So cheating has been a hot topic in my world recently and since I’m always interested in finding out what people’s perception of infidelity is I decided to enlist the help of a few fellow bloggers. 5 questions, 4 bloggers, 5 days, 4 different perspectives… AKA Cheat Week!
The bloggers in question… Zoe Blue from WinkWinkWink, Mr. GuyDudeBro from ilovehernot, Just a Jenn from Life @ Twenty-Something, and last but not least Jay aka theBadTeacher from Clue-by-Four: Ramblings of a Jock Dork
*Disclaimer* – due to the nature of this topic I wanted my guest to express their different opinions and viewpoints as candid and raw as possible, so this is a departure from my usual short postings.
What do you consider cheating? A kiss, sex, maybe an emotional intimate moment? What would be worse… emotional infidelity or physical infidelity?
Because so many people have different opinions on this matter, it is always hard to keep track of what constitutes actual cheating. Obviously, falling in love with someone else is about the same as any form of physical contact that goes beyond friendly. [Sorry Bill Clinton, your dick in her mouth was cheating]. Other things which are pretty clearly cheating are: phone sex, Skype sex, e-mail sex, hiring a prostitute, mutual and/or premature ejunkulation; World of Warcraft dancing; and Twilight [OK, not cheating, but clearly grounds for, at a minimum marital counseling].
A few other areas to consider:
- Strip Club: Let’s face it, most strip clubs are sleazy. Strippers push the limits and men often let them. But, let’s be honest. There is really no defending your tongue on her nipples [This happens all too often at many establishments I have…errr…heard about…yeah…I’ve heard about that sort of thing1]. Now, if you have his/her permission…that is clearly a different matter. If they go with you, even better. 😉
- Flirtations/Twitter Crushes: If you are open with your BF/GF about your flirtations, Tweet flirting is an OK practice, as long as it doesn’t lead to DM’s about private #tweetups. Furthermore, there are other potential limits that you need to be clear with your partner. Drawing the line together reduces the amount of confusion because there are clear boundaries. You do, however, have to be open to their ideas of limits. [If I had a girlfriend, I would expect a girlfriend to be uncomfortable with me talking about someone else’s taco…WinkWink]
- Intimate Moments: There are times of great grief and strife where this is unavoidable. However, even grief is no excuse to go watch movies with them on the couch at 1 a.m…in the dark. This is clearly an intimate environment and, in many cases, the other man/woman involved is, at least subconsciously, trying to make some level of connection. By extension, sharing deeply hidden emotions with someone who is not your bf/gf or spouse is asking for trouble and also at risk of fostering an emotional connection. This also encompasses in appropriate hugs [You know the kind…the ones that last for prolonged periods because you don’t want to let go]
As to the last question [physical v. emotional], I think the distinction falls, for the most part, along gender lines. Women, being more connected to their emotion centers, are often more hurt by a man falling in love with another woman. From my experience, many woman are ready to forgive cheating, as long as there was no emotions involved in the indiscretion.2
Men are visual creatures. When cheating happens, all those hours watching porn backfire…massively backfires. When our woman sleeps with another man, all we see in our minds is every porno close-up that made our jaw drop…except, this time, we see our girlfriend/wife being penetrated by the most amazing penis that ever existed [Trust me, it is the perfect penis]. And we see this over…and over…and over…and over. We she her having the most incredible orgasm she’s ever experiences and this guy is working her so good, it would make Ron Jeremy blush [And come on, RJ sucked his own penis, so that is some serious shit!].
- In my early 20s, I had VIP status. Thankfully, I didn’t have a girlfriend…much.
- This is why women get hung up on the fact that they had sex “in our bed”, rather than the “we had sex” part.
What is cheating? Simply put, cheating is lying to or deceiving your partner in some way. Thus, my litmus test for cheating is this: if I’m doing something, and I don’t want my partner to know about it (excluding, of course, surprises, like showing up naked in a trench coat), then it’s probably not good…and there’s a good chance it could be cheating. Cheating can be emotional, intellectual, or physical. Now here’s my thing: I believe that no one person in this world can fulfill all of my needs (or yours). I think we have a variety of different people in our lives for a variety of different reasons–they fulfill all our varied needs. And this is all good and well–as long as the person with whom you are in a committed relationship is aware of all these people and which needs they fulfill for you. Once you have someone–anyone–in your life fulfilling some need and your partner doesn’t know–that, my friends, is cheating–because you are lying to or deceiving your partner.
For example, when I was with G, we shared a lot of common interests, but not all our interests overlapped. So when I wanted to talk politics, I had to do so with my politically-interested friends. G wanted no part of it. But he knew I was having these long conversations with these people because I told him. But let’s say I’d met a guy at work, let’s call him Chad. And Chad was also very politically-interested. And Chad and I started to meet for drinks after work to talk politics. And I had failed to mention this to G (for whatever rationalized reason I might have come up with). This? Is cheating. Because even though it’s just talking, or just drinks, or just whatever, it is still a deception. For some reason, deep down, I don’t want G to know about Chad. It’s that simple. And if I know that (even without admitting it to myself), then something is wrong.
