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  #21  
Old 05-20-2012, 04:37 PM
noob noob is offline
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OP, I think people in this thread are being a little harsh on you. Personally, I understand having affairs when you've exhausted the honest method. Plenty of people have affairs, and while it isn't right, it's in some ways a more socially valid option than poly. That is something to be aware of if you decide to embark on a poly life--you might be judged more harshly for being poly than for being unfaithful, actually. Affairs can be regarded as mistakes or slip-ups, and people are generally 'properly' ashamed of what they're doing in them--whereas when people see me out openly with my boyfriend while we're both wearing wedding rings and our spouses are at home, we clearly have no shame. That galls some people.

I think it sounds like your marriage isn't giving you what you need. Whether that's because you're poly or for some other reason isn't clear. I think either way you need to be honest with your husband about what you think you need--is it more sex? more variety? more emotional connections? people to spend time with when he's at work? a larger community to plug into for childrearing? Depending what you need, there may be other, even better solutions besides sex with other people.

Be honest with yourself first. What do you need? Then communicate it to your husband. Can he support you in that? If he can't, the relationship must end. And then you can decide what to do about poly from there. The real question IMO isn't whether you're poly; it's whether you can be partnered with this man.
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  #22  
Old 05-21-2012, 04:36 AM
psychomia psychomia is offline
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PassionFlower, I was in a very broken and miserable marriage and would have done anything to feel, including cheating on my (now ex) husband. luckily I had a friend who helped me get into therapy and I sorted out the issues with my marriage, before I ended up in a situation of using other people. it took awhile to figure it out, but ultimately I realized I had to end my marriage. the aftermath was really ugly, my kids were emotionally damaged and so was I, and we ended up homeless, but that was because of my ex's nastiness. it didn't need to be that way but that's how my ex wanted it.

even after the divorce it took years for me to sort out what I really want, which is ok. in the marriage I was mono and straight because I had to be, to survive. now that no one can dictate to me what I do, I know I'm poly and bi, just like I was before I got married. I suppose it isn't as hard for some people to sort it out as it was for me, but I was in a very psychologically abusive situation and it damaged my faith in myself.

I just think that you could benefit from therapy to help sort out what you want and need to do. you might not need it as much as I did, but if you can find a good therapist it sure won't hurt.
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  #23  
Old 05-21-2012, 08:07 AM
Cleo Cleo is offline
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just wanted to comment on this little paragraph that really struck me:

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Originally Posted by PassionFlower View Post
But if I knew for sure I would be alone for the rest of my life would I choose to leave? No. What we have is better than not being with anyone. If I knew for sure that I would find someone(s) to love and care for who could also love and care for me, in the context of having multiple lovers, then I would definitely leave. But what I have is the unknown.
Yes, what you have is the unknown. And you.
For me, one of the biggest changes that living the poly-life has brought me, is that I started to realize that the unknown is really the only certainty I have. Thinking that someone will love you for the rest of your life may be comforting, but its a false sense of security.
Your husband could leave you, you know. He could fall in love with someone else. You THINK that this is impossible and will never happen, but look around you, these things happen all the time, to people who thought it would never happen to them.

Embrace the unknown. Anything can happen, what can you do to make it happen? And how will you respond and react when the things happen that you did not plan for?
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  #24  
Old 05-21-2012, 03:08 PM
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SNeacail SNeacail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post
OP, I think people in this thread are being a little harsh on you. Personally, I understand having affairs when you've exhausted the honest method.
Frankly, most people here will be harsh against actively seeking affairs because most of us have seen the damage they cause to a relationship first hand, either as the cheater or the one cheated on. Trying to repair a relationship after an affair is extremely difficult and it takes YEARS to rebuild that trust again, if at all. It may be socially more acceptable, but utterly devastating to the person your cheating on. I've noticed at some of the strongest opinions against cheating comes from those that have cheated on their partner and found it was not worth the overall damage it caused.
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  #25  
Old 05-21-2012, 03:30 PM
noob noob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNeacail View Post
Frankly, most people here will be harsh against actively seeking affairs because most of us have seen the damage they cause to a relationship first hand, either as the cheater or the one cheated on. Trying to repair a relationship after an affair is extremely difficult and it takes YEARS to rebuild that trust again, if at all. It may be socially more acceptable, but utterly devastating to the person your cheating on. I've noticed at some of the strongest opinions against cheating comes from those that have cheated on their partner and found it was not worth the overall damage it caused.
Sure, but what's done is done. She's had the affairs and there's no sense crucifying her. And plenty of people do it. She's not a monster or something. That's all I mean.
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  #26  
Old 05-21-2012, 04:15 PM
Josie Josie is offline
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This is my first post on this thread but I've read all the way through.

