Does anyone else find cheating super hard to understand?

Page 1 of 4 [ 58 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

bluegreenleaves
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 9 Apr 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 35
Location: the sea

27 Jul 2020, 3:43 pm

I'm not sure if this has to do with my diagnosis of asperger's, but I've noticed recently so many people seem to be okay and very lenient with cheating.

This worries me because I'm for sure not very secure in myself, and have had this deep-rooted fear that my partner will inevitably leave me for someone else and cheat, which has kind of happened to me before. However, I find that when this happened, people didn't believe it when I told them, or they kind of gave me the impression of believing they 'had a right' to cheat.

I almost feel controlling and over-conservative for being upset about being cheated on, when I would never want to control someone like that - it's just super painful, but people seem to sympathise more with the cheater than the person who has been cheated on nowadays, and I don't understand why. I mean no disrespect to anyone that's been involved in an affair, as these things happen and I logically understand why people cheat, and I'm certainly not above it or anything. I just worry that every single partner will cheat on me.

Is it unreasonable of me to find cheating quite selfish and a bit wrong? But for some reason I feel very forced into forgiving it and treating it like it's normal. Is this my aspergers and my rigid thinking? To be honest, it is more the sense of being lied to than the pure fact someone was attracted and/or in love with someone else; but sometimes people who cheat feel entitled to lying about it and not being honest with their partner, and that's what bothers me. In my opinion, if you're going to cheat, you could at least let your partner know and not string them along. But I don't know, it doesn't seem like many people think like this anymore, at least not the people I've come into contact with... I would never want to punitively punish someone for cheating, either, I'm just wondering if there are other people who still think the way I do.

I feel like there's something I'm missing, that would help me be more okay with people who cheat. But in my mind, if someone cheated on you, then they didn't truly love you... so then the whole relationship is a lie, right? And if someone falls in love with someone else, that's fine, as it may be true love, and I would never want to bar someone from that... but if someone could at least tell you and not pretend everything's okay? I don't understand how people think this is 'normal'. I'm not talking about open or polyamorous relationships, either, because there's no deception in that... it's lying. I just can't get it, how people think it's okay.


I'm a left wing person and wish to treat people equally, but cheating is just something I can't get my head around and I'm not sure why people want to normalise it. Can anyone help me out so my anxiety about it lessens?

Thank you!



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 43,373
Location: Stendec

27 Jul 2020, 3:52 pm

bluegreenleaves wrote:
I'm not sure if this has to do with my diagnosis of asperger's, but I've noticed recently so many people seem to be okay and very lenient with cheating ... Can anyone help me out so my anxiety about it lessens?  Thank you!
Well, it might help if you can express your standards for "cheating".

For instance, if your SO smiles and says "Thank you" to the cashier behind the counter, is that "cheating"?  What if he only makes eye-contact with her?  What if he leaves a tip greater than 10% for a waitress?

Is it "cheating" if you're not married? How about if you're engaged?  Separated or divorced?  What if you dump him one night, and the next night you see him out having fun with another woman?

Is flirtatious banter "cheating"?  Is offering someone a ride on a cold and rainy day "cheating"?

Is it "cheating" if they are never alone together? Is it "cheating" if they are alone together and ignore each other?

Really, unless you clearly define what "cheating" means to you, it may be difficult to resolve your feelings.


_________________
Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should only be judged or defined
by their actions and choices, and not by what we imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


bluegreenleaves
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 9 Apr 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 35
Location: the sea

27 Jul 2020, 4:10 pm

Fnord wrote:
bluegreenleaves wrote:
I'm not sure if this has to do with my diagnosis of asperger's, but I've noticed recently so many people seem to be okay and very lenient with cheating ... Can anyone help me out so my anxiety about it lessens?  Thank you!
Well, it might help if you can express your standards for "cheating".

For instance, if your SO smiles and says "Thank you" to the cashier behind the counter, is that "cheating"?  What if he only makes eye-contact with her?  What if he leaves a tip greater than 10% for a waitress?

Is it "cheating" if you're not married? How about if you're engaged?  Separated or divorced?  What if you dump him one night, and the next night you see him out having fun with another woman?

Is flirtatious banter "cheating"?  Is offering someone a ride on a cold and rainy day "cheating"?

Is it "cheating" if they are never alone together? Is it "cheating" if they are alone together and ignore each other?

Really, unless you clearly define what "cheating" means to you, it may be difficult to resolve your feelings.


