

dearprudence

New member
Thank you for the advice. It is sticky, and I do very much want to leave the stickiness in their hands for them to deal with. I thought I could ask that she just not stay over for now. She's welcome here, but the idea of hanging out, her staying over, and then having breakfast the next day is a little much for me given how I feel. But again, I don't want this construed as me trying to control their time together. I just think she needs to take care of some things right now. And if she decides to not tell her boyfriend, then C can decide if that's okay with him. I don't want to be uncomfortable in my own home feeling like I'm contributing to something that I don't like.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
And if she decides to not tell her boyfriend, then C can decide if that's okay with him. I don't want to be uncomfortable in my own home feeling like I'm contributing to something that I don't like.

Let's call it like it is..C is acting disrespectful and dishonest towards this girls boyfriend. If he is really concerned and not thinking primarily about his own needs, he'll break it off until she acts like an adult and is upfront with her boyfriend. There is no excuse for this other than selfishness. You have every right to not want them in your home!

If this woman can do this to her boyfriend does your husband not think she might be doing it to him as well? She's having an affair, he's involved in an affair and both of them are hurting her boyfriend whether they want to admit it or not. Time to grow up for both of them.
 

dearprudence

New member
I totally agree, and this is exactly my gut feeling. But I am trying to focus on my boundaries. If my husband continues to do something that I don't agree with, what do I put in place for myself so that I am not angry and judgmental? How do I remove myself? We do talk about it, and he gets why I feel this way. I don't want to be mad at him if he does things I don't like or things I wouldn't choose to do. He's told her this is important for her to do, both for that relationship and their own. Whether he holds her accountable is the question.
 

violet

New member
Your entire situation hits VERY close to home. HMA and I have run into something similar with our "unicorn", Anne. She is currently in a long-distance relationship with a friend-turned-lover, while dating us. She has made it sound sort of like she was ready to break it off, etc, etc. But she's dragging her feet. She's even going up to see him this weekend - and he has no idea about HMA or me. ANYWAY.

She's welcome here, but the idea of hanging out, her staying over, and then having breakfast the next day is a little much for me given how I feel. But again, I don't want this construed as me trying to control their time together. I just think she needs to take care of some things right now.

Personally, I don't feel as though it's you trying to control their time together. I don't even really see how it could be construed that way. Ultimately, you have a say in what goes on under your own roof. Don't constrict time outside your home - but by all means, keep that foot down when it comes inside your front door!

It's very hard to control the anger and the judgments. Especially when it's something you feel so strongly about. I think, if nothing else, letting a little of that anger show through will help everyone in the situation to see that it's not acceptable. And you can try to adopt the mindset of you're doing ALL you can. In the end, the only person you can control is you. You can assure that your opinion is heard, you can choose to not let it into your home, and you can choose to be supportive of C while he, too, decides what is best in the situation.

I tend to agree more with Mono on this one - this is disrespectful, dishonest, and hurtful to everyone involved. JUST like I feel with Anne. And to be perfectly honest - Anne's situation is substantially less tangled than this one. She's worked past her jealousy/posessiveness, talked about marriage, and she has thought long and hard about her "other" relationship and wants to break it off, she just "needs time to let it run it's course". Which, on one hand I say is BULLSHIT, on the other, I understand from having been in her shoes.

If it continues to make you uncomfortable, and you can't control your opinion on the subject - you need to be careful of how this could damage your relationship with your husband. Perhaps, if it gets much further, veto power needs to be talked about.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Your entire situation hits VERY close to home. HMA and I have run into something similar with our "unicorn", Anne. She is currently in a long-distance relationship with a friend-turned-lover, while dating us. She has made it sound sort of like she was ready to break it off, etc, etc. But she's dragging her feet. She's even going up to see him this weekend - and he has no idea about HMA or me. ANYWAY.



Personally, I don't feel as though it's you trying to control their time together. I don't even really see how it could be construed that way. Ultimately, you have a say in what goes on under your own roof. Don't constrict time outside your home - but by all means, keep that foot down when it comes inside your front door!

.

Thumbs up to this!

