Contrary to popular belief, a relationship dynamic like polyamory is not cheat-proof. The same way that it is possible to cheat on an open book test, it is very possible to cheat in an open love or open relationship. A lot of people believe that the permission and the ability to date multiple people make it so that infidelity does not exist. However, cheating is simply the crossing of a boundary. And whether you are analyzing the relationship you have with family, friends, or partners, all of them have boundaries.
As a poly woman, I had an ex-boyfriend who cheated on me. After about a year of us exclusively seeing each other, he had sex and built an entire relationship with a woman who I considered a friend of mine.
One of my main boundaries is upholding honesty in a relationship. If you lie to me, and I find out that you are not being truthful, I can no longer date you. I am not salty, and I am no pessimist, but I have observed enough individuals to determine that people like to be conniving. Certain practices just aren’t the wave. And unfortunately, honesty is one of those practices. In truth, many people are like my ex. Instead of being upfront and open, it is absolutely enjoyable for them to be sneaky, unfaithful, disrespectful, and deceitful. With that in mind, it is not hard to believe that cheating may give some a huge sense of excitement, and for my ex-boyfriend, it must have given him the ultimate rush.
Another boundary of mine is a lack of consideration. It seems like such a simple concept but there are many times that a partner refuses to think of or consider your needs. A lot of people justify their own moral code when it comes to certain actions, and they do it simply to lessen the gravity of their own mistakes. My ex was this way. He tried to justify what he did by telling me that, “we were free to date whoever we wanted.” In a patronizing and manipulative way, he attempted to use my preference to appear as if he did nothing wrong. But the fact of the matter is, there was no consideration for my feelings or emotion. Without consulting me, his actions went from accepted, to inconsiderate; and he went from super dope partner to sleazy ex.
People have the freedom to be whoever they are. And although I am fully open to people deciding to be different at any given moment, I expect either an announcement of change or a full commitment to authenticity. In the end, the last boundary my ex crossed was not being true to who he was. I was the poly one in the relationship. Yet, I was the only one who stuck with the agreement to see him exclusively. That was what I said I would do, and that is who? I am host to my word. He, on the other hand, was not. There was no change of mindset, no talk or conversation, no reasoning, or report for what he decided to do. In whatever fashion he experienced truth in the past, he has now decided to commit to falsehoods in the future. And after realizing this fact, we could no longer continue as partners.
I am an advocate for healthy living. And having healthy relationships is a part of that feat. This is why I can never commit to the nature of deceit. No matter how much lying becomes a trend or apart of our culture, I will remain uninterested.
I am only interested in authenticity and communication. Subsequently, I need a who is secure, settled, committed, sure, and truthful. Someone who will speak about their attraction to others instead of hiding it, who will converse about their interest in a different dynamic if they have changed their minds. Someone who falls along the lines of logical thinking and ways that make sense. Where the question will never be: but you’re poly! So why did he cheat?