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  #21  
Old 05-13-2011, 08:41 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Yeah, being friends with both halves of the couple seriously complicates this. I also believe you've made the most best choice possible in a crummy situation.
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  #22  
Old 05-14-2011, 04:52 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Sorry it didn't work out to be a warmth filled experience of enlightenment and a promise to do better. That would of been nice huh? No big surprise though.

Really, years from now, or even weeks from now, she might realize the gift you gave her.

She thinks she has her shit worked out and that she is on a higher path, you brought her down to the ground and made her face something she was no where near interested in facing... much like an addict that doesn't want to get of the drug they are on.

She has to do it herself, but you showed her that you, for one, are not going to sit by and watch or be a part of this path she has chosen.

You shined a light in a dark place and she didn't like that you saw something different than she had been seeing. Maybe that gift will be big enough for her to venture into the darkness and look for herself... who knows.

Good on ya!

I hope you feel very proud of your actions. You should
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  #23  
Old 05-14-2011, 05:35 AM
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redsirenn redsirenn is offline
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Originally Posted by TruckerPete View Post
Yeah, being friends with both halves of the couple seriously complicates this.
Yes it does. And I don't think I was entirely clear. It is not only both halves of one couple, but both halves of two couples. She and the man she hooked up with are both friends of mine, as are their spouses... I've had lots of wonderful dinner parties with just the four of them, plus O. We've been a close group.

Last night I got a text saying she "does not appreciate the fact I involved O, or the timing" but that she was "looking into professional help". Her b-day party is tonight - I'm not there. We'll see what happens with this research of hers. Talk is cheap, especially from someone whose truth I question.

Then this morning I got an email saying she told her husband about our night of fooling around... finally. I think he's angry, but I'm glad at least that is out at last.

Anyhow - I never told O about her and this dude. I was upset, he is very keen on these things, and literally guessed - almost as a joke that these exact 2 people were having an affair. I was making beans, and just stood there staring at the pot, shocked that he already "knew". There are obviously signs that they have something going on for him to get it so fast. It makes me believe that he isn't the only one.

Thanks for the advice, peeps. It's funny; In the most recent podcast of Savage Love, the very first caller sounds a lot like me. Serendipity, I suppose.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/S...ve?oid=8078836

RS
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2011, 01:58 PM
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Erin Erin is offline
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Wink Cheating is like going to the bar...

These are all fascinating views on cheating.

I think people cheat because there is something significantly wrong in their lives at home, and they use sexual encounters with others (however long-lasting or bedroom-hot) as an escape to cope with what really frustrates them at home. And I don't think most people actually want to get caught - although the fantasy is fun - but not really what people want. It's like alcohol - people don't go to bars to say, "I want a hangover." They go to bars because they hope it'll provide a fun escape from reality if even for just a few hours.

Last edited by Erin; 05-15-2011 at 02:00 PM. Reason: typo
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  #25  
Old 05-15-2011, 06:26 PM
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sinew sinew is offline
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Cheating's a subject pretty close to my heart. My husband Charlie and our closest friend Juliet had an emotional and physical affair for about 6 months before I discovered it, and we began a very rough road toward poly.

I've come to think of what happened as the combination of three elements.

First, they fell in love. That can happen to anyone, and doesn't necessarily lead to cheating. It's a tough place to be, though, when you've already become deeply invested in your feelings for another person, and there is no existing route in your relationship construct to be able to express this... Except perhaps to leave one for the other. I actually have a lot of sympathy for this position, as it's the same one I was in when I fell for Charlie while still married to my first husband.

Second, neither of them was feeling particularly close to their primary partners during this period. Each of the couples was going through a lot of stress and communication issues. Charlie and Juliet turned to each other to vent, and it brought them closer. Of course, this was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more they found it felt good to vent to each other, the less they actually worked on the issues with their respective primaries. The more rocky those relationships got, the more it felt like they were justified in seeking relief in the affair.

