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-   -   Infidelity gives rise to Polyamory? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=588)

Ricavaler 08-03-2009 06:59 PM

Infidelity gives rise to Polyamory?
It seems to me that many couples that come to be Poly start out as a result of infidelity or one partner's having met someone they wish to pursue a relationship with, but want to do so 'without guilt'.

Is this the norm?

I struggle to imagine how well a poly 'primary' relationship can stand up to that, being the 'betrayal' of it's inception.

(This is just an observation I've made on the 'net in general... I could be wrong about how often it happens :) )

Rarechild 08-03-2009 08:22 PM

I'm going to do a zen thing here and speculate that many times underdeveloped polyamorous ideals are badly expressed through cheating at first sometimes, and if the couple can get through that and communicate their honest needs and still love each other- this second chance is taken by the brave to make love an honest thing all around.

vandalin 08-04-2009 04:02 AM

Well I can honestly state that when I approached my hubby about exploring poly, I had met (re-met) someone who I was interested in attempting a relationship with. I would never have brought up the topic if I hadn't discovered it about myself due to this re-meeting. Also, I would never have cheated on my husband, but we are lucky enough to have always been able to discuss anything and everything from our fears to our fantasies and desires.

So, in my case, yes I wanted to pursue a relationship without guilt. I feel this is a much better idea than the "easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" idea, especially if a person discovers their poly-ness after being married (like myself).

XYZ123 08-04-2009 01:10 PM

For myself, yes, I very often cheated in past relationships. The cheating was always due to something lacking in a relationship and strong emotional ties to the person I eventually ended up cheating with, never a one night stand or a purely physical attraction. So I was always poly but never knew the term and never had a partner willing to discuss it, as I did try with a few prior to cheating.

My hubby and I started as an open relationship which turned more towards poly as we discovered we were in love yet still dating others whom we cared deeply for. Our others did not work out and we became mono for a long time. My "new" poly attitude came about not due to a lack so much as the fact I'm bisexual and, while N gives me all I need and want in a man and I don't feel I'd ever want another male partner, he cannot be a woman for me. And I had, over time, fallen for a female friend of ours who had also fallen for me.

So I can see where the thought that infidelity, either physically or emotionally, can be the doorway to poly. I'd hazard a guess and say it's pretty common. How would you know you're truly poly unless you developed feelings and desires for another while already in a relationship?

AutumnalTone 08-05-2009 12:08 AM

It was for that reason that I rarely made any commitment to an exclusive relationship. I didn't want to be drawn into cheating at any time. I was happy to commit to a relationship, but it was with the understanding that we could see other people if they knocked our socks off.

I can only think of one relationship where I agreed to exclusivity.

I can see where somebody would want to connect with someone new and then approach a spouse to discuss it. I'm not really convinced it's a healthy start to poly living by cheating first and then bringing it up. Seems like there would be some serious trust issues there.

Rarechild 08-05-2009 01:57 AM

I was amazed at how the trust issues melted into oblivion once we both laid it all out on the table.

Speaking to my husband about poly also aided in the following:



Increased energy and sex drive

Creative problem solving


Taking our turns at cleaning up nervous poos from our puppy, Duck the German Shepard....

A host of other things, and it's only been a short time, and we have yet to make a real move.

Crow, I think this is the best thing that's ever happened to he and I- really - not our wedding day, not his most beautiful bajno-pickin night - this. This because we never knew each other so intimately in the 5 yrs we've been together, and he and I, like everyone, have fought tooth and nail for those years, shared so much, learned so much---

And now we are finally getting naked with each other.

My cheating last fall was a catalyst for all of this, and I believe it to have all come together quite naturally when I think about it- now that I thankfully Do think about it.

If we hadn't worked together to mend those wounds, together, and all of those that came before, we'd never have gotten here.

Maybe Damncatfish will care to comment? :)

Ricavaler 08-05-2009 06:32 AM


Originally Posted by SeventhCrow (Post 4043)
I'm not really convinced it's a healthy start to poly living by cheating first and then bringing it up. Seems like there would be some serious trust issues there.

That is my thinking too.

We got married (so I guess that's exclusive LOL) but we did so knowing that each of us was free too pursue whoever grabbed our interest.

XYZ123 08-05-2009 02:54 PM

I never said it was healthy. Unless you're a strong couple already or really in love and unwilling to give up, I don't see how the relationship can survive it, let alone thrive. But I thought the question was about whether infidelity often turned out to be the doorway, not the health of the progression?

Mark1npt 08-05-2009 05:00 PM

Rarechild raises some very interesting points......There are undoubtedly numerous avenues to explore before ending up poly....how did each of us get here?....life is just one big trial and error screenplay. Monogomy is supposed to be the entire show, marriage to death. Low and behold somewhere either side of school, career and children, life changes, characters change, etc. I have found it interesting that if we don't change to meet the new circumstances and challenges, we are doomed. You can't give up, you have to be willing to change if you value the love/lover.

vandalin 08-05-2009 05:27 PM

*Puts on DA horns* Polyamory can lead to infidelity... in the current society. A person is married and finds themselves falling in love with someone else. But due to society's mores or morality, it is wrong for them to be together, no matter their feelings or even to discuss it with anyone. So since it is wrong they hide it from everyone including spouses and infidelity is achieved.

Most people, even posting here, have major doubts about bringing up being poly for the first time with their SO's. That is due to upbringing and society norms. So society itself is the cause of infidelity. Am I talking in circles yet?

Up until I joined this forum, I knew very few people or couples who have the type of communication that my hubby and I have and I feel that our communication was the key to making the possibility of a poly transition even possible.

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