Infidelity/Cheating: Your Take

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Aspiewifey
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18 Mar 2010, 3:21 am

alana wrote:
I really don't understand people who are flirts and can flirt with several people at one time. I guess it's like eating to them, you eat all kinds of different food during the day and it is all good. Maybe they are getting their food groups in or something. I only need one food group, the person I am with.


Have you read Anna Karenina? This made me think so much of the infidelity/food metaphor conversation between Stiva and Levin...

"Suppose you're married, you love your wife, but you become infatuated with another woman..."
"Excuse me, but I decidedly do not understand how I...just as I don't understand how I could pass by a bakery, as full as I am now, and steal a sweet roll."



Sound
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18 Mar 2010, 9:02 am

Aspiewifey wrote:
Oh...and it's not true that everyone is against infidelity. I've known men who PREFERRED married women and vice versa because the felt it dramatically lowered their emotional/financial responsibilities to the other person. I've also known a couple where the man was cheating and didn't know his wife knew, but she was relieved because she still loved being with him, but wasn't really interested in sex.

Huh.. Interesting. Fortunately, they're a very small minority.

Aspiewifey wrote:
Sound: I'm confused by the stance you're taking, because you seem to be implying that it is the responsibility of both parties involved to never change. Isn't that kinda unrealistic? Beyond that, isn't it kinda sad? Who wants to never change, never grow? If you're stance is that lifelong monogamy isn't really feasible, then I guess I can see the point you're making (though I don't agree)...
That's one odd way of simplifying it, but no, I don't see it that way. I would've thought it'd be implicitly obvious that growth was beneficial to a partnership, due to my elaborations on the opposite. None of my illustrations of things that drive a partner away constitute growth. Neutral or destructive change, perhaps, but not growth.

Since you've misunderstood, some further examples:
It's in a couples interest to change into more emotionally healthy people;
It's destructive to become embittered.
It's in a couple's interest to make changes which compensate for certain failings;
It's destructive to make no effort to mitigating shortcomings.

Now, if I gave the impression that I think detrimental factors ensured the destruction of a relationship, then my bad. No, they don't ensure it. They cumulatively contribute toward a potential outcome. If one stacks the deck enough, then it'll happen, but who's to say when that time comes? But like the foundation of a house, worrying about if and when it fails is not practical; The practical issue is how mindful the homeowner is to upkeeping it's strength.

ttqs84 wrote:
i think people will cheat on their lovers because they're selfish and take pleasure hurting them.
Utterly false. When I was cheated on, my girlfriend did love me very much, and the idea of hurting me horrified her. Desire to hurt others is not intrinsic to cheating.
For some it is, if their partner did enough to piss them off that bad, but that's a big if, and it's an incredibly pessimistic assumption to start with.



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18 Mar 2010, 9:11 am

Seanmw wrote:
I don't think i'd ever be able to cheat, it just seems utterly wrong to me. My girlfriend has become one of my aspie intense interests/obsessions that prolly even 500 years from now i'd prolly still be crushing on majorly like some poor moonstruck fool :) . 'Cause once i get attached to someone, i'm stuck like super glue, and loyal 'til the end.

& the thought of losing her makes me feel sick.
So there is absolutely no way in hell i'm going to anything to screw that up.
nope, no way no how.

Be careful. This mentality has driven many women away from their adoring men.

Aspiewifey wrote:
Have you read Anna Karenina? This made me think so much of the infidelity/food metaphor conversation between Stiva and Levin...

"Suppose you're married, you love your wife, but you become infatuated with another woman..."
"Excuse me, but I decidedly do not understand how I...just as I don't understand how I could pass by a bakery, as full as I am now, and steal a sweet roll."
To use the analogy, a person would steal the sweet roll because they're hungry, not full. That, simplified, is the reason behind a lot of cheating.



Shebakoby
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18 Mar 2010, 5:09 pm

I've never had a relationship so I've never even had an opportunity to cheat ;)

But yeah, I think cheating is bad, mkay.



OwlsInTheNight
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20 Mar 2010, 6:08 am

Personally I don't tolerate cheating. At all. Do it and it's over. I'd never be able to fully trust them again. Plain and simple.


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sunshower
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20 Mar 2010, 7:16 am

I don't understand cheating. I've never cheated and I never will cheat. If I ever felt the urge to cheat, then I'd know something was seriously wrong with the relationship I'm in, and I would go straight to my partner and discuss the problem outright. If it couldn't be resolved, and I still felt the urge to cheat, I would break off the relationship. Personally, I tend to go for breaking off the relationship before it even gets to the point where I might feel interested in someone else.

