What Constitutes Cheating?

I am off to start my move to Wisconsin in the morning… it’ll take a few days to get there so I’ll have no real time for blogging for a little bit… so I’m throwing this one up quickly while I have a chance.

I’ve had a few discussions with friends lately about my sex life etc and I thought I’d share some thoughts surrounding those conversations… just because… hey, why not? Right?

I know some of my views would be pretty controversial – especially if discovered by anyone still in the evangelical culture. I was telling someone just today about how shamed I was for my “promiscuity” as a teen and thought I had gotten over it until a year or two ago when I was shamed again for the title of my book. Literally shamed over “That Boy Gave Me Cooties,” without even asking what it was about. Ha, that friend responded so cleverly that it was just like the religious to literally judge a book by it’s cover… I hadn’t thought of it that way before!

I was hurt all over again… it still stings if I’m honest… but I didn’t come here to talk about that…

Though I do wonder if my views on sex/my sex life would have been markedly different had I not been shamed over and over by the church.

Anyway, I have since realised that I clearly have a very different attitude to sex and relationships than most people I know. While the idea of monogamy is a nice ideal, I’ve come to believe that it’s not as natural as we all attempt to make it. Sometimes I think I would be better suited to a polyamorous relationship, for instance, and I am positive just about all of my friends and family would be horrified. And of course my husband would not be down for any such arrangement… so… I stay monogamous.

This has also brought upon discussions about the varying degrees of “cheating,” what constitutes cheating, and how different people’s views on such are.

For instance, I know several men who would get ripped a new one if their girlfriend or wife caught them looking at or being overly friendly to another female…. let alone anything else that might be considered worse.

On the other hand, I could give a rat’s ass that my husband might want to look at other women or even peruse porn. If I caught him doing such he would not “be in trouble” like other men I know.

He told me once, years ago, that he would expect I would have crushes on other men -it’s only natural- as he too would have crushes on other women… the key in his mind was to bring the sexual energy home to each other.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around it, as I have been with a couple very jealous men before… I honestly did not trust him. I did not trust him not to get angry if I admitted the crush I had at the time.

I have now since realised I do have my crushes, he has continued to have his… I’ve relaxed and realised if he were to get angry then it would be a double standard and it would be something that I could refuse to accept.

Since that realisation I have also started to believe that my natural flirtatious behaviour is not so shameful. I’ve also come to believe that in the strain of that thought process, if flirting, crushes, getting off on porn is all okay… then having someone – a friend, a crush, whatever – to talk dirty with or sext with would also not be considered “cheating” if you again bring the raised libido you acquire back to your partner.

My little sister was clearly shocked I would say such a thing over Christmas… LOL 

The main debate in my head then, is what constitutes cheating then? The physicality of it all is what would be unacceptable in a monogamous relationship – at least to most people.

Again, I waver on this. I suppose it really depends on the couple and how committed they are to only sleeping with each other the rest of their lives or at least the length of their relationship.

I honestly believe in this point in my life I would be cool with a more open situation. I know hubby would never go with it… but in my mind cheating vs no cheating comes down to respect. Respect me enough to tell me that you need a change of pace for a little bit. Respect me enough to tell me prior to sleeping with someone else. Respect me enough to take special care not to bring STDs home… Respect me enough to not hold me to a different standard.

Then I wouldn’t consider it cheating.

Why do we hold so dear to what seems so unnatural as to cling to these strict relationship constructs?

But, again, I seem to be in the minority in this opinion. Those I’ve come across that seem to think along the same lines as me often are affected by these constructs because so many more possible partners want to lock down in completely monogamous relationships and deny all of our natural impulses.

Monogamy itself is not the issue in my mind… fine, only sleep with your partner… but why not give in to some basic natural instincts if it then releases some tension and brings the libido back to your monogamous bed?

What do you guys think? Anyone out there even remotely agree??

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27 Comments

  1. Sex and gender have been used in some sects of religion to drive a wedge between people and to keep people down. It’s a very touchy subject but I don’t have a problem with sex between two consenting people of age as long as its done in a safe and caring environment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with you… if you have to hide it behind your partners back you are cheating and that includes sexting, porn and your desire to be with others..

    In 2016/2017 why are couples still afraid to really know each other, I know exactly what type of man and woman turns my wife on and she knows the same for me. We love threesomes and we date outside just a bit and all this has led to is us becoming closer and knowing each other even better…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have yet to try a threesome… never thought I’d mind doing one, yet also never came across someone I thought I’d want to bring into bed with both of us… seems like it could be awkward if you don’t have the right mindset or right person to share it with. I feel like doing exactly as you do would strengthen our relationship and I know make me at least happier and feel less trapped, therefore affecting our relationship positively… but if hubby can’t accept the idea then… Well, it’s a conundrum

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think, you think he won’t accept it… if you have that trust and understanding. Give it a try, he’s a guy so bring him a woman, most guys won’t ever say no to that. If he’s hung up on traditional or religious values then explain to him that what happens in your marriage bed is all well… as a couple all sex is your sex.
        Me and my wife wrote 1 vow when we got married : we vow to be committed to each other’s happiness…
        whatever that happiness may be. We both wanted to explore our sexuality so we didn’t it together… give it a try you may be surprised what he says

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re right, I do expect he’d scoff at the idea. But you’re also right that it’s likely worth the try… I think his main issue – besides being traditional- is that I know he wouldn’t want to share me with another man. It’s something I’ll have to think on and work up the gumption to bring up to him I think. As far as threesomes go he definitely would be more likely to appreciate the two women scenario that’s for sure!