Additionally, lets face up to something. All of us. We always talk about not judging on here but c'mon, sometimes people's actions require judgement to advance our personal growth and learn how to interact appropriately with the feelings of other human beings! If no one told us shitty behaviour was in fact "shitty" we would probably perpetuate it indefinitely if it suites our needs. Enough is enough. Tell him what you think about his behaviour and let him know how it makes you feel. If it disappoints you, then say so.
 

violet

New member
Thumbs up to this!

Additionally, lets face up to something. All of us. We always talk about not judging on here but c'mon, sometimes people's actions require judgement to advance our personal growth and learn how to interact appropriately with the feelings of other human beings! If no one told us shitty behaviour was in fact "shitty" we would probably perpetuate it indefinitely if it suites our needs. Enough is enough. Tell him what you think about his behaviour and let him know how it makes you feel. If it disappoints you, then say so.

EXACTLY. I realize that by sheer virtue of the lifestyle those of us here lead that we aren't judgmental. But, as you said, SOMETIMES people's actions DO in fact requite exactly that.

HMA, Anne, and I had an uncomfortable conversation last night - not about this particular subject, but about certain behaviors that any one of us was exhibiting, how it was inappropriate, and ways to get around it. We did have to deal with a little bit of feeling "attacked" and such, but without those judgments on our actions and our characters - we can't grow and thrive in our relationship.

I can truthfully say that from an objective standpoint, the time has come to make a call and draw a line in the sand. I fear that if you don't, a situation like this has the chance of making you harbor resentment against the people involved - which is just NEVER a good thing - based on the way your values are being challenged by those who are supposed to understand and support them.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Just to be clear and take responsibility for my own stuff. Redpepper has called me on some shitty behaviour and the result is I am a better person for it. She "judged" me and ultimately I felt shame and not anger. I learned to correct my actions in certain areas. I thank her for that...I don't resent her.
 

maca

New member
Just to be clear and take responsibility for my own stuff. Redpepper has called me on some shitty behaviour and the result is I am a better person for it. She "judged" me and ultimately I felt shame and not anger. I learned to correct my actions in certain areas. I thank her for that...I don't resent her.


Yep You can say that again Mono.If LR hadnt " busted me" for the dumb ass and sometimes down right mean things Ive done I would be continuing to do and say those things to ppl that care about me.Fact is humans dont learn or change with out pain of some sort physical, mental,or emotional. Good luck I wish you the very best.
 

redpepper

New member
I read this OP and was so inspired at first, then I read that you are not using your veto power (it sounds like you have some?), then I read it had only been a day or so...

what a roller coaster.

I feel very strongly about cheating... I wrote a lot about it earlier on in my posts, if you care to seek it out. I love your first few paragraphs and I do hope you tagger this thread "cheating" so that others can find it... so full of good stuff that makes sense!

I think if this were my husband I would be vetoing until further notice. Cheating has a trickle down effect that I, personally will not accept EVER! It has destroyed certain parts of my trust of Mono without it even being a part of the relationship we have... what he did before influences what we have now. It rears it's ugly head every now and then and I am reminded of what he is capable of. I hate that, but it is what it is and we deal with it.

If I wasn't sure that he is a changed man on many levels than he used to be I would never of gotten into a relationship with him. The fact that I love him so much is to his benefit too; an instant love that made my heart soften enough to see if he has integrity and strength of character now that he has worked on himself so much. He has :):):)

My point is that her cheating with this man will eventually trickle down to you. In the form of; your relationship with your husband decaying, accidentally slipping up in some way that she is having an affair, boyfriend finding out and going on a rampage, who knows, but it will. Now you are holding her secret and she is asking you too, just by the mere fact that she is in your life. I would be plenty angry with that and would have no problem telling her that.

As far as I am concerned you have every right to ban her entirely from your life until such time as she gets her act together and okays it with her boyfriend. Husband will quite possibly be mad as hell at you, but if you stand your ground he will see that it is your relationships with him that you are thinking of and his best interest in mind that you are acting so strongly.

Tough days ahead... but the sooner you act, the stronger you act, the better a point you will make and the quicker your husband will end it and the quicker she will either do something about her cheating, stay away or broach the situation with her boyfriend and things be fine.

