You’re Cheating. Now What?

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I was taught at an early age that a relationship was to consist of one woman and one man; emphasis on ONE.  It was always pretty cut and dry – no additives, no adjustments, no customization whatsoever.

I think its safe to say that many of us were brought up under this same ideology.  So why in heavens name the sudden surge of interest in open relationships as of late?  Between the numerous Facebook discussion threads and celebrities going public with their polyamorous lifestyles, open relationships are practically being shoved down our throats.

But even with the pressure on millennials to reconsider their dating style, the idea has been falling on deaf ears.  Millennials aren’t trying to hear it.  Many of us have resorted to sharing ourselves and/or our partners behind closed doors.  Yet not many of us are ready to do so in the open.  We have given a strong ‘thumbs down’ to polyamory, a consensual open relationship while accepting the act of cheating or being cheated on instead.

Yes.  Some of us go on dates with other people while in a relationship.  Some of us engage in romantic activities with other people while in a relationship.  Some of us sleep with other people while in a relationship.  Some of us even start families with other people while in a relationship.  Yet many of us still refuse to challenge the standards of love that we’ve grown so accustomed to.  In these cases, rather than be honest with ourselves and our partners about what we want – we lie.  Maybe its our way of trying to maintain our dignity or our morals but nonetheless, pretending to be monogamous doesn’t change the fact that you’re not.

The only thing differentiating an unfaithful person from a person in an open relationship is that one received their partner’s consent and the other didn’t.  Regardless of my position on open relationships, one thing I can say with certainty.  I would much rather my partner be honest with me about what they want rather than sneak behind my back to get it. Hearing your partner out doesn’t mean you have to accept their perspective or their desires.  But creating a safe space might allow you to learn of those desires before they become a realty. 

If we’re being honest though, how many of our relationships actually offer a safe enough place for this type of honesty? How many of our relationships welcome and encourage our partners to be forthcoming about their most intimate desires?  

Think of how often we fly off the handle when just discussing sensitive topics on Facebook with strangers. Heck, some of you have probably been cringing, frowning and huffing while reading this article.  If you can’t even tolerate discussing an uncomfortable topic with strangers, how (un)comfortable might your partner be discussing one of these topics with you?

With all of the problems you might associate with open relationships, creating a safe place for open communication most likely isn’t one of them. It’s those who practice monogomy who appear to struggle with this the most.  Just the idea of sharing what we feel belongs to us can stir up more anger and hostility than we find ourselves ready for.  Understandably. When we’re constantly being reminded of the competition for the limited pool of quality suitors, it’s hard not to become possessive.

But a relationship should never operate off of fear, control or possession.  And as much as we might like our relationships to fit our own narrative, your partner is their own person.  You can’t control their actions or desires – you can only control how to respond to their actions and desires.  You can’t order your partner not to cheat – you can only express that you don’t want them to and you can choose whether to stay or to go.  But it’s our partners who have to decide who they want to be – not us.

What we do have control over is making our relationships a safe place to be honest, upfront and open with each other.  And in some cases, no matter how open we are, the people that we care about will choose to sneak around anyway.  But if you chose to enter a relationship with someone, you could at least allow them the opportunity to both show and tell you who they are.

Not every man seeking an open relationship is seeking sex (nor is every person seeking an open relationship a man, for that matter).  Some of us have forgotten that there’s also a romantic component that exists in relationships too.  We hear ‘open relationships’ and instantly our mind is filled with images of male predators, sex parties, orgies (as if some of us “monogamous folk” aren’t participating in them already).

You don’t have to challenge the standards of love that you’ve grown accustomed to.  But before criticizing open relationships as being a recipe for disaster, you might want to assess whether you’re already subjecting your partner to one.  Because turning your nose up at polyamory is counterproductive if you’re just going to cheat on your partner instead.

How do you feel about open relationships?

Sources and other media: Goddess Ayanna, NWAP Ep.40, Dr.Umar or Polygamy, Mo’Nique on The Preachers, DeRay Davis, EFF The Podcast Ep.1

 Nosy Josie

About nosy josie (88 Articles)
Josie is an aspiring writer living in Chicago Illinois, inspiring self-love through her own tragicomic life journey. Follow Josie as she details her collection of dating fails, life lessons and heart-to-heart confessions with her nosy readers.

27 Comments on You’re Cheating. Now What?

  1. Hank Williams once sang a song “Your Cheating Heart” it’s a timeless country tune with a message that gets to the intention and purpose of people who stray. Relationships of all types have become more complex than they need to be.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My friend Teddi would love that last statement. We take the beauty out of love and relationships when we smother them in rules. If only we could date the way we did when were kids…easy, free, honest and genuine

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, I certainly don’t believe in cheating. I have never done it and I would never tolerate someone cheating on me. If you don’t want to be with someone, tell them. Let them decide what they can handle.

