It might be infidelity in an open or poly relationship if…..
- ….you are not telling partners the truth. The truth is defined as something that is true in accordance with fact – accurate and exact. Lying to one of the partners is clearly a problem. However, excluding facts so that what is being told so that it is not accurate or exact is the same as lying. It is not honest as it is not accurate. While one might think s/he is protecting a partner from hurt, in essence, what s/he is doing is protecting one’s self from the backlash of the truth. And doing that, means you are deliberately excluding facts which is lying.
- ….you are not honoring agreements. Poly and open is about negotiating. It is about keeping people whole and safe – physically and emotionally. If you are not honoring your agreements – you are committing infidelity. This includes not making promised safe calls, not practicing agreed upon safe sex practices, etc.
- ….you are dragging a partner down the open or poly path when they are not ready. Yes, this one is tricky, but I’ve often seen it happen. One partner finds a person they are interested in. So, they use open or poly to justify the relationship. Instead of having a dialog with the current partner about whether or not they are ready- about whether or not their relationship is ready – they use it as a way of getting what they want – the newbie that has caught their eye. Yes, that last statement is a tad bit cynical and judgmental in the wording. But if the first relationship which was closed is truly honored by both partners – truly treasured by both partners – and truly solid enough to open it up – then this rush to open or poly would not be necessary.
- ….you are not respecting the partner’s friendships. Just because you are open or poly does not mean everyone is open to you in terms of dating or relationships. Going after friends of the partners without a whole lot of prior discussion with said partners is not only bad taste, but also risky. You have to think about more than you in this situation. Why? Because you are now putting that partner’s friendship in jeopardy.