I've had an affair in the past and am now in a poly relationship. So here is my theory on why people chose the hidden path as opposed to the open path. This theory is based on experience.
Why would people decide to cheat instead of have a poly relationship?
1) - its way easier. Communication and understanding is strictly between the two people involved.
2) - It has the added excitement of "getting away with something". Who hasn't done something because there was a thrill in it being wrong or enjoyed keeping a secret.
3) - It is a self limiting entity. The functions of the relationship are very limited. "I can't come over and mow your yard because your husband will kick my ass but we can meet somewhere and fuck!" Translated - "I just want to fuck"
4) - they can be emotionally limited so you don't have to commit beyond your own needs. "It's not that I just want to fuck you, but really we have our families to think about. I don't want you to lose everything." Huge bullshit alert. Translated - "I don't want to lose everything...but want to fuck!"
5) - it can come and go without impacting a family or social network. There are a lot of affairs that happen without anyone knowing about them.
6) - there is a belief that the participants are at least trying to be faithful or shield their partner from the information that they are not adequate in all areas.
7) - they can be terminated with less effort because "what we are doing is wrong"
8) - your parents will probably never know
Why would someone want poly vice cheating?
1) - Poly encourages you to grow as a person where affairs make you digress into irresponsibility and self denial of reality.
2) - Poly acknowledges and addresses the pain and emotions of your partner where affairs play people for fools; this is probably the greatest source of pain for those betrayed.
3) - It has the potential to become a fulfilling dynamic that widens family structures and generate more support and love for everyone involved. Affairs have a tendency to destroy families and severely damage everyone involved from spouses to children.
4) - It can set a positive example of communication and understanding for people around you.
5) - Poly relationships can increase love for everyone involved; affairs take something away from people whether they know it or not.
6) - You can be free to openly proclaim love to people around you. Affairs can become logistically exhausting and brutally stressful.
7) - Poly relationships can end with friendships and deep connections intact. Affairs usually end with total severance of ties and anything positive gets lost.
8) - Once your parents realize everyone is ok, they can often accept and be comfortable with the dynamic. Most parents would probably have a hard time hanging out with the person you are having an affair with…of course they probably wouldn't know.
Want it mathematically?
Affairs = short term gain, long term pain (for a lot of people but not all)
Poly = short term pain, long term gain (for some people but not all)
In summary, I think the majority of people who have affairs don't want to include those people into their lives. They want a separate life with them.
They are looking for an escape from the drama and distractions of everyday relationships and want it simple. Poly relationships probably won't satisfy the desires of someone actively looking for an affair.
Poly relationships are rarely simple in my opinion. For the most part they are way more complicated than an affair. It is the after affects of an affair, even one that is never found out about that is the biggest and hardest lesson to learn. Self judgement is often far worse than that of those around us. With poly you are at least up front.
Unfortunately I am a person who seems to need to learn by experiencing consequences. I have experienced a lot of consequences in my life; enough to know who I am in a way I never have before and I am no longer a boy in a man's clothes. I have lost what most would define as "everything". I have no excuse to repeat mistakes I made in the past. No excuse…full fucking stop. Any repeat of previously learned lessons is not because "it just happened". The repeat of negative things I have done would indicate an ill person. I am healthier than I have ever been.
Playing the Game of Life with Monopoly rules.
Monogamy might just be in my genes
Poly Events All Over
Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 04-25-2010 at 06:29 AM.