cheating in story telling

Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by katina, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    People cheat because they don't care. While the relationship might be important to them, it's just not as important as the adventure. It is the ultimate dishonesty, the ultimate selfishness. Try writing it from that perspective.
     
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  2. katina

    katina Contributor Contributor

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    I see. I never thought about it as an adventure.
    Thanks for the ideas. :)
     
  3. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    Different folks cheat for different reasons. A lot of the time it's out of selfishness or cowardice, but not always. I've known people who cheated on their partners because those partners were abusive, and it wasn't safe for them to leave the relationship. Luckily that's a pretty rare case, though.

    I'd say try to get into the head of the cheater in this scenario. Why are they going behind their partner's back? Why won't they just be upfront and break up with them? How hard are they working to cover their tracks, or are they pretty much out in the open and waiting for their jilted partner to be the one to react?
     
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  4. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Is it really selfish to share your love with as many people as possible?
     
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  5. katina

    katina Contributor Contributor

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    These are exactly the thoughts that come to my mind. Why you can just say you want to leave?
    I am thinking it is a deeper chain of thoughts and so may be more reasons then just be frank and open about it. I guess human nature is complex.
     
  6. katina

    katina Contributor Contributor

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    I am guessing it can get very twisted and kind of difficult because it can get out of hand?!
    Three a crowd as they say.Non?
     
  7. LoaDyron

    LoaDyron Senior Member

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    Can't answer that since I didn't come across with that so far.
     
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  8. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    Cheating can still happen in polyamorous or open relationships. If boundaries are crossed and trust is betrayed, it still counts, no matter how many people are part of the relationship.
     
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  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Agreed, the point I was making is that not all cheating is born of dishonesty and selfishness. Sometimes it's done because you truly love someone, so much so that you need to give them every part of you. The complication arises when the person you love isn't the person you're obligated to.
     
  10. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Senior Member

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    my entire story that i'm typing up now is about cheating (the MC being cheated on by her fiance). I have never been cheated on and I have never cheated, but anyone dealing with insecurities knows what it is like to speculate your partners fidelity. I have been with my husband since high school, and he is the only one that i have ever "been with," but while we were in different colleges, him being extroverted and me being an introvert, I'd see him post pictures with a whole bunch of people (girls included) and my mind would wander.
    I used those feelings in my writing.

    While I have never been with any other person, I still do find other men attractive. Not so attractive that i would cheat on my husband. but yeah, dude are hot! I use the "what ifs" in my writing.

    But I agree with everyone else: you dont have to experience/do something in order to write about it.
    I based an entire short story on "The Most Beautiful Suicide" photo but I've never attempted suicide
     
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  11. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    Ahhh okay, I get what you mean. Although personally, I'd still say betraying someone's trust instead of just breaking things off with them is still a selfish act. But you're right, it's more complicated than someone just going "I'm going to cheat because I am Mean and Evil" and twirling their mustache :p
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Sometimes breaking it off isn't an option. We're kind of lucky that we live in the culture we do during the time we live in. We have a lot of freedom in a lot of places that historically the majority of people weren't, and still aren't, afforded.

    Also, hopefully it's only the mustache they're twirling.
     
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  13. suddenly BANSHEES

    suddenly BANSHEES Senior Member

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    Ah, yeah that's true.
     
  14. exweedfarmer

    exweedfarmer Contributor Contributor

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    well I guess it depends on what sort of disease that you're spreading or might be. It's not really cheating if you have an open marriage or something like that. And I guess it could be chalked up to forgetfulness. I've known a lot of guys in my life who went out the door and just plain forgot they were married. Often, daily, one moment to the next, a lot of forgetfulness in this world.
     
  15. Mish

    Mish Member

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    Another good question to consider is "What classifies as cheating?" Having sex with someone else in a committed relationship is pretty obvious cheating, but what about other activities?

    I know people who classify below as cheating. What about you, where do you draw the line?

    1. Having coffee with a member of opposite sex.
    2. Watching a movie with a member of opposite sex.
    3. Talking about your day with a member of opposite sex.
    4. Dreaming about a member of opposite sex.
     
  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. -- Matthew 5:28
     
  17. Mish

    Mish Member

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    So having sex is okay then as long as it's without lust. I'm glad Matthew cleared that up. :)
     
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  18. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I suppose if you live in a culture where separation simply is NOT allowed (legal, whatever) that changes the issue. I would suspect that cheating is also not allowed in that kind of culture either, but I might be wrong on that.

    But for me, living in a western culture where divorce is actually quite common, if somebody is no longer in love with their spouse, there are a couple of ways to solve that problem. You either decide NOT to cheat and stay with your spouse, and give up on any feelings for another person. OR you break up your marriage and give your spouse the chance to also find somebody who really loves them.

    Marriage is often a mistake, and many people make that mistake. Like any other mistake, correcting it is a good idea, long-term. In my opinion anyway. Why not end up with four happy people, rather than four unhappy people?

    I don't think you'll find too many people who regret their divorces after the initial shock and legal hassles are over. They may regret having married the wrong person in the first place, or regret having 'failed' at marriage. But 10 years down the line, when they are finally in a good relationship, are they 'sorry' they got divorced?

