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@TheWildOne: I just meant that I hold myself to certain standards and doing something like that is not becoming of the person that I am. Sometimes I may come across as being on a moral high horse, but I assure you that I don't think I'm better than anyone else. I just know that certain things are not things that I want to partake in for my own personal reasons... People make choices that suit them, and I make mine based on what I know about myself. I'm really big on personal freedom, so this isn't an admonition of others. It's just my thoughts on how I choose to live my life.

Cheating takes some amount of forethought and (as introspective as I am) I feel that knowingly doing that to someone who trusts me would eventually eat me up inside, which is why I said it's not fair to ME. In my eyes, it wouldn't be fair for me to knowingly put that life-long burden on myself for some in-the-moment pleasure... A pleasure that probably wouldn't last and if it did, would probably cause me to question the morals of the person who cheated with me, thereby eventually ruining the new relationship...

I'm pretty sure the fallout from consciously choosing to do such a selfish and destructive thing would be really detrimental to ME in the long run; causing me a great deal of sadness, remorse, shame, questioning of myself and my self-worth, etc. I don't have any personal experience with cheating, but I know that I always feel extremely guilty when I make mistakes that hurt people. I'm usually pretty outspoken, but if I say something that I know has hurt someone else (even if it's true), I always feel bad for it. Not regret usually (if it's true), but sadness that I felt compelled to say something that would hurt another. In fact, I even feel bad for people when I verbally defend myself against their verbal attacks...

That's why I try to think before I say or do things that COULD have a negative impact on others or myself. Even if they don't care, I usually end up caring and thinking about it ad nauseum lol. So, back to the point... my reasoning is that if I ever chose to be unfaithful, then I think it would hurt me quite a bit (in addition to hurting the others involved). Therefore, making such a decision is, in fact, unfair to me.

PS. I hope I did that "mention" at the beginning properly lol.
 

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I guess that was my thing, not trusting someone due to lack of communication and other factors.
I think opposite-sex friendships are healthy and good (or can be) - and if there's a little attraction, not acted on, so much the better. I remember when my beautiful friend Ariana flirted with me after 17 years, I told my INFJ grrl right away and she said, "Good! I'm glad that finally happened!"

It can all work out, with communication and a good will.
 

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I have never met confirmed ENFPs who admit to having cheated on their partners, or consider themselves capable of doing such a thing.
This could be, in part, to the ENFP focus on the positive - also a self-concept issue of always wanting to be "nice." One reason I've made myself go deep into things: I want to know all sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
@tempered:
Thanks for jumping in! You're more than welcome to interrupt participate as often as you want. Ask anyone, they'll all agree. :)

How do you guys feel about your SO having opposite sex friends and meeting up with them without your presence or knowledge of what's going on?
Excellent question. I don't think I have a standard, ready-made answer for that. Let's explore it here.

As of having opposite sex friends that I don't know, well, that's inevitable, I think. It comes with having different social circles, and working in different places, which I believe is a healthy thing.

Now, meeting up with them without letting my partner know and vice versa... that's a whole other thing. In general, I would at least appreciate knowing. No details necessary, but a little heads-up would do. Something along the lines of: "Hey, I'm meeting ABC for a beer tomorrow night", or "You know, I stumbled upon XYZ yesterday and we had lunch together".

That would suffice, and I haven't turned into a jealousy-fueled fury when my partners have told me something along those lines. Just please, don't "hide" your meet-ups with friends of the opposite sex. It'd be weird, and would feel shady and dishonest, which in turn would trigger my Suspicion Alarm.

Besides, people tallk. So chances are, I'll find out eventually, and will feel crappy for not knowing from the man himself.

Thanks for that question, @tempered. You made me think. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Then again, it's hard for me to imagine trusting anyone that much anytime soon, and I'd rationally consider it a danger, since human nature can be an unpredictable influence. Possibly even more so with free spirits?

This could be grouped under what constitutes infidelity. Just an idea... nobody feel compelled to respond. ;p
Human nature is human nature. (Gee, just how gifted with words am I?) What I mean is that, as @cudibloop suggested, we're all unpredictable to a certain degree.

