Saturday, August 28, 2010
Don't do it if it makes sense!
Yep, it happened again. One more time I found myself in the middle of a conversation that made my head spin and my brain hurt. At the same time, it got me to thinking. . .
The comment that was made was this; "I can't do poly, I get jealous too easy. Instead I'll just cheat."
At first glance that statement was more than a little disturbing to me. And as you might have guessed, or even do yourself, I mentally put that person immediately into the "Do Not Touch!" category. At the same time I like to be open to new ideas and dislike judging people without at least understanding their perspective or reasoning so I tried to take a balanced look at the statement and underlying concept.
With poly you do still have jealousy, I can't argue with that. Some people are better than others at controlling it or dealing with it but most still have it. The behavior taught to most of us throughout life is that physical sharing of the person you love is wrong. Physical fidelity implies love and commitment. The result is that the idea of sharing your love with another person can create feelings of jealousy.
But jealousy, in my opinion, is supported by other behavior. Most obvious is that whatever is happening isn't talked about. It is a secret. It is that unknown that often makes jealousy much worse than what actually took place. But there are other things that can cause jealousy to grow such as lack of support or visible behavior by a partner.
In trying to wrap my head around the concept of cheating to avoid jealousy all I kept seeing were red flags and comparisons that raised even more red flags;
With poly and jealousy things are, hopefully, out in the open and you can work on the problems whereas with cheating you deal with your own guilt and should you get caught the relationship will likely explode as unfixable.
Jealousy mainly causes one person pain, maybe two. Not to diminish that but with cheating a whole lot of people could potentially be hurt.
Jealousy may or may not be a concern to other parts of the relationship whereas cheating is a good indication there are other rules or expectations that are possibly not being followed as well.
With all of that said, I have known couples in the past with a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. Basically they know their partner is having other relationships, they just don't talk about it. I'm not sure how that would help you avoid jealousy. For me the unknown is almost always worse than the known. What it does do though is lead me to a bit better understanding of what the person mentioned was trying to say. Essentially what they don't know won't hurt them. At that point cheating, assuming you don't get caught, will avoid jealousy. Both having it and having to deal with it from a partner.
In a twisted way it makes a bit of sense to me now. If jealousy is the absolute worst problem you can imagine in a relationship then avoiding it at any cost makes some sense. Though I don't agree with cheating and would avoid becoming involved with someone who is cheating, I at least understand it a bit better now.
Where are you at with cheating? I know, most people despise it completely and I pretty much feel the same way. But, are there situations where cheating would actually be a better option?