Originally Posted by redsirenn
Cheating is defined as whatever the couple defines it as. If forming an emotional connection with someone that crosses the "friendship" boundary is breaking an understood agreement, then it is cheating.
To say it is BS is your opinion, as you stated. To say it was "invented by threatened, jealous monogamists" is judgmental and overly generalist.
Well, it's judgemental, in that there is a judgement there, but I don't know why that's a problem. Not all relationship agreements are equally healthy, and not all relationship agreements come from a place of security and a lack of jealousy. I don't think that we need to pretend otherwise, or pretend that we can't assess that.
I'm also not sure that it is "overly generalist". I know that plenty of poly- people build ways to cheat into their relationships, and that plenty of monogamous couples are neither threatened nor jealous, but I think it is safe to say that in general cheating is a concept that exists in the context of monogamy. There's an essay on The Power Dynamics of Cheating
that addresses the relationship between monogamy, cheating and polyamory with more nuance, but in the case of policing someone's emotions by calling it "cheating" I think what you're seeing really is the invention of something to control one's romantic partner by threatening them with being labelled a "cheater".