There is something that I would really like to address. And that is the topic of Plurals cheating in romantic relationships. My name is Angel. I am what is labeled as a ‘’sexual alter.’’ I am only sharing that information with you to provide context. I hope to be an example to other people who get labeled that way. Even Though i am still in my own healing process. And I want to offer you a perspective that is not from a host point of view. It’s not a secret, but we recently came out as polyamorous on this blog. I repeat that here to give you more context. I am 18, impulsive, extrovert, hedonistic, party girl with little to no shame. Trust me when i say some protector will read & edit this before it’s actually posted onto this blog. haha –
This article is based on my own personal opinion and experiences. The word relationship in this article can and may be replaced with the word dating, marriage or other romantic or sexual relationship form or construction you find yourselves in! Although this article is addressed to other Plurals, we hope neurotypical and otherwise neurodivergent folks also find this article valuable.
Some people are cheaters & some of those cheaters are Plural.
I wish I could just leave it at that sentence. Cause it basically sums up the rest of this article. (Okay, not really, keep reading) See we all have something called system responsibility. And most Plurals are aware of this concept. It means that if one of us commits a crime, we all go to jail. It also means if one of us decided bungee jumping would be fun, we all gotta jump. And it also means that if one of us cheats, we all cheat.
We Plurals are all different individual people within a system, but we share a body and life together. And if you have a partner you share that body and life with your partner. And if you share your body and/or life with someone other than your partner, without prior negotiation and consent from ALL parties involved, it’s called cheating.
If someone in our life enables us to cheat, by that i mean they know we are in a (monogamous/not open) relationship but allow us to cheat with them willingly, they are cheaters themselves! Only another cheater would allow for such a thing to happen. Which means that a possible relationship, based on this foundation is not going to work out long term, ever. We know 90% of relationships in USA under age 30 end. And 50% of marriages end in divorce.
You have to face & fix the core issue of cheating within you& before you can remain in a healthy (monogamous) relationship.
If they know we are Plural & they enable us to cheat, they are unable to understand and comprehend the vulnerable position (some) Plurals are in. If a Plural deals with memory loss or blackouts and someone enables us to cheat it’s a double red flag, if that makes sense. In some cases it can and should be considered r*pe. If someone goes behind our back, just to have sex with our body, they are doing the same thing as our (sexual) abusers did. And we certainly all agree that was r*pe.
Some (dare I say most) Plural systems are able to protect themselves against various situations. Cheating should be one of those situations! If you cannot do that (at this time) it is important to be open and honest about it with (potential) partner(s.) If you are aware of it and you are aware you (one of you) might cheat, it is really unethical to not share that with a (potential) partner. And one (me lol) might say it is unethical to engage in monogamous relationships at that stage of your life at all. Do not make a promise you know you can’t keep.
Only date people who are compatible in this area with you. Do not date monogamous people or monogamously if you (are aware you) cannot live up to it.
Most importantly, address the situation with the Others! Why do you cheat, what leads up to it, can you find the pattern and how will you together, avoid it? Only build relationships within a framework that works for how you collectively want to live your (love)life. Avoid setting yourself and others up for heartbreak. That is why our system lives polyamorous. If you are unaware, in a polyam relationship, one can still cheat! If you make certain agreements together, around sex with other people and they are not kept, it is cheating just as in a monogamous relationship. Only by having open communication, trust and mutual understanding can we work together to avoid cheating. And again, if we cannot provide that, it’s okay as long as we do not engage in a (monogamous) relationship without conveying this information clearly upfront to all parties involved.
If based on that information someone cannot engage in a relationship with you, it is extremely important to be understanding about it and to not (sexually or romantically) engage with this person. If you cannot do this, protect this person (and their relationship) by staying away from them! It’s the only ethical thing to do. Do not make your problem, someone else their problem. Especially when they have already told you, that they are not available and/or interested. And make sure everyone in the system is aware of that information.
It is possible, healthy and wise to agree to first work on the issues that arise when you think and talk together about why you cheat. It is okay to remain single, to not date and first work out what kind of relationship framework works best for you collectively.
Living polyamorous is a good middle ground for our system. Something we can all agree upon is the best possible outcome for us. We are so many, we do not feel it is realistic to put that responsibility (to use that word) on one person/Plural. Another thing that helps us greatly is in-system relationships. Some of us are even married inside. Because even with multiple partners, it is not realistic that all of us can be (actively) in a relationship in the outside world. If only because we do not/cannot front that often.
This is also the only exception I have to what cheating is. I do not think it is realistic or fair to say someone is cheating when it comes to in-system (sexual) relationships. Obviously you can have your own opinion on it. But I make sure all my (pottetional) partners are aware some of us engage in in-system relationships and if it is an issue for them, we cannot be in a relationship with them. We also try to avoid being in a relationship with someone who cheats. Because it really does not set the right example for the Others in our system. And obviously it hurts immensely to get cheated on.
If you are dating a Plural, please do not assume they will cheat. Do not label all Plurals as cheaters because of the mistakes of a few. And do not enable us to cheat either! If you are a Plural ally, be aware of what is and what is not (considered) ethical! And invest to get to know the Plural you are interested in more than investing time in reading up on DID on the internet. We are all different & individual after all. Assume they will provide you with accurate information, ask them questions about it, bring up the subject, ask them how they will avoid it. And ask these questions from a place of understanding rather than agreement. If you open up communications early enough, you should have a sufficient time frame to work with. If your partner avoids this topic, it’s a red flag!
And remember, “You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.” – Wanda the Owl, BoJack Horseman.
Thank you for investing the time to read this. We hope it helps you, your relationship(s) and the people in your Plural system. If you want to support our work, we accept donations. – Together we are stronger. Power to the Plurals!