Personality Cafe banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

2,119 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Where do you stand on the subject of... *lowers voice* infidelity?
My theory about people is that we can rest easier about our sexualities if we think of ourselves as having several sexual systems - possibly consisting of several evolutionary layers. There's the more everyday one, and then there's the deeper and more obscure, which we usually conceive of as the most primitive. We don't just have one sexuality, so some of the inner conflicts we feel can be resolved that way. That's on the inside! Externally, it's behavior, and that falls under moral care.

I think in general, yes, ENFPs are value-driven in sexuality particularly when it comes to our relationships. But our more primitive sides, if you will, are still there, same as anyone's, and from what I've read we seem to have high sex drives, most of us. So one can stand by for drama when ENFPs are around! And yes, I think most ENFPs have high empathy, so hurting an SO would be hurtful to them.

*However* ... partly speaking from past personal experience, ENFPs with their giving natures can get in relationships or situations where we feel empathically responsible or beholden to a person - I think it's said that ENFPs are reluctant to break up, because of not wanting to hurt the other person - and that can lead to a wandering libido in some way. I've lived that sometimes (will specify more below).

> What is infidelity to you?

Well, the simplest answer is "whatever your partner thinks it is, that you have good reason to know or should know they would." A very monogamous, say possibly also highly religious, couple might find having a fantasy about another cheating. A more libertine couple might find having sex with another person without prior agreement with one's SO to be cheating. Then there's what "should" be considered cheating - an insoluble question, since "shoulds" are so difficult. So, let's stick with #1. Cheating is behavior related to romance and/or sex that a partner finds betraying of trust, which the actor knows or has good reason to know their partner would so find, and the actor consciously does it anyway. Probably a good basic definition would include some kind of deceit, at least to the point of non-informing. I can get behind that definition.

My own relationships have tended a little more on the libertine side - but not too far. I'm probably somewhat naturally polyamorous. I've liked when my partners have been sexually experienced, and the whole untouched/chaste virginity thing held little appeal to me as such. (Now, a *corrupt-minded* virgin could be a different story. @phony, you keep quiet.) I like women who are strong in themselves and are doing what they like without submission to the "community's" regard. This can include being sexually dominant or submissive - doesn't matter, so long as it comes out of fire and delight. So the subjective criterion for cheating is good by me. Both of my longest relationships had times when we saw others, and in a few cases there were some interesting menages; let's leave it at that. It was done aboveboard, but there were times when one or the other of us made the other uncomfortable, and got somewhat close to the cheating line.

I've forgiven my partners quite a bit, and they've forgiven me quite a bit. Not so much direct crossings of lines as things around that area - for instance, something that drives me crazy is when a partner of mine has a crush on someone - and doesn't tell me. That's just intolerable to me, because I want to be in *deep* contact with my partner, and that means there's a withholding going on. Which means there's a mess underneath. Okay, to criticize myself, it's driven (some of) my partners crazy if among my numerous friendships someone starts to feel possessive of me or like they own me. And sometimes I didn't pick up the signs, though they were quite obvious. So it's a complex line, and really more a matter of zones.

Now, to go head on into forgiveness: I could probably forgive a very great deal if my partner made a clean breast, was not blaming me falsely or otherwise being political, was working to make it better, and it wasn't a massive prolonged deception. I think all interactions are transactional - both sides contribute - so I'd rather focus on why we went off the rails and what does that say we need and should do. Of course I would be angry, hurt, and the rest - but my decisions would hopefully go toward finding out what happened and healing, if healing could be done. (That could be the ENFP unwillingness to break up, of course.)

So, to address your last question directly: under my definition, yes. I've cheated in some years past. And you know what? It wasn't worth it. When all the smoke and dust died down, there wasn't that much to it.

I try to look at things both humanistically and biologically. Biologically speaking, cheating is a reproductive strategy - and it seems to be well-implanted in our species. Something like 20% of all kids, supposedly, bear a different paternity than the Dad thinks they have. (This is one of the secret powers of women. Men have their own.) If we'd evolved differently, we wouldn't be *able* to cheat: we'd be bound to one person at a time. But human sexuality is above all ingenious and creative. It would flourish more if we bought some compassion to it (and also a commitment to keep passion up). So maybe everyone can meet in the middle, and openly negotiate what cheating is and is not - and, like any good system, include some give and play in it, to keep things healthy.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts