Originally Posted by StitchwitchD
I'm curious about perspectives of people who have been cheated on in the context of a poly relationship.
The only situations I've heard about this happening were along the lines of Person A and Person B make a relationship agreement, when put in practice it works much better for A than B, B wants to renegotiate, A insists on sticking with the original agreement, B expresses frustration and unhappiness, A ignores B's attempts to communicate, B finally violates the agreement, A gets hurt and upset with B for cheating, and either leaves B, or uses the cheating and lack of trust to guilt B into agreeing to even stricter terms for their relationship.
This was my experience exactly and I played the part as the C - B's cheating partner. A and B were married for 6 years before the cheating began and the scenario played out exactly as you mentioned. It ended up in a divorce, broken hearts, and therapy for all of us.
Everyone, I would not recommend walking yourself into this scenario at any cost
as it is destined to lead to negative consequences. If you can't come to an agreement that everyone respects and embraces upfront (and agree that this should be open to negotiation along the way), you're looking at disaster down the road. In my case, B accepted A's original interests because she loved him and was afraid that he would leave if she said no to his interests. After time, however, B felt angry that he wouldn't budge on any part of their agreement after a year. Failed talks and many other factors led to B's desperation and stubbornness and the eventual cheating.
If we did it all over again, I would have hoped that B would have been completely honest and upfront with A that what he was asking for was absolutely not in her interest, and then negotiated around that. As it was, B thought it was more appropriate to agree to the original negotiation without pushing for her desires, do whatever she pleased then and hide the ways that she broke that agreement from A, and hope that time would bring A around to the way that she was acting in secret.
In some ways it did happen that way, but things came out eventually - so much so that trust was nearly impossible to rebuild.
The truth almost always comes out. Cheating poisons the energy of a relationship, even if it is never uncovered. In my opinion, it is never worth it and I have vowed to avoid it at all costs.