Cheating in Polyamory

If we all defined cheating the exact same way, relationships would be a lot easier, or at least a little less complicated. Your partner may think it’s okay to kiss or develop deep emotional bonds with someone else, but to you, this would be a form of betrayal.

The rules between mono and poly relationships are different. To a monogamous person, having sex or a relationship with another, with or without permission is automatically cheating. To a poly person, if it’s done with everyone’s consent, normally it isn’t.

Polys have to deal with “cheating” just the same as monogamous couples,  but they do have one advantage. Poly people often sit down and discuss rules and their feelings in depth before even getting involved. They do because there are usually multiple people or even partners involved. And occasionally they write and sign contracts.

So . . . do people in poly relationships cheat less or more than individuals in monogamy? I would guess less because there’s an emphasis on discussing rules and definitions when couples start out. If you both agree on what is and isn’t cheating, you prevent future misunderstandings and possible heartache . As others join your primary relationship, they too will want to give input on what they view as cheating.

Cheating doesn’t always mean the end of a relationship. If you can get past the hurt and learn to trust a partner again, you may want to review your ideas and definition of cheating.

After meeting many poly couples, I realize that what’s considered cheating varies widely from couple to triad to quad. Some couples only consider their partner has cheated if they have unprotected sex, others view cheating as sleeping with a third without giving their primary 24hrs notice, while others still say it’s cheating if both primaries are not present.

Do you think there is more cheating in poly relationships or monogamy?

Tell us what you think

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