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  #31  
Old 04-29-2014, 07:56 PM
BDaemon BDaemon is offline
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Originally Posted by CattivaGattina View Post
There's a world a difference between polyamory (where everyone involved at least knows that people have multiple relationships) and an affair you are hiding from a partner.
So let me get this straight, based on what I'm seeing here - I get close to a guy I care significantly about who is married, we back off before anything hot and heavy goes down and leads to regret and irrevocable damage in favor of trying to figure the situation out and not make any more mistakes, and it still gets labeled an "affair" as if we've been sneaking around in sin for years messing around. Is that how I understand it? That cut & dry around here, huh?

Christ, where's my big red "A" I get to sew on? Clearly that's what some people here believe should happen.
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  #32  
Old 04-29-2014, 08:36 PM
CattivaGattina CattivaGattina is offline
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Originally Posted by BDaemon View Post
So let me get this straight, based on what I'm seeing here - I get close to a guy I care significantly about who is married, we back off before anything hot and heavy goes down and leads to regret and irrevocable damage in favor of trying to figure the situation out and not make any more mistakes, and it still gets labeled an "affair" as if we've been sneaking around in sin for years messing around. Is that how I understand it? That cut & dry around here, huh?

Christ, where's my big red "A" I get to sew on? Clearly that's what some people here believe should happen.
If nothing happened, no it's not cheating or an affair. But if you decided to still get together, kiss, have sex, go on dates and hide that from his wife, yes it is an affair and cheating.
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  #33  
Old 04-29-2014, 08:36 PM
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Alleycat Alleycat is offline
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Polyamory:

It's ok to to have non-standard relationship ethics, and behave outside of standard sexual and interpersonal conventions, Except when your ethics and/or behaviours are different than those of the morality police in the echo chamber.
Then your just a terrible awful cheating hussy whore-pants McGee. Shame! Shame! Shame!
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  #34  
Old 04-29-2014, 09:04 PM
Kernow Kernow is offline
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Originally Posted by BDaemon View Post
So let me get this straight, based on what I'm seeing here - I get close to a guy I care significantly about who is married, we back off before anything hot and heavy goes down and leads to regret and irrevocable damage in favor of trying to figure the situation out and not make any more mistakes, and it still gets labeled an "affair" as if we've been sneaking around in sin for years messing around. Is that how I understand it? That cut & dry around here, huh?

Christ, where's my big red "A" I get to sew on? Clearly that's what some people here believe should happen.
I think you may be taking things that have been said more personally than was intended. When I first started using this forum I thought that some responses were a bit harsh but I think a lot of it is down to differences in communication style. We may all speak English, but we come from different places and what may be plain speaking to some may seem harsh and judgemental to others. In the end the opinions of others don't matter, you only have to be true to yourself.

None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes one way or the other so I don't think most of the responses were intended to be judgemental, I think it was more about trying to tell you are likely to get hurt, and perhaps to offer you a different viewpoint. Don't give up on the forum because a lot of people here are very helpful (even if their advice is difficult to hear at times). I wish you well, I genuinely hope that you can find way forward that works for all concerned, but I think the odds are against you.
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  #35  
Old 04-29-2014, 10:38 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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I wouldn't want to be kept secret, especially from other partners. I want to be able to be openly affectionate or at least not have to watch my words to make sure I don't accidentally let it slip I saw him the other day, and he said he was in a meeting, or whatever drama results from lying and cheating and going behind people's back. It's just too much work and effort even if I didn't find it a total turn-off to begin with that someone is willing to cheat, or doesn't respect me enough to let others know we're together.
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  #36  
Old 04-30-2014, 01:07 AM
PaperGrace PaperGrace is offline
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This thread reminded me of a short blog that someone resurrected. http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1779
This guy took things a little further with his secret, but I believed in his good intentions and admired his willingness to take a hard look at his mistakes.
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  #37  
Old 04-30-2014, 04:55 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi Tigger40,

If I understand correctly, your question was, Has anyone here been in a cheating situation (such as a man with a lover his wife doesn't know about), and if so, what were the results?

I have heard more than a few people say that their polyamorous life started out as a cheating situation (an affair). I even know of one situation where the cheated-on spouse never found out about the cheating, and yet the situation eventually morphed into a polyamorous arrangement which that spouse did agree to -- though he agreed without finding out about the cheating. So does that count as bonafide consent? I don't know; maybe not.

Most of the cases I heard of ended with the affair being discovered by the cheated-on spouse, and there was a whole lot of pain and heartache before anything got resolved. Sometimes the person who was the secret lover had to be ejected from the picture before anything could get resolved, even if the original couple did eventually decide to try (open/honest) polyamory. So the secret lover did not end up being able to be a part of that happy ending.

