Understanding Poly and Cheating

Riunin

New member
As before I'm the mono guy in a relationship with a poly girl. We've started to talk about it more openly but it still scares me and hurts me to think about, but that's not the problem, I care enough about her to not protest this, even if its painful to me. I'm having trouble trying to get her to understand how it feels to me so she can be... I dunno gentler about it, more helpful to me I guess. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm a secure person, if this is going to happen I need her support but try as I may I can't get through to her what a relationship is to me, and what I expect from her. We were talking yesterday, she said that she wanted a girlfriend and I said that that was ok, but that I wasn't ready yet and that I didn't know when I would be. She said that there was no one right now, but if she found someone she was going to try to act on it, and that I wouldn't have to meet her. This hurt me a little but I replied that I'd have to meet the girl, that I wouldn't want a threesome or whatever a more typical guy would want, I'm not interested in that, but that I'd have to meet her. I told her if it happened I would probably be jealous and it may effect our relationship. She replied that she just wouldn't tell me then. This is cheating to me, in fact polyamoury is on the verge of cheating for me, but if its done a certain way I think I can survive, with some time. I told her no, that that was not any good at all, that that was cheating in my mind that that was the worst thing I could do, and that while her getting a girlfriend would hurt me, doing it secretly would hurt so much more. I have to meet the girl, I'll probably hate her, demonize her, turn her into an enemy, but I have to meet her and speak to her and have a face. It made me realize though, that this strange community I don't fit with, that on some level I oppose but am willing to get involved in for her a much different than myself. That she can think that cheating is having someone else and leaving me for them. That that is what she thinks I'm afraid of, that that's why it hurts me. It's more than that, the fear of be left is there surely, the fear of chasing her away, the fear of becoming distant and having us change, but there's also the feeling of not being enough, the feeling of betrayal, the loss of time with her that I so treasure, and well I am a guy so also the loss of potential sex. And now there is a fear of deception, of being lied to, of her simply not being able to comprehend how I feel and how she can make it right.

So anyway my question, How does this community see cheating, what is cheating to you, how bad is it, please act like I'm three, because apparently the mindsets are so different that its the only way to express things properly.

And also, if you could help me find the words that will express the way I feel to her, words that will make her understand me I would appreciate it so very much. I honestly hope she doesn't find anyone else, as cruel as it sounds and as bad as it feels, I don't want to give up that time with her, I don't want to have to deal with the stress and the conflict and whatever else it is I so dread. But if it happens it needs to happen a way that I can live with, and I need to get that across.

Thank You
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Alright my friend. Take a breath, relax and know that whatever happens was meant to.
Now, take a good read through the information at this link. It should provide some clarification as to the difference in Poly and cheating. Read the rest of it too...It's gentle and an easy read.
http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html

Next, accept the simple truth that "not telling you" about a boyfriend/girlfriend/one night stand is cheating. The common thread in all approaches to poly seems to be honesty and openness before the fact.

If she's using the word poly to explain her approach towards hidden relationships, she is bastardizing the word.

I feel for you brother and hope you can find a way to nurture the love you have for her. But do not put yourself into a situation where you are miserable in all but the moments you have together. That is no way to live.

Peace and Love
Mono
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
Very good

Hi Ruinin,

First thing - I think you had no problem expressing your fears here in writing. Why don't you just print this out, give it to her, and sit down and get into it. The result might surprise you :)

Secondly I'm going to offer up something that I feel (and suspect most here will agree with?) may be a fact of life (human) that you may not have become aware of yet. And I think this is one of the "realizations" that are driving things like polyamory forward.
Despite the obvious exceptions (and those exist in anything), humans are multifaceted beings. What we "need" to be happy, secure, fulfilled is not likely to ever come from a single source. When it comes to relationships there's this theory out there that if we can only meet this theoretical Mr or Ms Right then ALL our needs will be fulfilled. I reality - at least as I've seen in my lifetime & experiences - this is wholly a fantasy and unrealistic. Many attempts I've seen have at BEST resulted in people being severely restricted and never fulfilling the potential they were born with.
The "dream", in poly and other areas of life, is about finding a better way. A way that we can be "all that we can be", WITH support & love from all those around us that want that same dream for us.
Does that make any sense ?

