1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you consider cheating in a relationship?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Lea`Brooks, Jun 24, 2014.

    I've been having a lot of conversations about this with my friends, so I thought I'd take it to the forum and see what ya'll think. :)

    The title says it all. What do you considering cheating when you're in a relationship with someone? Obviously, when it comes to getting physical, most people consider sleeping with someone else as the most defined form of cheating. But what about before that? Kissing? Naked photos? Texting in a flirtatious or suggestive way?

    What about emotionally cheating? If your significant other was engaged in sexual roleplay online with someone they've never met (nor someone they've ever talked to about meeting), would you consider that cheating emotionally? What if they were just browsing for a pen pal but hadn't actually made a move yet. Would that be something you'd be upset by?

    And what about images? Obviously pornography comes to mind. I've met my fair share of people who go either way -- porn is okay, porn is terrible. But is that just for videos, or do photos qualify as well? What if your significant other had naked photos of someone they knew emailed to them, images that they promptly saved for future viewing? If they were just topless photos, would you be upset? What about below the belt images? Does that cross a line?

    This is obviously assuming that everything done or viewed was during your relationship -- including receiving or viewing any kind of image (whether it be pornography or naked photos of a friend).

    What do you think is the line when it comes to cheating, and when is that line crossed?
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I personall am a free loving polyamourus pansexual.. or something.

    I believe there is no logical point to sticking to a single sexual partner as sexual desires are varied and always changing. To not sate your appetite and go without just causes issues internally and externally in any relationship.

    This doesn't mean I approve of going out hunting for fresh and new partners every day as I think that's more of a problem lying somewhere. However, you will always meet amazing people who attract you emotionally and physically because there's a connection, a click, a spark, It's a rare thing and I don't believe in denying yourself to connect as much as possible,

    I cannot condone people with multiple spouses though because I bet you that most of the wives hate each other and the husband most likely has five wives and not five people that amaze them and connect on a deep level... they just found others they can stand or support well enough to remain with or it's some religious nonsense.

    The odds of finding someone that is perfect for you are slim to none, nevermind having a whole harem of them, right? Heck, some of those relationships don't even involve remaining on the same continent.

    The best partner is the one who comes to find you in a gunfight and without hesitation points a gun at anyone but you no matter who they are.

    So for me, cheating is a very odd thing in normal terms. For me, cheating is when you physically or emotionally lose interest in someone when someone else arrives in your life. A promise to build a future, a home, and a family is a dedication to a person. To break that trust is the only form of cheating as there should be no fear of that in a relationship between two or multiple people. You may run off now and then to explore a new world with someone but you alwyas come home at night and life continues to be good.

    The only reltionships worth having are those you'd burn the entire world for them anything less is barely even worthy of being friendship to me.

    So watch porn, have fun with others, but I do not believe in chaining someone down to a monogamous relationship because I'm afraid sex with others will make them lose interest in me. If they do love me, whatever that is out there will either be worse or equal than mebut never better.

    So umm yeah.. just a side note, I am in a happy monogamous relationship because not everyone can conform to my view of romantic relationships but are just so gosh darn well worth sticking with :p
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It all depends on agreement. Lack of clarity or undisclosed assumptions of said agreement between the parties is the most common source (or excuse afterwards) for cheating. So, be careful of unknown, unspoken, un-clarified rules. I say, get it out in the open over a couple of beers. Cover the bases. If the Other Party finds the idea of having that conversation a problem in and of itself since "the rules should be obvious", get up politely, pay the tab, leave a good tip, go home, lose that person's phone number.

    I dated a guy a million years ago who ruined watching porn with my current sig-other. The "rule" came up later in that past relationship and, don't ask me why, I agreed to it. Now the idea freaks me out and I know for a fact my hubby is into it.
     
  4. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This.

    When T and I started dating, we agreed on the rules, realized we were on the same page (as in crazy devoted and super monogamous to the point of insane jealousy). Maybe that's why we're together, and what we have keeps baffling others, but we're comfy with it and that's all that matters.

    If I were with a different person, watching porn all by your lonesome, flirting with others irl and over the net etc. might be ok. But I don't think I could be happy in a relationship that my possessive heart perceives 'casual.'
     
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  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you feel you have to hide it from your partner, chances are pretty good that it's cheating, at least on some level.
     
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  6. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is actually an excellent point. But what actually qualifies as hiding? If Person A simply doesn't talk about something with Person B, is that hiding? Or would it only be considered hiding if B questioned A and A denied the allegations?
     
  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Let's make this more interesting.

