Moral compass a little off
I guess I should start with a little background: I recently underwent some major hormonal changes that resulted in me developing crushes on friends and coworkers. After discussion with my husband of 8 years we decided to have an open relationship, that we are now identifying as polyamorous.
In the process of moving from one state to another I got the courage to let one of my friends know I have a crush on him and we ended up having sex. Now that I have moved I am regularly sending explicit texts to another friend. Neither of these guys knows about the kind of relationship I am in (other than the fact that I am married), but both are in committed relationships themselves. One is just in a very serious dating relationship and the other is married and has kids. Neither are with someone who would be ok with what we are doing.
I can't decide if I am doing something wrong by having these interactions with people who are not supposed to be involved with others. One of the major turn ons for me with polyamory is moving past what we are told are conventional relationships should be. If I don't want to have restrictions put on me (though my husband knows what I am doing and is ok with it), who am I to say that what these guys are doing is wrong?
Now that I don't even live in the same state as either, it isn't like I will have many opportunities to do much. Is it inappropriate to even send texts or emails?
I would just like some additional opinion on this.
You can't control what your two text-friends do. Maybe they have agreements with their partners that they just don't feel comfortable talking about, maybe there are other good reasons they need an outlet (the marriage is loveless but they can't leave cuz she'll take the kids, etc), or maybe they're just plain cheaters. But you're not at fault for their behavior, whatever it might be.
Where you're failing both yourself and them is in not telling them what's going on with you and your partner. Why not be honest? Maybe they're carrying around all this guilt because they think they're ruining your marriage, and it would be a huge gift to them to know they're not. Maybe it would inspire them to bring up poly to their partners and start a beautiful new phase in their lives. Or maybe it would ruin the fun for them, who knows. But either way, if you're gonna call yourself poly you've gotta aim for honesty.
You can then, if you choose, ask them to open up to you more about what's going on in their own relationships, but that's their call.
Personally, I wouldn't want to be involved with a cheater who didn't have a really good reason for it. One, if he lies to his spouse of course he'll lie to me, maybe he's even scummy enough that he'd lie about things like his STD status! Two, what if his wife found out and flipped out and came after me to kill me??! Lies are scary! But that's your call.
If you are knowingly involved with men cheating on their SOs, you are enabling the cheating and are guilty of an ethical lapse. No two ways about it--if you continue with them knowing they're cheating, you're as bad as they are.
If they are cheating, then you are now cheating as far as I am concerned. I suggest having some compassion for the women they are cheating on... how would you feel. I would take a good long look at your integrity and how much it is worth.
In the mean time you might want to have a look at the many threads here on cheating... you can find them by doing a search on the tags for "cheating" and "affairs."
I would have to concur with Redpepper and Autumnaltone on this one. If they were single guys, and were not involved with anyone else, you would be good to go. If they were involved with someone, and were in an OPEN relationship, then you would be good to go.
HOWEVER, since they are not...I would tell them flat out, that they either need to open their relationship, or stop doing things with you. If the former is not possible, then the later should be their option.
I think it can be challenging to find people you can play with who are open and honest. But it must not be impossible, or we wouldn't all be here! ;)
How important in your life are these guys you are sexting -- ? If they are, maybe you could talk non-sexy with them sometime, about what's going on in their relationships. Who knows, maybe you could help them improve their love lives, in ways they never even imagined! Poly isn't just about sex -- why not bring some love and care into it? The fact that you are even asking about the ethics of your situation leads me to believe you have a good heart. Glad you're here. :)
Yeah, I am/ have been in the same position as you for a few years now, and as I am trying to get out of the situation, it occurs to me that maybe I have a few words of advice for you:
1. It gets harder to remove yourself from lovers as time goes on.
2. You may have only inklings at guilt, kept at bay by willing ignorance, but the guilt will get stronger and stronger. That's what guilt does, it consumes.
3. Just because you might 'get away' with these behaviors now, the nature of life is change, and when you finally get caught, it will probably have all the backlash of previous misbehaviors wrapped up with it.
There are a few other things that come along with everything mentioned above, of course, but those are the top root issues I have encountered.
Part of the reason I am here on this forum might be similar to yours, so I'll add my comment in this post as well. It is great and inspirational to hear about more successful poly lifestyles and relationships. It seems to take a will and clarity and self-knowledge that I haven't yet developed to create such open and honest relationships. I hate to say it, but I personally struggle with cowardice/resignation/lack of integrity quite a bit, which interferes with my fantasy of a positive and fruitful poly life becoming reality. If you can manage to keep yourself upright now, you will enjoy more success in the nearer future than spending your energy trying to back peddle and course correct like me :)
Hope that's helpful.
You haven't told them about your arrangement with your husband, so as far as they know, you're cheating on him, right?
Maybe it's the same for them! Maybe their wives really do approve and they haven't told you, like you haven't told them.
Time for a chat.
Your question will likely be one of those timeless philosophical ones that will never have a universal answer. Not that I am a total relativist, because I'm not, but because I DO believe that these situation do fall under that relative headbar.
There are those (and they will undoubtedly speak here) that believe in taking what "they" feel is the 'high road' and avoid any participation whatsoever with a situation where things could go badly. They feel some ethical obligation to not be a contributor (to an unknown).
If only life were that simple.................
Somewhere along the line we learn that we cannot assume responsibility for 'others' behavior. And that has to even include what we might feel is risky behavior. And that is what we are faced with. RISK. An outknown outcome. But factually, it's just as incorrect to assume our participation will decide this outcome. Things will generally be what they may be and we, as individuals, are not omnipotent. When a path (or relationship) begins to diverg, there becomes many possible outcomes, most of which are totally indifferent to our involvement.
The situation you describe fits that.
The result (if discovered) could turn to an ugly, drama filled mess affecting many.
It's also possible that it could be the springboard to launching several relationships to a higher plateau.
You are NOT the decider on what path this will take. You are nothing more than one factor in a complex equation.
The ego wants to convince us otherwise, of course.
So it seems clear (right?) that this really is about one's philosophy. And that is a very personal thing - to each of the people involved. Whatever path you choose, it has to be one that feels right with your personal philosophy and beliefs.
You are doing your due diligence by questioning. Yourself - and everyone else. Be honest about the answers.
That's about all you can do...........
Been there. Done that. Never ever ever ever ever doing it again. It's way too freeing to be able to be on the up and up. Never allow yourself to be a dirty little secret.
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