And to address some of your more specific concerns about "cheating" etc I can only say that I think it absolutely unacceptable. Have others done it and even made it work for them (turning a blind eye, don't ask-don't tell etc) - yes. It's happened. But my guess is that if all of us here were gambling people - it's a bet we'd never take. Because if we 'lose', that loss is substantial. And it's not limited to the 2 (or 3) individuals involved but ripples out to endless others - society in general. And from a purely philosophical standpoint - it just doesn't fly. Period. Honesty is fundamental.

I guess I'd suggest you just spend some time soul searching and trying to really connect to what it's like to be truly human and all that implies.
You (like many others) may just not be able to get your brain around the concept that we're capable of loving multiple people without limitations. If you can never get acceptance of that for yourself then you will never be able to be genuine and in a relationship with someone else who see's life in a dramatically different manner.
Can we all get along ? Absolutely. Can we care about these "others" - absolutely. But can we truly "bond" with them at a level necessary for a romantic (I hate that term) relationship - highly unlikely.
Take some time alone. Think. Study. Be "true" to yourself. Lacking that you can't be "true" anyone else.

GS
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Actually I just found this source. It came from another member's recommendation. My story is much different than yours although we are both mono.


Good luck
Mono
 
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DrunkenPorcupine

New member
She replied that she just wouldn't tell me then. This is cheating to me, in fact polyamoury is on the verge of cheating for me, but if its done a certain way I think I can survive, with some time.

Cheating, either in a mono or poly relationship, is about a breach of trust. I'd most certainly call the situation you're in cheating when it's clear that it would be a violation of your trust and boundaries.

How does this community see cheating, what is cheating to you, how bad is it

Cheating is a betrayal of trust, a violation of the boundaries of the relationship and a really shitty thing to put someone through, especially if you claim to love them. What cheating is, beyond that betrayal, is really up to the relationship. For some people, flirting online is cheating because it betrays that boundary, but other couples might find online flirting to be no different than reading erotica. I know some couples who think watching porn is cheating. Exactly what crosses that boundary for you is your call, but when you know the boundary and it's crossed, it's certainly cheating.

And it's bad. Very bad.

What poly is, at it's core, is understanding of boundaries. Those of use who realize that our love isn't confined to one person set those boundaries differently, but we still set them.

And also, if you could help me find the words that will express the way I feel to her, words that will make her understand me I would appreciate it so very much.

I'll go with the suggestion to print out this post. You seem to understand why you're feeling the way you do, and your reasoning don't seem controlling. You're not concerned that she's "not doing what you want", you seem concerned that your relationship with her will be strained.

If she can't respect that, then I think it hints to underlying issues, ones that might not be resolved with honest communication. But certainly, opening up the dialogue with her is going to be the first step to any form of progress.
 

redpepper

New member
As before I'm the mono guy in a relationship with a poly girl. We've started to talk about it more openly but it still scares me and hurts me to think about, but that's not the problem, I care enough about her to not protest this, even if its painful to me. I'm having trouble trying to get her to understand how it feels to me so she can be... I dunno gentler about it, more helpful to me I guess. I'm not going to lie and say that I'm a secure person, if this is going to happen I need her support but try as I may I can't get through to her what a relationship is to me, and what I expect from her. We were talking yesterday, she said that she wanted a girlfriend and I said that that was ok, but that I wasn't ready yet and that I didn't know when I would be. She said that there was no one right now, but if she found someone she was going to try to act on it, and that I wouldn't have to meet her. This hurt me a little but I replied that I'd have to meet the girl, that I wouldn't want a threesome or whatever a more typical guy would want, I'm not interested in that, but that I'd have to meet her. I told her if it happened I would probably be jealous and it may effect our relationship. She replied that she just wouldn't tell me then. This is cheating to me, in fact polyamoury is on the verge of cheating for me, but if its done a certain way I think I can survive, with some time. I told her no, that that was not any good at all, that that was cheating in my mind that that was the worst thing I could do, and that while her getting a girlfriend would hurt me, doing it secretly would hurt so much more. I have to meet the girl, I'll probably hate her, demonize her, turn her into an enemy, but I have to meet her and speak to her and have a face. It made me realize though, that this strange community I don't fit with, that on some level I oppose but am willing to get involved in for her a much different than myself. That she can think that cheating is having someone else and leaving me for them. That that is what she thinks I'm afraid of, that that's why it hurts me. It's more than that, the fear of be left is there surely, the fear of chasing her away, the fear of becoming distant and having us change, but there's also the feeling of not being enough, the feeling of betrayal, the loss of time with her that I so treasure, and well I am a guy so also the loss of potential sex. And now there is a fear of deception, of being lied to, of her simply not being able to comprehend how I feel and how she can make it right.

