F4TF: cheating

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This week’s question:

Have you ever cheated? If so, what were the reasons behind it, and how did you feel afterwards?

This is an easy one. I’ve never cheated.

I’ve always had a strong sense of loyalty and commitment. Honesty and integrity are really important to me.

I was always motivated to be in a relationship. I’d say my loyalty and commitment were overdeveloped, as they kicked in as soon as I was in anything resembling a relationship, regardless of its quality and whether the guy in question deserved it. I hadn’t yet learned to ask myself “Am I happy being with this person?”

Because of what I learned about relationships when I was growing up, it was never a challenge not to cheat. I feel good about not having cheated because it aligns with my sense of integrity, but it doesn’t really feel like an “accomplishment”. Similarly, choosing not to do heroin isn’t an accomplishment for me – it’s just not my thing.

With Gawan, I’m doing some things that others might label “cheating”. But Wolf still has my loyalty and commitment, and – critically – my honesty and integrity. Gawan is entitled to honesty and integrity too; and he also gets some loyalty and commitment because I consider him to be “my people”. For us, this makes it ethical non-monogamy rather than cheating.

2 thoughts on “F4TF: cheating

  1. So what does Wolf get that Gawan doesn’t and what, if anything, does Gawan get that Wolf doesn’t? Or do they both get the same “love”? Is one entitled to more loyalty than the other? Does one get more commitment than the other? Does one get more integrity than the other? If Wolf began to feel uncomfortable with your relationship with Gawan and asked you to end it, would you? What if Gawan became uncomfortable and asked you to end your relationship with Wolf? Which of the two has your heart and soul? Which one is a pleasant distraction, a side bar of life? No sarcasm is intended. No judgment is implied. Just honest questions about your relationships. thanks stan

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    1. As I was getting to know Gawan, I let Wolf know what was going on at every stage. When Gawan suggested meeting (which, because of the distance involved, was a big deal), I asked Wolf if he was OK with me developing a relationship that had romantic and sexual possibilities. He was, and I continue to check in with him from time to time. For a variety of reasons, Wolf is very unlikely to ask me to end it with Gawan. Gawan wouldn’t ask me to end it with Wolf – that would be 100% out of character. Wolf and I are a really excellent match, we’ve been together for a lot of years and we’re heavily invested in each other, so if I had to make a choice I’d choose Wolf. But that choice is only relevant when exclusivity is expected, which isn’t the case.

      My time is limited; I live with Wolf and Gawan lives in a different country. I have no lack of loyalty or integrity, and my feelings about one man have no bearing on the other. I’m still closer to Wolf than to Gawan (for one thing, I’ve been with Wolf a lot longer), but I wrote this post 6 months ago and I’m closer to Gawan now than I was at the time of writing.

      Gawan and Wolf are different people so the relationships are different and exist on their own terms. I don’t restrict one in favor of the other. “Heart and soul” versus “pleasant distraction” is a false dichotomy: these aren’t the only roles available, and a pleasant distraction doesn’t really appeal. The relationships aren’t zero-sum: sharing love with Gawan doesn’t mean I’m taking anything away from Wolf.

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