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Discussion Starter #41
@Pucca:
I see what you did there. ;-) PM coming up.


@bookjunkie:Wow. Sounds terrible, what you went through! :shocked: Thank you so much for sharing such a personal thing. It's so great that you and your husband found a way to work it out. I don't know you, but I wish you and your man the best in the world!

Your story sounds very similar to that of a dear friend of mine's. (Had to go and check your profile to make sure you're not the same person --she has a lovely cat just like yours, too!)

This part quite impressed me:
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. ... It was one of the most painful experiences of my life, knowing I hurt him.
That's more or less the kind of reaction that I associate with ENFPs, especially those with a very strong sense of faithfulness/loyalty/fairness. To be completely honest, that's what I imagine I'd feel if I went through the same...

This I found particularly honest, and particularly interesting:
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.
What a great reminder for the rest of us out here. Thank you.
 

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We're still waiting... ;)
Everyone else has been so eloquent, though. :unsure:

Basically: There is no universal definition of what "cheating" is. It's something to be negotiated (and negotiated again...and again...) within the couple itself. Complete, painstaking, nitty-gritty honesty at every step.

I'm younger and therefore less seasoned than many posters in this thread. My two significant relationships have been a 4.5-year monogamous relationship and a 2-year open relationship. I've discovered through this process that I prefer a monogamous relationship but have a very low tolerance for jealousy/possessiveness. It's important to me to be able to talk openly with my partner about everything, including past relationships and current crushes. (Yes, I did say "current crushes." It's hugely idealistic to presume you won't ever find other people attractive, and if you're secure, it's really not that big a deal. It's a kinda fun conversation topic even. Maybe I'm weird.)

The closest I've come to infidelity was taking advantage of a period of openness that was reluctantly agreed-to by the monogamous partner when I was away for a year, and then not -lying- about what happened but definitely underplaying it. It's taken me far longer to forgive myself than for him to forgive me. It's actually the action in my past that I most regret -- not because I wish we were still together, but because it was a really shitty way to behave.

It's not an excuse for my behavior at all, but his intense jealousy and insecurity made me anxious about opening up to him about things. It was a weird situation where he was allowed to talk openly about his exes (I didn't mind), but if I ever broached the subject, he got extremely uncomfortable.

While I prefer monogamy, I would far rather be in another open relationship than be in a closed one with someone who is too fragile to have frank conversations with.

Open/closed isn't actually a deal-breaker for me either way. I put way less emphasis on that than most people. It's funny. The main thing is prioritizing each other, being open/honest, and treating each other with respect. How that plays out in an open relationship, and my feelings about open relationships, is a whole other topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
@chimeric:
See? You had something to say on the subject, after all!

It's actually the action in my past that I most regret -- not because I wish we were still together, but because it was a really shitty way to behave.
This! It seems like most people with experience on the issue and a working conscience would agree, but so far, the ENFPs seem to be particularly affected by this. Interesting.
 

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I told my husband immediately. We are amazing at communication and over a period of weeks worked through it. He forgave me.
Without minimizing anything else you wrote, I've heard it said that sometimes affairs (more broadly, cheating) can be the best things that happen to a marriage. I'm glad you were able to establish communication and make things better!
 

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This made me think of your post here, too: Mad about you: The upside of jealousy | Fox News - It depends on your bonds - Men and women with "avoidant-dismissive" attachment styles—like Mad Men's Don Draper or Summer from (500) Days of Summer—care more about sexual infidelity, while securely attached types are more distraught over emotional bond breaking, according to a Penn State study.
 

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- What is infidelity to you?
What do you consider cheating? What are your parameters?
As in, "It's not cheating if I'm not married", or "... if we're not living together", or "...if it's just making out", or "a one-night-stand with no deep emotional attachment", or "...even fantasyzing with someone else is cheating in my book"?
Cheating to me is showing the ultimate disrespect to your SO. It's deception for gain, it's manipulation with malice or calculation behind it. It's OK to have crushes, fantasies, dreams etc. It is not OK to renege on your word. If you have agreed to be open, even open relationships have rules. Breaching the rules that the two of you crafted together is disrespectful and dishonourable in my books. If you've said you'll do something and don't deliver, that is simply poor form in my opinion.

