Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 05-10-2013, 10:13 AM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 28
Default

Hey Marcus.

I wish it was as simple as letting her deal with her own relationships and I will worry about mine (which is a basic idea I totally stand by).

But it doesn't really work that way in the complex art of living in a life partnership. At least not in our current situation. We (and the cheater) move in the same social circles. If her freedom to date whoever she wants is limiting my freedom not to lie to our friends, is it still only her business? If I am ever asked, and I accidentally or on purpose tell someone the wrong thing, and they discovered the affair, I would feel awful. And my wife and her partner will be very upset with me. Don't I have a right to be upset with them for putting me in this position in the first place? If I wanna discuss our current situation with one of MY friends, she asks me not to mention certain things so they won't figure out who is the cheater she's seeing. If I need to explain to a mutual friend why I suddenly come to events without her when she's on dates, is it cool that I have to lie for her? We are new to poly, and we can't even have the "should we be out of the closet" discussion, because there is no way we could tell our friends about her seeing someone right now.

And BTW, I know I don't "have too" lie for her, but saying to her "you can see whoever you want but I will tell on you and ruin both your lives the very instant someone asks me the wrong question" is just a passive-aggressive way of saying "this is not cool with me, please stop it", in my opinion.

There's a nice Jewish story about a robber who goes to a rabbi and tells him he wants to change his ways, but finds it overwhelming. The rabbi tells him to only take on himself one vow: to never lie again. The next time the robber is planning a burglary, he suddenly thinks "but what if someone suspects me and I get questioned? I won't be able to lie", so he doesn't commit the crime. And that one decision, to never lie, is what helps him change his ways.

I live by a moral code that says "never do something you'll be ashamed to tell your loved ones about later". It's why I am poly in the first place. I don't wanna lie to my partner or friends about being attracted to other people, and I don't wanna lie about relationships, inside or outside of our house. Should I be forced to actively OR passively lend my support to something I find so wrong?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-10-2013, 01:02 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oly1 View Post
But it doesn't really work that way in the complex art of living in a life partnership. At least not in our current situation. We (and the cheater) move in the same social circles. If her freedom to date whoever she wants is limiting my freedom not to lie to our friends, is it still only her business?
This is a fair distinction.

What my partner does with their time is not under my control (thankfully). If they date someone who is stupid, or irritating, or married, or Canadian (JOKING) I don't care. Who am I to judge them? She's not my employee, she's my girlfriend.

However, someone putting me in the position to have to lie just to stay afloat is not acceptable. THAT is what I would have a problem with. I suggest separating the two issues instead of letting them be squished together.

It's always interesting to me to see people get so emotionally charged about someone having an affair. It would seem to be the response of "If someone can cheat on them, then someone could cheat on me. That frightens me so I'm going to project my fear onto this other persons life". LR would even take it upon herself to reach out to the cheated partner to out the situation. I think it would be wise to consider what it is exactly about this particular situation that causes such a visceral reaction.

People are dishonest in lots of situations and no one seems to care. If your partner is late for a deadline at work they might give a bogus reason that makes them look better than "well, frankly, I don't like this job much and was dragging my feet". Would the general response be one of outrage? Would you call your partners employer and let them know that they had been lied to? Of course not. You wouldn't consider it your business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oly1 View Post
Should I be forced to actively OR passively lend my support to something I find so wrong?
This is the moral outrage I find to be the important question.

Passively? Meaning you would allow it to exist and not take measures to force it to a stop? Are there any other things happening in the world you don't care for? Do you actively try to stop all of them? Why is this one thing so profoundly important to you that you are bursting at the seems to eradicate? Why is merely minding your own business in this regard such a tragedy?

Note that I am separating the issues of *you* being forced to lie and someone else doing something that involves lying.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-10-2013, 06:19 PM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 28
Default

Hi again Marcus,

Guess I didn't write clearly enough. I'll try to do better.

I personally subscribe to the "monogamy is not for everyone and cheating is better than breaking up a happy home" way of thinking. Or as Esther Perel (recommended read/watch on ted) often puts it- I don't understand why society is so tolerant of divorce, while so intolerant of affairs.

And I share you wonder as to why people react to it so emotionally (in American culture especially so, I'm from other parts of the world...but not Canada. joking)

When I wrote "something so wrong" I DID mean me having to lie. I hate lying. It's not good for me. Especially to friends and people who are close to me. I was raised in an abusive home and spent most of my life hiding the true nature of my home life from everyone. I was isolated and sad. I never wanna be isolated like that again. I need my friends. I need to be able to talk openly. I didn't do all the work of coming out of the (lesbian) closet just to be pushed into that "reconsider every word you say/constantly monitor who knows what/never let your guard down" place again, and by my wife no less.

