Thanks again to everyone for commenting
Originally Posted by idealist
The Fairy tales, love songs and idealistic ideas of long term monogamy are just stories and lies for the most part. That can be difficult to admit at first,
Objectively, I think you are entirely correct, I just think it is far easier said than done for most people. do you have any concrete ways to help get them past those things? or what happens when one partner has let go of those fantasies but the other still has them. What advice do you give then?
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance
Become authentic by being deeply open and honest. First with yourself, then with your nearest and dearest and finally with the world. There's always room for self-improvement.
But, those of us who have been there, done that and now found our way out-know that the consequences of living a lie are incalcuable.
As simple as it is, I like how you laid out the step-by-step approach:first you, then the significant other, then other people. And if you are not improving, you are stagnant. I agree.
I will definitely check out your blog for your story. Thanks for letting me know.
Originally Posted by LoveBomb
I'll chime in on this one.
Knowing how affairs and lies and poor communication have negatively affected other members of my family, I wasn't going to have any of that.
So one night, a few weeks ago, my wife and I had a conversation about "Love" and what that word means to each of us. My definition of love hinges on "trust" and "freedom". To me, real love cannot exist without trust, and trust requires honesty, openness, and good communication.
I said more, but ultimately I laid it out rationally and logically and my wife agreed with everything I've said. It also helps that she's not hung up on sex like a lot of people are in society, so she's much more open to the idea of polyamory and open relationships.
I really appreciate the honest story, especially since it so recently happened and good luck with working it out, though it seems like you have already started out in a very good way.
I do think having had that previous bad experience with divorces/lying helped you and LR make the jump more easily because you could appreciate how bad it actually is. That probably cannot be emphasized enough, but it's probably also difficult for people who are cheating and don't have that experience to internalize. They know it would be bad, but they probably don't realize just how bad.
I especially appreciate the list of everything you tried to emphasize. Very practical and helpful. I will probably message you with some more specific questions if that's ok.
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
Fucking around is fucking around. It doesn't matter if everyone is doing it, it's still fucking around.... Convention doesn't justify anything.
But one thing most people don't do is the really hard work required to make relationships work. That really hard work includes learning to communicate honestly with your spouse. The fact that so many people chicken out doesn't let everyone else off the hook, they'll just go find someone else to fuck it up with.
Not true. I "invented" polyamory when I was 10. Only later did I learn that I was not the first inventor of polyamory. But I was never at risk of falling into monogamous marriage by default... I was just at risk of never getting married because I knew monogamy could never work for me.
I wasn't trying to say that convention justified it, I was trying to show how other conventions play a role in propagating the bad decisions, because the "rational" choice has been made to seem non-viable by them. Congratulations to you for having the gift/ability to invent it on your own. You deserve a lot of credit, but most people are not capable of that at such a young age, so i think there is some responsibility on the part of those who know the bigger, better truth to help them work toward it if possible.
I do agree as well that relationships are hard work and that cheating, especially for most men as I can't speak as much to why women do it, is probably a result of their unwillingness to put in such work. When a cheater leaves for the person they are cheating with, they are most likely falling for a delusion that the grass is greener on the other side. They just don't realize that the reason the affair works so well is that that hard work wasn't really required for the most part. And when they now have to put it in again, they are just as likely to fail as they did the first time around. So I agree with you there too.
I certainly don't want to put words in LR's mouth, but it's possible that in some cases the affair brings about realizations that act as a "bridge" from one side to the other: from having a bad or not completely honest relationship to either moving on or changing the current relationship so that people end up better off, as paradoxical as that may sound. I agree that the end does not necessarily justify the means, and I'm not saying that makes the affair "right." I don't really think that is possible. But I do think that maybe not all cheaters are equal in what they learn from the situation and how they apply that knowledge moving forward. So the crux of my initial question remains what do you say to them to help them in making that step?