For me, cheating is anything that engages romantic and sexual feelings regularly, outside of your relationship. Most of the things you mentioned aren't cheating for me personally, but flirtatious banter would cross the line for me a bit. Being alone with another woman isn't cheating for me, either, unless they harbour feelings for each other.



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 43,373
Location: Stendec

27 Jul 2020, 5:06 pm

bluegreenleaves wrote:
For me, cheating is anything that engages romantic and sexual feelings regularly, outside of your relationship ... flirtatious banter would cross the line for me a bit. Being alone with another woman isn't cheating for me, either, unless they harbour feelings for each other.
Okay ... hypothetical set-up here ... Your SO and a woman for whom he has or had feelings are alone together, and neither of them initiates any words or actions with the other (working late at an office, for example).  Would that be cheating?

Consider the classic "Crime Triangle": Method, Motive, and Opportunity are required for a murder to potentially be committed; but if no murder or assault takes place, is there a crime?  Sure, someone has a knife, that someone habours a grudge, and the person against whom the grudge is held is present; but nothing happens.  Should the person with the knife be charged with a crime?

It is not right to charge a person with a crime if the crime was never committed.  So even if all three elements (Virility, Lust, Paramour) are present, you cannot rightly accuse someone of cheating if they never consummate the deed.

Anyway, that's my take on it.  If you really feel insecure about your relationship, then sit down with your SO and talk it out.  If necessary, talk it out in the presence of an appropriately-trained and licensed relationship counselor.

I think that's all I can suggest.  Good luck.


_________________
Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should only be judged or defined
by their actions and choices, and not by what we imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,751
Location: I'm on the streets like curbs

27 Jul 2020, 5:35 pm

I think there's two things to remember, the first that all people are imperfect so even people who normally value fidelity very highly can slip if the circumstances are right (stressed or failing relationship and opportunity with someone of interest), but also that not everyone values fidelity as much as you do, or views infidelity as inherently meaning that one doesn't love their partner. Some people are entirely fine with extra-relationship activity, some people aren't but are so excited by the idea that it's still acceptable, others weren't very committed to begin with meanwhile others the cheating is the motive and the person they cheat with doesn't matter as much as the act itself.

So basically, you're applying logic that might only be relevant in a portion of the population's head to everyone and then jumping to a far worse conclusion that would otherwise seem reasonable based on that logic. Accepting that the motives and circumstances for every situation are unique and that they exist on a spectrum will probably help you make peace with other people's sex and romantic lives not resembling your ideal. :nerdy:


_________________
Jesus was black, Ronald Reagan was the devil and the government is lying about 9/11.


rdos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,755
Location: Sweden

28 Jul 2020, 3:37 am

Yes, there is a need to define what cheating is, and if in a relationship (or rather before getting into one), to agree about what is required.

For me it is quite simple: As long as our connection is strong, I'm fine with things. Cheating for me has a definite emotional basis and sex and flirting is not an issue.



Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 43,373
Location: Stendec

28 Jul 2020, 8:43 am

Clearly, a definition of cheating should be established that raises the bar above "he knows that other women exist".


_________________
Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should only be judged or defined
by their actions and choices, and not by what we imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


smudge
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Sep 2006
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,330
Location: London

28 Jul 2020, 9:08 am

As in the sexual infidelity kind - yes. I can't understand why.



goldfish21
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,253
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

28 Jul 2020, 1:14 pm

bluegreenleaves wrote:
For me, cheating is anything that engages romantic and sexual feelings regularly, outside of your relationship. Most of the things you mentioned aren't cheating for me personally, but flirtatious banter would cross the line for me a bit. Being alone with another woman isn't cheating for me, either, unless they harbour feelings for each other.


Here is your problem.

IMO almost no one considers those things cheating. Typically, cheating = sex with another partner(s) outside of a monogamous relationship where there's an agreement not to do that.

Your extremely broad definition of cheating is driving you nuts because you include all of the harmless naturally occurring things of human sexuality - like simply being sexually attracted to another human one finds sexually appealing. Wtf? That's ridiculous IMO.