    Honesty is of utmost importance.

    Open relationships aren’t for me. A sexual relationship between two people makes it special. Sharing that part of yourself with the person you’re in a committed relationship elevates it beyond a standard friendship. I love the symbolism in that… that I am only sharing that with one other person in my life.

    That said, I did sleep with someone (Racer X) soon after Texas and I had gotten back together because 1) Texas gave me his approval, and 2) It was planned while Texas and I were on the outs. There are other complicated reasons but the main point is that I was honest with Texas about it. I told him there were 3 main options: 1) He could say no, 2) He could say yes, or 3) We could delay getting back together. He chose 2.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I DO remember the situation with Texas and Racer X!! I loved that you gave Texas the choice rather than making it for him. That’s the type of honesty which is missing in a lot of our relationships. So even though you aren’t in an open relationship with Texas, you had an “open” moment. The maturity of you both to even have thay conversation without going nuts it’s so commendable to me. Your story reflects a lot of what I wrote about -setting your own standards in your relationship, being honest, the importance of giving your partner a choice, maturity in discussing your wants ,and a safe place for communicating them. So glad you commented. Even more glad that you and Texas are still going strong 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To each their own but I just don’t think I could do an open relationship. If I am in a relationship with someone, I would like to be the only person they are with. I know myself and I would not be able to handle an open relationship.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Knowing yourself is everything. And respecting that other people know themselves is everything x2. 😊. Now if only everyone could get on board with being comfortable with who they are and what they want…we would have a lot less cheating taking place!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I know many who are open to this but I couldn’t do it. I’m greedy. I’m not sharing my man with no one. I also, don’t like the idea of more than one man seeing and having me in my most vulnerable state.
    Great post pal!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m not one to cheat, and if ever I find out that you have cheated on me I’m never trusting you again. I’ll smIle and laugh with you, but the heart has been broken, the damaged has been done, and even when I’m smiling with you I can only hope you realize that you’ll never have me in the same manner as before.
    Hmm, this is a mouth full…but I do believe that open relationships stem from greed and typically only for sex. It’s obvious no one person will ever give you all you need or want. But, it’s possible one woman or one man can come pretty close. And, this isn’t an all or nothing type thing. I feel you constantly break the heart of the other person when in open relationships…because you’re never fully chosen. On holidays or during sad times which one do you pick to be with…maybe I misunderstood the blog but I can’t say that I personally agree with this type of relationship. But to each his own what works for some may not work for you…I know how sensitive I am so I’m not interested at all. Haha.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am SO much like you in how you view cheating – it is definitely a breach of trust and THAT alone is enough to ruin our dynamic. Well…if I had to be clear – an ACT of cheating is not enough to break my trust – lying about the act is, however. (I know not many women would feel me on that but I have my reasons lol). Maybe I’ll write a post about it though so we can have a discussion?!

      I think a lot of people would agree with you on the purpose of open relationships. I know I personally agree with you on the greed aspect for sure – especially with your explanation on it. You brought up SUCH a good point that I didn’t even consider…no one person can be “all-encompassing” and it IS greedy to try and supplement the “lacking” with other partners. Geez that is so true! I appreciate your perspective because I didn’t even consider that before!

      And I can’t say that you misunderstood the blog at all! The question at the end of it was to see how you all felt about open relationships. But the purpose of the article was to address the double standard of cheating vs. downing open relationships. You can’t frown at open relationships when you’re secretly in a plural one – that was the main purpose. To reevaluate our relationships and check ourselves if necessary. And also to create a safe place in your relationship to allow “uncomfortable” conversations to be had. I love your feedback! So sorry for the delayed response too – crazy past 2 weeks :O

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The same people pretending to be monogamous, pretend that they’re even capable of being so in the first place. It takes a special kind of person, in the course of a relationship, to be able to ignore & curve the millions of people in their pocket in today’s age. I’m still holding onto hope. The fact that you wrote this shows that some people still believe in the “old ways”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This article is amazing and I love your approach. I have been saying to my wife since before we got married I believed in polygamy. I want us to explore more from a tribal outlook and cultural security and expand our family legacy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love this openness and exploring non-traditional (or maybe more traditional, in fact) approaches to dating and relationships. It may not be right for everyone but there are a lot of people practicing “faux monogamy” :|


  8. tunisiajolyn84 // January 22, 2017 at 9:53 pm // Reply

    I say whatever makes people happy is cool with me as long as everyone is aware of what’s going in the relationship, then cheers and be merry! Life is hard enough and sometimes, I think we may make things harder with societal expectations that may not be aligned for everyone…obviously. Just look at an episode of Ricki Lake. (I’m really showing my age lol)

    Liked by 2 people

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