- How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
Do you consider infidelity an unforgivable offense? Or would there be extenuating circumstances? How much would you be (or have you been) able to tolerate? Would you continue in a relationship with someone you know has been unfaithful to you?
As in, "I would forgive my partner if they told me immediately and promised never to do it again", or "...if it's a purely sexual thing", or "...I know about it and they wouldn't leave me to be with this other person"?
It depends on the situation. If I have children, for example, with this person, or I've taken the financial and legal commitment of marriage on my shoulders then I'd give it a lot of thought before I broke up. If the children in said example are of an age, then I might be more inclined to call it a day. On the other hand, breach of their given word is something I would be very loath to tolerate.

- If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
Within that line, feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you want, please. ;-)
I don't agree to things as important as relationships on a whim. So however we've agreed to treat each other, I fulfil my end of the bargain. To not do so would be cheating, and I wouldn't want them doing that to me. So no, never cheated :).

Any other comments or questions on the subject would, also, be very welcome.
I think that relationships are a lot of hard work and that a fair amount of people do not appreciate just how much work they really are. Rather it's easier to just believe that this new, strange, mysterious and almost fantastic creature has the qualities of a panacea for the hard work. Invariably though, chasing fantasies yields perverse results. So if you're thinking of reneging on your word to someone; renege on it for something concrete rather than chasing chimeras and phantoms in perpetuity.
 

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@chimeric

:laughing:! Don't chase chimeras, but if it's chimeric, it's obviously sexy! So you're totally in the clear :wink: :happy:
 

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- What is infidelity to you?

To me, infidelity encompasses behavior and a certain kind of intimacy you would feel the need to hide from your partner. This is not to say that every little detail/fantasy/thought should be shared.. minds wander, people have fantasies that don't necessarily involve their boyfriend/girlfriend - and that's natural - but acting on them is an entirely different story. By acting on them, I don't necessarily mean physical cheating, it can also mean willingly establishing a bond that goes beyond platonic limits.

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

I don't know, honestly. I've never been in a situation where I've been physically cheated on, but I can only assume that if someone goes as far as to be physically intimate with someone besides their partner, they likely don't respect their boyfriend/girlfriend and are looking for fulfillment elsewhere. Even if they were drunk or I don't know, not that much in control of themselves, the intent was there & they only needed the encouragement.

I'd talk to them after getting over the initial shock and devastation. I wouldn't just shut them out without hearing their excuses reasons but I'm not sure I'd be able to forgive them unless I was able to feel and see how guilty they felt, and how hard they were willing to work on things - if possible.

Emotional cheating is a much, much more delicate situation. Emotions are muddy, complex, and in most cases not very easy to control. Most of the time, developing an attraction for someone besides your partner is not something you can help. The difference lies in whether or not you act on them, and how far you decide to take it before actually coming clean to the person you're dating and/or putting an end to that bond.

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

I've never physically cheated, but I have been 'emotionally unfaithful'. I was very dissatisfied in the relationship I was in, and so the feelings I started having for that other person were kind of like, a symptom of how unhappy I was with my partner at the time. I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and pursuing a relationship with the other person.
 

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[Ok, so I only read/replied to the OP since I knew my reply was going to be long already ; ) hehe so hopefully that's still ok!]

In the past I’ve always felt torn : / I definitely can agree with your first paragraph. When I fall for someone, it’s usually rare and *hard*, and I don’t want to do anything to jeapordize the relationship or them. However, there is still that restless part of me that doesn’t want to miss out on ‘something better’ (even though I feel guilty just writing that >.<). So I’ll find myself almost trying to find a way to have my cake and eat it too (not necessarily cheating, but thinking about stuff like that more than I’d like : / *guilt guilt guilt* >.< heh) I’ll want to keep the love I have, but then I’ll worry if it’s holding me back from something better, or if I’m missing out on better opportunities.

For the questions:
--What is infidelity to you?
When considering my SO, I don’t think I would label it outright ‘cheating’ unless they slept with/kissed/were intimate with someone else. If things started to get intimate between them and another person, if they were to stop before it happened and turn away from the temptation I don’t think I’d even consider that cheating. Things like fantasizing about someone else would definitely hurt, though. I don’t know I would be able to call it cheating, but I wouldn’t like it, and it would definitely make me feel like I wasn’t ‘enough’, which would sadden and anger/insult me a little.