Not to be snarky but really because I want to know: what do you consider a free spirit? And how would you see that connected to infidelity?

@Enfpleasantly:
The way I see it, you managed to define infidelity in a perfect way: crystal clear and encompassing. Couldn't have said it better. :)

@chimeric:
Agreed. That kind of thing doesn't sound healthy at all!

@Raewyn:
Lots of food for thought in your post. I'd like to take a few minutes to consider it and get back to you, if that's okay?
 

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@StaceofBass: I agree, it's all about honesty. And I can't believe that ex-bf of yours! On top of such a horrible experience... what a jerk. You are obviously better off without him. *hugs*
Yeah I definitely agree. On my way home, I was asking everyone I knew if I should tell him about what happened...they all warned me not to. I struggled to see their reasons why because I had nothing to hide. I did nothing wrong.

I expected him to want to go after my ex-friend. I did not expect to be accused of wanting it...of having feelings for this ex-friend...of basically asking for it and cheating on him.

I am much better off without him. He was very controlling...and abusive. I had to tell my best friend I couldn't be his friend anymore because of this ex. My best friend and I have since rekindled our friendship. I had a lot of apologies to give out after my ex and I broke up...:blushed:
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I think the night one stand would be something harder to forgive but not deserving death penalty especially if it's once and with someone we both don't know, like once you go out and get completely drunk to the point where you remember nothing.
Got it. Thanks! I can see how that fits with the opinion you expressed before. In all honesty, I would like to be as accepting as you on that respect. I'll have to think about it hard and deep, so thanks for triggering the self-analysis process. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
@Sat Nam:
Thank you. I wanted to fully understand your views. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I was challenging you, and hope you were not offended. I really didn't mean to.

In fact, I quite like the ideas you just expressed. We should all know clearly which things really are beneath us. That doesn't make us self-rightheous, but self-aware. Good for you!

I particularly like this part:
In my eyes, it wouldn't be fair for me to knowingly put that life-long burden on myself for some in-the-moment pleasure... A pleasure that probably wouldn't last and if it did, would probably cause me to question the morals of the person who cheated with me, thereby eventually ruining the new relationship...
I hope to be guided by a similar inner compass in everything I do.

This, too:
That's why I try to think before I say or do things that COULD have a negative impact on others or myself. Even if they don't care, I usually end up caring and thinking about it ad nauseum lol. So, back to the point... my reasoning is that if I ever chose to be unfaithful, then I think it would hurt me quite a bit (in addition to hurting the others involved). Therefore, making such a decision is, in fact, unfair to me.
To an extent, I feel the same way. Meaning that, as I stated in a previous posts, I know my current partner would forgive a lot more from me than I would forgive myself. So there are things I won't do, not only because they would hurt my partner, but because I don't think I could live with the choice.

All in all, you put it beautifully, Sat Nam. :)
 

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Got it. Thanks! I can see how that fits with the opinion you expressed before. In all honesty, I would like to be as accepting as you on that respect. I'll have to think about it hard and deep, so thanks for triggering the self-analysis process. :)
You're welcome! I would have to think a lot about it, if it is worth it or not, but I'm a forgiving about that because I don't believe we should be too possessive. I was in possessive relationships that ruined all the love I could have for those people. I'm more unforgiving about other things though. I think it all depends on your experiences above all.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
This could be, in part, to the ENFP focus on the positive - also a self-concept issue of always wanting to be "nice."
That's an interesting theory. I thought it might have been because of the almost rabid defense of value systems and moral whatnots, but you know what? You could just be right about that. Hmm. *huddles in a corner to think*


@StaceofBass: I'm so sorry you had to go through something like that. It's more than anyone should have to experience.
Still, we live to learn, I guess. I bet you're a lot more likely to be on the lookout for signs of unhealthy behavior in potential partners now. So as terrible as I imagine it was, maybe there's something positive, albeit small, to draw out of it?
 

