When a partner’s role is assumed to be monogamous, many other assumptions might go hand in hand, for example, his/her faithfulness, happiness, likes/dislikes and a whole slew of other things. Chances are your partner will like the idea of monogamy, so we should not be afraid to have the conversation. If this is what you want also, you will need to speak up about it. Don’t leave this part up to chance. You and your partner will be more committed to a choice made consciously with the relationship in mind, and by recognizing that the choice to be faithful and monogamous is a decision and a commitment to yourself, each other and to the relationship. The rules are not something that naturally will be, nor should be assumed so.
Talking about whether or not a couple, or an individual chooses monogamy can be uncomfortable to say the least. This is where most of us are faced to confront our jealousies and insecurities about our partner’s desires, as well as to accept and admit our true inner desires, which may not necessarily follow the norm of monogamy, or maybe they do, or maybe they do today and will be something different tomorrow. The conversation is a journey. Recognizing that feelings ebb and flow, that our sexuality is fluid and changing, and then being open to at least talking about the tides of change, and what is on your mind, is often the first step in many cases to an open, and honest relationship that is less likely to breakdown from the throes of lies, deceit and infidelity.
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The point here is not to assume the rules of your relationship, but to decide on the rules together, and to revisit them often. We need to see if the rules need any tweaking, if the rules still fit, etc., Talking about the rules and expectations of your relationship together is empowering. Feeling empowered in your relationship will make it less likely that you or your partner will seek out solace elsewhere.
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Cheating also does not need to indicate the end of the relationship. If the cheater has not moved on permanently, and the cheat-ee can find room to give the partner a second chance, this can be a great place to start the conversation about what led to the cheating in the first place honestly, and then to repair and essentially to start over with more clearly defined rules together. With a little love, patience and efforts from both individuals a couple can come back after infidelity, stronger than ever.