Third, they chose a path of selfish secrecy. This is the essential ingredient for cheating, in my view. The other pieces set the stage, and I do see how well-meaning people can get into those situations. In the end there is a choice, though. They chose to pursue their romantic feelings and sexual desires behind the backs of their existing partners.

The thing that I will maybe never understand is that cheating seems to be a unique kind of dishonesty - a kind that two otherwise radically honest people can practice without mindfulness. This is the mystery that haunts me even now, to be honest, and the reason that I'm not ultimately convinced that my husband won't cheat again, even though he has worked to embrace a much more open and mindful way of life.

I'm really grateful to the people who have cheated posting here, because it does help to hear your stories and perspectives. Being a very analytical person, it drives me crazy not being able to figure out how two people who claim with all their hearts to care deeply about me decided to create a lie so hurtful. I'm trying not to concentrate too hard on the question, because in the end whether I "get it" or not doesn't make much difference.

I think/hope that my two dear cheaters are a lot less likely to do it again in the future, having faced the giant emotional burdens that being found out created. But I also think that there is *something* in their psyches that allowed them to do it in the first place - something not everyone has. I don't think it's gone.
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  #26  
Old 05-18-2011, 01:26 PM
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gwendolenthefair gwendolenthefair is offline
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I was with a cheater for two and a half years. He was my first poly relationship and I was very much in love with him.

What I knew for most of our relationship was that his marriage was very troubled, he and his wife rarely slept together their last few years together, and that he had cheated on her with another woman. I persuaded myself that it wasn't so bad, because he'd really loved the other woman, and love makes things so much less sleazy, right? It never even occurred to me, in the beginning, that the very act of cheating with even one person might have made him less trustworthy as a partner.

Boyfriend left his wife right around when he met me, after having first tried to negotiate a poly relationship with the wife. (That didn't work, the wife wanted other lovers but wouldn't let him have any of his own, or so he told me, and he left her at least partly over that issue, although the marriage was troubled in other ways too.)

Well, I believe my boyfriend didn't cheat on me, at least. He had three other partners while we were together, and I at least knew about all three, and knew one in person pretty well too in person. But people who lie and get away with it, they get good at it, and I believe that many of those will just continue to lie if it suits their ends.

After two years together, my love's other poly partner, who had started out as my friend, had grown very obviously hostile toward me and had even asked him to dump me. I had gotten upset about that, sought advice in an online forum of people I trusted about mending metamour fences, and had gotten some good advice there. I never got to use it because said metamour saw my post, was convinced that everyone in the forum would know I was talking about her (even though there was nothing in the post or on that site that could connect the two of us, and certainly no names were ever mentioned), and, as far as I can piece together, got our boyfriend to create a web of lies that were designed to make me shut up and never post again about our relationship. Most of what he told me was so preposterous that a child would not have believed it, plus his story kept changing anyway. I called him on all of it, demanded the truth, and he dumped me in a one-paragraph email and never talked to me again. Even now, a year later,when I see him in a social situation, he won't even say hello.

Shortly before he ended the relationship, boyfriend confessed to me that he had not only cheated on his wife with the woman I knew about. He apparently was on adultfriendfinder for the better part of a decade, banging any woman who was willing, without his wife's knowledge or consent. I hadn't known any of that. If I had, I don't think I would have dated him in the first place.

At this point, I don't think I could ever trust a person enough to have feelings for them, if I knew they had a history of cheating on a wife or a live-in partner. I look back on my relationship with boyfriend and it feels like the entire thing was all lies. I regret that I ever met him, and if I could slap a warning label on him for all the women in the poly community, I would. It's probably unnecessary though, because I don't think my former metamour will ever let him have anything that goes beyond casual sex with anyone else. She has a long history of cheating on her former spouse too, surprise surprise.
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  #27  
Old 05-29-2011, 08:05 AM
Canopus Canopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
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'?

The question; Can these people benefit from polyamory or some other form of consensual non-monogamy? Can cheaters change?
Yes, I have some experience with trying to change a cheater to embrace polyamory. To no avail.