--How much are you or have you been willing to forgive?
This calls for what my friends know is my favorite answer: It depends :p hehe. It really depends on all the circumstances and the state of my heart. I think if the love was true enough the extenuating circumstances were dire enough, I could forgive and continue in a relationship with them. BUT it would take me a looooooong time to trust them again and fight all the negative/sad/jealous feelings inside : /

--Have you ever cheated on a partner?
In terms of sleeping with/kissing someone else, no. But I have definitely pushed boundaries and toed lines I know I probably shouldn’t have : / That was in a long distance relationship though, which, while it doesn’t justify it, might help for others (or those in relationships with ENFPs) to know. I think I would have been better about controlling those impulses/managing those temptations if it hadn’t been long-distance (again, not that it makes anything ‘better’ or ‘worse’).
 

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What a thread...
I want to participate.. but I admit, it hurts.

What is infidelity to you?
The lie. The promise they made that they broke.

How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
I am willing to forgive nearly any act. Yes even the act of infidelity and in fact I have. Twice. I have gone to great lengths to accept that it is part of who I am. I am forgiving. Though the trust has been breached I firmly believe that trust can be rebuilt. I don’t know if I would be willing to forgive a second time. I worry that because of this I set myself up for a great hardship that would rattle a piece of who I am to the ground if I allowed her back and she did it again. But.. that’s the point of forgiveness. You forgive AND you forget. If you truly forgive them then you have to give them that clean slate. If you let them back in.. they’re back in 100% but I also need to be sure that they’re back in 100%. You trust that they won't do it again.

If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
Yes, a number of times. The most notable ones are my most recent ex who is still partaking in such a horrid activity and my SO before this most recent one. The earlier SO cheated on me first emotionally, over the internet. She then left me and moved in with him. 9 months later she returned wishing to come back to me. At that time, I just took her back and asked questions later. But we did work things out and she did rebuild that trust and I accepted it. I didn’t hold it against her ever. I still don’t to this day, because I chose to forgive her. Not anyone else. It was something I really had to ask myself. The most recent ex, I have already forgiven her, though as I say, she is still doing it and I don’t foresee her return. Now, if by some magical awakening she would want to come back, there would be a conversation, but she is already forgiven. It’s the trust that needs to be rebuilt.
We all make mistakes in life. We all do something that is really horrible to another person. I don’t believe that either of these women in my life did this things in spite of me. They were responses to their emotions. It wasn’t an attack, though I know some will and have debate that.
Maybe I am forgiving for these acts because I have made the same mistakes in the past. Things that I regret. Things that I have learned from. Things that I won’t do again. I was forgiven and that trust extended meant everything to me.


Hmm.. a rather cathartic exercise. Thank you for reading.
 

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...Oh my gosh, I can't stop staring at my other post and seeing parts I wish I could edit slightly... How embarrassing... i'mnotsureIlikemakinghugepostsbecausewhenpeoplequotemeandreplyit'sweirdbutIwilltrytorespondwithoutrunningaway. :unsure:
@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:

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.
That was specifically to those in abusive relationships or extremely unhappy yet inescapable commitments. Getting out of one, I think especially for NF's who hold love as such an important aspect of life, is incredibly difficult. It's such a blow to the soul.

As I said, once you treat your SO that badly, I don't think you get a say in what they do anymore. I would never say to someone, "Well, I know he treats you like crap, and I know you can't afford divorce, but you're still married, so... you better honor that commitment." WHAT commitment? That commitment was broken. I've seen this several times with women who were deeply religious Christian, who thought God would be displeased with them getting a divorce and breaking their vows, but in truth, the abuser is the one who broke the vows.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the value of holding up a commitment, but not when it's causing more harm than good. People need love and attention. It's not a "want". It's a biological need. We need it, or we will get depressed and anxious and suffer all sorts of medical complications and die earlier.

Sorry. This is something I'm quite passionate about. It bothers me when the need to have good relationships (of any kind) are treated like a "want".

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.
I guess I wasn't clear. I meant if you're pretty damned sure you really are in love with that other person, and it's not just temporary attraction of some kind.

And if that was understood, well, I don't really get how staying with someone when you're clearly in love with someone else is less selfish than leaving. You're just leading them on. Breaking the relationship off before the secondary love leads to cheating shows the person with those feelings has enough respect for their partner's feelings to be honest. They set their partner free to be with someone who WILL love them.

Again, I'm also aware that it's not always that easy.

