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Posted: So, after getting into a lenghty conversation with someone about it this weekend, I was wondering what other people's ideas were about cheating on girlfriends/ boyfriends or spouses. Do you think it is only cheating when you do it behind the other persons back? If the significant other knows about it after the fact, does that count? Also, what constitutes cheating? Is it kissing another when you are not allowed or something more such as sleeping with someone else? What about if it is with another female or another male instead of the opposite sex? I'm sure many of the people on here have been on one end or the other of this picture before, especially with the amount of traveling we do. I figured you'd be a pretty responsive audience.
I think cheating is intentional physical contact of a sexual nature with someone other than the person with whom you are in a monagamous relationship. You can't cheat in an "open" relationship. Also, anything you do in your mind, but nowhere else, is not cheating.
There are different degrees of cheating. Kissing someone other than your significant other is probably not as serious as sleeping with them.
In the end, the SO will decide what is and what is not cheating.
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella
I think my boundaries would vary depending on the person. If you and your mate do not have some pre-agreed upon allowed activities involving others, then I definitely think having sex with someone else constitutes cheating. Kissing or even flirting with the opposite sex are fine with me, and I generally don't consider them to be cheating.
Do the reasons one would cheat matter? For instance, does if your mate just wanted some female companionship while you were out of the country for 6 months differ from seeking another female while you are in town?
Flirting: Still cheating. I wouldn't like it one bit, it leads to physical cheating. But if they are flirting, then they are probably looking to get out or looking for someone better. If so, you are probably better off getting it over with, because if they are looking elsewhere they are not satisfied and will either dump you (break your heart) or end up physicaly cheating on you (worse).
In your mind (or heart): Still cheating. I disagree with you Mike, I belive our thoughts have power also. And if you don't belive in that, then how about this perspective: Thinking about it can lead to physical cheating. It is the whole "cheating heart" thing. Now, there IS a difference between looking at a girl and thinking "wow she is beautiful" possibly even having sex flash across your mind. Tha tis uncontrolable. But dwelling on it, or planning ways of trying to have sex with her....deffinitly cheating.
I can honestly say that I have NEVER cheated on a girlfriend. It just isn't in my heart. In the same manner, I know several friends (guy and girl) who will cheat in every sence at any opportunity. I loose a lot of respect for them when I see that. Especialy if I have to lie to their "significant other" about things they did in front of me or told me about latter. A small measure of that respect returns if they confess it to me and express their regrets and how they never what it to happen again. I guess some people are weak, and they "can't help themselves". What is worse is confronting your "best friend" and having them lie to your face about cheating, then when you tell them the other (anonomouse) party told you, they confess, except they confess to doing it with a different girl, and then you tell them and they say "oh yea, I forgot about her." So how many others did you "forget about"? silence. And the beat goes one. It tears me up inside to see it happening yet again, and yet I still must lie and pretend I never saw anything happening (or know about anything) or never saw anything that was obviouse to me to be further evidence of continued cheating. I hate that. But if I did tell, even worse things could happen (like they might KILL me for ruining their life) not joking. They might do even worse too, or have worse done to them. So I remain silent.
Thanks for the comments guys. I agree that cheating is wrong, and that any who do so are not being true to themselves or to those they claim to love. DJ Dantana - would it be different if you didn't know the parties involved well? You would be willing to tell the injured party what had been done to betray him/her? Is cheating morally wrong?
The person I was chatting with this weekend was really destroyed when his wife started sleeping around on him. However, he thought that she would stop after the first incident. She didn't, and he felt completely betrayed, but let it happen again.
So, my next question is what has to happen before the other person will grow up and realize what they are doing hurts everyone including themselves? Do they just need a huge reality slap?
[ 23. April 2003, 12:55: Message edited by: spritie ]
The rule of thumb for cheating is actually very simple. Since all relationships are diffirent adressing the technicalities point by point will undoubtedly have everyone in disagreement over the samantics here is best rule for knowing what is cheating and what isn't:
Anything you would hesitate to tell your significant other that you did is cheating.