So anyway my question, How does this community see cheating, what is cheating to you, how bad is it, please act like I'm three, because apparently the mindsets are so different that its the only way to express things properly.

And also, if you could help me find the words that will express the way I feel to her, words that will make her understand me I would appreciate it so very much. I honestly hope she doesn't find anyone else, as cruel as it sounds and as bad as it feels, I don't want to give up that time with her, I don't want to have to deal with the stress and the conflict and whatever else it is I so dread. But if it happens it needs to happen a way that I can live with, and I need to get that across.

Thank You

It sounds like she is either frustrated or wants an open relationship, not a poly one. Personally I have found that it is better to go at the pace of the one who is most struggling with poly and the issues/feelings/dynamics it can bring up. In this case its you.

Having been with someone who said something similar to what she has said I would wonder how much depth she really wants to have with you? It sounds like she would rather not share herself with you for whatever reason. Perhaps she is looking for a way out of your relationship. It sounds like she is not willing to put the endless amount of work into your relationship that poly requires.

It might be an idea to tell her that you want to have a deep relationship with her and that she is blocking the two of you from having it by insisting that she keep any other partner separate. Perhaps its a matter of clarifying how invovled you both want to be with each other.

You say you are not secure? Well, why should you be? You are right, she doesn't sound like she is being gentle or empathic. How can security be built if you are not receiving these things in your relationship? It can't!

I would suggest that if you DON'T meet her other partners that you will hate them, demonize them and think of them as the enemy much more. That has been my experience and others too. To me it isn't poly unless everyone can at least be amicable. Not best friends necessarily, but get along and at least have respect and concern for one another. Anyone she is with will directly effect your life vicariously through her so its in everyones best interest that you are ALL communicating and supporting each other one way or another.

Please don't think that because you are a man that you are the only one concerned about having less sex. It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with a human concern. Humans need closeness and sex is a part of that (besides, its intimate fun! ;)). All your concerns about being in a poly relationship are very valid and also common, because you have human needs. It IS possible to get those needs meet and some. If this works out you will get needs met that you didn't even know you had. That has been my experience anyway. Its been hard work, but so fullfilling and so much more than I thought.

Take a good look around these forums my friend. Get you girlfriend to do some research and educate herself a bit more too maybe (she may also benefit from reading here). This is a project for both of you whether she finds another or not. Together you can reach such amazing depths with each other if that is truly what you BOTH want.
 

Riunin

New member
Umm ok, thank you everyone, I do feel a need to correct myself though. I said Polyamoury is on the verge of cheating for me, that wasn't quite right. Polyamoury feels dangerous to me, not wrong or bad on the whole, but rather for me personally. It's not a concept that I'm very comfortable with, it's not something I'll ever strive towards or try because I want to. I don't have the proper words to express it. I can see how others can do it just like how I can see how others can have open relationships or just find people to have sex with. I don't think any less of these people its just not something that I can do, or really want to do. I'm not calling everyone here a bunch of cheaters, from what I've read you've all worked hard to make your relationships work, its just not for me. I want to thank you all, you've helped me a lot, I do appreciate it. It just not my mind set or whatever. I care about her and want her to be happy though, so pain me as it does I'm not giving up on her, I just hope it works out.
 
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NeonKaos

Custodian
Polyamoury feels dangerous to me, not wrong or bad on the whole, but rather for me personally. It's not a concept that I'm very comfortable with, it's not something I'll ever strive towards or try because I want to. I don't have the proper words to express it.