I don't give a damn if some people cheat. I personally have no moral attitude towards the subject, when the person doing it is not part of my life. I don't wanna do it (why I'm poly). My wife says she could never do it to me (why she is poly). I find it a little weird she does it to someone else (cheater's wife), less because it's inherently "wrong", and more because it will very clearly cause a lot of pain to the cheated-on woman and her entire family if it ever comes out. And my wife and I built our life-partnership on the basis of "doing good in the world". It is the core values of our family that are, in a way, being put to the question.

Wife is suffering an identity crisis ever since this started. It makes her wonder who she is, because the person she has been thus far would not hurt a fly, let alone an unsuspecting person. Again, no moral judgments here. Everybody defines "hurting" and responsibilities towards other humans differently. The hurt I'm speaking of is theoretic (affair is not known, yet) and some people might be fine with only creating a situation that could turnout to be hurtful. It's all debatable (as seen in the "should we expose all cheaters" debate in previous posts). It is just that what has being our shared definition of these things is now in dissonance from her behavior. So she can either change the behavior or the definition. Or live with the dissonance. She (and only she) has to chose between these options or figure out a new one.

I generally like your attitude, and do agree she is not my employee, she is a grown up. Which is why our conversations on the subject are along the lines of "this is what I need and how this makes me feel, I am not telling you what to do but I can't live with lying, now you need to decide what's right for you".

I hate that the situation turned out to be a "veto" of sorts. I don't want us to have veto power. But we are new to poly, and still figuring it out. I wasn't clear in advance that lying situations were unacceptable. And now she has to give up a connection with someone to handle my needs (or else somehow make the situation one that I don't need to lie in. That's the only part I'm not cool with. If the cheater got divorced today and they could date out in the open, totally new story).

I get to tell her what I need. I get to say "I need this so bad that I don't know how we will go on together if the situation stays the same". She gets to decide what she wants to do with that.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-10-2013, 06:39 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oly1 View Post
"this is what I need and how this makes me feel, I am not telling you what to do but I can't live with lying, now you need to decide what's right for you"
So that I can shake the feeling that I'm just being obtuse, let me ask you directly:

If your wife adjusted her relationship with this married person in such a way that you were never put in a position to say something that was not true (regarding the married girl or their relationship) would that solve the problem?

Even if your wife was lying and omitting with impunity to your friends, family, etc about her relations with this married person but you *never* had to utter an untrue or even misleading word to them. As long as YOU don't have to lie then there is no problem, correct?

On the subject of Wife seeming to change how she feels about an otherwise agreed upon topic - that happens over time. It's unreasonable for us to assume that the people around us are going to stay the same throughout all of the years that we know them. It's unreasonable because it is demonstrably false... our friends change, our families change, we change... it's life. You are right to recognize that some of these changes force us to adjust the nature of our relationship. Fortunately since I'm poly it doesn't necessarily mean ending the relationship, but having separate residencies, no longer sharing certain types of interactions, etc can be a perfect solution.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-11-2013, 03:39 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,082
Default

Did you mean me? I am not sure.

But I'll respond anyway and share my POV.

Quote:
It's always interesting to me to see people get so emotionally charged about someone having an affair. It would seem to be the response of "If someone can cheat on them, then someone could cheat on me. That frightens me so I'm going to project my fear onto this other persons life". LR would even take it upon herself to reach out to the cheated partner to out the situation
I'm not emotionally charged up. I am also not fearful or having a visceral reaction. But I do value honesty and I do value my autonomy. So do not appreciate lies, I am grossed out by lies that ding the public health, and offended someone would take individual autonomy away from someone else.

According to my personal standard of behavior that I choose to hold myself accountable to it is "I am responsible for telling if keeping a confidence is hurting or could hurt someone." So to maintain my own standard to myself, I would have to tell. No more, no less.

Others are free to keep to their own personal standard. I am not saying OP HAS to tell. It is up to her to measure on her own personal standard she keeps for herself. But if OP is asking for opinions? In those shoes, under my standard, I would tell.

Someone who would cheat on me is lying. Just tell it to me and renegotiate boundaries. That's all. What's the big deal? I do not value sexual exclusive all that much. Do what you want, just state the deal up front so I can make informed choices about my own sexual health if I choose to associate myself with you.

Someone who would lie to me, could lie to others. When it comes to sex health, that's risking the spread of illness. And in the case of this OP's post -- there you go. What I wondered turned out to be right. Tada. The cheater was true to form and WAS cheating/lying some more.