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@TheWildOne: Thanks for the kind words : ) I wasn't offended by the question at all and I didn't take it as a challenge or anything negative. I looked at it as a welcome opportunity to fully express my view on the subject. I rather enjoy writing, discussing things, and hearing others' perspectives; which is why I finally joined the forum :D

I wrote the preface as a means to let you and any other readers know that although I am committed to my view on the subject, I am not looking down on or calling anyone out if they happen to have a different outlook. I didn't want to ruffle any feathers, but I did want to give you a thorough response in support of my previous statement. Good question!


Sat Nam : )
 

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Human nature is human nature. (Gee, just how gifted with words am I?) What I mean is that, as @cudibloop suggested, we're all unpredictable to a certain degree.

Not to be snarky but really because I want to know: what do you consider a free spirit? And how would you see that connected to infidelity?
Sorry, I've probably been unreasonably vague in letting some thoughts slip out. I guess my perspective of human nature is bent along the lines of folks taking things for granted, being self serving, and choosing opportunities which may seem easier or more appealing for the moment. Is it wrong to hope for people to see past tendencies like those? Not meaning to suggest that I'm immune (though one can try).

Free spirits, to me, are people who follow their heart or current feelings wrt choices. And how it relates to infidelity depends on whether certain "free spirited" people have a sense of loyalty, self control, and rational judgment. I get that such qualifiers depend on each particular person and whether perceptions are more accurate than not. It probably sounds like I'm over thinking how to trust anyone, which does happen, but it's all internalized, and I can give people the benefit of the doubt as they display good qualities (as if many women have months of patience for this!).

Many things go without saying, uncertainty can be a normal part of interactions, and this may only amount to a glimpse of how my confidence has been shaken in others. Not that I mean to dive into that, either. lol

Thanks for your input on opposite sex friends. I feel the same way about people being honest and upfront out of consideration. I'd be less than certain about learning of concerning circumstances from others, but that has happened with me before. Friends have looked out more than expected. :)
 

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@TheWildOne

So I think the question is, do you find that to be your case, fellow ENFPs?

I'm strongly guided by my value system and I value monogamy and treating people fairly and honestly. I expect the same from my SO.

What is infidelity to you?


Well, I've actually read quite a bit about this. The consensus is that sexual play and/or secrecy are the hallmarks of infidelity.
I'd say sex, cyber-sex, and/or concealing an intimate emotional relationship from your SO falls under the category of cheating.

What do you consider cheating? What are your parameters?
"...even fantasyzing with someone else is cheating in my book"?

Depends on if you're actively inviting fantasy or shockingly find yourself in a fantasy that you try to dispel. Sometimes we can't help what pops into our heads. I know I've had some doozies. Do you shake them off, do you repent of having them, do you admit this to others, or do you hide it and revel in it? I don't think wayward thoughts fall under "cheating," but they can be indicative of a bigger problem.

How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?

My partner hasn't done anything that I have to forgive. That being said, I could probably forgive anything. Whether I would remain in relationship is an entirely different matter and depends on the circumstances.

If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?

No, but I have been tried and tempted. I find that absolute honesty with my partner is a safety net.
You're less likely to cheat if you keep it all in the light. If you have a partner who doesn't understand what it is like to struggle with being attracted to another human being, then you're likely with a hypocrite.

My advice for anyone in a committed relationship who is tempted to cheat is to ask the questions...
What am I missing in my relationship with my SO? What are the intimacy issues? What needs to change?
Infidelity will not fix anything, it will only destroy what you already have, the life you have built with someone. If that relationship is beyond repair, then deal with that first before you have a fling or pursue a path with someone else. It will save you the need to find justifications, rationalize away behavior, compromise your value system, or seek forgiveness.

I hope that helps! :kitteh:
 

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Having been cheated on before and knowing how it feels, as well as having what some may consider tight principals, I have a pretty strong stand when it comes to infidelity.

In short it’s a definite no.

Even when married to a serial cheater I didn’t stoop so low. I answer to someone higher up so when I’m committed, I am committed. That doesn’t mean that I’ll let him keep cheating on me either. Once was forgivable. Any more than that and I was gone.
 

