Well, at least they can’t cheat, right?
Even in non-monogamy cheating can still come up. It may not look the same ( or be discussed the same) but folks, most things you deal with in monogamy, will come up in non-monogamy. Having a different relationship structure to the mononormative does not make things “easier” and engaging in non-monogamy is not a “fix” for relational issues.
So what do I mean by cheating can still happen in non-monogamy?
Well first off we have to address how we are viewing non-monogamy.
Open/ polyamorous relationship structures are not a “free for all” implementation. For most couples, there is a shared understanding, lots of communication, and sometimes there are “dos/dont’s.”
I can’t represent all polyam or non-monogamous folks but Id love to give a little insight about my own dos and dont’s in relationships as a polyamorous person
- (This does not mean you have to tell each other every detail but does mean communicate!)
Create space (individual and as a couple)
Be intentional about safety and respect
Be active about risk and negotiations
Have Frequent check-ins
No lying or scheming
No endangering a person, or others in polycule
No triangulating (getting others in polycule involved in arguments)*
- Assuming that the argument or fights are not harmful to the polycule or cross values/boundaries of others that they should know about.
To address the cheating. For me cheating is not the act of emotional connection or sexual intercourse with persons outside of the relationship, cheating for me, is about hiding important details, risking the health of the polycule, or actively using relations to emotionally harm/manipulate person(s) within the polycule.
There is also the issue of couples or folks who join the non-monogamy landscape to “fix” monogamous relationships in which they have cheated. For me, regardless of the relational label, if your actions are harming folks within the polycule (network of poly folks who are connected by relationships) and you have done no work to address the issue or engage in non-monogamy this, for ME, also counts as cheating.
In addition to my personal perspective, I also had my wonderful friend, Pleasure Reset Coach, and podcast host Catherine Drysdale tell me a little about what she considered cheating.
Catherine said cheating in general is a very nuanced relationship. Usually, we think of cheating as a uge betrayal in some sort of capacity but it’s not so black and white. Often times it’s very dynamic and there might be other reasons why someone would cheat. It’s an opportunity to have this conversation with your partner. What are your needs and mine? Where are they not met?
As someone whos been the other woman and been cheated on, Catherine holds an interesting perspective. She creates room for discovery.
In my conversation with Catherine, she emphasized that “it’s possible to have a relationship after cheating. It just depends on how willing you are to have an open dialogue with your partner and figure it out.” Although for some the events may be harder to reconcile with, Catherine believes that we don’t have to all look at cheating the same.
Our understandings and relationship to cheating are really what matters.
Here’s where you can find Catherine https://linktr.ee/liveauthenticallynow