Infidelity Deception and Delusion in Relationship

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FemmeFatale
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02 Jan 2011, 8:40 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
[It reminds me of the way some alcoholics brag about the very habits that are destined to kill them. I guess I'm lucky that nobody's ever bragged about their affairs to me in that way. I might be sympathetic if they showed some kind of appreciation of the gravity of the situation, but otherwise I don't think I could be a good ear. Luckily nobody has shared that kind of thing with me......the nearest I've seen was a lady who was upset about her partner neglecting her....she said that she thought she'd go and have an affair just to spite him, and I said "you know you don't mean it." There was a stony silence and I never heard any more about it. The only other thing I remember is when I had a heated argument with a guy at a rather out-of-control workplace party, where I simply told him straight out that I thought the sexual stuff that was going on was appalling. He said that he didn't think there was anything wrong with "a quick snog at Christmas," I countered, and we ended the conversation without agreeing. I was only 18 and had never seen sleaze like it before.


I have trouble agreeing with those who justify their infidelity but am willing to rethink my stance on why people will cheat on their partners. I won't condone it though. My partner and I recently had this discussion because we both have friends who are cheating on their partners. He is of the opinion that people will usually have sex with someone outside the relationship if given the opportunity. I disagreed - I am monogamous and won't apologize for it. I think the unfaithful (deceptive) partner should leave their partner (or end the affair) in order to avoid hurting them. However, I believe that if the couple has an agreement to have an open relationship or add a person to their relationship in order to save their marriage (perhaps due to lack of sexual interest on the part of one partner), then this arrangement is acceptable for them. I see no reason however for one partner to decide that it is acceptable to have sex with another person without their partner's permission.

I am certain that I could be misinterpreting some of his reasoning for his opinion and I am sure that I do not communicate my position well - but we agreed and disagreed on some of these points. I also suspect men and women view this issue differently. What do you think?



ToughDiamond
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05 Jan 2011, 6:17 am

FemmeFatale wrote:
I have trouble agreeing with those who justify their infidelity but am willing to rethink my stance on why people will cheat on their partners. I won't condone it though. My partner and I recently had this discussion because we both have friends who are cheating on their partners. He is of the opinion that people will usually have sex with someone outside the relationship if given the opportunity. I disagreed - I am monogamous and won't apologize for it. I think the unfaithful (deceptive) partner should leave their partner (or end the affair) in order to avoid hurting them. However, I believe that if the couple has an agreement to have an open relationship or add a person to their relationship in order to save their marriage (perhaps due to lack of sexual interest on the part of one partner), then this arrangement is acceptable for them. I see no reason however for one partner to decide that it is acceptable to have sex with another person without their partner's permission.

I am certain that I could be misinterpreting some of his reasoning for his opinion and I am sure that I do not communicate my position well - but we agreed and disagreed on some of these points. I also suspect men and women view this issue differently. What do you think?


I'm not convinced that people will usually cheat if they get the opportunity. The last statistics I saw were that 50% of married men and 25% of married women will have committed adultery by the time they are 40. And I think my parents, in spite of their marriage being in deep trouble, would sooner have died than be unfaithful. Much depends on the person, their upbringing and attitudes, their age and wisdom.

But numbers are one thing, the moral position is another. Personally I'm a lot more comfortable when the people around me see infidelity as a fall from grace which is ultimately harmful. Even if the indiscretion is never discovered and the offending party isn't debilitated through guilt feelings, they're unlikely to be able to show the same strength of day-to-day commitment to the official partner, because there's always this other person to compare the spouse with, and a spouse can't easily compete with a lover - the latter has a much easier ride in many ways, as they don't have to live with the person 24/7, they don't have all the mundane problems of that to bog them down, and it's hard for a partner of say 10 years to excite their spouse in the same way as a lover could. It might be thought that guilt can help make a partner behave better to the spouse, but in my experience guilt is not a good driver for a wholesome relationship, because it's essentially nothing more than self-loathing.

I don't know if there's a difference between what men and women think about infidelity. Before contraception and DNA evidence, I suppose women had a lot more to lose, and certainly while I was growing up men would usually speak of sex in more liberal tones while women were more "prudish" about it. But by the 1970s, girls seemed a lot more sexualised, and I think a lot of men had trouble coming to terms with that, because they'd become dependent on women having a strong sense of sexual guilt, and were used to "naturally faithful" partners who they could criticise for being "unliberated," while quietly enjoying the security that such an arrangement offered. I think that we have so much diversity these days that it's hard to generalise.