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:

So I'm not sure whether I'm agreeing or disagreeing with you, Raewyn. Maybe both? *scratches head*
Because even those words are not on a set standard. For example, honesty. Some people think just telling misinformation is lying and would argue that omitting information is not, while others say both misinformation and omitting are lying. Some think telling the truth means TELLING ALL THE THINGS EVER EVERYTHING ALL THE THINGS ALL THE EVERYTHING EVER EVERY THOUGHT! while others would find that to be TMI and maybe just want to hear what's relevant and certain.

I recently read a book called "Friendfluence", and inside, the author described that surprisingly, relationships (friendships and romantic/sexual both) tend to work out better when brutal honesty is not practiced, when words are sometimes withheld and opinions sometimes left unvoiced. It's not necessarily a lie (unless you're hiding something big), but rather, holding back because you're not sure if what you're thinking IS the truth, or even how you really feel.

The same with respect. Let's take an example: a gentleman holding a door for a lady. Some ladies would think, "Oh how nice a gesture!" and the lady would smile and walk through. However, other ladies may think, "Uh, I can get my own door, Clyde." Some like chivalry and find it respectful, some think it's offensive and slightly patronizing.

I mean, for Pete's sake, we're on a personality forum! Here of all places, it's quite clear that points of view and expectations are waaaaaaaaaaay different, depending on the person.

I guess most of us who posted here agree with that. It can't be just an NF thing, or could it?

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.
:kitteh:

(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*
Having him fall in love with someone else would be far more painful, because it would be an outright rejection of me, of who I am as a person, and not just losing himself temporarily to his libido.
 

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I was married to a man who didn't want to be monogamous, and I thought I could get into that. I am perfectly capable of having a sexual fling and not getting feelings attached, and remaining deeply in love with my primary. Where it all got f'd up was when he fell in love with someone else despite our agreement to not let that happen. (by the way, I still think that's possible, but hey I'm an idealist)

I have since divorced and decided I want monogamy, and as terrifying as it's been to learn to trust again it has been worth it. I still have an uncomfortable feeling that lurks around fearing my devastation when my current partner decides I'm not enough, but I know that's me projecting my issues and I work hard to grow past that.

My previous husband managed to cheat on me twice during periods of monogamy, and the first time I really did forgive him. The second time I didn't.

I have not cheated. I think if I started wanting to, I would be more likely to end/redefine a relationship so that I could do what I want while still following my morals. That being said, y'all know how easily Fi can justify something in our minds.
 

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I have a close ENFP friend who told me once that unlike most girls, who are presumably afraid that their husbands might cheat, her fear is that she would be the one to cheat. I found that so interesting, especially since she wasn't even in a relationship at the time.
 

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- What is infidelity to you?
What do you consider cheating? What are your parameters?
As in, "It's not cheating if I'm not married", or "... if we're not living together", or "...if it's just making out", or "a one-night-stand with no deep emotional attachment", or "...even fantasyzing with someone else is cheating in my book"?


For me it would be for someone to break an agreed upon arrangement. And for me, I don't think I could be serious with someone where we didn't draw the the line at a 'deep, romanticish, emotional attachment'.

- How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
Do you consider infidelity an unforgivable offense? Or would there be extenuating circumstances? How much would you be (or have you been) able to tolerate? Would you continue in a relationship with someone you know has been unfaithful to you?
As in, "I would forgive my partner if they told me immediately and promised never to do it again", or "...if it's a purely sexual thing", or "...I know about it and they wouldn't leave me to be with this other person"?


I don't know. I guess I've never been there. In the past, though, I've been able to forgive people for all kinds of things as long as they showed me that somehow they understood what they did wrong, and promise to change. I wouldn't tolerate a breech more than once.

- If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
Within that line, feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you want, please. ;-)


I've been in a shitty marriage, and didn't bail on it when I should've for a lot of reasons. I've had opportunities to cheat, had even been aggressively pursued, and never had sex or any romantic physical contact outside the marriage. But I felt like I had cheated anyway, since it was something that I (realize now) subconsciously encouraged, and invested a lot of energy into. I.E. emotional cheating.

Any other comments or questions on the subject would, also, be very welcome.

Ultimately, I wish to be, and really can only be monogamous. I love the idea of free love and polygamy, but I'm just not wired that way. I'll never be in another relationship where I'll 'wish' to be somewhere else instead. If I had thoughts of that again, I'd work to fix the problem, and if it were unfixable, pick up and move on. Life isn't worth holding onto skeletons.
 

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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.