If I am ever truly "into" someone, I never feel the remotest bit attracted to anybody else. Maybe I'm just lucky in that way.


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AngelRho
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21 Mar 2010, 12:22 am

OwlsInTheNight wrote:
Personally I don't tolerate cheating. At all. Do it and it's over. I'd never be able to fully trust them again. Plain and simple.


I think this can go two (of many, of course) ways. On the one hand, a cheater devalues himself or herself. This might apply in the sense that either one has allowed someone to use him or her and, hence is less attractive. It might also apply in the sense that it shows a mate who is not satisfied with what you have to offer--in most situations, this is called an insult. Admittedly, there have been times I've politely and tactfully requested my significant other not to associate with certain people (not necessarily always of the opposite sex, either) because I felt that their actions and her actions with them reflected poorly on ME. While that may seem on the surface very selfish and inconsiderate, you do have to consider in a relationship that your actions directly or indirectly affect someone else and you have to monitor yourself if for no other reason than for respect for the other person. It's a two-way street. I don't allow myself to be seen alone with other women. If it's necessary that I'm with someone else, may it be helping someone out or an unavoidable situation, I make sure my wife knows EXACTLY what's going on, WHEN it's going on, and WHO it's going on with just in case one of her friends sees it and asks her about it. Acting conscientiously not only discourages yourself from cheating. It increases your value in the relationship. Good mates hold each other responsible for their actions. Just like I wouldn't easily tolerate cheating from my spouse, I also forbid behavior that leads to it. One time my wife went out with a friend of hers for a "girls-night-out" and "a couple of drinks." She ended up completely drunk and had to get her friend's husband (what was he doing there?) to drive her home. I was completely enraged. Her going out and getting drunk like that, number one, made me look bad; but worse, number two, why couldn't she call me to pick her up? I wouldn't have been happy about it, but it's a lot better than another man bringing her home!

Honestly, my wife is free to do what she wants--I don't mean to sound like she has to have my approval for everything. But she does, because I talked to her about it, understand why she can't hang out with certain people anymore. I pick my battles, and I do let her know if there's something I have strong objections to. It's only fair, and I expect the same from her. I don't get to do everything I want to do either! The point here is good mates hold each other accountable for their actions.

The flip side of this is the whole trust issue. I think culturally we've learned that whole it's-my-way-or-the-highway mentality. We're entitled to the things we want. We'll have it our way. If it's wrong, we'll just trash it and get a new one. And we apply that same ideal to intimate relationships and marriage. Anyone who disagrees is ignoring the divorce rate. It's obvious our culture doesn't REALLY place a high price on committed relationships and marriage. If it does, it's only that in the moment kind of way. Those kinds of high-intensity emotions fade away very quickly, and all we have left is the desire for our mates. Anyone who feels they're bored in a relationship should at some point every day make themselves desire their mate. It takes a lot of work to do it. Even in those early days of being "in love," it might seem that loving someone is difficult NOT to do, but it is a choice you have to make.

To that end, you may not trust someone completely, especially when they cheat. But you can make yourself still love them. And if you love someone, you WANT to trust them even when it's difficult. If you can't trust someone you love, the least you can do is forgive them. And forgiveness is something you shouldn't wait for someone to ask to give. If cheating is a problem, you should figure out what the problem is. If you aren't married, you need to decide exactly how important that person is to you. If you really don't care and you're both better off in Splitsville, fine. If you really want this person or if marriage is on the line, find out what the problem is. Are you ignoring or taking your mate for granted? Is your mate in a working situation where he or she is too close to the wrong person/people (i.e. and e.g. some guy just want leave her alone)? Does your mate just like the thrill of being intimate with other people?

Some things YOU can change if your mate is a cheater. Sometimes you have to call your mate on it. Sometimes you or your mate have to make some tough decisions on making changes to daily routine to avoid situations or people that might lead to problems. Sometimes you have to choose between changing your lives or deciding that it's just not worth it. But I do know that love and forgiveness go a long way to keeping things together until trust can be rebuilt.

I guess some relationships are just worth fighting for.



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21 Mar 2010, 12:02 pm

AngelRho wrote:
I guess some relationships are just worth fighting for.

Yep. Sometimes cheating is simply the result of a perfect storm of little, stupid things that shouldn't matter that much....
But then again, if one can't get past trust issues from that point on, well....



OwlsInTheNight
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21 Mar 2010, 5:46 pm

AngelRho wrote:
OwlsInTheNight wrote:
Personally I don't tolerate cheating. At all. Do it and it's over. I'd never be able to fully trust them again. Plain and simple.


