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  #181  
Old 05-25-2012, 03:22 AM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by lovefromgirl View Post
No, there really isn't any integrity in doing that. Got a family? Be honest with them. Got kids? They can handle "Mommy and Daddy aren't in love anymore" better than "...and one of us has hurt the other in order to see if we could all still live under the same roof. Be grateful!"

Never going to accept "for the children/family" as an excuse, sorry. And I'm never going to forgive the kind of person who does this to a family, because of what it did to mine.
You're assuming that the spouse is going to react at all rationally to honesty. Case in point: a friend of mine's marriage was failing. Badly. She didn't love him anymore, wouldn't sleep with him, they had yelling/screaming matches in front the kids, he wanted them to try counseling, but she wasn't willing to do any work. AND, if he left, there wasn't enough money for two households so his kids would suffer even more, AND she was enough of a manipulative bitch to keep their kids from him until she was absolutely legally FORCED to let him see them. So he stayed and did what he could. He stayed in a broken, fucked-up situation so that the kids would have at least one dependable parent around. Was it GOOD for the kids? Hell no. But as far as he could see it was better than the other options available at the time. His cheating (because that's what some of you would call it) and lying to his wife-in-name-only could hardly be seen as a betrayal when she was already so far off the deep end. He was trying to keep a little bit of sanity to keep himself together while keeping the peace as best he could in the situation he found himself in. Did I feel at all guilty in aiding and abetting that? You bet your ass I did NOT. And a year or so later (long after I was out of the picture) was I happy to hear he had managed to get a divorce and was dating again? Absolutely.

So for those who, as children, had homes broken apparently due to cheating, I'm sorry for your pain, but it's likely there were other problems contributing. Cheating in my experience is the symptom, not the cause. I will say, though, that it's never a solution either. Long-term cheating is something I have no patience for. Especially if you get caught, but even if you don't, it should only ever be something short-term that drastically alters your perception of what's going on in your life and opens your eyes to what you need to do to change things.
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Last edited by ThatGirlInGray; 05-25-2012 at 03:25 AM. Reason: dang typos
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  #182  
Old 05-25-2012, 04:13 AM
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mrspolyamorous mrspolyamorous is offline
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
You're assuming that the spouse is going to react at all rationally to honesty. Case in point: a friend of mine's marriage was failing. Badly. She didn't love him anymore, wouldn't sleep with him, they had yelling/screaming matches in front the kids, he wanted them to try counseling, but she wasn't willing to do any work. AND, if he left, there wasn't enough money for two households so his kids would suffer even more, AND she was enough of a manipulative bitch to keep their kids from him until she was absolutely legally FORCED to let him see them. So he stayed and did what he could. He stayed in a broken, fucked-up situation so that the kids would have at least one dependable parent around. Was it GOOD for the kids? Hell no. But as far as he could see it was better than the other options available at the time. His cheating (because that's what some of you would call it) and lying to his wife-in-name-only could hardly be seen as a betrayal when she was already so far off the deep end. He was trying to keep a little bit of sanity to keep himself together while keeping the peace as best he could in the situation he found himself in. Did I feel at all guilty in aiding and abetting that? You bet your ass I did NOT. And a year or so later (long after I was out of the picture) was I happy to hear he had managed to get a divorce and was dating again? Absolutely.

So for those who, as children, had homes broken apparently due to cheating, I'm sorry for your pain, but it's likely there were other problems contributing. Cheating in my experience is the symptom, not the cause. I will say, though, that it's never a solution either. Long-term cheating is something I have no patience for. Especially if you get caught, but even if you don't, it should only ever be something short-term that drastically alters your perception of what's going on in your life and opens your eyes to what you need to do to change things.
+1

This is an extremely common scenario...much more common than a Kennedy-esque womanizer who wants more feathers in his cap. I feel for people in these situations and if they have something to offer me and mine and I have something to offer them that helps make their life better, then so be it. I don't sit around worrying about how someone else is NOT doing their job. It's simply outsourcing after a million arguments to try to plead to get some of your needs met. I see it as nothing more than that.

Too many presumptions here about how the another person in that man/woman's life behaves already and will behave when faced with the truth. A man who is this honest to a crazy woman could well indeed lose half or more of everything he has. Not to mention the priceless ability to get to live with your children full time by choosing not to disrupt even more an already dysfunctional household.
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  #183  
Old 05-25-2012, 05:38 AM
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Emm Emm is offline
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So it is no guarantee that transparency is going to translate into a happy ending for any parties involved.
Perhaps not, but at least it would be an ethical ending.
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  #184  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:22 AM
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Perhaps not, but at least it would be an ethical ending.
Ethics don't make me feel compelled to demand another person, who is likely a chapter in my book of life, obliterate their primary homelife to be considered a candidate in my love life. I'm sorry. We will have to agree to disagree. I wouldn't ask anyone else subscribe to my ethics just because I think they are the way I should behave, as they must weigh carefully what is on the line for the risks they are personally taking.