Etc...

It sounds like you might be one of those "wired-monogamous" people we keep coming across up in here.
 

redpepper

New member
I got it Ruinin.I didn't think that's what you were saying :)

You may want to concentrate on Mono's posts and threads as he may speak to how you are feeling. A lot of what you have said about your relationship with the "idea" of poly he seems to mirror. Obviously he and I have talked a lot so I don't remember what is on here and what we have talked about in private. I can certainly speak in a PM to you more as can he (if he chooses)if you have questions you don't feel comfortable addressing on here. Sometimes being open on here might not feel safe, but I assure you that Mono and I have talked about some really hard stuff in regards to mono/poly relationships and I for one would be willing to share with you and would be an unjudgmental listening ear.

Thanks for doing the work needed to understand poly. You must really love this woman if you think its worth trying to understand. A lot of mono people would not bother. I commend you for attempting to bridge the gap :)
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Umm ok, thank you everyone, I do feel a need to correct myself though. I said Polyamoury is on the verge of cheating for me, that wasn't quite right. Polyamoury feels dangerous to me, not wrong or bad on the whole, but rather for me personally. It's not a concept that I'm very comfortable with, it's not something I'll ever strive towards or try because I want to. I don't have the proper words to express it. I can see how others can do it just like how I can see how others can have open relationships or just find people to have sex with. I don't think any less of these people its just not something that I can do, or really want to do. I'm not calling everyone here a bunch of cheaters, from what I've read you've all worked hard to make your relationships work, its just not for me. I want to thank you all, you've helped me a lot, I do appreciate it. It just not my mind set or whatever. I care about her and want her to be happy though, so pain me as it does I'm not giving up on her, I just hope it works out.

Funny-I didn't take any offense at your words at all Riunin. In fact at first I thought-wow hope Mono read this. Then scrolled down and WALLA! He did. :)

Also thought-wow talk to Maca.. but I know he hasn't read it-as he's my husband and hasn't had time to log in while dealing with the extra work on his plate due to my medical issues right now. BUT he may have some great suggestions if you wanted to PM him.


I think you both need to study up on Polyamory.

I think there is a great number of links on here-xeromag.com has some WONDERFUL material to read (for you both) and so does lovemore.com

I suggested both to Maca after letting him know I was poly (he was REALLY upset, hurt, angry, fearful of all the things you mentioned and more).

There is also polyfamilies.com or polyamoryonline.org some good info there, a little more work in getting to it.

Also- there are books (takes longer to read those). Mono regularly suggests the Love Without Limits books-author was involved in creating Lovemore.com "back in the day".

SHE might ought to read Opening Up. New book. VERY clearly written. Really addresses A LOT of details about risks to consider when opening a relationship and what details need to be ironed out BEFORE you go adding more people to your life as lovers or more. It's (been pointed out by Mono) not the "gentlest" book for a mono-natured person who isn't wanting to learn more, or is really insecure about themselves. BUT if you can manage to read it with an open mind-it does address some of the issues that we create for ourselves by allowing ourselves to believe we can not control our actions based on our emotions.

In your posts you say something about possibly demonizing the other "her" etc. Those are actions. Actions we choose. FEELINGS we do not always choose.
FEELING hurt, insecure, jealous etc is normal and can be worked through-but on is still responsible to control their actions and to behave and to treat others both physically and verbally with a certain amount of respect and caring-verbally means in front of and behind their back fyi in my opinion.
 
C

Ceoli

Guest
As before I'm the mono guy in a relationship with a poly girl. We've started to talk about it more openly but it still scares me and hurts me to think about, but that's not the problem, I care enough about her to not protest this, even if its painful to me.

Honestly, I think this is a big part of the problem. Right now, both of you are having to set aside major fundamental parts of yourself for the sake of the relationship. That usually translates into a whole lotta pain on both sides.


We were talking yesterday, she said that she wanted a girlfriend and I said that that was ok, but that I wasn't ready yet and that I didn't know when I would be. She said that there was no one right now, but if she found someone she was going to try to act on it, and that I wouldn't have to meet her. This hurt me a little but I replied that I'd have to meet the girl, that I wouldn't want a threesome or whatever a more typical guy would want, I'm not interested in that, but that I'd have to meet her. I told her if it happened I would probably be jealous and it may effect our relationship.

