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Discussion Starter #1
*Warning- Venting involved*

I'll try refraining from including too many details in this post (most are pretty graphic). I can at least understand that people are only human and can give in to temptation but I've been surrounded by so much cheating the past thirty days that it's starting to really mess with my head. To the point where I've probably become jaded against having any romantic relationship right now.

One of the guys I know with has been having problems in his marriage, and I just found out he cheated on his wife some time ago. I've really come to respect him in terms of being a leader, mentor, and over all a good guy. This would be one of the last things I expected out of him, and I honestly respect less of him for it, even though I feel pretty sh***y about feeling that way.

Just one example I know of out the numerous I've seen or heard of this past month. I really can't comprehend why people would cheat. I recognize that the temptation's there, and that a lot of people can be under a lot of stress affecting their decision. In the end though, it's a serious rupture in the trust established when you commit yourself to someone. Almost as if you discard your significant other's thoughts, feelings, and commitment as trash without a care in the world. I would much rather work on the problems affecting the relationship, or end it if there is no hope for reconciliation on either side. Perhaps I'm too harsh in my opinion, but this is one ideal I hold tightly too.

I guess I just need to write out my frustration without being told to get over it, it doesn't involve you, or any other base rationalization. Blah, the hypocrisy between what the people around me say and what they do infuriates me. At the very least I'm glad I can at least express an opinion here without some serious repercussion, and gain an understanding.

What do you think of infidelity? Is it just a part of human nature? Am I excluding extenuating circumstances that have a serious impact on the reasoning behind cheating?
 

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I think we are all humans, and we all can fail to follow even our very best ideals. Having said that, I despise infidelity with all my heart, and understand why you feel that way about your friend. If he feels badly about it, then you should not (IMHO) be too harsh. But if he justifies it... I don't know, he wouldn't be my kind of person. Hope I am not coming across as too judgmental.

It hurts a TON, it's HORRIBLE, and it's UNNEEDED. This stupid macho thing of being unfaithful at will, whenever given a chance, is utterly abhorrent. Those who do so should not have married in the first place. Call me moralistic, but I hate to see people suffer like that! (Again, although not totally related, another reason why I hate players as well!) The ultimate betrayal, although it could be forgiven, and people can and do change some times (it's not common, though.)

Totally understand your frustration there. Hypocrisy is also one of my main pet peeves as well. May we never do such a thing to our beloved ones.
 

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Unfortunately, this is reality. Reality is not perfect, so it shouldn't surprise us, but......

But, there's no need to internalize this drama and apply it to yourself right away. Of course, I'd probably feel the same way if I found out everybody around me were cheating. Then again, I'm reminded of that poem "IF" by Rudyard Kipling where he basically says, "keep your cool, when everyone else is losing theirs" and you will find the answer.

If it's any consolation, many famous idealists lived alone.
 

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I don't think I'd cheat if I were with someone, but I'm also not a very sexual person. I'm with IncarusDreams with a lot of his opinions about it, I can forgive someone if it's a mistake they regret in the past, but if they're still at it... what the hell's the point of being in a relationship like that? My cousin and her hubby when they first got together had an open relationship up until she got pregnant, they're both VERY sexual people though, I think it takes a certain type of person to be able to have an open relationship and make it work, but they did, and for the most part they were really happy about it, they've been together for more then five years and they're one of the most stable and loving couples I know.

I think if someone realizes they're starting to be tempted by others to the point where they might cheat, they really need to talk to their spouse, maybe figure out some way to spice things up, and if there's nothing they can do in that area, maybe have an open relationship for a while, I don't think it's really fair for one person to indulge while the other is expected to stay loyal, set up some boundaries and if that doesn't satiate the need, maybe look into counseling or a divorce. I understand the primal urge, and people aren't perfect, hormones, moods and emotions on top of all of that can make people do things they wouldn't have thought possible five years prior, but I think the keys to most relationships are compromise and communication, how can you have a real relationship if you can't talk to each other about your problems or learn to give a little?

Eh, it's not a perfect world, so no relationship is exactly the same unfortunately, what works for some may not work for others, there's no real solution to the whole problem. All you really can do it stick to your own morals, and stay strong, and try not to let others and their faults influence you and especially mess up your day.
 

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I can never blame women for being insecure in relationships. The amount of times I've heard guys openly boast about cheating is just absolutely vile. Honestly though, I'm the kind of person that will call their girlfriend and let them know what's going on. I have no personal loyalty to anyone that cheats.

Nonetheless, my stance... (re-post since I just answered it recently)
Cheating
> Never have, never will, never been cheated on. Truthfully, I think less of anyone that has cheated on another, regardless of reasoning (Note: I'm a loyalty type so this is a huge cardinal sin against the fiber of my being).
 