Gross. Cheater is greater risk to the public health and continues to deny that woman (the cheated on wife) the personal right and individual autonomy to make fully informed choices about her own sexual health. That's all kinds of fresh. And now in putting me in a position where I have to speak up (ugh) or be silent (ugh) and become a liar by omission? I really dislike that cheater person! But I'll have to speak up. It's the lesser ugh to me when measured on my personal standard.

I would not take kindly to someone trespassing on my freedom to choose MY stuff for myself like that. It's a miracle the cheater told R who in turn told the OP.

That's where the other squick factor lies for me too. Public health hazard -- carriers who do not know they carry whatever illness it is. If that doesn't bother others, that's cool for them. But that's gross to me.

So for me? In those shoes, my move would be to just leave and remove myself from the line of fire. I am responsible for me. And part of the "responsible leaving process" for me on my personal standard would be to reconcile all accounts across the board to all players and that means tells the wife "I'm leaving Crazy Town. Here's why. Now if you want to stay or not, that's up to you. You are free to choose what you wish and do so from fully informed place. Everyone can choose for themself. Namaste."

Don't really care what the other people do in end. But I am now free in my physical health from more line of fire, and I and now free in my mental health from my doing lies of omission. Because if I have knowledge where keeping a confidence is hurting/could hurt someone and I do not tell, then *I* have done a lie of omission. That's not acceptable conduct to me. I expect better conduct from myself.

Quote:
However, someone putting me in the position to have to lie just to stay afloat is not acceptable. THAT is what I would have a problem with. I suggest separating the two issues instead of letting them be squished together.
You seem to agree that a cheater putting you in a a lying position is not acceptable. I am confused. I am willing to try to see your POV but need more clarify.

How is cheating not lying? How is the cheater making a unilateral decision for the group acceptable when it dings them in their individual sex healths and denies them individual autonomy over their bodies?

I am confused.

That's prob a clue I need more sleep... so I will go do that.

Namaste,
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-11-2013 at 04:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-11-2013, 04:45 AM
Oly1 Oly1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 28
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
It's a miracle the cheater told R who in turn told the OP
It is! makes me wonder too. Why did she?

For a while there I thought R's honesty and standards of communication were somehow beginning to rub off on C (cheater). Asked R, and apparently C only admitted to sleeping with someone else after being directly asked. Still a little out of character, but I'm glad she at least seems to tell her the truth (sometimes) when prompted to.

Marcus- the answer to your question is yes and no. here's why.

It's very unlikely there will arise a situation in which I never have to lie for them. But yesterday wife told me "what if I only see her once a month? could you live with that?" and I thought about it. Here's what I came up with.

It would make the lying much less terrible. I wont have to explain her absence from social events as much. Having it take up less space in her life would minimize my need to lie. So in that respect, yes, it would almost solve the problem.

But not entirely. Because I would still feel unsafe to have sex with my wife knowing that I am sharing health risks with who knows how many more people I know nothing about, and who know nothing about me (unsurprisingly, some of the people the cheater is sleeping with are also cheating themselves). And even if the cheater tells my wife she will stop sleeping with others, *I* will not feel safe, since I don't trust a word she says, even if wife does. In my opinion a cheater stays true to form and keeps on lying, as GG has said.

Second problem that will remain: I will still feel responsible towards C's wife, the woman who is cheated on. Cause in my standards, I don't feel a need to tell her, but I do feel a need to not support or enable what's being done to her. Now, you could say *I* am not doing anything to her. But I imagine what would happen if it all came out, and everybody knew I knew all about it and was OK with it. Could this woman (the cheated upon) come knocking on my door and slap me in the face? (metaphorically, no support for violence intended), Would she be in the right to get mad with me? For me the answer is yes, which means *I* am probably doing something wrong to *her*. And I feel solidarity and responsibility towards her. So I agree with a lot of what GG wrote on the subject, though we differ in our "how useful is it to expose cheaters" position.

Now, if my wife came home today and told me "you won't believe it, C came clean to her wife, the wife is OK with it, we are all getting tested and then C and I will figure out a way for the sex we're having to be safe, and all 4 of us are having dinner this week to get to know each other better and hush out the details"?

Yes, in that scenario, I will be completely and totally cool with it.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-11-2013, 04:52 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,082
Default

Quote:
So I agree with a lot of what GG wrote on the subject, though we differ in our "how useful is it to expose cheaters" position.
I am def tired but before I go to bed... I am not saying you take out ad in the paper and expose all drama-lama.