Despite the fact that you said it was ok that she wants another girlfriend, everything else you're saying here suggests that it's actually *not* ok with you. You're telling her that you want to meet the girl, but that it may cause problems for your relationship. This almost seems like a form of brinksmanship in that you're giving her a "damned if you do, damned if you don't situation". (I'm not referring to the idea of her keeping the relationship secret, I'm referring to her pursuing an outside relationship at all)

I have to meet the girl, I'll probably hate her, demonize her, turn her into an enemy, but I have to meet her and speak to her and have a face.

Honestly, this is another big red flag that the idea of your girlfriend seeing other people definitely not ok with you. This type of attitude creates an atmosphere that constricts your partner's ability to find relationships. I would never want to get involved with someone who says, "I really want to date you, but just to let you know, my partner will probably really resent you when we're dating." Frankly, that kind of behavior on the part of a partner who agrees to be in some form of poly relationship is just not ok.

The trouble here is that you seem to not want to agree to a poly relationship yet feel that you should for the sake of preserving the relationship. If that's the only reason you're agreeing, it's going to cause a lot of pain for both you and her in the long run.


It made me realize though, that this strange community I don't fit with, that on some level I oppose but am willing to get involved in for her a much different than myself. That she can think that cheating is having someone else and leaving me for them. That that is what she thinks I'm afraid of, that that's why it hurts me. It's more than that, the fear of be left is there surely, the fear of chasing her away, the fear of becoming distant and having us change, but there's also the feeling of not being enough, the feeling of betrayal, the loss of time with her that I so treasure, and well I am a guy so also the loss of potential sex. And now there is a fear of deception, of being lied to, of her simply not being able to comprehend how I feel and how she can make it right.

I do wonder if these fears and insecurities would go away if the relationship was not open or poly on her part. I'm thinking that they would still find ways of appearing.

So anyway my question, How does this community see cheating, what is cheating to you, how bad is it, please act like I'm three, because apparently the mindsets are so different that its the only way to express things properly.

For me, cheating is going against the agreements about the relationship made by both of you. Some couples have a policy of "don't ask, don't tell". If they've both agreed to it, then it's not cheating (though it certainly wouldn't be my cup of tea)

And also, if you could help me find the words that will express the way I feel to her, words that will make her understand me I would appreciate it so very much. I honestly hope she doesn't find anyone else, as cruel as it sounds and as bad as it feels, I don't want to give up that time with her, I don't want to have to deal with the stress and the conflict and whatever else it is I so dread. But if it happens it needs to happen a way that I can live with, and I need to get that across.

Honestly, it sounds to me like you really don't want a poly relationship and that you really want a monogamous relationship. There's nothing wrong with that. However there is something wrong with telling her you'll put up with something that's closer to what she wants while secretly hoping things get to remain the way you want them to then getting upset and hurt when they don't. That's passive aggressive. There is something wrong with telling her that it's ok when it's clearly not ok, because it will just surface in all sorts of other ways that will be painful and ugly. If you are trying to stay in this relationship because you think you could turn it into something closer to what you want and further from what she wants then you're not really being entirely honest with yourself or with her.

I don't know if you went into this relationship knowing about her desire to be open or not, but clearly it seems that you have fundamentally different relationship goals. You deserve to have a happy relationship that fits in with what you want out of a relationship. There's no reason you can't have that.
 
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RickPlus

New member
Thanks RedPepper!
This sort of index is very useful, finding useful organized information on a giant forum is very hard. I salute you and hope that you up date it from time to time.