Ina hypothetical situation, if I were in a monogamous relationship and my partner said I was cheating because I acknowledged that someone was hot that'd be a huge red flag and likely the beginning of the end - complete grounds for ending the relationship on the basis that they are crazy if they think that being in a relationship means that I'd be expected to be blind and not have natural hormonal reactions to seeing beautiful sexy humans. In fact, the conversation would likely happen right then and there and if they communicate that seeing a hottie and acknowledging it is cheating in their twisted perception, that would be the end of it on the spot. Glad to have sorted that bit of crazy out sooner rather than later; "Would you like me to call you a cab or would you prefer to walk?" kind of problem resolution conversation lol.

As for actual cheating, there are many reasons people do it and none of them are very difficult to understand. Maybe they like a variety or have a sexless marriage or can't have their desires fully met by their partner or enjoy the thrill of sneaking around and doing something taboo that they're not supposed to or maybe they don't subscribe to the relatively new concept of monogamy between humans seeing as we've biologically evolved to have multiple sex partners etc etc so many reasons and all of them are really rather straight forward to understand Why people do it.


_________________
No :heart: for supporting trump. Because doing so is deplorable.


Fnord
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 43,373
Location: Stendec

28 Jul 2020, 3:07 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
... almost no one considers those things cheating. Typically, cheating = sex with another partner(s) outside of a monogamous relationship where there's an agreement not to do that...
For me, it's "Infidelity = Non-Consensual Polyamory" and "Adultery = Sexual relations by a married person with someone to whom he or she is not married."

"Cheating" has a broader meaning that covers both.

But that just my opinion.


_________________
Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature, nor any ultimate evaluation of
human nature beyond that which we project onto others, individuals should only be judged or defined
by their actions and choices, and not by what we imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


Steve1963
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jun 2020
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 473
Location: western MA, USA

28 Jul 2020, 3:32 pm

Fnord wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
... almost no one considers those things cheating. Typically, cheating = sex with another partner(s) outside of a monogamous relationship where there's an agreement not to do that...
For me, it's "Infidelity = Non-Consensual Polyamory" and "Adultery = Sexual relations by a married person with someone to whom he or she is not married."

"Cheating" has a broader meaning that covers both.

But that just my opinion.

sexual relations is a bit vague. would that include kissing? hand holding? hugging? where do sexual relations begin?



bluegreenleaves
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 9 Apr 2019
Gender: Female
Posts: 35
Location: the sea

29 Jul 2020, 2:13 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
bluegreenleaves wrote:
For me, cheating is anything that engages romantic and sexual feelings regularly, outside of your relationship. Most of the things you mentioned aren't cheating for me personally, but flirtatious banter would cross the line for me a bit. Being alone with another woman isn't cheating for me, either, unless they harbour feelings for each other.


Here is your problem.

IMO almost no one considers those things cheating. Typically, cheating = sex with another partner(s) outside of a monogamous relationship where there's an agreement not to do that.

Your extremely broad definition of cheating is driving you nuts because you include all of the harmless naturally occurring things of human sexuality - like simply being sexually attracted to another human one finds sexually appealing. Wtf? That's ridiculous IMO.

Ina hypothetical situation, if I were in a monogamous relationship and my partner said I was cheating because I acknowledged that someone was hot that'd be a huge red flag and likely the beginning of the end - complete grounds for ending the relationship on the basis that they are crazy if they think that being in a relationship means that I'd be expected to be blind and not have natural hormonal reactions to seeing beautiful sexy humans. In fact, the conversation would likely happen right then and there and if they communicate that seeing a hottie and acknowledging it is cheating in their twisted perception, that would be the end of it on the spot. Glad to have sorted that bit of crazy out sooner rather than later; "Would you like me to call you a cab or would you prefer to walk?" kind of problem resolution conversation lol.

As for actual cheating, there are many reasons people do it and none of them are very difficult to understand. Maybe they like a variety or have a sexless marriage or can't have their desires fully met by their partner or enjoy the thrill of sneaking around and doing something taboo that they're not supposed to or maybe they don't subscribe to the relatively new concept of monogamy between humans seeing as we've biologically evolved to have multiple sex partners etc etc so many reasons and all of them are really rather straight forward to understand Why people do it.


I appreciate you replying to me on this, because I definitely think the way I have thought about cheating in the past is way off base to how other people do. However, I think I was a bit vague in what I meant: when I said "two people being together if they harbour feelings for each other", okay, that is not cheating sexually.