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I think if you are officially in a monogamous relationship with someone, married or not, cheating is cheating. I think cheating can be emotional or physical.

I'm married to my high school sweetheart. I love him very much, but sometimes I panic and envision myself running off. (He is ENTJ and doesn't like change). A year ago I allowed myself to flirt with someone else and became emotionally attached to him. He was open about his feelings and past experiences, which caused me to feel connected to him. (Now I am better at separating emotional connection and attraction). I need to be needed, and my hubby doesn't need me too much because he is really stable in who he is, etc. (He's getting better at this now too-opening up to me).

Long story short, I was VERY conflicted about my feelings for this other person. I told my husband all about it, I warned him that something might happen. He said he wasn't worried, that my anxiety about it all was making me think it was a bigger deal than it was. Until one day I told the other man that I liked him and was attracted to him, and we held hands and hugged.

The second I was away from him and going home to my husband I felt sick. I've never cried so much, I've never felt so horrible about myself. To me, I had cheated. To others maybe that's not cheating, but in my value system it is. I violated my value system and I was FREAKING OUT. I told my husband immediately. We are amazing at communication and over a period of weeks worked through it. He forgave me. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, knowing I hurt him.

So now when I think of leaving or "running off" I know that in reality I would NOT be happy. I think that just comes as a result of not focusing on appreciating him and not being grateful for what I have (I do this in all areas of life...its frustrating). I just need to remember how great my life is already.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
@Raewyn:
Okay, I'm back with some comments. :) I hope you don't mind, but I sort of 'dissected' your comment according to how it made me reconsider the whole infidelity issue. Please don't see it as an attack to the ideas you have expressed, but as a display of how they have served as 'prompts'.

So... first, thanks for an honest, comprehensive answer! Lots of things to consider in there. Here are some that worked for me:

We're only human. To expect a person to stop having needs because it isn't "right" is unrealistic.
This made me think. I mean, I agree but I don't agree. I guess maybe, in my very personal set of beliefs, it's about learning to tell between needs and wants. And also, even when one needs some things that one isn't getting in the current relationship, does that make it okay to go and get them, just because one needs them? I know that's not what you're saying; that's just the line down which your original thoughts led me.

(On that note, I think it's better to break things off when you discover your wandering eyes/mind. You'll hurt the other person still, but it's more respectful than to let things drag on when you've clearly lost interest.)
Here we differ. Meaning that, yes, walking out is better than cheating. But for uptight little me, leaving is just as selfish as cheating. I'm not sure what'd hurt the most: having my partner cheating on me, or walking out on me for fear of cheating. I think any would be terrible! Surely there must be some kind of middle ground. I hope. :unsure:

For the second bullet, precisely because people have such diverse opinions on this subject, from the moment a relationship becomes "serious", the couple MUST communicate and set a standard for their conjoined boundaries. Nothing should be assumed.
Completely agree! As a matter of fact, I do this, too. Still, personally, I don't see how failing to do this would excuse infidelity, mostly because of this:
It's about honesty, trust, and respect, for the most part.
So I'm not sure whether I'm agreeing or disagreeing with you, Raewyn. Maybe both? *scratches head*

For me, I would expect my significant to only have sex with and be in love with me,as we are in an agreed monogamous relationship with specific boundaries set.
I guess most of us who posted here agree with that. It can't be just an NF thing, or could it?

... I don't think cheating necessarily denotes anything about a person's character. Some people just have issues when it comes to having relationships.
Yes, I agree. The way I see it, cheating is not acceptable behavior (at least to me, while I know other folks would see it differently), but I don’t think cheating makes one a bad person all on itself. It only means, perhaps, that one has a different view on the subject (whether it sits well with my own or not), or that one is capable of making a mistake, big as it is. Or so I think.