Very warm regards, Rick.
 

sohuman

New member
Cheating to poly: sensing a bit of hoi polloi attitude from internet poly authorities

Background: cheating to polyamory

What got us to poly (I say "us" but really it's me so far 100% yes, husband on the fence... but if you average our enthusiasm for the idea it constitutes a greater than 50% yes, so it's a go, right? little joke...) Damn it, let me start again - what got us to this point of discussing poly was me cheating and/or dating more than one person over and over my whole sexual life. I found the xeromag piece on poly to be a great Q&A but I disagree with the idea that even ex-cheaters are to be utterly disdained by true polys, or as he says: "If you can't abide by the rules of a monogamous relationship, then poly isn't for you. If you cheat, then poly isn't for you." - this is a vast oversimplification (on the level of Dan Savage saying he has never been to a 3-year poly anniversary celebration therefore implying "you do the math, poly relationships are too complex to succeed" - and moreover echoing the assumption that a relationship's success should be gauged solely by its length).

I would tweak it to say that people who intend to go on acting unethically in any way are not going to be good candidates for poly. I think there is a good percentage of people who are transitioning or have transitioned from cheating to poly, people who have sought to change patterns of dishonesty and betrayal... people who don't want to hurt anyone anymore through lying and violating their partner's boundaries.

Let's back up to the lay of the land set in Opening Up: you have 3 options under mono, assuming you are in a decent existing relationship, when you become attracted to or develop feelings for someone else:
Mono 1: cheating
Mono 2: serial mono (I am defining serial mono as already having a specific person B in mind when you decide to dump person A), or
Mono 3: conscious/ethical mono. They communicate all relevant information about other attractions with their partner and only act within their partner's boundaries, so in a monogamous relationship, they must drop pursuing other attractions either emotionally or physically, in brief, people who communicate to their partner before anything happens, who can be honest, kind, and respectful, and who are willing to prioritize their partner's feelings over their impulses to act on any feelings for others that might arise.

Here are your options in the same scenario under poly:
Poly 1: unethical poly (bad communication, lying, cheating, treating others without respect, kindness, or honesty) or
Poly 2: conscious/ethical poly. In brief, people who communicate to their partner before anything happens, who can be honest, kind, and respectful, and who are willing to prioritize their partner's feelings over their impulses to act in any way that violates their partner's boundaries.

So I think - know - that it is possible for someone to examine all of this stuff in earnest, to plan to be ethical going forward, and to transition from cheating (or serial mono) to either a) conscious monogamy, or b) conscious poly. These are the only 2 ethical choices from among all the mono and poly behavior models.

Think about the vilification of erstwhile cheaters who go to poly in the context of the fact that some people come from serial monogamy to poly - are they equally vilified? I don't think they are - however, serial mono is unethical, not because it is dishonest but because it is disrespectful and unkind - it treats people as expendable - it may be even more obnoxious in one way than cheating: serial monogamists might be completely oblivious of the unethical aspects of discarding person A as soon as person B comes along - hey, some of them even recycle (drop person B and go back with person A), patting themselves on the back the whole time for always remaining monogamous as they dump imperfect people and chase after perfection. While some of them may feel guilty for treating people like styrofoam picnic cups, I believe (based on no evidence whatsoever) that there are more cheaters going around feeling guilty, like they are a bad person for what they are doing, because at least they know that cheating is outright unethical. The subtleties of why it would be bad to treat humans as disposable are, I believe, lost on your average serial-monogamist. The reason I believe that may just be because I was a cheater who at one point stopped even trying to rationalize my actions (a la, "he made me cheat, he didn't X enough"). I knew what I was doing was wrong, I felt like a complete shit for having feelings about other people, and even more of a shit for choosing to act on them. I carried around that feeling of being a bad person like a constant weight. Stopping all rationalization was, incidentally, my first step toward choosing ethical behavior for the future.

While cheaters are not better than serial monos - cheating is disrespectful, unkind, and dishonest, while serial mono is not dishonest - a serial monogamist is still looked upon far far less unfavorably by society/culture at large than a cheater, and I ask polys to question whether they are buying into that too: the idea that cheaters are just vile scum of the earth and once a cheater, always a cheater. If anyone knows Franklin Veaux or how to contact him, I would like to pass this on to him and ask him if he might be sorta jumping on that bandwagon, and if he might consider rephrasing "If you cheat, then poly isn't for you." to read instead: "If you intend to continue to act unethically (lacking honesty, respect, or kindness), then poly isn't for you." He also says he has never heard of a single healthy triad that has originated in infidelity with the same three people. If we are judging the health of any given relationship not necessarily by its length but by the people involved's honesty, communication, kindness, and respect, there is at least one example of such a relationship discussed on this board, and probably a lot more "out there". This woman: http://technomom.com/love/cheatingtopoly.shtml is also pretty certain that it can never happen ethically. I think it can. Saying it can't underestimates people's capacity to change from unethical to ethical behavior. In my case, that particular scenario is not gonna happen because the other guy is a serial mono walking hot mess and has no idea - thank Bon Jovi I realized that through the NRE haze :)

Ethical or unethical depends on the people involved and how they are treating each other.