    I can understand the one night stand sort of cheating 'mistake' I suppose. But long-term cheating on a partner? Unless the partner is fully on board and having open relationships is an agreed thing? It just seems ...weird.

    Would you want to cling on to somebody you know doesn't love you—who loves somebody else—just because you 'can?' Because legally he/she took a 'vow?' I know I wouldn't.
     
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  19. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Depends on what angle you want to view it from and what you want to "show" (read: say about it) by doing so.

    Are we just talking at the level of the human individual? As a broader group, or society as a whole?

    Look at what it impacts and how. Look at motives.

    Don't conflate cheating with flings or open relationships. They share similarities, but like a Venn Diagram, the two circles are not entirely the same.

    I wouldn't write about something if I didn't have some personal life experience to reference; at least people close to me who I know and have spoken with about the matter. Research is to help me refine my ideas. Hence why I've had to go from writing a marriage to writing a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship instead, or changing a familial relationship between characters who are brothers to one where they are close friends who call themselves brothers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  20. katina

    katina Contributor Contributor

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    LOL that is funny :supergrin:
     
  21. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I never understood this either. Even if you loved them, you'd want to see them happy, and if they're not happy with you, then holding on to them is just being selfish.
     
  22. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know that things are this simple and clear-cut though. A friend of mine - I think roughly your age actually - she's divorced once, got two grown kids from that marriage, and now happily married in her second marriage. She told me, "Never get divorced if you don't have to." The pain stays with you, and the pain stays with your children.

    I also have a different friend, much younger friend, who after working on her marriage for a lengthy period of time (3 kids) finally asked for a divorce and she felt such immense peace. She's so much happier. I also remember my ex-boyfriend saying he's glad his parents got divorced because he no longer had to live with the constant arguing, but his sister subsequently entered therapy for all kinds of mental health problems following the divorce and recovered only years later. (she was 12 when it happened)

    Then I know another lady who came from a divorced family. She's adamant you shouldn't get divorced (she's also Catholic, which would be a factor here), but her reasoning wasn't religious. It's simply: "My dad's partner doesn't like me and she doesn't like my kids." It isn't just the couple who are affected - it isn't even only the kids from the broken marriage, but the grandchildren too. The devastation is immense and it ripples outwards - the pain doesn't end just because a divorce happened.

    I have still another friend who is recently divorced, but from the outside, it happened so quickly, I can't help but wonder if it wasn't a little impulsive.

    I think divorces are sometimes tragic necessities, but in this day and age, too many people see divorce as the first option rather than last resort. Worse, too many people don't even get married because they want that backdoor of leaving without ties - if questioned, they would deny it and become positively offended you think that, but I can't help but think it must be true. Funny story: my brother-in-law had been with his partner for 10+ years. They finally got engaged a few years back. That year leading up to the wedding? They broke up. Unresolved issues started surfacing and they either couldn't or didn't want to work on them, I don't know, but that's it. 10+ years, gone. There's something in getting married, I feel - even for the non-religious, that concept of accountability, of making that public announcement in front of witnesses, making a promise in public - it changes your mindset somehow, the way you think of the relationship. I know another lady who has a 2 year old son with a man but she wouldn't marry him, and apparently she told my husband, "I'm not married to him for very good reasons." Well, if you won't marry the man because he clearly doesn't make a very good partner, why did you go and have a kid with him? It's all a bit illogical really. Do you wanna be with the person if the commitment of marriage is enough to break the relationship? And if it won't, then what's stopping you from making it official? It's not about proving to other people - it's actually about proving to yourself you really are in it for the long haul.

    A lot of staying with a partner you no longer love or who doesn't love you is more about security and investment than it is about love. You've built a life together - you're saying everything you've built together has been for nothing. To admit that is difficult and painful. You're saying the future you dreamt of is in tatters and can't ever be repaired. You're saying the pain you've already endured has been for nothing. You're saying the investments you've made in time, money, and love, have been foolish. Utterly wasted on someone who didn't deserve it. Or perhaps it's just admitting to mistakes you wish you'd never made and owning up to your part in the divorce - it takes two to break a marriage. And then there's the unknown - what happens now? If there's a child involved, how would you cope as a single mum? Who's gonna pick the kid up from school while you're stuck at work till 5pm? There's a lot of uncertainty and fear involved. Better the devil you know, and all.

    As for cultures where divorce might not be allowed and therefore cheating probably isn't either - that depends on what is cheating. It's cheating when it's the woman doing it, but when it's the man then it's just normal, or he might just take more than one wife and it's all legal.
     
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  23. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    there's also the possibility that the person does love their partner on an emotional level, but for whatever reason it isn't working physically.
     
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  24. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Just realized I meant to reply to this earlier, but somehow didn't...

    Probably, but the act of cheating is far more private and involves far less people than a divorce does.

    Just FYI, I realize it may come off like it, but I do not actually condone cheating, I'm mostly playing devil's advocate here.
     
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  25. katina

    katina Contributor Contributor

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    Is that a good enough reason??
     

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