I'd rather the potential (often not so caring, no so warm, loving or sensual) spouse be in the dark than to expect her to be made privy of my existence so she can further destroy the person (and their children's relationship with him). I believe hurting her, the children and the person I am amorous toward is far worse than her being clueless. I believe in some cases there is a bit of "Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil" going on where she doesn't want to know. She is just glad he isn't bugging her for attention. I can't be the only one who has been attracted to people who happen to be in that situation.. surely?
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Me: 32, bi, female, married 14 years to R.
R: 33, hetero male who is polyfriendly, NSA friendly under the right circumstances.
S: The child R and I have together.
Neither have found the partner(s) we would like to merge villages with. In the meantime we are exploring our collective sexuality to find a frequency that feels right.
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  #185  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:41 AM
km34 km34 is offline
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I'm not attracted to liars. And while that situation could feel like a perfectly legitimate one it's still lying. I would never trust that person to tell me the truth. If he/she is so willing to lie to a spouse and their children, why would I be exempt from the lies? If I condone one reason to cheat, I may as well condone them all because an argument could be made in all situations.

On another note, there has been significant research that shows that children with parents who are unhappy in their situations suffer as much if not more trauma than children whose parents get divorced but are psychologically happy. So, even if it would be financially straining I would prefer people who can't function as a unit anymore to split up so that they can be emotionally fulfilled.

I had a friend whose parents were in that situation - their relationship was TERRIBLE, but because her mom had some health issues that made her unable to work, they stayed together "for the kids and financial reasons." One kid ended up pregnant in high school (twice - she has 3 kids now), married the baby daddy, was severely abused by the baby daddy, and then finally moved out. Why did she deal with the guy for so long? Because it was better than witnessing her parents' unhappiness (her words). She finally realized she was doing the same thing to her kids and moved out on her own.

My friend ran away because she got so tired of the tension at home. She officially moved out at 16, transferring high schools, and living with a friend's family. The youngest kid still lives with the mom and is one of the most timid people I've ever seen in my life (as opposed to the spunky, crazy outgoing kid she was).

After the youngest was in high school, the dad's multiple affairs were found out by the kids. The dad that had always provided for them was now just the guy that cheated on their mom. Only one out of the three kids (the youngest who is still forced by the courts to go to his house) is even on speaking terms with him now.

Sure, cheating may be easier than leaving sometimes. And in some cases it may be better for the adults involved, but if there are kids involved, no.
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  #186  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mrspolyamorous View Post
Ethics don't make me feel compelled to demand another person, who is likely a chapter in my book of life, obliterate their primary homelife to be considered a candidate in my love life.
And I would demand no such thing. They simply wouldn't be given the option of being "a candidate in my love life". As km34 so succinctly put it, I'm not attracted to liars.
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  #187  
Old 05-25-2012, 06:52 AM
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I could come up with a lot of other family scenarios where staying married did or didn't work out. Each child has a personality that could potentially make bad decisions regardless of their family background. Most families have one or more of these types. Psychology tells us that personalities are formed early and risk taking behavior has a lot to do with personality type. This doesn't make the parents not responsible for how they raise their children.

I had a situation where a guy I was having flirtatious conversation with who was still married to his HS sweetheart didn't end up working out for us, but she found our conversations on Facebook. She read them and was upset at him for it and she asked to speak with me. I shared with her all about my choice to live a poly life and directed her to my blog so she can see why I would be open to considering a married person at all.

She was very cordial and shared some things I had not been aware of according to her perspective. We remain friends and she and her husband have a renewed sense of attraction for one another since she found he was exploring other options. They both wanted to save their marriage. I believe at that point they were hoping I could solve all their problems by having a relationship with them both. But my husband was not attracted to her and her husband turned out to be extremely bothered by the idea of her enjoying sex with another man anyway.

Long story short....she didn't get a meat cleaver and come to destroy me or my life. She didn't want to destroy her husbands life either. They talk to me periodically about how things are going in their relationship and in the bedroom. I feel a little awkward that I couldn't tell them why my husband had no interest in her because she was already feeling insecure for putting on a lot of weight since HS.

But i digress, I feel like my experience has sometimes been a pretty positive one, even if things didn't work out in the end. Sometimes it is a moment where the person doesn't have anything he is lying about. We hadn't even seen each other in person. He was able to then explain WHY he had been motivated to look elsewhere. They were able to hash it out and move in a positive direction.

In this case I felt like i left them in better shape than I found them. It wasn't even planned like that. It's not even my goal to work on someones wife to help them be a better wife initially. But I do feel like my blog is written more for the female in the relationship so she can ask herself and her man the questions she needs to in order to find out if poly or open is right for them. And in this case they decided it is not. I stepped out of the picture and I don't believe she sees her husband as a liar.