Your strength of conviction on this could be a real gift to her that she will never forget. Not only that it could very well be passed on to her boyfriend in the form of protecting his interest and heart from being damaged as so many peoples are. The biggest gift may just be to you and your husband that you care so much for him and what you have that you are wiling to put your foot down and demand he give her up.... I did this to my husband (for different reasons) and it bonded us in trust like nothing else has.
 

violet

New member
I truly wish everyone the best in this situation. Good luck dearprudence. And its good to see other people chiming in and owning up to when they themselves have needed a swift kick in the ass combined with an uncomfortable conversation. lol God knows I've been there!
 

dearprudence

New member
Thank you everyone for the feedback and advice. It is greatly appreciated.

Last night C&M were talking and she was bringing things up about their relationship. He told her they don't need to have that conversation until she talks to her boyfriend. That made me feel really good and really happy that he feels strongly about this. Steps forward :)
 
*puts on flame suit* Okay - I suspect I'm going to catch a lot of shit for this, but I think somebody ought to provide an alternate POV here.

Get off your high horses. Seriously? In the case of DP and her V with her husband and M - she's been honest with you guys about her other relationship. Should be be striaight with him? Of course! Is it any of your business what she does with that relationship? Well - I'll answer that one with another questio - if she told you that you ought not to spend time with your hubby until you stopped some behaviour of yours that might be deemed destructive, how would that go over?

Your husband is letting her let her own mistakes. He's the one "dating" her from the sound of it you're not involved with her (Yes, you should have some input in the relationship, etc and so forth - everyone has their own style of setting the ground rules for these things we don't need to cover it all here), and the only reason that there is stress in the relationship on this issue is because - as you put it "once removed" - you don't like her decisions.

Why am I the only one who thinks that is kind of ridiculous?

Violet brought up our situation, so let's take a look at that and make sure I'm not being a hypocrite (I'm very careful about such things, lol). Vi and Anne and I have a full triad, and equality is a big deal to us. It bothers Violet and I that Anne is dragging her feet with her 600 mile away guy, we'll call him Mike. It bothers us that she's not open with him - because it affects her being open with us. It bothers us that he treats her like crap, because we have to deal with the roller coaster he puts her on when he treats her like gold. There are a lot of things about her thing with Mike that bother us. But we haven't changed our situation with her one bit over it. Stressed about it? Yessiree. Worried about, talked a bout it, dealt with jealousy issues and whatnot over it - absofuckinlutely.

But never told her what to do. Never. Not our relationship, not our problem. As long as we feel she is open and honest with us, wht she does with Mike is ultimately up to her. We'll offer advice when asked for, we'll offer support when needed.

Heinlein - always an appropriate example somewhere in his books, lol. I'll paraphrase here, because the precise quote escapes me...

"Always trying to make rules and pass laws for what the other guy is doing. Never see anybody saying 'please pass this law to restrict me from doing this thing that I shoudn't be doing because it's bad for me'".
 

violet

New member
*puts on flame suit* Okay - I suspect I'm going to catch a lot of shit for this, but I think somebody ought to provide an alternate POV here.

Lawful Neutral as always, baby. lol Alternate points of view are always a good thing.

Get off your high horses. Seriously? In the case of DP and her V with her husband and M - she's been honest with you guys about her other relationship. Should be be striaight with him? Of course! Is it any of your business what she does with that relationship? Well - I'll answer that one with another questio - if she told you that you ought not to spend time with your hubby until you stopped some behaviour of yours that might be deemed destructive, how would that go over?

The part of this that makes me uncomfortable is bolded. I can say that I honestly feel that if DP isn't comfortable with the situation that M is bringing into her home, that is that. Granted, she is actively looking for ways to control her anger and her judgments on the situation - but, and DP, correct me if I'm wrong - it seems as though she is forcing herself to be alright with the situation.

IMO, this isn't a matter of "not spending time with someone until a destructive behavior is stopped", it's a matter of morality and values that are being very strongly challenged. DP is VERY uncomfortable with the idea of cheating. It seems, also, based on the last post that DP made - her husband isn't comfortable with the idea either. Evidenced by the fact that he put a stop to further relationship conversation with M until she's straight with her boyfriend.

Forgive me if I'm overstepping a boundary here, but IMO M doesn't have the right to examine DP and C's relationship, and make a demand that they stop spending time together until a perceived "destructive behavior" is stopped. If I found MYSELF in that situation, I'd pull out veto power in a split second. M would be overstepping herself.

