My Partner Slept With Somebody Even though We Have Pre-existing Agreement, Should I Be Angry?

Reid: Hello! This is Reid Mihalko from and I am with Cathy Vartuli of Cathy, what is today’s question?

Cathy: Today’s question is someone wrote in and said “my partner and I are just opening up a relationship. He agreed that he wouldn’t sleep with someone else until we discuss it. He’s been seeing someone and they’ve been spending the night but the agreement was he wouldn’t sleep with her until they until we had discussed it. We’re both on board and I woke up and they were having sex. Do I have the right to be angry?” So

Reid: So

Cathy: It’s a great question. We appreciate you writing in.

Reid: So thank you for writing in. So, it sounds like the agreement was no sex with this person.

Cathy: Right. No sex with anyone else until we actually discussed it and both agreed that

Reid: Okay.

Cathy: it was going to go ahead.

Reid: So, I’m just going to say that here….here is a better way to phrase this, “no sex with anyone until we both give the okay” like until I say “honey, go sleep with Cathy.” You are not allowed to go sleep with Cathy.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Because and this is this is my quick solution not knowing this situation because until…..until like we’ve discussed it can look like a lot of things. This person who was I already had the okay that I could sleep over that they could sleep over

Cathy: Right.

Reid: you knew they were sleeping over

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: And so somewhere along the line and all the oxytocin and waking up with this exciting person who’ve just opened up a relationship, there’s all this new energy and freedom my brain has now made it okay that we discussed this. You know they were sleeping over

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: So, this equals it’s okay to have sex with them.

Cathy: No.

Reid: So, I would say use more powerful language like until I were until I hand you this this unicorn statue you are not allowed to with…..with so-and-so’s name written on it you are not allowed to sleep with somebody like

Cathy: Well, so it’s…it’s….it’s her fault for not being more clear.

Reid: No, I’m not saying it’s her fault.

Cathy: He just

Reid: I’m

Cathy: vi….violated their agreement.

Reid: I’m….I’m saying the upgrade

Cathy: There’s an upgrade

Reid: would be to have a better like more not stringent but a more clear

Cathy: We don’t know how clear it was. It might have been very clear

Reid: That’s why I said

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I don’t know this situation.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: I believe I put in all the qualifiers.

Cathy: Okay, so what would you suggest to her to do now like it’s he just cheated, he did broke the agreement, he….he did something that he agreed not to do. Does she have the right to be angry?

Reid: Yeah, she ever….you have right to be angry no matter what.

Cathy: And do you have any thoughts on how they can move forward?

Reid: Well, you….you I mean you’re going to have a cleanup conversation about what went wrong, where were things unclear and how could you make them more clear in the future? So my….my advice is that this is a learning opportunity. It’s a learning curve conversation, something wasn’t made clear, it was a breakdown identified the breakdown and then have a conversation about what can we install in it that will make it more powerful and more clear moving forward.

Cathy: For

Reid: I mean if you want to if you want to blame each other go right ahead but that’s not going to get you moving forward in your relationship around like what do you actually want to be creating.

Cathy: Okay it’s still….to me it’s….it’s the way it’s what you’re saying it’s really good advice but else it still sounds like it’s all on her to fix it and her to like be more clear in the future. We….it could have been very clear and he….he broke an agreement

Reid: Okay.

Cathy: So what

Reid: So we’re answering her question

Cathy: Right. So what does she do now?

Reid: So if he was writing in I would say dude you should apologize

Cathy: Okay and

Reid: and this is a learning curve opportunity. Figure out what…what wasn’t clear for you

Cathy: Or why did you do it?

Reid: with each other. Well

Cathy: it might….it might have been very clear and you just chose not to listen.

Reid: Well, then that’s what you get to apologize for. So but these….these are the conversations to have and this is why it’s tricky in relationships period.

Cathy: Yeah and the Five Languages of Apology are really and the When Sorry’s Not Enough it’s a book by Gary Chapman and Jennifer…..I do this all the time.

Reid: Yup. Sorry Jennifer we do this all the time. Sullivan? Maybe it’s Sullivan

Cathy: It might be.

Reid: I don’t know.

Cathy: Yeah.

Reid: Sorry

Cathy: Yeah but it’s like he’s very religious, somewhat homophobic but he has really good advice on how to say apologize to people in different languages because different people get apologies indifferent ways so just

Reid: What

Cathy: saying I’m sorry

Reid: What’s your advice for her?

Cathy: I….well, yeah you have a right to be angry and it might be that you have to change the rules – no one can sleep over, no you know like if….if there’s why did that person did the person understand that they shouldn’t and did it anyway then they don’t have good impulse control and one do I want to be in relationship with someone who has poor impulse control and is going to break a roll right in front of me. I don’t know that I do. It depends on what other things are in your relationship but definitely having apologies and setting up so that if it’s important to you that he not sleep with someone that’s part of your agreement that how can you set it up so that won’t happen again. No overnights for a while. What is that you know look like and I’m someone who just saying if it’s a big mistake just saying I’m sorry doesn’t cut it for me. I want some kind of restitution and some kind of like I’m making amends for what I did and for someone did cheat like that I consider it cheating if they’ve agreed not to do something and they did it and they entered that agreement there with their own free will then they need to fix things. So

Reid: There you have it. What are your comments? What….what advice do you have? What do you think? Hit subscribe! Anything else?

Cathy: No, we’d love to know what you think and if you have good advice, leave it below.

Reid: And please keep writing in your questions.

Cathy: Yeah

Reid: We love them.

Cathy: We love them!