Cheating is, arguably and/or admittedly, exciting in some ways while it lasts, but it's reeeally dangerous behavior to engage in. Part of the counsel I usually give people who are cheating is, if you really feel you must cheat, at least have an exit strategy to end the dishonest dynamic as soon as possible. Otherwise you're tempting fate to hit everyone over the head with a big ol' hammer. Secrets have a way of getting found out.

Okay, so now you know more about what the practical outcomes and likelihoods are. Now, what about the moral/ethical considerations? Even if you knew you could cheat without getting caught ... even if you knew you could have a great time without paying for it ... wouldn't you still want to refrain from doing it because of the wrongness of the dishonesty?

Yes, as has been mentioned in this thread, many polyamorists (me included) lie by omission to most of their traditional friends/family. So I guess you could argue that polyamorists are hypocrites to be preaching about honesty. But I believe there's a big difference between what you tell your extended family and what you tell your spouse. Your spouse has a special right to know stuff that the rest of the family perhaps doesn't.

I have done many wrong things in my day, and thus have no authority to act like I'm standing on higher ground. But the ethical code I currently try to adhere to forbids me to condone being the secret lover of someone whose spouse doesn't know. It forbids me not because of the practical risks (which are many), but because of the moral implications. Cheating is just too darn dishonest for me to condone it.

Now what if there was a cheating situation that morphed into a poly arrangement, and somehow everyone managed to not get hurt in the process? I guess you could argue that if no one gets hurt, then no obvious moral code has been violated. I don't know the answer to that riddle. I do know that cheating tends to put multiple people at great risk of getting hurt, and in that sense it's immoral.

It would be like letting a couple of toddlers play with a loaded gun. If no one got shot, well, then, maybe no moral laws were violated. But the fact that people were inserted into a very risky situation makes it irresponsible at best.

But strictly in answer to your question: Yes I do know of a few secret affairs that morphed into poly configurations -- not painlessly though. I think if those people had it to do over, they'd do it differently.

Hope that helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #38  
Old 04-30-2014, 05:55 AM
northhome northhome is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility View Post
Even one person saying that it's fun to lie, cheat and sneak around behind somebody's back seems like a lot to me. To have anybody at all back it up feels like a lot to me.

So it might hardly translate into a "number of people" to you. It does to me.
We're clearly dealing with an issue that triggers a strong reaction in you

The reality is that cheating is a widespread phenomena. Although polyamory is definitely NOT about cheating, many people start exploring poly as a result of an affair, either as a participant or as a 'victim'.

A bit of compassion never hurt anyone....
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  #39  
Old 04-30-2014, 06:15 AM
InfinitePossibility InfinitePossibility is offline
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Originally Posted by northhome View Post
We're clearly dealing with an issue that triggers a strong reaction in you
Indeed we are. I've always found it hard to deal with situations where people or animals are harmed. I've been like this since I was a kid. Some of the harm is hard for individuals to avoid - the ongoing wars that governments in the west participate in that kill millions, the treatment of animals kept as livestock etc.

Some of the harm isn't. Some harms we can predict and avoid causing by looking at our own behaviour and modifying it accordingly. I very much agree that sometimes it's difficult. Feelings happen, people make mistakes, nobody is perfect. That's all understandable.

What I cannot understand is the people who say that the sneaking around is fun, the keeping of secrets makes things exciting while knowing that there is somebody who is very likely to be harmed by those secrets. Some people are harmed very badly by affairs when they come to light. In families with children, it's possible to harm multiple people. I don't think I could ever understand the notion that knowingly putting complete strangers at that sort of risk can be fun.

I guess that's the trigger for me. The putting of unsuspecting others at risk and then enjoying that situation.

Quote:
The reality is that cheating is a widespread phenomena.
Indeed it is. So is domestic violence. I don't know that just because things are widespread makes them okay.

I'm sure that people get a bit of a thrill out of violence as well. I would be just as bothered if I was reading a thread where one person was seeking a way to make it okay to continue inflicting violence on somebody who hadn't consented. And more bothered if people chipped and told about how they also had found a real thrill in violence - even if they'd eventually stopped because of the risks of going to prison or accidentally killing somebody.
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  #40  
Old 04-30-2014, 11:52 AM
copperhead copperhead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperGrace View Post
This thread reminded me of a short blog that someone resurrected. http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1779
This guy took things a little further with his secret, but I believed in his good intentions and admired his willingness to take a hard look at his mistakes.
Wow, that blog was worth reading.
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