Originally Posted by polyexplorer
I believe that openness and honesty is a value worth holding on to. I believe that it is the pathway to the greatest relational health. But I also don't want to be too rigid about it. Rigidity creates and cultural and social expectation and pressure that can lead to people not following a pathway or journey that they really need to follow because they can't question the cultural values.
I understand what you're saying -- I reject most societal norms. I think things can become rigid in poly relationships -- the rule "you can't sleep over so and so's house" for example -- long after a period of one partner waiting to do this. Things can be renegotiated, feelings change, etc. However, I think honesty and openness are foundational in a poly relationship, however one defines those other agreements.
Seeing those elements as sometimes optional seems to me to be self-serving, hurtful to others and self. It takes away the agency, the self-determination of the person who is cheated on. It doesn't allow them to make a decision, to perhaps grow or stretch themselves.
What you're talking about is a pre-meditated scenario, which is not cool. Sometimes people do things on the spur of the moment, make bad choices fueled by things like alcohol, or perhaps the other person doesn't mention they have a partner. I see those a *bit* differently if the person comes clean immediately. However, it's still cheating on one side or the other and needs to be dealt with.
I've been through many of these things in my life (and have recently put my ltr on hold because of cheating) and stand firmly by honesty as a non-negotiable point.