I agree with the other poster who said that people are capable of profound changes in beliefs, views, and behaviors. Just watch the show Hoarders. When someone has an epiphany that they don't want to live that way anymore and is capable and willing to do the work to change, it's totally different than people for whom that epiphany never even comes.

Amory to all.

Quote of the evening is from Joss Whedon: "Always remember to be yourself, unless you suck."
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
He's on facebook.
I don't know what his "facebook" name is for certain-but I think it might be the same, because I recall seeing recognizing him as the xeromag-guy.

I was a cheater after I married, before I found poly.
Prior to marrying I was in open relationships a lot, often more than one at a time for significant periods of time.

I agree that one can change.

I don't believe that "once a cheater always a cheater". Just as I don't believe that once a person has failed at something they will always fail at it and never learn how to succeed.
 

sohuman

New member
He's on facebook.
I don't know what his "facebook" name is for certain-but I think it might be the same, because I recall seeing recognizing him as the xeromag-guy.

I was a cheater after I married, before I found poly.
Prior to marrying I was in open relationships a lot, often more than one at a time for significant periods of time.

I agree that one can change.

I don't believe that "once a cheater always a cheater". Just as I don't believe that once a person has failed at something they will always fail at it and never learn how to succeed.

Thanks for the info LovingRadiance and thanks mods for moving my novel here! :)

Oh - also I read some other cheaters' stories and want to add that people are not ready for poly if they are still carrying secrets with them ("I'll just take this one, two, or five things to the grave with me..."). You have to have the come to Jesus talk with your partner first.
 
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Carma

New member
Background: cheating to polyamory

...I was a cheater who at one point stopped even trying to rationalize my actions (a la, "he made me cheat, he didn't X enough"). I knew what I was doing was wrong, I felt like a complete shit for having feelings about other people, and even more of a shit for choosing to act on them. I carried around that feeling of being a bad person like a constant weight. Stopping all rationalization was, incidentally, my first step toward choosing ethical behavior for the future.

WOW. I share these feelings exactly. Uncanny.
 
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LovingRadiance

Active member
Since the new thread has now been moved and combined with an old one, I highly advise reading it from the beginning-I think you may appreciate it. ;)
 

Morticia

New member
Help!

I feel like I don't really fit here, but then with my sitch I don't fit anywhere, and I need some help.

I am (monogamous and) married to a quadriplegic...just to be clear, he is completely paralysed below the shoulders and is severely disabled (some quads can drive, feed themselves etc but he cannot). We had been together 2 years & engaged for 2 weeks when he tripped & fell playing ball in the backyard, almost 7 years ago.

We tried to create a sex life of some kind together but it was physically painful for him & fraught with all kinds of other pain for both of us. Last year, during a tearful discussion, he told me that although he didn't like it, he understood I needed some kind of outlet and that I had his permission - he just didn't want to know anything about it. It took several months for me to be okay with it, but eventually I had a few flings...it was wonderful to be sexual again, but also pretty weird, uncomfortable & a little scary (casual sex has never been my preference).

I had given up on the whole thing - then I met someone and experienced the kind of cosmic, karmic, soul connection that I had previously thought was a Hollywood construct! (besides which, he is awesome in bed ;))

Now I am struggling to make sense of it all, to not feel guilty, to figure out what is the right thing to do, to cause the least amount of pain possible for all concerned (including my sons & stepson, ages 15, 10 & 13). My bf totally gets it & is full of compassion for my husband & me, no pressure - but I am at sea. I don't want to leave my husband OR my bf, and my previous life hasn't given me the skills to deal with this - please can you all help me??
 
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