I would also hope that IF a situation like that came up, that DP would examine her own behaviors and move forward with a solution accordingly. And because they're still married and in a relationship that requires a LOT of trust - I'd say they're both probably very good at turning a critical eye on themselves.

Your husband is letting her let her own mistakes. He's the one "dating" her from the sound of it you're not involved with her (Yes, you should have some input in the relationship, etc and so forth - everyone has their own style of setting the ground rules for these things we don't need to cover it all here), and the only reason that there is stress in the relationship on this issue is because - as you put it "once removed" - you don't like her decisions.

There is definitely something to be said for letting someone make their own mistakes. Based on a general and somewhat vague understanding of the ground rules set in C and DP's relationship - she has veto power when something makes her extremely uncomfortable. As cheating does.

This is less about DP not liking M's decisions, and more a matter of whether or not she COULD wrap her brain around the situation - she would be FORCING herself to come to grips with it, and from personal experience as you WELL understand - the problems, stresses, and resentments that can and probably will cause down the road is just ... not healthy.

Why am I the only one who thinks that is kind of ridiculous?

I wonder if you're seeing the point of view I'm coming at it from. You've come across, to me anyway, as feeling the need to give your POV without fully understanding everyone else's.

Violet brought up our situation, so let's take a look at that and make sure I'm not being a hypocrite (I'm very careful about such things, lol). Vi and Anne and I have a full triad, and equality is a big deal to us. It bothers Violet and I that Anne is dragging her feet with her 600 mile away guy, we'll call him Mike. It bothers us that she's not open with him - because it affects her being open with us. It bothers us that he treats her like crap, because we have to deal with the roller coaster he puts her on when he treats her like gold. There are a lot of things about her thing with Mike that bother us. But we haven't changed our situation with her one bit over it. Stressed about it? Yessiree. Worried about, talked a bout it, dealt with jealousy issues and whatnot over it - absofuckinlutely.

But never told her what to do. Never. Not our relationship, not our problem. As long as we feel she is open and honest with us, wht she does with Mike is ultimately up to her. We'll offer advice when asked for, we'll offer support when needed.

The difference between our situations is that neither you or I have a distinct moral issue with what Anne is doing. Neither of us necessarily LIKE the situation, but neither of us is FORCING ourselves to move past it. We can see where she is at - and understand it for the most part. We are both comfortable with the idea of "not our relationship, not our problem." DP doesn't seem to be, and that's okay too.

Heinlein - always an appropriate example somewhere in his books, lol. I'll paraphrase here, because the precise quote escapes me...

"Always trying to make rules and pass laws for what the other guy is doing. Never see anybody saying 'please pass this law to restrict me from doing this thing that I shoudn't be doing because it's bad for me'".

I think, as awesome as that quote is - that it makes a point invalid to this thread. If you remember the OP's first sentence - something to the effect of how COMPLETE honesty between ALL involved parties was an absolute necessity, you can see where the law has been laid to restrict ALL parties involved to partners who are informed and okay with the situation. DP laid the law, and is "restricting" herself with it too. Obviously, her husband agreed and is allowing himself to be "restricted" as well. M knew the score, and chose to 'break the law' anyway - there is every reason for DP to feel the way she does. I hope that made sense through my not-enough-caffiene-or-sugar fuzzed system. :)

I'm amazed at our differing view here, baby. It's kinda scary...


DP, btw, I'm VERY glad to hear that your husband is stepping back a little and supporting the point that M needs to come clean because of the rules in place for your relationship. I REALLY hope it all works out for you!
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
*

Not our relationship, not our problem. As long as we feel she is open and honest with us, wht she does with Mike is ultimately up to her.

'".

Bullshit..everything ripples...nice cop out though.

I almost deleted this because it seemed so direct but then realized this hit a button in me. Your statement displays a complete disregard to your girlfriend's other partner. It rings of.."as long as we are taken care of so what about him". That's an interestingly self serving perspective on the feelings of another person. I guess being on a high horse enables me to see a bit farther than my own needs.
 
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violet

New member
Bullshit..everything ripples...nice cop out though.

I almost deleted this because it seemed so direct but then realized this hit a button in me. Your statement displays a complete disregard to your girlfriend's other partner. It rings of.."as long as we are taken care of so what about him". That's an interestingly self serving perspective on the feelings of another person. I guess being on a high horse enables me to see a bit farther than my own needs.

