The point I would criticise concerns the assumption I see running through that post that sex is the cheating part – it isn’t. But before I leap into a flawed post, the issue – as is rightly pointed out in that article, is talking. And I don’t mean after the fact either – speaking as a bloke, you will only ever find out what a woman thinks cheating is AFTER you have done something which you probably do NOT think is cheating – and your same-sex mates would agree with you and possibly even some opposite sex mates as well.. Read on…and what follows is the views of a 41 yo bloke who is still with the woman he met over 22 years ago and married in 1986. This neither entitles me to a “I’m better than you” opinion, nor does mean I’m telling you anything else.
Which of the following is cheating ?
- Paying a prostitute for (safe) sex
- Having sex with someone from the office at a drunken office party
- Having sex with someone from the office while at work
- Having sex with a woman you just met in a bar after an argument at home
- Having sex with a woman you just met in a bar while away from home
- Having phone/text/cybersex with someone you will never meet
- Having phone/text/cybersex with someone you do meet
- Meeting someone for a drink who your partner does not like but they do not know
- Meeting someone for a drink who your partner does not like and you lied about the meeting
- Holding hands with someone else in public when your partner is not around
- Oral sex from you
- Oral sex on you
- Thinking of someone else while having sex with your partner
- Buying secret gifts for someone else
- Sending secret texts to someone else
- Telling someone of the opposite sex all your secrets and your feelings about your partner but without touching them at all
- Kissing someone else passionately
- Buying flowers for someone else but not telling your partner
- Buying flowers for someone else who your partner does not like and not telling your partner
All of those are cheating, and that list is but a tiny tiny fraction of what I think another person would use in a fight – and when trust is broken, a fight (hopefully just verbal) results. So going back to the article at LifeHut, and using that list, I got the impression that the author there would tick all the ‘sex’ items. Of course reading this list he will tick them all probably, but that was my impression. And I think that the sex assumption is wrong.
Sex is a biological urge. Stronger in some than others, inflamed by alcohol and circumstances but it’s just an act. It’s almost ‘notch on the bedpost’ stuff, it’s about conquest, immediate satiation, lust, scoring and any number of other euphemisms we have for sexual intercourse. In the end though, it’s a base urge and one that arguably we can lose control of at times. Note – I said arguably. So the sex thing .. yes, it is cheating IF both partners agree – and that could be a complex area.
Cheating is when the harmed person says it is, not when you think it is.
Number 16 is the killer – and I’ve known people who would class 10 as a hanging offence. There’s no touching going on. There’s no base urges happening, but they have just bared their soul to someone else. Which scenario is worst ?
- Your partner walks in and says “I’ve just had sex with X from work” OR
- Your partner walks in and says “I’ve just told everything I feel about us and you to X from work”
Initially, the first hurts but this – however much you protest – could be ‘defended’ albeit it in a way you might not agree with. But the second ? there is no defence for that. That was actively disclosing information to someone else who now possesses that information and even if they never use it against you, you cannot feel the same about them again. In fact they both hurt, but very differently. Because of the first, physical intimacy becomes difficult but because of the second emotional intimacy is ruined.
The problem is that you simply cannot ask all the possible questions and even if you did, you would get not all the answers back. I don’t think you can get through any relationship of any depth over an extended period of time without some form of ‘cheating’ going on. If you have done something – anything – that your partner would not like and you have not told them, then they could class that as cheating. You may not see it that way, but your view counts for nothing at that point in time.
Test: if they did what you just have, would you be happy about it ?
Another test: if you won the lottery would you choose ‘No Publicity’ because of what the Press would dig up about you ?
So where’s my answer ? I haven’t got one. I don’t believe there is one despite all these junk TV programmes and Agony Aunt columns advising us about what not to do and when not to do it. I also don’t think we should carry on our lives as if our partners were perched on our shoulders – aren’t they meant to enhance our life, not possess or dictate it ?
Fidelity is what you and your partner say it is. And as much as you believe in it, one day you’ll screw it up. That’s the way life is.