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Old 04-18-2012, 05:07 AM
tll2k6 tll2k6 is offline
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Default When is cheating considered cheating?

This is my first post, and I am completely new to this poly thing. I fond out that my wife is in love with a person she met on the internet. They have never met irl, and he wants nothing to do with her anymore. That caused her to realize that she loved him and had for a while now, which is making her think that she might be poly. I am filled with questions, but I need to work through them one at a time. I personally don't feel like she was cheating, and I've told her this, but she is really depressed about it. I'm not asking to be convinced that she was cheating, because I can see how that could be, I just wonder: If the "cheatee" doesn't feel like it was cheating, but the "cheater" does, is it really cheating? I would think that my lack of hurt would mean that it wasn't.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:19 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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It's much better form to talk about it up front. I have a pretty hard bottom-line rule, that if you engage romantically with someone else without discussing it with me, that's cheating and I'm done. That's been my rule all my life; though before poly, I'd likely have been done had you discussed it with me.

That's another cool thing about poly. You and your wife get to decide with each other, what cheating is for you.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:26 AM
tll2k6 tll2k6 is offline
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Well, she didn't realize that she was falling for him, and that's what made her think she was poly. This all happened about a week ago, and we've been trying to figure it all out since then. I'm sure if we decide to continue a poly relationship, we'll be much more upfront. Thanks for your response!
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:34 AM
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Cheating is about doing something 'wrong' intentionally (wrong according to the personal standards and morals of a person). At least in my book. Generally I would say that as long as she wasn't doing something intentionally, like cultivating this relationship despite knowing that this would go against something you two agreed to (meaning: some agreements you two made in regard to your relationship), she shouldn't think about calling it cheating. The biggest indication for this would be that she found out about her feelings AFTER he broke up the contact with her.

What seems to make it hard for her is the general incompatibility of loving someone else if there is a love in her life already. Therefore, from her 'mono-mindset' it counts as cheating that she has had feelings for another man. Judging things doesn't have anything to do with how another person sees them. She judges her actions according to her inner moral standards and it may help her that you aren't putting some more pressure on her, but you won't dissolve this dilemma for her by saying "This is different for me." I have felt the same when I discovered my love for another man besides my husband and I needed years to overcome the thought of "This can't be right, what the heck is wrong with you?!"

Give her some time to sort her feelings out. If she never thought about the possibility of loving more than one this can be quite a shock for her.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:46 AM
tll2k6 tll2k6 is offline
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Thanks Phy. It really helps to hear it from the other side, so to speak. She decided to go spend this week with her sister 300 miles away, and it's been a little difficult, but we are talking things through. I want her to have all the time she needs, but it's hard after being with her almost nonstop for 8 years.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:53 AM
urmila urmila is offline
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I think she is much more frank than so many people. As soon she realised that she had started loving her, she has discussed with u.
The most important thing for u to work on her to remove that guilty feeling and convince her that she was not cheating on you
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:05 AM
tll2k6 tll2k6 is offline
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Honestly, she didn't come out and say it. But that is a discussion for another thread. I might type it out sometime tomorrow, explaining our current situation.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:56 PM
feelyunicorn feelyunicorn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tll2k6 View Post
If the "cheatee" doesn't feel like it was cheating, but the "cheater" does, is it really cheating? I would think that my lack of hurt would mean that it wasn't.
Interesting question. Except for two relationships I`ve had, I shunned monogamy from the start.

In one of the exceptions, prior to having "the monogamy talk", I was casually having sex with another woman. At the time, I felt like a cheater. I had my roommate tell her bullshit stories, like I was at the supermarket, when I was with my fuck-buddy, etc.

Later I went on to get dumped by this fuck-buddy, and agreed to an entirely monogamous relationship. Throughout it, I felt like I had cheated (although that was the only time).

It was only after breaking up with her, that I finally told her about the woman I was seeing at the beginning of our relationship. I was expecting a barrage of invective and guilt-tripping, but to my surprise she said: "You weren`t cheating. We weren`t committed back then."

Which is true. So, even though I would have handled that situation differently today, I`ve since come to accept her notion that I didn`t cheat. Which means, that I`ve had many relationships in my life without ever cheating. Something I`m really proud of. Especially since I feel men are socially pressured to cheat by both women and men, in spite of the lip-service to the opposite.
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