I would agree with noob on this issue.

I have never cheated, personally I am against it. However, my partner has. He cheated many times when struggling in a long-term mono relationship. Whilst I do not condone his actions, I can understand them and I do not believe that he is a 'monster' because of it.

Everyone makes mistakes, Passionflower has admitted to them so the focus should not be on those mistakes but on helping to support her in what she's currently going through.
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  #27  
Old 05-21-2012, 07:55 PM
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blytheandbonny blytheandbonny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noob View Post
Sure, but what's done is done. She's had the affairs and there's no sense crucifying her. And plenty of people do it. She's not a monster or something. That's all I mean.
You know, I am sort of new here, and am admittedly not immersed in the poly community - am not poly myself (bf is.) So, grains of salt for the outsider and all of that.

But, I have been married before, and there was infidelity in the marriage - which was devastating to both parties. Two and a half weeks from now will be the 3rd anniversary of the discovery day...not that I'm still counting (I totally am).

I had difficulty processing the rest of PassionFlower's story after reading about the secret infidelity at the start of it. Seems to me that cheating and being poly have nothing at all in common.

PF might be poly, but that's an unrelated separate issue from the dishonesty and cheating. Seems to me that blurring the line between the two diminishes what poly is for those who practice it ethically and with love.

I have not walked in anyone else's shoes and I realize that people cheat - but why we tolerate that as a culture with a shrug and a "Well, plenty of people do it, so there it is" attitude is baffling to me.

Cheating shatters people's lives and psyches.

The reasons for the cheating don't matter. No one deserves to have their trust violated.

I say this as the cheater.

I should have left, sought counseling, found another solution waaaay before I did. He rained down abuse on me for years that I tolerated, rationalized, and honestly, invited. Recovering from the damage he inflicted might take me a lifetime.

He still didn't deserve that, though, and I do believe it made me a monster.

Which has been very, very hard to live with. Owning up to it being something inside of you that no one else made you do is ugly. But not to would be to remain monstrous indefinitely.
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  #28  
Old 05-21-2012, 10:15 PM
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There is a saying that "once a cheater, always a cheater." Its kind of along the lines of "once and alcoholic, always an alcoholic." This saying doesn't mean that a person can't sort themselves out and achieve integrity, honesty and empathy in their lives, it means that there are some behaviours that never are completely out of someone's character even if they move on to a way of being that works for them better and those they have relationships with. It doesn't make them a monster, it makes them human. Smoking, drinking, being dishonest, drinking coffee etc. all seem to be addictions that stay with a person for life, regardless of whether they do them any more. Getting away with deceiving a partner is in that list of addictions I think.

Just because something is more sociably acceptable doesn't mean its the direction to go. Frankly, I'm appalled that cheating has become so acceptable. There are even sites to help people cheating hook up! Appalling! As I am part of society I figure I can make change happen as to what is acceptable by not accepting cheating as acceptable. To me it just isn't.

Unspoken don't ask don't tell policies between people under certain circumstances is as close as I get. Prompting people to choose the addiction of deception in the form of cheating on their partner to get their needs met rather than taking radical action to change their circumstance is irresponsible to me.
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  #29  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:53 AM
wildflowers wildflowers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Getting away with deceiving a partner is in that list of addictions I think.
I disagree with this very strongly, and I say that as someone who has cheated.

I am not trying to defend cheating here, just to say that "getting away with deception" is not necessarily a motivating factor or a thrill.

At the time I cheated I'd never even heard of polyamory, wasn't aware of it as an option.

It is definitely possible to have cheating be a step on the path that you have no desire to return to.
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  #30  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:27 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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I think thinking of and treating any kind of deception, including cheating, as an addiction can can be useful for some people. However, just like I don't believe "once a cheater, always a cheater" applies to everyone who cheats at one time or another, I don't believe everyone who cheats is addicted to deception. It's one way to look at it that might help some individuals, but dangerous when taken as a blanket statement or cure-all.
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