Let’s look at another example. I have a friend (we’ll call her Annie) who is now divorced. During her marriage, her husband had a habit of looking at Internet porn. But what guy doesn’t, right? And usually, I say there’s nothing wrong with looking at some porn. Until you hit the point where you have to hide it. And if you’re hiding it from your partner, then yes, that’s a deception; that’s a lie; that’s a cheat. You can cheat on your partner with porn–it’s true. Now, I’m not saying that if you look at porn, you have to necessarily announce it to you partner every time you take a peek. But your partner should know that a) you do it, b) with how much regularity you do it, and c) what kind you’re into. Now, I never looked at all of G’s porn. But I know he looked at it. When I logged onto the computer sometimes, I’d stumble across some naked chicks, and then I’d make fun of him. 😉 And we’d both know it was no big deal because it’s not like he was hiding it—if he had been, I wouldn’t have found it. Or, like my friend Annie, I would have found hidden, locked-up credit card bills detailing thousands of dollars worth of charges for pay-for-porn online sites. She had no idea what all he was doing because he would erase the Internet history, because he hid everything–and he did it really well for a while (until she found the key to that locked desk drawer he thought she didn’t know about). Annie’s husband was cheating on her with porn. G just looked at porn. See the difference?
Cheating is lying or deception, pure and simple. Yes, it could be as overt as a kiss or sex with another person–but I think it is just as hurtful when it’s emotional or intellectual. When you’re in a committed relationship, you shouldn’t be lying to your partner.
Cheating is when the sanctity of the relationship is compromised. When that thing that makes the relationship special, whatever it is, is no longer honored someone has cheated. It’s not that complicated.
For me, if a woman has had an emotional connection with another man and she considers being intimate with him for more than 30 seconds and decides not to talk me about it she has already cheated. That might seem harsh but if we agreed to be committed to each other exclusivity is part of the deal. I’m fine having a casual relationship if that’s what she wants as long as we’re clear about what the rules are. Cheating is more about lying than about specific acts.
If I have a girlfriend and she even thinks about cheating on me what she needs to do is first leave the situation. Respect me enough to preserve our honor and don’t immediately act on your impulses. Next, she needs to have a talk with me about our relationship and what she is feeling. Personally, I don’t want to know if she was, almost was, or how much she was intimate with someone else. I just want to know what she is feeling, because it’s very possible that feel the same way. Cheating is a symptom of another problem in the relationship. Ladies, if you’re my girlfriend and I don’t know you cheated and you want to fix this relationship don’t tell me about it. Let’s focus on dealing with the problem not the symptom, for my sake. I know myself, I will be unable to handle the imagery of my woman being with another man so please don’t tell me that you cheated, but with that said either leave me or fix the problem, it helps you regain your dignity you hussy.
As for which is worse? Emotional infidelity is worse. It’s worse in the sense that it indicates the existence of a problem that cannot be fixed with a trip to the lingerie shop. I hope that what’s keeping a woman in the relationship is the emotional connection we have and not how awesome I am in the sack. I can get better at making her feel good, but I can’t get better at wanting to make her feel good.
Cheating is one of my rare “anger buttons.” Usually, I’m a chilled-out chick but when I know that someone is intentionally cheating on a significant other, I establish justice myself. I’ve helped more than a dozen girls break up with a notorious cheat.
A boyfriend I dated for a few years had a friend, “Seth,” who infamously swapped girlfriends like they were baseball cards. One week he’d be dating a girl and in two weeks it would be someone different. In addition, he’d visit yet other girls on the side. I’m not sure how Seth ever slept.
Seth was a Christian and would find his girlfriends at church, which I found especially predatory. He was tall, handsome and, best of all, a “good Christian man,” which is why it was so easy for Seth to find women. He would date the same types of girls too: Southeast Asian (mostly Filipino, Thai and Indonesian) who usually worked as nurses, teachers or in other service employment.
So he would bring his latest girl around my boyfriend’s house on a lazy afternoon – Seth never took his girls on dates – and without even as much as an introduction of the girl, would start watching TV with my boyfriend. My boyfriend disliked this behavior as much as I did, but his approach was “live and let live.” Mine wasn’t.
I would introduce myself to the girl, sit her down on the couch in the other room, talk to her a little and then – when the moment seemed right – would ask, “So how are things going with you and Seth?” The girl would hesitate, smile and then respond, “Well, he’s really wonderful, but…” and then she’d confide her concern that Seth may be cheating on her. Seth had a lot of “sisters” and “friends” he’d visit in Mexico or Arizona or northern California. Seth was one of two sons.
But inevitably the girls would backtrack: “Oh, well, I’m probably wrong. I don’t think he would do that.” All I can say is: women don’t trust their intuition enough.
So I’d drop a small bomb: “Well, he may be different now, but in the past I know he was dating a couple of girls at the same time.” That was all I needed to say. The seed was planted. Within a week or two, she’d break up with Seth. And my work was done.
Seth, of course, found out about my cheater-revealing ways and he and I never got along. But I could have cared less. The less I saw of him, the better. There were wonderful things about him – he would drop everything to help his friends – but I disliked his cheating so much I refused to be friends with him simply because he knew my boyfriend. There are better ways to spend your time than with someone you disrespect.
Finally, I believe that if I had said nothing, I would have been condoning the cheating. Sometimes silence is the same as participation.
As an addendum, I have been the Other Girl a couple of times. So I’m not perfect either. I’m not proud of my behavior, yet I rationalized it by noted that the guy was in a troubled relationship already (a truth both times, followed shortly by their breaking up). But even then, I walked away within the week. No matter how attracted I was to the guy, I couldn’t find a way to justify the persistent participation in cheating. So I’m not perfect, but I am consistent. The active and continual involvement in cheating – emotionally and physically – is a no-no.
Thanks to all my contributors!! – TJ
Stay Tuned, Tomorrows Question – Once a cheat always a cheat… This term is often tossed around as truth, does a cheater ever change or do they find someone who makes them change?