Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I keep wanting to write posts about my personal life and things that have happened to me.  But I looked back over the past few weeks of posts and realized that I've shared some things I never thought I would ever be comfortable sharing (I did do so in a semi-anonymous, pseudonym way, but I definitely have friends who know who I am who read the blog).  Part of the reason for all the extremely personal posts is because I love figuring out how my mind works and remembering things that once (or still do) caused me a lot of pain is a good exercise in this for me because I can look at how I react to things.  This all being said, I wanted to give myself permission to look at an issue I have not personally experienced.

As I said, I have not personally been cheated on.  I know several people who have been cheated on and I know several people who have done the cheating.  And when I first found out that a person I knew in college had been cheated on (as always names and pronouns mixed or changed for anonymity), I'm sad to say that my first reaction was: "No, there's no way, he cheated on him.  He's such a nice guy."  I didn't go as far as victim blaming (small favors), I didn't think the person who had been cheated on was at fault, but I was also didn't quite believe that his partner had cheated on him in the first place (because he was just such a "nice guy" #sarcasm).

But Kaylee, you say, "You're in an open relationship, isn't cheating irrelevant to you?"  And the immediate answer to that would be that: No, cheating is definitely not irrelevant to people (not just me) in open relationships.  Cheating is all about boundaries.  In a monogamous relationship, the (generally unspoken) boundary is that you cannot initiate any form of intimate relationship outside your current one.  To do so would be cheating.

With open relationships the boundaries should be just a firm, but much more explicit because you actually have to talk about and set your boundaries.  What are your stipulations? Do you need to tell your partner about any relationship or potential relationship you are going to/might enter into before you do it?  This is a fairly common stipulation.  Is cuddling with other people okay?  Is cuddling with other people without your partner okay, even if you have no intention of getting into a relationship?  Would you actually prefer not knowing about the other relationships besides that they are happening?  Would you like specifics from your partner?  All of these are very real boundaries to set with any partner you have.

With Boyfriend, if I were to ask someone out or fuck someone without telling him, that would be cheating.  That would be a betrayal of his trust and it would go outside our agreed upon boundaries.  So you see, cheating is very very possible (perhaps even easier in some respects) in an open relationship.

Before I move on, I also wanted to mention, that cheating is also possible in a six person closed group relationship.  If anyone of those six people decides to fuck someone other than their five partners and not tell them about it, that is still cheating.  You would think that would be obvious, but I have found obvious things often need saying.  The number of people in a relationship does not make cheating less real.

To be completely honest, cheating is just something I've never understood.  Even before I was in an open relationship, I think if Boyfriend had come to me and said: I really like _____ and would like to fuck/date/etc them, I'm fairly certain I instantly would have agreed (to be fair, this just would have meant opening our relationship earlier than we did).  But I feel like if you have a comfortable, trusting relationship and you're interested in someone else, then just tell your partner.  Maybe they will agree.  But if they do say: "No, I'm uncomfortable with this" you need to accept that.

Cheating, in essence, is one of the worst forms of breaking the trust of your partner.  And what people who have been cheated on need to know is that you didn't drive your partner to do this.  Even if they said they did it in revenge because you acted in ____ way, it was still your partner who chose.  Because you got cheated on doesn't make you any less of a good lover or partner.  It just means that your partner isn't as good of a lover or partner as you expected.

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