FWIW, both HMA and I have expressed our dislike of what Anne is doing - and we've both expressed just how unfair it is to him. I guess we're just letting a sleeping dog lie for now - but I personally can't let the dog lay for long. She's going to see Mike this weekend, and after that the conversations - at least on my end - will become more serious about where she's going and what she's doing.

She'll come back one of three ways. Either she'll want to be with him exclusively and respect his non-polyamorous ways, she'll want to leave him and be with us, or she'll be right where she is now - confused and unsure and trying to maintain both relationships.

It was a conversation she and I had that lead me to the ideal that it's not my problem - right now. After she's back, we'll need to talk if she's landed in the middle where she is now. I can't let it go on either. It's not fair to him, and frankly - what the fuck am I working so hard at a relationship with her and HMA with the underlying knowledge that she may well turn back to a monogamous relationship with Mike? It's uncomfortable.

Like I've said. I can see where she's coming from. I'm fine with her going this weekend, because I know her well enough to know she'll talk to me about it. But depending on where she lands (and obviously, we're hoping she'll be another step closer to telling him) I can't move forward like this.

I appreciate your directness, Mono. You provide an interesting prospective on it. While I do have some concern for Mike (as does HMA), he and I are both being rather self-serving. Something new to think on.
 

redpepper

New member
violet, you're awesome. I think you said some really valid stuff there :)

I liked that you said that it is a strong belief of theirs that cheating is wrong and damaging on every account.... not your words, but it seems to be their belief... which means they need to act on it. You are right, if they thought of it differently then they would act accordingly, but they don't and it is going against what makes them comfortable. If one isn't comfortable then a change needs to happen.

I'm not sure what you are saying about Anne's other man... he doesn't know about your relationship I guess and you don't like him? Is that it? Would you feel differently if it were out in the open and he was good to her in your eyes? Would you prefer that she be a proper unicorn and not have anyone else in her life but the two of you? (If the last question you are finding you are answering "yes" too, then I think you may have trouble a brewing.... which is an entirely different thread... as it's a control thing. anyway, I digress!)

She is, in fact, cheating on him then! Does he know that he is a secondary (for want of a better term and only to put some perspective on it)? Does he think he is in a mono relationship with her and has made her his girlfriend...? just how involved is she?

Poor guy! I would have a really hard time with that! I know you say he doesn't treat her well, but in him finding out that she is cheating on him he will become more of an asshole and inflict that on another woman or people in his life in general. A good example of the trickle down effect.

We have gotten so damned selfish, greedy and lazy as a culture! It really disturbs me how this occurs! I really really fear for us sometimes. We damage each other soooo much and in turn damage ourselves and those close to us as a result.

When we find out that someone has cheated, is cheating and is having an affair it IS our business. We then hold that secret for them. I'm not saying in all cases we should demand they divulge everything and bring it out in the open, because sometimes that is more damaging.... I wrote a lot about this not too long ago on another thread if anyone cares to find it... I think it was someone who was cheating and wondered if they should tell their already damaged partner... I said no, they should get a grip on their life, change their behaviour and act respectfully to themselves and to their partner. I don't know what happened, they never wrote back.

The secret we hold perpetuates the greed and selfishness that they think they are entitled to by carrying on cheating. It in effect enables them to keep the affair going... I kind of see it like an addiction. At some point the enabling has to stop so that the addiction can be brought to light and so that recovery, detox and healing can happen for all involved.

Having worked with people with addictions and having the past I have had I can see the correlation clearly. Personally I will bow out of a friendship/relationship if the affair were to continue. I would make sure that the person knows that I am doing this because I refuse to give any of my energy to uphold someones greed and selfishness at the expense of another. It just isn't in their best interest or mine that I do so because that kind of negativity trickles down to my life and boosts their will to go on cheating.