Thats about all there is to it.
Since everyone has a diffirent comfort level with everything that is the best discription I have heard to date.
For example, my friend Sarah and her boyfriend Indigo live in diffirent states at the moment. They have a somewhat open relationship and it's ok for them to have sex with other people, they talk about it openly with each other and it doesn't threaten their relationship, so this wouldn't be considerd cheating in their case. This arangement would not fly at all with me and my girlfriend, and would be considerd cheating in our case.
[ 23. April 2003, 13:17: Message edited by: SickpuPpy ]
Depends on the type of kissing. But for the most part, no, it's harmless, it is not unless some serious passion play is involved, which should be involved with SO only.
Flirting is not cheating in anyway in my book. I am an incredible flirt, it is one of my favorite past times. It is a way I show affection, sometimes it is just how I joke, sometimes it's for passion, sometimes just for fun. Hell, I flirt with my audience when I perform. As long as I make it clear which is which (or at least try to). The thing is, I get my SO by flirting, so therefore it is usually okay since it means s/he would be a flirt too.
In thoughts? No. That's what fantasies are for. To live out something we would normally not do. If we didn't have fantasies then I think we would be more apt to act on our impulses. Thinking of hurting someone because you are upset is not really assault. Thinking of doing something naughty with the bikini model from a sun lotion commercial is not cheating. If thoughts are cheating, then going to strip clubs must really be crossing that line, and I don't feel it is at all.
I think the biggest cheating of all is in the heart. Physical action has nothing really to do with love. They are very seperate entities that when combined mean a great deal, but aren't necessarily exclusive. Therefore, I think the greatest cheating of all is when you are with someone and loving someone else.
And spritie, your friend didn't "let it happen again", he couldn't have stopped her. What he should have done was left her, even for a little while. She makes her own choices, that is obvious. I had an ex who cheated on me every chance he could get, and I didn't find out until the end of the relationship. He wanted his cake and to eat it too, and now, well, this cake was too burned to look back and I can't worry about whether or not he learned a lesson. Cheaters learn when they get burned too, or when the guilt of causing pain gets too great, or maybe never. It seems to be a very personal thing.
Dantana, "the grass is always greener syndrome" is not the only reason people cheat. I can only speak from the female perspective though. I know a woman who loves her husband very much but he is a trucker and never home. She fights her loneliness by being with someone else in body. It is not right at all, but I understand. I once knew a girl who had a very abusive husband, whom she was afraid to leave. She cheated to find tenderness and what she thought was love from others. I think that many women do it out of insecurity, a search for validation of self. If so many men want her, then she is valued. Sometimes it is hard to see that worth internally, or understand that one person can value us enough to want to be with us exclusively. There is an element of danger for some. A sating of more fetish desires for others that a mate won't fulfill. On the whole I think at the core of why people cheat is a complete and utter lack of communication. There is something missing from the relationship and a fear of voicing what it is.
*shrug* I dunno. My Uncle never explained why he cheated on my Aunt. My other Aunt never explained why she cheated on my Uncle. My sister found my brother in law to be boring at one point. They all got back together and made things work. Sometimes it is a misled mistake. I think that it depends on the person and why they are doing it, and whether or not, once caught, they can..as a couple, work through the issues.
I also agree with Lightning. An open relationship in it's very title states no cheating can be done.
IMHO all that is.
[ 23. April 2003, 13:52: Message edited by: Pele ]
Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir "Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall "And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK
I would never handle someones heart with such carelessness. Cheating is bad mmmkay? I have been slapped in the face many time because previous partners have cheated on me and it is the worst feeling I have experinced. I beleive that you make a commitment to someone then you need to honour it, and that cheating in the mind is as bad as in the body. Thoughts carry energy and bring about manafestation...If you believe it will happen then it will. Being hurt previously has made me very careful in my relationships now and I take a long time to trust my heart to someone. I KNOW when something is wrong or right. To treat someone the way that you would like to be treated is the only way. Otherwise not only are you lying to each other, you are lying to yourself as well.
TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"
i must agree with SickpuPpy that anything you would hesitate to tell your significant other should be considered cheating. that seems to be the criteria that can bridge the differences in relationships. as people have said, some are more exclusive than others. i think this is really a case where one must use their common sense and not simply follow rules such as "kissing equals cheating".
thoughts are a much harder thing to outline though. because i think for most of us, a lot of our thoughts are not things we would ever want to share regardless of what they are about exactly. i think passing thoughts about other people and even small fantasies should be ok. you should be able to tell for yourself when you intend to get something more out of it than just interesting thoughts to occupy your head. its really hard to make clear delineations about such things because all people are unique.
I'll stop flirting when I'm dead, but certainly not before!
musashiistarring Skippy the green llama
1,148 posts Location: Seattle, WA
so many good posts on the subject. Mike and Pele's posts hit closest to home for me. I've been in relationships where flirting with trust never posed problems. Flirting is a natural act for people, and on a level that shouldn't interfere with most healthy relationships..And yeh, it's really where the heart lies in an act. Deceit is the worst..If you cannot own up to an act of cheating after it happens, then perhaps you aren't quite relationship material yet(to generalize ..).
First intention, then enlightenment.. Ars Pyronomica
" Life is programmed. Whether death is programmed or not is yet to be determined."
Thanks for the great posts, guys I agree that cheating is hurtful to all parties involved, and I really wish we lived in a society where it never happened.
My next question is this: do you think that one person can be in love with two different people at the same time? My love, I mean the true romantic version, not just the emotioinally attached kind. I think that one person can love many different people in many different ways at once, but I do not believe they are being truthful to themselves if they claim to be "in love" with more than one person at a time. I'm just wondering because this is the excuse used upon my friend to get some sympathy out of him. In essense, it is what made him feel the worst and what finally caused him to divorce his ex-wife.
I completely think a person can be in love with two different people at the same time.
Obviously we have the capacity to love many people, many ways all at the same time.
Then why can't a person feel romantic, passionate love for two people at once?
Romantic love, for the most part is unexplained but means that you want to be with someone. You enjoy their company. They way they inspire you and move you, emotionally, mentally and physically. You feel comfortable enough with them to bare yourself in many ways (not just physical) but still get those butterflies. You want them to be happy, almost more than you want yourself to be happy. Now, why can you not find two people who fit those needs, fill that bill, so to speak? I think it is completely possible, without deluding oneself or lieing to oneself at all. I do feel that in the end it will only come to a bad resolution unless there is upfront honesty. I also think that in the end, one of those people will come to prevail in the heart....but if being torn between two loves was something not possible, it wouldn't be such a repeating theme throughout the annals of history.
Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir "Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall "And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK
44 posts Location: Chippenham, Wiltshire. England
I have my self been in love with two lady before. It can do your head in. The two was one I was going out with and her good friend. (not as good now). Depending who I was with at the time always had the upper hand. I never did anythng with her friend but I wanted to. I felt closer to her friend too, and if I wanted to talk about anything it would be her I would talk to.
The point I am tring to make is you can love two people, but I don't think you can love them both 100%.
I stayed with my girl friend until she went to uni, tried to do the open relationship thing and it didn't work. called it off in the end but we are still friends.
Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far!
Oooooo! Cheating is a big big big BIG grey area and in the end it comes down to individual opinion.
Cheating is a betrayal of the trust between 2 people. With any relationship trust is an essential component. It's trust that your love is true and strong. With trust and communication you will know the boundries that each of you is comfortable with. Some people trust their partners to sleep with other people, and they know that their love is strong enough to cope. Other people do not trust their own love enough to let their partner receive a flirtatious text message, and this is sad.
