Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter
I didn't see anything about the boundaries having to be agreed upon in your post and I think that is where alot of people get caught up. They have personal boundaries that they want in their relationship, but they only bring it up once their partner crosses their boundary and then they accuse them of cheating. I've seen it here too, that people may not know that it is a boundary until it is too late and then they end up paying for it.
I think this is an important issue that you've hit on. There's often a lack of clarity around boundaries -- how one person understands a conversation about the relationship might be distinct from the other partner. Or one person has personal rules/boundaries that they don't really communicate to the other person, but assume that they're in agreement. There are times when the "cheating" is really a misunderstanding. I'm not romanticizing things or taking it lightly. I have serious issues with trust. I've been on both sides (if there are "sides" of this issue) -- been given time and chances and I've given that to others.
My partner and I are now working on creating written agreements because of some of the issues we've had in the past. Tristan Taormino suggests this in "Opening Up" and we think it might help really make desires and behaviors transparent.
I also think that leaving the door open to renegotiation can be a positive thing. I've learned the hard way that rigidity can stifle open communication, even if in the end, boundaries don't shift.
Oh and to the OP, in my mind, cheating is just cheating. I guess I see that stereotype linked to ideas of swinging and unicorn-hunting -- that's the image of what "poly" is. And, while I'm on the subject, I'm not fan of Mormonism (I'll leave those reasons aside), but it's ridiculous to me that people in polygamous relationships get arrested and charged with crimes.