I do not see much of a chance to change a person who sees nothing morally wrong with fulfilling his/hers egoistical needs with the expense of others. It is so deeply ingrained to their personality. You either choose to stay with them cheating or let them go. With choosing to stay with the cheater you also choose to live in a lie. Maybe a strong person can take the pressure and help the cheater to change?

This is not to say that every person who has ever cheated will always cheat. If the person who has cheated shows emotional pain over their choice to cheat, there is a chance I believe. I must believe, because while trying to embrace polyamory I ended up cheating too.

Reading sinew's and other's stories only reinforces my view. There are the ones who end up cheating due to circumstances, and who really do regret and feel bad about it, and then there are the ones who pathologically cheat and see no problem in their actions.

So I suggest you stay away from true cheaters, the people who do whatever they please and who see no point in being open and truthful. They are easy to spot and avoid if you keep your eyes open and mind clear of clutter. Trust me, it is not fun to confront the spouse who has been cheated on. You will only get hurt.
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  #28  
Old 06-29-2013, 02:00 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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I know this is an old thread but I followed a link here from someone who found it useful and thought I would add my "two cents" - just to add to the collection of experiences for any future readers.

Although I have always identified as poly the "rules" (boundaries/agreements/whatever) of my relationship with my husband precluded sexual relationships with other men...but the line of what constituted a "sexual relationship" had flexed and stretched over the years (decades) and never been seriously strained...until Dude (MrS's new best friend) entered the picture.

For three months I was, essentially, a "cheater" for the first time in my life. Although we did not have sex "technically" - boundaries were certainly crossed that required some serious self-delusion to justify - I was so good at this that I managed to convince Dude, as well, that my self-delusions were true - although he always had his doubts. (You can read the whole sordid tale in my "Journey" blog on this site.) I can't even fall back on some "emotions got the better of me" argument - for me, it was all about the physical (on my part, at that time).

When MrS found out my deception ... the shit did hit the fan. I had ALREADY decided that I needed to cut it out with Dude and come clean with my husband. I was deciding how to do this when it came out anyway (due to my utter inability to ACTUALLY deceive someone I care about when asked a direct question.).

After the dust had settled...both boys forgave me for my temporary insanity and things have been ... well, actually pretty awesome since then. (Forgiving myself, on the other hand, is a much longer endeavor.)

I like to think that a one-time period of bad judgement doesn't define me as a person - but learning that I had the CAPACITY to behave in such a way was certainly an eye-opening experience. I like to think that I have learned from this experience and would NEVER behave in such a way again...but now I am leery of such absolutes. (For others, as well as myself.)

We are human. We make mistakes. We, hopefully, learn from them. People can change (for better or for worse). Change can be triggered by events but, ultimately, it is an internal process.

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3 yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS; married to TT, poly male
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2013, 02:08 PM
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Newbie9 Newbie9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
I know this is an old thread but I followed a link here from someone who found it useful and thought I would add my "two cents" - just to add to the collection of experiences for any future readers.

Although I have always identified as poly the "rules" (boundaries/agreements/whatever) of my relationship with my husband precluded sexual relationships with other men...but the line of what constituted a "sexual relationship" had flexed and stretched over the years (decades) and never been seriously strained...until Dude (MrS's new best friend) entered the picture.

For three months I was, essentially, a "cheater" for the first time in my life. Although we did not have sex "technically" - boundaries were certainly crossed that required some serious self-delusion to justify - I was so good at this that I managed to convince Dude, as well, that my self-delusions were true - although he always had his doubts. (You can read the whole sordid tale in my "Journey" blog on this site.) I can't even fall back on some "emotions got the better of me" argument - for me, it was all about the physical (on my part, at that time).

When MrS found out my deception ... the shit did hit the fan. I had ALREADY decided that I needed to cut it out with Dude and come clean with my husband. I was deciding how to do this when it came out anyway (due to my utter inability to ACTUALLY deceive someone I care about when asked a direct question.).

After the dust had settled...both boys forgave me for my temporary insanity and things have been ... well, actually pretty awesome since then. (Forgiving myself, on the other hand, is a much longer endeavor.)