I've trusted a partner who flirted with other people, because flirting is a natural and daily occurance. And I did find it kinda funny that as she was been chatted up she'd glance across the room to look me in the eyes and the love between us was so wonderful and real. This isn't cheating.
I've had a relationship with enough trust and communication that we could admit to each other that sometimes we found other people attractive, and even sometimes fantasised about them while indulging in ice cream. Some people would call this wrong, or mental cheating, but I think only if you faith in your love is weak.
So in a relationship set your own boundries as a couple, and the ONLY way to do this is COMMUNICATE. If your partner is upset over a flirt then talk about it, because they're not secure in the relationship and you both need to work on that. It's a real 2 way thing, if it's isn't then your realtionship is broke. Fix it or ditch it.
Another point. I challenge anyone who says they'll never cheat on a loved one. How do you know your future so well? I used to say I'd never cheat on a partner. Then I did. I committed the ultimate betrayal of trust on someone I love dearly. I paid a heavy price, but learnt a lot. Thankfully we're still best friends. My point it you can never know your future, never know how circumstances will play out and affect you. Never say never.
So, once you've cheated (I'm done it myself, so I'm not angel either), how do you know what to do? Do you tell your mate and hope that everything will be ok between the two of you? Do you suck and up and never mention it again, but let it eat you up inside? Do you break up with the person whom you cheated on? If your relationship is based on trust, how can you not tell your partner and still be happy with yourself? The one time I cheated on someone while in a relationship, I broke up with the guy right afterwards because I realized I did not love him, and thus did not see a future with him.
Also, if you are the person that someone cheated with, what should you do if it was just a one time thing?
hmmm, good questions spritie. Again personal situations differ. Sometimes it's better to not tell your partner and keep the realtionship going if that's what you want. However you have to be able to live with that fact yourself, that you're holding back something from your partner. If you want the realtionship to survive then you have to be willing to do a lot to save it (but not everything). Keeping the trust on both sides is essential, and takes the longest and most work to repair. If it doesn't work, then at least you tried.
About being on the other side, I've been there too. I've been The Other Man! I take the opinion that it's for the person cheating to work out their situation. Some may think that's selfish or passing the blame. each to their own. One time it was just us taking a fancy to each other and deciding that ice cream would be very fun. She wasn't in a deep relationship and it broke up soon after. The other time was a bit more involved and protracted and all 3 of us ended up getting burnt. I loved her, she loved both of us. It was fun. But it put me in situations I'd rather not have been in! In a way it was just like many other realtionship break ups except that I knew she'd had to choose between me and him and that added an extra edge to the blade. Happily we're still friends, she and I are sigle and he's happily living with someone else.
Oooo, maybe I should start a Dom confessional thread and put all the juicy bits in too
Spotted this post ironically looking for a joke thread i saw last week & thought I'd put in my little bit.
would I be completely lambasted if I quoted a spanish saying "ojos que no ven, corazon que no siente"- what the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't feel?
I was not very faithful in my early days, it sucks to say it, but the only girl I've ever loved was the girl I cheated on most. However I am proud to say that I stopped cheating on her the moment I started loving her. She never found out. 9 months later she left for uni (she was a year older) and dumped me three weeks into the first term (I have since discovered she cheated on me but through someone else). I took this in my stride as best I could. I am proud of the fact that I never told her and made sure I was as discrete as possible with my affairs. I personally see this as a great achievement in that I never hurt the girl with what were far more superficial passing things. Do you think this was wrong? I didn't love the girl when I cheated on her, but it was through respect for her feelings that I didn't tell her and also because it would have ruined any future for the relationship which at that time wasn't clear (part respect, part cowardice if you like- an unwillingness to let the relationship go to pot). Should I have told her and ended any chance of the wonderful relationship it then turned into?
hmmm, long forgotten thoughts have just risen to the surface once more.
PS The gnomy has obviously got me back cos I havent managed to keep another relationship going for more than 4 months since then!
Your life is ending one minute at a time... So live it.