In a literal sense, I am not attracted to liars. But I am attracted to people who might lie about something in order to protect someone else. I am attracted to human beings and they are prone to not being 100% like me. They might do things I don't even have to consider doing in my own relationship. I have enough things I feel like I am judged about so I try not to dish it out and lump all people who have lied into a category of being liars when presented with anything that is difficult that they have found a path of least resistance.
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Me: 32, bi, female, married 14 years to R.
R: 33, hetero male who is polyfriendly, NSA friendly under the right circumstances.
S: The child R and I have together.
Neither have found the partner(s) we would like to merge villages with. In the meantime we are exploring our collective sexuality to find a frequency that feels right.

Last edited by mrspolyamorous; 05-25-2012 at 06:57 AM.
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  #188  
Old 05-25-2012, 11:11 AM
zylya zylya is offline
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Originally Posted by BrigidsDaughter View Post
I had a friend once tell me that all men cheat, it's in their genes. She just never wanted to find out about it.
Yay for gender-based stereotyping!

Unlike a lot of people in this topic I don't ever deal in moral absolutes. I don't cheat myself, but I don't really care if someone else cheats or not. I make my decisions based on the person and how I feel about them, their situation, risk/reward to myself and nature of the relationship.

It's not my place to tell someone how to run their lives (not that anyone else here is necessarily doing that) so all I do is assess what they're offering against what I want, and if those two things match-up, the existence of an unaware partner wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me.

That's not to say that I WOULD be with someone cheating either, just recently I've been very interested in a married woman whose marriage is at an end, and although I'm interested in her, I had to pull away because I didn't want to end up inducing her to cheat, not because she had a husband, but because she's a good friend and if I do get into a relationship with her, I want it to have the best shot at succeeding, which I believe in this case is waiting. That's what I mean about dealing with it on a case by case basis.
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  #189  
Old 05-25-2012, 01:21 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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One of the great things about polyamory is the highly diverse group of folks that it attracts. I don't agree with everyone, and I don't expect to. I also don't have any magic formula for how to make poly work.

I spent enough of my life living a set of values that I thought I was expected to live by. They didn't work for me, and I went off the rails in so many ways (I have documented that story elsewhere). At some point I came to the conclusion that I needed to look at what was morally and ethically important to me and not to associate with people who got in the way of that. Part of my goals is the Google-esque "don't be evil". I am not willing to compromise my values for the sake of a relationship - to misquote - "you can have relationships without doing evil." Evil, in this case, is anything that goes against your own moral backbone.

I made a decision that I would not support people who are cheating on their spouses, by having a relationship with them. I did that on the basis that I wouldn't want to be a spouse that was cheated on, and would rather have the person work with me on the relationship first. If I wouldn't want it for myself, how can I be happy when I am doing that to another, even if it's someone that I don't personally know?

So someone may have a justification for lying and breaking the rules of what they promised their spouse (which is what I define as cheating) - people can have all sorts of justifications for crimes, too - but it doesn't make any of it right. Some of those justifications are legitimate, some are made up just so they can feel good about their lying and cheating. It's often very difficult to tell one from the other when you aren't given access to any way to confirm.

I think that most folks on any poly forum would agree that having a relationship behind the back of your spouse is not poly, it's cheating. there have been long debates about whether having a relationship with someone that is cheating on their spouse could be called poly or not. I think that the viewpoints of the various posters on this thread have made their own personal values abundantly clear.

And that is valuable when it comes to finding people who share your own sense of morals and values. A lesson to draw from this (if you didn't know it already) is that when someone says they are "polyamorous", do NOT assume that their poly is your poly - there are some very definite clarifying questions that need to be asked to establish some important issues.
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  #190  
Old 05-25-2012, 02:00 PM
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lovefromgirl lovefromgirl is offline
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Was it GOOD for the kids? Hell no. But as far as he could see it was better than the other options available at the time. His cheating (because that's what some of you would call it) and lying to his wife-in-name-only could hardly be seen as a betrayal when she was already so far off the deep end.
If the home is that broken already, obviously the kids aren't going to be much worse off, if any, about Daddy getting a nicer girlfriend. You actually knew who was on the other end, and that yeah, the situation was a long way beyond a peaceful resolution.

That's different from "Well, why shouldn't I help married men cheat? They started it, not me. I'm just not ruling them out." In your particular case, ThatGirlInGray, you actually knew them already, knew their problem, and knew it couldn't get any worse for your actions.

This worries me, though: "I shared with her all about my choice to live a poly life and directed her to my blog so she can see why I would be open to considering a married person at all." MrsPolyamorous, if you showed her what you told us, I'm a little worried that she came away thinking poly really did mean helping other people cheat. In my experience, that's absolutely not what poly has meant, not to anyone I've known yet.
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