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She should get even, that's what her husband deserves.
 

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I don't think people would ever cheat if they were with a true match that they were truly in love with. The vast majority of people settle though, whether they know it consciously or not, and if somewhere down the line, they feel the temptation, it's just another sign that they are not in the right relationship. (Granted, some people are just pigs and not the 'committing' type, but that's beside my point here.) I don't think it is wrong to feel the temptation itself--I think it's wrong to let it get to the point where you feel it. There are many warning signs before this that tell you the relationship isn't quite right for you, and ignoring those is what is morally unacceptable to me--at least for myself. Others--I just feel bad for them, but for me, I would be overwhelmingly ashamed and disgusted with myself if I stayed in a relationship to the point of having the urge to cheat.

Honestly, I had the temptation to cheat on my last ex. I never felt like the temptation itself was wrong, and I still don't. The temptation occurred because I didn't want my ex, and that isn't wrong, but the fact that I chose to be with him while feeling that way, and chose to be with him through all the previous red flags, was wrong. What I am trying to say here is that it isn't wrong to HAVE symptoms, it is wrong to ignore or placate those symptoms rather than addressing the problem itself. Yeah, it can take a lot to leave someone, but it also takes a lot to quit smoking once health problems begin to develop from it. It's easier to treat the symptoms with meds and keep smoking, just as it is to find any way to make yourself feel better and stay in a crappy relationship. But really, your life is at stake in both cases--and just because it is figurative when it comes to relationships doesn't make settling any better. It crushes your spirit, your dreams, your emotional well-being, and you. That is the sin to me, not the symptom of wanting someone. And of course, addressing the symptom by actually cheating is monstrous on many levels, but the one most prevalent in my mind is the fact that the person could not muster the courage and self-worth fix the real problem and regain their life by getting out of the relationship.

No, I have never cheated, and I never will. I will also never again continue a relationship that is wrong for me to the point of wanting somebody other than my partner. I am absolutely ashamed that I let it get to that point before, but I will never again sacrifice myself for another. The past is past, and I am happy that my values now will only allow for happiness with another.
 

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It sucks, but cheating has slightly jaded my perspective on romantic relationships in general, and my motiviation to strive to maintain lasting ones.

Like I just don't know if monogamy really works...I'm really skeptical of it as much as I idealize it...

Even my mother cheated on my father...who can you trust?

The worst part... it really has jaded me, as now I am involved with a woman who has a boyfriend...
and now I've seen both sides, and just how easily it can happen, and be rationalized... it causes me to want to be in a monogamous relationship less and less...ridiculous...yes I am...
 

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I think cheating is one of the worst things a partner could ever do to me. I am always terrified of being cheated on and I would never be able to fully trust my significant other if it ever happened. No matter how much I loved them, it would have to end. I do not understand how someone cannot fully devote themselves to another person. When I am in a relationship, it is that person and that person alone. When I am alone with another male that is not my boyfriend, I can actually start to feel uncomfortable. If another guy touches me or makes a comment, it grosses me out. I almost view myself as only being seen by him and no one else. So sometimes it can be extremely difficult for me to understand when another person strays.

I have had friends that cheated on their partners and it completely changed my views about them. One friend was talking to me about her boyfriend breaking up with her and I was there for her every second until she told me the reason 2 weeks later. After that, all I could think is "well... you had it coming", so I avoided any talk about their relationship. I wouldn't completely ditch a friendship over it, but I will not tell them "oh you made a mistake and he should accept that." For me it is "Oh you made a mistake, but now it's too late and you need to deal with it." It's sounds cold, but that's how I view it.
 

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Ugh, infidelity. Why does it have to exist?
I can't imagine myself cheating, I really can't. Maybe it's just a hyperextended sense of loyalty, but when I'm in a relationship, I'm totally immune to stuff like that. I'm never even tempted.
As to other people cheating, I get really mad. (Unless they cheat on me- then, I'm disappointed, and I'll probably break up with him, but it's not as big a deal in my head.) Especially if they cheat on one of my friends (as in real friends, not associates), but it doesn't even matter to me all that much who the people involved are or what the circumstances were. I figure if you don't have the self-control to stay true to your SO, you don't deserve one. In fact, you don't deserve much of anything. I'll probably drop-kick you down Niagara Falls in a barrel full of nails.
 

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I would be so broken-hearted if someone I really love cheats on me (actually, even just thinking the person I really love doesn't love me back equally already hurts). But I wonder sometimes, what if I'm the one who cheats on the person. I don't know if I'll ever have the reason to, because I'm very inexperienced with this stuff. I wonder if cheating is sometimes because you're just not with the right person, or if you're missing something in a relationship. In that case, the relationship itself is the problem.
 

