Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) can prompt cheating in relationships that otherwise would never have cheating. So if you’re reading this because you’ve cheated on a partner with your GSA contact, or because your partner may have cheated on you with their GSA contact, please keep that in mind.
This blog endorses ethical nonmonogamy as no less valid and respectful than monogamy. Your blogger is polyamorous himself, but supports the rights of adults regardless of his own personal orientation and interests, including people who want monogamy.
This blog does not endorse cheating on a sexual, romantic, or spousal partner (which can happen in monogamous or polyamorous relationships), but also doesn’t endorse criminal punishment for cheating.
I don’t consider cheating to be egregious when it is to get some relief from a spouse or partner who has seriously broken vows or agreements by being abusive, neglectful, etc. Ideally, people would leave relationships in which they are being neglected or rejected, but that isn’t always possible or the best solution for a variety of reasons.
Relationships, especially marriages, can be very complicated. For example, it is easy for outsiders to see a married woman flirting with someone behind her husband’s back, and think less of her for doing so, but what those outsiders don’t see is that her husband barely interacts with her in private and refuses to even touch her and yet he wants her to go without affection and intimacy with others. Not wanting to break up the home of her young children before they are grown, she stays, and seeks comfort with others. Of course this kind of relationship situation happens regardless of genders.
In general, someone who is happy in a healthy relationship and is not deficient in their self-control will not cheat. However, when it comes to Genetic Sexual Attraction, someone who is in a happy relationship or would otherwise never cheat (not with a coworker, not with a neighbor, not with a former partner, not with anyone) may not withstand the dynamics involved, and may cheat as a result. If their relationship was already terminally ill, or experiencing serious problems, then keeping mutual GSA nonsexual is that much less unlikely.
GSA is usually overwhelming, and bonds formed in its caldera can become especially strong.
Is it possible for an existing relationship to withstand cheating initiated through GSA? Yes, if it is a strong one, and if the participants are willing to endure great difficulty.
The extra disadvantage GSA-based cheating adds to healing a relationship is that it is especially difficult to sever any of the bonds someone forms with their GSA partner(s). Whereas one response to cheating is to sever all contact with the person with whom one has cheated, reunited genetic relatives might find that approach unthinkable. So even if the sexual interaction ceases, which in itself can be extremely difficult to manage, a strong desire to be together may still present interference to other relationships.
Conversely the advantage is that, unless there are other genetic relatives who fit the required profile (gender, sexual orientation, etc.), the cheating partner who’d never cheated before isn’t likely to cheat anew with someone else, like you might see with someone who established a pattern of cheating with coworkers, who is willing to break it off with one coworker when caught, but may take up with another coworker after a little while.
If someone was already a cheater, there probably isn’t much hope for the relationship if GSA brings another cheating situation to the mix.
As with any cheating situation, for the prior relationship to survive in a healthy way, the partner who has been cheated on must either be ignorant of the situation or very understanding. Unfortunately, the stigma against consanguineous sex may preempt the offended partner’s willingness to move forward with the relationship, even if they would have done so had the affair been with an unrelated acquaintance. There are a few people, such as some subset of incest fetishists, who would find news of their partner acting on GSA to be arousing, and others who are very accommodating or understanding, but many people, even many who have supported their partner being polyamorous, are going to find consanguinamory on the part of their partner to be unacceptable, even if for no other reason than realizing the consanguinamorous bond could continue to be stronger than the one they have.
If it helps the hurt partner, they should know that if their cheating partner was not a cheater before, a GSA affair is not likely to signal that their partner will subsequently cheat with others.
GSA can and usually will bring upheaval to the life of those who experience it and their loved ones. That is especially so for any existing partner relationships. Being 1) introduced to a genetic sibling you didn’t know existed, or 2) reunited with a child you gave up for adoption, now a grown adult, or 3) even feeling very attracted to someone and later finding out you are close genetic relatives would be a major twist to life’s journey in and of itself (and those are just some of the GSA scenarios). Adding a strong unrequited attraction to the first two is even more to deal with, and mutual attraction, especially with erotic encounters resulting, is more still.
Compassion is needed all around.