    Daphne has a husband, James. Jame is salt of the earth. It literally could not get better for Daphne. He is, for all purposes to her, the perfect man. She is utterly in love with him, and her life is 100% happy with him from the first day they met till the day he or she dies.

    James has a secret. Once, during a business trip in Miami, he had passionate sex on the beach with a strange woman all night long. It was surreal, almost otherworldly. He never got her name. Never saw her again. He never does anything like this ever again.

    James cheated. But he is able to bury it deep in his heart. Daphne has absolutely no idea or suspicion. Her life before, during, and after this event, has been absolutely perfect. Practically speaking, the one night affair and James and Daphne's love life are 100% separate from one other.

    Jill has a husband, Dan. Dan is an average husband. They have their ups and they have their downs. Both people are very committed, and they also stick it out til Death. Dan never cheats on Jill.

    Who is the more preferable husband?
     
  8. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I'll chime in on what Wreybies said, clarify what a relationship is for you with the other and see if the beliefs and needs match one another. Easiest way to avoid issues in the future though I personally ever bother having this conversation later when I start thinking there is some sort of long term potential there.

    For me, if you can't freely talk about a sexual encounter with another person because they get jealous, don't want tohear it, or you don't thibk it's worth it then there is a definite issue. 1 and 2 mean you aren;'t on the same page, 3 means you don't share the same sexual ideals or that you've little interest to share things with one another as most long term couples find it hard to not share everything in my experience.
     
  9. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Same here (what a surprise, eh?). I could be in a casual, semi-open relationship, but I couldn't commit fully to something like that on an emotional level. To me life is at its finest when I can commit myself to somebody 100% even at the risk of getting badly burned in the process. High investment, high risk, high rewards.

    And I fully second what @Wreybies said: communication is essential in relationships. The clearer the rules regarding anything are, the less problems you're likely to have in the long run.
    In my experience, most relationship issues stem from lack of or unclear communication and assumptions.
     
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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  11. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you're justifying your actions, to yourself or others, then it's cheating. If you make a promise or vow and break it, it's cheating.
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is why I think frankness is important. You might ruin something that could have been perfectly okay to enjoy had the added facet of subterfuge not been piggybacked onto the matter.

    I can easily see a partner getting pissed, not that you* were watching porn, but that you did it on the sly, hiding it. Your partner might have been perfectly onboard with popping something dirty and lewd on the screen and sharing the event with you, as partners, but no, it's ruined now.

    Communication could have opened up a fun facet in the relationship but lack thereof has now caused a rift.

    * Not you you, but the greater, every-You.
     
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  13. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It all depends on a relationship, like a few others already said. I had relationships in which I didn't mind porn, or cheating of various kinds, but in a marriage, I don't tolerate either. It's just the way I am, so I expect the same in return :)
     
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  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's a bit of a cop-out. You know better than anyone else whether you're hiding actions because they betray the relationship.

    If you honestly had no idea your actions would be seen by your partner as a betrayal, it's not cheqting, But it does mean the two of you have failed to communicate about something important.

    Your partner may suspect you of cheating, be clueless about it, or know it beyond any reasonable doubt. But by the nature of cheating, you do know, even if you try to lie to yourself. Deep down, you know.
     
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  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    My girlfriend and I have established that sex of any kind with other people is cheating (this includes phone sex, etc.). Kissing is cheating as well. She doesn't care about porn. She hasn't said anything about girls sending me nude pictures of themselves because I'm just not that popular with the ladies I'm an honorable gentleman.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If there's been a commitment made between two people, anything that violates that is cheating. I know I do the roll-eyes thing when I hear young people talking about someone cheating on them and they've only dated a few times. That's not a commitment, erego that's not cheating.
     
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  17. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I wonder if the fact that James keeps it a secret so well means he'd be inclined to be deceitful again if the opportunity presented itself. Of course, you made him up, so you can decide that he can and his secret never bothers him, but I wonder how well this scenario translates into real life.
    He could always tell Daphne, who could then hook up with some hot sixpacky stripper and have surreal sex with him for one night (or it could be a firefighter or reality TV star, whatever rocks Daphne's boat). Then D and J could both continue living happily together without any lies, but D wouldn't have to feel like she's missed out on something... Although maybe in your scenario she wouldn't.

    Anyway, to me Dan would be more preferable. There's no such thing as average as far as I'm concerned, and every relationship has ups and downs anyway.
     
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  18. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    How does James feel about what happened? And what does Daphne feel about cheating, would she rather not know or would she want to know everything so she can make her own mind up? And is James as batty about Daphne as she is about him?