I like to think that a one-time period of bad judgement doesn't define me as a person - but learning that I had the CAPACITY to behave in such a way was certainly an eye-opening experience. I like to think that I have learned from this experience and would NEVER behave in such a way again...but now I am leery of such absolutes. (For others, as well as myself.)

We are human. We make mistakes. We, hopefully, learn from them. People can change (for better or for worse). Change can be triggered by events but, ultimately, it is an internal process.

JaneQ
I clicked over and read your entire journey blog (you are adorable and your blog is fascinating, btw)
I am unclear how your behavior was cheating. I'd maybe call it a boundaries limit violation? I guess it's just semantics but to me cheating is a set of choices and deceptions made deliberately or subconsciusly in order to break a known rule. I'm just curious.

I especially liked the description of the relationship between your grandparents. so cute!!
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  #30  
Old 07-03-2013, 01:32 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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Originally Posted by Newbie9 View Post
I clicked over and read your entire journey blog (you are adorable and your blog is fascinating, btw)
>blush< Thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie9 View Post
I am unclear how your behavior was cheating. I'd maybe call it a boundaries limit violation? I guess it's just semantics but to me cheating is a set of choices and deceptions made deliberately or subconsciusly in order to break a known rule. I'm just curious.
A grey area, I admit, and others have questioned it as well. Ultimately what defines "cheating" to me - are the explicit/implicit agreements/expectations in a relationship - and that depends on the individuals involved. For some couples/relationships there are various types of behaviours that would be considered some sort of "cheating" - you might come across people referring to "an emotional affair" for instance.

Even if you limit the definition to "sexual infidelity" you get into an micro-nuanced discussion of what "sex" actually is. (Note here: almost everyone seems to think that their definition of sex is clear and straightforward ... and someone else will disagree).

Very early on I had, tongue-in-cheek, coined a phrase that defined behaviors with others that would require notification of prior intent and "further conversation" within our relationship. ("Mucus Membranes Must not Meet") - which was a summation of an awareness of pregnancy/STI risk. However, also very early on, MrS had expressed a "No Boys" boundary...Admittedly, both of these "boundaries" were rather vague, we kind of counted on our penchant for discussing things to death to keep each other on the same page. Despite being (objectively) lousy boundaries, they did suffice for 19 years.

SO - while I wasn't breaking the "MMMnM" rule (which he later pointed out was MY "rule" for HIM), I was definitely breaking the "No Boys" rule - which had been so bent and stretched over the previous decades (under controlled situations, with prior FWB, or with explicit prior disclosure) that I was able to delude myself into believing that it no longer "really" applied.

In the long run - it was "cheating" because everyone involved felt that "cheating" had occurred. Rules (explicit or implied) were bent, Trust was broken. This wasn't a one-off, one-time episode - over a period of 2-3 months I repeatedly allowed myself to put myself in situations with Dude where some sort of sexual activity (although not "sex" by MY definition) could/would occur...and I failed to disclose a "more than platonic friends" status to my husband, while maintaining the fiction that that was what was going on.

There was deception and rule-breaking..."cheating" vs. "boundaries limit violation"...yup, semantics. The fact that it was largely self-deception and the rules were poorly defined ... don't change the fact that actual, justified, pain was caused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie9 View Post
I especially liked the description of the relationship between your grandparents. so cute!!
They were, seriously, that adorable. (Grandpa died in January...Grandma is, amazingly, hanging on...sometimes she "knows" that he is gone...but I don't think she really "believes" it... So lovely, and so sad.)

JaneQ
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Me: poly bi female, in an "open-but-not-looking" Vee-plus with -
MrS: hetero polyflexible male, live-in husband (together 21+ yrs)
Dude: hetero poly male, live-in boyfriend (together 3 yrs) and MrS's best friend
Lotus: poly bi female, "it's complicated" relationships with Dude/JaneQ/MrS; married to TT, poly male
VV and MsJ: bi-women with male primaries, LTR LDR FWBs to JaneQ


My poly blogs on this site:
The Journey of JaneQSmythe
The Notebook of JaneQSmythe
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