This week I have an interesting tale from a Blue Baller, I’ll let him tell it: I met a guy for a playdate and half way into it his phone starts beeping. He stopped, “Ugh that’s my boyfriend and he’ll keep pestering until I respond. He gets super jealous.” I ask: “Do you have an open relationship?” Which he admits that they don’t, but his boyfriend is not into what we’re enjoying so he seeks it elsewhere. I replied: “I have to warn you of a few things. If you aren’t faithful you’ll have a really hard time trusting that he’s faithful, and that will make you miserably jealous. You can’t trust others if you aren’t trustworthy yourself. That’s cheater’s karma. I once met a man who couldn’t figure out why he was insanely jealous of his partner all the time. I said: in my experience a person who is crazy jealous is usually that way because they themselves have cheated, is cheating, or will cheat and they are afraid that their partner is just like them: a dishonest cheater. The color immediately drained from his face and his mouth dropped. I asked ‘What did you do?’ He said regretfully ‘I cheated on him once a few years ago and I feel awful about it. What am I supposed to do?’ I replied ‘Well if you are going to continue to cheat you will always feel insecure and jealous, so from here on out you need to be faithful to your word and your agreements. If you can’t, then change your agreements so you can. But we are humans, we make mistakes in life, this is how we learn. Let this be a one time mistake that taught you to be faithful to your agreements, and change them if you can’t. Whether or not you tell your partner about that digression is a different discussion. Many times cheaters confess in an attempt to relieve their conscience. They get some relief, but then they’ve dumped it all onto their partner who is left emotionally distraught and now having to sort through all of that and rebuild trust. The cheater is now responsible for rebuilding trust. If you are truly a changed man and are now committed to being faithful then maybe the least you can do for your partner is suck it up and keep the negative emotions of the experience to yourself rather than dumping them on your partner to relieve your own conscience. It may be better to NOT tell, after all it will be a huge rift and is no longer all that relevant since you are now a faithful partner. However, if you find yourself unable to remain faithful to your agreements then its time to come clean and renegotiate the agreements to something that you can be faithful to. Culture implies that monogamy is the only way and anyone who wants any other style of relationship (e.g. open relationships) is some how deviant or deficient and they need to be fixed to comply with monogamy. Bullshit. Research undermines this assumption. You have a right to the sexuality and relationship(s) you need, no matter how others judge it (as long as your not violating anyone else’s rights). If you need novelty in your relationship or need a certain activity that your partner can’t provide, you have a right to say “this is what I need and if that’s not your thing that’s fine but don’t ask me to be starved of it in my life. I want to stay with you and find a way that we can both thrive and get our needs met and that may require non-monogamy of some sort.” In this monogamy-normative culture many people will tell you are are wrong and need to conform, including your partner. I disagree. It may be a non-negotiable that makes your partnership unsustainable. He has a right to say that that wouldn’t work for him. But there are people in this world who are up for that sort of agreement. An important last note: I should also add there was one time I was being 100% faithful to a partner and yet I became insanely jealous around him. Upon reflection it was because my subconscious was picking up nonverbal signals that my conscious couldn’t yet explain (this is intuition). After the relationship I found irrefutable evidence he was a dishonest cheater himself. Therefore, if you find yourself crazy jealous even though you are faithful, keep your eyes open. I’m curious, what have you noticed about cheaters and cheating?
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