Helping a cheater change - an exercise in futility?
Yet again, I am unsure whether this is the place to post this or if this would be more at home at the Fireplace. I am specifically interested in people's experiences of transitioning from cheating to poly/some other form of consensual non-monogamy.
So, have any of you tried to get a cheater to embrace polyamory? Is there such a thing as the 'cheater mindset' - someone who is addicted to the thrill of the forbidden but whose flame quickly dies out when the relationship is out in the open and 'allowed'?
One subset of cheaters I have encountered is the 'NRE/sex addict'. They might accept polyamory as a theoretical principle and admire it as such, but their emotional existence is just incompatible with polyamory as most polyfolks understand it. That is, they constantly desire new sexual partners - they actually seem to delight in the impossibility of things ending well. These people seem to set themselves up for failure over and over again. It is almost as if they WANT to get caught, and need to live more and more on the edge of being discovered the get the same 'kicks' as they used to, ending up having sex with somebody else in the same apartment or room where their partners are sleeping in.
Then another subset, closely related to the former, is the 'You can't tie me down' -bunch, who use cheating to assert that their partners have no control over them. They often go an a cheating binge just prior and after making public commitments, such as moving in together, getting engaged/married, having a child together etc.
And a third mindset I have encountered IRL is the 'No one's good enough for me'. They seek out relationships but make it sound like they are practically forced to commit to their partners. They constantly complain how things are 'good, but they could be better', maintain active profiles on dating sites and flirt on the sly with other people who most often don't know they are 'taken'. It is almost as if the search for the 'One' is never over for them.
The question; Can these people benefit from polyamory or some other form of consensual non-monogamy? Can cheaters change? I wonder especially because most cheaters I know are super-jealous people.
DISCLAIMER: Although I use the word 'cheater', I in no way mean to imply that there is a subset of people who will always cheat and are 'beyond hope'. Cheating is something people do, not who they are.
Me: bi female in my twenties