If you’re in a polyamorous relationship, then you’ve more than likely heard the question, “Isn’t that just an excuse to cheat?” This isn’t something someone wants to hear when talking about their relationship choices, and certainly not something that most people want to have to discuss. There’s no reason to try to justify your relationship to those that don’t understand it, but for those that don’t, a simple response telling them you and your partner(s) are in this together may do.
Cheating is when someone goes about having a relationship without the current partner knowing. If you don’t want to bring your boyfriend or girlfriend to a family gathering because you’re afraid that they’ll be seen by your primary partner(s), then it’s likely something you shouldn’t be doing and can be coined as cheating unless you have an agreement with your partner(s) about outside relationships.
When dealing with polyamory and the questions from those that aren’t about the term ‘cheating,’ one has to think that they’re coming from the point of view that suggests that anyone outside their primary partner is a bad thing. They don’t see it the same way that poly partners do in that sharing happiness and love is an excellent thing with more than one person. Educating them may or may not be your forte, but be aware that the question will arise.
Polyamory is rooted in communication with each other. Not having a basis for good reliable communication is asking for a relationship to fail, and for those that might think that having another partner without having boundaries, rules, or any other parameters in mind is okay. This may lead down the road of hurt feelings, fights, and different scenarios that will come with anyone finding out that someone is having a relationship they’re not aware of.
Ensuring that communication is a primary concern is of the utmost importance when it comes to polyamory. Setting boundaries, rules, or whatever you need to ensure that the relationship stays stable is essential to ensure its longevity. Communication is also key to ensuring that everyone in the relationship remains happy, content, and satisfied with the arrangements so that no one person is dissatisfied and possibly hiding that dissatisfaction.
Honesty is the second most crucial factor in a poly relationship that has to be considered, and without this, no relationship, no matter the type, can stay healthy. It’s important to note here that honesty and brutal honesty are two different things, where one can be considerate of the other’s feelings and needs, and the other is not. Some people might enjoy a bit of brutal honesty here and there when it comes to certain things. However, for the most part, as humans, respect, kindness, and humility when approaching anyone about a subject, while being honest about it is appreciated.
In a poly relationship, you’ll need to make sure that you’re on the same page with your partners and ensure that everyone understands what is going on. That doesn’t mean they need to know all the sordid details of your life. However, being open and honest with them about your other relationships and following the rules and boundaries set between you and your partner(s) is essential.
Those outside of polyamory see it as a glorified way of cheating if they’re not familiar with how things work. If you’re in a poly relationship, you know that’s not the case and that working together with your partner(s) on other relationships is vital to keep things healthy in all aspects, with everyone involved.
If everyone in the relationship has mutual respect for one another, open communication, and honesty about their relationships, this isn’t considered cheating, but instead is considered sharing happiness and love. In a healthy poly relationship, consent is given by all parties so that they can pursue other relationships without judgment as they’re all on the same wavelength.
Ensuring that you’re on that same wavelength is essential to making sure that your relationship continues to thrive and succeed over the long term and may as well be fruitful in other relationships being incorporated into the current one. Dealing with people outside of polyamory is something you can choose to engage with or not engage with. However, know that the subject will come up if you’re open about it, and be prepared to answer questions, face some misconceptions and decide whether you’re up for educating or not.