But to me it seems like it could be one of those...
"I'd like a Quiet Word, please. I would like to make you aware that *I* am going to get STD testing. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news if you were not already aware. It has come to my awareness that our spouses had a cheating affair together. My health was put at risk. You health was put at risk. I felt it was my responsibility to inform you so you are free to make your own best health decisions. You are free to make of it what you will now that you are informed. I am sorry if your spouse did not see fit to inform you herself. Namaste."
So tiresome to have to consider doing this because the Cheater does not respect the wife's autonomy over her own body.

Quote:
Now, if my wife came home today and told me "you won't believe it, C came clean to her wife, the wife is OK with it, we are all getting tested and then C and I will figure out a way for the sex we're having to be safe, and all 4 of us are having dinner this week to get to know each other better and hush out the details"?

Yes, in that scenario, I will be completely and totally cool with it.
So would I. And the first step in the process for that to happen? Everyone fully informed of the desire and take a willingness temperature check. Are you willing to participate in this? Or not? Then go from there. Treat people like people who can make decisions for themselves on their own while respecting their dignity, worth, and value.

Which is what cheater could have done in the beginning. Jeez. Tiresome cheater. Play like a grown up already if you want to poly. If you don't, shoo. But this is not ethical polyshipping to me. This is cheating affair crazy town to me. Cheater can try to whitewash all cheater wants but it's not got solid foundations and it isn't ethical polyshipping.

Cheater is just changing tactics -- now "partial truthing" to R to keep getting R-ness from R until cheater no longer wants R. User her up.
"Look at how being with you "improves" me! I told you you truth about other lies. Can I get praise for that? (Ignore I continue to lie to my wife. Ignore I continue to soft soap you whatever so I get the cookies I want from you because it serves my own interests. Do not wonder what happens when I am not longer interested in you or your cookies. Ignore the cost to your own relationship to your own wife.) Can I get in your pants now as a reward for my truthiness" improvements?"
Could point out to R that she is now bargaining to just visit Hotel Cheater in Cheater Crazy Town where before she wanted to buy a house there. Could point out to her that it's a pitstop on the stages of grief journey to full acceptance that yes, lying cheater really is a lying cheater after all.

You feeling unsafe is not fun. Steel self for R's anger, depression, etc and whatever other stages she has to pass through next, I guess. Sigh.

Still cheater crazy town over there to me. Whether you buy real estate or stay at a hotel on your visits. Sheesh.

I commend you in your faithfulness to your wife.

I could not do it this way myself, but I respect that faithful quality in you anyway.

I wish your wife could appreciate that gift you give her rather than bringing you shenanigans as the return on your investment.

I do not know how else some internet person could support you other than reading and telling you I do see you suffering there and I hope your maintaining camp in the guest room jolts her to reality soon.

Sigh.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 05-11-2013 at 05:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-11-2013, 07:15 AM
Dirtclustit Dirtclustit is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Middle of Oregon
Posts: 431
Default I am glad to see people mention some facts of cheating

When cheating involves sex acts, keeping said acts from the knowledge of partners that have placed trust in the cheater to disclose such acts, does in fact infringe upon a person's ability to be responsible for their own health.

Nobody expects some stranger from craigslist to be trustworthy enough to be taken at their word in regards to their status for sexually transmitted diseases, but those engaged in relationships that are more than casual require honesty in order to have control of your own sexual health. I have never had to snitch on a cheater, and I make sure I don't maintain friendships that would put me in a position where I would have to, I have little to no respect for people who cheat, but there are other reasons besides robbing a person of their ability to make informed decisions about their own sexual health.

The anger, frustration, and bitterness that results from the stress of awaiting a clean bill of health after finding out a trusted partner's undisclosed behaviors have exposed you to higher risk factors than you were aware of, is nothing compared to damage that can be done to a person's psyche. Relationships with prolonged cheating where the cheated remains unaware will typically include a subtle form of emotional abuse and the worst part is that the more loving, caring, compassionate the cheated partner is, the more damaging the abuse can result in. The reason is that often times the guilt experienced by the cheater leads to completely unwarranted and unfair lashing out at the partner they are cheating on, and if the partner that gets dumped on doesn't recognize it has nothing to do with their behavior it can lead to periods of severe depression and confusion which is only exacerbated if they attempt to look within themselves for changes that should be made in order to not deserve such harsh treatment. The type of self reflection that is a necessary skill to have in most healthy, supportive, and growing relationship turns out to be deadly poison if you are involved with partners who are less than honest, forming a toxic dynamic.

