Is there a deeper pain in a love relationship between two healthy partners other than feeling betrayal? Could be true that all man lie and cheat? Is it possible to have a deep, fulfilling connection and live in monogamy? Or is this only an utopia meant to keep our expectations high?
Have you ever wonder how would relationships look like if we could rely on our partner’s loyalty?
Infidelity is one of the biggest topics when we talk about romantic relationships. When it comes to couples therapy, betrayal is by far the most common subject you can find in a psychotherapy cabinet.
How can you avoid being cheated on?
The best solution, in my opinion, is to solve it before it happens, as Abraham Hicks says.
You see, any romantic relationship has specific stages, one of them being the Commitment Stage. After you both get to know each other through conversation, but also through mutual experiences, there comes a time to take a certain type of commitment with each other.There are no rules regarding the type of commitment you guys want to take. The only rules I would suggest are: be honest with yourself and with your partner and take only a commitment that you are sure you can keep. Also both of you need to agree to the same terms. The commitment can start with an easy, simple discussion, preferably at the beginning of the relationship, because that’s when everything is fresh and frisky and there are more chances to talk from your heart.
What is good for one couple, might not satisfy the needs of another. Say, ‘I like monogamy – I am not a possessive person, nor jealous or addictive – I love my own life, but I feel like the deepest levels of intimacy can be reached only in partnerships that are sexually exclusive. I like honesty and respect in a relationship and if we stay connected to our deepest desires and communicate them with ourselves and with each other, I am sure we can fully satisfy them inside the relationship. I really do not believe that opening the door to other people in the relationship can benefit us – I believe this is only a way to run away from our own lessons that we need to learn in order to grow and that we will need to pay a price for this runaway.’
If you decided you want a different type of commitment, talk about it and set clear boundaries: ‘I do not believe in monogamy, I believe we are happier if we are free to hook up with whomever we want when we want, without giving any explanation. I think that we should only be careful for our partner to stay away from these escapades and not know a thing about it, so that they don’t feel hurt. I think this should apply for both partners, we are both free to sleep with other people, as long as it happens only once with a specific person and there is no emotional attachment, it’s just a physical thing for the sake of diversity, it should be fine.’
In both situations you will avoid betrayal: in the first one, by accepting your imperfect nature and willingness to pay the price of growth, in the second one by embracing an open agreement. In both cases partners agree to the same terms and respect them.
Too often I hear people say: If you cheat on me, at least be honest with me! – Obviously honesty is a precious value for a good relationship, but when you enunciate your request like that, you already welcome betrayal into your life, because that is your actual expectation. So your partner might understand that it is ok to cheat on you as long as he is being honest with you.
However, if you aim for monogamy, a healthier way to approach this situation is saying: I agree that during our relationship we might feel attracted by other people. It can happen, but this is not a reason to get worried. This is only a clue that something is off in our connection, that your most important needs are not being met anymore. Regardless of the fact that this might be an old wound of yours or something that I can do better in our interaction, let’s just discuss about it and let’s find out what trait or attitude the other person has that makes us feel attraction toward them. Sometimes we just want to feel appreciated or we need to connect on a deeper level with our partner and these are things that can be solved easily with good communication. This type of approach will work best in a relationship where both partners nurture values like communication and mutual respect. So make sure that when you ask for a partner you also include keywords like monogamy in your asking.
According to Tony Robbins, as humans we have 6 basic needs. When we find a person who satisfies 4 out of the 6 we get in love that person or we get addicted to that thing. When we don’t satisfy the 4 needs within the relationship we tend to look for external satisfaction. Therefore, I believe that the need of different or cheating can be fulfilled as long as there is a good connection and good communication in between partners. They also need to be aware of these needs and how to keep them in balance.
1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others
You can find more details about this subject in here.
I strongly believe that once you identify what are your 4 primary needs and satisfy them you can be happy and live a monogamous relationship.
Polyamory (from Greek πολύ poly, “many, several”, and Latin amor, “love”) is the practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the consent of all partners involved. It has been described as “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy”.
The 6 basic needs remain the same in a polyamorous relationship, but instead of taking the responsibility to satisfy them within a monogamous relationship – meaning that you and your partner will have a bit more work to do with each other, you decide to get your needs met by multiple people.
Find out more about Polyamorous relationships here.
No matter what type of commitment you choose, make sure it is satisfying your needs and that you discuss very clearly the conditions before accepting any agreement and that you are happy with the option you have chosen.
Therefore betrayal can be prevented as long as both partners root for it, whether is monogamy or a polyamorous commitment, both of them exclude betrayal as both of them require the conscious consent of both partners.