However, there is a thing called "emotional cheating" which I should have defined earlier. Also, someone looking at another attractive woman is NOT cheating, that isn't how I regard cheating. Emotional cheating is little spoken about and people assume sex is the only way to cheat - it isn't. If you're spending time with someone you're in love with, but technically you're 'with' someone else, isn't that being unfaithful to your partner, as you're not speaking about your feelings regarding someone else and engaging in something that could potentially lead to an affair, even if sex hasn't happened yet?

I should've been more clear on that, I definitely don't think finding other people attractive is cheating!!

Emotional cheating is what I meant, just to clarify.



goldfish21
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Feb 2013
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,253
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

29 Jul 2020, 2:53 pm

Still in disagreement.

The 3 biggest crushes of my life are my 3 closest friends. I'll always love them, and to an extent be In Love with some of them forever. Hypothetically speaking, does that mean I should never date anyone? Or if I were to date someone that I can never see any of these friends again even though their feelings are not reciprocal and they're in relationships/unattainable?

So yeah, in your broad definition of "emotional cheating," I would Also say goodbye to a partner who tried to police my emotions and friendships.


_________________
No :heart: for supporting trump. Because doing so is deplorable.


rdos
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Age: 59
Gender: Male
Posts: 5,755
Location: Sweden

29 Jul 2020, 3:27 pm

I meant emotional cheating too, but I don't put that in an exclusive context. I'm more concerned about people that can jump between love interests with no effort and avoid those as much as possible.



The_Face_of_Boo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,482
Location: Beirut, Lebanon.

29 Jul 2020, 8:36 pm

OP, let’s make it simple:

Cheating is a form of greed.



AngelRho
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jan 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,001
Location: The Landmass between N.O. and Mobile

30 Jul 2020, 5:13 am

Cheating will always be a mystery to you until you've done it.

Emotional cheating is pretty horrible stuff. A lot of times you feel something is wrong, but really you can't understand why the blame for emotional cheating keeps getting shifted back to you. "He's my friend." "We've been friends for a long time, there's nothing going on." "Oh, that's just him being him." "How dare you tell me I can't talk to him?" If you have a "special friend" you can't seem to pull yourself away from, that's probably the person you should actually be in a relationship with.

My SO has a girl friend who has been especially nasty in that regard. She didn't really understand why I got so bent out of shape over them hanging out all the time, and it took me a long time to figure out why it upset me so much. At that point I'd never heard of emotional cheating, but I did tell my wife it felt like she was cheating on me, except with another woman. It's not that I want to try to control anyone. It's just that people in a romantic relationship deserve each other's attention. Where her "special friend" crossed the line was encouraging my wife to divorce me, and up to that point she'd fed her a lot of negativity which affected her attitude towards me while we were together at home. What we eventually discovered is this woman herself is trapped in an unsatisfying marriage--basically, her husband is an older man showing early signs of dementia. So much for "in sickness and in health." And it's fascinating to us that the friend has gone from being a perfect example of a "kept woman," an apparent paragon of womanhood, to sleeping with other men, getting back into the job market, and taking small steps to actually leave her husband. My wife and I are actually in the process of relocating, which means she cannot run off to visit her "special friend" anymore. But what's even better is my wife has come to see right through her and has already gotten sick of her negativity and manipulation. There is nothing at all wrong with a woman getting a job, talking to whoever she wants, or getting out of an abusive or even dangerous relationship. The problem is when the motives for talking to someone or getting a job is specifically to distance yourself from someone you're in a relationship with, and it's even more pathetic when you promise to stay with someone for life and decide you don't want to be with that person anymore just because he's showing signs of old age. What you do is your business, either way, but don't go trying to ruin someone else's relationship simply because you can't cut it in your own.

The effects of this kind of cheating are subtle. You don't usually even realize you're a victim of it. We want to be good people, we want to trust our partner, we want to avoid anything that might be seen as abuse. But we also live in a time when a lot of people feel entitled to be with whoever they want without consideration for how that might affect someone else. We want to hang onto the relationship with someone we love so much that we don't consider the cost to ourselves sometimes. To survive an emotional cheater, we have to have the courage to make our partner choose us or the "friend." If that means a breakup, so be it.

If I were dating someone and found myself in this situation again, it would be easy. "Hey, I know this friend means a lot to you, and I respect that. I'm just looking for a little more in a relationship. You don't seem to really be in a position to commit. I totally understand. Let's just take some time off right now and maybe try again later on when you're ready." You're just being nice--your partner never will be ready, and the time off is actually permanent. It's never a good idea to tolerate this kind of behavior from someone.