If he had sexual relations with another person without my okay, that would be cheating. If he has romantic feelings for another person while we were together, that would be cheating... A betrayal of love to me is far more disturbing and hurtful than temporarily being slave to the libido.
(highlights mine)

That's a very interesting perspective! So there would be circumstances in which sexual contact with another person would be forgiven, but not an emotional connection! I feel a new question for all ENFPs around pricking the back of my mind... hmmm... *lost in thought*
 

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Discussion Starter #38
(I'll answer the other questions later.)
We're still waiting... ;)

@Pucca:
Your definition of infidelity sounds familiar, and of course I see it the same way. Now, on fantasyzing, that's exactly my view. As in, it's not okay, but it's not grounds for leaving your partner, either. At least, I think that's what you're saying. Is it?


@Nafatali:
So sorry you had to go through that kind of pain! Can't have been easy.

In all honesty, you sound more accepting than I am. I don't think I could forgive the first offense, no matter what. Closed-minded? Maybe. Overly-sensitive? Definitely. Unforgiving? A little. But I guess there's room for different opinions there?


@bookjunkie:
Thanks for jumping in. I'll come back for you soon. :)
 

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Pucca:
Your definition of infidelity sounds familiar, and of course I see it the same way. Now, on fantasyzing, that's exactly my view. As in, it's not okay, but it's not grounds for leaving your partner, either. At least, I think that's what you're saying. Is it?
Yes. Decisions in the very real and significant life you're leading with someone should be based on the very real and the significant.
If I were giving advice, I'd say,
Attempt to ground yourself, to examine why fantasy is capturing your attention, look at the real and significant ways your partner loves you, and ferret out whatever it is that is preventing you from feeling or receiving it. In short, deal with what is in front of you so that you can move on in better health in the relationship or so that you can simply move on.
On the whole, I think people give more credence to fantasy than is warranted when making life decisions.
 

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I think if you are officially in a monogamous relationship with someone, married or not, cheating is cheating. I think cheating can be emotional or physical.

I'm married to my high school sweetheart. I love him very much, but sometimes I panic and envision myself running off. (He is ENTJ and doesn't like change). A year ago I allowed myself to flirt with someone else and became emotionally attached to him. He was open about his feelings and past experiences, which caused me to feel connected to him. (Now I am better at separating emotional connection and attraction). I need to be needed, and my hubby doesn't need me too much because he is really stable in who he is, etc. (He's getting better at this now too-opening up to me).

Long story short, I was VERY conflicted about my feelings for this other person. I told my husband all about it, I warned him that something might happen. He said he wasn't worried, that my anxiety about it all was making me think it was a bigger deal than it was. Until one day I told the other man that I liked him and was attracted to him, and we held hands and hugged.

The second I was away from him and going home to my husband I felt sick. I've never cried so much, I've never felt so horrible about myself. To me, I had cheated. To others maybe that's not cheating, but in my value system it is. I violated my value system and I was FREAKING OUT. I told my husband immediately. We are amazing at communication and over a period of weeks worked through it. He forgave me. It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, knowing I hurt him.

So now when I think of leaving or "running off" I know that in reality I would NOT be happy. I think that just comes as a result of not focusing on appreciating him and not being grateful for what I have (I do this in all areas of life...its frustrating). I just need to remember how great my life is already.
Oh man, that's so hard. :(

I hope you've been able to forgive yourself too. I know sometimes when I feel like I've messed up big time and I've hurt someone and lost some trust in the process, I feel like the lowest of the low. Like the worst person on the face of the planet. It's hard, near impossible, to forgive myself. I don't even want to look at myself. Sometimes I wonder whether or not that's an ENFP thing.

But that's what makes committed relationships hard. When it comes to love, we humans have trouble. We either love the wrong thing, or love something pleasurable too much, or love the right thing too little. And I think all of those "wrong ways to love" stem from loving ourselves the most. I do that all the time. Loving myself the most.

That's what makes me nervous about commitment. One, my partner would be the closest person in my life. They would see my flaws. And I feel badly about that. They'd have to be patient and forgiving because I'm not perfect. And I'd have to do the same for them. It's just not easy. Two, I know I wouldn't be perfect about keeping that promise. So, yeah. Scary.
 
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