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  #11  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:54 AM
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Default about healthy relationships after affairs

Show me one on here? Show me a relationship where a partner who has been cheated on has embraced the cheating partner's secret lover. I don't mean tolerated..but has been truly healthy and developed compersion for what their partner has with the person they had an affair with.
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  #12  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:26 AM
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If it's not something I want done to me under any circumstance then it's not something that I think is ok to do to someone else under any circumstance. Lying and cheating aren't ever ok. It's the cowardly way out. Either you suck it up and stay faithful until you can talk about it or you talk about it and deal with the consequences...or you break up and pursue something else.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:41 AM
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If it's not something I want done to me under any circumstance then it's not something that I think is ok to do to someone else under any circumstance. Lying and cheating aren't ever ok. It's the cowardly way out. Either you suck it up and stay faithful until you can talk about it or you talk about it and deal with the consequences...or you break up and pursue something else.
Agreed.

I personally have zero tolerance for affairs. I can not think of any circumstance where I would tolerate being with someone who is cheating and no circumstance that I can think of is worth knowingly hurting another person.

I think anyone that has convinced themselves that affairs and cheating are valid because blah, blah, blah (me, me, me) is in denial. Yes sometimes partners are difficult and people sometimes hate them and think they have to stay with them... but that is not an excuse and does not make it right. It's cowardly. period. If your relationship is not working then I am really sorry about that, but say so, and move on.
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
Do people think there is ever an exception where a new relationship feels like it is the right thing to pursue, but the person also knows their partner is not in a place where they can be told about it and that it would be too damaging at that point to tell?
Nope, no, no way (unless they have an agreement with their partner that they don't need to tell)
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  #15  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:21 AM
polyexplorer polyexplorer is offline
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Thanks for people's responses...

Can you indulge me for another moment?....

I can hear the strong values coming through loud and clear. I have the same strong values around openness and honesty.

My concern in it all is that often with strong values can lead to rigidity.

I have come from a religious background that espoused strong values. These values could not be questioned. In order to take the leap of faith that I have and to embrace much of who I am now, including this new poly life, I have had to question alot of my previously unquestionable values.

I still hold to many of the values I had when in my religious life. I had to even "break" some of the values I had that I would still hold on to. These were often exceptional cases, and I would not recommend doing it under normal circumstances, but my journey to break free of alot of burdens that were on me required that I also break values that I would even now still hold on to.

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 would not want to see polyamory become such a rigid culture that it creates unquestionable values that keep people locked into a set path. We need to be secure enough within ourselves and our own sense trust to allow people to question even the noblest and highest of values, because for one of us, our journey in exceptional cases may lead us to have to break one of these values. It would be a shame if we could not do so because the social and cultural expectation and pressure was too high...
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  #16  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
Do people think there is ever an exception where a new relationship feels like it is the right thing to pursue, but the person also knows their partner is not in a place where they can be told about it and that it would be too damaging at that point to tell?

I know that I am basically asking is there ever a time when cheating is OK(with the intent of being open and honest when a partner is ready to be told)?
I used to do this a lot. Think that the reason I was hiding things from loved ones was that 'they weren't ready to know, I'll thell them when things are more established, they would freak out for no reason etc'. What I only recently realized that what I feared was not them being unable to cope with their reactions but that I wouldn't cope with their reactions. I was projecting my fears onto a loved one.

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My concern in it all is that often with strong values can lead to rigidity.

I have come from a religious background that espoused strong values. These values could not be questioned.
Mind sharing what those values were?

To me, there is a great difference between values that are dictated by our cultural surroundings, such as value placed on monogamy, heterosexual nuclear families, female nurturance vs. male power and control, money as a sign of personal worth and success, narrowly-defined intelligence as an indicator of personal happiness etc. The list goes on and on. Those values I don't support for a variety of reasons, although they belong to the mainstream and are rarely questioned to any serious degree.

However, there are also values I hold universal. For example, I plan to have a tattoo with all the Samurai virtues in kanji characters, because they are the values I hold universal; rectitude, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor and loyalty. Not 'loyalty to whom', 'benevolence towards whom', 'respect of what'. Those are things that are left to individual and situation-based deliberation. But for me, honesty is a rigid, non-negotiable value because it is universal good I hold central to my existence.
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  #17  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:19 AM
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Having been the one that was cheated on I guess I'll chime in.

I did grow to have compersion for Cricket. What fell apart for us was a huge difference in personality and approaches to life, no that she was the other woman. But that took a lot of time and a lot of work.

Karma decided for me what I could handle and what I couldn't, what I would be okay with and what I wouldn't. It would have saved a lot of pain, a lot tears, a lot of self doubt and doubt in him had he simply said " Your illness is getting in the way of some of my needs. I know this is not your fault, but I need to find it elsewhere or I will end up cheating and hurting you." Things would have gone a hell of a lot differently.

Instead he went from having a relationship with Cricket to having to be babysat. In order for me to feel safe and secure I needed to know they could be trusted. So they dated under surpervision for quite some time and unless they lied about that too, they didn't have sex again from the time I found out to the time they broke up. At first because of me and then later for other reasons. But the point is, by cheating and coming clean later you are forcing a lot of things you may not have considered. Will you be ready to go through the hell it takes to regain the trust you broke? Are you willing to throw the entire relationship away because cheating is something they won't tolerate? In which case I think you should end it now.

Either out of strength or stupidity, depending on who you talk to, I didn't leave Karma and we've worked hard to fix our marriage. Yes we did make it through, but it took a lot of work, a lot of saccrifice and Karma lost all privacy for a long while.

I don't think this is a matter of confines of religious or social matters. I think it is a matter of you rationalizing to get what you want. You are making decisions for people without including them, that is cruel and unfair. who are you to decide what can or cannot be handled by someone else? You are risking their health and well being by cheating.

And I think BU hit it dead on-it seems to stem from a fear that you cannot handle how they will react, not that they are not ready.

Karma made his own life hell by deciding for me, when in reality had he been honest from the beging, things would have gone a lot smoother.

When I found out, that breech of trust and respect cut me to the core. I had already contacted my lawyer and my family to arrange moving and divorce. For some reason I chose to stay and we are stronger than ever. But not everyone is willing to do that. And I cannot begin to put into words the harm it caused. I really questioned why we were married at all if he found me to be so unable to handle this. If he had so little respect for me to include me in decisions that affected my life as well as his. It wasn't just trust we had to rebuild, it was the entire marriage. It wasn't just other women I doubted him on, it was every word out of his mouth. I didn't know if I could trust anything he said to me.

We gave our marriage a year, and in may we celebrated the choice to not divorce. But it was one hell of a year and we still aren't completely healed. I still have moments where I question his honesty.

You're asking a lot of everyone involved if you proceed with this and for at least one person, they don't even know the stakes.

As I said, coming from the one who was cheated on, the choice to cheat instead of being honest is disrespectful, cruel and cowardly. I'd take a long hard look at my relationship and decided if it is really worth putting someone I claim to love and respect, through some of the worst emotional trauma out there. Because it's not just trust in you that is lost, it's value in self as well. Has Karma been honest from the begining I would know why he was looking elsewhere. But instead I was left to question everything about myself and to doubt every word of reassurance.
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  #18  
Old 07-05-2011, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by polyexplorer View Post
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.
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing Mohegan. It sounds like a very painful and long journey. I hope that good continues to come from it all...

I do believe that openness and honesty is the best approach. Deciding what someone can and can't cope with in terms of honest information is dangerous ground and one frought with pain. Mohegan, your story is an amazing illustration of this!

I am just not a believer in holding things too rigidly. There are always exceptions - albeit sometimes very rare exceptions. These exceptions make me not want to hold things too tightly or rigidly, or to impose this on to others.

Throughout history rigidly held values and beliefs have created cultures and societies that are unhealthy. The rigidity of these beliefs and values make it more difficult for society to find a pathway into new and healthier beliefs and values.

I have a value that it is wrong to take another life. Would I take the life of someone who was about to kill my daughter - of course I would! That is an exceptional case.

I don't lie to people. I am a very honest person. Would I tell a lie in WWII days if I was harboring a Jew in my house in order to protect them from Nazi Germany? You bet I would! That is an exceptional case.

While these two cases above are quite dramatic, could I say that there would ever be a time that I feel like it would be better to lie to my wife in order to protect her? I hope not. But I don't want to rigidly say no, never... And I also don't want to create a rigid culture that makes it too difficult for someone to question their own values in exceptional circumstances...
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  #20  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:51 PM
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Ok if we're talking extreme examples the only ones off the top of my head that I can think of where it would be ok not to tell an exisitng partner about an affair was if that partner was in a coma or suffering from advanced dementia. In those cases you really couldn't have any kind of meaningful conversation with them. Otherwise out of respect there is always another option.
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