    *hit reply too early* Re Dan it depends whether you mean average husband or average marriage. I'm aware enough to know that my husband would probably rank as 'average' if a scale of husbandness were ever produced, but I'm an average wife so that's fine and together we have a fabulous marriage. Ups and downs sound anmore realistic and preferable than a lifetime of rainbows and roses, and if there's a bonus of not having my husband shag about on a beach in a surreal manner I'll take Dan! But if you mean average/crappy marriage that would be more difficult :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
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  19. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The bolded parts are fantasy assumptions you are making. No marriage is 100% anything. Also, a man who is capable of having 'passionate sex on the beach with a woman he doesn't even know the name of, all night long, during a business trip to Miami, once' is so incongruent with the rest of your narrative, I'd be interested to know of even one real life example (but truthfully, not tall stories people make up to show off in front of each other, or to absolve themselves of guilt).

    If he is a truly loving husband, he would not be able to stand the guilt. This is the scenario we come across by far most often. Once you love really deeply, and commit to one person entirely by putting your own feelings on the line, you realise how devastating this kind of secret can be. Men who cheat with strangers, whilst married to 'the love of their life', aren't actually in love, but are looking for other opportunities. There's no such thing as eyes meeting and becoming bewitched into having passionate, guiltless, stranger sex and then carrying on as a ' perfect husband' for the next 60 years. This might have been more common when people weren't allowed to divorce, or when they weren't allowed to have sex before marriage so they never know if they were compatible, until it was too late. But these days, such constraints are simply no longer there. Furthermore, did you ever have a one night stand with a stranger? It's never a 'mind-blowing all night long', first sex is awkward, even with a prostitute, best sex comes after you get to know each other. Also, sex on the beach is terribly sand-in-your-nether regions, or rock-in-your-ribs or salt in your vajayjay, so not all it's cranked up to be. So whilst your example might make an interesting story, it isn't actually what happens irl.

    One thing that is quite common is 'once a cheater always a cheater'. This axiom actually applies irl simply because men who are in 'perfect relationships' but cheat anyway, tend to do so out of insecurity, weak ego, that needs excitement and attention, whilst being unable to truly commit for the fear of not being adequate and being rejected. This is a compulsive behaviour, the goal isn't love or support or finding a perfect mate, but personal validation/proof of masculinity and this is why they never find someone to 'settle down with' and then stop, but carry on behaving like the grass is always greener somewhere else regardless of who they have. A lot of them seem to prefer keeping the perks of marriage, such as the social status, ring on their finger (so the flings don't expect commitment either), hot meal once a day, clean house, access to sex when they want it (this one doesn't tend to work out so smoothly, though).

    Second example is more common, although to me neither would be a relationship I'm satisfied with. I need true love, and even with the ups and downs, it's never 'average'. If my husband hid secrets from me, I'd give him a second chance but only if I felt he really regretted it. But that's my husband, I know what he's like, someone else wouldn't get the same chance. I wouldn't forgive sex with another though, unless the situation was truly extraordinary, at least that's what I think.

    But from what I know of guys, very rarely are they secretive manipulators capable of keeping awful secrets from their soulmates. Guys as a group are reasonably simple creatures, like women, they want someone to love them and someone to love, they want not to be anxious and stressed, to have laughs, to not feel suffocated in a relationship, to be married to someone who is also their best friend, they like their stomachs full of home-cooked food, they like to be told they are the best at something, and they like sex, but this is truly not a priority (otherwise all men with small children would be cheating, when wives don't want to have sex for months on end etc). It really isn't all that complicated, compatibility, respect and honesty are all that's needed.
     
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  20. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't mean from the viewpoint of the person doing the hiding. I meant from the viewpoint of the partner the information is being hidden from. How does person B know if person A was intentionally hiding something versus just not mentioning it?
     
  21. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    First off and most importantly, I'm very , very sorry for you that you are not able to enjoy the beach in that way.

    The story was worded to be interesting, rather than 100 % realistic (we are on a writing forum), but there are absolutely men out there who do cheat but are otherwise very good husbands/ boyfriends who love their wives. The idea behind the original hypothetical is simply meant to provoke the question, how poorly do we judge an otherwise good husband who successfully cheats on his wife in secret, but makes his wife happy whenever he is around?Forget the exaggerations of the hypothetical, if they bother you. While I don't personally know any men who've had a one time thing and nothing else ever, I do know men who absolutely fit the bold phrase above. While it's easy to judge these men, if their wives are very happy, and we compare them to other wives who might not be so happy (100% of the time isn't real but you don't need to take all the details so literally), can we really say the wives would be better without them?