And with the field of psychology and psychiatry still residing in the dark ages of science, the emotional damage is unrecognized and often untreatable. Much of the damage stemming from what seems like a world-wide denial of the aftermath when people accept something as the truth in their reality when it in reality their beliefs are based on lies.

I am a firm believer that even seemingly insignificant white lies when they are accepted as truth, can blind a person's mind, effectively making obvious truths of the world unrecognizable. However my personal views of the importance of truth is viewed by many people as nothing short of delusional

Last edited by Dirtclustit; 05-11-2013 at 07:27 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-11-2013, 02:28 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: US
Posts: 1,313
Default

It is so hard when people are not living up to their best, most honorable selves - the selves that we know them to be. It certainly sounds like your wife is caught up in NRE and has lost her mind. Is she aware of that term and how it affects people? I suspect once she gets dumped as lover moves on to next shiny - and that's coming - she is going to really regret her actions.

It is true you can't really stop her. Even if you go the ultimatum route, which i don't suggest, she could chose the lover. Ok, so you can't stop her from going off a cliff. You are doing what you can in that respect - telling her your truth, being open and continuing communicating with her and hearing her truths. You are essentially throwing a rope after her as she flings herself off the cliff. And that is all you can do while she is high and stupid on NRE.

But you can ask to have the lover not in your life, not in your home. There is no need to be friends with her. I know how small lesbian communities are and that this may be difficult. Even if she is a pleasant person, doesn't mean you have to tolerate her being around. You have the right to ask for this.

And I would suggest telling the lover directly. Tell her you don't respect her, she is not an honorable person, she is not your friend, and that you have to tolerate her place in your wife's life because you love your wife but you do not like or condone her actions or your wife's. This will satisfy your need for honesty. Tell the lover your truth and exactly how you see her. Might wake her up to her actions - probably not but sometimes a held up mirror can cause major shifts.

I know you feel responsible for the lover's wife. You are not. The lover and your wife are. Tolerating your spouse's poor behavior because you can't get her to think with the head on her shoulders does not mean you condone their behavior. I don't think you should march off and tell her as others have suggested. That is not your place in my opinion.

But I also don't see why you should lie or cover for the lover and your wife. It's been my experience that people don't ask about these things. They just don't unless you bring it up. It is unlikely that anyone will come up to and ask 'Is your wife having an affair with so and so?' Maybe I hang out with more WASP types than you do but this just hasn't happened in my experience.

So I would tell lover and your wife directly to their faces that if asked you will tell. And that you will not help them cover their tracks in any way.

Finally, if your lesbian community is anything like the ones I've been a part of...

Everyone already knows.

There are few secrets in that small and interconnected a community. Everyone knows that lover is a player, that your spouse is her latest conquest, and that you are struggling with it. In that case, be truthful to yourself. Tell lover and spouse what you think of their actions, remove lover from your daily life, and if asked, tell.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-11-2013, 04:58 PM
Marcus's Avatar
Marcus Marcus is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Haltom City, TX
Posts: 1,289
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
You seem to agree that a cheater putting you in a a lying position is not acceptable. I am confused. I am willing to try to see your POV but need more clarify.

How is cheating not lying? How is the cheater making a unilateral decision for the group acceptable when it dings them in their individual sex healths and denies them individual autonomy over their bodies?
We are not disagreeing on what dishonesty is. It is clear enough that telling a person one thing and doing another is dishonest, and that as a fully functional adult, it is something that should be avoided at every opportunity.

I think what we are disagreeing about is when does the standard of being honest entitle or require someone to involve themselves (unsolicited) in other peoples lives.

Some here seem to think that there is no limit to how much authority someone should take on in the name of "honesty". If dishonesty is going on, it is somehow their duty to make sure that everyone who could possibly be affected by the dishonesty is made aware of the facts.

I personally find that approach to be meddlesome and disrespectful. I have authority and responsibility over my own life, over my own decisions, how I spend my time, and what people and situations I want to associate with. I do NOT have authority over what other people say or do or the impact those words or actions have on people (other than myself).

In the current discussion I believe the OP really only has one question in front of him:
"Do I accept everything about my partner?"

If the answer is "no" then he needs to extricate himself from the situation. He should do this until either he is able to answer the question "yes", or he has removed her from his life entirely.

If the answer is "yes" this means that he accepts her as she is. He won't shame her or made demands on her that would urge her to change who she is. He won't meddle in her business because he accepts how she lives, and who she is.
__________________
Independent (Anarchist) Non-Monogamy

Me: male, 40, straight, single
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:51 AM.