I think this can go two (of many, of course) ways. On the one hand, a cheater devalues himself or herself. This might apply in the sense that either one has allowed someone to use him or her and, hence is less attractive. It might also apply in the sense that it shows a mate who is not satisfied with what you have to offer.....*truncated for space*.


I see what you are saying but for me and in my mind the second someone cheats I could never trust them again (and yes I have had this happen). The way I see it is if you cheat on me then you didn't want to be with me in the first place or were looking to break up with me. I don't buy the crap of "It was just the moment..." or "I was drunk" (REALLY hate that one...if you were drunk to that point then the "friend" you were with isn't really your friend and you shouldn't hang out with them...and drunk or not you are responsible for your actions...you didn't have to drink that much...or you could have asked to go home...called a cab....any number of things). YOU are responsible for your actions. I personally have been in situations where I could have cheated...and where most guys would have cheated...however I said no. It was simple and easy. Just say no or leave. If you really love and care about someone you aren't going to cheat on them. Even "in the moment" if you truly love someone your thoughts are going to be of them...and you are going to ask yourself "What am I doing?". At that point if you don't stop and say no then you deserve the consequences. With me that is losing me as a significant other...and probably as a friend for awhile. Cheating is cheating is cheating...you are responsible for your actions...you can blame it on anything that you want...but unless it was rape...then you are in control...you didn't have to drink that much....you could have just said no...called a cab...left...anything...in my opinion its people that just don't want to admit they made a big mistake looking for an excuse. I could love them with all my heart...but the second they cheat...my heart breaks...and those feelings will be gone. Cheating is a big deal breaker for me.


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21 Mar 2010, 7:43 pm

If my husband wanted to start seeing someone else, I would just like to know. I wouldn't divorce him over it. He's human. How could I sever a profound relationship for a few moments of poor judgment, or an infatuation of his? I love him more than that. I suppose it'd be different if we were drifting apart - but then that's a whole different thing - it's the drifting, not the cheating that would be the problem.

It is also very possible to deeply care for two people at once. AND relationships can involve more than just two people.



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21 Mar 2010, 8:32 pm

happymusic wrote:
I suppose it'd be different if we were drifting apart - but then that's a whole different thing - it's the drifting, not the cheating that would be the problem.
So true! Very well encapsulated!

happymusic wrote:
It is also very possible to deeply care for two people at once. AND relationships can involve more than just two people.
I agree with this, also... In part. The classic idea of a commitment includes monogamy, so even if a guy/girl loves a second person, the sex becomes a slightly different issue than the love.



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21 Mar 2010, 8:58 pm

@happymusic - It kinda sounds like you're describing polyamory? Isn't cheating kinda impossible in a poly? Or maybe not....I guess if you stray outside the rules of the relationship, it might be considered cheating - I'm not sure.


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Sound
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21 Mar 2010, 9:15 pm

LOL, yeah that's a whole 'nother world with it's own rules I bet....



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22 Mar 2010, 8:34 pm

@HopeGrows - hm, yes, maybe polyamory. I don't know if cheating's impossible in that situation..there may be a lot of scheduling problems :) Well, unless it's always a group effort ;)

I was thinking of when you're very deeply involved with someone who's not interested in sharing yet you are genuinely interested in someone else at the same time. Both people can be important to you. Someone above mentioned negative intention toward the first partner - that's what made me think of it.



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23 Mar 2010, 1:16 pm

I have a somewhat different experience. So first, some context. I am a gay man, and I have been in a relationship with my partner for 19 years. (We got together when we were both 23, and each of us had had relationships prior to meeting each other).

For the first few years our relationship was closed, and monogamous. In time, however, we agreed to open our relationship. In the last few years, our relationship has ceased to be sexual, but both of us have sexual partners outside our relationship. (We are friends with each other's 'boys-on-the-side', too.)

I think some of this has to do with the fact that we are in a gay male relationship. Male sexuality is different from female sexuality, and likely has a great deal to do with competing reproductive strategy. When male or female sexuality is taken out of the equation, I suspect that there is the potential for same-sex relationships to display very different circumstances from typical opposite sex relationships.

But the key issue that I see in my relationship is one that can find an analog in any relationship: the mutuality of our decision to change the parameters of our relationship. We both decided to open our relationship. Neither of us is the other's ideal sexual partner, and we both recognized that our relationship was more important than its sexual component. So in that sense, our sexual activities outside of the relationship are neither unfaithful, nor "cheating" because we are both aware that they are going on, and we are both happy with the arrangement.


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