I know, who am I to think that they would even care enough to lose my support? Well, I may mean nothing to them as a person, but just by my very act of being firm and openly honest will in itself make them reconsider what they are doing. I have to believe that or I have no hope for any of us. I can't not stand up for my core beliefs, because our society is crumbling and the only thing I can do is stand firm on such issues as this (and a great many other ones! :p)

There are plenty of other people out there who have similar core beliefs that I would much rather be close to. Sometimes people come around and are thankful for someone kicking them in the butt and standing firm with them. I have experienced this in many areas of my life and this area is one of them. For me its a part of how I love. I think I love people enough to give them shit and then let them go if they are unable to make the changes they need to to better their lives and the lives of those around them. I feel it is my duty to love so much that I have to go through the pain of losing them in my hard ass, tough loving. I can tell you, I don't derive any pleasure from it.... as I'm sure dearprudance can attest to and anyone else who has experienced similar challenges.
 
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MonoVCPHG

New member
I am so blunt in this because I had an affair that lasted for a year and a half actively. As stupid as this sounds, I was concerned about the other man...I still regret hurting him even though he never knew it happened :(

That is a lesson I will never forget because the disapointment in myself rides the surface of my skin daily.
 

violet

New member
violet, you're awesome. I think you said some really valid stuff there

Aww, thank you! I'm a very opinionated little creature. :D I have a good, hard time keeping my mouth shut.

I liked that you said that it is a strong belief of theirs that cheating is wrong and damaging on every account.... not your words, but it seems to be their belief... which means they need to act on it. You are right, if they thought of it differently then they would act accordingly, but they don't and it is going against what makes them comfortable. If one isn't comfortable then a change needs to happen.

That's the point I feel was missing. You act according to your BELIEFS. And forcing yourself to ignore something or be comfortable with something is NEVER a good idea. I know, I've fallen into that trap. It was hard digging my way back out.

I'm not sure what you are saying about Anne's other man... he doesn't know about your relationship I guess and you don't like him? Is that it? Would you feel differently if it were out in the open and he was good to her in your eyes? Would you prefer that she be a proper unicorn and not have anyone else in her life but the two of you? (If the last question you are finding you are answering "yes" too, then I think you may have trouble a brewing.... which is an entirely different thread... as it's a control thing. anyway, I digress!)

She is, in fact, cheating on him then! Does he know that he is a secondary (for want of a better term and only to put some perspective on it)? Does he think he is in a mono relationship with her and has made her his girlfriend...? just how involved is she?

Poor guy! I would have a really hard time with that! I know you say he doesn't treat her well, but in him finding out that she is cheating on him he will become more of an asshole and inflict that on another woman or people in his life in general. A good example of the trickle down effect.

Well, let's tackle this one. Mike (Anne's other) does NOT in fact know about us. He suspects - he knows we're good friends and Anne jokes about "messing around" with me all the time. She thinks/knows he could get his brain around her sleeping with another woman (he is bisexual himself), but her being with another man would be an instant deal-breaker. He'd flip out. There's been some talk about her telling him about ME, but that doesn't fix it for me. Fact is, I'm not interested in a relationship with her unless HMA is involved. So, she's not open to him - and no, I don't like him. I've been with men like him. He's manipulative, he's said some AMAZINGLY rude and harmful things to her ... ugh. I really dislike this guy.

I would feel completely different if it were out in the open. However, we touch on an interesting issue, which should likely be left for a different thread. I'll finish my thought here, and if any further discussion is necessary - I'll take it to a different thread. :) Anyway. We touch on an interesting issue - I, nor is HMA, looking for Anne to be a "proper unicorn". However, we have talked at great length about exclusivity in our relationship. When it was just HMA and I, he is free to have as many female partners as he wants. He is less comfortable with me having male partners, but agreed to it and can get his head around it. And I'm REALLY not interested in it, so it was no issue.

When Anne came along, SHE was the one who asked that HMA not have any other female partners. But - and here's the hypocrisy - she still has Mike. Our roommate Lana was dating us at first, and there's still some mutual interest between Lana and HMA. But, Anne doesn't want HMA to have another woman. SHE is the one who placed the stipulation of "polyfi" on this relationship, then turned around and broke it.

...wow, I'm more resentful of that than I thought. :eek:

I digress. I'm not looking for her to be a "proper unicorn". I'm looking for the hypocrisy to go away.

Mike is under the impression that he is in an exclusive relationship with Anne. They are boyfriend/girlfriend, they say I Love You, whole enchilada. They've even talked about kids. They're in deep. She's having trouble leaving despite feeling like their relationship was never destined to be long term because they were good friends :D
 
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