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Honestly, I've been around cheating so much that i've almost come to accept it as "human nature" or rather, normal (even though I know deep down that it shouldn't come to that conclusion). People around me supposedly say they are in love and they love their significant other so much, but not even a moment later will I see them turn the other way and cheat. It's a sad world we live in now and there's not much we can do except stay true to our own morals.
 

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Even though I was in a special situation when it occurred, I confess, reading everything I have makes me feel like shit about myself. Nobody even said anything about my explanation of it before and I can just imagine people glaring at my post as they go by, assuming the worst about me, despite the extreme nature of it all. And how young I was. And scared. So fucking scared.

That feeling has motivated me to be a forgiver.

I don't feel like anyone will ever forgive me for it.

Ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Even though I was in a special situation when it occurred, I confess, reading everything I have makes me feel like shit about myself. Nobody even said anything about my explanation of it before and I can just imagine people glaring at my post as they go by, assuming the worst about me, despite the extreme nature of it all. And how young I was. And scared. So fucking scared.

That feeling has motivated me to be a forgiver.

I don't feel like anyone will ever forgive me for it.

Ever.
I'm sincerely sorry you feel that way. The biggest gripe with what I've experienced over the past month is that essentially most of people around me had married or were about to be married, which I hold to a very high level of respect. I've done some serious contemplation, and haven't come to a real conclusion yet. But it was never my intention to make someone feel like shit for it. I just really wanted some answers to why, and to vent.

For what it's worth I'll have to try and be more empathic about this. I really am sorry for making you feel this way.
 

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Even though I was in a special situation when it occurred, I confess, reading everything I have makes me feel like shit about myself. Nobody even said anything about my explanation of it before and I can just imagine people glaring at my post as they go by, assuming the worst about me, despite the extreme nature of it all. And how young I was. And scared. So fucking scared.

That feeling has motivated me to be a forgiver.

I don't feel like anyone will ever forgive me for it.

Ever.
My little sister did, she is only 13. She came to me for advice about it all, and of course I was caring and empathetic about it. I don't think badly of her; it was a learning experience and she did the right thing afterward and told her boyfriend about it, which was commendable. So I don't look down upon her about it, and neither do I at all for you--especially when you quite obviously feel so much grief about it, and it has long past. Don't beat yourself up about it after learning from a mistake, I just hope you never settle in the future <3 (Edit: not saying you were, since I don't know your story--just that I hope you wont from here on out :happy:)
 

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I find that we as a society tend to label relationships and societal boundaries which both parties in a relationship rarely discuss and just assume those boundaries will work for their particular relationships.

Relationships are built on trust and communication. Infidelity is a breakdown of those two things. I use to be so judgmental about those who cheat. However over the years, I've seen too many of my friends who's 5-15 year marriages break up, not because of cheating, but because things just didn't work out. You never know the full story. Relationships are complicated.

There's a quote by Milan Kundera that I love:

The goals we pursue are always veiled. A girl who longs for marriage longs for something she knows nothing about. The boy who hankers after fame has no idea what fame is. The thing that gives our every move its meaning is always totally unknown to us.
- Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

And that's the thing with relationships. The ones who want to be in long-term lasting relationships don't know what it entails until they're in one. Communication is hard. So is the day-to-day. Relationships break down. We realize that the "one" can't be everything to you. So we form other relationships to fill unmet needs. This is why we have friends. Other relationships meet other needs. I don't find there's anything wrong with this until you break trust to do it. Society seems to narrow infidelity to sexual infidelity. But if you're out with your friends and you're doing "harmless" flirting with some cute guy and you can't tell your SO about it then that's infidelity too.

I know a lot of people who have very different types of relationships whether they're monogamous and non-monogamous relationships. There's a statistic that I got from Dan Savage that says that 60% of men cheat and 40% of women cheat. The problem occurs when the ones who are non-monogamous get into to relationships with those who can be monogamous.
 

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I'm sorry if you guys felt like it was too personal... I'm a person of perpetual guilt and I'll beat myself up for a long time about anything I do against my own morals. I feel awful about what I did, but at the same time, I try not to live with regrets, just new life lessons. My early high school years were an odd experience, and... haha, I learned a lot. I could say I got it all out of the way.

I really do appreciate the replies. I often feel the things that bother me most deeply are brushed off because I'm reluctant to show how much it bothers me. I want to get past it all. I feel like a much better person now, but some things just don't go away that easily...
 

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This question is very difficult for me to relate to. To me having a relationship has always been a rare and precious thing, so rare and precious that it's almost become mythical. But I know most people don't see it or experience it that way. Having relationships, getting married, and certainly just having sex just isn't that big of a deal. I can experience this as very alienating, as it seems a lot, maybe even most people view love and sex as disposable things while to me they've always felt unobtainable. So it's difficult for me to have a generous attitude toward people who cheat.
 
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