    PS. Jazzabel, while I do not know any men who've had a one time affair and nothing else ever again, I do know a girl who had a one time affair and nothing else ever again. In fact, her and her significant other (who does not know) more or less fit the bill of my hypothetical to the tee, except the roles are reversed.
     
  22. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    If someone regularly cheats their partner should know about it, and they can decide whether they're happy with that situation - only they know whether they'd be better off out of the relationship. People do make open relationships work (I know one such couple) but I'd judge someone very poorly who didn't have the respect for their partner to tell them that monogamy isn't for them. A one-off is different, I'd still rather know personally but others wouldn't.
     
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  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @123456789 : No need to feel 'sorry for me', or be patronising for that matter, I tried lots of things so I know what I'm talking about. Besides, I wasn't talking about myself exclusively at all. This is the view you'll find most women have, at least those who've been there and done that. Sex 'all night long' demands comfort, and it can be hard to take at the best of times, without all the physical obstacles mentioned above. I am talking about grown women who are used to expecting total pleasure, rather than, well, compromising. Like I said, I can think of many better locations, so I am discussing your hypothetical scenario and pointing out flaws in it.

    There aren't 'absolutely men who cheat and yet are great husbands'. Like I said, guys, especially those with little experience with marriage, might like to think so, but in reality, well, I (and others who pointed out that the other side can sense this even without being told) described the reality already, you can choose to disbelieve it, which doesn't change the facts. You keep saying that their wives are happy, how do you know? Many relationships get drawn out for all sorts of reasons, true closeness and happiness in relationships are rare, and if they're found, they're like a magnifying glass - people so in tune and connected sense barriers between them acutely, this includes slight withdrawal, avoidance of certain questions, and any sense of guilt because it reeks very strongly. True closeness and happiness in a relationship can't remain untarnished in the presence of such a big and secret betrayal. So I hope you understand why I see little point in discussing unrealistic hypotheticals in order to answer a reality-based question.

    Female cheating might be slightly different, psychologically speaking, since it's more usual for women to cheat in order to find a better relationship, rather than just for the sake of it. This isn't a rule, of course, so the difference might not be very big after all. I am very interested to hear more about your friend's situation though, can you give us some details? When, where, under what circumstances etc. Or is it just your impression, or maybe her wishful thinking, that everything is perfect, despite her cheating, and so on?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
  24. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    Depends on the relationship. Anything that breaks the ground rules laid down at the start of the relationship, to me, amounts to cheating. Of course, as relationships develop sometimes those rules may be renegotiated but both partners must be in consensus, and it must not be done with coercion.

    I can forgive anything except dishonesty from a partner which @123456789, regardless of how example No.1 treats his wife otherwise, makes him a cheater in my book, and not worthy of further consideration. If you can't trust your partner....
     
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  25. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    :D

    Anyway, @123456789 , open relationships aside, I haven't personally come across a case where infedility has stayed under the rug very long in a marriage-from-heaven (or whatever the girl and her significant other had) 'cause when you get to know someone, you also become better at smelling a rat. Also, when you have a really good thing going, you might not want to risk it. How could you know the person you screwed will keep it a secret too? And as a girl... Now if I got to have super awesome sex with a one-night stand, like some random guy performed spot-on perfectly and rocked my world, that'd be like... I don't know if I could shrug it off and hide it. It'd be quite a one-in-a-million thing 'cause even the skilled lovers tend to get nervous the first time (granted, haven't slept with a porn star; maybe to them it's as unnerving as toasting bread for breakfast).

    Whether one can keep it a secret or feel zero guilt of course depends on the person, but to not feel or to be able to keep it yet at the same time claim to really love and respect your partner? If you've agreed on a monogamous relationship? I have a hard time relating to that, but who knows... People can say all kinds of things, but in their heart of hearts they'll know the truth.

    On the other hand, I can understand if the cheating's happened when the two have just started dating, and now, after years of happy marriage, there's probably no point in mentioning it. But the other wouldn't probably even count it as cheating if it happened before things got serious...

    Certainly some people realize their mistake in hindsight and then decide to keep quiet about it, I wouldn't dispute that.
    At that point it's pretty clear that imo the guy who doesn't cheat is more preferable than a guy who does but never repeats it. But in that scenario, I guess I'd be a daphne and completely oblivious to the whole thing, none the wiser, so as far as I was concerned I'd be married to a dan, not to a james. Now if I found out... :twisted: ;)
     

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