I was scrolling and halfway reading everything, when I saw that whole "corrupt minded virgin" bit.
My first thought was.. Oh gosh, I hope I'm not going to be lotted in with people like @phony.
After all, I'm not corrupt minded.. I'm just a 19 year old guy. :p (That's older than my parents when they got married...)


Yeah, I think I'll go to sleep now.. I feel my brain getting fuzzy and nigh nonsensical.
 

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I was scrolling and halfway reading everything, when I saw that whole "corrupt minded virgin" bit.
My first thought was.. Oh gosh, I hope I'm not going to be lotted in with people like @phony.
After all, I'm not corrupt minded.. I'm just a 19 year old guy. :p (That's older than my parents when they got married...)


Yeah, I think I'll go to sleep now.. I feel my brain getting fuzzy and nigh nonsensical.



 

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- What is infidelity to you?
What do you consider cheating? What are your parameters?
As in, "It's not cheating if I'm not married", or "... if we're not living together", or "...if it's just making out", or "a one-night-stand with no deep emotional attachment", or "...even fantasizing with someone else is cheating in my book"?


I'm sure there are probably plenty people that will think I'm insane, or overly strict, but this is my take.
What do I consider cheating? Any action that betrays the trust, replacing you (even temporarily) with someone else to fulfill your role.
Mainly, what matters is the thought behind this. If I'm in a relationship, and my girlfriend is chatting with a guy, and feels this overwhelming urge to make out with him, that's genuinely upsetting.. Even if it is "Just making out".
On the other side, if she just decided "Oh hey, I think I'll just do this for the heck of it!". Essentially, that sort of callous disregard is nigh equal to the mindset possessed by those who just carry on non-emotionally attached affairs. I want a relationship where she knows if she has any needs or desires, she can come to me about them.. Trust me, I'd be happyto fulfill these.
As for fantasizing, if she comes to me about it, it genuinely means that she wants help and she's trying to stay faithful. I can respect that, and I would be happy to help her get through it. We're humans, we all make stupid mistakes, and any attempt to keep yourself from making one, that's a positive thing. Outside of polyamory, and borderline psychopathic disregard, I think there is little room for emotionally detached affairs. Put simply, here's the signal chain that leads to an emotionally based affair:
Thoughts (oh hey, he's attractive), feelings (I kind of wish I could spend more time with him), emotions (I really like him), actions (I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm going to anyway, because I love him). At present, I am not really into the idea of polyamory.. I like the idea of monogamy (because I'm abnormally idealistic for an ENTP.. haha), so if my girlfriend/wife tells me that she has been struggling with some feelings for some other man.. Sure it might have a slight sting, but the very fact she's trying to amend the situation before it becomes a problem.. That's respect.

I will say this much.. I've seen plenty cases of emotionally attached affairs, where one of the leading contributors was the spouse/significant other not putting any effort into the relationship. You may care about the woman, but if you do not care about the relationship, it will decay, and while she may choose another man to fulfill her needs and desires as you should, ultimately you are also a cheater, by replacing her with a million other things that at the time seemed "more important".


- How much are you or have you been willing to forgive from your partner?
Do you consider infidelity an unforgivable offense? Or would there be extenuating circumstances? How much would you be (or have you been) able to tolerate? Would you continue in a relationship with someone you know has been unfaithful to you?
As in, "I would forgive my partner if they told me immediately and promised never to do it again", or "...if it's a purely sexual thing", or "...I know about it and they wouldn't leave me to be with this other person"?

Well, I probably covered a little on this, in my massive bit above, but I'll add a bit.
If I have to find out that she's cheating, due to some sort of investigation, or really bad timing (on her part, meaning I just walked into it), there will be one chance granted, and a LOT of trust to be rebuilt.
If she comes to me, that probably means she wants to be faithful, but has been genuinely struggling.. I'd forgive that, and although the trust has been broken, it's not anywhere close to being as destroyed as the previous scenario.
If I'm cleaning a bit, and I find something that leads me to suspect she's having an affair, and I find out she's having an affair with multiple guys, I honestly don't know if I would be able to continue with her. To give an extreme example:
If a man kills someone after a massive fight where things simply got out of control, and he turns him self in, he's a man who killed once.
If a man kills someone, and you find out he's killed another 8 people, there is clearly a much larger problem than what meets the surface.

- If you're comfortable sharing, have you ever cheated on a partner?
Within that line, feel free to elaborate as much or as little as you want, please. ;-)

No, and I pray that whoever I end up with, that I will do well enough to always captivate her.
 
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