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  3. I think it all boils down to what kind of relationship you have with your partner. For some monogamy is what is comfortable. Whether that is due to religious, traditional, or just what they like. For others Polygamy is what is right for them. Cheating, for me personally, is having an intellectually intimate relationship outside my marriage. Porn does not bother me, and often we look together. I would be hurt by my husband going elsewhere for his physical pleasure, but I think that I could overcome that blow to my pride. I would be far more broken by him forming an intellectual relationship that would rival our own relationship. I think “cheating”, though is defined by each individual or each relationship. I also, do not feel that a cheater is in the wrong. It is very natural to seek things that one craves or needs. If someone is not getting their needs met in their current relationship it is a matter of time before the relationship either suffers and dissolves, or they go looking for what it is that they need and stays in the relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree so much with this, Klutzy. Given that I had physically cheated in the past it may seem suspect if I say the cheaters are not always in the wrong – but it’s so very true that it’s natural for people to search for what they need or crave. When there’s something wrong or missing from a relationship it either needs to end or needs an outlet to supplement the needs of the individuals if the relationship is to thrive. I can’t deny it would be nice to know that I’m the only one my husband craves, and I’m sure the opposite is true – but is that really practical to automatically assume that’d be the case? It just seems so difficult to find partners that would have different views than the monogamy-is-everything viewpoint

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  4. I have my own ideas about what constitutes cheating. For me, as soon as deep conversations are being had or physical touching begins to happen, it’s cheating for me. However, There are many people who see this as unreasonable and don’t have a rpoblem with many of the things you mentioned in your piece.
    I don’t think anyone can determine for two people what constitutes cheating. That has to be discussed between the couple and very early in the relationship. Being in a monogomous, long-term relationship takes a lot of work. There is no need to compound that by not understanding expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Sexual infidelity is the breaking of trust that occurs when sexual and/ or romantic secrets are deliberately kept from one’s primary intimate partner” – Robert Weiss

    That’s one definition of cheating. Personally cheating to me can be physical, emotional, and virtual to start off with. But for me, cheating is anything that has been explicitly talked about where each partner knows the boundaries of a relationship, and one of them oversteps the boundary and keeps it a secret.

    Cheating within a relationship is all about what boundaries have been set in that particular relationship. Some people are okay with open relationships, and some people are okay with monogamous relationships, cheating depends on the boundaries that were originally set when the relationship began.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is very true. I suppose I struggle within my own relationship that our viewpoints don’t match up exactly, so I’m stuck in the more restrictive terms of monogamy than I would prefer. To be fair though, husband is not as stringent as many – he does believe it’s ok to have crushes on/fantasise about other people and to look at/be attracted to others. He also doesn’t particularly frown on flirting… I know a lot of people who would call all of that off limits and I find that just plain unreasonable and unrealistic!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Flirting isn’t cheating but you should probably still chat with your partner about it. Your the first blogger ive found whos not on the religion train (no sex before marriage, yadayada boring!). As someone whos been cheated on, I really don’t think its forgivabal, but I am a bit of a hard ass.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always been flirtatious by nature and honestly not even aware sometimes that I come off as flirtatious! Luckily my husband has never seemed bothered by that side of my personality… I also know others that are just like me, but unfortunately some of them get torn to shreds by their significant others if they’re “caught”…in something that is to them just a part of their personality and not necessarily done with ill intent… sigh… frustrating! I’ve been cheated on in the distant past, and I have also cheated once… I think we are all human and it CAN be forgivable, but it also depends on the circumstances. If the cheater is truely penitent I say everyone deserves one more chance – strike two though… strike one and your out if you are clearly not sorry though. Regardless it’s an issue between two people and up to them what is and is not able to be worked through 🙂 Also, I know! I used to be Christian, but I have for a very long time been Against the no sex before marriage sermons! Thanks for the follow, hope you enjoy whatever else you find here! 🙂

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      • I was raised Catholic if you can believe it! But soon broke away from the religion when I started to realise it was there way or no way (also, my dad’s gay but that’s a story for another time) your much more forgiving than me! If course people do make mistakes & every situation is different. I do agree that people who have flirtatious personality shouldn’t be punished for that by their partner x

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  7. Pingback: Happy Blogaversary to meeeee :) | I Will Not Live in Vain

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